Last night/this morning I decided I’d read something to help me wind down. Since my belongings are packed or in disarray, the only book nearby was a bible so I read that as I’m trying to better understand staunch Christians who sometimes uphold religion above reason at the expense of other people.
The first the first thing I opened up to was Nehemiah 5: “Nehemiah Deals with Oppression”–interest rates and access to food on people who already took loans so they could grow their own food were a big theme and reminded me again about the Flint and Detroit water crisis, in addition to the general financial crisis that led into the recession.
Even in this story, in a Christian text, interest rates and austerity measures were held in contempt as unjust practices. I suspect we can find strong overlap in between Nehemiah 5 and text in the Quaran which gave groundwork to Islamic Finance too.
Whether you’re Jewish, Christian, or Muslim, it seems debt and how the transactional relationships seen in the financial industry can contribute to oppression probably aren’t new concepts to any of these faiths.
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I closed the book and decided to write something else, and then opened the book again at random to notice Deuterotomy 12: instructions for cultural genocide.
and finally Matthew 10:34 “Not peace but a sword”
Certainly, these passages are out of context. At the same time, most readers who constitute the 33% of the US who believe in complete literal interpretation of the bible and also identify with tea party candidates are just as likely to consider these verses. Good or bad, they’re not passages people are prone to citing often.
What an irony to wake up learning this happened:
I have my own views and beliefs about Christianity and religion in general that disagree with where the institution stands which I’ll eventually detail elsewhere–in particular, the way it is governed and how it also negatively impacts many people. At the same time, I do respect and appreciate plenty of people who do their best to live and extend kindness to others and identify as some denomination of Christianity.