“Play Responsibly”

By Mike Willis

Advertisements for the lottery appear frequently on TV. They contain about the same message. The Lotto Jackpot is now standing at so many millions of dollars. To win you have to play. You have until a certain time to buy your lotto ticket to be a part of Saturday night’s drawing. Don’t miss out! Go buy your ticket today.

The problem is that the advertising has been more successful than it was intended. Fathers and mothers are taking the money they need to pay the rent and buy food, clothing, and shelter for themselves and their children to play the lotto. Those with the least ability to afford to play the lotto throw their dollars away with the unrealistic hope that they might be the lucky winner. They have a greater chance of being struck by lightning than in winning the Lotto Jackpot!

Another problem is that legalized gambling has increased the number of people addicted to gambling. Gamblers Anonymous groups have been formed in all of the major cities in an effort to cope with the numbers whose lives have been and are being destroyed by gambling.

Admitting the evils that gambling has created in our society, those promoting gambling sear their conscience and give a semblance of social responsibility by adding at the end of their message, “Play Responsibly!” The contradiction between the main thrust of the advertisement and the blurp thrown in at the tail end of the commercial is conspicuous. If they actually thought this was going to do any good, they may reverse the message by making the main thrust of the commercial emphasize the dangers of gambling and add a blurp at the end of the commercial that says, “Buy today’s lotto ticket!”

The truth of the matter is that this is another ploy that Satan uses to placate the conscience of those who are still bothered by sin. This ploy is not only used by gambling proponents, it is also used by other interests.

Safe Sex

The Planned Parenthood clinics and other sex education groups have worked for thirty years in our society to teach our children that sex relationships outside the bonds of marriage are acceptable forms of behavior that are quite natural. Only those with outdated puritan moral standards believe otherwise.

Furthermore they have promoted the belief that homosexuality is an equally acceptable form of sexual expression as is heterosexual relationships. Our children are spoon fed the belief that those who oppose homosexuality are the moral deviants, being afflicted with homophobia.

The consequences of these moral doctrines are coming home to the moral relativists. Unwed mothers have dramatically increased, leading to a drain on this nation’s economic system through Aid for Dependent Children. Children are growing up in homes without their father (some radical feminists are openly stating that fathers are not necessary for the normal development of children). In not a few homes of unwed mothers, the children have several different fathers.

Sexually transmitted diseases have increased. TV advertisements appear to tell viewers that, although there is no cure for some of these diseases, one can control the disease and have a relatively normal life. AIDS created a different problem for there is no cure for AIDS and even those drugs that have been most effective leave one’s life far from normal. Consequently, those with the loose sexual ethics have to educate Americans on what they should think about AIDS. For sure, one should not treat those who contacted AIDS through sinful sexual behavior as moral deviants whose immorality brought on this disease.

The moral relativists who have undermined the sexual morals of a generation of Americans are not about to say, “We were wrong when we promoted sexual relationships outside the bonds of marriage. We repent and encourage you to ‘flee fornication’ and abstain from sex until you are married and then be faithful to this monogamous relationship.” Rather, these people will salve their seared conscience by saying, “Practice safe sex!” That is, use a condom when you commit fornication or homosexuality.

The trouble is that using condoms does not always protect a person from the diseases that are transmitted through promiscuous sex. Furthermore, they do not always prevent pregnancies. For sure, they do not address the emotional conflict that occurs when those engaged in these practices are plagued by a guilty conscience. The “safe sex” philosophy may salve the conscience of the moral relativists who perceive that their loose moral teachings are producing evils in our society, but it is a flawed answer to preventing these problems.

Drink Responsibly and Have A Designated Driver

Another industry that is doing immeasurable harm to our society is the liquor industry. Those who oppose drinking alcoholic beverages are depicted as a bunch of crazy religious fanatics. TV characters are frequently portrayed drinking intoxicating beverages. Liquor commercials are among the best produced commercials on TV. I doubt that Joe Camel has done any more harm to our children than have Budweiser’s frogs!

America has a drinking problem. Alcoholic anonymous groups exist in every major metropolitan area. Drunk driving has killed enough people that insurance rates are driven up. Enough people have been hurt that special campaigns against drunk driving have been promoted by Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD).

The typical response to the evils of drunkenness is to teach people how to drink responsibly and to have a designated driver when a group goes out to get drunk.


What would you think of parents who brought home rattlesnakes and put them in the playpen with their two- year-old and said, “Play safely”? The government agencies to protect children would take away their children and reporters would condemn such parents across the front pages of American newspapers.

However, that is about what happens when we hold out gambling, fornication, and alcohol in front of our teenaged children and say, “Play Responsibly,” “Practice Safe Sex,” “Drink Responsibly” and “Have A Designated Driver.” About all that we are doing with these platitudes is placating our seared consciences.

The Christian answer to these problems is to practice self-control, abstaining from all forms of sinful behavior. Let’s not be deluded by the ethical teachings of moral relativists whose values conflict with the Christian ethic.