Thursday, May 26, 2016

Power, Privilege, Heresy, and Playing Poker: Some Thoughts Post #UMCGC






We United Methodists of late don't appear to be united on many things, but for the most part we are opposed to gambling. Our Social Principles state,


Gambling is a menace to society, deadly to the best interests of moral, social, economic, and spiritual life, and destructive of good government. As an act of faith and concern, Christians should abstain from gambling and should strive to minister to those victimized by the practice. Where gambling has become addictive, the church will encourage such individuals to receive therapeutic assistance so that the individual's energies may be redirected into positive and constructive ends. The church should promote standards and personal lifestyles that would make unnecessary and undesirable the resort to commercial gambling-including public lotteries-as a recreation, as an escape, or as a means of producing public revenue or funds for support of charities or government (¶ 163G).

I'm very much in agreement with our position on gambling, but I must confess when it comes to the discussions we UMs often have on issues that deeply divide us, all too often I am reminded of the chorus from Kenny Roger's song, "The Gambler:"



You've got to know when to hold 'em

Know when to fold 'em

Know when to walk away

And know when to run

You never count your money

When you're sittin' at the table

There'll be time enough for countin'

When the dealin's done



The conversation on the issues that deeply divide us all too often resort to the continual holding and playing of two cards from the progressives-- the cards of power and privilege-- and one card from the traditionalists-- the heresy card. The continual and haphazard use of these three cards either stifles fruitful discussion or it leads us to talking past each other.


Read more at http://www.allanbevere.com/2016/05/power-privilege-heresy-and-playing.html

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