Usury and the Free Market …

UN-CHRISTIAN…USARY

Usury

Usury is the taking of interest. The usury racket is not condoned in Scripture. Usury is another word for theft and it is a doctrine of the Babylonian church. Those moneychangers that Jesus drove out of the Temple were the men satan used to start his church. Usury is an evil, and the money changers are the ministers, priests, and teachers of satan’s Anti-Christ religion. Inflation is also a doctrine of the Anti-Church religion. The money changers have used this tool to plunder the wealth of many nations. Inflation is a theft and the church has seemed to comfortably co-exist with this kind of evil. David: “He that puts not out his money to usury, does not take reward against the innocent. He that does these things shall never be moved.”
Moses: “If you lend money to any of my people that is poor by you, you shall not be to him as an usurer, neither shall you lay upon him usury.” The most striking prohibition in the Medieval period was that of usury, which was defined as profit on a loan and forbidden on the ground that to lend money to a man who needs it is a charitable act, while to demand payment for the loan is grasping and unchristian. The profits of usury, like those of simony, should have been refused by churchmen as hateful to God. It grew to a proverb that usury was the brat of heresy. The devil invented it, and the Pope by giving sanction to it has done untold evil throughout the world.

“God will deprive usury of all blessing, but will give increase for deeds of charity: For he loves not creatures ungrateful and wicked…” “O you who believe! Devour not usury, doubled and multiplied; but fear God; that you may (really) prosper. Fear the fire, which is prepared for those who reject faith, and obey God.

As every student knows, the controversy over usury began in medieval theology and ended in modern economics. It reflected the process by which feudalism was supplanted by capitalism. But the church compromised on usury as it did on a just price. The New Testament does not forbid the taking of interest, but recommends the loaning of money gratis. Jesus: “You ought to therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received my own with usury.” Usury usually signified the taking of any interest at all. The Mosaic law did not allow a Hebrew to take interest from a Hebrew, but he might do from a foreigner; this is why the Jews were hated so much in that they got rich at the expense of Gentiles. Ezekiel – (The princes of Israel) In you have they taken gifts to shed, blood; you have taken usury and increase, and you have greedily gained of your neighbors by extortion, and have forgotten me, saith the Lord God.
[Exodus, 68, 35, 177, 204, Psalms, 276, Matthew, 377, Ezekiel]

http://latter-rain.com/perspectives/usury.htm

Usury and the Free Market Posted on September 7, 2011 by Alte

What is usury?
I don’t know much about Islam, which is why I rarely comment on it. In fact, I know little about any religion other than Christianity, and I already have my hands full with that one. But I do know that there are some things I admire about Muslims: their dedication to modesty, their insistence on patriarchy, their honoring of Mary, and their beliefs concerning usury.

Those who devour usury will not stand except as stands one whom the devil by his touch has driven to madness. That is because they say: Trade is like usury: but Allah has permitted trade and forbidden usury…. Allah will deprive usury of all blessing, but will give increase for deeds of charity, for He loves not any ungrateful sinner…. O you who believe, fear Allah and give up what remains of your demand for usury, if you are indeed believers. If you do it not, take notice of war from Allah and His messenger, but if you repent you shall have your capital sums; deal not unjustly, and you shall not be dealt with unjustly. And if the debtor is in difficulty, grant him time til it is easy for him to repay. But if you remit it by way of charity, that is best for you if you only knew.[Surah al Baqarah, verse 275-280].
This is more severe and absolute than the Catholic view, but follows the same general line that it is uncharitable to make money off of interest, especially from the consumptive borrowing of the poor. Remember that the Church doesn’t believe that morality is something purely ephemeral, but that evidence of the rightness of Christian teaching on practical matters (which matches closely with the practical teachings of all other patriarchal religions) is available through the study of nature and history (i.e. Natural Law).

If we see things crumbling down around us, it is right to consider, “What have we done wrong?” and to recognize that wrong as sin. Over time, the spread of sinful behavior tends to degrade the entire society and destroy its prosperity. If usury is destroying our financial system, then it is only sensible to note that usury is sinful and that sin tends to beget destruction, and that it is therefore evidence of our foolishness and general immorality that we are all so surprised at our current state.

The subject of usury was brought to my attention by a reader named John, in an article concerning the morality of libertarianism. Although the entire passionate screed is worth reading, here is the relevant excerpt:

