Premier Meets With Anti-Gaming Church Group

May 6, 2010

Premier Dr. Ewart Brown met today with representatives of United for Change, a fellowship of Pastors and Church leaders opposed to gaming in Bermuda.

The group comprises approximately 80 pastors and leaders from over 70 churches, and is thought to be the largest combining of religious groups in Bermuda’s history.

The meeting was for approximately thirty minutes, and including Bishop Lloyd Duncan, Pastor Mark Hall, Reverend Nick Dill and Major Alfred Wilson.

The Premier says that he stressed his respect for the Church Community and his intention to preserve his close relationship with the Church despite their disagreement on this issue.

Premier Dr Brown said:

My door is always open for the Church and their leadership.The faith based community represents a significant and important segment of our community and I want them to understand that I have nothing but respect for them and the contribution they make to Bermuda. I think it is important that the noise that can sometimes be generated by differing positions does nothing to erode our close relationship. We can disagree without being disagreeable.

The Green Paper on Gaming will be debated in the House of Assembly tomorrow, and will consist of a discussion only with no vote eligible to be taken.

The Premier is in favour of gaming, as is the hotel industry, with Fairmont Chief Executive Norman Mastalir saying that the hotel industry in Bermuda has been losing money for a decade, and will not survive unless changes are made.

The Bermuda Democratic Alliance said they are in favour of the concept, with conditions, while the UBP say they feel gaming is not in Bermuda’s best interests.

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  1. Gaming Debate Bermuda House of Assembly Laws Gambling | Bernews.com | May 7, 2010
  1. RaRaRaMan says:

    If you put 10% of your income in gambling, you have a skight chance of winning it back. Put that same 10% into church you get some vague promise of eternal life after you die – with zero chance of getting your $$$ back. If anything, the con artist churches should be banned. They don’t even pay taxes either. The churches are the biggest con artists of all time. They are concerned about their income – nothing else.

    • AJ says:

      Paying money to a church has nothing to do with the promise for eternal life! The funds support the church and the work of the church. I am not saying that there are not some (like any business or government) that abuse the system and take advantage. But you cannot possibly compare funds given to a church with gaming! And finally – the churches like any other Bermuda business are not exempt from paying the requisite taxes.

      • RaRaRaMan says:

        Churches pay no ARV tax, and are automatically given charity status in Bermuda. This gives them a tremendous advantage over normal businesses. They also possess a falsely elevated position due to their religigious status. They have no business being in this debate – you cannot legislate morality. They should look at their own sins before judging others.

    • M.O.G. says:

      @RaRaRaMan I just have one question for you have you consider taking time out out to study what the word of God (The Holy Bible) says about giving 10% for the offering. In Malachi 3:10 it states “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.”
      First before I explain what the above verse means let me first state that when I go to church and place my offering in the offering bag, I am not paying that money to a pastor. I am fulfilling a command that God gave to me in his word. I believe that everything that I own belongs to God. I can’t even take ownership of anything. Everything that you do for God is an act of worship. Worship is not only in church but it is my whole life. Paying tithes is an act of worship. I don’t pay my tithe because I know that God has the power to take me out. I don’t pay tithes like so I pay my way into heaven. No amount of money I could ever pay can fill my debt to get to heaven.
      Now let me explain the verse to you. The storehouse is the place where the belivers and followers of God meet. When we meet and you come to visit you need electricity in order for the message of God to be heard with mic and a sound system. If I as a follower God don’t pay my tithes, not to the pastor, but to the store house as an act of worship. At my church there have been times when we gather for a physical meal and we all as the church all pay our tithes to all share the meal. Even person who are not memebers of ourr church can come along and eat as well.
      The verse also says “Test me in this”, this simply means that we are to trust God and he will come through. Now let me carry up something for you RaRaRaMan, I as a Man of God have been taught from a very early age that I am not to do anything for God and expect to get any thing in return. I am to give to God and to simply trust him to be my provider. You be very careful when you give to God just so that yuo can recieve something back in return. I know you may not agree with me and say that it is possible to give to God and expect nothing in return. I have trusted God for over 25 years and he has never failed me yet.
      Another point I would like to add as well is that 10% does not only include your finances but your time as well. Far to many times we think that money we solve all of our problems. Sometimes you need to set aside time. Set aside time to have a meal with your family and just talk. Set aside time to prayer with God and read his word, the Bible. Set aside time to meet with young people and see where they are at in their lives. See how they are doing in school. Set aside time to really be an assest to our community for the glory of God.
      Please brother RaRaRaMan, don’t call all the churches of this island con-artist. Generalzation are not a good thing in any context. One thing you must remember God has love for all churches. I pray that this answers some of your question if you have any. May God Bless you and I will be praying for you.

