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And Jesus Said: “Gouge Thy Neighbor”

It might seem to you that Evangelicals — the same people who go apeshit over abortion and the “Homosexua l Agenda” — have been strangely silent about the cheating and gouging done by corporations . And you would be right.

This article, along with the accompanying map, shows a strong correlation  (by state) between payday lenders — and other legalized loansharks — and the percentage of Evangelicals and Mormons who live in that state. Basically, the more lily-white and Jesus-spouti ng the population is, the more tolerant they are of those money-change rs that their idol drove from the temple.

This map also gives new meaning to the term Red State. The deeper the shade of red, the more payday lenders the state has per 10,000 residents. Utah and a whole slew of southern Bible Belt states are the reddest in terms of payday lenders and Biblehumpers .

The one exception to this trend is Nevada. They have a lot of payday lenders, but at least for them it’s consistent with their freewheeling anything-goe s attitudes. And Nevada still has a lower ratio of payday lenders than those Family Values states in the south.

Now, the same Holy Book that (supposedly) screams about homosexuals, abortion and premarital sex also has a few things to say about usury:

“If you lend money to any of My people who are poor among you, you shall not be like a moneylender to him; you shall not charge him interest.”

“If he has exacted usury Or taken increase — Shall he then live? He shall not live! If he has done any of these abominations  , He shall surely die; His blood shall be upon him.”

Check out the link; there’s a whole screenload of passages about usury (hint: none of them are in favor of it).

Funny how the Holier-Than- Thou brigade has “forgotten ” about these Biblical passages. But hey, at least they have Values.


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10 Responses to “And Jesus Said: “Gouge Thy Neighbor””

  1. When I started reading this I couldn’t believe they were actually trying to tie Christianity to yet something else and they kind of redeemed the article with this statement:

    “We are not arguing that the reason there are more payday lenders in those states is because they are conservative Christian states, as opposed to poverty, race, income, [or] other potential factors …”

    As usual it was in the small type half way through.
    But as any other so called non-librul media piece the damage was already done by the title.

  2. “If you lend money to any of My people who are poor among you, you shall not be like a moneylender to him; you shall not charge him interest.”

    How many interest free loans do you get in the blue states? Is your mortgage interest free, your credit cards and car loans.

    Amazing what a couple of professors are spending their time on.

    How about a study show the chartiable spending of red staters vs blue?

    Like this one:

    http://www.b eliefnet.com  /story/204/ story_20419_ 1.html

    From THIS article:

    SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Syracuse University professor Arthur C. Brooks is about to become the darling of the religious right in America — and it’s making him nervous.

    The child of academics, raised in a liberal household and educated in the liberal arts, Brooks has written a book that concludes religious conservative s donate far more money than secular liberals to all sorts of charitable activities, irrespective of income.

    In the book, he cites extensive data analysis to demonstrate that values advocated by conservative s — from church attendance and two-parent families to the Protestant work ethic and a distaste for government-f unded social services — make conservative s more generous than liberals.

    The book, titled “Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth About Compassionat e Conservatism ” (Basic Books, $26), is due for release Nov. 24.

    When it comes to helping the needy, Brooks writes: “For too long, liberals have been claiming they are the most virtuous members of American society. Although they usually give less to charity, they have nevertheless lambasted conservative s for their callousness in the face of social injustice.”

    Liberals TALK about helping the poor, conservative s actually DO something about it.

  3. And the thing is Man they actually get people to believe with faux studies like this. No wonder eduacation costs are throught the roof. I

  4. It cost more to indoctrinate than to teach.

  5. Lisa,
    What about the study is false? Are those states the states with large Christian populations? Yes. Are those states the states with large numbers of payday loans? Yes. Does the Bible condmen usury? Yes.

    What exactly is false? The study doesn’t claim that Christianty causes payday loans (or vice versa). It does say that if you’re as literal about the Bible as the extremists claim they are (”you can’t pick and choose from the Bible” remember) then they should be campaigning against the usury practiced by payday loans. They aren’t, so it suggests that you can pick and choose from the Bible. Different people just pick different bits as the most important.

    And manapp,
    I give 8% of my gross income to charity and volunteer some of my lunch breaks to help at a local school. If you want to get into an “I’m more generous than you” competition, I’ll give you a fair shot. How do you do?

  6. “And manapp,
    I give 8% of my gross income to charity and volunteer some of my lunch breaks to help at a local school. If you want to get into an “I’m more generous than you” competition, I’ll give you a fair shot. How do you do?”

    Good for you Paul, however my post was about a study that more accurately shows the relationship between conservative s and charitable giving as opposed to a very flakey study purporting to show a link between religious states states and payday loan locations.

    Consider this. The “Bible Belt” states are a group of about 14 states that are mostly in the southeast stretching west to parts of Texas. The heavy concentratio n of Payday Loan states include four of these 13 and three that are outside. So 10 of the 14 Bible belt states are not heavy on the payday loan business. There is hardly the solid corelation the professors are so straining to achieve.

    The study I link about charitable giving is notable because the author entered the study thinking the reverse would hold true and was surprised. He is an admitted liberal so you can assume the study did not have conservative bias.

    As far as my personal giving goes, I do not keep track so I cannot give you an answer. I do not belong to a church and give to organized charity only as the need arises. For instance when Katrina hit we sent money to the Red Cross. I am a self employed appliance repair man and give away goods and services to those I feel cannot afford the rates I charge the wealthy that have homes here. My wife volunteers at the seniors home and we have a “needy” daughter with 3 kids and deadbeat boyfriend that we are constantly bailing out of financial jams with her landlord and utility companies (for our grandkids) but we cannot write it off so there is no reason to keep track. I will, for the sake of argument, concede that you are a more generious charitable giver than me as I do not have a solid percent type numbers to give you. This does not detract from the point of my post though which is that the study done by these two professors is useless and full of holes.

  7. manapp,
    You brought up that libruls are less generous than conservative s. I shouldn’t have made that a contest, for which I apologise, especially as it was done to put you down. That wasn’t acceptable, so I apologise if you were justly offended.

    However, it does not show that the study is full of holes. All you’ve done is quoted another study (any reason apart from that it agrees with you that this one isn’t also full of holes, btw?) on a different issue. Regardless of whether or not Southern conservative s are more generous in giving to charity than Northern liberals, there are still more payday loan businesses in the predominantl y Evangelical Christian Southern states per head than in the Northern states and the Bible still condemns usury, so this presents a conflict between the stated policy of the Bible (usury is not a good thing) and the practice of reality where it is tolerated. Given the Evangelical Christians’ leaders/prom inent pastors (or at least the ones I hear, which I grant are probably the more extreme ones) say that homosexualit y shouldn’t be tolerated because it is frowned upon in the Bible, how can they tolerate usury which is also frowned upon in the Bible (and indeed more often than homosexualit y)?

  8. Paul it’s not tat the story is false but the implications are as they have no relevance to religion whatsoever!

  9. That study plus one token will get you a ride on the subway at best.

  10. Lisa,
    That also applies to your Christianity  , does it not? Hardly a good argument to dismiss it. In fact, it applies to an awful lot of things that I suspect you’d rather like to keep and think important, democracy, free speech, etc.

    Again I ask, what about the study is false? I have yet to hear an answer. All I got was some vague balderdash about ‘implication s’ being false with no idea which implications . I’ve already stated the implications I took from it. I’ve yet to hear why they are incorrect.

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