You should read it. It does not matter what you thought of Joan Rivers, Noonan's comments will surprise you and give you a typically different picture of the woman, her success, and her legacy.
What struck me most was this paragraph about how Las Vegas had been cleaned up and was no longer the Godfather picture of sin city: Twenty years ago, when everyone was talking about how wonderful it was
that Vegas had been cleaned up and the mob had been thrown out, Joan
said no, no, no, they are ruining the mystique. First of all, she said,
those mobsters knew how to care for a lady, those guys with bent noses
were respectful and gentlemen, except when they were killing you.
Second, she said, organized crime is better than disorganized crime,
which will replace it. Third, the mobsters had a patina of class, they
dressed well and saw that everyone else did, so Vegas wasn’t a
slobocracy, which is what it is becoming with men in shorts playing the
slots in the lobby of the hotel. The old Vegas had dignity. She hated
the bluenoses who’d clean up what wasn’t mean to be clean. No one
wanted Sin City cleaned up, she said, they wanted to go there and visit
sin and then go home.
Wow. Cleaning up what was not meant to be clean. Now there is a line of prose pregnant with meaning. Boy did Noonan hit the nail on the head. That is exactly what we do. We clean up what was not meant to be clean. Vegas with a family appeal, state lotteries that dress up gambling, vulgarity that parades as comedy, etc... we do this in an effort to take away the stink and ugliness of evil but it does no such thing. Cohabitation may be rampant but it is not right. Promiscuity may be routine but it is not righteous. Lies may be pleasant but they are not good. Pornography is benign and victimless but it screws up our sense of love, intimacy, and sex. Cheating may be expected but it is not moral. Killing may be normal but it is not holy. Gay may be politically correct but it is not morally correct. You finish the sentence. Every time we clean up sin we end up only making evil respectable and multiplying its stain over us all.
We have had a history of trying to clean up things with terrible results. From the temperance movement to the diversity and political correctness movement, we have painted a new face on old wrongs but what we hoped for was not the result. Legislating morality for whatever purpose hardly ever makes things better. Taking the dirty edge off of sin does not make it noble, virtuous, or good. It is no wonder our children are confused. We have made right and wrong look alike so that no one knows the difference (except by ignoring the thin veneer of respectability we have applied over the images of sin).
Joan and Peggy hit on something profound here. Cleaning up what was not meant to be clean is doing no favor to anyone and harming both our sense of right and wrong and our ability to discern between the two. We have far too many "victimless crimes" in which the wrong is either not so wrong or the right not so right. We have too many things that we justify by the hopes of good (like state lottery profits going to education). We have too many people who say that people are going to do it anyway why not have them do it cleanly and openly. Worse, we have believed our own lies so much so that Christian no longer look much different from the non-Christians around them.
That is where the Church comes in. We have to unclean what society has rendered clean -- sort of the reverse of what Peter found out about a ham sandwich and Gentiles. Except this time the impediments are not distinctions imposed but distinctions removed to render evil and good dull, bland, and vanilla. This is preaching the Law to expose and lay bare the painful truth without which the Gospel means nothing at all.
Isn't gambling what we, as a society, do every day with our retirement accounts? We must gamble with corporations, many of which are just as corrupt, if not more so, than the casinos. I've always thought it a bit off that this is what we must do in order to be financially sound in retirement. Even if we painstakingly seek out companies that are ethical and moral, still seems like gambling to me.
There are five LCMS congregations in Las Vegas, with members who support their respective congregations with contributions mostly gained from occupations supporting the local Las Vegas gambling and sex industry.
And...let's celebrate that? Seems to bring home my point. Yes, God can use everything for good, but where is our human responsibility? Let's not become enablers of gambling and sex. Surely the LCMS would work together to support these congregations if there only means of survival is gambling and sex.
How do you know this? Do you live in Vegas?
How do you know this?
According to various websites from a Google search on the Las Vegas economy, about 20 percent of the jobs are gaming-related. Supporting occupations in construction, tourism, hotels, entertainment, banking, law enforcement, and other activities would be another significant part of the total economy of Las Vegas.
Do you live in Vegas?
No. I also never attended Ford's Theater, but I know Lincoln was shot there.
Funny. I thought this article was about making Vegas a family city and cleaning up the image of gambling and not about where people work.
They are all related.
There is no doubt that some in the gaming industry attend an LCMS church in Vegas, but I highly doubt that most of the contributions for these churches are from occupations supporting gaming and sex. I could call these churches and find out as I live nearby.
When calling make sure to distinguish between "occupations in gaming and sex" and what I stated, "occupations supporting the local Las Vegas gambling and sex industry."
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