And to be blunt, whatever this thing is that is called capitalism is based upon sin, as it’s foundation is constructed wholly upon usury. Yes, look it up. It is a sin in both “Testaments.”… Why is it that usury, a practice that was for 1600-plus years universally condemned in Christendom now not considered a sin even though the phraseology in the Bible stands unchanged? Instead of observing and holding steadfast to Godly commands, we now instead engage in a semantic dance of when the point of “usury” is reached. Is it when interest rates reach 12% or 22%, or is it 30%? This is idiocy, and no different that arguing that a little bit of adultery isn’t really a sin and being just a little bit pregnant out of wedlock isn’t really a sin either. With the acceptance of usury as the norm, everyone becomes a “Cafeteria Catholic” whether they admit to it or not. Everyone is just going along to get along; history and the Law of God ignored.What has this history to do with “libertarians” and other presumed selfish jerks? It is a rare Catholic who has bothered themselves to read Pope Leo XIII 1881 encyclical “Rerum Novarum” [Editor: I’ve read it before.] and the follow-up encyclical published in 1931,”Quadragesimo Anno”, penned by Pope Pius XI [Editor: I’ve read it now.]. These two works addressed the question of “usury” as well as the rapacious behavior of the original “Robber Barons” and the ravages upon the social order as a result of the Industrial Revolution.
This is an interesting premise, jives with my own general views on the subject, and goes some way to revealing an underlying cause of our societal delay. But before I agree whole-heartedly, I would like to examine the Church’s expressed opinion on the subject, and gather a bit more reputable evidence.

So what does the Church say?
From the National Catholic Register:

The Catechism of the Catholic Church, in the 1990s, put usury into a dire context.

Catechism No. 2269: “The acceptance by human society of murderous famines, without efforts to remedy them, is a scandalous injustice and a grave offense. Those whose usurious and avaricious dealings lead to the hunger and death of their brethren in the human family indirectly commit homicide, which is imputable to them.”

But it seems that usury is no longer condemned only at the famine level.

The Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church quotes John Paul II from a Feb. 3, 2004, general catechesis. There, the Pope calls for a commitment “not to practice usury — a plague that is a disgraceful reality even in our days that can place a stronghold on the lives of many people.”
The Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, promulgated at the beginning of Benedict’s pontificate, seems to broaden the sense of usury even more. One of the answers to the question (508) “What is forbidden by the seventh commandment?” is:

“Also forbidden is tax evasion or business fraud; willfully damaging private or public property; usury; corruption; the private abuse of common goods; work deliberately done poorly; and waste.”

Pope Benedict XVI underlined the word usury in his commentary on the Psalms on Nov. 2, 2005, later that year.

“The heart of this fidelity to the divine word consists in a fundamental choice of charity towards the poor and needy: ‘The good man takes pity and lends … Open-handed, he gives to the poor” (vv. 5, 9). The person of faith, then, is generous; respecting the biblical norms, he offers help to his brother in need, asking nothing in return (Deuteronomy 15: 7-11), and without falling into the shame of usury, which destroys the lives of the poor.’”
In Rerum Novarum, we have the following:

In any case we clearly see, and on this there is general agreement, that some opportune remedy must be found quickly for the misery and wretchedness pressing so unjustly on the majority of the working class: for the ancient workingmen’s guilds were abolished in the last century, and no other protective organization took their place. Public institutions and the laws set aside the ancient religion.Hence, by degrees it has come to pass that working men have been surrendered, isolated and helpless, to the hardheartedness of employers and the greed of unchecked competition. The mischief has been increased by rapacious usury, which, although more than once condemned by the Church, is nevertheless, under a different guise, but with like injustice, still practiced by covetous and grasping men. To this must be added that the hiring of labor and the conduct of trade are concentrated in the hands of comparatively few; so that a small number of very rich men have been able to lay upon the teeming masses of the laboring poor a yoke little better than that of slavery itself.
In Quadragesimo Anno, we read:

104. Accordingly, when directing Our special attention to the changes which the capitalist economic system has undergone since Leo’s time, We have in mind the good not only of those who dwell in regions given over to “capital” and industry, but of all mankind.
105. In the first place, it is obvious that not only is wealth concentrated in our times but an immense power and despotic economic dictatorship is consolidated in the hands of a few, who often are not owners but only the trustees and managing directors of invested funds which they administer according to their own arbitrary will and pleasure.
106. This dictatorship is being most forcibly exercised by those who, since they hold the money and completely control it, control credit also and rule the lending of money. Hence they regulate the flow, so to speak, of the life-blood whereby the entire economic system lives, and have so firmly in their grasp the soul, as it were, of economic life that no one can breathe against their will.
107. This concentration of power and might, the characteristic mark, as it were, of contemporary economic life, is the fruit that the unlimited freedom of struggle among competitors has of its own nature produced, and which lets only the strongest survive; and this is often the same as saying, those who fight the most violently, those who give least heed to their conscience.
108. This accumulation of might and of power generates in turn three kinds of conflict. First, there is the struggle for economic supremacy itself; then there is the bitter fight to gain supremacy over the State in order to use in economic struggles its resources and authority; finally there is conflict between States themselves, not only because countries employ their power and shape their policies to promote every economic advantage of their citizens, but also because they seek to decide political controversies that arise among nations through the use of their economic supremacy and strength.
109. The ultimate consequences of the individualist spirit in economic life are those which you yourselves, Venerable Brethren and Beloved Children, see and deplore: Free competition has destroyed itself; economic dictatorship has supplanted the free market; unbridled ambition for power has likewise succeeded greed for gain; all economic life has become tragically hard, inexorable, and cruel. To these are to be added the grave evils that have resulted from an intermingling and shameful confusion of the functions and duties of public authority with those of the economic sphere – such as, one of the worst, the virtual degradation of the majesty of the State, which although it ought to sit on high like a queen and supreme arbitress, free from all partiality and intent upon the one common good and justice, is become a slave, surrendered and delivered to the passions and greed of men. And as to international relations, two different streams have issued from the one fountain-head: On the one hand, economic nationalism or even economic imperialism; on the other, a no less deadly and accursed internationalism of finance or international imperialism whose country is where profit is.
To the critics of Catholic economic teachings
The timeless truth and contemporary applicability of both of these excerpts immediately jumped up and smacked me in the face. These men obviously knew what they were talking about, all principled objections to the contrary. They were not talking about “pie in the sky” or “wouldn’t it be nice if everything were perfect and our economic ideas always lead to ideal results”. They were discussing the real positive and negative outcomes of modern economic concepts that they saw around them, and the need to balance all aspects of Christian economic and social teachings when crafting economic policies.

