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Monday, December 6, 2010

Onward Christian Legislators... Against Usury!

On the off chance that our Republican state legislators get a little too excited about their supermajorities and go all theocratic on us, I hope they'll apply their Christian principles to South Dakota's usury industry.

Perhaps all of our legislators should join Father Timothy Logan Fountain in reading Bishop Paul Peter Jesep's Credit Card Usury and the Christian Failure to Stop It. In an excerpt chosen by Father Tim, the bishop notes that alongside the responsibility we consumers have to use our credit cards wisely, there lies an equal responsibility for credit card executives and bankers not to build business models on the exploitation and serfdomization of credit card users.

In a press release promoting his new book, Bishop Jesep adds a practical economic argument to his moral fight against usury: "Fair profit, not unjust gain from high interest rates, will spur economic recovery by putting money directly into the economy."

Are any of our Republican legislators willing to take up this challenge to Christian values?
Bonus Ecclesiastica: Father Tim won't get me in the pews, but his post did get me to learn the difference between an autocephalous church and an autonomous church. Cool!


  1. Had a brief back and forth with Father Tim on this book earlier this morning and thanked him for pointing me to it - and, I ordered a copy. I'll paste here some of what I shared with him...

    Consumptive America has her head in the sand re: debt and I'm not optimistic on this topic-- major crash is only a matter of time and the church ain't ready. I'm not new to the matter of preaching against debt, usury, fractional reserve banking, sound money and what the Bible says about devalued currency and borrower and debtor nations. But few heed the warning.

    Cory, does this mean you will join me in advocating to abolish the FED?

  2. Aw, Rep. Rev. Steve, really? Abolishing the Fed is one of those nutty shibboleth distractions bandied about at Glenn beck Club meetings. Reining in credit card and payday loan centers is reasonable and moral regulation. The two issues are worlds apart.

    Credit card and payday loan regulation is also something you as a South dakota state legislator can do something about. Abolishing the Fed is not a task for Pierre. Please focus on practical policy that can directly help South Dakotans, not wingnut sloganeering.


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