Friday, May 13, 2011

socialist Bible verse of the day: Deuteronomy 23:20

(reposted because Blogger had a bad day)

"You may charge a foreigner interest, but not a brother Israelite, so that the LORD your God may bless you in everything you put your hand to in the land you are entering to possess." —Deuteronomy 23:20

Brother Will sez: At first glance, this isn't in the spirit of socialism—it looks like the sort of restriction on capitalism that worshippers of the free market despise. But consider other verses about foreigners. Remember the Messiah Darius, who was a Zoroastrian, and Jesus's story of the Good Samaritan, who would have been hated by devout Jews as a heretic, then ask who is your fellow Israelite? Aren't we all the children of Eve?

For centuries, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam were united in condemning usury. A Catholic writes in The Sin of Usury:

At one time the church called usury 'the queen of sins' and refused the sacrament to its practitioners. Though it has never officially abandoned this moral position, very few Christians outside of the Catholic Worker movement have any idea that such a teaching even exists. Catholic Worker groups have always called upon the church to reaffirm its prohibition of loaning money at interest. We recognize that this puts us on the fringe of a society whose very dynamic is fueled by usury, and opens us up to ridicule. But we realize that until relatively recently, the teachings on usury were at the core. In fact, much of the strident language now reserved for feminists and homosexuals was once directed toward those who lent money at interest. A usurer was barred from the church, and usury was denounced not only because it was, in the words of St. Thomas Aquinas, 'unnatural,' but also because it was prohibited by both the Old and the New Testaments.