Tag Archives: United States

Lid-ism—the West Struggles to Preserve the Status Quo

It is now one hundred years since the beginning of World War I. It is more than a little evident that the “war to end all wars,” as they used to call it during the 1920s and early 1930s, did nothing of the sort.

In fact, it would now appear that the rising levels of armed conflict and instability spreading over large parts of the Middle East, North Africa, and a whole tier of sub-Saharan African states isis  executeslike Nigeria, Mali, and the Central African Republic, has resulted in a higher level of violent conflict than at any other time during the last 25 years. This turmoil is evicence that the current episode of “The Great Game,” which strives for geopolitical power and domination, is truly alive and well in our time.

Yet, both the planned outcomes and unintended consequences of all this maneuvering to seriously re-arrange the world’s present status quo could make the experience of WWI look like a relatively tame political disagreement between reasonable gentlemen. After all, our state-of-the-art 21st Century weaponry with its lasting effects offers far greater potential for annihilating a much larger percentage of humanity than the technology of WWI.

An increasing number of closely interconnected issues—political, military, economic, financial, environmental, and religious—are all synergistically feeding into the present de-stabilization of the current geopolitical status quo, one in which Uncle Sam presently sits on the top world's policemanas “the world’s policeman (superpower)” daring anyone else to try and knock him off.

However, reliable polls show the American public no longer has the stomach for the sacrifice of treasure and blood that are needed by any powerful nation that wants to be in the top spot. Much of the public’s response is due to the failed American adventures in Iraq and Afghanistan that are proving to have been completely in vain or worse.

America is divided and weakened by a national leadership elite that is self-interested, shortsighted, hypocritical, covetous, and immoral as defined by the Holy Scriptures.

Where there is no vision [no redemptive revelation of God], the people perish; but he who keeps the law [the teaching of God in the Scriptures]—blessed (happy, fortunate, and enviable) is he. Proverbs 29:18 (AMP)

The U.S. public is now mostly isolationist, focused on its growing domestic problems and bitter political divisions. The lame-duck Obama administration now has to content itself with covert special ops carried out by its numerous intelligence agencies, while only overtly waging war with its enemies economically by using the “Almighty dollar,” the world’s reserve currency, and its present domination of the world’s financial system. But as I write this, the U.S.’s financial grip isBRICS being weakened by its competitors from the BRICS nations — Brazil, Russia, India, China [the world’s second largest economy], and South Africa  who have just set up their own competing version of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, deliberately excluding the United States and the E.U. from any say in this new multinational fund’s policies and operations.

We are probably witnessing the twilight phase of an American Century as financially solvent, politically cunning actors carefully plot to upstage the U.S financial hegemony and de-throne the dollar as the world’s reserve currency. America’s federal government debt alone now surpasses 100 percent of the nation’s G.D.P. Day by day we’re edging closer to an American day of reckoning and a time of profound geopolitical re-alignment.

Yet most of the mainstream, corporate-run news outlets and their government handlers in the Western world keep repeating to the public a message that the authorities “have it all under control.” That our peace, safety, and prosperity are assured and that they will continue on despite a few occasional blips. This is blatant “lid-ism.” Huw Rogers, a journalist with the U.K.’s Guardian newspaper defined this interesting word this way:

Much of modern politics is concerned with what I call “lid-ism,” measures aimed not to address the underlying issues but to keep the lid on.” http://www.waywordradio.org/lidism_1/

Lid-ism has its positive benefits, however. It allows us to sleep at night. But lid-ism doesn’t change the new reality that is coming and will profoundly touch our private lives.

For instance, the mainstream North American and European media are practicing lid-ism when it comes to reporting on implications of the violent struggles for domination and control presently underway in what we still call Syria and Iraq. In fact, you could even say the media is completely ignoring what’s happening there at the moment in favour of the more easily reported slug-fest between Israelis and Palestinians in Gaza. Much of the media portrays it incorrectly as a conflict between a more powerful Western nation, Israel the bully, beating up on a weak Arab state! The media is failing to see this conflict as just one more piece of the isis black flagpuzzle, one violent event concurrent with even larger and more important events taking place in the region. This region is widely experiencing the convulsions accompaning the re-animation of the jihadi Frankenstein monster. The new revival is similar in form to the original version of Islam set up by the successful Arabian warlord, Mohammad, who unleashed conquering hordes that over-ran the Middle East and tried repeatedly to take over Europe, so-called “Christendom.”

