The FHA and Government Sponsored Racial Discrimination

Elpidio Valdes

Before the creation of the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) in 1934, relatively few Americans owned their homes. The FHA made home ownership possible for many Americans by introducing low down-payment, long-term fixed-interest, self-amortizing loans. In 1938, the creation of the Federal National Mortgage Association (“Fannie Mae”) provided a market for Federal Housing Authority (FHA) loans, increasing liquidity and further decreasing lender risk.

Black Americans were almost completely excluded from benefiting from these loans because the FHA assigned “risk” rating to neighborhoods, based on various demographic factors, specifically race.

This very explicit and widespread discrimination sponsored by the Federal government had severe impacts still felt to the very present.

Let’s read from the Federal Housing Administration, Underwriting Manual: Underwriting and Valuation Procedure Under Title II of the National Housing Act, (Revised Feb. 1938, Washington, D.C.)

935. Natural Physical Protection:
Usually the protection from adverse influences afforded by these means

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Amateur Exegesis – Episode 2: Origin Stories, part 1

The Amateur Exegete

Texts discussed: Mark 1:9-11, John 1:1-18.

Recommended reading:

  • Paula Fredriksen, From Jesus to Christ: The Origins of the New Testament Images of Jesus (Yale University Press, 1988), 19-26, 44-52.
  • Jon D. Levenson, Sinai & Zion: An Entry Into the Jewish Bible (HarperOne,1985), 154-156.
  • Joel Marcus, Mark 1-8, Anchor Yale Bible (Doubleday, 2000), 158-167.
  • John P. Meier,A Marginal Jew: Rethinking the Historical Jesus (Doubleday, 1991), 1:214-216.

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Unconditional Love

Life After Religion

I last wrote about how I reached out to my brother whom I hadn’t spoken with in a very long time. You can find that post here if you haven’t read it yet. I had learned that in the time since I had lost spoken with him, he had become a her. My brother Fred now goes by Heather. I had written to Heather, hoping to reconnect after having a falling out over differences between us, especially due to my religious beliefs. Here is an update:

I wrote on Heather’s Facebook page and got no response. I tried to send a message through Facebook Messenger. Again, no response. I was beginning to think that Heather was not wanting to speak to me. I could completely understand that. I left a comment on one of her posts and tried one last time to send a message through “Messenger.” It was probably…

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Beyond Religion

Still Unbelievable: Why After Listening to Christian Arguments We Remain Skeptics

I am happy to announce that I have a new book that is available right now to download or read online. You can access it for free at

It is a response to Justin Brierley’s book, “Unbelievable? Why after 10 years of talking to atheists, I’m still a Christian”. He is the host of one of the largest Christian broadcasts in Europe, if not the world. I have been a fan of his program for a long time. When he announced that he was writing a book, I immediately knew I wanted to write a response.

The response book project took on a life of its own and the finished product is a culmination of the work of seven authors. I am proud of my part in leading this team to a completed product which is worthy of…

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