Is Christianity useful anymore? The younger generations don’t seem to think so

By Michael Sherrard

According to recent research, the coming generations have no use for Christianity anymore. I’m sure you’ve seen what these sociological studies have found: the younger the generation, the more post-Christian it is. Young Americans are less inclined to believe in heaven and hell, that scripture is the word of God, that Satan is real, or that God even exists. They pray less, go to church less, and give less money to the church than the older generations.

Many are abandoning Christianity altogether.

One out of five adults considers themselves to be “former Christians.” And to put this in perspective, it means that there are four former Christians for every new convert to Christianity. In fact, the “former Christians” combined with atheists and agnostics now comprise one of the largest religious groups in America, the religiously unaffiliated. And the largest percentage of them are young adults. One out of three young adults claims no religious affiliation.

So why have the younger generations walked away from the faith and what can we do about it? Is it merely that they don’t believe it’s true or useful anymore?

I think an answer is found in Deuteronomy. The sixth chapter teaches us that it is the responsibility of the older generations to pass on the word of God to the younger generations. Particularly, it is the job of parents. Our children must learn from us what it means to follow God.

Have they? Have they learned from us?

Our children have learned many things from us, I’m sure. We have taught them the importance of education. We have paid for tutors and piano lessons. We have plugged them into sports and paid for private athletic training. We have done so much to prepare them for adulthood. But have we passed on to them the thing of greatest importance?

At this point, I can answer with good confidence the question Why have the younger generations abandoned Christianity? The answer is because we have.

Or if we haven’t abandoned it ourselves, we certainly have not passed it on to the next generation. Study after study shows us what we already know to be true. Virtually no young adult knows what the Bible teaches. Young adults simply don’t know anything about Christianity. I’m not sure, then, that it is right to say that young adults are walking away from Christianity. It seems as though they’ve never been introduced to it.

So what are to do? It is simple. Know God’s word yourself and teach it to the next generation. But we must not only teach it. We must use it ourselves. One of the impressive things about the younger generations is that they can spot a phony a mile away. Younger generations need to see Christianity, not just hear about it.

I taught high school for seven years. “It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.” I’m kidding. I love high school students. Do you know what question students ask more than any other? It’s, “When am I ever going to use this?” And this is precisely the right question for a student to ask.

I wonder. Have our young adults seen an answer to “when they are ever going to use Christianity?” Have they seen it go well for us because we have faithfully obeyed God’s word? Again, if we want the next generation to embrace the goodness of following Jesus Christ they must see it’s goodness in us. Therefore, do not only teach them the word of God but show it to them. Display its power in the way you live.

Finally, along with knowing God’s word and seeing us use it, the next generation must understand God’s word. Deuteronomy 6:20 tells us that we are to give our children an answer when they ask What is the meaning of God’s word? Sadly, far too many children and teenagers are met with a shush and a “just have faith” instead of an answer when they ask a sincere question about Christianity.

But God does not expect us to have blind faith. Moreover, He doesn’t want it. He does not ask us to merely follow because He said so end of story. He expects us and allows us to ask sincere and humble questions. For in asking genuine questions, one is seeking understanding. God wants us to love him with our mind. He wants true, sincere followers, not programmed machines.

So young adults. You should ask Why does God let bad things happen to good people?

You should ask How do you know the bible is the word of God and not some forgery?

You should ask How do you know Jesus actually rose from the dead?

You should ask Why should I follow God’s teachings?

And adult’s, you better get ready to give them an answer. But be encouraged for there are answers. Now, don’t be overwhelmed by this. It’s okay if you don’t have all the answers. Nobody does, well, except Google. You can trust everything you find on google.

Seriously, though, “I don’t know” is a perfectly acceptable answer to a question you don’t have an answer for. But “just have faith” isn’t. Do not tell our younger generations to be quiet, stop asking questions, just believe and fall in line. If you do, they will eventually fall out. And we are seeing precisely this happen every day.

Church, adults, parents- embrace the questions from the younger generations and find answers. They exist! Christianity is reasonable. It is true. It matches reality. It is the best explanation for the way things are. And it is the answer for all that is wrong.

So, may you know God’s word. May you teach God’s word. May you live out God’s word. And may you grow in understanding of God’s word. And may you and your son and your son’s son reap all the blessings that come from faithfully following Jesus Christ.

 


Michael C. Sherrard is a pastor, the director of Ratio Christi College Prep, and the author of Relational Apologetics. Booking info and such can be found at michaelcsherrard.com.

Original Blog Source: http://bit.ly/2L1HXGf

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73 replies
  1. Andy Ryan says:

    “Why have the younger generations abandoned Christianity? The answer is because we have.”
    Children see evangelicals embracing Trump, and they can see through the hypocrisy of preaching abstinence while their guy is paying off women he had adulterous affairs with. They see evangelicals ignoring the threat of climate change, which obviously will affect the young more than the old. Younger people are generally more liberal with regard to gays – they may have friends in same sex marriage, which older Christians tried to stop becoming legal. Obviously all this is going to filter through to how young people see Christianity.

    Reply
  2. TVZ says:

    For my kids, it’s idolatry. There is more stuff to worship than God in the world today. My oldest worships video games, movies, rock music, social media, and silliness on the internet. My youngest worships silly Youtube kids and videos, phone apps, pop music, and movies. None of this stuff points anyone away from self and towards God. The goal in life is to never be bored.

    Reply
    • toby says:

      I don’t think worship is the right word. One trouble with christianity is that any activity can be said to be harmful or bad because it’s not directly linked to worshiping god. Replace those things with reading novels, writing fiction, woodworking, welding, painting portraits, sculpting, exercise. You probably think those things are good, but they don’t in any way have anything to do with god. You’re just being an old guy telling kids to stay off his lawn because you didn’t grow up in the same time period as them and don’t understand their lives and options.

      Reply
      • TVZ says:

        Perhaps. I’m just stating what keeps my kids from worshiping God… it’s the distractions the world offers. They can’t be bothered with boring talk of selfishness and church when they can be watching Poops and Doodle on Youtube or smoking a joint. My kids’ friends are all defined by silliness more than seriousness. I sense we are being dumbed-down by our society/culture (maybe I’m just being that old guy here, but I don’t remember my generation valuing silliness this much). Has anyone ever seen the movie, “Idiocracy”? I feel like that’s happening in America.

        Reply
        • Andy Ryan says:

          “Has anyone ever seen the movie, “Idiocracy”? I feel like that’s happening in America.”
          I’d agree with that, especially with the whole part of ‘electing a moronic celebrity as President’ though I’d much prefer Terry Crews to Trump. Part of America’s problem in Idiocracy was ignoring experts and people with scientific knowledge, and replacing them with corporate interests. For example, they were feeding plants with soda pop, because the soda company was sponsoring the government. That’s pretty much what’s happening now, with the government giving important roles to business friends of the President, who lack any kind of expertise in their department.
          .
          The rest of your post I don’t agree with, though. I see a huge groundswell of kids campaigning against the gun laws that keep getting them shot. That’s a good thing.
          .
          “I don’t remember my generation valuing silliness this much”
          Come on, dude, our generation’s heroes were Bill & Ted and Wayne’s World. Our parents bemoaned our ‘slacker culture’ and clutched their pearls about Bart Simpson’s ‘underachiever and proud of it’. Meanwhile, THEIR parents were horrified by the Baby Boomers’ love of ‘dropping out’ and doing LSD and burning their draft cards. One thing that never changes is each generation of middle-aged people talking down the next generation.