Again, because of the media’s lid-ism, we don’t hear much about how the status quo set up in the Middle East by Great Britain and France at the close of WWI is now close to completely breaking down.

At the close of WWI, Great Britain and France carved up the defeated Ottoman Empire and created out of it’s carcass many of the states found on a current political map of the Middle East. The Ottoman Empire was replaced by nation states like Lebanon, Syrian, Iraq, Jordan, the Arabian peninsula states, and what we now call Israel, as well as, the secular Turkish Republic that was created by Mustafa Kamel Ataturk in the early 1920s.

Considering the defeat of the Ottoman Empire and its Islamic form of government as a clear sign of the obsolescence of the old way, Ataturk embraced instead the West’s model state set up on secular, democratic ideals. He also, of course, abolished the dynastic position of Sultan and its Islamic political title of Caliph—meaning a religious/political successor to Mohammad. A ruler with the title of Caliph in Sunni Islam can legitimately call for and demand the loyalty of the entire faithful Muslim community.

For over a thousand years various Caliphates dominated the Middle East, and North Africa.  They invaded Europe and conquered Spain, the Balkan area, Greece, and Hungary, advancing as far as Vienna before the Caliph and his army were stopped.

Now a new Islamic State ruled once again by a Caliph has been re-created by the jihadi movement caliph ibrahimformerly known as ISIS: the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. This Islamic State believes the secular, Western-oriented, nationalist model of government espoused by Ataturk with its separation of “Mosque and State,” democracy, and talk of human rights has failed the Muslim community, due to its moral corruption. So the Islamic State is actively suppressing anyone who holds Western political ideas, like democracy. Symbolically they are erasing the old Western-imposed political map of the Middle East and North Africa in order to resurrect the ideals of an Islamic Empire that embraces and unifies all Muslim believers under the black banner of jihad no matter their ethnicity, tribe, or place of birth.

This newly proclaimed Islamic State (I.S.) presently extends its control from the outskirts of Aleppo (in western Syria not too far from the Mediterranean Sea) to the outskirts of Baghdad christian refugees(south-central Iraq). Within its area of control it tolerates no other religious groups. Christians in the areas under the control of the new Islamic State are given a choice: convert to Islam, flee, or die. Most of the Christians who formerly lived in Mosul are now refugees in the autonomous Kurdish region of old Iraq. Recently France has offered asylum to these Iraqi Christian refugees.

It is highly unlikely that either the United States or the European Union will send their armed forces once more back into the Middle East to crush this reborn Islamic State and its Caliph. Why? Because at present the United States, specifically, and the Western nations in general have lost both their pride in their power, and their willingness to use it. Being secular nations that no longer self-identify themselves as Christian nations or as peoples living by Christian values, they do not fully appreciate the mortal danger posed to them by the re-born Islamic State (I.S.) with its Caliph. The U.S.A. and the E.U. are making a strategic error of historic proportions.

Shiraz Maher, an expert on the Syrian jihad at King’s College London, says there is little appetite for concerted international action to dislodge them:

Which leaves the prospect of a violent, extremist, well-armed, well-funded and religiously intolerant militia becoming a permanent part of the Middle East landscape, a sort of de facto “Jihadistan.”

Would it stop there?

IS jihad mapUnlikely. As far back as last year its adherents were proclaiming their ultimate aim of conquering territory as far away as Spain (once ruled by Muslims for centuries as al-Andalus), Austria, and China.

Even if [the I.S.] remained within the boundaries of the areas it has taken so far, it would likely be a springboard for attacks on neighbouring countries like Jordan and Lebanon, as well as attracting hundreds of young jihadists from the UK and the wider West.

