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Trading, Usury and the Reverse Mortgage

Martin Luther points out that the government will hang a man for stealing half a guilder (about a dollar in 2015 money) but allow merchants to steal thousands... legally. Also the Church had been accepting donations of property BEFORE A MAN DIES and charging him "rent" to live in his former home. This is a legal fiction that allows the Church to sell "Reverse Mortgages," or annuities. Martin Luther thinks this is unseemly... a violation of the spirit of the law and a conflict of interest for the Church, so to speak... like having a starving man guarding a grocery store. He has a lot to say on the subject of charity, loans and legal issues related to trade and one cannot do justice to it all in a single paragraph. A link to the entire sermon can be found below. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Check with your local religious authority before you act on anything I have to say on this subject. As I read Martin Luther's complaint about loans, he is using the biblical definition of a loan... that is... loans as a form of charity. For example, if your friend asks you for 50 bucks until payday, you loan him the 50 bucks BUT DON'T CHARGE HIM INTEREST. The same goes if he needs money for medicine so that he can go back to work. Free-loan societies exist today for this purpose. There is one in Dallas, Texas. I still have to pay the interest on my mortgage and credit card because I owe the money to a corporation... not a person per se. [6]

Additional Information (optional): Jews dominated banking because it was viewed as an unseemly occupation for Christians. As loans became a critical part of business and government finance, especially during war, Jews worked as special agents for the government, big business... and acted as intelligence agents. Some suggest that Jews such as the Rothschild family of 1700s were conspiring to enrich themselves, playing both sides against the middle. In the short-term, yes they were. In a conspiracy spanning 200 years? Occam's razor says no.

The German Peasants War and the Golden Ass

The peasants are dissatisfied with their lives. The Diet that tried to bring Martin Luther to heel is now shaking it its collective boots. Even the sister of the Emperor is taking Holy Communion through a Lutheran priest. The clergy are the stabilizing force in Germany and with this split in the Church, public order is breaking down. Thomas Münzer calls for death to the godless by the sword! "Godless" meaning anyone who is not following him. What he describes as a perfect society sounds like communism. They will take from the the princes and equally distribute their wealth and if the princes don't agree, they will be hanged. Martin Luther is getting a lot of help from those "princes," though... and not just cynical help. Luther has Münzer expelled. And then a massive hailstorm hits and kills the crops in the south. That does it. Southern Germany is up in arms. [7]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Thomas Münzer calls his army the "Barefoot Friars." Their call is "Forward! Forward while the fire is hot! Let your swords be ever warm with blood!" Oddly... and forgive me because I don't quite get the connection but he wants to set up a society that resembles the novel "The Golden Ass" which is a love story but in particular a magician tries to turn himself into a bird but instead turns himself into an ass and finally finds salvation through the goddess Isis. Münzer will be the "ass" in this story, though. By the end of this war, 100,000 German peasants will be dead to no good end. [8] [9]

Granada, Nicaragua... the Oldest City on the Mainland *

The oldest city on the mainland was established this year in what is modern day Nicaragua along the coast of Lake Nicaragua . Francisco Hernández de Córdoba names the city Granada, after the city in Spain that was taken from the Moors in 1492 and it maintains a Moorish appearance. The official money is named the córdoba in his honor. [10] [11] [12]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Not much to say except that despite claims by others cities, Granada was officially registered earliest in Castile and Aragon which are present day Spain.

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1524, Wikipedia.

See Also


* The asterisk in the section header indicates that it was read on the podcast.
  1. (1524) ON TRADING AND USURY. Retrieved on 20 February 2015. “Therefore it is not enough that this business should be rescued by canon law from the reproach of usury, for that does not rid it of or secure it against avarice and self-love; and from the canon law we find that it is not directed toward love, but toward self-seeking.” 
  2. Martin Luther - Biography - Theologian - Biography.com. Biography.com (2015). Retrieved on 19 February 2015. “When a peasant revolt began in 1524, Luther denounced the peasants and sided with the rulers, whom he depended on to keep his church growing. Thousands of peasants were killed, but Luther's church grew over the years.”
  3. Zinskauf - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 19 February 2015. “zinskauf”
  4. Reverse mortgage - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 19 February 2015. “A reverse mortgage is a home loan that provides cash payments based on home equity. Homeowners normally 'defer payment of the loan until they die, sell, or move out of the home.'Upon the death of homeowners, their heirs either give up ownership to the home or must refinance the home to purchase the title from the reverse mortgage company.”
  5. The Medieval Origins of the Financial Revolution: Usury, Rentes, and Negotiability, John H. Munro, The International History Review, Vol. 25, No. 3 (Sep., 2003), pp. 505-562.
  6. Dallas Hebrew Free Loan Association (WEBSITE)
  7. The Reformation: A History of European Civilization from Wyclif to Calvin, 1300-1564, The Story Of Civilization. Simon and Schuster, 384-385. “About the same time peasant uprisings were convulsing South Germany. Perhaps a ruinous hailstorm (1524), which destroyed all hopes for a harvest in Stiihlingen, served as the trigger of revolt.” 
  8. The Golden Ass - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 20 February 2015.
  9. German Peasants' War - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 20 February 2015. “The German Peasants' War [...] was a widespread popular revolt in the German-speaking areas of Central Europe, 1524--1525. It failed because of the intense opposition of the aristocracy, who slaughtered up to 100,000 of the 300,000 poorly armed peasants and farmers.”
  10. Granada, Nicaragua - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 20 February 2015.
  11. Francisco Hernández de Córdoba (founder of Nicaragua) - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 20 February 2015. “Francisco Hernández de Córdoba (1475 ? -- 1526) is usually reputed as the founder of Nicaragua, and in fact he founded two important Nicaraguan cities, Granada and León. The currency of Nicaragua is named the córdoba in his memory.”
  12. Nicaraguan córdoba - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 20 February 2015.

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