God, the Devil, and Legal Tender

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by Robert McCurry, ©2013, Editor and Publisher, reprinted with permission

Frederic Bastiat was a French philosopher, legislator and economist who was influenced by John Locke and Adam Smith

(Jan. 21, 2013) — “When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time, a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.”  Frederic Bastiat (1801-1850), Economic Sophisms.

To view the idea of legal tender theologically seems strange to the modern (and humanistic) mind, but it was once an important issue in the United States. The legal tender doctrine holds that the power to define legal money belongs to the state, and the state can therefore declare what constitutes legal money for the payment of all debts, public and private.

The Rev. John Witherspoon attacked the idea very early. It was unnecessary for any state to require people to accept good money. Gold and silver were always acceptable. A legal tender law simply requires people to accept bad money, and it does take civil coercion to make bad money acceptable.

The U.S. Constitution, Article I Section 10, states that no state can make “any thing but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts.” The Federalist, No. 44, gives us Madison’s opposition to paper money. Patrick Henry opposed paper money, and Daniel Webster argued that a legal tender law is unconstitutional.

It was the lexicographer and Calvinist Noah Webster who spoke most bluntly. In 1790, Webster called a tender law “the devil.” He warned, “My countrymen, the devil is among you.” Of legislators who favored legal tender laws, he said that honest men should exclaim, “You are rogues, and the devil is in you!” Legal tender laws, he pointed out, were the preliminary to adulterated money, and all those who favored them were counterfeiters, deserving of the gallows, or at least the whipping-post!

Legal tender laws allow good debts to be paid with bad money, so that a debt is paid with only a fraction of the value it was contracted for. The result is a form of legalized theft, Webster held. He declared in part,

Remember that past contracts are sacred things; that legislatures have no right to interfere with them; they have no right to say that a debt shall be paid at a discount, or in any manner which the parties never intended. It is the business of justice to fulfill the intentions of parties in contracts, not to defeat them. To pay bona fide contracts for cash, in paper of little value, or in old horses, would be a dishonest attempt in an individual; but for legislatures to frame laws to support and encourage such detestable villainy is like a judge who should inscribe the arms of a rogue over the seat of justice.

Why did Webster see legal tender laws as the devil manifested in law? We cannot understand the legal revolution wrought by humanism unless we understand that fact.

For Webster and others, gold and silver represented natural and hence a God-given order of things, whereas legal tender creates an arbitrary value which can only stand with coercion.  Values are God-created, not man or state-created. The temptation of Satan in the beginning was to doubt God’s order: “Yea, hath God said?” (Gen. 3:1). Rather, the tempter suggested a new order in which man creates his own laws, values, and morality: every man shall be his own god, determining or knowing good and evil for himself (Gen. 3:5). In such a society, the state as man incarnate can set aside God’s laws and make its own laws. It can issue a legal tender law and require obedience to it. (In God’s natural order, there is no need to require the use of gold and silver; they commend themselves and are in demand.)

The essence of the theocracy as Scripture’s law presents it is that the state is at best minimal.  A. J. Nock saw the Old Testament design as one for government, not a state. Repeatedly, God declares, “This do, and live” (Deut. 5:33, etc.). God’s law is the way of faith and life, whereas “he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate Me love death” (Prov. 8:36).

Legal tender laws are thus the tip of an iceberg. They represent a man-made world; one in which the state, by total coercion, seeks to overthrow God’s order and to replace it with a humanistic one.  In this new order of things, the state is the new god walking on earth, and demanding totalitarian powers and command. There is a symbolic significance that, not too many years after taking a deliberately statist course with respect to money and banking, the United States, on its dollar bills, featured a new symbol and the Latin words proclaiming the new order of the ages. That new order is statist tyranny.

Legal tender laws thus cannot be viewed in isolation. Churchmen show no interest in them, although they are a clear manifestation of humanism in economics. On the other hand, economists see legal tender laws in isolation from theology, although they are a clear expression of the new established religion, humanism. Both are manifesting tunnel vision and are failing to recognize the roots of the problem.

Noah Webster saw the issue; it is a moral and theological issue. Webster saw, and again and again called legal tender laws “the devil.” He saw what these laws represented, “a deliberate act of villainy,” a contempt for God’s justice, the legislation of theft into law, and the deliberate conversion of the state into an instrument for theft and evil.

He was right.

By Rousas John Rushdoony, Chalcedon Report, September 1981

Editor’s Comment: The so-called economic ‘fiscal cliff’ is a politically-designed ‘bogie man’ to distract the American people from the real problems stalking the survival of the nation. The denial and rejection of the Biblical sovereign Jehovah God and His perfect law has brought America to an ongoing catastrophic moral and economic collapse.

The thought control fiat money hucksters continue to bamboozle the ‘sheeple’ to believe that ‘money,’ ‘dollars,’ and ‘value’ are authentic since they are accepted as a measurable ‘legal’ exchange for goods and services in today’s market. This delusion and illusion is maintained and reinforced by 1) the repetitious media use of doublespeak words: ‘money,’ ‘dollars,’ ‘inflation,’ ‘deflation,’ ‘recession,’ and ‘depression’; 2) passive, silent, inert, uninformed pastors who fail to teach and disciple their congregations in God’s law that will prepare them to identify deception and live as real people in a real godless, lawless world. Alas! It is true today as in days of old: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6).

How do you destroy a country without firing a shot and without destroying its infrastructure? By controlling its money, manipulating inflation and using non-redeemable paper money instead of gold and silver. Here is what the Lord says about paper money: “A false balance is abomination to the LORD: but a just weight is his delight” (Proverbs 11:1); “Divers weights are an abomination unto the LORD; and a false balance is not good” (Proverbs 20:23). Paper money is a curse and an abomination to God.

John Adams: “I am firmly of the opinion that there never was a paper pound, a paper dollar, or a paper promise of any kind, that ever yet obtained a general currency [as money] but by force or fraud, generally by both.”

The ‘legal tender paper money’ debacle was the greatest political fraud and disaster ever perpetuated on America. The ‘why,’ ‘when,’ and ‘by whom’ America was lured into this ‘paper money’ debacle, while historically important, is useless to discuss here. The fact is that we are now all slaves on this economic plantation. And there is no simple, easy, painless, and instantaneous solution to set us free. However, a point of beginning is available: Confess that man’s ‘legal tender law’ is a sin because it violates God’s law; REPENT! and seek to return and restore America to God’s economic law and orderly way. ~Robert McCurry

“For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness” (1 Timothy  6:10).

Wake-up, Pastors! Wake-up, Christians!

The Wake-Up Herald is published by Robert McCurry. The publication is designed to exalt the true God of the Bible, the Lord Jesus Christ, and inform, inspire, and challenge its readers regarding biblical truth and real-life issues. The contents are the sole responsibility of Robert McCurry and do not represent or speak for or on behalf of any other person or group. There is no subscription charge. The publication is a ministry of faith and dependent on the contributions of its readers. Contributions are not tax-deductible. Send all correspondence to: Robert McCurry, 605 Moore Rd • Newnan, GA 30263 or herbap@aol Remove? Send reply with “Remove” in Subject line.

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