Kevin M. Kruse
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One Nation Under God: How Corporate America Invented Christian America (2015)
- James W. Fifield Jr. ... convinced the industrialists that clergymen could be the means of regaining the upper hand in their war with Roosevelt in the coming years. As men of God, they could give voice to the same conservative complaints as business leaders, but without any suspicion that they were motivated solely by self-interest.
- p. 7
- Conservative clergymen now used their ministerial authority to argue, quite explicitly, that New Dealers were the ones violating the Ten Commandments. ... They insisted that the welfare state was not a means to implement Christ's teaching about caring for the poor and the needy, but rather a perversion of Christian doctrine. In a forceful rejection of the public service themes of the Social Gospel, they argued that the central tenet of Christianity remained the salvation of the individual. If any political and economic system fit with the religious teachings of Christ, it would have to be rooted in a similarly individualistic ethos. Nothing better exemplified such values, they insisted, than the capitalist system of free enterprise.
- p. 7
- Business leaders, of course, had long been working to "merchandise" themselves through the appropriation of religion. In organizations such as Spiritual Mobilization, the prayer breakfast groups, and the Freedoms Foundation, they had linked capitalism and Christianity and, at the same time, likened the welfare state to godless paganism. After decades of work, these businessmen believed their efforts had finally paid off with the election of Dwight Eisenhower.
- p. 86
- The story of business leaders enlisting clergymen in their war against the New Deal is one that has been largely obscured by the very ideology that resulted from it.
- p. 292