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Are State Lotteries Immoral?

This entry is part 41 of 42 in the series Christian Theology of Public Policy Course

This essay continues the Christian Theology and Public Policy Course by John Cobin, author of the books Bible and Government and Christian Theology of Public Policy.

“Don’t smoke, chew, or run with girls that do” is a popular adage in some Christian circles today. Christians are concerned about what God thinks about their behavior. They are also concerned about what men think. Of course, any true Christian who struggles with pornography will not herald his addiction, but in many places Christians will seek to cover up arguably less egregious activities like drinking alcohol, smoking cigars, or even gambling now and then. These practices are often viewed as taboo— even when used in moderation. Paradoxically, Christians are able to openly indulge in overeating or overspending on cars, clothing, and entertainment devices without chagrin. Gluttony and profligate spending seem to be more acceptable sins among believers than other excesses, creating a (widespread) inconsistency of thought about what is appropriate Christian behavior.

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