De-regulated capitalism as it is practiced in the United States today — as opposed to the more democratic capitalism practiced in much of the twentieth century that saw the creation of a robust middle class — has resulted in a massive recession and stark inequalities.
A new poll finds that this modern capitalism is actually conflicting with another feature of today’s America: the Christian faith that most Americans practice. The Public Religion Research Institute finds that a plurality of Americans view capitalism as inconsistent with Christian values:
Americans are divided over the extent to which capitalism and the free market system and Christian values can coexist: a plurality (44%) believe that capitalism and the free market system are at odds with Christian values, while 41% agree that capitalism is consistent with Christian values. Fifteen percent say they do not know.
The poll also notes that white working-class Americans are much more likely to believe that capitalism contradicts Christian values (46 percent) than college-educated Americans (53 percent).
Contradiction occurs because of the inconsistency of “Christian values.” Numerous “Christian” tenets support capitalist exploitation of people and resources. Other equally “Christian” beliefs are, indeed, antagonistic to capitalism. If one is a Christian, one usually has to pick and choose the parts an individual believes.