Devil in the Dice

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LAKE CHARLES, LA: Republican presidential hopeful Pat Buchanan told a receptive Louisiana Baptist congregation that state-sanctioned gambling is the work of Satan. Louisiana allows gambling on riverboats. The conservative commentator has spent three days wooing southern religious conservatives with renewed calls for a "cultural war." In addition to his standard assaults on abortion, immigration and free trade, Buchanan has found a new issue in gambling, warning of a national scourge leading to "organized crime and loan sharking and prostitution and the destruction of families and communities." Buchanan said politicians can't reverse the nation's cultural slide "without the help of God." Twenty-one GOP convention delegates are up for grabs in Louisiana's February 12th first-in-the-nation caucuses, but out of deference to Iowa's tradition of going first, all major Republican candidates except Buchanan and Phil Gramm are staying out of the race.