Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A biblical solution to the deficit

A biblical solution to the deficit
By Michael Hasty
Online Journal Contributing Writer
Nov 22, 2010

People are always talking about how they’d like this to be a Christian nation, but the way the early Christians lived was more communist than capitalist. That’s the way it’s described in the Acts of the Apostles, with all the Christians pooling their belongings, to make sure everyone was taken care of. Karl Marx got “from each according to their ability, to each according to their need,” practically verbatim from the third chapter of Acts.

Christianity in its purest form is a radical idea, born as an antidote to empire, and practically impossible to practice in a competitive economic system like 21st century hypercapitalism. It is built on the ideas of social justice preached by the ancient Hebrew prophets. It’s built on the idea of a community taking care of each other. Humans are meant to live in small groups, not in masses. It is only by empowering communities that America will be able to return to democratic self-governance -- as opposed to our present rule by transnational corporations.

If we were serious about being a “Christian nation,” we could find a simple solution to our deficit “problem” (which is really only a problem for the global elite, who are just trying to figure out how to squeeze more blood from the American middle class turnip) by turning to the book of Leviticus, wherein God says in chapter 25, “The land shall not be sold forever: for the land is mine; for ye are strangers and sojourners with me.”

Since the land shouldn’t be sold forever, I recommend we adopt the solution described in Leviticus, and declare a jubilee year. In Leviticus, you’re supposed to have a jubilee year every fifty years: “And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubilee unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family.”

The solution to our deficit problem is to declare global bankruptcy, and start over. The only people truly inconvenienced would be the high rollers in the investor class, who have been piling up mountains of wealth built on everyone else’s debt. But then they can just work for a living, like the rest of us.

Let’s have a global jubilee. It’s the Christian thing to do.

Michael Hasty lives on a farm in West Virginia, where he wrote a column for seven years for the Hampshire Review, the state’s oldest newspaper. In 2000, it was named best column by the West Virginia Press Association. His writing has appeared in the Charleston Gazette, Online Journal, Common Dreams, Buzzflash, Tikkun and many other websites. He publishes the blog, Radical Pantheist. He plays guitar and harmonica with the folk/gospel trio, the Time Travelers. Email:.

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