          Reply
          • TVZ says:

            “One thing that never changes is each generation of middle-aged people talking down the next generation.”
            .
            I think its true! They are all correct. Every generation is getting worse and worse. The “Wayne’s World” generation is trying to lead the “everybody is a silly star meant to amuse their buddies through social media” generation. (cheers to idiocracy… Obama as well… cool dude with no experience who was raised abroad and didn’t like how the American Constitution was written, but cool).

          • toby says:

            I’m continually astounded by how bigoted older generations are when it comes to millennials. They talk crap about them at meetings where I work using stereotypes and cliches. It’s like the racist people know that they can’t be racist like they want to be so they find a group that it’s acceptable to belittle instead. To me I see a younger generation that wants their life to be more enjoyable and less centered toiling for companies that want to funnel all of the money to the top and leave them with just enough to get by, maybe trick them into thinking they have it good.

          • TVZ says:

            Careful Toby… Bigot: “A person who is intolerant toward those holding different opinions.” Calling them racist is quite a charge.

          • Andy Ryan says:

            “was raised abroad”
            Horrors, a President who has experience of the outside world! Oh no, he oversaw consistently falling unemployment! Help, the stock market roared under his leadership! Helzappoppin, he restored the popularity of America overseas! Heavens above, he oversaw the capture of Osama Bin Laden!
            .
            OK, some of those things might be good, but Sean Hannity just told me Obama liked ‘fancy mustard’ and once wore a tan suit! And what kind of President doesn’t get investigated for any crimes like all those white guys Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Trump and Nixon?
            .
            “Every generation is getting worse and worse”
            Speak for yourself.

          • toby says:

            Please, don’t be dense. There are far more racists that have never lynched anyone than those that have.

          • TVZ says:

            I won’t respond because I do not believe politics is related to younger people not believing in God. The only way I could see that being a factor, is that perhaps government has replaced God’s work in caring for the poor,orphaned, and widowed.. so people look to the government when in need instead of to the church/God.

          • toby says:

            What does it matter where the help comes from? If we supposed that this was a christian nation, shouldn’t help and aid come from the government. Why does it have to be churches? I don’t get that. If money goes to a poor person from a church = good. If it comes from the government = bad. Same principle, but one is bad.

          • Andy Ryan says:

            You’re right. We should disband the military and the police force so that people will look to God for protection instead. And no more schools either – only God can teach. America, where thousands of people go bankrupt every year paying for medicine so that big pharma can get rich, is far more Godly than evil Europe where the state provides healthcare.

          • TVZ says:

            America was not founded to be a socialistic / redistribution of wealth system. It was founded on freedom. Granted, it was the church’s failing to provide adequate care for the needy that lead to having a nanny state though. When a government has power over the people, it gains control of the people.

          • toby says:

            America was not founded to be a socialistic / redistribution of wealth system.
            Simply because such systems were virtually unknown at the time of founding and our beginning country had no funds for such.
            .
            There is absolutely nothing wrong with redistribution of wealth. It’s basically the only way you can prevent the establishment of a group of people so wealthy that they could manipulate and take over a country. How is their money made? On the labor of their employees and the infrastructure of the country. They make a lot, so they should owe a lot. Not an onerous amount, but enough to keep the infrastructure in good shape and advancing with technological improvements and to keep their employees in enough wealth to keep them healthy and productive and enjoying their lives.
            .
            This is my favorite way of looking at redistribution. Money is fuel and economy is an engine. Say you have 100 people. And only 1 of them has 75% of the money. There’s only so much that 1 person can do with that money. Likely they’ve sequestered it all in big corporations and killed off little businesses. It’s a strangled economy with little of the fuel flowing around. Taking a certain percent of that money and spreading via whatever means to the other 99 people means that the economy will get a boost of fuel and grow more businesses and benefit more people. 99 people can spend money more effectively than 1 and give a wider range of benefits because of it.

          • TVZ says:

            Marxism is not freedom, it’s big government. Our founders were about small government, maximum freedom to the individual. They would have certainly rejected Marxism, Socialism and Communism based on what we know about their ideas. Marxism is wrong when it’s done behind the barrel of a gun (like the government does it). Rich people give a lot to charity above and beyond what the government takes from them. What do you think is a fair percentage for the government to take from a rich person’s salary? What happens if that 1 person leaves your country and goes to a country that doesn’t take most of his money? It seems like you should be nicer to the guy with all the money because he is in a better position to help.

          • Andy Ryan says:

            “America was not founded to be a socialistic / redistribution of wealth system. It was founded on freedom”
            Going bankrupt because you can’t pay unexpected legal bills isn’t freedom. What’s more, it’s not good for the economy either.
            .
            That aside, I just had an epiphany and realised TVZ is on to something – when American evangelicals complain that government is replacing God, it’s not because they see this as immoral, it’s just that they don’t like the competition. They fear they’ll lose business. So perhaps TVZ is right that a healthier, less scared population is less likely to be religious. But this is kind of admitting that Christianity needs to keep people poor, unhealthy, scared and vulnerable to keep them in line and attending church.
            .
            “What happens if that 1 person leaves your country and goes to a country that doesn’t take most of his money?”
            See ya buddy. That guy doesn’t love his country or his fellow countrymen if he doesn’t want to contribute to the infrastructure and customers that made him rich in the first place. That aside, America’s taxes or already very low. That’s why the country is falling apart – bridges crumbling, roads in bits. It’s a shoddy situation for such a rich nation. Meanwhile, the Republicans in charge who say they hate not living within their means just added a trillion or so dollars to the deficit.

