Wednesday, May 31, 2017

GAMES OF CHANCE AND A NOTE TO TELENA NELSON

Posted by Tim

From The Diana:

Umm, Diana, Archbishop Apuron was here for all the years casino gambling has already been happening at the carnival. But...silence! If anything, the passage of this bill is an indictment of Apuron, because now that he's out of the way, maybe the legislature can get some real work done. 

I happen to know this for a fact: that Apuron was an impediment to almost everything good we tried to do. 

The same-sex union debate would have never amounted to anything had not Apuron permitted his RMS script writers to turn it into an opportunity to behead homosexuals. And the rabid outbursts of his attack dog, the infamous Dakon, at any sort of public meeting was always a huge setback to any progress to legislatively limit abortion. 

As for Tony's anti-casino "efforts," he was nothing but a face. The dirty work was done by the Keep Guam Good and Lina'la sin Casino people. Moreover, Apuron's public face of the anti-casino effort was a pathetic moral cover for the horrific immorality of his hidden life that we are all now learning about. 

Furthermore, Apuron, in perpetrating this moral facade, abused the Church, the Pulpit, the Catholic Faithful, and the Catechism by turning our Masses into a political stage from which lies were preached about gambling. 

For several years, many of us had to endure Masses where we were told from the pulpit that gambling was "a sin." I finally got sick of it and engaged several priests on this lie. I remember the reaction of Rude-ee when I showed him what it really said in the Catechism which was NOT what he had said the day before from the pulpit. (It was pretty ugly.)

What the Church officially teaches about games of chance is this:
2413 Games of chance (card games, etc.) or wagers are not in themselves contrary to justice. They become morally unacceptable when they deprive someone of what is necessary to provide for his needs and those of others. The passion for gambling risks becoming an enslavement. Unfair wagers and cheating at games constitute grave matter, unless the damage inflicted is so slight that the one who suffers it cannot reasonably consider it significant.
In short, "games of chance" are not sinful even if the passion for such games "risks becoming enslavement." The deprivation of others or even oneself "of what is necessary to provide for his needs and those of others" is a sin, and the cause of this could be sloth or even timidity. 

But Apuron and the likes of Rude-ee (who had good reason to want to kiss Tony's rear) did not care about what the Church really taught. Tony only cared about his image, and he and his "broad phylacteries" made a great impression on his protestant counterparts whose churches condemn everything from card games to coffee. (And you know Tony. It's all about impression.) 

I had to get very vocal about this distinction, going on the radio, writing in the paper, etc. The Dakon called me in one day and told me that the Archbishop wasn't pleased with what I was saying. I drove home the point that it wasn't me who was saying it but it was the Catholic Church and that it was a sin to be lying to people from the pulpit. 

Eventually, the "sin" part was dropped but there was still a heavy use of the pulpit to oppose casinos even though everybody knows that after San Francisco and time with his favorite boy-toy, Vegas is Tony's favorite spot. 

Now, let's get down to some serious self-education, something our spiritual leaders as well as our legislators seem to never get to. 

At issue here is NOT casinos, but a particular form of gambling which does not even qualify as "games of chance": MACHINE GAMBLING - in short, any form of gambling wherein no skill is involved and where the odds are completely fixed by "the house." 

These are NOT "games." There is nothing "game" about some poor bastard sitting in front of a machine at 3:am repeatedly pulling a lever waiting for three oranges to line up, or for that matter matching numbers on a card with balls rotating in a cage. 

Card games, horse racing, even cock fighting (while I have no stomach for any of them) qualify as real "games of chance" because the outcome is not fixed by a machine, or more precisely, the outfit which operates the machines. (True, it is always possible to "fix" anything, but "fixing" is intrinsic to machine gambling.)

It's an important distinction for us Catholics to understand because the Catholic Church clearly proclaims that "games of chance are not contrary to justice." 

But let's get back to Tony boy, and The Diana's pathetic little attempt to make him matter again. I've listed it before, and thanks to The Diana, I have the opportunity to list it again: the parade of horribles (as of 2014) that rose up during Apuron's watch:

  1. Guam has the most liberal abortion laws in the nation which allow for the termination of nearly one out of ten pregnancies with more than 60% being Chamorro. (2012 Guam Medical Records)
  2. Guam has the highest divorce rate in the world (4.7 divorces per 1000 population, 2010 Guam Statistical Yearbook vs Russia 4.5 per 1000, 2011 United Nations Demographic Yearbook)
  3. Guam has the 14th highest suicide rate in the world and a rate 1.2 times the national average (2011 World Health Organization and A Profile of Suicide on Guam, September 2011)
  4. Guam has a 20% higher out of wedlock birth rate (60%) compared to the rest of the nation (40.8%, CDC 2010) Note: Guam stopped reporting “illegitimate” births in 2005. 60% is based on the average between 2000 and 2005).
  5. Guam has double the teen birthrate compared to the rest of the nation (Guam PDN, 6/25/13)
  6. Guam’s rape rate is 94.4 per 100,000 (2011 Yearbook: 151 reported rapes). This is nearly triple the national average of 29.8. (U.S. Census Bureau, Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2012, Table 314)
  7. Guam abuses and neglects its children at nearly double the national average (Guam child maltreatment rate of 76.81 per 1000 children based on 2012 CPS report and 2010 census vs 41.2 per 1000 children national average as per Table 3-2, Child Maltreatment 2011, Children’s Bureau, U.S. DPHHS)

In addition, at the time of Tony's takeover of this diocese in 1986, there were only about 5 non-Catholic Christian denomination of any consequence. Thirty years later there are more than SIXTY - all filled with former Catholics. 

That's Tony's legacy. Because at the heart of things, "As the Church leadership goes, so goes the Church. And as the Church goes, so goes society." Or shorter still: "As the shepherds go, so go the sheep." 

So, are we surprised by the above damning numbers given that our chief shepherd, between celebrating the sacraments, was secretly grabbing pubescent genitalia and ramming himself up the rear end of a crying child, not to mention three decades of paying the demented monster, Brouillard, to be quiet in Minnesota? 

So now a note to Ms. Nelson. 

It's been heavily rumored that you're a neocat, which is probably why The Diana is celebrating you. No matter. We can look beyond that. You did well with your bill. But now will you get on to the other things? 

Will you address Guam's scandalous divorce laws? The slaughter of Chamorro children in the womb? The avalanche of children born out of wedlock? The horrific record of abuse and neglect which may very well be the cause of our shameful suicide rate? 

Or will you be like Apuron, using this one foray into the limelight to enshrine your image as a moral crusader while the rest of life on Guam gets blown all to hell?


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