Shiraz Maher, an expert on the Syrian jihad at King’s College London,  http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-28222872

Rex Murphy in his National Post column, “The mighty combustion of small events, and other lessons from the First World War,” noted:

The West has had some peace since the last great war [WWII], almost 70 years of it now. And we have had with that peace an astounding march of technological and material progress. Both tend to make people forgetful of worse times. It renders them careless of the foundations upon which peace is first secured and then maintained, and nourishes the delusion they are exempt from the horrors and perils that have been a constant in human affairs.

So it seems now to some, as it seemed to some a century ago, that there is a menacing scattering of events and conflicts, where a disturbance, an accident or misadventure… in one arena could unwind into a chain of unforeseen events, a haphazard flow of unpredictable cause and effect. http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2014/07/26/rex-murphy-the-mighty-combustion-of-small-events-and-other-lessons-from-the-first-world-war

Well, the chain of menacing events unfolding in the Middle East and North Africa will eventuallyclash of civil blow the lid off the present geopolitical status quo in an all-out “War between Civilizations.” The root word “civilized” for “civilization” in this context seems like an oxymoron if I ever heard one. What’s coming will be anything but civilized. It will be a free-for-all struggle for survival and the coming of hard times and peril to most in this world. North America will not escape a painful re-adjustment to a new diminished status in the coming shift in the geopolitical status quo.

Lid-ism will not forestall the future, rather it may well hasten it. We should not be surprised that the American Century and the status quo is ending despite the best attempts of the Western governing elites to keep the lid on. Jesus himself predicted a scenario that seems not so different from what we see developing right before our eyes. Consider this prophecy by Jesus of Nazareth:

While He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples approached Him privately and said, “Tell us, when will these things happen? And what is the sign of Your coming and of the end of the age?”

Then Jesus replied to them: “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and they will deceive many. You are going to hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, because these things must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these events are the beginning of birth pains.“Then they will hand you over for persecution, and they will kill you. You will be hated by all nations because of My name. Then many will take offense, betray one another and hate one another. Many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. Because lawlessness will multiply, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be delivered. This good news of the kingdom will be proclaimed in all the world as a testimony to all nations. And then the end will come. Matthew 24:3-14 (HCSB)

Is the Pot calling the Kettle BLACK?

You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment. Matthew 5:21 (ESV)

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry claims that there is “evidence beyond any reasonable doubt” kerry fingersthat the armed forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad launched a nerve gas/chemical attack on certain suburbs of Damascus on August 21, killing some 1,429 people—of whom Mr. Kerry stressed there were 429 children.

Other governments and organizations, however, reduce this grim figure to about 500 or so persons, or about one-third of what the Americans estimate. But who’s arguing about miscounting the bodies? Already more than 100,000 have been killed in the Syrian Civil War and many of those who died suffered horribly. When people murder other people it is always ugly. War is all about “legally” killing the other, the “enemy.” But civil war is especially ugly because that is when neighbours murder each other.

In a civil war sacrificing one’s neighbour becomes routine. If that’s what’s needed to win a battle or gain an advantage, so be it. This is what is presently going on in Syria. There is plenty of blood on the hands of both sides.

assad deniesIt should be noted the Assad’s government vociferously denies responsibility for carrying out this chemical attack on several Damascus suburbs, and argues that it would have been totally “illogical” to have locally targeted and timed such a chemical attack to coincide with a visit to Damascus by a team of UN chemical weapons experts! If Assad’s forces actually carried out this chemical attack that would mean that they are either extraordinarily inept, clueless, or just plain crazy for looking to pick a fight with militarily superior Western powers like the United States while they already have their hands full with their own rebels who are only armed with light weapons.

This whole proposition of Assad’s culpability sounds dubious, sketchy. But I’m not trying to paint the Assad government as being virtuous. After all, they assembled these chemical/biological weapons to use on their hated neighbours to the south—Israel. If they end up using them on their own people that is dark irony.

Subsequent to this chemical attack in Damascus that visiting UN team of experts did go to the pertinent locations and collected evidence. However, they have yet to release their findings or present any convincing evidence as to what actually happened.syrian children

However the American government has already rushed to judgment relying on its own intelligence sources. Consequently President Obama is seeking the approval of the U.S. Congress—not to declare war on Syria—but merely to “degrade” and punish Syria’s military with 60 days of cruise missile and aerial bombing attacks.