          • TVZ says:

            “””That aside, I just had an epiphany and realised TVZ is on to something – when American evangelicals complain that government is replacing God, it’s not because they see this as immoral, it’s just that they don’t like the competition. They fear they’ll lose business.”””
            .
            No, it’s because it’s the government and the power they can get from this (history shows what happens under tyrants). We have no problem with non-Christian charities competing with Christian charities to see who can help the most people out of poverty, etc….
            .
            “””So perhaps TVZ is right that a healthier, less scared population is less likely to be religious. But this is kind of admitting that Christianity needs to keep people poor, unhealthy, scared and vulnerable to keep them in line and attending church.”””
            .
            The government cannot (or has never shown it can) get people out of poverty, make them more healthy or less scared (well, it is nice having the best national defense in the world). You sound as skeptical of the church as I am of the government. I guess it’s all about who you trust…. Trump or Pat Robertson… lol.
            .
            “””See ya buddy. That guy doesn’t love his country or his fellow countrymen if he doesn’t want to contribute to the infrastructure and customers that made him rich in the first place.”””
            .
            Yeah, if it costs him $6 billion to live in America versus moving his family and his jobs to Canada, he’s going to be signing “Oh, Canada” tomorrow morning. lol (and perhaps some of his employees may follow him North).
            .
            “”” That aside, America’s taxes or already very low. That’s why the country is falling apart – bridges crumbling, roads in bits. It’s a shoddy situation for such a rich nation.”””
            .
            We can fix the infrastructure; debt is apparently not an issue with this country (Dems or Repubs).
            .
            “”” Meanwhile, the Republicans in charge who say they hate not living within their means just added a trillion or so dollars to the deficit.”””
            .
            This is how you got a “President Trump.” It was rebellion by the right against leftist Republicans. “Let’s give this guy a shot, he can’t be any worse than the career politicians who talk a good game but don’t back it up.” But if you are now against debt, you must hate what Obama did to the country ($8 trillion).
            .
            My last post… this shouldn’t be about politics on this topic. I’ll see your response and not respond again.

          • Andy Ryan says:

            “No, it’s because it’s the government and the power…”
            Then why do Conservatives always want a more powerful military? That’s far more oppressive and powerful than providing free-at-point-of-use healthcare. No, it’s about the church not wanting the competition. Keep people vulnerable and dependent on the church.
            .
            “Yeah, if it costs him $6 billion to live in America versus moving his family and his jobs to Canada”
            Good luck with that – taxes are higher in Canada.
            .
            “But if you are now against debt, you must hate what Obama did to the country”
            Nope, Obama cut the deficit virtually every year he was in power (seven years out of eight). Trump jacked it right back up again. And please don’t tell me you don’t understand the difference between deficit and debt.
            .
            See, facts don’t back up your ideas.
            .
            “Let’s give this guy a shot, he can’t be any worse than the career politicians”
            Boy was that a bad decision, right? Let’s give the job to the TV guy who keeps going bankrupt. The guy who’s been married three times, who’s been caught lying all the time and obviously has terrible impulse control. The one who disdains science and boasts about never reading books. That’s who we want in charge of the country. What could go wrong, eh? The GOP will be paying for this for decades, and so will the country as a whole.

          • toby says:

            What do you think is a fair percentage for the government to take from a rich person’s salary?
            First we need to say that capital gains above 100k are taxed the same as regular income. Then we need more tax brackets, not less, as corporate conservatives want. Personally I think 75% tax rate starting at over 5 million isn’t too much to ask (that’s 75% of anything above 5 million). You can’t live any better and all you’re doing is hurting everyone else by hoarding money.
            .
            Who cares if someone with a lot of money leaves the country? Why do you assume they have a company? Some people have so much money from inheritance that they don’t have to do anything but sit and watch their money grow. Do you not get that? It’s a myth that rich people are harder working or more deserving. They have either been lucky that they got the right education, born to the right rich people, came up with the right idea, and probably fewer than half are hard working (whatever that means). Apparently hard working doesn’t really matter because someone can work three jobs and still struggle to live.

          • toby says:

            Conservatives drag their poor voters around by the collar they wear. Their collar reads, “Religion, Guns, & Greed”. They vote against themselves because of abortion, non-existent boogiemen that want their guns, and the hopes of tax cuts.
            .
            That last tax cut was an insult. Paul Ryan saying that a family of four making $50k a year would get $1100. That’s the equivalent of a 50 cent raise. That’s nothing. But a millionaire would be getting the equivalent of that family’s whole year of income back. Because that’s fair right? They need it more than poor folks. I feel bad for all them struggling rich folks. Being debt free must be a terrible burden.

          • TVZ says:

            The military is about all the government should be doing in the view of a Conservative. If we can’t protect ourselves, it doesn’t matter what we do. I guess Nazi Germany would most likely still be running the world if not for strong military.
            .
            Hypothetical situation. (Canada)
            .
            I was talking debt, not deficit. Debt climbed from $11 Trillion to $19 trillion under Obama. (Trump’s debt)
            .
            Trump’s doing a good job, surprisingly. (he has bad character)
            .
            Can we stop, this is stupid.

          • toby says:

            I find it funny that conspiracy theorists are more often conservatives. They love the military, would give it all of the money in the treasury if they could, and they claim that they love the country. And yet one of their conspiracies is that the government wants their guns or to kill them or poison them. Who do they think has the power to take their guns or kill them? That huge army they pump all that money into. They just confound me.

          • TVZ says:

            Toby, I think what you are not realizing is that these people are not hoarding their money. They employ people. They invest in their companies. They pay taxes and they give to charities. Somebody like Bill Gates or the Walton family gives billions of dollars to charities every year. If you run people like that out of the country, you will lose good jobs and a big chunk of your tax revenue and philanthropic giving. It will go to New Zealand or somewhere. It is not smart to run off your best businesses over greed and envy and class warfare.

          • Andy Ryan says:

            “I was talking debt, not deficit.”
            I know what you were trying to do, yes. But a President deals with the deficit he inherits. Obama got a massive deficit from Bush (who by contrast inherited a surplus from Clinton), and he successfully reduced it every year. I guess you can moan he didn’t cut it even faster, but that would be a pretty dishonest complaint given that the guy who replaced him not only didn’t cut it but vastly increased its size.
            .
            “If we can’t protect ourselves, it doesn’t matter what we do”
            Looking after the health of the citizens isn’t protection? Interestingly enough, members of the military all enjoy socialised healthcare.
            .
            “Hypothetical situation. (Canada)”
            Nothing hypothetical about it. America’s rich enjoy practically the lowest taxation in the Western world. There’s not really anywhere else they can go if they want to hang onto even more of their millions, unless they want to go live in Dubai or something. This is a poor argument for holding a country to ransom. Average wages for workers have barely risen in 40 years, but they’ve multiplied by a factor of about 12 for CEOs. I guess this is part of the dissatisfaction that led to Trump’s election, but he’s obviously on the side of his fellow CEOs, not the workers.
            .
            “Trump’s doing a good job”
            The aforementioned $1.5 trn added to the debt, bringing the reputation of the Presidency into even worse repute that Bill Clinton managed, undermining the FBI and justice system, making it harder for the US to do deals in future (why make a deal when the next guy can just cancel it like Trump did with Iran) etc. And that’s even before we get to the collusion issue, for which Trump is doing his best impression of a man with something huge to hide. If this is what a good job looks like, what’s bad? Oh yes, I forgot, bad is Obama with his fancy mustard, tan suit and deficit reduction.

          • TVZ says:

            I’m not sure you know the difference between a deficit and the debt. A deficit is an annual amount of money lost by the government (a surplus is an annual amount gained by the government, which is added to or reduced from the incremental debt from all presidents. And actually, the president has little control over deficits/surpluses because they don’t make spending laws (Congress does). Clinton had surpluses in 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2001, but Congress was run by the Republicans back then. Bush presided over 7 annual deficits and Obama presided over 7 annual deficits. Under Bush, the national debt increased by 57% (or 3.3 trillion) due to his 7 deficits. Under Obama, the national debt increased by 57% (or 6.8 trillion). Bush and Obama were given some extreme problems though (9/11 for Bush and the housing crisis for Obama). Not sure where you are getting surpluses for Obama. This is way off track now though. Frank’s going to be upset with us again.

