Human Rights

Many researchers have shown that the 1% now own more wealth than the 99% combined and that most nations these days are plutocracies. This means that the general population does not live in genuine freedom and that the desires of the majority do not have an impact on the nation’s laws or the way it is headed. The most obvious indication that people are not free is that the average family in America has over $100,000 in debt and pays thousands of dollars in interest every year. If you are in debt, by biblical definition, you are a slave and not free. But much worse than debt slavery is that Oxfam, the World Bank and others report that this vast economic injustice is causing a myriad of injustices and abuses all across society including ~2 million being trafficked every year, worse racism/prejudice, more broken families, corporate abuse, more severe mental health problems, higher levels of crime, worse obesity, higher infant mortality for all classes and many other problems which affect all levels of society to some degree (https://www.oxfam.org/sites/www.oxfam.org/files/cost-of-inequality-oxfam-mb180113.pdf).

GOD GAVE US VERY SIMPLE SOLUTIONS TO POVERTY IN THE BIBLE
God outlined an economic system that is far better than any that the mind of man has developed at any time in history. There are at least 20 different principles in the Bible regarding economics. The methods of how to stop poverty are actually really easy and well known. The challenge is convincing many people to follow them consistently and helping them realize that as the Bible says, greed is the root of all evil. Several Bible principles could end poverty worldwide on their own if followed (various expert say that it would cost from $60-175 billion worldwide to end poverty per year). The most important economic principle by far in the Bible and in economic research, the one we will focus most attention in this article on, is protecting the rights to land and a home for every family. The Bible says repeatedly that it is when this is followed that nations live in peace and safety:

  • “There should be no poor among you, for the Lord your God will greatly bless you in the land he is giving you as a special possession. You will receive this blessing if you are careful to obey all the commands of the Lord your God that I am giving you today.” Deut. 15:4-5
  • “If you want to live securely in the land, follow my decrees and obey my regulations.” Leviticus 25:18 (NLT)
  • “During the lifetime of Solomon, all of Judah and Israel lived in peace and safety. And from Dan in the north to Beersheba in the south, each family had its own home and garden.” 1 Kings 4:25
    (see also Leviticus 25, Deuteronomy 15, Nehemiah 5, Ezekiel 45:1-13,47:22-23 and many other verses)

From Creation to the end of time, God has said through various spiritual sources that making sure families can own their own homes and lands, especially in the country, is the most crucial principle to follow for national stability and for real freedom.

But before going into that in depth, God has literally hundreds of principles that protect people from injustice of various types and also are able to end poverty worldwide.  Many are very simple and that’s very important, because it is only if they are simple that everyone at every educational level can understand how to follow them. Many intellectuals such as Einstein, Steve Jobs, Richard Branson and others have said that the highest level of genius is the ability to make very valuable concepts simple and easily understandable. Here are only a couple.

SIMPLE GODLY WAYS TO PROTECT PEOPLE FROM INJUSTICE AND END POVERTY
There are 100s of principles in the Bible that help protect people from injustice and economic inequality. Here are only a couple with research links supporting them.

1) JOIN BIBLICAL CHURCHES (They increase freedom and dramatically reduce financial inequality)
While every human institution will have some people who err and do wrong, churches that teach both God’s grace and forgiveness (Eph. 2:8, 9; 1 John 1:8-9) and also faithfully obeying His laws that express the highest levels of love, freedom and service (Romans 13:8-10, James 1:25-7) have brought more human rights and freedom and rights to humanity than anything else.

Protestantism is associated with democracy. In broad comparative historical analyses, CPs consistently initiated and spread factors that past research suggests promote democracy (e.g., mass printing, mass education, civil society, and colonial rule of law). In cross-national statistical analysis Protestant missions are significantly and robustly associated with higher levels of printing, education, economic development, organizational civil society, protection of private property and rule of law and with lower levels of corruption (Woodberry2004a;2004c;2006c;2011b; 2011c and Table 21). Moreover, wherever they have been tested, these patterns repeat at the subnational level (Woodberry 2004a; Gallego and Woodberry 2010; Nunn 2010; Bai and Kung 2010;Lankina and Getachew forthcoming).  Finally, statistical analysis suggests that Protestant missions are strongly and robustly associated with democracy. In fact, missions seem to explain about half the variation in democracy outside Europe and survive dozens of controls and robustness checks.

