Remember, remember from where you came


• Here's a reminder of why religious instruction has no place in public education. If you support prayer in school, this is the kind of thing you're supporting.• Matt Young on "The Pledge of Allegiance: Two Reasons Why Christians Should Not Say It." Good Anabaptist reasoning there, and a killer proof-text for those who ascribe to proof-texts. ("Do not swear at all" pretty much categorically rules out any "pledge of allegiance" for Christians. Alas, though, this proof-text is from the Sermon o … [Read more...]

‘The rich rule over the poor’: Ramsey’s II, challenging Pharaoh

Jacob Marley celebrates debt-free living.

Helaine Olen's in-depth critique of "personal finance" guru Dave Ramsey's victim-blaming, victim-creating media empire -- "The Prophet" -- created some minor ripples. So did Felix Salmon and Susie Poppick's exploration of Ramsey's investment advice, in which they wrote, "Ramsey's investing advice is weak and could get you into trouble if you follow it too closely."But it was Dave Ramsey himself who inspired the larger recent wave of people taking a critical look at his "ministry."Ramsey … [Read more...]

‘The rich rule over the poor’: Dave Ramsey, McDonald’s, and the personal salvation of personal finance (part 1)


Earlier this year McDonald's created a publicity backlash for itself by creating a "personal finance" website for its employees.Like much of the personal finance industry, the site was a mixture of banal common sense, condescension and victim-blaming. Worst of all was the sample household budget that the site offered as a model for McDonald's workers. That budget wound up shining a huge spotlight on the fact that all the site's preachy moralizing about frugality and "personal responsibility" … [Read more...]

Dives will always be with us — and so will selfish rich jackwagons who misquote the Bible

This is Rep. Stephen Fincher, Republican of Tennessee. Or maybe it's the Sheriff of Nottingham. It's hard to tell them apart sometimes, what with their shared agenda of taking from the poor so they can plunder the public treasury.

Southern Beale is not impressed with the exegetical skills of kleptocratic Tennessee Republican Stephen Fincher: Rep. Stephen Fincher, you are a horrible person who uses the Bible to selectively justify your greedy, selfish ways. Woe unto you.Repent, asshole. This is not Sunday school language, and the Civility Police will no doubt be horrified that Southern Beale is stating truth so directly and so accurately. (When someone like Fincher extravagantly flaunts his bad faith arguments, the … [Read more...]

Jubilee: Why Old Man Potter is bad for business in Bedford Falls


The Insight Center for Community Economic Development crunches the numbers and confirms what everybody in Bedford Falls already knew: Debt-slavery to Old Man Potter isn't good for the community. The huge fees — the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau calculates the average APR on a payday loan is 392% — may make billions for lenders, but would be better for the economy if spent elsewhere.Writes the Insight Center: The economic activity generated by payday lending firms receiving interest p … [Read more...]

C.S. Lewis and Occupy Wall Street

Here's a bit more from David Graeber in the Boston Review: [Debt: The First 5,000 Years] came out of the strange moral power that debt has over people. So many times you’re talking to people about the depredations of the International Monetary Fund in the third world, telling these horrible stories about the thousands of babies dying of preventable diseases because people aren’t allowed to maintain malaria-eradication campaigns or basic health services due to austerity measures and debt ser … [Read more...]

Jubilee: Proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor


Internet Monk just celebrated "Jubilee Week: All Grace All the Time!"Jubilee is one of my favorite things. Debts are cancelled. Slaves are set free. Olly olly oxen free.What could be better?First thing that Jesus talked about in his public ministry? Jubilee. It pervades his parables. It's right there in the prayer he taught us to pray -- "Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors."Jubilee is rarely included in discussions of "theories of atonement." My advice is to avoid … [Read more...]

Bremer, Bono and $200 billion

President Bush's request of another $87 billion for securing and rebuilding Iraq has to be added to the $70 billion already spent there. Add to that $157 billion another $50 to $60 billion that various reports say will be needed and you've got a pricetag well over $200 billion. But there's another $200 billion lurking here as well -- Iraq's existing foreign debt. In a case of "you broke it, you bought it," that debt gets inherited by the Coalition Provisional … [Read more...]