          • Andy Ryan says:

            “Not sure where you are getting surpluses for Obama.”
            I never said there was a surplus for Obama. I pointed out that Clinton left Bush with a surplus.
            .
            “Bush presided over 7 annual deficits and Obama presided over 7 annual deficits.”
            Difference is that Obama reduced the deficit. And yes I know the difference between all those terms. I wasn’t sure that you did, or at least that you understood why decreasing the deficit is to be applauded.
            .
            “And actually, the president has little control over deficits/surpluses because they don’t make spending laws ”
            So you don’t think Trump played any part in ramming through the massive tax cut that is adding $1.5trn to the deficit? Either way, your alternative is to blame Paul Ryan and his GOP cronies. That’s Paul Ryan who spent the whole of Obama’s presidency claiming it would be easy to cut the deficit. That guy.

          • toby says:

            These people are not all involved in business! They’re just rich!
            .
            They pay taxes and they give to charities.
            They pay lawyers and accountants to hide their money so they can pay as little as possible and mop up the rest with charitable donations. Most people in this country don’t even make enough to itemize their deductions.
            .
            If you run people like that out of the country, you will lose good jobs and a big chunk of your tax revenue and philanthropic giving. It will go to New Zealand or somewhere. It is not smart to run off your best businesses over greed and envy and class warfare.
            If they leave the country, it’s their loss, right? Best country in the world? People crossing the border to get here, but if rich people want to flee because of greed, then let them go. And really, they don’t even have to leave. THey just bounce the money around the world, do a little of the double Irish, and bam. Little or no taxes.
            .
            Class warfare can only be fought by those with enough money to do so. It’s why wages barely creep up and all of the money of businesses is funneled to the top. Papa John threatened that he’d have to let employee’s go if he had to give them all healthcare. It turned out he could have done that by raising the price of a pizza 25 cents and maybe doing one or two less buy one get one free deals a year. A 75% tax on him would do him good. And a big estate tax. At least us serfs and plebs could get some healthcare and education out of him.

          • TVZ says:

            No. This is the best country in the world because of freedom and capitalism and morality. You nuts are trying to turn it into the Soviet Union, which was a nightmare (lol, but seriously… !). We are not great just because of our name…. we actually had the best principles to make us great… and a lot of it was because we were free to invent and serve and pursue happiness, which involves freedom to choose your occupation and freedom to keep your earnings, and freedom from big brother taking your stuff from you.

          • toby says:

            I find people that immediately equate socialism to communism have given little thought to anything outside their bubble. I don’t know of anyone saying that the government should control the means of production. We are a social democracy (or republic is probably more precise). We already have socialism, just not enough, or not set up correctly. We’re getting strangled by businesses that don’t want to pay higher wages because their stock price might drop a penny. Government is a means to reign that in and make sure that the majority of money doesn’t get sequestered by the greedy few.
            .
            Jumping to obsurdities like saying we want communism may make you feel better, like you’ve scored some kind of points, but it’s ridiculous and off putting and a bit of a school playground tactic.

          • TVZ says:

            I really believe that’s what you want. That’s where leftism ultimately takes you. You don’t want to control production now, but you do want the profits of it. Well, who’s going to want to work hard so that the government gets rich? It’s going to take you down the road to where the citizens are poor and the government is rich, just like all dictatorships and government tyrants. Government is not to be trusted, they can enslave you. We should not give them the power they seek. Let them take over healthcare, but don’t complain when they tell you what you can and can’t eat. Let them take over salaries, but don’t complain when they tell you what you can make. This is nuts to give your freedom to these swindlers.

          • toby says:

            Do you think unfettered capitalism would be without major faults? Look around man! If we went complete laissez faire capitalism you’d see few becoming rich off of the work of millions. Corporations would form huge monopolies and control everything. Our government needs a balance because right now it’s too far toward letting money run uphill at the expense of everyone else.

          • TGM says:

            Don’t kid yourself TVZ. America is great today because it had a tremendous head start…
            1) Unparalleled protection from its stronger rivals by a large ocean.
            2) Absurd amount of free labor in the form of African slaves.
            3) Absurd amount of cheap labor in the form of desperate Irish, German, and Chinese expats.
            4) An historically unprecedented land grab that ran roughshod over native peoples, extending from Plymouth Rock all the way to the acquisition of Alaska.
            .
            The world is starting to catch up as America has run out of free stuff to exploit. Watch out as China and the EU take lead on energy and tech because our xenophobic country hates science and won’t build new infrastructure. Better work on your Mandarin.

          • Andy Ryan says:

            Don’t forget the 2nd World War, TGM. Europe destroyed itself – tens of millions of young men died, half its buildings got shelled to pieces, and literally for decades later it was paying back America. Guess when Britain made its last payment to USA for war loans…
            You guessed yet?
            .
            Wait for it…
            .
            It was December 31, 2006, with a final payment of $83m. More than 60 years after the war finished.
            .
            So while America’s biggest competitors took literally decades to get over the war, America actually profited. It suffered only one attack on its soil, and suffered comparatively few casualties. You also missed out vast oil reserves America was lucky enough to have.

          • TGM says:

            Absolutely right, Andy. WW2 (aside from half a million deaths) was quite the boon for America. I don’t have any numbers, but I would imagine the U.S. also received a large dividend from high value refugees such as Werner von Braun (and Operation Paperclip) that furthered its advantage.

    • Susan says:

      I think you are right TVZ everyone has the evil eye. The eye like the ear is one of the gateways to the soul.

      If we don’t protect our gates then evil can come in to dwell with us.

      I suspect idol creation is even greater today than in earlier generations and I think they are introduced to us through a lot of ways. I got a big idol once just by reading and watching a certain genre of literature and movies and music over a long period of time.

      Really there is no greater position to fill in this world than being a true Christian disciple in God’s eyes so we need to get our training directly from Him.

      Luke 9 gives the qualifications for discipleship but most of the world is fixated on earthly success, pleasures and you are right an escape from boredom.

      We have to learn to cut the idols down like Hezekiah did the high places.

      We also have to learn to root out the weeds like bitterness in our heart that seek to reprogram us from God’s way into the world’s way.

      God is concerned about taking His people out of this world first.

      Acts 15, NASB
      13After they had stopped speaking, James answered, saying, “Brethren, listen to me. 14“Simeon has related how God first concerned Himself about taking from among the Gentiles a people for His name. 15“With this the words of the Prophets agree, just as it is written,

      16‘AFTER THESE THINGS I will return,
      AND I WILL REBUILD THE TABERNACLE OF DAVID WHICH HAS FALLEN,
      AND I WILL REBUILD ITS RUINS,
      AND I WILL RESTORE IT,

      17SO THAT THE REST OF MANKIND MAY SEEK THE LORD,
      AND ALL THE GENTILES WHO ARE CALLED BY MY NAME,’

      18SAYS THE LORD, WHO MAKES THESE THINGS KNOWN FROM LONG AGO.

