The Idolatry of Money Is Replacing Our Spiritual Values

I’m a Jew. And while there is some competition between religious institutions for the soul of mortal man, I find the Pope’s statement about the idolatry of money to resonate with my core beliefs and an accurate description of the consensus of minds throughout the world. Mark Twain made the point when he wrote “The Man Who Corrupted Hadleyburg” and the “$30,000 Bequest.” Of course Twain also said that he congratulated the human race on reaching the conclusion that there is only one true religion — “several of them.” His stories chronicle fictional characters who exhibit all too human tendencies in human character. True believers who have lived their lives teaching and living the “word” of G-d are faced with the temptation of a large sum of money and immediately throw their spiritual teaching to the winds.

There has always been resistance to my comments that money is the one true religion to which everyone subscribes throughout the world (with a few notable exceptions) and that for most people given a choice between money and spiritual or moral choices, most people will rationalize their actions in favor of money. And they do this without any thought or understanding of money. The definitions of money vary, depend upon whom you ask, but the underlying theme is that it is a faith that the prevailing currency defines one’s wealth. Why?

Money is an illusory concept that has no definite correspondent relationship with any item found in our physical reality. It derives its value from faith and belief that everyone else will see it the same way you do — that every other person in the world will accept your “money” as a medium of exchange and store of value. People accept it in exchange for goods and services and they pursue it in their attempt to pay for goods and services and to accumulate a mythological wealth that must translate into a sum of money. It appears as paper, computer entries coded in 1’s and 0’s, or now cash equivalent paper deriving its value from the promise to pay money.

Money is a derivative, deriving its value from this common belief in its reality without any proof. Our belief in it causes us to consent or submit to power of those who are said to have money and who have amassed large quantities of it. Indeed we consent to be governed by a Republic that issues money on its own “full faith and credit” and we acknowledge the superior qualities of those who have the most money — even if they stole it.

Blaming Wall Street or the high priests of money in our financial system is justified because they shifted their method of operation from acting as intermediaries to becoming predators separating those who trusted in them from their money. And it turns out that this trust represents a belief system which is based in a faith that is so immutable that it serves as a rationale for accepting the behavior of bad people doing bad things to innocent victims. Investors, insurers, traders, Government guarantee agencies, borrowers, rating agencies all of whom believed blatant lies and all suffered as a result of believing those lies. And despite all evidence in the public domain of this fraud, the judiciary, lawyers and even the borrowers cannot reconcile their belief in money with the acts of theft that continue in the court system. In the end, most of them resolve the conflict in favor of the high priests of money.

But blaming the high priests of money or the government is only part of the problem. The rest of us need to take a ruthless inventory of ourselves and decide whether we will continue to let money rule our lives, whether we will continue to admire people for their wealth, and whether we might do something today, on Thanksgiving, that turns the course of our lives on a new heading. That is what the evangelical community is getting at, along with Orthodox Jews, and similar movements whose commonality is to observe the demands of spiritual and moral values.

Let’s give thanks for our children, our family, and pay it forward in our acts. Let’s stop our apathy to being brutally deprived of our homes and property by a system based on the accepted awe of the high priests of money. Let’s insist on a moral standard of right and wrong upon which we have already agreed — that a wrong-doer should get no presumptions or acceptance of any standard that further enables them to do wrong, and that the wrongdoer should never be allowed to retain the fruits of their wrongful endeavors.

People who have been victims of such wrongdoing should not be labeled as deadbeats or stupid money managers; but it still remains true that their own belief in money overcame their natural good judgment — by relying on the high priests of money, borrowers gave their implicit ignorant consent to being a part of a scheme that defrauded pension funds and other investors. It is a supreme irony that the borrower’s retirement funds frequently came from a pension fund that was heavily invested in mortgage backed securities. They lost both their homes and will soon lose part or all of their pension or retirement money.

Let’s give thanks that we can still celebrate humane behavior based upon moral choices of right and wrong, but let’s also remember that if we did not believe so much in money and the high priests of money, those who would do wrong causing untold tragedies around the world would never have had the chance to do so. The term “cold hard cash” is outdated. It should be replaced by “warm moral choices.”

34 Responses

  1. Fantastic article, as usual. Happy Holidays everybody. I know it does not get much press but most people in the mtg biz were/are doing their dead level best to keep it together.

    By “most” I am referring to the origination side – And the “most” property owners that are as committed to success as they can possibly be.

    The servicers? NOT SO MUCH. Wow.

    Make it a Great Day.

  2. When you post the hateful, negative things you do online you are subject to judgement…awfully small shoulders for one claiming such a sharp intellect. BTW: I do know who you are , but choose, a classy gal to not throw you under the bus, as you do so many others…

    Neil threw you of before as Enraged, those of us who have been here for a while know, this behavior is the reason. I do not need to defend my actions and words to the likes of you.

