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"Systems were made for man, and not man for systems" In this bonus clip Stephen Russell gives some commentary on the efforts of the Social Credit Party in Canada to pursue distributivist goals. This clip also includes discussion of basic philosophical approach of distributivists and adds interesting perspective to Stephen's episode "How Should We Then Money?"

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Published on
Thursday, April 21st, 2022

It is good to work and to be invested in our work. Distributism fits well with traditional Anabaptist values, even though it has largely been articulated by Catholic thinkers. Stephen Russell urges us to “look at distributism and see how it fits with what we have traditionally tried to do, and learn from it”. These themes include valuing craftsmanship, family businesses, and widespread ownership of the tools and infrastructure needed for business. 

To hear more discussion on this topic, check out our bonus content episode with Stephen on Patreon or on our website (for Partners only).

 

Recommended Resources:

The Hound of Distributism edited by Richard Altman:

What’s Wrong with the World by G.K. Chesterton:

Economic Policy Institute, “CEOs were paid 351 times as much as a typical worker in 2020.”  

Mandragora Corporation

Guild of St. Joseph and St. Dominique: “Men rich in virtue studying beautifulness living in peace in their houses.”

Social Credit Party

Barbara Peter’s Observations about Mondragon

Pope Leo’s Statement on Distributism 

“Men always work harder and more readily when they work on that which belongs to them; nay, they learn to love the very soil that yields in response to the labor of their hands, not only food to eat, but an abundance of good things for themselves and those that are dear to them. That such a spirit of willing labor would add to the produce of the earth and to the wealth of the community is self evident.” 

Pope Prius XI’s statement on subsidiarity

 “Just as it is gravely wrong to take from individuals what they can accomplish by their own initiative and industry and give it to the community, so also it is an injustice and at the same time a grave evil and disturbance of right order to assign to a greater and higher association what lesser and subordinate organizations can do. For every social activity ought of its very nature to furnish help to the members of the body social, and never destroy and absorb them.  

Watch Stephen’s testimony about exiting political engagement on YouTube.

 

 

 

 

Published on
Thursday, April 14th, 2022

What does Scripture have to say about loaning money at interest? Do Old Testament prohibitions apply to us? How does collecting interest fit with working with our own hands and being productive? 

Stephen Russell gives us glimpses into how the church has thought about this over the last two millenia, and how Christian thinking changed as economic systems changed. Stephen calls us to see God’s heart as revealed in the Old Testament year of Jubilee.  

Recommended Resource: https://www.crisismagazine.com/2011/catholics-and-usury-a-tragic-history

Published on
Thursday, March 17th, 2022

What are the basic ideas for understanding how Christians should value and relate to money? John D. Martin points us to the Old Testament year of Jubilee and Jesus’s teachings about laying up treasures. He challenges us to embrace Jesus’s values and ensure we are worshiping him, not money.

Recommended Resources:

· Through the Eye of a Needle by Roger Hertzler: https://scrollpublishing.com/products/through-the-eye-of-a-needle/

· Various works by James M. Stayer: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/82831.James_M_Stayer

Authored By

  • Marlin Sommers
Published On
Saturday, October 9th, 2021

Your heart matters. We are to love and honor God in our hearts. Pseudo-religion from an evil heart offends God. But what is the heart? Or, more to the point for this essay, what should the heart be contrasted with?  

Some people contrast our hearts with our actions; what’s in the heart, versus what we do. Jesus, on the other hand contrasts the heart with the lips. What we really are, versus the front we put on with our words. Instead of talking about people who did the right things but had bad hearts, he talked about people who said (some of) the right things with their lips but had bad hearts.  

We do much better to follow Jesus in contrasting the heart with the lips, rather than adopting the modern habit of contrasting the heart with our actions. Jesus quotes the prophet Isaiah “This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.” He describes how they generate a pious appearance with careful rules about washing their hands (for ritual purity), and fine words about their wealth belonging to God while engaging in substantive wrong by withholding support from their own parents (Matthew 15:1-9). 

  • weight and balance scale with books

Authored By

  • Roseanne Bauman
Published On
Sunday, August 16th, 2020

Part 3

Most adults who have achieved a certain level of maturity have a well-developed set of cultural values and a preferred decision-making ethic, whether or not they are aware of those paradigms within themselves. I am no different. As a Christian professor at a secular community college I am comfortable with my established worldview. However, my current class of nursing students, who are foreign trained professionals from many countries around the world, are helping me reevaluate my paradigm. 

In a class on ethics I used as an example the timeworn question, "What would you do if someone asked you, as the nurse, to baptize their baby?" The scenario is that the baby is imminently dying and the parents are afraid the priest won't arrive on time to baptize it, and the baby will not go to heaven, so they ask the nurse to baptize it quickly. Nurses are encouraged to assist people to carry out their religious rituals where possible. During the discussion, one of the students mentioned that they couldn't really answer the question because they had no idea what baptism was! OK! Back up the bus! I have made an assumption out of my cultural background that everyone would understand this scenario. I am challenged daily to think about examples that can be used when the group’s cultural backgrounds are so varied.

  • who is my neighbor

Authored By

  • Roseanne Bauman
Published On
Sunday, August 9th, 2020

Part 2

I teach a nursing class made up of nurses, midwives, and doctors who were trained in  Egypt, Nepal, Romania, Korea, the Philippines, India, Columbia, Sudan, China, Taiwan, Nigeria, Ukraine, Russia, Bangladesh, Iraq, Ethiopia, Sri Lanka, and Iran. They speak 30 languages other than English among them. They vary in years of experience from 1 to 20. Some have immigrant status and others are international students. Some have not worked in healthcare for many years.

I am a believer in grabbing hold of and maximizing teachable moments. If a question is asked, helping someone find the answer will be the most prime teaching opportunity you'll ever get. Someone is wondering, listening, and paying attention. It works vastly more effectively than the teacher asking the questions. However, it doesn't take a class long to figure out their teacher works on this principle and they begin to maximize the opportunity to ask questions! Particularly when they are isolated in a new language and culture. As a result, we have vigorous discussions about many things. What is a washcloth and what is its purpose? Do Canadians use alcohol to prevent pressure sores? What about water beds for patients in hospital?  Why doesn't Canada sell antibiotics over the counter the way many countries do? Why aren't you ordering an eosinophil sedimentation rate with a white blood count to check for infection? Why would anyone put more than one sheet on a bed? Are the energy boosters at the 24-hour convenience store for the elderly to help increase their energy levels? What is the difference between white and red meat? Is a person with no religion a free spirit? And those are just the medical and nursing questions! I agonize over how to re-socialize these people into Canadian culture and yet honor their vast experience and unique reality. How do you teach someone the "right way" to do a thing in Canada without suggesting what they did before was the "wrong way"? What sort of arrogance proposes that my way is more “advanced” than theirs?

Published on
Friday, October 4th, 2019

How does the New Testament discuss racial divides within the Church? What does segregation currently look like in American churches? In this episode, Dr Finny Kuruvilla discusses ethnic divides in churches today. Dr Kuruvilla shows how the early church worked through ethnic divides and gives advice for eliminating ethnic barriers.

Published on
Wednesday, August 14th, 2019

In what ways has the view of earlier Anabaptists remained or been dropped in Anabaptist churches? Does our opposition to abortion insist upon an opposition to capital punishment? In this episode, Nathan Zook PhD discusses the sanctity of life, and what it looks like to have a "consistent ethic of life". Also considered is what the Christian's view of government, and their system of punishment, should be.

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