They saw that leaving people to die in the streets from hunger led to much needless suffering and eventually to war. Desperate people do desperate things, and they were aware that part of a state’s defense of its citizens includes their protection from the desperation of their neighbors, and the minimal provision of the citizenry (who contribute to the general system through their consumption taxes, production of labor, participation in government, and willingness to aid in the defense of the country, among other things).

No, private charity was not sufficient to prevent severe, mass deprivation. A more well-designed system of private charity might do a better job. Remember, neither encyclical states that welfare is superior to charity, merely that the state should step in to protect the general welfare of its citizens when charity has failed. So the goal should be to create a charity network that is less prone to failure, and which protects all of the citizenry. But such a system is a topic for a separate post, as it is not within the scope of this article.

What we must remember is that economics is a scientific field where the correctness of the theory must be confirmed through proofs and experimentation. If the experiment fails again and again, the theory and/or the experiment (i.e. the application of the theory) needs to be recalibrated. While there is much historical and natural evidence of the wisdom of core libertarian economic concepts, like any other economic theory it was created by man and is therefore incomplete and incorrect. There are weaknesses to the theory, as there are to any other (distributivism included).

Reader Leon noted:

As to the encyclicals mentioned by John above, neither was ex cathedra. This is probably why some Catholic Libertarians, while agreeing with much of what is said in the “Rights and Duties of Capital and Labor” still have mixed views on usury, what counts as usury, and whether “upper” limits can even be imposed, let alone established without some form of abuse and violent force being used. As the Papacy continues to look to the Bible, they will see more on how things work in the world and revise. Pope Leo XIII was great but he was not the final or only say.
This is true, but rather irrelevant. Although encyclicals aren’t necessarily morally binding (as in, disagreeing with them is not sinful), they are morally authoritative. That means that they contain truths about Catholicism that should be taken seriously into account when crafting policy, making decisions, or forming opinions.

The fact that Quadragesimo Anno was written right before the outbreak of WWII should all give us a moment’s pause. Do not assume that libertarianism wasn’t tried, but that it was tried and its internal flaws — however slight — led to the eventual decay of its results. This is the natural progression of any economic or political system because no such system is flawless. What both of these Popes described was this natural decay. That is not because they are “socialists” or “heretical”, but because they were believing their own lying eyes. Libertarianism eventually decays because a completely free market will eventually be overrun by the most despicable and immoral participants, who care little for the protection of future prosperity and who will go to any length to accomplish their present goals. To bring us back to today’s topic, usury is one of the reasons that libertarianism tends to decay, so a libertarian who is sincere in wanting the success of his community will take that into account and not dismiss these Popes’ concerns outright.

Here’s what a Distributivist, John C. Médaille, has to say about usury. In his excellent book, entitled Toward a Truly Free Market (which I am reading, and which will be quoted liberally on this blog in the future), he says the following:

Despite the fact that Keynesian transfers now consume a huge portion of the federal and state budgets, these transfers have been, for some years now, insufficient to balance supply and demand, and for some time now the economy has depended chiefly on the third method, usury or consumer credit.

Here we must distinguish between lending for investment and usury. Investment means giving money to firms and entrepreneurs in order to expand production and increase the wealth of society. In this case, interest is merely the investor’s participation in the profits; it is the “wage” of the capital supplied, and the one who supplies it is entitled in justice to that wage. Usury, on the other hand, is lending money at interest to increase consumption. Nothing is added to the wealth of society, however much may be added to the wealth of the lender. Since nothing is produced, there is no valid claim to profit. Interest payments in this case merely constitute a transfer of wealth from the borrower to the lender, but no net increase in the social stock of wealth. In fact, wealth is actually “used up” in this process without making a contribution to production, hence the name “usury”

This is the plastic economy, an economy based on credit cards. To the extent that an economy depends on consumer credit, it is, quite literally, a house of cards, and will be as unstable as those structures usually are. In fact, usury is the most destructive way of increasing demand. Usury actually delays the problem, postpones the crisis to a future period. This is because a borrowed dollar used to increase demand today must be paid back tomorrow and hence will decrease demand in a future period by that same dollar — plus interest. This requires more borrowing, which of course only makes the problem worse. Eventually, the system falls of its own weight, as credit is extended to an increasingly weakened consumer, and a credit crisis results.
I think his differentiation between usury and investment make sense, and point to a “third way” that all Christian could support with a clear conscience. But this is still rather vague, and doesn’t really provide us with a concrete guideline to follow, in matters of interest-morality.

