Money, technology, and the silence of churches

Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite wants to do for money what gays and lesbians have done for sex—within the church, that is. Instead of ignoring this unwelcome subject, she wants to bring it out into the open.

“Money is still something that we don’t touch. And yet, as I talk in churches so many people are so behind the eight ball on their retirement, on their homes,” she told me. “In churches people are just barely holding on financially—we’ve got to find a way to speak to this in a direct, biblically-based, powerful way.”

As a Senior Fellow at American Progress, a theology professor at Chicago Theological Seminary and its former president, Thistlethwaite has seen, firsthand, how money and power have not only influenced the political and financial system, but how it has affected those at the bottom of the economic scale. Her forthcoming book is: #Occupy the Bible: What Jesus Really Said (and Did) about Money and Power.

“Statistics show that 50% of Americans own 1% of the wealth of the country. That’s a shift on the one percent, but that’s the one percent that has nothing. We can’t let this happen under the radar anymore, so I developed a thesis that Occupy is a sign from God that we have to take this seriously. I hope this book will get progressives to start talking about money in the way we’ve just begun to talk about human sexuality in justice-making ways. We’re not there yet on money,” she said.

We talked more about these topics, including a look back at her most recent book—on tech, sin, and the myth of Eden—during a recent conversation. Read more


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