Is Christian Economics an Oxymoron?

If you listen to me on the True Money Show, then you are aware that the second, grand purpose of my show is to advocate for a just and sound monetary system to replace the dishonest one that we currently have.  Just what, exactly, would that look like?

Well, yesterday, my guest, John Sharpe, and I attempted to flesh that out with a review of the encyclical Rerum Novarum.  (You can listen to a preview of that interview here or join and support the network which allows you access to download any and all of the shows!)  While nothing could replace your own reading of Rerum Novarum, I attempted to distill from the document a series of points, considerations and objectives if one were to attempt forming a moral and humane economic system.  Here are those points:

  1. Good and evil exists in the world.  Thus, to deny that greed or envy could be operative in economics is to deny reality.
  2. “Every man has by nature the right to possess property as his own.”
  3. There are limits to private possession, but these have to be “left to be fixed by man’s own industry, and by the laws of individual races.”
  4. The family has rights and duties peculiar to itself and independent of the state.
  5. “The main tenet of socialism, community of goods, must be utterly rejected…”
  6. Suffering is part of life.  Do not accept the lie that it can be otherwise.
  7. Inequality is part of human existence and is actually a good.
  8. The “greater” man should not abuse the “lesser” due to this inequality.
  9. “Capital cannot do without labor, nor labor without capital.  Mutual agreement results in the beauty of good order.”
  10. Our real treasure is in heaven. “Exclude the idea of futurity, and forthwith the very notion of what is good and right would perish.”Blessed are the poor in spirit detail by Tiffany
  11. We have a “duty to give to the indigent out of what remains over” from our basic provisions.
  12. The worth of man lies in his moral qualities and not in his power or possessions.
  13. Be content in frugal living; control our passions and appetites.
  14. Charity pertains to the Church.  It is principally Her endeavor.
  15. The ruler’s power is to “benefit every class in the State.”
  16. Theft should not be allowed under any pretext.
  17. A day of rest should be enforced.
  18. The law should favor broad and diversified ownership.
  19. Small, local organizations should regulate the conditions of the laborer.
  20. All should be ruled by justice and bound by brotherly love.

The Pontiff concludes: “Those who rule the commonwealths should avail themselves of the laws and institutions of the country; masters and wealthy owners must be mindful of their duty; the working class…should make every lawful and proper effort; and since religion alone, as We said at the beginning, can avail to destroy the evil at its root, all men should rest persuaded that main thing needful is to re-establish Christian morals, apart from which all the plans and devices of the wisest will prove of little avail.”

Amen, to that!

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