The Missionary Roots of Liberal Democracy, Robert D. Woodberry, p. 43.
http://isites.harvard.edu/fs/docs/icb.topic965299.files/Woodberry%20APSR%202011.pdf
Much more documentation of this from many scholars is here:
http://www.truth-is-life.org/GoodLifeEvidence.html

But it’s important to be part of a church that promotes respect for God’s laws and principles from both the Old and New Testaments since Jesus said He did not come to abolish God’s laws, but to fulfill them and that replacing God’s laws with man’s laws is vain and useless (Matt 5:17-18, Mark 7:5-13, Rev. 12:17, 14:12).

Institutions and corporations that are making people poorer often charge 5-25% interest rates and drain billions per year from the middle class and poor by doing this. Dr. Cnaan, professor emeritus, who is not himself religious, has found that for every $1 a religious congregation spends on its programs, communities get at least an estimated $4.77 worth of common good services which the city does not have to spend money on to provide and sometimes up to $10 (depending on how biblical the church is). That means there’s a whopping 477% to 1000% percent increase on the money invested in churches. Where could you get that in the stock market?
http://www.haloproject.ca/phase-1-toronto

These benefits come from a wide array of outreach efforts with an “individual impact,”including counseling to suicidal individuals; counseling to strengthen marriages; assisting people suffering abuse; helping people obtain citizenship; referring people to drug or alcohol counseling (or providing it directly); working with people at-risk of committing crimes/going to prison; teaching youth pro-social values; helping people form new friendships; and enabling people to work by caring for senior family members, working to help immigrants, language education, and many others.
“Every dollar a congregation spends could create $4.77 worth of service a city does not have to provide.
The 10 congregations we looked at in Toronto spend a little more than $9.5 million per year in their direct budgets. But that is just the tip of the iceberg. The actual common good value those congregations produce, their “halo effect”, through weddings, artistic performances, suicide prevention, ending substance abuse, housing initiatives, job training – and a whole host of other areas that make cities so much more livable – is estimated to be more than $45 million per year. www.haloproject.ca/phase-1-toronto

Ways in which Congregations Help Individuals and Families (from just a few churches)

Help individuals who exhibit suicidal ideation 213

Help individuals find full time employment 552

Help individuals avoid prison342

Provide individuals with drug or alcohol treatment 2,064,

Teach Youth pro-social values 8,28,

Help individuals gain legal residency or citizenship 4,524,

Help people form new friendships 3,714,

care for an elderly relative freeing a family member to work 464,

Help couple with marital issues 236,

Work with individuals to end abusive relations 720
The findings from this three-city study point to a much broader understanding of a congregation’s economic impact than has been previously acknowledged, either by civic leaders, the faith community,general public, or through academic research….
The study, though larger than any previously attempted, also suggests the need for increased in-depth research to better document and understand the complex web of factors associated with congregations and their Economic Halo impact. There are, for example, a range of activities conducted or enabled by congregations, including touching the lives of families and individuals as well as direct and indirect support of formal community development and entrepreneurialism, that have yet to be monetized fully. There are other spheres to more fully explore, including a congregations’ impact on crime rates and on property values in its immediate vicinity… it is now clear that the positive Economic Halo Effect is enormous, and demands a response from our civic and faith leaders that will help sustain this community impact.

www.sacredplaces.org/uploads/files/16879092466251061-economic-halo-effect-of-historic-sacred-places.pdf

http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0899764016661032?ai=1gvoi&mi=3ricys&af=R&
This explains why Ellen White writes about how crucial it is to be part of church and missions.
“In every effort to benefit others, we benefit ourselves. When we invest our means in the different missions, we enlist our interest and our prayers for these missions; we draw the different nationalities nearer to ourselves; our affections go out to them, and we are stimulated to greater devotion and stricter obedience to God, that we may be enabled to do others the greatest good. If we desire to have our affections set upon heavenly things, we must place our treasure in heaven. Where the treasure is, there the heart will be. What has cost us little, we have no special interest in; but that in which we invest our means claims our interest and attention, and we labor to make it a success.” {RH December 6, 1887, par. 17}

 

2) FOLLOW BIBLE HEALTHY PRINCIPLES:
Over 1600 scientific studies show that just following some simple health habits such as not smoking, exercising, reducing alcohol use and eating healthier food more can bring enormous benefits (3 of these habits were advocated in the Bible and the 4th, avoiding smoking, was warned against by the SDA church and a few other Christians for centuries before science figured out it was dangerous.