What does Christian finance look like?
The topic of usury was again triggered at breakfast today, by an article in the Financial Times concerning Islamic finance. That got me thinking some more, and wondering… what would Christian-flavored finance be like?

Small, local banks? Credit unions? Even the Vatican Bank issues credit cards. Is that allowed by tradition? Are they allowed if they charge a fee, but not interest? If interest, how high is allowed? What about mortgages, which have caused the purchase price of homes to balloon? What about the bond market? Is promising to pay interest on a bond a form of debtor-determined usury?

Perhaps we should all give this some more thought. I am certainly thinking now.

(This is a repeat. I will be reviewing the rest of the book next week.)

http://traditionalchristianity.wordpress.com/2011/09/07/usury-and-the-free-market/

FRAUD PRACTISED ON A GRAND SCALE ACROSS THE WESTERN WORLD!

WHEN IS THE POPE NOT A CATHOLIC?
WHEN HE’S A JEW!

4 responses to “Usury and the Free Market …

  1. http://latter-rain.com/perspectives/usury.htm

    Imagine where we’d be were the Government not paying private Bankers £58 Billion of our money in Usary each year- there’d be no cuts at all!

    If we see things crumbling down around us, it is right to consider, “What have we done wrong?” and to recognize that wrong as sin. Over time, the spread of sinful behavior tends to degrade the entire society and destroy its prosperity. If usury is destroying our financial system, then it is only sensible to note that usury is sinful and that sin tends to beget destruction, and that it is therefore evidence of our foolishness and general immorality that we are all so surprised at our current state.

    http://traditionalchristianity.wordpress.com/2011/09/07/usury-and-the-free-market/

    Put an End to Debt Slavery!!

    End ZOGs!!

  2. How Government Steals from the Poor

    ——————————————————————————–

    ——————————————————————————–
    Update: The Wall Street Bailout will steal more money from the poor.

    Congress should:
    not increase expenditures for any program
    end inflation today
    return to the sound money described by James Madison, the “Father of the Constitution”

    ——————————————————————————–

    Suppose you saw a beggar and wanted to help, but had no money in your pockets. Not much you could do.

    Now suppose you’re a politician, and you find out that the beggar is a registered voter. You’d like to give something to the voter so that he might vote for you in November. But you don’t have any money in your pockets. And you just passed a budget that spends every penny that the IRS brought it — and more.

    But that won’t stop you from “doing something to help the poor.”

    You will use the Federal Reserve System to print up some new money out of thin air and give it to the beggar. Now the beggar has a couple of bucks to buy a bottle of Thunderbird wine.

    Funny thing, though. Around the corner, in her small apartment, a struggling single mom has just noticed that a loaf of bread has vanished. How will she make sandwiches for the kids? She doesn’t have money to replace it. What happened to that loaf of bread?

    Answer: the government took it from her, and gave it to the beggar.

    Not the loaf of bread. Not the paper money that the single mom thought she had in her purse.

    The government redistributed her purchasing power and gave it to the begging voter.

    Most voters don’t understand how this works. Most voters don’t understand that the process is unconstitutional and unChristian. That’s why they keep voting for politicians who keep stealing from the poor. This has been going on for centuries. Let’s see if we can explain why we must stop it.

    HOW FRACTIONAL RESERVE BANKING OPPRESSES THE POOR
    I’m not a very good political candidate. My views are too old-fashioned. I repudiate the “modern,” “scientific” world, and champion the “primitive” “agrarianism” of the Bible. I strongly believe that Biblical laws on economics should be applied in our society today. Virtually every university professor and every political economic advisor would find such an idea ridiculous.6 To those unacquainted with God’s Law in the Bible, these verses will sound weird; utterly out-of-date; totally inappropriate for application in the “scientific” world in which we live.

    THE BIBLE ON MONEY
    Leviticus 19:35 Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment, in meteyard, in weight, or in measure. {36} Just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin, shall ye have. I am the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt.

