Baptist group wants online gambling ban passed

With the two houses of Congress reconvening next week to finish off this year's legislative session by early October, a Southern Baptist group has focused on bills it believes should be a priority, including the passage of a bill banning online gambling.

Barrett Duke, vice president for public policy and research of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC), told the Baptist Press, "We have been working on an Internet gambling bill for years. Meanwhile, gambling predators have been suckering millions of Americans into losing billions of dollars."

"It's up to the Senate to get this job done and shut down most of these gambling sites," he continued. "It would be tragic to come this close and fail. The senators just need to hear from the voters."

The Internet Gambling Prohibition and Enforcement Act, H.R. 4411, has already been passed by the House of Representatives and is waiting on a vote in the Senate. The bill would essentially outlaw all online gambling with the exception of horse race betting and state-sponsored lotteries.

H.R. 4411 was made a part of the House's American Values Agenda created by House Republicans focusing on the values and morals of the nation. Many of these bills are also mentioned as a priority in the Baptist Press.

Some of the bills Duke listed as a priority include those dealing with abortion, stem cell research, cloning, smoking, drinking, prayer, and religious rights in the workplace.

Duke said the ERLC is asking all those who want to see the United States "become a more moral, healthy, God-honoring nation" to get involved and make themselves heard in Washington, and insist that the bills the group supports get passed.

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