Guys and Dolls: Religion vs. Gambling
The subject of religion vs. gambling in America is much the same today as it was in the 1950’s. The most noticeable difference is only reflected in that gambling is now regulated and somewhat legal. In the play Guys and Dolls, gambling was initially considered a sinful pastime. However, towards the plays ending gambling, although still somewhat sinful, was more tolerated. In today’s religions, some consider gambling tolerable, in moderation, while others still consider gambling very much a sin.
Gambling in America is definitely more tolerated in today’s church than in the church of the 1950’s. In the 1950’s, and earlier, people wore their Sunday go to church clothes, sang traditional hymns participated in much community service and tried to get sin out of the world by living exemplary lives as free from sin as possible. Even Sarah Brown went to the streets of Broadway to try to “save a soul” (Guys and Dolls). That is not how the play or our America continued.
Now religion is compromising its own beliefs by luring the world to church and participating in the very things it is against. Sarah Brown eventually went to Havana with Sky Masterson to “save souls”, and ended up participating in worldly events (Guys and Dolls). Religion, although loving and full of grace is supposed to be sanctified, set apart, from the world. Religion is no longer set apart from but rather is becoming part of the world.
Have you ever bought a raffle ticket or played bingo at a church charity event? You can even watch the Super bowl at a church sponsored event. “Every year Serving in Love Hosts a Super Bowl party …we provide rides if needed and we have games - bingo, crafts, and activities… the purpose is to show God’s love in a practical way” (Viklund).
“St. Bernard’s Catholic Church in St. Paul had gross revenues of $5.2 million last year, including pull tab sales in bars. That made it the state’s ninth largest charitable...