      P.S. I am against Gambling. I am against Crown and Anchor…. All forms gambling should be done away with……

      • RaRaRaMan says:

        Christianity: The belief that a certain cosmic Jewish zombie who was born of a virgin can make you live for ever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him that you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree. Makes perfect sense really….

      • RaRaRaMan says:

        M.O.G. Yes I studied “God” as a child, as well as Santa Clause, Tooth Fairy, Superman and many other fictional characters. I sensibly grew out of them when I realised they weren’t real. Unfortunately, some people never grow out of the “God” thing and I feel sorry for them. The Bible is a work of fiction much like Peter Pan. It can make good reading but you can’t take it seriously. I mean, if you read Genesis you’ll see that on day one God supposedly created heavan & Earth and on day two he said let there by light. THAT MEANS HE CREATED HAEVEN AND EARTH IN THE DARK!!!!! In addition, you should ask yourself this: If they’d waited for thousands of years for Jesus to come and they attended his birth in a manger and the whole world rejoiced at his coming, why is there absolutely nothing written about him until his approxilamte 30th birthday? I mean, did they forget to stop by and see the Lord for 30 years. ITS FICTION. Why are dinosaurs not mentioned in the Bible? Its FICTION!!!

        • M.O.G. says:

          Good Morning RaRaRaMan, On Sunday Morning at church I prayed for you. I was reminded by God to pray for you. You came to mind and I prayed for you. I love to pray. I see you made a point to say that the Bible is a book of fiction well I just have one verse to show you how real the word of God is……
          Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains. Mark 13:8 (New International Version)

          I just have one question how many earthquakes have there been this year? How many nations is this world are on the razors edge of war. Did you know that over 80% of the world is broke with no food? You may say that the word of God is fiction but to me it growing to be more and more true.

          I study the bible too as a child but now I am older and wiser and I am able to understand it more and more. I guess you can say I believe in Superman and his name is God, Yahweh, The Great I Am.

          P.S. Amen be encourage God is moving….

      • Amen says:

        That is a very good sermon! Have you discussed your anti gambling opinions with your religious leader? What was his response and what action will be taken? What have YOU done about it?

  2. jredmond says:

    What i don’t understand is…gambling is already legal. And it’s not the classy resort gambling that Ewart wants to bring here, it’s the unclassy kind that the church is rallying against. Shit…Have you been in Sea Horses?!!!
    If the church is so concerned why aren’t they picketing sports betting and the county games?

    • RaRaRaMan says:

      The Church aren’t picketing Crown & Anchor at county games cos THAT’S WHERE THEY ARE SUNDAY AFTERNOONS! They’ve got a clean slate after church so they go right to the game and sin again and again.

      I was at Black Horse recently at midday on a Sunday and there was nobody there. I mentioned to the bartender that I thought Sunday would be busy and she said, “Church ain’t out yet. Stick around this place will be packed in 30 minutes”. Sure enough it was. PRAISE THE LORD!!!!!!! Its a MIRACLE!!!

  3. Gambleaway says:

    Shame the Churches don’t combine in these large numbers to help stop the shootings, volunteer for education, come out for KBB day or anything like that. They use their mighty weight to stop tourism from increasing and stop their own congregation from employment. They need to be reminded they are not elected officials not be catered to by Brown to court votes.

  4. Amen says:

    If our religious leaders spoke out and acted on more of our social ills they would have more respect from the community. Simply gathering for photo ops and uttering meaningless press releases is a complete waste of time! They are very selective when it comes to gambling. There is a betting shop across the street from one of our major churches in Hamilton, did the church object? Do they think Crown and Anchor should be banned from Cup Match and County games? Should their members boycott these events? What is their position with respect to football pools? Do they realize that Government profits frpm this? Some of these religious leaders are worried that their luxurious lifestyles,(including having a $150.0000 car hidden in a garage until the time is right to drive it) may suffer.

  5. Amen says:

    My last comment is meant for M.O.G.

  6. Amen says:

    A typo re. the price of the “hidden car”. It’s cost is one hundred and fifty thousand dollars. A sporty black convertible!