Utne Blogs > Mind and Body

Financial End Times

 by Bennett Gordon

Tags: Spirituality, financial crisis, apocolypse, religion, prayer, Marketplace, Religion Dispatches, Theoblog,

Wall Street BullAre Americans living in a recession or a financial apocalypse? Is now a time for prudent financial choices or a time to pray? Sean Cole reports for Marketplace that some economists are embracing the gloomy financial indicators as a sign that Armageddon is upon us. Cole talked to an “end times economist” who said that the current recession is God “saying that this world's financial system is built upon an unrighteous foundation.” 

The financial system has become a religious cult of its own, Peter Laarman writes for Religion Dispatches. The financial crisis was caused in part by an adherence to “economism,” a creed that Laarman describes as “the notion that every part of human life is governed by economic considerations and that everything that happens—or at least everything that matters—is reducible to human monads pursuing their rational self-interest.” 

Questions about financial regulation in the current presidential race should be treated with the same importance as religious questions, since the two have become so closely related. Laarman writes, “we are now in actual danger of losing what remains of democracy itself in our unseemly desire to enshrine the money-changing cult at the very center of the temple.”

“Whether you're a believer or not, maybe now is a good time to ask ourselves what we worship,” Cole said for Marketplace.  That simple sentiment was applauded by Amy Frykholm, writing for Theoblog. Even if he didn’t mean to, Frykholm writes that Cole echoed Matthew 6:2, which reads, “Where your treasure is there your heart will be also”

Image by David Paul Ohmer, licensed under Creative Commons.