    I, unlike you have won with BOA and am a creditor with another, it’s all in Pacer. You on the other hand are lying….giving information that is not substantiated and copy and pasted by others…wow, isn’t that special!

    If people here want to be misled and abused by you they are certainly well within their rights to do so. You are very tough on the Internet, like so many! Your only defense is abuse, very telling about you!

  3. As expected, the third hyena is coming out of the woodwork. So predictable… true pack mentality.

    Deb,

    Why on earth would you ask for a 1099C if you had a non-reportable 1099A? Or… was that 1099A in connection with rental property, in which case you’ll owe anyway? If it wasn’t a rental, you shouldn’t be asking for a 1099C. The minute the IRS issues it, you’ll owe on it… Isn’t that self-destructive in a way?

  4. Correction of date=== the worst record of any circuit court having been reversed 24 out of 25 times by the Roberts Court from October 2008 thru June 2013

  5. I wonder what is Christine’s purpose on this site to always take any opportunity she can to knock the Americans and the USA. Everyone keep fighting in what you believe in.

  6. Is this the Appeals Court Christine won her appeal in? The US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit – a Federal with Appellate Jurisdiction over Northern Ohio and Southern Ohio – at the Potter Stewart US Court House in Cincinnati ?

    The court has the worst record of any circuit court before the Roberts Court having been reversed 24 out of 25 times from Oct 2013 thru June 2013

  7. Last time
    1099a lender ( servicer) does not say the name of who the ( servicer) debt collector is servicing FOR and the facts presented to the court do not jibe with this irs document – in my particular case it says servicers name so, I asked for the 1099c from irs. To date i have not received it or an explaination and therefore i can not submit my 2010 taxes because thefe is a controversy ti be solved under the laws we hold dear, least i do -We have a certain trust in court or rather a so called trustee who got the house for free. Chain of title screwed. For ever by the wAy- but that 1099a is a problem question is will there be more lies sex and videotape

  8. Pooper-scooper,

    “It is my sincere hope one day you will find happiness in something…presumptions of others are worthless and usually unfounded.”

    I kept this because I knew at some point it would come handy.

    ‘Poppy, on September 17, 2013 at 12:18 pm said:

    You are not in any court, liar! You are a bully and a fraud! Get a life.”

    Well… I just won my appeal in federal court, as quite a few regular and civil bloggers here have already learned and verified by reading the actual decision.

    Isn’t it high time you and your little pack-mentality hyena friends focused your attention elsewhere? Like… I don’t know… fighting intelligently? Or… moving on for want of a timely fight?

  9. neid right on! That is such a HUGE issue. Taxes are the essence of why the average wage earner is broke.
    HAMP- 25-31% gross income – at 31% that calculated pymt is just shy of 2 weeks pay at my end. NUTS!! Food is the 3rd paycheck, and 4th is gas/bills…well, I am already in the hole after that.
    GROSS v NET = that would be a topic I would enjoy reading. I am baffled that ANY payment can be based on your GROSS income when you have, say, less than $30(?) voluntary health/life/etc (not some charity fund or 401k deduct) taken over the allowed max. I mean, you know- if you upped your life insurance or opted for better vision coverage and that extra amount exceeded what the “basic” package was…….How in the heck can you base a payment on pay YOU ARE NOT GETTING. I am no financial expert but that is just ridiculous. My net pay is half my gross. This foundation of thinking messes with me. If anything why should health are be held above the standard of food? There should be an allowable amount of FOOD in that case – anything over that- YOU pay for.

  10. Dear Mr Garfield,

    In continuation, the 10 Commandments say it most simply really, in the 1st, 2nd, 8th, 9th and 10th Commandments.

    1. I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

    2. You shall not make for yourself a graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them or serve them.

    8. Thou shalt not steal.

    9. Thou shalt not bear false witness.

    10. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house, wife or possessions.

    I must add that I am no form of bible basher or of any particular religious persuasion these days; I’m just a simple bloke that believes these are the rules that logically must be adhered to and upheld by society (and the courts) if society is to continue in prosperity.

    Best regards,

    Chris Shannon Australia

  11. Amen Neil. Happy Hannukah and Happy Thanksgiving to everybody

  12. Ok MS .. so they only keep a % for themselves, ( as futures servicing fees?) and sell the rest (spreading the risk)? Ok,…. they wrote investors off when they charged off the loans…. right? So a reasonable person would assume they could only collect on the interest they maintained plus any tax and ins, maint …. right?

    I could be Wrong … Please Correct Me if I Am.
    I take criticism well (most of the time).

  13. Dear Mr Garfield,

    Couldn’t agree with you more on this topic as it’s one that I have also been raising for some time.

