Your princes are rebellious, and companions of thieves; Everyone loves bribes, and follows after rewards. They do not defend the fatherless, nor does the cause of the widow come before them.......Her princes in her midst are like wolves tearing the prey, to shed blood, to destroy people, and to get dishonest gain.......The wicked prowl on every side, when vileness is exalted among the sons of men.
--- Isaiah 1:23; Ezekiel 22:23; Psalm 12:8
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is quite a state in which to reside -- I am starting to get a bit of a handle on it since I've lived in it for a few decades. The exceptions were when I was in South Carolina for a few months learning to work for Uncle Sam and that work continued later in North Carolina. And a few years after that I and my family lived in Kentucky for a while.
I can remember a time when there was no such thing as a sales tax nor a state income tax nor an occupational tax nor a state operated lottery -- oh, there's a bunch of stuff that didn't use to be in the Keystone State a long time ago!
But politicians are a peculiar breed -- tax revenues are never quite sufficient, so new means of raising revenue is always on their agenda, whether publicly disclosed or not. Often it really doesn't become public knowledge until we wake up one morning and discover the critters did it again -- a new way to get more money out of the citizens and then those special times that they increase their own personal fortunes in the process!
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has devious means of raising money -- it's been in the liquor business for a long time. Then once in a while even "officials" sometimes are given to lamenting that so much destruction of property, injury, grief, and death result from use of these alcoholic products sold by the state!
The state is also in the business of gambling with the establishment of a lottery years back. And in recent months due to politicians giving enthusiastic support, we now are getting the slot machines up and running full speed. A news announcement today indicated the opening of the fifth casino in PA in Washington County (southwestern corner of the state). Now get this -- when finished the casino will contain more than 1,700 slot machines in an area the size of a football field! Whew -- watch those quarters and nickels roll!
Serious investigation has shown again and again that gambling ruins lives just as surely as addiction to drugs and alcohol -- but it brings in the revenue our politicians say is needed. Gambling is also a magnet for organized crime as well -- so who knows, except God Himself, what kind of money passes under the table from someone to another someone for special favors and whatever!
Since our politicians insist that we have to resort to gutter level activities to raise revenue, how long will it be before we bring in the prostitutes for further financing of a state that has about the most top heavy legislature of all 50 states?
Never, you say? Don't bet on it (yes you can place a bet already in PA!)! Sooner or later a politician will be willing to be the point-man (or woman) and say we need to get more revenue ("I haven't had a raise in salary since last year!") and this is bound to be a gold mine! After all, it works for the state of Nevada! So how about setting up a "Rooster Ranch" in Harrisburg PA?
Those of an older generation can remember when the spiritual, moral and ethical climate of our country with its individual states was much, much healthier than it is now. There have been a number of groups and institutions which have contributed to the decline over the years, not the least of which have been elected officials at the state and federal levels in particular!
Will there soon be a 180 degree turn-around -- a widespread sense of the need to seek the mercy and forgiveness of a holy God? Honest confession spreading among leaders and citizens that we have really messed things up and slapped God in the face with our defiant spirit of rebellion? That we have trampled His righteous standards underfoot in our mad quest for amusement and gratification? A thorough housecleaning in government and churches with the holiness of God and full obedience to Him as the goal to be sought and sin in every manifestation as the thing which has to be expelled?
What say you?
"O Lord, to us belongs shame of face, to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, because we have sinned against You. To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness, though we have rebelled against Him. We have not obeyed the voice of the LORD our God, to walk in His laws, which He set before us by His servants the prophets." --- Daniel 9:8-10