Charles Edward Coughlin was born on October 25, 1891, of American parents residing in Hamilton, Ontario. He was ordained a priest in Toronto in 1916, and incardinated into the Diocese of Detroit in 1923. In 1926, he founded the Shrine of the Little Flower (Saint Therese of the Child Jesus) in Royal Oak, Michigan, and became widely known in the U.S. with his nation-wide radio talks on social justice in which he defended the poor and boldly denounced the bankers’ debt-money system. In 1936, more than 150,000 people packed a Chicago park to hear a single address by Father Coughlin. Wherever he spoke in public, similar throngs heard him apply the principles of the papal encyclicals to the practical problems of the nation.
In 1932, Father Coughlin was a supporter of presidential candidate Franklin D. Roosevelt, who had promised to help the poor by correcting the banking system and stimulate the economy with a revitalization program called the New Deal. After a few years, Father Coughlin realized that not only was Roosevelt doing too little to help the poor, but he was, in reality, a loyal servant of the financiers he had denounced in his campaign. The New Deal banking legislation, far from correcting the defects of the debt-money system or curbing the power of the financiers, was rather entrenching this power further. Father Coughlin began to criticize Roosevelt, which earned him persecution, and the censure of his superiors. Father Coughlin nevertheless remained loyal to truth and justice until his death on October 27, 1979.
In 1936, Father Coughlin wrote an excellent and easy-to-understand book entitled, “Money! Questions and Answers”, which explained in a question and answer format, the flaws of the present debt-money system, and how an honest money system could be attained. The preface states:
“Because money is the most vital and fundamental problem to be solved before social justice can be reestablished, this is the first of a series of books which will deal with the entire program of social justice.”
Following are some excerpts from the book, which are more timely than ever as we experience the negative consequences of the debt-money system so acutely. The need for an honest money system has never been as urgent.
Money! Questions and Answers
While the National Union for Social Justice appreciates the splendid efforts which noble statesmen have made in the past to restore to Congress the power to coin money and regulate its value, there is also the realization that these efforts have been in vain because an uninformed and misinformed people have labored under the delusion that switching party politics instead of changing the money policies was the key to contentment and prosperity...
The Constitution and money
How is personal, physical life sustained under diversified activities?
By the exchanging of goods and services.
How is the exchange of goods and services accomplished?
Through the medium of money, which was originated by social necessity to make possible exchanges of varieties of articles and articles of unequal value.
Is the substance of which money is made important?
No. It is the legal status given it by government stamp that makes it acceptable by all as money, whether it be made of metal, or of paper.
Who should create money?
The Government, representing all of the people.
In our country, what governing body should represent all of the people?
The Congress of the United States.
Does the Constitution of the United States provide that Congress should originate our money?
Yes. It is very specific and well defined:
“Congress shall have the power to coin money and regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin”. Article I, Section 8, Part 5.
Under existing laws (February 1936), does our National Government originate our money?
No, only to a very limited extent.
Who does originate (create) our money?
Private corporations, commonly called banks, now originate practically all of our money.
Why have private individuals usurped and exercised the sovereign power of issuing our money?
Because when that power is held and exercised by private individuals, they can and do control the entire economic, social and governmental system and derive enormous, illicit profits therefrom.
Under our present private money-creating system, what do the bankers get for nothing?
They get interest on the money they create and lend, and title to people’s properties by confiscation of properties pledged, if the loans are not repaid at a specific time.
Can Congress delegate a power, reserved to it by the Constitution as a public function, to be operated for private profit without specifications?
No, not without violating the Constitution of the United States.
Has Congress delegated for private profit and without specification the power to originate our money?
Yes, by the National Bank Act of 1863 and the Federal Reserve Act of 1913, as well as intermediary and subsequent enactments.
But, are these not laws, passed by Congress?
No! They are violations of Constitutional law, passed by Congress just as were the AAA (Agricultural Adjustment Act) and NRA (National Recovery Act). (Editor’s note: these two laws, passed in 1933, were ruled unconstitutional a few years later by the U.S. Supreme Court.)
Why does this violation continue?
Because every time a Franklin, a Jefferson, a Jackson, or a Lincoln, or any other honest public servant attempted to arouse the people to the fraud from which they suffer, the private money creators — international bankers — arose in their might and used their controlled press, their bootlick politicians, their office boy bankers, their docile clergymen, and their power over the prosperity of America, to smash the drive for economic freedom. Thus far, they have succeeded.
How can Congress regain its privilege of issuing our money?
There is no need to regain what it has not the right to surrender. It still has that right, and can, and should immediately resume its exercise of this most important constitutional command.
The Federal Reserve System
Are the Federal Reserve Banks really Federal?
They are not. The Federal Reserve Banks are private stock corporations owned entirely by other private corporations known as member banks. They are no more Federal than the Federal Bakery or Federal Laundry.
