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Wednesday 08 October 2008


Proclamations of the Red Queen

6th October 2008

US Christian Right: Oh, Now They’re Economists?

Posted by: Craig Young

The US Christian Right is well-known for pontificating about areas that it is ill-qualified to evaluate. Now they want us to believe that they’re economists as well?!

What caused the current woes in the United States economy? Was it runaway deregulation, privatisation, and lack of fetters on unrestrained profiteering? Well, no, not according to the Family Research Council, Focus on the Family and the Southern Baptist Convention of Texas. It turns out that the US Christian Right opposes the recent Bush/Congressional bailout of ailing US financial institutions because they view it as ‘God’s punishment.’

They sniffily comment that credit card profligacy and the cult of instant gratification has resulted in neglect of the classical virtues of thrift and hard work, indebtedness is wrong, and fiscal responsibility is the fount of all virtue.

Wait a minute. Is this the same US Christian Right which emphasises the so-called prosperity gospel amongst Pentecostal middle-class adherents? Is this the same US Christian Right whose televangelist mainstays made millions from gullible television audiences, through donations and merchandise during the Republican heyday in the eighties? Is this the US Christian Right whose own businesses often crash due to their lack of strategic management skills?

Is this the US Christian Right who sold its soul to the Republican Party fiscal agenda of reduced central government regulation of the banking and finance industries?

Right, I’ve had quite enough of this empathy-free zone, so over the next few columns, I’ll be focusing on New Zealand mainstream churches and poverty relief. The above are making me violently ill with their lack of responsibility and even more so, compassion or care for families who will suffer from unemployment, lack of government social services and possibly even homelessness due to the excesses of  US right-wing ‘court Christians.’

Recommended:

“Evangelicals blame Wall Street woes on morals” Reuters: 02.10.08: http://www.stuff.co.nz/471347a27162.html

-Charles Hembrick-Stowe: “Sanctified Business:” Historical Perspectives on Funding Religious Revival” (pp.81-103);
-Michael Hamilton: “More Money, More Ministry: The Funding of American Evangelicalism Since 1945 (pp.104-138);
-Robert Burkinshaw: “The Funding of Evangelical Higher Education in the United States and Canada in the Postwar Period)(pp.274-297);
-Thomas Berg: “Too Good to Be True? The New Era Foundation Scandal and Its Implications” (pp.374-398):

in: Larry Eskridge and Mark Noll (ed): More Money,More Ministry: Money and Evangelicals in Recent North American History: Grand Rapids: William B Eerdmans: 2000.

Tags: Politics · Religion

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