      Idols and sin undermine obedience and obedience is better than sacrifice.

      If you are too busy to cooperate and let God move in your soul how could you know anything about God?

      But people don’t talk much about the evil eye and the gates much these days. The evil eye is well known in Middle Eastern countries and Greece. People try to guard against it. But most westernized Christians don’t. It is not our theological syllabuses.

      You become aware of the gates and the evil eye’s influence on the human being after deep bible reading and doing bible topical research.

      Most people today except the most Holy or the highly sensitive don’t even know not to look on violence or immorality any more. It could corrupt our inner moral being.

      It does.

      I read a book once about a man into hardcore porn who kidnapped and tortured a young woman for seven years under the influence of hardcore porn.

      The true story is about Colleen Stan who was kept imprisoned in a coffin like box for many hours of a day for seven years.

      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kidnapping_of_Colleen_Stan

      Human beings really don’t understand how sensitive they could be to immorality. Lots of people bond with it and serve evil tendencies probably because they never let the Lord build any spiritual defenses in them.

      I left the US where everyone used profanity like it is ok to do that. Visited Japan for a longtime where no one uses profanity and stopped swearing while there. Only to come back to the US where everyone uses profanity.

      Corruption is communicable through the senses. We learn bad ideas and things from others who weren’t trained properly or resisted good training as rebellious children. We let these people hang around us communicating evil until we learn their ways.

      You have to have a fully developed Christian understanding to stop people from communicating evil to you. Of course, some desist when they know you are a Christian or you act like a prophet and point out what they are doing is evil. Some might realize and agree. Others will give you an argument.

      I told a Christian once to stop watching Wendy Williams. She makes millions gossiping. But the Christian just refused to see what I told her. Gossip is related to false witnessing and God hates it. So I guess some people will just learn the hard way and answer to God on judgment day for their sins and faults and that includes Christians.

      Want to keep your garment clean?

      Do deep Biblical topic studies until you understand.

      Reply
  3. bob says:

    TVZ – “Perhaps. I’m just stating what keeps my kids from worshiping God…
    And what keeps you from worshiping God?
    .
    Thessalonians 5:16-18 Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
    Is this what you do, or do you enjoy some normal human distractions EVERY SINGLE DAY? My guess – you are a hypocrite, just like most every other Christian – Matthew 7:3-5 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?
    .
    Philippians 4:4 “Rejoice in the Lord always.” – From what I have seen on this forum, there is ZERO “rejoicing” from its Christian respondents, let alone “always”.

    Reply
    • TVZ says:

      Actually, this is what lead to my repentance. My idols were sports, music, alcohol, tobacco, and politics (the things that distracted me from worshiping God the way I was supposed to). You left out this part: “You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” Once God removed that plank, I was then able to help my brother with their plank. We don’t constantly remain in a state of hypocrisy Bob.

      Reply
      • bob says:

        TVZ – You left out this part:
        No, it’s there, just in a different translation than the one you quoted.
        .
        We don’t constantly remain in a state of hypocrisy…
        Of course not. Christians are generally hypocrites when they are pointing out the sins of others. When they are pointing out the distractions of their sons.
        .
        So, again, what keeps you from worshiping God? What distracts you from worshiping God NOW? Could it be you have substituted “sports, music, alcohol, tobacco, and politics” with arguing against non believers? Are we atheists your new “idols”? I mean, just think of all the time you could be spending “worshiping God”, but instead, you spend your time casting pearls before swine.

        Reply
        • TVZ says:

          No, you left out the important part. A hypocrite is an adulterer calling another adulterer a sinner, not a former adulterer who has seen the harm it causes and repented of it telling someone living in adultery the harm it caused them. I would be on a sports message board talking about football most likely. This is God’s work, but it is beginning to seem futile. You have to admit that an atheist preaching Christ to a Christian is a little hypocritical though?

          Reply
  4. bob says:

    TVZ – A hypocrite is an adulterer calling another adulterer a sinner…
    Or, even more to the point, a Christian hypocrite is one who has ANY “sin” in their life, pointing out ANY “sin” in another persons life. It really doesn’t matter whether the Christian has the same “sin” in their life.
    .
    You have to admit that an atheist preaching Christ to a Christian is a little hypocritical though?
    That’s a good one – but I’m not “preaching Christ”. I am simply using the favorite book of the believer to EXPOSE the believer for what he / she really is – a hypocrite.
    .
    This is God’s work…
    OK – keep telling yourself that.
    .
    …but it is beginning to seem futile.
    But wait…I thought you said it was “Gods work”. How can doing “Gods work” be “futile”. You don’t have to answer.

    Reply
    • TVZ says:

      a Christian hypocrite is one who has ANY “sin” in their life, pointing out ANY “sin” in another persons life. It really doesn’t matter whether the Christian has the same “sin” in their life.
      .
      That’s not true. Christians sin just like you because we are human. I think the difference is that we realize it and feel we need to be forgiven from it and things need to be made right. It’s like a doctor who has the flu but is treating it with Tamiflu telling another person with the flu that Tamiflu works (wow… lol). It’s not hypocritical to want to help. If the person refuses Tamiflu because he thinks the doctor is a hypocrite and can’t relate to having the flue, well, at least the doctor tried, right? It wasn’t his fault the guy had to be admitted to the hospital the next week.

      Reply
  5. Andy Ryan says:

    To get back on topic regarding Trump, regardless of whether you want to argue, say his praising of white supremacists, refusal to talk to the press etc makes him a good president, my point was that evangelicals have shot themselves in the foot with their defence of Trump in the face of his affairs, boorishness, bad language, claims that he never asks for God’s forgiveness etc. It shows that all their pearl clutching about Bill Clinton’s affair was simply a partisan political position rather a moral or religious one. This is the same group telling young people they should be abstaining from sex, while their big guy is making sleazy remarks to boy scouts about yacht orgies. You can find that speech on youtube – just google ‘Trump brags to boy scouts about sexy yachts & cocktail parties’. Funny how you never got any speeches like that from ‘inexperienced’ Obama, who was ‘raised abroad’.
    .
    And yes, that’s another reason young people are put off the church.