What is a Federal Reserve Bank?
It is a Central Bank, the bankers’ bank.
What is the real purpose of the Federal Reserve (Central) Banks?
To permit a few private individuals to dictate to the local banks when they may increase the volume of money in existence, or when they must cut down the volume by increasing or decreasing their reserves.
Why are the Federal Reserve bankers all powerful?
Because they can force the local (member) banks to call their loans and cancel money out of existence, thereby bankrupting businessmen in every city and State. They have the power to decide which businessmen’s loans are acceptable by the Federal Reserve Bank, and can also dictate the rules and regulations to be enforced by the bank examiners. They can thus force local banks to lend money only to a few large corporations, thereby stifling and ruining small individual enterprises.
Modern capitalism and communism
Did Karl Marx ever attack private money creation privileges and international bankers?
No, his whole system proposed not the abolition of illicit private money creation and destruction powers, but its consolidation under a system of complete economic, political and religious domination of the entire world by a few internationalists.
Is the late Charles A Lindbergh, Sr. correct in identifying modern capitalism with modern communism?
Yes, because in the dream of a world democracy the international banker, who is endeavoring to control the world through the fiction of his gold standard, is now anxious to destroy all parliaments and congresses in order to retain his ill-gotten supremacy. It is a matter of history that, while modern capitalists openly oppose communism, in private they sustain, in some instances, the worst elements of communism.
If banks, then, are debt shops where money is manufactured for the purpose of creating debts, is money issued primarily for usurious purpose?
Yes. Money comes into existence from the banks only as “interest-bearing-loans” which interest must be paid by every person who uses money.
What is usury?
Usury is a breach against the commandment “Thou shalt not steal”, and is related to three specific immoral actions listed under the following:
(a) Charging an unreasonable and abnormal rate of interest.
(b) Charging interest on any recognized non-productive or destructive loan.
(c) Charging interest on a loan of fictitious money which the lender created, thereby demanding from the borrower an unjust return. In the latter case, the lender reaps where he did not sow.
Is usury opposed to morality?
Yes, and it is also opposed to Christian teaching.
Effects of a dishonest money system
What will happen if the present money system is continued and if the present policies endure?
1. Private individuals will coin money for their own personal gain.
2. Corporations organized for production, such as automobiles, steel and textiles, will be under the domination of the private money creators.
3. The government itself will be dominated by the money plutocrats.
4. The press, dependent upon advertising received from banker-dominated corporations and commercial houses, will continue to deceive the people.
5. The educational system will continue to ostracize the truths of economics from our schools.
6. The citizens, weighed down by the unbearable costs of war and depression, will be inclined to blame a democratic form of government and unwittingly relinquish the liberties already won for the bare necessities of life, which the plutocrats will allow them only at ‘the sacrifice of liberty. Dictatorship will necessarily ensue.
Advantages of an honest money system
What will happen after an honest money system is established? An honest money system will help us:
1. To restore sovereignty over money to its rightful possessors, namely, the People, through Congress.
2. To rid Congress of servile politicians.
3. To eliminate from domination over the government the manipulators of money who oftentimes were the cause of war.
4. To insure lasting peace among nations whose governments will be able to legislate laws independent of the international money changers.
5. To make possible the real freedom of the press and the teaching of the truth in all schools, freed once and for all from the domination of money creators.
6. To permit Christian virtue to be practised when want is destroyed in the midst of plenty.
Father Coughlin concludes his book with the following words:
In the preceding pages I have tried to explain briefly and clearly the fundamentals of the money question. My only purpose in having published this book is to help the American people to free themselves from a form of slavery which is more hostile to their well-being than was the physical slavery opposed by Lincoln or the political slavery vanquished by Washington. Without economic freedom, both physical and political liberty are meaningless. Their existence depends almost totally upon financial freedom.
It is essential that we Americans recapture our sovereign right of coining and regulating our money and of foreign coin. It is essential that we cease paying tribute to the Federal Reserve Banks who create our money out of nothing and lend it into use with an invisible tax appended to it. It is either your money or your life.
You must act like apostles who have learned the truth. You must spread the gospel of financial freedom even at the cost of life itself... Form your battalions, independent of the leadership of the press, the politician and the poltroon! Cast aside your lethargy!
In the name of Christianity, I implore you to participate in duplicating the miracle of the Master Who fed the hungry multitudes. This can be accomplished by insisting, by demanding the institution of an honest money system, even though it may be necessary, when ballots fail, to revive the spirit of ‘76. America is still the land of the free and the home of the brave!
The money changers must be driven from the temple of America. If we of this generation, numbed with the opiate of indifference and cowered by the appeals to selfishness, fail to dislodge the radical rule of the money changers, may we go to our graves unwept, unhonored and unsung!