Disingenuous semantics! If one nation bombs another nation for 60 days is that not an act of war? The Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor for just one day, December 7, 1941, and wasn’t that enough to launch a state of war between them?

Nevertheless President Obama says that he just wants to punish Assad’s Syria for violating the pink shirtworld’s norm against using chemical weapons in war. But does the U.S. government have the moral right and a legal responsibility—without having the approval of the U.N. Security Council and without being directly threatened by the Syrian government attacks—to severely punish the Assad government side of the Syrian Civil War?

President Obama rightly cites the world’s overwhelming abhorrence of the use of chemical weapons as well as other weapons of mass destruction in the conduct of a war. But is it the moral prerogative of the U.S. government to be the world’s judge, jury, and executioner for what is right or not right?

Perhaps the answer to the Obama administration’s rush to judgment is to be found more in its realpolitik than its morality. Isn’t what they really desire to accomplish is to even the playing field if not to actually tip the balance of power in the Syrian Civil War away from Assad and his supporters to that of the rebels and their supporters?

Nevertheless, the Obama’s administration is pushing for congressional support for their “degrading” Syria operation. Secretary of State Kerry told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on September 3:

kerry more fingerThis is not the time for armchair isolationism. This is not the time to be spectators to slaughter.

Obviously the Obama administration wants to become an active participant in the slaughter going on inside Syria. According to Jesus of Nazareth, words are important. He once remarked:

I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned. Matthew 12:35-37

According to Kerry, “This is not the time to be spectators to slaughter.” Yet for the last 50 years, since the U.S. Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade in 1973, the American political class including the Obama administration has indeed been spectators to slaughter—willfully.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention statistics, as of 2009, there havehands dime been 48,932,474 abortions in America, primarily for the sake of personal convenience. As of this writing that figure has most certainly risen to beyond 50 million innocents! Their shed blood and cut up bodies discarded as biohazard destined for the incinerators or sold for use as the raw material source for a variety of pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. America has been waging for 50 years its own bloody civil war. As a result, the most powerful nation in the world has the blood of 50 million innocents on its hands!

There is a certain amount of talk about the Syrian government being guilty of crimes against humanity for gassing about 500 children and adults. What about the American government turning a blind eye to the murder of over 50 million of its own children? What right does the pot have to call the kettle black?

Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Matthew 7:1-3

Obama and Kerry self-righteously proclaim to see a murderous speck in Assad’s eye and want to punish him for it, as they hypocritically continue to lend their support to, or at least tolerate like passive spectators, one of the worst continuing massacre of innocents ever to take place in the history of mankind. They don’t realize that as they pursue Assad they are pronouncing judgment upon themselves.

 

A new definition for “anxiety”: re-drawing the map in the Middle East!

night protestsTurmoil in Egypt. President Mohammed Morsi, a member of the fundamentalist Sunni Muslim Brotherhood who was fairly elected by a majority of the electorate, is deposed from office in a coup d’état that no one wants to call a coup d’état. This unexpected over throw of the government was engineered by the Egyptian army, and about 20 million disgruntled morsiordinary Egyptians, secularists, and Coptic Christians. For the immediate future the most populous Sunni Arab nation in the Middle East will be pre-occupied by its domestic turmoil.

And then there is the on-going bloodbath in Syria that is fast devolving into a vicious, wide-ranging regional, sectarian conflict between Sunni and Shi’ite Muslims.  Are you feeling a little anxious yet about what this 21st Century religious war in the Middle East could mean for us who live in the secular West?

syria father dead sonThere is a very real possibility that what started as a call for peaceful change in the tightly controlled political status quo of Syria, and then morphed into a vicious civil war conflict between Assad’s minority Alawite/Shi’ite ethnic group and the majority Sunni population of Syria, will now entangle Iraq, Iran, Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey in a broader regional struggle between Shi’ites and Sunnis that could force a bloody re-drawing of the political map of the Middle East. The last time such a profound collapse in the Middle East’s equilibrium occurred was following the destruction of the Ottoman Empire at the close of World War I. At that time the British and the French drew up much of the political map of the region as we now recognize it.