    Thank you for your opinion; good to hear an intelligent man echoing my own belief.

    Best regards,

    Chris Shannon Australia.

  14. Oh Wait … 30 glasses 3/4th full .. On Ice?

  15. They sold 30 glasses 2/3rds full.

    Or they added ice … lol

  16. Masterservicer ,

    I don’t really care about Montgomery … the next post down (me at 05:05p) is a real opportunity. (and yes the Brits were always down on resources that’s why we gave them the easy/less consequential roles… but when you have a general that blows half a day taking a break after simply walking ashore at Normandy just because it’s tea time and “we must be civilized” you have to wonder if he should be in that position.)

  17. A HONEST PROPOSAL TO NEIL AND MASTERSERVICER The house owned by Casey Anthonys’ parents is now in foreclosure , according to the clerk of courts they were served just a few days ago… and they are up against “Nationstar” … I know how I feel about Casey Anthony and her parents that helped her escape murder charges but that case has been in the news for years now and this is a new chapter… quite simply the only thing I care about is that this foreclosure case will get TV and Newspaper exposure BIGTIME exposure ,,, and it can be very beneficial to all homeowners in Florida and maybe throughout the country if we can pull off a win or score points and drag it out while it’s in the public eye… Neil , you are licensed in Florida and have a network that extends into Orlando ,, Masterservicer , you have valuable insights that would be beneficial to get into the public eye … Can we back George and Cynthia Casey for the greater good… PLEASE! Here’s the case number .. 2013-CA-013266-O , Orange County FL ,, go to http://myclerk.myorangeclerk.com/default.aspx click civil records and search for George Anthony as “party” in foreclosures..

  18. Added Water ???

  19. Montgomery was viewed as a average general. But in all fairness, he was never given sufficient resources or men needed to face the onslaught of German forces. Outnumbered 10 to 1, Montgomery faced the insurmountable odds …always holding fire till he could see the white of the enemy’s eyes. Steady men hold fire… steady…. men…. steady. War is insane !
    ——————————————————————————

    Look…get back to the subject matter issues …

    …. take two households and two kids each with a pitcher full of lemonade. Each pitcher holds 10 glasses.

    They join forces to sell lemonade
    How did they sell 30 glasses …..

    Hint – Phantom income, mandatory IRS 1.1031 tax deferred exchanges,

    wires rerouted into purported …off shore depositors account .

    Safe haven deposits held in Bermuda or Cayman Isle….booked as bank wires turned into receivables and

    sold to foreign national banks as BONY assets , the debt of a single unified member bank

    each a private placement offering by one member bank to another .

    Bank to bank debt offered in a .series of obligations offered as pledged borrowing …..

    Its called collateralized bank notes sold as short term 5 year bonds.

    So, how did they sell 30 glasses …..

  20. It is my sincere hope one day you will find happiness in something…presumptions of others are worthless and usually unfounded.

    A fool, you are! Never-the-less…maybe one day you will find understanding of things that elude you. Hatred and venom possess one, if unchecked. If you had a life you would be much less concerned with the entire world….and focus within!

    Have a great Thanksgiving, you do have much to be thankful for, in spite of your blindness.

  21. Always amazing and quite funny to see those two hyenas with very few redeeming qualities congratulate each other on their refusal (fear, mostly) to see the reality of today’s world…

    John Wayne ain’t coming back. 60% of the world GDP is in the hands of 23 countries who have been steadily pushing the US aside. Karen Hudes, David E. Martin, Craig Paul Roberts and anyone who is someone in the finance world agrees that the US have LOST most of their allies. Deal with it. And keep dreaming of my going to hell (only brainwashed morons believe in it, of course) for saying it if it makes you happy: I’m not the one losing my case and getting sicker and nastier by the day.

    And in the meantime, I’m enjoying myself. Can’t say that about those two aging women with nothing to look forward to…

    To everyone else: Happy Thanksgiving.

  22. @ masterservicer ,

    Montgomery was a crappy general , Patton and Ike saved his bacon and gave him the glory for their victories time after time just to buck up the British people watching newsreels …

    Take heed of Sun Tzu… the banksters know his words… we need to learn..

    “All warfare is based on deception.”
    ― Sun Tzu, The Art of War

  23. Happy Chanukah Neil ,

    I agree with your sentiment but I think it’s simply that so many of us have been squeezed for so long , not just since the 2008 crash but since the 1970’s onward it has been harder and harder to provide for our families while the divide grows more each year… in the 1970’s a man could work at an average job and afford a new car every few years , a small house and his wife could raise the children… that changed to the wife having to work , and now our taxes have just gone up 16% from 50% (the true amount including all the fees and taxes we pay at ALL levels) to include the now mandatory under penalty of law health insurance tax… our tax load is beyond what anyone who lives on earned income can stand … the only people thriving are those that live off the taxes we pay and those at the top who earn nothing and live off of investments.

