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FrGamble
FrGamble
Joined: Jun 5, 2011
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September 12th, 2011 at 6:58:07 PM permalink
I have been amazed at the topics that have been discussed on this forum in the short time I have been a member. I have also been impressed by the way in which they have been discussed (for the most part). I thought this forum was just going to allow me to be part of a discussion on gambling, but it has been much more - thanks for that. With a little bit of trepidation but with confidence in previous strange questions I wanted to ask if you thought a priest should try his luck at gambling?

I am a Catholic priest and have for the last couple of years been studying gambling. I think I was intrigued by the idea of trying to become an advantage player; to figure out a strategy, or develop a skill, that could give me a fighting chance at the tables. It has been a challenge but also fun. I've found the dealers and other players very kind and casinos nice places, not dens of iniquity. It should go without saying that I am talking about responsible gambling, with my own saved up money. This limits me to trips that are about twice a month at most. I put money aside for this hobby and my losses are comparable to if I played 18 holes every week at a nice place. Also obviously I restrict myself to games that have the lowest possible house edge like blackjack, video poker, and craps (yes, I believe in dice setting which I've come to find out is as controversial as God's existence).

As you can tell I think I am comfortable with the idea and so is the teaching of the Church (see CCC #2413, quoted below). However I am very concerned about what others may think. I don't want to scandalize people, faithful parishioners or unbelievers. Therefore I ask you, is it okay in your opinion for a priest or any other minister to gamble responsibly if their religion doesn't explicitly ban the practice?

"Games of chance (card games, etc.) or wagers are not in themselves contrary to justice. They become morally unacceptable when they deprive someone of what is necessary to provide for his needs and those of others. The passion for gambling risks becoming an enslavement. Unfair wagers and cheating at games constitute grave matter, unless the damage inflicted is so slight that the one who suffers it cannot reasonably consider it significant." (CCC #2413)
EvenBob
EvenBob
Joined: Jul 18, 2010
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September 12th, 2011 at 7:07:11 PM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

Therefore I ask you, is it okay in your opinion for a priest or any other minister to gamble responsibly if their religion doesn't explicitly ban the practice?



You have a couple of college degree's in religion, and
you're asking a bunch of laymen if its OK to gamble?
You're the priest, surely someone has asked you if its
OK. What did you tell them?

Unless you have the edge over the game and the casino,
put your money in the collection plate. You're helping
NOBODY by giving it to a greedy casino. You can't win
if you play on a regular basis. Do what your religion
dictates, give your money to the poor.
"It's not enough to succeed, your friends must fail." Gore Vidal
Mosca
Mosca
Joined: Dec 14, 2009
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September 12th, 2011 at 7:18:04 PM permalink
As someone who is reasonably close to the Catholic Church (I taught catechism, gave readings, sent my daughter to Catholic schools, my wife goes to church & rosary every day) I think it's morally OK. I think you're asking about more than if I think it's OK, though. You're asking, "Is there any perception of impropriety or immorality?" And I still say, no. Most people understand that priests are people.

But you should be careful. If 99% of your congregation agrees with me, that means 1% does not. The 99% will be silent, but there's sure to be busybodies in the other 1%. If you have 2500 parishioners, 25 all ascandal about the betting friar can be a problem, even if the betting is not.

And, you owe it to yourself to watch Owning Mahowney. Good men go bad sometimes.
NO KILL I
FinsRule
FinsRule
Joined: Dec 23, 2009
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September 12th, 2011 at 7:18:06 PM permalink
If you're comfortable with your parishioners knowing you gamble, then I think it's okay. Because they will find out.

Don't listen to EvenBob. You get paid a salary, you can do with it what you wish. The issue is, maybe you won't continue to receive that salary if people "out" you.
Nareed
Nareed
Joined: Nov 11, 2009
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September 12th, 2011 at 7:45:39 PM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

(yes, I believe in dice setting which I've come to find out is as controversial as God's existence).



Not really. There's a remote chance dice setting may work.
Donald Trump is a fucking criminal
ItsCalledSoccer
ItsCalledSoccer
Joined: Aug 30, 2010
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September 12th, 2011 at 7:54:48 PM permalink
All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not all things edify. Let no one seek his own good, but that of his neighbor. Or something ...
EvenBob
EvenBob
Joined: Jul 18, 2010
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September 12th, 2011 at 7:56:53 PM permalink
Quote: FinsRule



Don't listen to EvenBob. You get paid a salary, you can do with it what you wish.



Actually, the religion of which he is a major player in,
says this:

'And the Lord said, “Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his master will make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. Truly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all that he has” (Luke 12:42-44).

Thats a parable from Jesus himself. Being a wise steward
of your money does not include squandering it away in a
casino.
"It's not enough to succeed, your friends must fail." Gore Vidal
ItsCalledSoccer
ItsCalledSoccer
Joined: Aug 30, 2010
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September 12th, 2011 at 8:03:50 PM permalink
Quote: EvenBob

Actually, the religion of which he is a major player in,
says this:

'And the Lord said, “Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his master will make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. Truly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all that he has” (Luke 12:42-44).

Thats a parable from Jesus himself. Being a wise steward
of your money does not include squandering it away in a
casino.



I don't think it's unwise at all to spend an "appropriate" (whatever that means to whoever) amount on entertainment, which I don't think is "squandering." When you turn it into something other than entertainment, then I think it's a problem. But only you can figure that out for yourself.
EvenBob
EvenBob
Joined: Jul 18, 2010
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September 12th, 2011 at 8:13:23 PM permalink
Its really comes down to, is it a wise use of God’s resources of time and money?
To squander both in a casino seems unproductive in the extreme, and beneath
someone who others in the Church look to for guidance.
"It's not enough to succeed, your friends must fail." Gore Vidal
FinsRule
FinsRule
Joined: Dec 23, 2009
  • Threads: 125
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September 12th, 2011 at 8:15:24 PM permalink
Quote: EvenBob

Its really comes down to, is it a wise use of God’s resources of time and money?
To squander both in a casino seems unproductive in the extreme, and beneath
someone who others in the Church look to for guidance.



So EvenBob, you are the judge of what is productive time for a preist? Golf, yes. Casinos, no. Expensive bottles of wine, no. Dinner at a moderate restaurant, yes?

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