    Deuteronomy 25:13 Thou shalt not have in thy bag divers weights, a great and a small. {14} Thou shalt not have in thine house divers measures, a great and a small. {15} But thou shalt have a perfect and just weight, a perfect and just measure shalt thou have; that thy days may be lengthened in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

    It only takes a little thought to see what these verses prohibit. It’s not that modern scholars don’t understand these verses, it’s just that they think they know better.7

    THE FUNCTION OF MONEY: “WEIGHTS AND MEASURES”
    Suppose someone comes to me and offers to sell me grain. I want a couple of pounds. I’ll give him a couple of ounces of silver in exchange for his grain. I take out what God’s Law calls a “large” weight, announcing that it is a shekel (call it a pound). It is in fact more than a pound. I put it on one side of my scale, and fill the other side with my neighbor’s grain. When balanced, I have more than one pound of grain. Now I take out my “small” stone, and, announcing (dishonestly) its weight, proceed to weigh out my silver. It is called “small” because it is less than what I say it is. When balanced, I have given my neighbor less silver than bargained for in payment for (more) grain. I have stolen from my neighbor.

    And I got away with it because my neighbor was ignorant8 or powerless to stop me.9

    This isn’t just a childish prank. This practice – especially when engaged in by the civil magistrate – threatens civilization itself. Let me cite two authorities for this judgment: The Bible and the U.S. Constitution. First the Bible:

    Solomon comments on the Mosaic Standards in his Proverbs:

    11:1 A false balance is abomination to the LORD, but a just weight is His delight.

    16:11 A just weight and balance are the LORD’s; all the weights of the bag are His work.

    20:10 Divers weights, and divers measures, both of them are alike abomination to the LORD.

    20:23 Divers weights are an abomination unto the LORD; and a false balance is not good.

    Remember: “abomination” is as low as you can get in God’s eyes.

    Even if I didn’t understand how fractional reserve banking and the abandonment of fully-backed currency leads to inflation and cripples the economy, I would still oppose it just because God said it was an abomination to Him.

    ——————————————————————————–

    In an introduction to his notes on the Constitutional Convention’s deliberations in Philadelphia, James Madison, the “Father of the Constitution,” noted that one of the defects the Convention was assembled to remedy was that

    In the internal administration of the States, a violation of contracts had become familiar, in the form of depreciated paper made a legal tender.

    Accordingly, the U.S. Constitution prohibits paper money, or the emitting of “bills of credit.” (Art. 1, § 10, ¶ 1) That provision reads:

    “No State shall enter into any treaty, alliance, or confederation; grant letters of marque and reprisal; coin money; emit bills of credit; make any thing but gold and silver a legal tender in payment of debts; pass any bill of attainder, ex-post-facto law, or law impairing the obligation of contracts; or grant any title of nobility.” …

    In Federalist Paper No. 44, possibly the most authoritative source for constitutional interpretation, Madison explained the provision:

    The extension of the prohibition to bills of credit must give pleasure to every citizen, in proportion to his love of justice and his knowledge of the true springs of public prosperity. The loss which America has sustained since the peace, from the pestilent effects of paper money on the necessary confidence between man and man, on the necessary confidence in the public councils, on the industry and morals of the people, and on the character of republican government, constitutes an enormous debt against the States chargeable with this unadvised measure, which must long remain unsatisfied; or rather an accumulation of guilt, which can be expiated no otherwise than by a voluntary sacrifice on the altar of justice, of the power which has been the instrument of it. … No one of these mischiefs is less incident to a power in the States to emit paper money, than to coin gold or silver. The power to make any thing but gold and silver a tender in payment of debts, is withdrawn from the States, on the same principle with that of issuing a paper currency.

    A paper money economy is designed to foster a consumption mentality. No one saves for the future if they know the money will be worth less. People are inclined to go into debt, rather than to work, to get the things they want NOW, rather than defer gratification for some future-oriented purpose. Thus, corporations are able to capitalize quickly, without providing goods or services which are valued by people of good character, and they can depend on debtor-consumers to buy their goods with newly-printed money. Paper money is the antithesis of everything the Hebrew-Christian religion stands for.

    Madison spoke of “a violation of contracts . . . in the form of depreciated paper made a legal tender.” If I promise to pay you ten dollars if you mow my lawn, and after you finish perfectly mowing my lawn, I refuse to pay you, that’s a “violation of contracts.” “Legal tender” is a government law that compels you to accept government-issued paper money, even if it isn’t worth as much as gold or silver. A “violation of contracts” occurs if I promise to pay you in “dollars” when “dollars” are gold, but then the government changes the law, separating “dollars” from gold, prints up trillions of “dollars,” making all the “dollars” worth less, and then passes a law that says I cannot demand fulfillment of the contract with real money.

    The United States government has “violated contracts” and stolen trillions of dollars from billions of people around the world.

    But can we legitimately apply Biblical laws against “unjust balances” and “divers weights” to our money today? Excuse me for being a fundamentalist, but I say Yes. Let us continue our examination of the Scriptures by moving from Moses to the Prophets.

    ——————————————————————————–

    THE FUNCTION OF MONEY: “MEDIUM OF EXCHANGE”
    What we now call “money” emerged as an advancement over direct trade. Indirect trading is made possible by exchanging one commodity (grain, in our example above) for a highly marketable commodity (silver or gold), and then trading that commodity for what we really wanted – say, a pair of shoes. It would be difficult to find a cobbler who wanted our grain, but everyone accepts gold and silver because they can be traded for anything. So we trade for gold, knowing we can trade that for what we really want.

