Lottery forum was

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 30, 1999

invaluable to public

Published Sept. 30, 1999

What happened Tuesday night at the Pike County Courthouse was the process of education in motion for an adult audience.

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The American Association of University Women hosted a forum where a pro-lottery spokesperson from Governor Don Siegelman’s office faced an opponent who represents the Christian Coalition.

What was amazing about the forum was that it was far from being a hostile debate that centered around the ideas of education versus the teachings of the Bible.

In fact, it was an informative discussion between two friendly opponents that got to the root of the issues at hand about the state of education in Alabama and the perceived need for a lottery to help education improve.

Some very sound reasoning was presented by the people on both sides of the issue. And though the forum may not have changed minds or hearts on the lottery issue, it did a lot to get the issues surrounding it on the table.

This nation centers around the theme of people. Our laws, our government, our structure in society is focused on people and making laws that govern but do not restrict. Following the principle of self-government, it requires that people be informed on issues before making decisions.

The debate last night laid a solid foundation for getting information out to the public. It was worth the time it cost to hear the information that was presented. It’s too bad that turnout was limited to less than 100 people. We could all stand to learn from forums like these.