Perhaps you might say, so what. Let the Arabs kill each other. Who cares? Why should I feel syria boy cryinganxious about this?

But what if the grand Shi’ite coalition involving Assad’s Alawite/Shi’ites supplied with Russian military hardware, Hezbollah Shi’ite fighters from Lebanon, Shi’ite dominated Iran’s Revolutionary Guards’ special forces, and Iraq’s Shi’ite militia volunteers should manage to defeat the Sunni rebels in Syria, what then? The consequences for us in the West might be completely life-altering. The potential is just that significant.

For starters, a Shi’ite victory in Syria would put enormous pressure on Saudi Arabia’s ruling Sunni monarchy. The northeastern part of Saudi Arabia near Kuwait is that country’s major oil producing region, and by coincidence it also just happens to have a majority Shi’ite population. Unrest if not outright revolt in this region could translate overnight into a doubling of the spot price of a barrel of oil in the world markets to more than $200.00! A collapse of the fat-cat Saudi monarchy would also mean the collapse of the petro-dollar arrangement between the Saudi monarchy and usdollarthe United States government and lead to the inevitable demise of the U.S. Dollar as the world’s reserve currency

You see, since the Second World War, Saudi Arabia has agreed to only sell its oil for U.S. dollars. And because of Saudi Arabia’s dominant position in the world’s trade in oil, this has helped shore up the U.S. dollar’s global pre-eminent status for the last 70 years.

Without the petro-dollar staked in the heart of the world’s petroleum addicted economy, the U.S. dollar becomes just one more fiat currency issued by a bankrupt government that has a debt to G.D.P. level greater than 100% and that has to continually borrow more and more every year because it can’t balance its budget. If the Saudi monarchy and the petro-dollar collapse, you can expect that the standard of living in North America will take an enormous hit—perhaps worse than what happened in Greece. Now that’s anxiety!

What to do? Jesus of Nazareth made this recommendation that will soon be even more relevant than when he spoke it:

Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?

Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles [the nations] seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. Matthew 6:25-34 English Standard Version

For a long time now, the god we’ve been trusting has been the U.S. dollar. But this false god won’t help you much in the soon-coming future. Don’t you think it’s about time you became acquainted with the real God? Discover how to have a real relationship with the Bible’s God at www.cogwebcast.com.

The State now coerces Religion in America: the Culture War intensifies

Since the very beginning of the American republic the founders of the United States insisted on a short series of amendments to that nation’s constitution in order to protect critical areas of personal liberty and freedom from being infringed or stepped on by the power of their newly created federal state.

In particular, the First Amendment to the Constitution forbids the U.S. Congress to prohibit the free exercise of religion. The Constitution also forbids the establishment of an official State church, as was and continues to be the case in many European nations.

The reasons for the enactment of the First Amendment had a lot to do with the historical reasons many people hazarded their lives in the struggle to create new homes and communities in the original 13 colonies of British North America in the first place. People wanted to escape State coercion in all matters of the conscience and its peaceful expression in religious matters. They wanted to be able to live their lives without Big Brother, the State, telling them what they had to do religiously.

There was a certain tension at that stage of development in the history of Western Civilization as the Founders of the United States  tried to balance what Conrad Black called “Faith” and “Reason” in his recent excellent National Post column on this subject:

The central struggle, in France [during its Revolution] and in most of the West, was over the role of the state, and more generally, over the cohabitation in Western civilization of the forces of Faith and the forces of, broadly speaking, Reason (http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2012/08/03/conrad-black-church-state-and-barack-obama/ accessed Aug. 3, 2012).

This balanced point of view was, for the most part, embraced by Americans and other modern democracies until the Rise of the Faith of Militant Secularism, beginning in the 1960s. Now, many zealous secularists not only want any reference to the Bible’s God removed from public sphere, including state and community institutions like schools, but they also want to coerce private businesses and religious institutions who still have a worldview informed by the Divine Narrative rather than by the new Secular Narrative of political correctness.

