Lottery for Welfare ?

China has passed a Law legalizing lottery for welfare. Hong Kong Government also wants to legalize football gambling.

Horse gambling has a long history in Hong Kong. Out of the money collected, Government tax certain percentage for welfare purposes. Also Hong Kong Jockey Club is a non-profit-making organization, and it donates part of its revenue for welfare purposes too.

On a horse racing day, you could easily see people studying intensely tips on newspapers. You may see them in the buses, on the ferries, at parks, at restaurants , ... Also newspapers devote several pages for such tips too. (Imagine the number of man-hours wasted on such, had these man-hours been put into productive work !)

Also there is government sponsored lottery, and many people gamble on it too.

Hence the spirit prevailing in the society is money, money, money, ... Quick money !

Because of this greediness for money, with Government saying nothing against it, Hong Kong people speculated a lot on houses/flats, on stocks.

When the stock market collapsed in 1998, many people lost lots of money in it.

(Japan also experienced a stock market collapse many years before Hong Kong did. And after that, banks in Japan lowered and lowered interest rate, to near zero interest rate. But still banks faced tremendous, irrecoverable, bad debts, and Government of Japan had to intervene with immense public fund to bail out those banks.)

Hong Kong banks are no better. Had the Bank of China not poured in immense fund, and the Hong Kong Government not stood firm on the pegged exchange rate ( US$ 1 to HK$ 7.8 ), backing it with the whole of reserve (Hong Kong had accumulated lot of exchange reserve over the years), Hong Kong would have fared like Thailand, Malaysia, Korea, Indonesia, Singapore. [1][2]

Will there be no money (or less money) for welfare purposes if there is no gambling ?

No. I remember years ago, when China suffered a terrible flood along the lower Yangtze river, and the plight of the people living along the banks were shown on TV. TVB (one of two TV companies in Hong Kong) organized a TV show one evening to raise money. And people donated HK$ 1 billion on that occasion.

Jesus : No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. [Mt 6:22]

LORD also taught us, though not directly, that we should not pursue after "unrighteous gains". LORD's word to Shallum, an ancient Israelite king,

"But you have eyes and heart only for your dishonest gain, for shedding innocent blood, and for practicing oppression and violence. " [Jer 22:11-19]

LORD : "Three times in the year you shall keep a feast to me. You shall keep the feast of unleavened bread; .... None shall appear before me empty-handed. You shall keep the feast of harvest, ... You shall keep the feast of ingathering at the end of the year, ... " [Ex 23:14-17]

(NOTE : LORD taught the Israelites to live in tents/booths for 8 days during the Feast of Ingathering (another name, Feast of Booth). It is to teach us that our life in this world is like living in a tent : very soon we will pack up and go. Hence we should form proper attitudes towards the riches we have, towards the possession we have, and be generous with our poor neighbors.)

Many Americans donate their riches for public good, e.g. build public libraries, museums, or fund various activities.

Also, if you pay attention to the names of schools in Hong Kong, you will notice that many of the schools are named after persons. It is because they donated much money to the school. Also , many donate money to build schools in mainland China too.

Thus says the LORD of hosts, Render true judgments, show kindness and mercy each to his brother, do not oppress the widow, the fatherless, the sojourner, or the poor; and let none of you devise evil against his brother in your heart." [Zec 7:9-10]

LORD's words to the ancient Israelites who was captured by Babylonians and deported to Babylon, "But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare. [Jer 29:7-8]

.. you shall love your neighbour as yourself. [Lev 19:18]

Government should be the foremost in moral education, and to help its citizens, not to hinder them, then there will be no shortage of funds for welfare,

e.g. street peddlers, hawkers should not be fined so heavily, should not be fined at all ! if they do not break the Law of GOD.

In Hong Kong, if you do not have a licence, and if you are caught by the Government, your goods will be confiscated, and you will be fined too (several hundred HK dollars).

On each transaction, a peddler may earn a few dollars, and several hundred dollars meant many transactions. All your work in a day may go, together with your goods, if you are caught. Hence hearts throbbed, agony and fear prevail, when the hawkers see government officials coming. They run like hell to escape being caught. Your child and your family may depend on your return with money.

I remember a case I saw at court, a street peddler asked the judge to give back his wooden cart, because he has to use it for business. The judge refused. There is a law that such has to be confiscated. (Only licensed hawkers may get back their carts).

I also remember reading a book about the early days of Hong Kong. When Britain got control of Hong Kong, licence (fine if no licence) was a means of collecting money for government expenditure. Not because there is anything inherently wrong with that activity.

As Hong Kong is near China, and China had many difficult times, many people fled to Hong Kong. One woman who fled here peddled on the street, but she was caught. She had to pay fine, but she had no money. She sold her child to pay the fine (in Hong Kong in the early years, selling daughters to rich families as maid was common).

When the moral/ethic is good among the people, they will produce more and they will help one another more, and they will be happy, because they are blessed by LORD.

When the moral is bad, when people are after money, no one will be happy. LORD will certainly curse this city. It will certainly be no good to our children, to our grand children. Moreover, there could not be topmost engineers, topmost scientists, top quality people in a society that is after money, and where people spend their time on gambling.

Let us work towards a more humane society, towards a more caring society, towards a society that loves one another, that cleaves to LORD, then we will have plenty for welfare.

Is it RIGHT in the sight of LORD, or is it WRONG.
NEVER : Is it GOOD to us, or EVIL to us. (or to a society)

(*) Law of GOD and His Commandments
(*) Jesus' Sermon on the Mount
(*) Other Teachings of Jesus
(*) Hymn
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