The World Health Organization says that up to 38 million people die every year just because they don’t know or follow simple habits like these.[1] Following them can add up to 14 years to life.[2] These 4 habits alone can also improve grades ~25% or more.[3] They also are crucial solutions to environmental destruction which is already causing enormous difficulties around the world.[4] In addition, these habits can contribute to solving poverty since bad health habits cost the world ~$6.5 trillion a year[5], much of that spent by America. Bad health is also a top cause of bankruptcies and poverty. It helps the plans of some elite to drastically reduce population sizes. And in addition, it clouds people’s thinking, making them easier to exploit.

The most crucial principles of health that science has confirmed were listed in the Bible 1000s of years ago or spoken about by Christians centuries ago. The SDA denomination is the sole and only Christian denomination that has a clear position about what habits are beneficial to life based on the Bible. Secular scientists and organizations like the NIH and many governmental organizations have done 1000s of studies on these principles as well as some very large ones on SDA members who follow them. These scientists agree that these studies that are directly due to Bible and SDA principles have enormously improved health and longevity in many ways for the entire planet. [6]
REFERENCES
[1] Noncommunicable diseases. www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs355/en.

[2] Khaw K-T, Wareham N, Bingham S, Welch A, Luben R, Day N . 2008. Combined Impact of Health Behaviours and Mortality in Men and Women: The EPIC-Norfolk Prospective Population Study”. http://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.0050012.

[3] Bohling, Annie. 2014.”Stress, lack of sleep can lower your grades and hurt your health”. www.dailynebraskan.com/news/stress-lack-of-sleep-can-lower-your-grades-and-hurt/article_0643a742-4d0d-11e4-8ca2-001a4bcf6878.html,

[4] Orlov, Alex. 2016. The World Would Not Exist If Everyone Ate like Americans, https://mic.com/articles/143621/american-diet-is-so-disastrous-it-would-have-wreck-the-planet-in-year-2000

[5] Spending on health: A global overview. 2012. www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs319/en/.

[6] http://www.worldlifeexpectancy.com/what-adventists-mean-to-you, publichealth.llu.edu/adventisthealthstudies

3) DON’T CHARGE INTEREST:
The Bible repeatedly warns against charging interest, especially to the poor, as a very wicked thing.
“In you are people who accept bribes to shed blood; you take interest and make a profit from the poor. You extort unjust gain from your neighbours. And you have forgotten me, declares the Sovereign Lord. Ezekiel 22:12 (NIV)

“If you lend money to any of my people who are in need, do not charge interest as a money lender would. Do not charge interest or make a profit at his expense.” Exodus 22:25

Interest charges transfer billions if not trillions of dollars to the wealth every year. The US for example will pay more than $5 trillion in interest to greedy bankers over the next few years.

Washington’s $5 trillion interest bill, Jeanne Sahadi,
money.cnn.com/2012/03/05/news/economy/national-debt-interest/

4) EVERYONE PAYS FAIR TAXES
God said to pay taxes fairly many times.
“Pay your taxes, too, for these same reasons. For government workers need to be paid.” Romans 13:6 (but the Bible also warns against unjust taxes in places like Amos 5:11. In Ezekiel 45, when each family owned land permanently, taxes were set at between 1-2% maximum)

The recent Panama papers expose (and many others like Luxleaks, Wikileaks and others) showed that wealthy corporations and individuals have sent over ~$32 trillion  to offshore accounts to avoid taxes. http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/04/08/the-panama-papers-oozing-slime/

If that money was taxed at the usual rate of America workers, ~31.5%, that would bring in ~$9,920,000,000,000. That amount would still be able to end world poverty at least 100 times.
These are God’s simple methods, ways which capitalism is completely opposed to..and so it leaves billions in destitution, which is a recipe for crime, immorality, ignorance, terrorism and war. This is why God said that greed is the root of all evil.
WHY DOES ECONOMIC JUSTICE MATTER ANYWAY?
Many do not realize several important things about economic injustice though.
A) Plutocracy and oligarchy can only happen when people reject or become ignorant of the principles that God gave in the Bible, especially the ones that relate to economic justice and human rights. God promised that following these principles would keep nations stable long term and would eliminate poverty, something that has been experienced by some cultures that followed them, both in Bible times and outside of it at times. When people either reject or become ignorant of these principles, that starts an inevitable decline in nations that often covers about 10 generations. This cycle of growing strong with spiritual principles and then a decline resulting from rejection or ignorance of spiritual principles has been documented thoroughly by numerous scholars, both secular and Christian. It is so consistent that it is called the cycle of nations.  And one of the most important key factors is whether families in a nation have equitable rights to land or not.

