Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
October 25, 1956
NUMBER 25, PAGE 2-3b

Catholicism Suffers When Anti-Gambling Laws Are Enforced

Luther W. Martin, St. James, Missouri

'In the June 15, 1956, edition of the St. Louis Register, the "Official Publication of the Archdiocese of St. Louis," a Roman Catholic newspaper, a writer was complaining about the renewed enforcement in Missouri of existing anti-gambling laws. We copy as follows:

"Missions Suffer As John Law Hits At Quilt Raffles"

"Strict enforcement of an all-but-forgotten 77-year-old state law prohibiting games of chance is putting a number of Catholic women's sewing circles virtually out of business.

"Also feeling the brunt of the new enforcement policy are Christian missions (Catholic missions, L,W.M.) throughout the world, which no longer receive the good the women's sewing activities once made possible.

"The women, members of Catholic lay groups engaged in work for the missions, are housewives and mothers, mostly in the middle ages, They bear little resemblance to the Hollywood prototype of a professional gambler.

"But according to Section 563.410 of Missouri Statutes of 1949, which is a revision of the original Section 1560, Statutes of 1879, the women are guilty of a misdemeanor every time they raffle off a homemade quilt for the benefit of the missions.

"The law says they should be fined at least $25, and not more than $200 every time they participate in a game where 'chance is a material element,' and money or property is at stake."

Comment Upon the Above The writer of the newspaper article appeared to indicate that the law should not be respected simply because it was "all-but-forgotten" and because it is seventy-seven years old, since originally passed. If these two factors are to be used by the Catholics as a basis or criteria for ignoring laws, then it is no wonder that they flagrantly violate the laws of the New Testament, due to the fact that the New Testament was originally compiled during the first century or some 1900 years ago. Likewise, merely because law enforcement officials or the public "all-but-forgot" the laws on the books, this in no wise diminishes the enforceability of the said law.

The following week, the same paper carried the announcement which we copy below, in full:


Archbishop Reminds Clergy of Anti-Gambling Statute."

"In a letter received by all priests of the archdiocese during this past week, Archbishop Ritter reminded the clergy of Statute 113 of the Synodal Regulations of the Archdiocese of St. Louis.

"(The synodal laws are the rules, approved by the Holy Roman See for the governance of a particular diocese.)

"His Excellency cited the statute in connection with a recent effort to legalize lotteries operated by civic, religious, and fraternal organizations for fund-raising purposes.

"The letter emphasized that any parish, parish organization, or any other Catholic organization was not to support or endorse this campaign.

"The statute states. 'We strictly prohibit gambling devices and games promoted ostensibly for the benefit of churches, schools, institutions, or Catholic societies, where cash prizes or valuable prizes with a cash equivalent are offered.'

"The letter indicated that a number of parishes had already been asked to lend their support to the campaign."

Additional Comments On The Above

(1) Please note that the Archbishop's reference is NOT to the existing laws of the State of Missouri, but to the existing Synodal Regulations of the Archdiocese, etc.

(2) Also note that these laws to govern American citizens in Missouri (The St. Louis Archdiocese) were previously APPROVED BY THE 'HOLY' ROMAN SEE. Thus, American citizens are being governed by laws approved by a foreign ruler, while the Archbishop completely ignores the existing Missouri laws dealing with the same subjects.

(3) It was also interesting to observe that the Archbishop did not actually deal with the violation of the existing State Laws by the Roman Catholic churches under his leadership, but his statement was opposing their becoming involved in an effort to "Legalize Lotteries."

Can it be, that the Archbishop doesn't care if his subjects violate existing STATE LAWS .... by gambling ILLEGALLY . . . . but does not wish them to become active in supporting civil legislation wherein they might be able to gamble LEGALLY?

I do not know when the Archdiocese received the approval of the Pope of Rome for their Synodal Statute 113, but I do know that up until some four years ago, the Roman Catholic Church in Rolla, Missouri, continued to practice various gambling activities at their annual Labor-Day Picnic on the grounds of their church-building, in order to raise funds for some purpose. However, at that time, this writer conducted a series of radio editorials over the local radio station KTTR, pointing out that the religious and civic organizations of the community could not expect their children to become "Law-abiding citizens" so long as the schools, clubs and some churches OPENLY VIOLATED EXISTING STATE LAWS. As a result of these editorials, so have been informed, the Catholic Church ceased conducting her roulette wheel type of fundraising activity. So also did the local public schools which up to that time, had utilized 'Bingo' as a school fundraising project.

Thus, I know for a fact that the Roman Church in Rolla, Missouri, knew of the existence of a "seventy-seven year old" State Law against gambling.

There have been numerous instances in St. Louis County, Missouri, wherein Roman Catholic Church affairs have been raided by law enforcement officials in order to enforce Missouri Laws. Now, however, we assume the Catholic parishes will at least OBEY THE LAW APPROVED BY THE POPE, even though they, in the past, violated the laws of the State in which they lived.

In any event, if the Laws of the Bible are not too old for all of us to observe, the Apostle Paul said: "And not rather (as we are slandered, and as some affirm that we say) let us do evil, that there may come good? whose damnation is just." (Romans 3:8, Rheims Version, translated 1582 A.D.) Thus, Paul indicated that the Christians were being SLANDERED by those who accused them of teaching that they could DO EVIL if 'good' would come of it. Yet, that is exactly what the Catholics of today are doing . . . . they engage in violation of Missouri laws, thus DOING EVIL, ostensibly to help a good 'cause' .... their missions, etc. Let us learn to live by the Bible!