    Reply
    • TVZ says:

      I think you should separate in your mind Republicans from Christians. I don’t see the church advocating for Trump’s lifestyle, certainly not my church…. we don’t even talk about politics at all. Can you show me any examples of a church leader standing up for Trump’s morality? Republicans do pander to Christians for votes, but they rarely get anything done that is on the Christian agenda. However, as a Republican (not as a Christian), I can say I like some of Trump’s policies that he has gotten through (because I’m a conservative…. and that doesn’t mean I condone his morality). Politics and government is not our religion like it is the Democrats. Our kingdom is not of this world, we are just passing through this wretched world and trying to find some happiness before we live in eternity in ultimate happiness. Does that help at all? (separating the 2)

      Reply
      • Andy Ryan says:

        “Politics and government is not our religion like it is the Democrats”
        I guess the republicans’ religion is money rather than politics, which is just a means to getting more dollars. Everything seems to come down to that. Good job Jesus never said anything about rich people getting into heaven, eh?
        .
        “I don’t see the church advocating for Trump’s lifestyle”
        No, funnily enough they’re completely SILENT on his lifestyle, despite them being so loud about Bill Clinton’s affair. Weird that.
        .
        “This is the best country in the world because of freedom…”
        Yet compared to Western Europe, Australia, Japan etc, America has a far higher murder rate, its people die younger, have worse health, have worse child mortality, lower literacy etc. By what metric are you reckoning it’s the best country in the world? Can I ask which other countries have you lived in or at least visited?

        Reply
        • TVZ says:

          “I guess the republicans’ religion is money rather than politics, which is just a means to getting more dollars. Everything seems to come down to that. Good job Jesus never said anything about rich people getting into heaven, eh?”
          .
          See? You’re doing it again. I don’t know what Republicans’ religion is. I do know the Christian religion, and yes, Jesus did say you can’t serve money and God (he was speaking to the idolatry that I’m speaking to…. you can’t have something more valuable in your life than God). There are a lot of Democrat Christians. Christianity is not a political party. Most Christians do tend to vote Republican, but there are Republican atheists as well.

          Reply
          • Andy Ryan says:

            ” I don’t know what Republicans’ religion is”
            .
            Good job I just told you then, eh? Joking aside, you were pretty sure you knew what the democrats’ religion was. This is just a way of demonising people you disagree with politically.
            “Oh, they want higher taxes to cut the deficit – they must be Godless heathens”.

          • TVZ says:

            I based it on a conversation I had with my Aunt who is a Democrat and a Christian. I asked her why and she explained that she thinks the government is there to do God’s work… to take care of the poor and to be a charity. Then I see the passion of Democrats (on TV) to care for the needy, but ridicule God and his people, and there’s a disconnect to me. I assumed they are all like my Aunt and see government as a religious institution by which the poor are cared for and injustices can be resolved, etc. Sorry if it offended you, just how I see it.

    • staircaseghost says:

      Alternative hypothesis: the youth aren’t turned off by Christians being hypocritical in supporting a violent orange sex criminal who favors one race above others.

      They’re turned off because they read the book where raping a woman is treated as a property crime one man commits against another man, and where one race is favored above all others, and realizing Christians aren’t being hypocritical at all.

      OP was right: the answers were in Deuteronomy after all…

      Reply
      • toby says:

        You mean when a crowd of horny deviants want to rape a couple of angels that are visiting your house you shouldn’t offer them your daughters instead?

        Reply
      • Susan says:

        1 Cor. 2:14-16

        The unspiritual man does not receive the gifts of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual man judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. “For who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.

        How are you spiritually literate if you preferred your own understanding to God’s?

        Proverbs 3:5-6 King James Version (KJV)

        5 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

        6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

        Reply
  6. Andy Ryan says:

    “Well, who’s going to want to work hard so that the government gets rich?”
    .
    That’s what’s happening in America right now. The Govt is cashing in by selling access – haven’t you been following the news? Corporations and other governments hand over cash to the president’s lawyer to get special treatment. That’s what you say you don’t want, but I don’t hear you complain.

    Reply
    • TVZ says:

      I don’t follow this stuff anymore Andy. It makes me angry and I don’t want to give any room in my heart to that stuff. I’ll just ask someone I trust who they are voting for in the future. It’s very hard to avoid, but I’m doing my best.

      Reply
      • TGM says:

        Did you just admit to outsourcing your responsibility by asking someone else to pick your vote? It shouldn’t surprise me, having discovered how Christians also like to outsource their divine communion through prayer requests. And yes, it is impossible to resist the snark after hearing you abdicate ownership of such an important method of civil engagement.

        Reply
      • Brent Hurst says:

        TVZ,
        .
        Wow, reading through this thread I can really tell how young these guys are and how they have been so indoctrinated by the left. Slamming Trump for sexual misconduct, I don’t think they have any idea how the Clinton dynasty functioned, and I’m not talking about Monica either.
        .
        Sometimes I wonder when we lost the acknowledgement that Politicians lie, right or left doesn’t matter, they seek power. all this Left talk about caring for the underprivileged, they simply pander to the discontent or whatever voter bloc will keep them in power. Most of the Right is the same way which is why we have a Swamp.
        .
        Politicians lie, that’s a given, people love Power, the media is supposed to give us unbiased information so that we can police the people in power, once the media turned biased, democracy will suffer.
        .
        Here’s one of the saddest unseen realities, the Left escalated the depression. The time line follows,
        .
        Initially there was a crash in the housing market, this was due to laws passed by the left forcing down the requirements for mortgage lending, so we had people buying houses they could not afford, they defaulted, then the markets was flooded with foreclosed houses forcing new construction into bankruptcy.
        .
        At this time Obama started running for President and the democrats and the left media hammered out the fear campaign that everything was falling apart, the market took a hit with the housing sure, but the fear campaign worked so well to scare the heck out of everybody that people were afraid to spend money on Christmas 07,
        .
        This panic that impacted the retail market of Christmas 07, through retailers into bankruptcy, and THEN the 08 depression took hold as businesses closed and layoffs began.
        .
        Because of the success of the fear campaign that put Obama into office that Christmas was worse than the years before or even the years after when the depression was in full swing. This country forgets sometimes that the economy runs off of emotions, people feel safe, they spend, if they feel scared, they don’t and the economy stagnates. The Media used to make cartoons making fun of the politicians standing on the street with placards to create fear, Now the Media itself is lifting the placards as they have found power in the ability to influence.
        .
        Of course I know you don’t want to debate politics, I’m just sharing some observations and wondering what’s next. Wondering if technology is just making us more stupid.

        Reply
        • Susan says:

          Yes, I don’t trust any of the politicians regardless of the label. I believe they all have to make evil compromises to get to the top of the power ladder. Their campaign funding depends on them making concessions before they get in office.

          People always knew all politicians were dirty when I was a kid.

          I wonder what is behind this left leaning younger generation’s naievete.

          Obama ran on a change campaign then what was the first major thing he did once in office?

          He adopted the Bush Bank Bailout plan at the taxpayer’s expense.

          Most people are oblivious to the fact these are international banks not a national interest being represented by the Federal Reserve.

          Alan Greenspan has been quoted saying publicly that the Fed does not answer to Congress though by the Constitution Congress is suppose to control the printing of money, etc.

          The media has been rigged against telling everything to the public for a while now.

          You find out things by going to independent media sources.

          Technology is dumbing down people.

          How many articles a week does Yahoo news have to run about Megan Markle’s new hat or dress while it ignores the fact that Nigerian Christian villages are being slaughtered by Muslims which then allows other African Muslim tribes to graze on their lands.

          What is more important? Slaughtered people or Markle’s fashion show?

