Thinking Out Loud

February 7, 2010

Move Your Money

Move Your Money.

It’s a simple, three word slogan that expresses the anger a lot of people in the United States feel right now towards their six largest banking organizations.  The result is a movement that started with an editorial from the founder of Huffington Post, is seeing both individuals and branches of municipal and state governments taking their money out of the large banks and “bringing it home ” to locally owned banks and credit unions.  [Check out this 4-minute promotional video on YouTube.]

Toward the end of the week, the campaign was gaining momentum across the U.S., but a check of the Church and Christianity blogs on Alltop showed very, very few Christian bloggers were commenting on this latest development in the ongoing saga of U.S. bank failures and subsequent recession.

That’s a mistake.   While no one believes more strongly than I in the need for  Christian blogs that will maintain a faith focus, when large numbers of people in our society are moved to collective action, we can’t pretend that it’s more important to write about predestination or baptismal regeneration or the parsing of some text in the ESV.   There is a groundswell of major economic activity poised to take place at the grassroots level in the next two to three weeks, and it’s important for Christians to be part of the overall discussion.

It isn’t easy to disentangle yourself from your bank.   There are all sorts of ramifications for automatic payments, debit cards, direct deposits, bonds, investments, home loans, mortgages, etc., that have to be undone at one end, and reestablished at another end.   There are fees and penalties for early withdrawls.  You have to be really, really convicted about your principles to actually do something like this.

While we’re instructed to do nothing out of anger, we’re also supposed to be people of principle, willing to do something out of conviction. It’s easy to comment on this living one nation removed from the action, in a country where both our banks and the system of check and balances that govern them is solid, and in fact no banks failed.    But what if I were living in the United States?

I think the payment of huge bonuses — the absolute squandering of government bailout money — is grossly immoral.   You can protest, you can write letters to the editor, you can post things on your blog; but the best vote a U.S. banking customer has is the vote they make with their savings and checking (Brit./CDN = chequing) accounts.   Not to mention VISA, MasterCard and all the various debit cards.

To “do justice and love mercy” means that every believer has the potential and the mandate to be an agent of doing justice in a corrupt and fallen world.    It’s wrong to do nothing.  It also raises the questions of the banks being used by Churches and Christian charities.   Ask your Church treasurer where the Church’s deposits are held.

So I would move my money, right?   No.   I would have moved it long ago.   I can’t believe it’s taking Americans this long to wake up to the need for collective action.


  1. “the Ron Paul inspired campaign” is wrong. First, it was created by Ariana Huffington. Second, the “Ron Paul” that you link to is Ronald D. Paul, a banker, not Ron Paul, the politician. And third, the editorial you link to is dated Jan. 25, 2010 — a long time after the campaign was well underway. This is simply some guy named “Ronald Paul” who gave his two-cents about Ariana’s campaign.

    Was this simply an oversight on your part? Or was this an attempt to portray a movement that was started by the liberal left as something that was inspired by Christian conservative Ron Paul?

    Comment by nrgins — February 8, 2010 @ 11:21 am

    • Thanks for writing. No hidden agenda, just the liabilities of being one country removed from the action. Plus, I’m writing as a Christian semi-conservative who fully embraces what you think of as a “liberal left” concept.

      I’ve removed the link to Ron/Ronald Paul and mention of his name. I was given that link and because I knew it was a Huffington Post page, was convinced of its legitimacy in terms of this story. I’ve replaced it with the link to Ariana’s original editorial on December 29th.

      I think your last paragraph is a consequence of living in an environment where everything is partisan. Up here, you can be mostly conservative but willing to admit that sometimes, liberal policy gets it right. Equally you can be liberal, but willing to admit the occasional conservative policy gets it right. Hopefully we someday learn how to become free thinkers who aren’t compelled to go along with the tribe. I look forward to the day in our Canadian parliamentary system when every vote in the House of Commons is a free vote; and I hope Americans long for the same thing in the Senate and Congress.

      Comment by paulthinkingoutloud — February 8, 2010 @ 4:29 pm

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