5 Ways the Christian Right Perverts Religion to Push Inhumane, Unfettered Capitalism

From Alternet:  http://www.alternet.org/belief/5-ways-christian-right-perverts-religion-push-inhumane-unfettered-capitalism

The Christian right works hard to craft theological arguments to support corporate policies.

By Amanda Marcotte
December 18, 2013

The classic understanding of the relationship between social and economic conservatives is simple: Social conservatives are often understood as dupes who let their obsession with controlling other people’s sex lives convince them to vote Republican, often against their own economic interest. This was what President Obama was getting at when he said that working-class whites who vote Republican “cling to guns or religion.”

There’s some truth to that, but if you start to dig a little deeper, it turns out that the Christian right doesn’t just bait believers into voting against their economic interests. On the contrary, the Christian right works fairly hard at trying to create theological arguments to support economic policies Republicans champion, such as slashing the social safety net or allowing unfettered capitalism to rapidly expand income inequality and environmental damage.

Here are the various ways Christian right leaders glaze over the Jesus of the Bible and push their followers to worship one who looks a little more like a Nazarene Ayn Rand.

1) Arguing that Jesus was a capitalist. By and large, the “loaves and fishes” man portrayed in the New Testament can in no honest way be reconciled with the aggressively capitalist attitude of modern Republicans, which holds that profit should never be constrained by concerns such as human rights and basic dignity for all. So conservatives are usually just elusive on the subject. However , Pope Francis’s recent comments regarding the excesses of capitalism have created some pushback on the right.

The favorite argument is that the Pope just doesn’t understand Christianity, which is totally pro-capitalist, no matter how excessive it gets. Ramesh Ponnuru blithely suggested that the Pope’s remarks show that the Pope just doesn’t understand “markets could instead enable a creative form of community” and that more “evangelizing still needs to be done” to convince the Pope that real Christians should embrace capitalism. Never mind that Pope Francis is from Argentina, where the “creative form of community” brought on by an eagerly capitalist, anti-socialist government was expressed through the creative disappearance of people whose left-wing politics were a threat to the capitalist community.

Continue reading at:  http://www.alternet.org/belief/5-ways-christian-right-perverts-religion-push-inhumane-unfettered-capitalism

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