It is not enough now to just “live and let live” or “you do your thing while I do my thing.” Now the secularist zealots want to force the religiously minded to knuckle under, accept, and conform to their flavour-of-the-day, politically correct dogmas—especially on anything touching sex and the family.

The militant secularists are, in essence, seeking to establish a new coercive State Church of Materialism that will require everyone to bow down before their idolatrous altar of Political Correctness while they teach humanity to worship themselves as the only true gods who can decide what is good and evil.

As Conrad Black put it in his column “Church, State, and Barak Obama,”

The Enlightenment, the coruscation of the Age of Reason, implied that the whole concepts of divinity and of spirituality were, to say the least, questionable, and that each day, as the march of empirical knowledge progressed, the plenitude of knowledge was being approached. While God was a dodgy concept, man might be perfectible (man as God), and, though a heavenly paradise was a superstitious or wishful confection, an earthly paradise might be attainable by the implementation of a political program.

The religiously minded, of course, are resisting this political program in usually peaceful ways at present. This conflict is sometimes labeled, the “Culture Wars.”

Evidence to back up this assertion? In the United States consider the struggle by the U.S. Catholic church and other churches to resist the Obama administration’s mandatory health insurance policies that demand religious institutions—not withstanding their long-standing moral opposition to these types of  birth control procedures and abortion-inducing drugs— to offer and pay for such “benefits” for their employees.

Or consider the secularists outrage when Chick-fil-A restaurant chain president Dan Cathy told the Baptist Press in July that the company was “guilty as charged” for backing “the biblical definition of a family.” Secular rights activists and others called for a boycott and put pressure on some municipal politicians to not approve new Chick-fil-A outlets in their cities.

What started as a strident demand by the militant secularist for “their rights” has now shifted to an unrelenting demand by them that the religiously minded submit and conform to their idolatrous assertion that they have the right to determine both good and evil and that we must all think, speak, and behave as they dictate. It is reminiscent of the old line that an erudite and cagey adversary of the God of Creation spoke to our first ancestors.

Now the snake was more able to fool others than any animal of the field, which the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God say that you should not eat from any tree in the garden?” 2 Then the woman said to the snake, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden. 3 But from the tree which is in the center of the garden, God has said, ‘Do not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’” 4 But the serpent said to the woman, “You shall not surely die. 5 For God knows that on the day you both eat from it, then your eyes will be opened and you both shall be like gods, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:1-5; vv. 1-3 New Life Version, vv. 4-5 Lexham English Bible).

The freedom of conscience to live according to the Divine Narrative in America and the rest of the Western democracies is under attack by those who would fool us into believing that they are our gods who have the right to tell us what is right or wrong. Don’t fall for it.

Forgive us our debts lest we stagnate, default, inflate, or worse

The Lord’s Prayer has been a classic piece of must-read spiritual economics for almost 2,000 years. Who would have guessed that its teachings would be more relevant to our 21st Century than Jesus of Nazareth’s time during the heyday of the debauched, luxury-loving 1st Century A.D. Roman Empire.  Do you remember how the “Our Father” prayer goes?

After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors (Matthew 6:9-12 King James Version).

Since World War II the Western world’s governments, corporations, and individuals have accessed a seeming inexhaustible mountain of credit (supplied by the Chinese and oil-rich Arabs), which has allowed us to dig ourselves into what now seems to be bottomless pit of debt. Men may be born free, theoretically, in the Western world but our national and personal debts may surely enslave both us and our children and our children’s children.

The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender (Proverbs 22:7 English Standard Version).

In 1945 consumer credit debt in the United States amounted to a little less than $5.4 billion. As of July 2008, this household debt had mushroomed more than 481 times to $2.6 trillion.  This personal debt of Americans represents about 100% of the U.S.A.’s total Gross Domestic Product for a year! The last time Americans racked up such a high percentage of household debt in comparison to their country’s GDP was in 1929. As we know, that debt did not foreshadow better things to come in the 1930s.

Of course, consumer debt is just part of the American “what’s owing” picture. Some economic analysts figure the combined total public and private debt and unfunded but legally mandated pension and health-care obligations in the U.S.A. now add up to roughly $100 trillion!

