Episcopal Church leaders are at the forefront of the campaign to repeal the legalization of casino gambling in Massachusetts. The Boston Globe reports on an interfaith prayer service last night at Harvard University’s Memorial Chapel:
The Rev. Luther Zeigler, Harvard’s Episcopal chaplain, sounded arguments frequently voiced by casino critics, insisting that the industry preys on the poor and fosters crippling gambling addictions while selling the “false hope” of job creation and an economic boost.
“Please do not believe these promises,” he said.
Bishop Doug Fisher of the Diocese of Western Massachusetts has been a vocal opponent of the gambling bill:
“I was neutral on the issue of gambling until all these proposals for casinos and slot parlors started coming forward,” said the bishop in a recent interview with the Telegram & Gazette. “Looking into the matter further, I could see how these particular businesses could hurt our poor.”
The topic particularly hit home for Bishop Fisher when an $800 million casino and hotel complex was proposed just a couple of blocks from Christ Church Cathedral on Chestnut Street in Springfield, a “vulnerable neighborhood” populated by unemployed and working class people.