The Abrahamic religions – Judaism, Christianity, and Islam – have long held that lending to the poor is an act of compassion that serves the entire community. Charging interest, or usury, was seen as immoral and was considered a heinous crime. This report aims to provide an unbiased and informative investigation into how each of the three Abrahamic religions views lending and usury. It will also explore how the practice of usury evolved and became more accepted in Western society, eventually leading to the current global financial system and its inherent flaws.
In Judaism, lending to the poor is a commandment that is repeated throughout the Torah. For example, Exodus 22:25 states: “If you lend money to any of my people with you who is poor, you shall not be like a moneylender to him, and you shall not exact interest from him.” Deuteronomy 23:19 further elaborates on the prohibition of charging interest: “You shall not charge interest on loans to your brother, interest on money, interest on food, interest on anything that is lent for interest.” In the Talmudic tradition, however, a Jew is allowed to practice usury with a non-Jew.
This distinction between Jews and non-Jews in terms of usury has a complex historical background. During the Middle Ages, Jews were often restricted to certain professions, including money lending, as they were barred from most other occupations. Consequently, money lending became primarily a Jewish business. In some cases, Jews were even forced into this profession by the ruling authorities.
In Christianity, the Bible also prohibits charging interest on loans to fellow Christians. For example, Luke 6:35 states: “But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil.” Similarly, Psalm 15:5 states that a righteous person “does not put out his money at interest and does not take a bribe against the innocent.”
The Catholic Church has long been vocal about its opposition to usury. In 1179, the Catholic Church decreed that usury was forbidden, and this prohibition was included in the Code of Canon Law. This law did not apply to Jews, as they were considered outside the purview of the Church.
In Islam, lending to the poor is also considered an act of compassion. The Quran, Islam’s holy book, says: “And if you give up lending to others, then it is better for you if you do not do so, for usury is a great sin” (2:275). The Prophet Muhammad also said that “On the Day of Resurrection, the one who takes interest will be raised like the one who is being beaten by Satan into insanity” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim).
Islamic finance operates on the principle of profit-sharing instead of interest. This means that instead of lending money and charging interest, the lender and the borrower share the risk and the profits. This system is based on the Islamic concept of “mudarabah,” which is a partnership between two parties, with one party providing the capital and the other providing the expertise.
Evolution of Usury
Despite the religious prohibitions on usury, the practice of charging interest has become increasingly accepted in Western society over the centuries. The definition of usury has also changed, with the addendum “charging interest at an excessive rate.”
In the 17th century, the Bank of England began issuing paper fiat money, giving the banks the ability to print money out of thin air. For over a century, this was rightfully called out as fraud, until it became public policy.
Despite the fact that all three Abrahamic religions teach the importance of lending to the poor without charging interest, the practice of usury has become widely accepted in modern society, with many people believing that charging interest on loans is a necessary and even moral practice.
However, the history of usury and banking reveals a much more complicated and troubling story. While the Roman Empire allowed usury, the Catholic Church decreed in 1179 that usury was forbidden, considering it a heinous crime. At the same time, Talmudic law allowed Jews to practice usury with non-Jews, leading to money lending becoming primarily a Jewish business.
Over the years, the practice of usury became more accepted in Western society, with the definition evolving to include the addendum of “charging interest at an excessive rate.” However, in the 17th century, the Bank of England began issuing paper fiat money, giving banks the ability to print money out of thin air.
Initially, this was rightfully called out as fraud, but eventually became public policy, known as fractional reserve banking. This practice allowed for inflation and deflation, devaluing the currency while allowing banks to profit dramatically.
The Federal Reserve Act of 1913 initiated a system designed to inflate beyond its means until it eventually collapsed. This collapse was set in motion by the funding of both sides of World War I, which led to the Great Depression, which ultimately led to the Emergency Banking Act of 1933.
The Emergency Banking Act ended the gold standard and made every dollar spent an IOU to further increase the debt, which is ultimately owed by the indigenous American people. The banking cartels also funded both sides of World War II, creating the Bretton Woods system which made the USD the world reserve currency and gave central banks the option to go straight to the gold window of the US Treasury to exchange US dollars for physical gold.
However, the US had printed far beyond its gold reserves, and when several nations came to collect their gold, the federal government dishonorably closed the gold window. To maintain world reserve currency status, the US turned to its military, waging war with any nation that threatened USD dominance. The bankers created WAR to profit exponentially off the people’s debt.
Unfortunately, this system was designed to collapse, and that is precisely what is happening now. All the markets are crashing, and the derivatives market alone is in the quadrillions. There is nothing left to prop up the dollar, and this Ponzi scheme is coming to an end.
What this means is that the money people have in the banks will disappear, and everything will go to zero. The banking cartel knows that the only way to survive this collapse is to somehow convert everyone to an authoritarian CBDC, but without the people’s trust, the banks will have problems with this. Many people will want justice.
The solution is to let the big banks die and create a banking system that serves we the people. It’s time to end the corrupt, fraudulent, and immoral practice of usury and fractional reserve banking and create a new system that is fair, just, and equitable for all. This new system must be based on transparency, accountability, and the principles of the Abrahamic religions, which teach compassion, kindness, and generosity towards those in need.
The first step in this process is to educate the public about the true nature of the current banking system and the harm it has caused to individuals, families, and communities around the world. We need to create a global movement that demands change and holds those responsible for this corrupt system accountable for their actions.
We must also support alternative financial systems that promote ethical and sustainable practices, such as community banks, credit unions, and other non-profit organizations that prioritize the needs of the people over the interests of shareholders.
Ultimately, However, it is important to note that while there may be valid criticisms of the current banking system, it is not accurate to solely blame the banking system for all economic woes. Economic crises can arise from a multitude of factors including government policies, natural disasters, and global economic events.
In conclusion, while it is true that all three of the Abrahamic religions teach the value of compassion towards the poor and admonish usury, it is not accurate to blame the current economic system solely on this historical precedent. Instead, we must critically examine the current economic system and work towards creating a more just and equitable system that serves the needs of all people, especially the most vulnerable members of society.
This may involve rethinking the role of central banks and regulating lending practices to prevent predatory lending. It may also involve addressing wealth inequality and ensuring that all individuals have access to the resources and opportunities necessary to thrive.
Ultimately, it is up to individuals and society as a whole to critically examine the current economic system and work towards creating a more just and equitable system. By prioritizing compassion and the needs of all individuals, we can create a system that truly serves the entire community and promotes the common good.
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Copyright 2023 – Chief Anu Khnem Ra Ka El