    Money is the most highly marketable commodity.

    By the time of the prophets, new twists on an old formula had developed. The “balance” spoken of so often in Scripture was made obsolete when silver and gold were minted into pre-weighed, ready-to-trade ingots of various shapes and sizes, the predecessor of modern coins. A creative and Godly innovation.11

    But covetousness and theft were not far behind. Demand “just weights” if you want, but take a closer look:

    Thy silver is become dross; thy wine mixed with water. (Isaiah 1:22)

    The silver ingot was in fact minted from the worthless base metals which were refined out of the silver, and was merely coated with silver to give a deceptive appearance.

    Sure it was a full shekel; but a shekel of what?

    But as the saying goes, you get what you pay for.

    Sure you got a full gallon. But a gallon of what? Liquids were diluted down, fillers were added to grain. Everybody was cheating everybody else. Economists of the day may have been lamenting an “inflationary society.”

    And of course, the ones who got hurt the most were the ones caught in the middle without power; the ones Isaiah spoke of most often:

    Put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow. (1:17)
    Thy princes are rebellious, and companions of thieves: every one loveth gifts, and followeth after rewards; they judge not the fatherless, neither doth the cause of the widow come unto them. (1:23)

    CURRENCY DEBASEMENT AND VIOLENCE
    The Prophets were far more spiritually discerning than those of us who spent years in State-accredited Universities instead of hearing and doing God’s will. As students of God’s Law, the Prophets were quick to see the oppression framed by the laws of men.12 The Prophets saw that there is a connection between “false weights” and oppression of the weak. Just as Isaiah did, Ezekiel proclaimed this devastating correlation:

    {45:9} Thus saith the Lord GOD; Let it suffice you, O princes of Israel: remove violence and spoil, and execute judgment and justice, take away your exactions from my people, saith the Lord God. {10} Ye shall have just balances….

    Modern Man does not understand the connection between violence and debased monetary systems. The Prophets did. Micah’s message is similar to Ezekiel’s:

    6:8 He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? {11} Shall I count them pure with the wicked balances, and with the bag of deceitful weights? {12} For the rich men thereof are full of violence, and the inhabitants thereof have spoken lies and their tongue is deceitful in their mouth.

    But do 20th-century people have unjust weights in their purses today? Take out a quarter or a dime and I’ll show you: “your silver has become dross” (Isaiah 1:22). You and I are carrying Hollywood currency: coins which are worthless melted-down coke cans coated with a shiny substance that looks like silver.13 The dimes and quarters in our pockets and purses tell lies. Their lies come out of our mouths each time we spend them.

    But haven’t modern economists pretty much done away with gold and silver? Aren’t our coins mere tokens? Don’t we have a completely different economic system in our day, one which the Bible says nothing of? Is there any reason to worry about “just weights and measures” in the modern age?

    Only if you’re concerned about oppressing the poor. Understanding alchemy may make the connection clear.

    THE ALCHEMIST: IDOLATER AND THIEF
    All those singled out by Isaiah were trying to get something for nothing. They wanted what others had, but at no cost to themselves. They wanted to receive, but not to give. Jesus says we are to be the servants of others; Paul says covetousness is idolatry, the worship and service of self (Colossians 3:5; Ephesians 5:5).

    During the Renaissance, Alchemy again flourished. One of the least occultic goals of the Alchemist was to turn wood or lead or something worthless into gold. “Better living through chemistry.” The ivory-tower alchemist was looking for a way to put the wealth of the workers into his own pockets. His goal was not service (to increase the amount of things he could give to other people) but self-worship (to increase the amount of things he could buy for himself).

    People accepted gold in trade for their grain or their shoes or whatever they produced, because it was universally accepted.14 But if everyone could turn worthless substances into gold, the economy would be flooded with gold, and soon gold would no longer be accepted in payment for things produced “the old fashioned way.” The alchemist’s hope was that only he could discover the secret. As long as he was the only one creating new gold, the economy might not notice.

    In fact, however, the economy as a whole would notice, but he hoped he could go undetected because, as the lone alchemist, his only impact on the economy would be to raise prices by an insignificant amount.15 A conscience-stricken alchemist rationalized his actions by anticipating that the effects of his actions would be dissipated throughout the economy and would go unnoticed. Unnoticed, perhaps, except by God, Who sees that theft has occurred.

    “But this is ancient history,” some will say. “This has nothing to do with me. Why should I worry about gold and silver when homelessness is on the rise?16 Why should I worry about some greedy old mad scientist when the U.S. is sending arms to kill children in Iraq or Latin America?”17 There are many reasons. To understand them, we need to understand how covetous, archist18 economists have gone beyond Isaiah and beyond the alchemist into new realms of oppression and theft. The computer is their weapon.

    BORROWER: IDOLATER AND THIEF
    Inflation is the modern equivalent of alchemy. “Inflation” does not refer to a rise in prices. Rises in prices are caused by inflation – inflation of the supply of money in the economy. The government increases the supply of money so it can buy more guns. This is why in 1965 the government decided to get more guns for the buck by minting more bucks for the guns.

