Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Winter's Light

Does the silence of God always mean the absence of God?

The credit agency Fitch speaks. But who listens?
"The prolonged negotiations over raising the debt ceiling (following the episode in August 2011) risks undermining confidence in the role of the U.S. dollar as the preeminent global reserve currency, by casting doubt over the full faith and credit of the U.S," the agency added. "This "faith" is a key reason why the U.S. 'AAA' rating can tolerate a substantially higher level of public debt than other 'AAA' sovereigns."  Emphasis added
The word highlighted in that quote is the same word used here:

"And the Lord said, "If you had trust no larger than a mustard seed, you could tell this mulberry tree, 'Uproot yourself and plant yourself in the sea,' and it would obey you."  Luke 17:6, SV
The Greek is πίστίν ("pistin", root πίστίς, "pistis").  It means, as it is rendered here, trust.  It has accreted many religious and theological meanings.  Bauer devotes 3 1/2 pages and 7 columns to it, trying to get at variant shades of meaning deemed acceptable over 2 millenia.  But the simple fact is the "faith" in "full faith and credit" is the same "faith" in the more familiar translations of that scripture:  "If you had faith (πίστίν) no larger than a mustard seed...."

It is the trust in the US government that allows the US to be the world's currency.  Ignorant yahoos (is there any other word for them?) who have no idea what finance is, other than a business loan from a bank, have no real idea what that "trust" means in real terms.  To make a theological assertion out of it (and I am loathe to do so, but my apprehension doesn't invalidate the point), the "trust" earned by the US government over the centuries is similar to the trust asked of believers by God.  It is true and it can be trusted.

Except that humans are involved wholly in the basis of this trust, and so it can be destroyed.  And the loss could be as great on a global scale, as a loss of faith could be for an individual.

Like, say, Bergman's priest.....

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