Faith trumps capitalism

Feb. 22, 2009 – 11:15:45
Evaluating our economic system from the perspective of our faith should, I believe, be a never-ending process. To that end, I share one of my favorite quotes.

The context: Andrew Paquin was a new professor at Colorado Christian University. He assigned his students some left-of-center economics texts. “I wanted my right-wing students to see that the left wing has some validity.” That did not sit well with the school’s president, who fired him in 2007 because, as the president explained in a letter, he found it “deeply troubling to hear you say that capitalism is inconsistent with the teachings of Jesus.”

Paquin denied he said it. In the process, he made the statement that I like:

“I think capitalism is an efficient and effective economic system, but I won’t deify it as an essential part of Christianity.”

Our faith is central to who we are. Our relationship with God should define our other views, not the other way around. Capitalism, on the other hand, is a tool for allocating resources. Usually it is the best tool, history suggests, but it does not deserve insulation from our intellect.

For more thoughts on capitalism, check out my Sunday column, Capital Considerations.

Have a wonderful Sunday, and focus on the important things.

God bless.

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