    But this nickel-and-dime stuff is penny-ante. Although far more efficient than replacing the silver in coins with zinc, even the ability to print up paper dollars on the printing presses19 is small potatoes. Let’s talk about the banks and their computers.

    The alchemist dreamed of turning some worthless substance into wealth. He never dreamed that the day would come when wealth could be created ex nihilo – “out of nothing.” But that day is here. In fact, in our day, wealth is created out of debts – by employing the U.S. Government to transfer wealth from marginally-poor working producers to the paper-shuffling upwardly-mobile. Here’s how it works:

    Imagine a young man from a fine upper middle-class background, fresh out of a name-brand University, climbing the Secular Humanist “ladder of success.” The big corporations and military contractors have been to his university, interviewed him, and he already has a slot on “the fast-track.” With all this under his arm, he walks into a bank, informs the loan officer that he just got married and wants to play his part in the system: he’s ready to pursue “the American Dream.” First step: “buy” a new home in the right part of the right town (i.e., away from the poor). The loan officer is only too ready to help out. After a few phone calls and signatures, the young man walks out with a quarter of a million dollars.

    Where did the money come from? The piggy-banks of a million children who brought their tu’pence to the bank? No. This money does not represent underconsumption and “saving for the future.” The money was created out of thin air. An account was opened up in the name of Mr. Rising Young Executive on the bank’s computer, and 250,000 electronic blips were put inside.20 The U.S. Government calls these blips “legal tender,” and all law-abiding people are compelled by the State to accept them in exchange for the fruits of their labor.21

    “Are you saying borrowers create money?” Yes.22 Let’s look at a statement or two from a book published by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago (a branch of the U.S. Central Bank), entitled, Modern Money Mechanics: A Workbook on Deposits, Currency and Bank Reserves.

    The actual process of money creation takes place in commercial banks. [D]emand liabilities of commercial banks are money. These liabilities are customers’ accounts. They increase when the proceeds of loans made by the banks are credited to borrowers’ accounts.

    Banks can build up deposits by increasing loans and investments.

    Expansion [inflation] takes place only if the banks . . . increase their loans or investments. Loans are made by crediting the borrower’s deposit account, i.e., by creating additional deposit money.

    Expansion continues as the banks . . . increase their loans . . . crediting borrowers’ deposits – creating still more money – in the process.

    These statements do not constitute a shocking disclosure. We read about it every day in the papers, and hear about it on the Evening News: When inflation gets out of hand, what does the government do? It raises interest rates. This makes it more costly for covetous consumers to go to the banks and create more money to spend into the economy and raise prices.

    There is nothing “conspiratorial” here. The Feds (the Federal Reserve System) have nothing to hide. The System was created precisely to manipulate the money supply and allow the government to buy the things it wants – including the votes of the middle and upper classes – by giving them the power to buy the things they want – “at low, low, interest.”

    And the most important fact to remember: every act of “credit expansion” which is undertaken by borrowing, is an act of currency debasement — an act of creating false weights. It is an abomination to God.

    REDISTRIBUTION FROM “THE UNDESERVING” TO THE FAVORED
    Think about the law of supply and demand once again. Mr. Rising Young Executive has just created money, which means he walks into the economy armed to the teeth with DEMAND. Meanwhile, SUPPLY remains the same, because Mr. Rising Young Executive has produced nothing of value. An entire nation of similarly-advantaged debtors are also going to the store to buy their share of a limited supply of goods.

    It is the poor, of course, who do not have access to this new money. Lacking their three-piece suits, their slot on the fasttrack, their wife and 2.2 kids, or, above all, a clean TRW, they cannot create money for themselves. They can buy food for their family only after the debtors have bid all the prices up with their newly-created money. The debtors get their corn flakes and milk; the working poor must choose between paying the rent and buying food.

    Inflation (whether speaking of an increase in the supply of money, or of a rise in prices) is caused by debtors who exploit an unBiblical money system to their own advantage.24 Inflation can take an average of one paycheck a year from everyone, and there are many people who are one paycheck away from living on the street.

    It is no wonder (at least to “Bibliolators” like myself) that the prophets always spoke of oppressing the weak when they reminded their hearers of God’s Law concerning honest money. Creating money at the bank is like getting “cuts” in front of the poor in line at the grocery store.

    The origin of this system of money is a dark and tangled one, involving powerful banking interests and ignorant or corrupt politicians. The bankers get their usury paid, the politicians get their vote-getting programs funded, and the generals get their “smart bombs” dropped. But above all, Americans get everything the TV says they need for “salvation.”

    Much more could be said about going into debt: how it is offensive to God and self-destructive (Romans 13:8; Proverbs 22:7). But in our nation, debt is supported by a false system of money. Few people are aware that getting the “money” we want through a bank or one of its crony “financial institutions” is theft and oppresses the poor. It produces “money” which a Christian should not want to possess even if it were interest-free; even if they were giving it away.

