Social Justice Sunday – 28th of September 2014:
NOTE: The National Council of Churches in Australia are focusing on the following theme for Social Justice Sunday – 28th of September 2014:
Gambling and its impact in Australia – Is nothing sacred?
The National Council of Churches in Australia (NCCA) Social Justice Network chose the topic of gambling for the 2014 Social Justice Sunday resources in the hope of voicing the strong concerns held by the Churches about the encroachment of gambling and its destructive influence into the daily lives of many Australians. Website: www.ncca.org.au
Given the 2014/15 Social Justice Statement from the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference is: ‘A crown for Australia – Striving for the best in our sporting nation’ , the ever increasing encroachment of gambling into the sports arena in Australia needs to be acknowledged and investigated given gambling is being presented by sports administrators, clubs and media commentary as inextricably linked with any sporting event. The ACBC Social Justice Statement says “there has been a public outcry over the dramatic rise of sports betting, particularly the intrusion of advertisements for online bookmakers. The impact and language of betting are reaching a wider public than ever before – and affecting the young. It is commonplace to hear children predicting the outcome of a match by quoting odds rather than analysing players form”.
Given this, it is heartening to note within the NCCA Social Justice Statement: “All aspects of gambling policy and regulation needs to be based on a public health approach which puts emphasis on prevention, education and limiting environmental risk factors as well as treatment programs”. We need to acknowledge that unless kept in check or challenged, sports can be associated with ‘’a crown of thorns’’ rather that the imperishable crown we are striving for within the Kingdom of God. Let us remember to strive for all that is best in and for our sporting nation.