Where will the U.S.A. find enough creditors to cover these present and future debts? The origin of the English word “credit” comes from the Latin “credere, which means “to believe.” Historically, most creditors must believe that a debtor will repay him before the loan is made.  Does the chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve really believe that his nation will be able to repay its borrowed trillions? Or has it become the biggest Ponzi scheme of all time?

Anywise, the United States has a lot of company when it comes to owing multiply times one’s national GD–much of the European Union including the United Kingdom, Japan, South Korea, and even Switzerland are in the same mess. Iceland owes 12x their GDP, while Ireland carries a 7x load. Canada has a relatively lighter debt of about 2.5x GDP. But we shouldn’t be smug. If many of our trading partners enact austerity measures, as the recent G20 meeting announced, Canada will be affected negatively, too.

Again, the Western world is in serious trouble. Economists know the deficit financing model popularly used by most Western governments, corporations, banks, and private individuals has unraveled on a massive scale. What the future holds, according to these economists, may be an unpalatable mix of stagnation, default, and massive inflation.

The best of possible outcomes according to economists would be if the in-hock Western democratic nations worked off their debts through a combination of budget austerity and economic growth. But economic growth is unlikely due to ageing populations and smaller future workforces. As for democratic governments enacting sufficiently drastic austerity measures to make a difference, most voters will never voluntarily vote for their own economic pain.

Nevertheless, a debtor becomes a slave to the creditors. Some economists speculate that what is needed by the profligate Western democracies is a surrender of some measure of national sovereignty to a new global authority led by a “free-market dictator” similar to Chile’s Augusto Pinochet. Just as Pinochet forced Chileans to accept the constraints of the global economy (privatization, reducing wages and social services) and to repay their debts (principal and interest) to their creditors, so this “free-market dictator” would make the Western debtor nations accept “neo-liberal” reforms similar to those imposed by Pinochet. Don’t expect peace and harmony as part of such a scenario.

Perhaps it is time for us, hypocrites though we may be in things pertaining to God, to turn to the Bible for a real workable solution that would preserve our liberties instead of embracing those false, secular messiahs who would reduce us to a 21st Century version of slavery.

Jesus’ teaching about forgiving debts is soundly based in the Hebrew Scriptures.  (He was a Hebrew after all!) Check this out:

1 “At the end of every seven years you shall grant a release of debts. 2 And this is the form of the release: Every creditor who has lent anything to his neighbor shall release it; he shall not require it of his neighbor or his brother, because it is called the LORD’s release (Deuteronomy 15 New King James Version).

Under the divine economy massive amounts of debts and global elites parasitically living off interest payments would never have the chance to develop. Our present situation of massive debts and massive interest payments merely serves to widen the gap between the haves and the have-nots.

But the God of the Bible’s economic plan went much further than merely cancelling out debts every seven years. In Leviticus 25:8 the Scriptures outline a 50-year re-adjustment called the Jubilee. In the divine economy all land belongs to God. He divides it up by household giving a portion of the nation to every family. Families make their livelihood from this land and only pay taxes on their productive increase. There was no such thing as a fixed property tax like today. Taxes were paid only on productive increase. Since the land belonged to God, it could never be permanently sold, though it could be leased to any non-family member for up to 49 years.  But every 50 years was a Jubilee on which all land and buildings on that land freely reverted to the family who held the original inheritance. And this property would revert to the original stakeholders without mortgage, debt, or other encumbering lien.

Give me that old time religion and it would completely alter our present system of intergenerational economic inequalities and oppression, What freedom! What liberty! What equity! What economic stability and fairness! And we think we’re “progressive” and the ancient Hebrews primitive?

If we want to avoid what looks like a miserable economic and political future of austerity and authoritarianism maybe we should take Jesus up and ask God to forgive our spiritual debts while we wipe out all the financial debts and mortgages owed to anyone and everyone in this world. We would do this in a massive celebration in the spirit of the ancient Hebrews 7th year of debt release. Then, maybe, we can re-divide up our nations to all the people who actually live in the land. These are two policy changes that would change the entire world for the better instantly.