B) If people don’t emphasize land rights for each family, eventually major losses of freedom and economic injustice will ensue.  Dr. Archer Torrey, head of the Anglican seminary in Korea (grandson of R. A. Torry, president of Moody Bible Institute) writes:
“Henry George and Scripture teach the same thing: that..this globe has been created by God and not by man. Any man who does not have an “right” to any space of his own has been robbed….without a space of his own, a human being is completely at the mercy of whomever ‘owns’ the space…Without a right to land, a person will have to search for a job from someone else to ensure his basic needs.

…To say that everyone has a right to work, to health care, to this, that and the other without at the same time recognizing his right to land…is to frankly declare that he is a slave. The United Nations has published a list of 30 “human rights”. But they omit the right to land, which is the basic human right given by God and clearly defined in the Bible. If the right to land were recognized, the other rights would follow automatically and would hardly need to be defined. As it is the UN’s “human rights” are only the rights of slaves! p. 8.

  1. B) If a person loses their land rights and home, then they have to pay up to 45% of their income for rent and up to 35% of it for food and have very little left to invest in anything else.
    michael-hudson.com/2016/08/post-convention-candidates/
    “Mortgage loans absorb up to 43% of family income.”
    nakedcapitalism.com/2015/10/michael-hudson-on-parasitic-financial-capitalism.html
  2. C) Why do we have racism? There are many causes. But I believe Malcolm X was right when he said that wherever you have capitalism, you also have racism. Why? Because of these reasons:
    1) Capitalism concentrates always wealth in a few hands over time. The game monopoly was actually designed to show this and massive research shows that this is what has and is happening everywhere that capitalism is followed.
    2) Those few then often use the money to benefit those they like in their own race
    3) They buy up control media and promote their own group and ideas.
    4) They influence racism to cause various groups to fight and be in conflict with each other so they don’t focus on the wicked greed of the 1% and
    5) They bribe government politicians to make rules favorable for their “in group”Research has shown powerful connections between concentrations of wealth and racism.
    http://theweek.com/articles/573307/end-police-violence-have-end-poverty and
    http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/35804-how-capitalism-and-racism-support-each-otherIt also shows that it isn’t just minorities that are suffering. When you don’t care about others suffering, eventually it will come and hurt you too. And it is happening now more and more to the majority white population in America as well.
    com/articles/587242/why-poor-white-americans-are-dying-despairThose who are doing well in any society have the privileges they do largely because of the family and nation and time they were born in. Hard work does make a small difference, yes. But most of the opportunities that people have and the freedom to live in a place without war and chaos, comes because of the place that God allowed them to be born. This is why the Bible says that it is God who gives us the power to get wealth, both because of His creation of our bodies and minds as well as choosing where and when we would be born.

    D) Economic injustice in society makes nations vulnerable to totalitarianism or other abusive deceptions. Russian historian and author Simon Sebag Montefiore has written a new biography of Stalin book based on newly accessible Georgian communist party archives as well as memoirs of Stalin’s friends and various historical sources. In his account, you can see quite clearly how a mix of corrupt religion, economic and social injustice, abuse at home, Darwinism and atheism all combined to cause him to reject Christianity and embrace atheism and eventually commit the atrocities that killed over 30 million people.  Here are a few excerpts.

    “While still the finest choirboy at the church school, Stalin started to show an interest in the plight of the poor and to doubt his faith….One event…made a deep impression on Stalin. On 13 February 1892, the teachers of the church school ordered all their pupils to attend a gruesome mise-en-scene that they hoped “would arouse fear and respect in the boys”: a hanging. Three gallows were erected…the condemned men had stolen a cow and, in the ensuing pursuit, had killed a policeman. But the boys learned that the criminals were actually just three “peasants who had been so oppressed by landowners that they escaped into the forest,” petty Robin Hoods, attacking only local squires and helping other peasants…The executions were a Russian show of strength; young Davrichewy called the condemned men “holy martyrs”…The three bandits in leg irons were marched onto the scaffold…the crowd threw stones at the hangman, who was masked and clad completely in scarlet…The hangman kicked away the stools…If anything, the spectacle helped make Stalin a rebel.” pg. 48-51

    He read Alexander Kazbegi’s forbidden novel “The Patricide, which starred a classic Caucasian bandit-hero called Koba…[who] fights against the Russians, sacrificing everything for his wife and country, then visiting a terrible vengeance on his enemies.  “Koba became Sosa’s God and gave his life meaning,” says Iremashvili. “He wished to become Koba. He called himself “Koba” and insisted we call him that. His face shone with pride and pleasure when we called him ‘Koba.'”
    Simon Sebag Montefiore, Young Stalin, p. 63.

