Learn about the work of Margaret Schaut, an activist and leader in the field of micro-economic development, as she shares her experiences breaking down barriers for marginalized groups and her vision for a more just and compassionate economic system. She also talks about her Catholic faith. Originally published on GADEL.info, my personal website.
Godwin Delali Adadzie: Who do people say Margaret Schaut is?
Margaret Schaut: Perhaps more than anything, an activist. When I was a young adult I was involved in micro-economic development, and stayed involved most of my life in one form or another. At that early time, most people were unable to do much business with banks who were red-lining and denying economic involvement to women, minorities and certain areas of the country. I, along with a very few other activists, took on the banks and forced them into taking everyone seriously and doing business with them. They said we, the activists, would never do business with banks in our lives, and that has turned out to be true, I have never been permitted. It was a risk that someone needed to take in order to break it open, and at the time, being a woman, I had no hope of being in their preferred circles anyway, so I took it on. It did break things open, and average people have been able to get loans and mortgages and credit cards and so forth since that time. No doubt all the activists that did this with the banksters have suffered in that way.
Godwin Delali Adadzie: Who do you say you are?
Margaret Schaut: I have a certain sense of ‘justice’ in my heart and always have. It isn’t a legalese term, but more a matter of heart. Economics IS a strong form of justice or injustice, of power or power-less-ness, and we can see it throughout the world; there are those who are ‘permitted’ to live good economic lives versus those who are not. Since there are many different TYPES of economies, it is by no means pre-ordained that the world must operate under the one we have. This has been a choice of those who have power and want to increase their power. That has nothing to do with the importance of human souls or our obligations of love and compassion for one another. We will pay a very heavy price for what we have permitted.
In fact, in justice and compassion, there are far better ways to conduct the economics of nations, of communities and of families. Genuine capitalism means that individuals and families can be economic powerhouses in their own right, build their own small businesses or even large ones, and that is how America used to operate. What we have now is corporatism, a perverse form of taking, or stealing, that destroys families, communities and countries for the interests of a few.
In my heart of hearts, I would see economics work as it is INTENDED to work, one that enables everyone weak and small or weak and old and everyone in between to survive and care for one another.
Unfortunately all other forms of economics has dried up or been killed off entirely. We are stuck with the most wicked form of economics, the one least likely to be good for human life, for the planet, for the survival of the world.
It is useful to remember that the ONLY time Jesus got violently angry was with the money-changers, the banksters of his day.
Godwin Delali Adadzie: How do you see the United State of America?
Margaret Schaut: It is no longer the republic it was created to be. Of the people, by the people and for the people is LONG gone. What we have now is a tyranny, an empire, missing only ONE thing which is a figurehead like Stalin or Hitler. The tyranny is there, the empire is there, but as yet the obvious face of it is hidden from our eyes.
The trick has always been to ‘follow the money’ and from that alone one can discern what is transpiring.
The American Empire is rapidly turning into a deadly combination of fascism AND communism, both of which are God-less and both of which are cruel. But many of the people don’t see it, as yet. It has crept in slowly. Like the Germans, the people will have to be SHOWN their fascism/ communism.
That doesn’t mean its hopeless! There are enough people who are alarmed by this, who still love the republic, that in my opinion it WILL be restored, though with a lot of pain and loss.
Godwin Delali Adadzie: What are your concerns for the youth of today?
Margaret Schaut: They have been severely impoverished in many ways. Economically speaking, they have student debt but no opportunities for careers that can even hope to pay that debt let alone, and also provide a decent living that allows them to have families. Most come from very small families, maybe one brother or sister, and few cousins, so they never learn what it MEANS to be family. They come from broken homes where economic stresses keep parents at work and the kids left on their own.
Spiritually speaking, God is irrelevant and ‘old fashioned’. They have no concept at all of what it means to be ‘created in the image and likeness of God’ and society has trained them to even hate the topic.
They are distracted by technology, educated poorly, have not developed even common sense. The future for the kids now is not bright, which is heart breaking.
Godwin Delali Adadzie: How do you see the Catholic Church today?
Margaret Schaut: From one Catholic to the next, from one christian to the next, you do not know what they actually believe. We see this from top to bottom. It is ‘church by opinion’ and the profound lack of fraternal charity means that even those who can teach or who take on the office of teaching sound harsh to all ears.
Jesus warned us that a house divided against itself cannot stand. Those weren’t mere ‘pretty words’, he MEANT what he said.
I believe the church as a whole is in very grave danger.
Furthermore, and very importantly, the church is considered now by almost everyone to be an ‘NGO’, a non-governmental organization; an institution in reference to government! Where is the Kingship of Christ? King OF Kings, Lord OF Lords? Christ is SUPERIOR to every form of government, but by the almost total agreement of humanity AND Christians everywhere, it is now an organization that is NOT governmental AT ALL and therefore has no hold on anyone. We are already beginning to see the desire of the worldly to wipe out Christianity altogether.
Godwin Delali Adadzie: Do you think we are in the End times?
Margaret Schaut: Even on a purely natural level, it is how God works. Consider that an entire community does everything to plant crops, and everyone fully participates in their own way. Finally the seeds are all planted and begin to grow. Just before they bear fruit, the community comes and mows down all the fields. How many seasons can that happen before the community starves and dies? Abortion is like that. Everyone participates in sexuality, the activity that produces the small seeds of humanity, but before the natural fruit of that activity, the babies, can be born, they are slaughtered.
So here we are back again at justice. God is just. What we sow we will reap, how we care for those fields determines whether they mature and provide for us. We don’t even allow them to mature til harvest time. Instead, we abort the future of the human race and destroy all the gifts, talents, skills and insights those people would have to contribute to the future. By killing them off in the tens of millions, we have forfeited our future.
If that doesn’t qualify as End Times, I don’t know what does.
Godwin Delali Adadzie: What are your favourite Saints and why?
Margaret Schaut: I thank God for Our Lady. Like the mother she is, she has led me by the hand to Jesus. She has taught me things I would never have known on my own. She has brought me to the Beloved, and He has graciously condescended to show Himself to me THREE times. I have never been the same. St. Anne, Jesus’ grandmother, is (thanks to my own grandparents) one of my main patron saints. Kids may not listen to their parents, but they always love their grandparents! The Apostles!!! To devote prayer time in their individual care is VERY powerful.
As a result of these helps I find I am shaking off the worldliness I was pickled in all my life and returning with devotion to the ancient traditions. It is very enriching in every important respect.
Godwin Delali Adadzie: What would you like to change in the world?
Margaret Schaut: I would see humanity fulfill the two greatest commandments. If we do that, everything else will follow.
Godwin Delali Adadzie: What are your deepest fears?
Margaret Schaut: That the vast majority of the human race will discover they are eternal souls, but will end up in a state where no human being belongs. Hell was made for the demons, NOT for humans.
Godwin Delali Adadzie: Any advice to the world?
Margaret Schaut: Thomas Jefferson said: I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever. I would change that to I tremble for the world when I reflect that God is just.
Godwin Delali Adadzie: Final thought.
Margaret Schaut: It is said of Jesus ‘he will not break the bruised reed nor snuff the smoldering wick’. While there is still time, a little life left in us, I say seek God now.
Formerly a radio producer for the Catholic Medical Association radio program Vital Signs. Educated at Concordia University in Communications and Ancient Languages. Studied Greek and Hebrew, translated some scripture and ancient documents. Micro economic development, community loan funds, and Director of Neighborworks Community Garage. Currently a blogger and website developer. She runs Catholic Concepts and Moving Pieces websites.