Many religious leaders are causing the destruction of religion itself. Why? Many merged politics, religion, and capitalism as the definition of Christianity itself. It is true that Pope Francis is attempting to re-inject a loss morality, but he is only one man. He may be too late to get to the American Evangelicals.
Evangelicals contort themselves into knots to find justifications to vote for Donald Trump, a man one of their own, Steve Deace described as anathema to all their values in a piece he wrote warning Christian Leaders about the hypocrisy of voting for Donald Trump.
Furthermore, the Scriptures make clear the qualifications for public office:
Moreover, look for able men from all the people, men who fear God, who are trustworthy and hate a bribe, and place such men over the people as chiefs of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens.
There is simply no way to avoid the conclusion that Trump violates every syllable of these requirements.
Now that we’ve addressed the biblical case, what about the moral one?
- Trump is a scam artist.
- Trump is a gossip.
- Trump is a slanderer.
- Trump is a misogynist.
- Trump is an adulterer.
- Trump is a deceiver.
- Trump is a liar.
Deace forgot to include the fact that Trump is an unfettered capitalist. To Donald Trump, capitalism is not a tool but an ideology, his religion. While it can serve us well as a tool when controlled, as a religion it is anathema to humanity.
But then, many evangelical pastors validated capitalism as a God divine economic decree. Texas pastor of Word of Life Church David Hope wrote an essay in the Kingwood Observer that would give Pope Francis pause. The piece titled “Jesus is not a socialist” was an attempt not only to justify the severe inequities of unfettered capitalism but to promote it.
David Hope tried to justify an unequal pie with the following statement.
Capitalism is like the kingdom of God. Everyone has an opportunity to make it to the top, but there won’t be equal outcomes. When government tries to manufacture equal outcomes, it brings everyone down. As people concentrate on the sizes of the pieces of the pie, the pie just keeps getting smaller. All the pieces get smaller and equal outcomes are still not achieved.
His simplistic statement does not take into account that those with inherited or ill-gained capital have a built in advantage that barring redistribution through taxes or some other method is unsustainable. Had Jesus seen the crowds as undeserving, he would have extracted the last pittance for his magical fish and bread.
David Hope then makes a very disingenuous statement based on today’s reality.
Capitalism is the most compassionate system. Capitalism is the best way to reduce poverty. It gives every man a chance to succeed, and it promotes wealth into the hands of those who serve others and have a heart to give to those less fortunate.
It increases individual wealth, thus allowing individuals to give out of their increase. God has designed the needs of the poor to be met by Christians, not by the government. Government’s bureaucratic shuffling of wealth accomplishes nothing.
Where in the tenets of capitalism are humanity, compassion, and generosity mentioned? Does Donald Trump fit the profile? Has he empowered are enrich others? Or did he simply use others as commodities to support his lifestyle, legalized theft? The pastor pulled a verifiable lie out of the air to misinform those who view his statements as fact.
This form of thinking is prevalent throughout the evangelical realm in the United States. It has taken too long for the Christian class to speak up about the destruction unfettered capitalism renders on the poor, the environment, and the world structure. The beloved Pope blasted the door wide open for his justifiable attack.
But then there is always the next media darling ready to justify a system of legalized theft and commoditized humanity. Dave Ramsey thinks it’s heresy not to see a biblical justification for the wealthy few. Why is it heresy based on his explanation? God owns it all. He simply anointed a select few as managers of the wealth. Dave Ramsey had some other rather strange statements. “This is about when you do things biblical with money,” Ramsey said. “you will end up with the responsibility to manage money for the kingdom.” He says this with authority and a straight face. Has he forgotten the thousands of investment bankers, loan officers, and investors who got rich and remain rich by pilfering the middle class as they brought the world’s economy to collapse? Are those God’s money managers? Is it really heresy to call them all out?
Many on the Right get perturbed when one points out that Donald Trump is their creation. He absorbed the composite dichotomy of the ideology and became its instantiation. Yes, it is incoherent. Yes, it is self-oppositional. But that is the ideological Right, and specifically the evangelical Right as the pseudo-moral working codification of the Powell Manifesto. They brought you Donald Trump and the eventual demise of the religion for many.