‘Therefore, we are saved by hope’

“Nothing worth doing is completed in our lifetime; therefore, we are saved by hope. Nothing true or beautiful or good makes complete sense in any immediate context of history; therefore, we are saved by faith. Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone; therefore, we are saved by love.” [Read more…]

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Scenes from the class war (5.25)

“But you have dishonored the poor. Is it not the rich who oppress you? Is it not they who drag you into court? Is it not they who blaspheme the excellent name that was invoked over you?” [Read more…]

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American-style socialism (Do you wish to continue this transaction?)

The new law was a Good Thing. From now on, banks could no longer charge you ATM fees without telling you about them beforehand. They were still allowed to take $2 out of your account every time you wanted to check your balance or just to get access to $20 of your own money, but they had to tell you they were doing it. In America, in the 1990s, this is what constituted “socialism.” [Read more…]

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Smart people saying smart things (10.15)

Dahlia Lithwick on “Carly Fiorina’s Big Lie.” Therese Oneill looks at “the terrifying medical logic of 18th-century law.” Kate Botkin and Kathy Khang respond to a pair of prominent white Christian racists. And Edmund Waldstein discusses how usury fuels “the psychology of the conquistadors.” [Read more…]

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Scenes from the class war (9.8)

“You have dishonored the poor. Is it not the rich who oppress you? Is it not they who drag you into court? Is it not they who blaspheme the excellent name that was invoked over you?” [Read more…]

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Congress sides with predatory lenders vs. military families

The protections against legal loan-sharking here are appallingly modest — 36 percent interest remains perfectly legal. And those protections are weirdly restricted, applying only to a single sub-set of the public: military families. If it makes sense to protect military families from this kind of sleazy, coercive lending — and it does — then it shouldn’t make sense that such protection applies only to military families. [Read more…]

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How I learned to stop clobber-texting and love George Bailey

These Bailey-ite “alternative investments” with their modest interest rates might seem to me to be a wise way to help the working poor, but I also had heard hundreds of sermons reminding me that “the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight.” I knew that “the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom,” and that it was always dangerous to think that we knew better than what we read in the inerrant Word of God. [Read more…]

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‘The Bible is really clear about usury’

The problem is not that the Bible is lacking in clarity. The problem, rather, tends to be a surfeit of clarity. If you turn to the Bible looking for an unambiguous, definitive and categorical statement on almost any given point, you’ll be sure to find one. That would solve your problem … until you realize that you can find more than one, and that they’re not all the same. [Read more…]

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