    Montefiore reports that Stalin borrowed a copy of Darwin’s Origin of Species when he was a teen (or a book about Darwin’s views).
    “Stalin read it [Darwin’s Origin of the Species] all night, forgetting to sleep, until Keke found him. ‘I loved the book so much, Mummy, I couldn’t stop reading…’ As his reading intensified, his piety wavered.”

One day Soso and some friends, including Grisha Glurjidze, lay on the grass in town talking about the injustice of there being rich and poor when he amazed all of them by suddenly saying:

“God’s not unjust, he doesn’t actually exist. We’ve been deceived. If God existed, he’d have made the world more just.”

“Soso! How can you say such things?” exclaimed Grisha.

“I’ll lend you a book and you’ll see.” He presented Glurjidze with a copy of Darwin.”

Simon Sebag Montefiore, Young Stalin, p. 25, 29-31, 49, 55,56. Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London, 2007. (referencing memoirs of G. Glurjidze, P. Kapanadze, G. Elisabedashvili and Demna Shengelaya, quoted in Kaminksy-Vereshchagin, pp. 50-54).

Trotsky also was enthralled by Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species. He said: “Darwin stood for me like a mighty doorkeeper at the entrance to the temple of the universe.” He said that Darwin’s ideas “intoxicated” him. And he thought it insane for someone to think that belief in God could find room in the same head as belief in Darwin’s ideas.

The consequences of the church and state in Russia abandoning God’s economics were disastrous. 30 million died due to the crimes of the atheist state, millions more were put in concentration camps and tortured. Countless families were ripped apart and an entire country was crippled and devastated by the ignorance and totalitarianism of godless atheism. But the key point is that this was only made possible by churches ignoring God’s economic laws.

Dr. Michael Hudson, recognized as one of the most insightful economists in the world (he has has written extensively on how the concept of charging interest originated in pagan temples in Phoenicia and Babylon, such as the temples of Baal), wrote this in an article, “Debt Slavery – Why It Destroyed Rome, Why It Will Destroy Us Unless It’s Stopped
“Book V of Aristotle’s Politics describes the eternal transition of oligarchies making themselves into hereditary aristocracies – which end up being overthrown by tyrants or develop internal rivalries as some families decide to “take the multitude into their camp” and usher in democracy, within which an oligarchy emerges once again, followed by aristocracy, democracy, and so on throughout history.

Debt has been the main dynamic driving these shifts – always with new twists and turns. It polarizes wealth to create a creditor class, whose oligarchic rule is ended as new leaders (“tyrants” to Aristotle) win popular support by cancelling the debts and redistributing property or taking its usufruct for the state.

Since the Renaissance, however, bankers have shifted their political support to democracies. This did not reflect egalitarian or liberal political convictions as such, but rather a desire for better security for their loans. As James Steuart explained in 1767, royal borrowings remained private affairs rather than truly public debts. For a sovereign’s debts to become binding upon the entire nation, elected representatives had to enact the taxes to pay their interest charges…. This is turning international finance into a new mode of warfare. Its objective is the same as military conquest in times past: to appropriate land and mineral resources, also communal infrastructure and extract tribute…. Instead of enabling families to bridge gaps between income and outgo, debt became the major lever of land expropriation, polarizing communities between creditor oligarchies and indebted clients. In Judah, the prophet Isaiah (5:8-9) decried foreclosing creditors who “add house to house and join field to field till no space is left and you live alone in the land.”
Debt Slavery – Why It Destroyed Rome, Why It Will Destroy Us Unless It’s Stopped by Michael Hudson  www.counterpunch.org/2011/12/02/debt-slavery-why-it-destroyed-rome-why-it-will-destroy-us-unless-its-stopped/

Another thinker warns that we are in
A crude hand-painted sign on a run-down building in East Berlin, not far from the former “Checkpoint Charlie” crossing which once divided the West and the East, read as follows in July 1995:”The border runs not between the peoples, but between top and bottom.”  Much of what had taken place in Britain in the 18th and 19th century is now happening in the U.S. under the New World Order banner. A century ago, the rich got richer; the poor got poorer, and the resulting social injustices gave birth to such ideologies as Marxism and Communism, among others. They also led to several revolutions and two World Wars. We are facing the same prospects today.   www.truthinmedia.org/Columns/Plutocrats of NWO.html

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