    CLEANSING OUR HOME
    “Giving it away.” In a sense, the State has been “giving away” this un-money for decades. Anyone willing to go into debt can get their “fair share.” It is a satanic bribe. It is a trap. Deuteronomy is inescapably clear:

    Thou shalt not have in thy bag divers weights, a great and a small. {14} Thou shalt not have in thine house divers measures, a great and a small. {15} But thou shalt have a perfect and just weight, a perfect and just measure shalt thou have; that thy days may be lengthened in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. Deuteronomy 25:13-15

    The implications of this verse are staggering.

    God is shortening our days because we claim that economics is “neutral.” We must cleanse our homes of the abominable currency of the Humanistic, pagan State. Doing so will expose our own indebtedness, our own covetousness, our complacent, self-serving application of God’s Law, our idolatrous trust in the State for “financial security,” and our failure to avoid being conformed to the world (Romans 12:1-2). Transformation of our lives and culture by the Holy Spirit can then begin.

    ——————————————————————————–

    Honest Money, The Bible & the Constitution

    ——————————————————————————–

    (6) That’s OK; God ridicules the inflationary, oppressive, violent society they have created with their own laws. (Psalm 2:4)

    (7) The post-Vatican II world does not think highly of anyone who goes back to the Old Testament and urges the Church and the world to follow its now-obscure laws on Economics. The conflict between Modernism and Traditionalism is most acute when it comes to money. I have explored this tension in an Appendix to this booklet. If I didn’t include it, ask me for it!

    (8) and I am guilty of deception

    (9) and I am guilty of extortion. I am probably also authorized by the State to do so.

    (11) Unless the shape you chose was a pornographic image of one of the local or neighboring “gods” (Psalm 115:4; Isaiah 46:6; Deuteronomy 27:15; Ezekiel 16:17).

    (12)

    “Shall the throne of iniquity, which frameth mischief by a law, have fellowship with Thee? They gather themselves together against the soul of the righteous, and condemn the innocent blood” (Psalm 94:20-21).

    (13) Only a nation with 2 TV’s in every home could be so easily fooled. (Or could it be that a nation of self-centered, TV-watching consumerists demanded this kind of money?)

    Many of my friends made big-time profits when they followed the advice of the think-tank I used to work for (before I was there — back in 1964). They took their savings accounts and traded them in for dimes and quarters. Literally. Then in 1965 the government stopped minting silver coins and replaced them with Isaiah one-twenty twos. Today you cannot buy one 1964 dime for less than ten 1965 dimes. (It would be even more, but the price of silver and gold is manipulated by the State, because back in the late 1970’s and early ’80’s right-wingers and others started buying large amounts of gold and silver to hedge against the increasingly worthless U.S. “dollar.” It took ever-larger numbers of paper dollars to buy a silver dollar or gold coin of any kind, and the word was getting out that U.S. money was worthless. Too many people were clamoring for honest weights and doubting the integrity of the government. The State had to put a stop to that kind of thinking.)

    (14) Silver and gold were universally accepted because they were scarce (valued), transportable, divisible, and durable. They were not universally accepted because the State decreed by law that they must be.

    (15) The “law of supply and demand.” If the demand for shoes increases but the supply of shoes remains the same, the price goes up. If the demand for shoes decreases but the supply remains the same, the price goes down. Etc. etc.

    (16) Ask yourself, where did their rent money go?

    (17) Ask yourself, where did the government get the money for their “smart bombs”?

    (18) Jesus said His followers were not to be “archists” (Gk.: archein) but servants (Mark 10:42-45). Find out more.

    (19) If you or I run the presses it’s called “counterfeiting.” If the State does it it’s called “Progressive Monetary Policy.”

    (20) A poetic over-simplification, of course. It really only takes one bleepin’ blip.

    (21) Violent, coercive force is applied against all who refuse to use these false weights and measures.

    (22) I’m also saying that borrowers debase the currency; the money they create is not gold or silver, but an unjust weight. This makes every other unit of currency worth proportionately less.

    (24) These “debtors” include the upwardly-mobile and the State itself.

    http://kevincraig.us/pockets.htm

  3. You might enjoy this. At one point, I confront the rep with the concept of usury.

    I made a video protest recently for my blog. It is quite funny even if you are pro-megabank. I called my credit card’s customer service line to do some negotiating. Having a bit of leverage, I thought it presented a great opportunity to mess with them a little and make a few points about the unfairness of the credit card lending system. Since it’s a protest at home, I called it my kitchen counterstrike against Bank of America. . http://www.ragingwisdom.com/?p=508

    • LOL….Wave the bank bye bye, you owe them nothing, Credit cards are one big bank fraud!
      Ask the bank for proof of the supposed debt, they can’t produce any without their admitting to fraud.
      It’s a case of having the bank by the balls!!
      Kiss credit goodbye at the same time also their usary!

      FREEDOM………..FROM BANK CORRUPTION.

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