Bible quoted to back bill warning lottery players ‘you’ll probably lose’

Sen. Jim Summerville, R-Dickson, has taken the first step toward passage of a bill that would require all advertising for the state lottery to include this warning: “You will probably lose money playing the lottery.”

A special Senate lottery subcommittee gave its blessing to the bill (SB1592) after hearing Summerville declare the warning is needed to protect people who spend money they shouldn’t on lottery tickets in the hopes of winning big.

Further from Richard Locker’s ‘post card from Nashville::

“Maybe you, like I, have seen people in convenience stores, liquor stores — which even I patronize — watching some poor son-of-a-gun line up his Social Security numbers, birthdays, marriages, death days in order to select the best possible combination of numbers to lift them out of the economic calamity of their lives — all for nothing,” he told his colleagues.

The current warning, “Play responsibly,” and inclusion of odds of winning on some lottery material isn’t enough, he said. “Just tell the truth: you’re probably not going to win this game. It may help some people hesitate before they spend that last dollar on a ticket.”

He drove his point home paraphrasing scripture, Isaiah 58. “Central to Isaiah’s comments in that chapter, and repeated probably more than any thesis in the Bible, Old Testament or New, is that the worst possible corruption of God’s people is not murder or robbery, idolatry or false witness but it’s the flagrant contempt of the poor among the community. Over and over again, the scriptures condemn exploitation of the poor by those of us who are not poor — the haves like us over the have-nots. To insist that the poor among us fund tuition supplements is just downright evil.

“This is a matter of conscience to me. I hate this game like an Old Testament prophet, and I admit that. I think it’s a blight on our beautiful state. … It is an abomination. Yes, the people approved it but the people can’t repeal the law of God.”