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View Diary: Obama vs. Usury?  Why Not? (Updated) (251 comments)

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  •  Yes, we need to push this... (7+ / 0-)

    Interestingly, guess how many times Jesus mentioned the sin of "homosexuality", vs the sin of "usury"? Hint; he talked about usury so much that it was illegal for Christians to lend to each other and charge "interest" for centuries. That's how the Jews became the moneylenders, and a constant target of persecution in Europe.

    Jesus mentioned homosexuality once, in a highly disputed verse, because no one actually knows what the word that is currently translated as "homosexuals", really means. It began being translated as "homosexuals" in the 13th century, and was translated as "masturbators" in one earlier incarnation.

    How come you never hear a fundamentalist Christian rail against usury? I mean, if you are going to take the Bible literally, the conclusion is obvious.

    •  And it's also in the Koran (1+ / 0-)
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      So limiting interest charges would also help our standing in with the Islamic world.

      The only ones who would be 'hurt' (and I doubt they'd be hurt much) are the banks.

      EVERYBODY else is helped out. EVERYBODY. Including our standing in the areas of the world that are the most troublesome for us.

      •  You think... (0+ / 0-)

        ...that a world in which people are prohibited from charging interest would be a better one than one in which people are allowed to charge interest?

        How would an economy work without lending money at interest?

        •  Back in the Renaissance. . . (1+ / 0-)
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          . . . rich people got around the pesky "charging interest" thing, by instead investing in something, and then sharing in the proceeds.

          So, say someone wanted to buy up a shipload of goods and take them to another country to trade. They needed to borrow money to buy the goods, and there was substantial risk involved, so no one would just front them the money for pure love. Enter folks like the Medici: they would "purchase" some of the outbound goods (say a "share" in the enterprise), and sign a contract about how much of the proceeds would be due to them upon completion of the journey. Eventually, the investment contracts came to stand on their own as financial instruments, and since the Medici were Popes as well as bankers, they were able to gloss over the whole "usury" problem, and modern banking was born.

          So economies don't absolutely need money-lending, but it sure makes things easier. We should, however, have no hesitation about regulating it.

          "Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful." -William Morris

          by Robespierrette on Sun Mar 29, 2009 at 03:45:15 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, but the Koran has been interpreted to (0+ / 0-)

        allow a sham process of charging interest by inserting a third party in the transaction. If you are of the Islamic persuasion you can get a third party to buy the car for say 12 thousand by agreeing to pay the third party  12 hundred a month for 12 months.

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