This blog explores and examines the intersections of rhetoric, race, and religion.
Wednesday, June 11, 2014
David Brat: Embrace Christian Capitalism, Or Hitler Will Come Back
When David Brat defeated House Majority leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) in the Republican primary of Virginia’s 7th Congressional District last night, House Republicans likely lost their only Jewish representative. In his place, they may have gained a radically pro-capitalist Christian theologian.
Christian Tea Party candidates are certainly not unusual, but a trail of writings show that Brat, an economics professor at Randolph-Macon college, has an especially radical theology to support his right-wing politics. Brat’s CV lists him as a graduate of Hope College, a Christian school in Michigan, and Princeton Theological Seminary, a Presbyterian Church U.S.A. seminary in New Jersey. He claims to be a “fairly orthodox Calvinist,” but several of his published writings expose a unsettling core theology that is centered around lifting up unregulated, free-market capitalism as a morally righteous system that churches should embrace—or else.
In a 2011 paper entitled “God and the Advanced Mammon — Can Theological Types Handle Usury and Capitalism?”, published in Interpretation: A Journal of Bible and Theology, Brat champions the moral superiority of the capitalistic system. “Capitalist markets and their expansion in China and India have provided more for the common good, more ‘social welfare,’ than any other policy in the past ten years,” he writes, adding “So, as a seminary student concerned with human welfare, I naturally wanted to learn about these free markets.”