    I don’t think it’s idolatry of money that’s the problem it’s the absolute panic the general population is experiencing as we are punished by our masters in the federal government… and knowing that we are failing our families… many of us can only find low paying or part time ( thanks Obamacare! ) employment…

  24. Philosophical subject matter wont save homes …..If the foreclosure man is coming then take a defense and get the injunction. Otherwise not much to celebrate . That’s the power of money …its yours now defend it. God always helps those who help themselves ….Bankers are not greedy nor evil. They are just taught to win. Your day is coming too so mount your best defense. Do it Damn it. Set the turkey aside and get mad damn it . Its your family and your home . Use the courts to fight back .

    And thank you Neil ….for letting me stick around and for allowing an alternative message to get out …….

    registerclaims@live.com

    “steady men …steady”
    British General Montgomery

  25. Carrie

    All bonds , pledged assets and debentures are issued in trust and recorded in a series of issuance’s held in good faith trust . Nothing especially compelling about trust law here .

  26. A prayer for God to solve Pope Francis’ dilemma:

    Dear God, since the poor are victims of someone or something which occurred sometime previous which prevents those poor from gaining the intelligence, purpose or opportunity to avoid poverty, please grant the poor whatever qualities are required to avoid that victimhood. If you. despite your awesome absolute power are unable to do this then let Pope Francis instruct his flock to examine each other to discover who among them can provide intelligence, purpose or opportunity to avoid all poverty among themselves. Once the Catholic Church has accomplished this the rest of the world can learn from them the necessary methods to thrive as well. Amen

  27. Yes, many of us do…many cannot see beyond their own wants…not needs! Have a nice holiday.

  28. Right on, Poppy… certain people are in for a very rude awakening when they pass from this brief planetary life!

    When humanity finally realizes that we are all ONE—and we need to look out for each other and have each other’s back and be of service to each other—with patience and compassion and kindness—devoid of materialism and prejudice…they we will be approaching a true heaven on earth…but obviously we still have a long way to go.

  29. And an observation. Many don’t know that Samuel Clemons was a Freemason. Freemasonry membership has been tanking in the past few decades. Freemasons are bound together in the observation and furtherance of brotherly love, relief, truth, temperance, fortitude, prudence, and justice. They are told Truth is a divine attribute, e.g., you can’t take it with you … so be thankful for what you have.

  30. After reading John Stossel’s article I, too, am thankful for property. You will love this story of the Pilgrims and how the promise of socialism was abandoned for private property rights that begat Thanksgiving – http://townhall.com/columnists/johnstossel/2013/11/27/thankful-for-property-n1753785

  31. Another generalized, negative comment…while the rest of the world lives in peace and harmony.

  32. “The Idolatry of Money Is Replacing Our Spiritual Values”

    Here, absolutely. Everywhere else? Nope. Not even close. Garfield, when was the last time you actually lived among other populations and saw what they stood for?

    If 23 countries holding 60% of the world GDP are signing treaties among themselves and shunning this country, it is precisely because there has been such thing as “American Greed” for way too long and the world is turning a new leaf, away from it, UK included!!! If money was replacing spiritual values, we’d be at war with Syria.

    The world has been steadily changing. Greed is solid and well implanted here. Karen hudes believes that this country will be the last one to regain some “spiritual” values. Won’t happen as long as people keep feeding into the problem and electing incompetents whose only ambition is to make a name for themselves and gather as much wealth as they can, whatever the means.

  33. This will come as crass to many, but when watching an independent, virile father, pass slowly into the abyss, in fear of the untimely end of what he knew to be his life; all things, if one is paying attention come to light. The “things” we have and may only posses for a short time…with everything potentially overshadowed with liens, give us pleasure for a short time. When “all” people are posed with taking their last breath here, “things” become obscure…you cannot take them with you. All the debt we have created for ourselves in the name of happiness by objects, is a myth. The depth of despair is only calmed by the presence of people who care and love you, no matter what your failings. The money takes a back seat, it matters no longer….it cannot help you or change the ultimate outcome.

    All of these “robbers”, cheats and liars, to my delight, will face the same path…if only I could be there and watch…to all of them, may you reap what you sow. Your day will come and all that you have taken that does not belong to you, will follow you in your legacy and in your passing. All of your mansions, yachts, and big bank accounts will be squandered and spent by those who never really liked you…Happy Thanksgiving you bums….we all have to answer for what we do. No Exceptions!

    For the rest here…a sincere Happy Thanksgiving

  34. I am thankful for all of those who do still have those ‘warm morals’, decency, and values not often found in this age we live in. GOBBLE GOBBLE!

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