To The Editor:
In the Feb. 5 edition of The Journal, the front page headline read, County Likes City Casino Site. I understand the temptation to bring a casino to the area to bolster the local economy, not to mention, benefit the entire county. However, revenue must not be the only consideration in bringing a casino to such a prime location. This location would bring much more than dollars to our area, should a casino be built there. Yes, there would also be an influx of tourists to our city, but casinos attract much more than this. Gambling is a menace to society, deadly to the best interests of moral, social, economic, and spiritual life, destructive of good government and good stewardship (from the Social Principles of The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church: 2012).
I speak from experience when I say that this would bring higher rents, making it more difficult to live here in the City of Ogdensburg. There would also be greater public expense in caring for those addicted through social services. A criminal element is often attracted to places like this. As a result, there would be a greater need for law enforcement concentrating on that small area, thus drawing them away from serving and protecting the rest of our community.
I am all for bringing jobs and prosperity to our city. I personally spend much time in prayer for the prosperity of the City of Ogdensburg, as does the congregation I serve. We believe that it is our privilege and responsibility to do so. We have a vested interest and long-term commitment here. We have been here since 1793, and we plan to be around much, much longer. Our heart is to serve the city we love. We are encouraged by the words from Jeremiah 29:5-7, Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city... Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper (NIV).
Let us beware of being so tempted by greed that we satisfy our lusts at any cost, for it will cost dearly. There are certainly better ways to increase tourism, create jobs and build wealth than to set up a casino. Lets encourage some entrepreneurial spirit instead.
Rev. Dr. David C. Piatt, Pastor
First United Methodist
Church of Ogdensburg