Capitalism and Christianity

I don’t think that capitalism is completely incompatible with Christianity, but neither is socialism. What is incompatible is classism, among other isms, created by certain economic systems, namely capitalism. If people were perfect… But they are not. Now, do I think that capitalism is the best? No.

White evangelicals are more likely than the general population to believe unregulated businesses would behave ethically. Meanwhile, Christians of color overwhelmingly (76 percent) want the church to speak out on social justice matters, and economic issues such as foreclosures devastating the community.

So what should we make of this? At first glance, it tells me that there is hope. Today’s economic troubles are opening the eyes of Americans, perhaps. The inequality in this nation — and the flagrant manner in which concentrated power flaunts its excesses — is so perverse that it offends the moral sensibilities and belief systems of everyday folks. If there is any chance of reforming or changing our institutions, it all begins with asking if we expect — or demand — moral and ethical institutions that bend towards justice. Like the flailing, bankrupt Communist system in the final days of the USSR, American capitalism has revealed itself as a sham religion that promises much and operates under deceptive rhetoric, yet ultimately benefits a scant few. Right now, the system seems to be thriving perversely on the economic inequality that is eating society alive. Wall Street profits and executive bonuses are up, rewards for their plunder of the rest of us. (here)

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4 Replies to “Capitalism and Christianity”

  1. I ask myself this question a lot. The problem is, like with the picture, it’s all about pointing guns at people. What human gets control over the lives of other humans (and any law is control over their lives)? Who gets to point a gun at who’s head and say “play ball or die!”? This is how I see politics and I have consistently failed to see how it is possible to reconcile the whole enterprise whatsoever with my commitment to Christ. I can’t bring myself to vote anymore because it feels like mine is one of many hands directing a gun at someone’s head.

    1. Matt, I think that you may be own to something.

      About those images – sometimes you have to provoke the conversation.

      I think that our present political principality is an evil enterprise. I have been for the complete renunciation of power, but in reading over the weekend, I have to wonder if it would be better yet for a sanctification of power.

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