It turns out that my secular ways are responsible for the nation’s economic crisis, according to the Wall Street Journal’s Daniel Henninger:
It has been my view that the steady secularizing and insistent effort at dereligioning America has been dangerous. That danger flashed red in the fall into subprime personal behavior by borrowers and bankers, who after all are just people. Northerners and atheists who vilify Southern evangelicals are throwing out nurturers of useful virtue with the bathwater of obnoxious political opinions.
The point for a healthy society of commerce and politics is not that religion saves, but that it keeps most of the players inside the chalk lines. We are erasing the chalk lines.
Get that joke about subprime behavior? That’s pretty funny stuff.
Henninger, who has obviously never taken a high school level class in economics or logic, is certainly making an interesting argument here. The economic meltdown is not the result of an economic system built to engineer false wealth for a select few, nor is is the result of banks making ill-advised and unsustainable loans in the pursuit of that wealth. The real reason? That, under the rule of a Christianist President, Americans were not being religious enough.
Though ethics and laws existed before the emergence of Christianity and laissez-faire capitalism, Mr. Henninger seems to believe that only Christianity can generate appropriate “responsibility, restraint and remorse,” qualities he deems lacking in American culture today. I wonder if trying to blame the economic meltdown on minority borrowers from the 1970s was responsibility or restraint, when the Wall Street Journal tried to concoct another false argument to remove the possibility that the financial class responsible for the crisis should feel remorse.
While it’s hard to imagine, Henninger’s argument actually gets worse. He turns into Bill O’Reilly. The deputy editor of the nation’s premier financial newspaper not only believes that the economic meltdown is the result of my personal failure to embrace his version of Christianity, but because we don’t say “Merry Christmas” anymore:
This year we celebrate the desacralized "holidays" amid what is for many unprecedented economic ruin — fortunes halved, jobs lost, homes foreclosed. People wonder, What happened? One man’s theory: A nation whose people can’t say "Merry Christmas" is a nation capable of ruining its own economy.
Rupert Murdoch must be proud.