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Monday, January 24, 2011

No Casino! What then do you recommend?

There has been a fuming debated among Grenadians concerning the building of a casino in the country. The most vocal and forceful, in this debate, are those on the side of religious; the Grenada Conference of Churches especially. These churches are totally apposed to the casino; no, no, no; no casino, they kept screaming, but, have not offered an alternative especially since the casino is part of the Government’s plan to create new jobs, in an effort to shrink the accumulating joblessness in the country.
The spokesman (of the Grenada Conference of Churches), Rev. Sean Dogget says the churches are appose to the idea of casino gambling which has far reaching consequences” (weefm news).    
As can be seen from the churches’ statement, the churches’ opposition to the casino is confined within phrase, “far reaching consequences”. But what do the churches really mean by the use of this statement? I believe that, by “far reaching consequences”, the church is speaking about morals, but within the context of a Christian worldview. To them, gambling is a violation of “Christen values”, and that, is the context of their apposition. With that said, let’s now take look at what gambling is.
Gambling involves betting, where someone take the stake and hope that he or she emerged a winner. People engage in gambling as individuals or as groups. Gambling is a game of chance where the participants hope to win. So, is that an immoral act? Is it immoral to take chances? We take chances in almost everything and everyday of our lives. To walk down the sidewalk, for example, is taking a chance; gambling that a drunk driver would not end your life.
If taking a chance is immoral, then, to believe or to have fate that – which is what one does in gambling – one will be saved if he or she believes in Jesus, Allah, Haile Selassie I, Shiva, etc, is also an immoral act. Yes, to accept religious dogmas is to gamble since one have no idea of what the outcome will be, but is taking a chance and hope that he or she will come out a winner. What is more gambling than that!
Although there are many theologian and philosophers who agree that there is nothing inherently wrong with gambling, there are two arguments put forth against gambling. First, some people agreement, including some theologians, against gambling is totally secular. They see the danger of gambling as lying in its excessiveness. A view I am in agreement with. Indeed, some people can and does become addicted to gambling to the point where other basic needs are neglected. Some even neglect their family.  But is this result because gambling is intrinsically bad; or is it because the individual is unable to control him or herself. I certainly agree that this problem is legitimate grounds to harbor negative sentiments against gambling. As human beings, we generally don’t like to see people’s life go down the pipe because of something they can do without. One can indeed make the choice not to go to the casino or to gamble. The choice is yours. This problem, however, does not make gambling in itself a bad thing. If it is, then we should outlaw things like carnival, for example. Even religion, I will suggest. After all, religion do take good people and turn them into crazy nuts, criminals.
On the other hand, many people do gamble and successfully take care of their basic needs and family. What this negative aspect of gambling points to, is the fact that some people cannot sits limits; they cannot prioritize, and, as a result, allow themselves to fall victim. And this, of course, is a concern, but not enough, I will argue, to stop the building of a casino.
But, is the Grenada Conference of Churches’ criticism base on protecting the people; are their criticism lies on a non-scriptural foundation. I think not. Their criticism, I believe, falls in the second category; it is scriptural base. They are waling against something that goes against their Christian worldview, and that is why the only item they brought to the table is a big fat NO. This position, however, does not help the debate.
Indeed, if the Grenada Conference of Churches is not just speaking out against gambling because it is against their Christian belief, they then should understand that the fear of  the “far reaching consequences” they claimed to have, can be properly taken care off. Gambling and its effect can be controlled and should be, while, at the same time, provides jobs and revenue to Grenada and the Grenadian people. However, it seems to me the churches are not so much concern about the people whose lives, they believe, might be affected as a result of this casino. They are, on the other hand, more concern that the country or government appears to not be establishing their “Christian Values”, and that is why they have no proposal for job creation. that's not their concern. It is not about morals in general; for Grenada have been plagued with deteriorating morals and the Conference of Churches is nowhere to be seen or heard. So, what it is about? It is simple, I think. It is about wanting to establish their Calvinism-like religious state.  


  1. This is an free country; one have the right to go by the doctrine of an pretend god or not; aslo, one have the right to subject themselves into worldly ways; such as gambling. I see no problem with Greneda having and casino; it will bring more recognition and money to the island of spices.

  2. Certainly,Zhiyah, one do have these rights.And indeed, the casino will be a revenue maker for the country. What,I think, the problem is with these churches, is that they are against the casino, but have not proposed any idea for job creation. That's the real issue.
    I don't think their dissent is base on morals per say; I think they are just against because, to them, the country should not do something that violate their "christian values". In their minds, Grenada is a Christian county and should activity promote the Christian version of life.