Will Trump betray pence one day?
American Christians around Mike PenceThe gospel according to Michael
When you think of the many passages in the New Testament in which Jesus speaks of the poor and railed against the rich, the idea of "biblical capitalism" seems absurd at first sight. But for millions of followers of the evangelical churches in the United States, God created the free market so that anyone who works hard enough can be given money and prosperity. Jesus' parable of the talents serves here as an exegetical pole star. Serena Jones, president of the Union Faculty, a famous interdenominational theological seminary in New York City, explains what new Vice President Mike Pence envisions of biblical capitalism.
"What Mike Pence understands by biblical capitalism are two things. Firstly, he believes that God is asking us to make our way in this world using our minds and bodies to make as much money as possible, and that a government that disturbs this process, ultimately acts blasphemously. And secondly, that if one believes in God and lives according to Christian principles, the power of faith itself makes prosperous and those who are not prosperous are because of lack of faith. "
No social health system, no climate protection
That fits well with the performance philosophy of the puritanical capitalism of America. What does not fit is the concept of a government that tries to fight this "self-inflicted" poverty with social programs. So it was no surprise when Mike Pence stepped before the press last Friday and declared with righteous seriousness the end of President Obama's health care reform Obamacare and the swift transition to a health concept based on free competition.
And that's just the beginning: "Medicaid" and "Medicare", social programs for the socially disadvantaged and elderly citizens from the Roosevelt era, are also to be greatly reduced - a disaster for millions of US Americans. And the regulations on CO2 emissions installed by the Obama administration in accordance with the Paris climate protection agreements are a thorn in the side of radical Christians. Man-made climate change does not fit the biblical concept.
Pence and Trump believe in the gospel of prosperity
But how did Michael Pence and his fellow believers position themselves so prominently in the new government?
With his mild demeanor, his experience as governor and his closeness to Christian fundamentalism, Michael Pence is a welcome counterbalance to Trump's lifestyle, which does not correspond to Christian morals at all. In terms of content, the two meet in their belief in the "Prosperity Gospel", the prosperity gospel of free church TV preachers á la Paula White or the African American Darell Scott. This theology, which is entirely oriented towards material success, developed from the "Positive Thinking" movement of the American pastor and bestselling author Norman Vincent Peale in the 1950s. Accordingly, the believer is blessed by God with prosperity and success. The mere conviction of being a successful person supposedly attracts money and success. Whoever believes will get rich. It is not difficult to understand that Donald Trump, with all his skyscrapers and airplanes, has to be a God-blessed person for many prosperity theologians. Again Serena Jones from the Union Faculty:
"People who believe in the gospel of prosperity are often either poor and need to feel that there is a way out for them if they believe in it hard enough. Or they are very rich and want to justify their wealth with their faith."
Noise is programmed
Of course, the faithful are called upon to make donations. And so an enormous amount of money flows into campaigns to close abortion clinics, proselytize Africa or against the secularization of society, because according to these evangelical Christians, the secular society is actually the enemy of the society willed by God; Incidentally, a conviction that unites all religious fundamentalists in the world.
"But they would never fight for a policy that aims to eliminate poverty. 'You always have poor with you' is often quoted by biblical capitalists. It is understood as a call to charity, not to abolish the economic caste system that creates poverty. "
The marriage contract between the prosperity philosophy of Donald Trump and the biblical capitalism of Mike Pence is closed for now. But noise is programmed, because the economic system in the USA no longer functions according to the laws of the free market according to which anyone who works hard enough - or believes firmly enough in their success - can get rich. The important decisions are made in multi-national corporate headquarters according to profit margins and profitability. The parable of increasing talents is not enough to explain this.
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