(Cambridge, MA Sept. 20, 2014) Harvard University Professors and clergy in conjunction with Stand For Democracy will be gathering on the steps of Memorial Church at Harvard Yard at 11 AM Monday, September 22 to address the media on the religious and academic involvement behind repealing Question 3. This will be the first time that Catholic Clergy will be speaking publicly since Cardinal O’Malley and three other Bishops penned a letter backing the casino repeal effort.
Professor David Carrasco, the Neil L. Rudenstine Professor at Harvard characterized expanded gambling in Massachusetts as a systematic exploitation of the poor. Father Francisco Anzoategui of the Archdiocese of Boston said he is working around Question 3 to “stand for the poor”. Anzoategui, who oversees over 40 parishes throughout the greater Boston area has pledged to mobilize his parishes to educate his congregants on the societal ills of expanded gaming.
Moreover, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) has pledged to mobilize more than 150 congregations throughout the region. The ELCA had previously played a major role in defeating the proposed Suffolk Downs proposal last November, as its parish in East Boston, Our Saviour’s, served as the nerve center for anti-casino activists and strategists. Clergy from the ELCA will be discussing their plans to further support Question 3.
This press conference comes at a time of uncertainty for the repeal camp. “We understand that our friends throughout the repeal camp have amassed a large amount of legal debt courageously fighting a predatory Goliath. However, we, Stand For Democracy and our religious affiliates are here to assure those in support of Question 3, MGM, Penn National, and Steve Wynn that the religious communities in Massachusetts have never been stronger and on a more united front with regards to a social issue than with Question 3”, said Sunha Kim of Stand For Democracy. “Keep in mind that East Boston was outspent nearly 100-1, yet the anti-casino campaign still prevailed. Ultimately, nobody is praying for a casino”, Kim continued.
Professor Harvey Cox, the Hollis Research Professor at Harvard will re-affirm his call for a one thousand minister anti-casino conference to be held at Harvard. Professor Cox is a world renowned theologian and academic who has spent the greater part of his life working on social justice and civil rights issues. “I am here, in part because this is my expression of my religious commitment, and I have been formed in my attitudes by a couple of people, one of them being Martin Luther King and more recently, Pope Francis ” Cox said. An official date for the conference will be released Monday at the press conference.