Do Christianity & Capitalism Clash?

New survey finds white, wealthy evangelicals love the free market...most others don't.

A poll conducted by Public Religion Research Institute in partnership with Religion News Service was released this week that finds more Americans (44 percent) believe Christian values are at odds with capitalism than believe they are compatible (36 percent). However, a closer look at the research did find some exceptions.

White evangelicals, for example, were more likely than other Christians or the general population to think positively about free-markets. 44 percent of them said that businesses unregulated by the government would still behave ethically. (So much for the doctrine of total depravity.) White evangelicals also believe religious leaders should speak out about social issues but not necessarily economic matters.

Minority Christians, in contrast, said church leaders should be speaking about both areas. Economic issue like home foreclosures were at the top of their list; 76 percent of minority Christians considered it important, while only 46 percent of the general population.

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