          Reply
        • bob says:

          BRENT HURST – …so indoctrinated by the left. Slamming Trump for sexual misconduct…
          Clinton was a pig but trump is a hog.
          .
          indoctrinate – teach (a person or group) to accept a set of beliefs uncritically.
          Hmmmm – sound familiar?
          .
          Initially there was a crash in the housing market, this was due to laws passed by the left forcing down the requirements for mortgage lending…
          So you are FOR stronger regulation / requirments…?

          Reply
          • Andy Ryan says:

            Good God, is Brent moving on to politics now? The bad takes keep coming. And Bob, he thinks you’re young! He’s playing the ‘You think Trump is bad, how’s about that Clinton’, I guess hoping we’re not old enough to remember the pearl clutching from the right about Bill – the same group now silent about Trump and his multiple NDAs.

          • Brent Hurst says:

            Bob,
            .
            “””””””””So you are FOR stronger regulation / requirments…?””””””””
            .
            I tend to think of you and your buddies as kind of young, perhaps you have not matured enough to actually buy a house, have kids, etc… So let me try to explain.
            .
            Lending institutions usually have formulas, they input data like how much a person earns, what their debt is, what their bills are, in this way they determined if a person or persons can actually maintain the property and still pay their mortgages.
            .
            Now when liberal politicians, in an effort to LOOK compassionate, passed laws FORCING mortgage companies to lower the qualifications, people were able to buy house that in the long run they could not afford.
            .
            When payments fall so far behind, the bank has no choice but to repossess the property, although often these home owners simply abandon the property and move back to rentals.
            .
            So what are the results, Mortgage companies go bust, banks end up with properties that can get rid of, new builders get caught with house they cannot sell, then they can’t repay the banks their building loans, those who bought the houses have destroyed their credit and have to spend years rebuilding it.
            .
            It basically screws everybody, even the people these laws were supposedly supposed to help. All so some politicians can be seen rooting for the underdog, when in truth they could care less. You don’t think the politicians had to buy into Obama care do you, course not, they voted to establish their own insurance, probably subsidized by us also.
            .
            Most Liberals today simply pander to the discontent, and there are always discontents, children crying “It’s not fair”, and somethings aren’t fair, but there is a difference between not getting what you have WORKED for, and not getting what you want.
            .
            And here’s one of life’s great ironies, all those Christians you complain of as blindly following an agenda just so they can see themselves as superior or good people, those who follow the Liberal agenda and it’s politicians do so to feel good about themselves. Both human beings, subject to the same desires, just different stories.
            .
            It sounds good to want poorer people to be able to buy a house, heck, communism sounds good on paper, but it just does not work because all people, despite having equal basic rights, are not truly all that equal themselves.
            .
            Oh and Andy, as I know you are listening, of course I think he is young as I do you, people tend to mature in three basic areas, Intellectually, Socially, and Emotionally, despite what their physical age might be. On line, physical age has no bearing, but Emotional and Social maturity show up quite readily.
            .
            Do people add or contribute, do they bait or create division, nothing is more Emotionally revealing that being on a forum like this where people can hide, even flipping the finger on the highway is much less anonymous as someone might follow you or even shoot at you. When I am dealing with Trolls, I am dealing with very Emotionally immature people, like teenage boys sitting around watching J#ck#ss, the Movie, I do not find their motivations very appealing. But it’s a free country, or it used to be….

          • bob says:

            BH – tend to think of you and your buddies as kind of young, perhaps you have not matured enough to actually buy a house, have kids, etc… So let me try to explain.
            Bravo! It only took you 11 paragraphs to avoid answering a simple yes or no question.
            note – I didn’t actually read the paragraphs, I only counted them on my toes, being kind of young and all…

  7. Andy Ryan says:

    Very amusing to see someone suggest you need to be a mature homeowner before you can repeat debunked GOP talking points about the financial crisis. I’ve had a mortgage for 20 years, but that’s irrelevant.
    .
    “A lot of the narrative of the financial crisis has been that this [loan] origination process was broken, and therefore a lot of marginal and unsustainable borrowers got access to funding. In our opinion, the facts don’t line up with this narrative. … Calling this crisis a subprime crisis is a misnomer. In fact, it was a prime crisis.”
    .
    There are other reasons to doubt that subprime borrowers were responsible for the financial crisis. For one, a large number of subprime mortgages originated in non-CRA banks, and “none of the 300+ mortgage originators that imploded were depository banks covered by the CRA.”
    .
    As noted in a study by McClatchy from 2008, “Federal Reserve Board data show that more than 84 percent of the subprime mortgages in 2006 were issued by private lending institutions;” “private firms made nearly 83 percent of the subprime loans to low- and moderate-income borrowers that year;” and “only one of the top 25 subprime lenders in 2006 was directly subject to the housing law that’s being lambasted by conservative critics.”
    .
    A second question to ask is why, if the CRA and subprime borrowing were the problem, did a very similar housing bubble and financial crisis occur in scores of other countries that didn’t have legislation like this?
    .
    A third argument, the one Kudlow and Moore cite, is that declining lending standards by Fannie and Freddie brought about by the requirements of the CRA helped fuel subprime loans. But once again, this argument doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.
    .
    As Barry Ritholtz pointed out in 2011, “The relative market share of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac dropped from a high of 57 percent of all new mortgage originations in 2003, down to 37 percent as the bubble was developing in 2005-06.”
    .
    The reason Fannie and Freddie were losing market share is that loan standards on mortgages issued by private lenders were falling. Fannie and Freddie eventually adjusted some of their conditions for obtaining a loan in an attempt to prevent a further loss in market share, but it’s very clear that they were followers, not leaders, in the erosion of lending standards.
    .
    Finally, if subprime loans were the problem, noted Ritholtz, “the housing boom would have been in CRA regions…. Further, the default rates in these areas should have been worse than other regions. What occurred was the exact opposite: The suburbs boomed and busted and went into foreclosure in much greater numbers than inner cities.”

    Reply
    • bob says:

      Andy, you are only as old as you feel – I have just a few more years left on my 30 year mortgage, have two grand daughters, three grown sons – sometimes I feel like I am 95.
      .
      As for Brent – like him, people who display poor character are generally poor judges of character. And Like Bill and Susan, its gotten to the point that I don’t bother reading 85% of what he posts. If a cogent point is not made in the 1st paragraph or two, chances are there will not be one in the other 15-20 paragraphs.
      .
      As Bill Flavell said – “I respect people, not ideas, so if I ridicule your ideas, your ideas should be offended, not you.”

      Reply
      • Andy Ryan says:

        I don’t care how old someone is – they’ve either got good arguments or they don’t. One of the smartest people I know is my brother in law, who’s only 30.
        .
        Brent may be older than me, or even more mature, but his arguments are simply wrong, and he can’t back down when it’s clearly shown to him. On the other thread he made the old howler about evolution being ‘just a theory’. Normally I tell people the scientific meaning of the word and they thank me. Brent stuck his feet in. He said my argument was with the dictionary so I pointed out that Merriam Webster had a whole section on the importance of understanding the difference between theory and hypothesis in scientific discussions, specifically citing creationists getting it wrong with regards to evolution.
        .
        It still didn’t sink in with poor Brent. I gave him the credit that he was just ignorant and obstinate, but I’m starting to think he may (also) be trolling.

