CommunityMy FDL

Pastor Rick Warren Explains the Financial Crisis

It’s Easter, or the days after everyone lost their first born to a very brutal, blood-thirsty god, or something, so naturally it’s a day when America’s premier Talking Head shows invite America’s unquestioned religious leaders to give us their moral views on the meaning of it all.

For some reason that is not apparent, they are then asked to give us their opinions on matters they know nothing about, while not mentioning that some of them exclude women and suppress their rights, some try to criminalize or humiliate immigrants or gay people, some cover up hundreds of cases of child abuse and others just soak their congregations to get rich and pretend to be pious as they deny funding to other worthwhile organizations that don’t share their discriminatory beliefs.

Yet I’m still astounded that anyone — even ABC’s Jake Tapper — would ask Rick Warren why the economy is not recovering as well as it should, though I’m not surprised that Warren thinks he knows.  It turns out that the financial crisis and the nation’s economic doldrums are mostly your fault:

WARREN: But regardless of all the problems that we see out there, I think they all have at their root a spiritual cause. And we have overspent… We have not been a responsible — we’ve bought things we didn’t need with money we didn’t have to impress people we didn’t even like. And now we’re paying the piper. And you cannot ignore the principles of finance that are in God’s word, and they are in the Book of Proverbs. It’s quite clear, they’re principles of business, principles of economics that are actually in the Bible.

WARREN: And when you ignore these things, then we’re going to get deeper and deeper into debt, and then we can’t blame God for that… The biggest problem for all of our economic problems is our inability to delay gratification. I want it and I want it now, and I’m going to buy it even if I can’t afford it. And not only have people done that, the government’s done it…

TAPPER: You said in December that no American could say that they’re better off than they were four years ago. You still think that that’s true?

WARREN:  Well, I don’t think so, not economically. There may be a portion. But I have my ear to the ground. I’m on a lot of social media, and I do a lot of speaking nationally, and of course I have a congregation that’s very large. It talks to me all the time. Most people would not think they’re better off economically than they were four years ago.

TAPPER:  And who do you hold responsible for that?

WARREN:  I hold everybody responsible for that. I hold the people who got themselves in debt. I hold the government that got themselves in debt. I hold multiple administrations. It’s not the fault of any one person. There’s plenty enough blame to be passed around.

So, just as the President told us, both families and the government need to balance their budgets, right? That pretty much absolves Wall Street and the financial sector, the banks’ and mortgage lenders’ massive fraud on home buyers and investors and the courts, the Bush tax cuts, two unfunded wars, the Greenspan Fed’s incompetence, and the federal government’s total abdication of regulatory responsibility from Clinton to the present.

Warren’s take is much easier to understand, so I’m going to send my copy of the Old Testament, with Proverbs bookmarked and underlined, to Fed Chairman Bernanke and the President’s Council of Economic Advisers.  Because whatever sacred text they’re using isn’t enough.  Paul Ryan will be so pleased when one charlatan helps another.

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

Previous post

HUD Secretary Donovan Faces Questions on C-SPAN

Next post

Happy Peep Day, Marriage Equality Edition



John has been writing for Firedoglake since 2006 or so, on whatever interests him. He has a law degree, worked as legal counsel and energy policy adviser for a state energy agency for 20 years and then as a consultant on electricity systems and markets. He's now retired, living in Massachusetts.

You can follow John on twitter: @JohnChandley