Utne Blogs > Mind and Body

Biblical Capitalism and the Family

 by Bennett Gordon

Tags: religion and politics, capitalism, Christianity, Jeff Sharlet, The Family, Bloggingheads.tv,

The Family, also known as the Fellowship, is a shadowy fundamentalist Christian organization that holds unknown influence in the halls of American power, according to writer and religion expert Jeff Sharlet. His new book, The Family delves into the organization, exposing members and their ideology.

The organization practices a form of “Biblical capitalism,” discussed by Sharlet in an interview on Bloggingheads.tv with Will Wilkinson, a research fellow at the libertarian Cato Institute. In a perversion of both religion and capitalism, members of the Family use the organization to manipulate power for their personal gain. At the same time, members talk about sacrificing themselves to God, turning over all responsibility for their actions to Christianity as a “self-interest proxy.” Sharlet insists that many members are sincere in their beliefs, yet Wilkinson questions how people can be “sincerely self-deluded for self-aggrandizing purposes.”