Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Faith and the economy I

With the stimulus package and the budget, religious leaders are discussing the implications of the economy through a theological lens. I will post more on this tomorrow, but here are some recent events/posts on this subject.

Yesterday, according to Faith in Public Life, Christian leaders held a press conference to discuss how the new budget is a "major shift of prioritizing domestic poverty that can really help level the playing field." As the nation's budget is a moral document that "reflect[s] the values and priorities as a nation," these leaders are calling on Congress to make sure the budget "preserves funding that prioritizes the poor."

Today, the New York Times had an opinion piece on faith and the deficit by Stanley Fish. With the economic crisis looming and the nation, and all Americans, in debt, Fish provides two differing ways in which the deficit can be understood in theological terms. First, given the Protestant ethic of "thrift and virtue," it is the Christian's duty to be good stewards of our finances, for if we are free from economic crisis, we can devote our energies towards God. Second, using good Calvinism, our financial bankruptcy highlights our moral bankruptcy, to which Jesus Christ, to pay our debts, saved us. (h/t Reader Darren)

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