What happens when the platform that controls all your social interactions decides the content you post is not ‘acceptable to community standards’? Beliefs such as marriage being between a man and woman, or that men are indeed men and women are women? Or that allowing minors to transition to another sex could be dangerous?
If you’re a conservative on Facebook, you have learned it means your content is blocked (or shadowbanned – visible but limited) and your account is at risk of being restricted or shut down.
Now imagine the same type of philosophy being applied to the banking industry. Could banks that don’t agree with their account holders’ conservative values shut them down? Too far-fetched, you say? It is already happening now, and if it is not nipped in the bud, those banks getting away with it will set a precedent for other woke banks that have decided they don’t like conservative values because they are ‘too risky’.
The latest example of such debanking is Indigenous Advanced Ministries – a Memphis, Tennessee-based nonprofit engaged in charitable efforts for orphaned children in Uganda. The ministry was warned without explanation by Bank of America in a letter in April that the organization was “operating in a business type we have chosen not to service at Bank of America” and would be closed within 30 days. An additional letter was sent in May, stating that its “risk profile no longer aligns with the bank’s risk tolerance.”
Sounds somewhat vague, doesn’t it? Like other conservative accounts that have faced such closure, no specific reasons are given, but instead vague general terms that can pretty much apply to any activity. This is the same type of response conservatives received from Facebook when they tried to find out what ‘community standards’ had been violated. No details are provided, giving those on the censorship side a wide range of cover to persecute as they wish with no accountability.
The ministry – which believes in pro-life values and that marriage is between one man and one woman on its website – has maintained two accounts with the bank since 2015 and has now filed a consumer complaint this week with Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti to determine whether their accounts were closed due to religious discrimination.
Indigenous Ministry founder Steve Happ wrote in the complaint that he was left “very confused” as the ministry does not donate to or advocate political causes, domestic or international.
“They would not talk to us about the reasons why they closed the account.”
“This is what we see in these situations every time: the banks close an account, they give vague reasons, and it’s suspicious; it looks suspiciously like it’s politically or religiously motivated,” he said.
“I am concerned that Bank of America canceled our accounts and those of our partners because it disagrees with our religious views,” Happ wrote.
The sudden closure of the account left the ministry scrambling; the ministry said it disrupted their planned mission trip to Uganda in June and temporarily impacted salary payments there.
This is not an isolated incident, and the move comes as ‘debanking’ has grown across different banks.
A few months ago, JPMorgan Chase & Company was also accused of ‘debanking’ members of conservative and religious groups by 19 Republican states. With rising frequency, clients associated with conservative or religious beliefs report being expelled from financial institutions, including Sam Brownback, former U.S. Ambassador for Religious Freedom and current head of the nonprofit National Committee for Religious Freedom.
“We’ve heard of way too many groups and entities, particularly those associated with religion, that have been canceled by their providers, and we want to start seeing some of these cases investigated,” Brownback commented.
The root of the issue is within the heart of “woke corporate America.” “The banks are still pretending to be neutral. That’s a good thing.” “Now, I don’t think they are neutral, but at least they’re pretending. Other companies are flat-out admitting they have no regard for people of faith or people of a different political belief system.”
We can also be thankful that unlike Facebook, we have numerous banking institutions to choose from. However, if the larger banks get together and adopt similar policies, smaller banks will follow.
Last September, Christians received a wake-up call to the dangers of financial companies holding too much power when the popular online payment processor PayPal announced impending updates to its Acceptable Use Policies (AUP). First reported by The Daily Wire, the policy update stated that it would debit users up to $2,500 if they engaged in banned activity such as “promoting misinformation” or “hate,” effective November 3.
As the headline spread across the media, the idea that PayPal’s terms gave the company the right to withdraw several grand from bank accounts did not sit well with users, sparking outrage among many who viewed these actions as Big Tech censoring speech.
The Daily Wire’s Candace Owens beckoned her following to exit the platform, tweeting, “Just moved all the money I had in my PayPal account out of it. And I very much suggest you do the same… #PayPal is dead.”
“Hercules” actor Kevin Sorbo added his thoughts to Twitter, posting, “PayPal isn’t sorry, they’re just mad they got caught.” Another conservative influencer tweeted his warnings on what this policy would mean for those who speak out on issues of sexual orientation and gender identity, considered “discrimination.”
Even former PayPal president David Marcus tweeted out his criticism of the policy, saying, “@PayPal’s new AUP goes against everything I believe in. A private company now gets to decide to take your money if you say something they disagree with. Insanity,” to which multibillionaire Elon Musk responded, “Agreed.”
PayPal quickly reversed the decision after a massive backlash and walked back the policy updates, claiming they were never intended to be released, if that is to be believed.
The idea that you could debit a person’s bank account or financial accounts based on some statement or belief that they had that wasn’t in alignment with a company’s view of the world would be devastating in this current environment to conservatives and Christians.
What we are seeing now with JPMorgan and other big banks is just a more subtle and deceptive way to strip Christian and conservative organizations of the ability to raise funds and operate effectively by being forced to switch banks. Soon, it may be difficult to find a bank that is willing to work with conservative Christian organizations as more and more banking consolidation happens.
It may also only be a matter of time until the big banks try something as brazen as what PayPal was scheming. With digital currency on the horizon, this risk will manifest itself tenfold, as the government will have a significantly greater influence in how digital currency is used with ‘programmable currency’. They could simply restrict certain types of purchases and will have the ability to monitor and track all purchases in real time.
The Canadian truckers who lost access to their bank accounts when the Canadian government disapproved of their COVID protests should be a warning to us all about how easily the government can take control over our finances.
Does all of this sound a bit familiar? This aligns with what the Book of Revelation predicted would happen in the last days, as all commercial transactions are controlled by the Antichrist. Only those loyal to his authority would be given the right to conduct commerce with a distinctive ‘mark’ on their right hand or forehead.