        Reply
        • bob says:

          My Dad is almost 80, one of the smartest people I have ever known, and yet he voted for Trump (which he now regrets). Proof – even very mature, very intelligent people can make some very bad, very wrong decisions.
          .
          Yes, Brent is trolling. I tend to mirror the attitude of the person (Christian) I am in dialogue with. If they are respectful in their responses, I am likewise, but if they become an A$$, like Brent, I generally give it right back to them. I don’t really enjoy that distraction though. I much prefer more nuanced and cordial dialogue.
          .
          r.u.reasonable@gmail.com

          Reply
  8. Andy Ryan says:

    “…revisionist claims that the federal government’s affordable housing and community lending policies caused the crisis have been thoroughly debunked in every serious analysis of the crisis. Nine of the 10 FCIC members, including five Democrats, three Republicans, and one independent, explicitly rejected these claims. The same conclusion has been reached by a broad consensus of non-partisan experts, including the Government Accountability Office, the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), economists at various Federal Reserve Banks, and virtually all academics who have studied the mortgage crisis.”
    .
    Is the problem here that all the above are less mature than Brent?

    Reply
  9. Andy Ryan says:

    There are many reasons why attempts to blame government affordable housing and community lending policies for the financial crisis have been found baseless.
    .
    First, the vast majority of the subprime mortgages originated from 2002-2007 were made by non-bank lenders and then purchased, transformed into complex securities, and sold to investors by Wall Street. These loans fell outside the scope of federal community lending and affordable housing policies, which apply to Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and traditional banks with federally insured deposits. Additionally, many of the riskiest loans (such as for the newly built McMansions in Miami featured in The Big Short) were made to higher-income borrowers or to help people purchase more expensive homes, and thus would not have met affordable housing requirements.
    .
    Second, Wall Street was where the action was during the housing bubble. From 2003 to 2006, Wall Street’s share of the total mortgage market soared, from a market share of roughly 10% in early 2003 to nearly 40% of the market (and 55% of all mortgage-backed securities) by 2005 and 2006.
    .
    This surge in the Wall Street’s mortgage securitization machine came almost entirely at the expense of Fannie, Freddie, and the traditional banks–which saw a corresponding drop in market share over the same period.

    Reply
  10. Andy Ryan says:

    Third, the actual data on mortgage delinquencies and mortgage-related losses clearly tells the story of what drove the financial meltdown. The FCIC analyzed the performance of approximately 25 million mortgages outstanding at the end of each year from 2006 to 2009. It found that delinquency rates for loans purchased or guaranteed by Fannie and Freddie, which were subject to the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s affordable housing goals, were substantially lower than for mortgages securitized by other financial firms not subject to those goals.
    .
    This was the case even for loans to borrowers with similar credit scores. As an example, the FCIC data for a subset of borrowers with scores below 660 showed that, by the end of 2008, 6.2% of Fannie and Freddie mortgages were seriously delinquent, compared to 28.3% for mortgages securitized by other financial firms.
    .
    In addition, numerous studies have shown that the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), the federal anti-redlining law, had a negligible effect on mortgage originations during the crisis. That’s because the law applies to traditional banking institutions and to loans made within the areas they serve. Indeed, the FCIC found that mortgages made by CRA-regulated lenders in the neighborhoods in which they were required to lend were actually half as likely to default as mortgages in the same neighborhoods made by non-bank lenders.
    .
    Because mortgages originated for Wall Street had such high delinquency rates, this also meant that Wall Street bore the greatest losses. As economist Mark Zandi noted in 2013, Wall Street mortgage-backed securities suffered a realized loss rate of 20.3% from 2006 to 2012, compared to 5.8% for traditional banks and 3.7% for Fannie/Freddie mortgage securities. In short, it’s hard to argue that affordable housing and community lending policies led to the financial crisis when the entities responsible for financing and originating the riskiest loans were not subject to these policies.
    .
    Fourth, pegging government housing policies as the cause of the crisis ignores what happened in the U.S. commercial real estate market and in housing markets in other countries such as Spain, Ireland, and the United Kingdom. Commercial real estate in the U.S. and some foreign housing markets experienced a bubble at least as big as that of the U.S. housing market. If government housing policies caused the U.S. housing bubble, what explains the bubble in commercial real estate and other housing markets?

    Reply
  11. Andy Ryan says:

    Fifth, the most problematic loans that were originated during the subprime mortgage boom were those that combined a number of troublesome features. These features included “rock bottom” credit scores, no income verification, and adjustable interest rates that reset after a couple of years.
    .
    These loans were almost entirely attributable to Wall Street. For example, Wall Street financed about ten times as much in mortgages with low down payments and low credit scores as did Fannie and Freddie. In addition, according to FHFA, only 11.7% of the loans securitized by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from 2001 to 2008 were adjustable-rate mortgages, compared to 70.1% of the mortgages securitized by Wall Street. These adjustable-rate loans had a much higher default rate than more stable fixed rate mortgages.
    .
    Finally, there is this simple fact: While Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac required a bailout due to a nationwide drop in home prices of more than 30% and their severe undercapitalization, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgage securities did not cause the losses that rippled through the financial system in 2007 and 2008 and brought down firms such as Bears Stearns, Merrill Lynch, AIG, and Lehman Brothers. Fannie and Freddie mortgage securities essentially maintained their value throughout the crisis because of the implicit government backstop they enjoy, while the mortgage securities created on Wall Street crashed and caused significant losses at major financial institutions.
    .
    But hey, ignore that and blame democrats and black people not paying their mortgages.

    Reply
  12. Brent Hurst says:

    Bob, Andy,
    .
    Wow, did I hit a nerve, if I am the Troll then you guys really took the bait, that still tends to put me in the lead and you guys biting at worms.
    .
    But it’s been fun, oh and Andy, all that rooting around the financial markets like a hog sniffing for truffles, you missed my whole point, Fannie and Freddie created an event which the Democratic Left (Obama Campaign) and the left Media blew into a fear campaign. The Christmas of 07 having been the worse and then continuing to steam roll into small business’ and company closings, layoffs etc… until the full blown depression of 08.
    .
    I never implies sub-primes were the cause, it is a confluence of factors, democrats building their fear campaign on the failing of the sub-primes, which has a bit of an inside Joke I hear since the board of Fannie and Freddie is a retirement post for out of date politician, right as well as left.
    .
    But as I have already determined, you are not very good at context. But most people do tend to get lost in the forest.

    Reply
    • Andy Ryan says:

      Hitting a nerve? I mentioned your bad grammar twice and you’ve barely shut up about it since! But yes, you lost the ‘argument with the dictionary’, I caught you out lying about what Bob said, and above I debunked your lame ‘Dems caused the crash’ argument. Are you ever even right by accident?

      Reply

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