Monday, June 29, 2009

Dorothy Sayers and Christian Economics

“...Sayers would have agreed that the housing meltdown was, at base, a moral failure. The belief that it was not merely reasonable, but virtuous, to want that which you could not afford would have struck her as preposterous as well as sinful...Moreover, Sayers would have identified envy as the sin at the heart of left-wing critiques of capitalism. "If avarice is the sin of the Haves against the Have-Nots," Sayers reminded her audience, "Envy is the sin of the Have-Nots against the Haves," and therefore "can always find support among those who are just and generous-minded." We are as familiar as Sayers with these plausible plaints, but Sayers recognized in envy a deeper and more subtle evil, in which the spirit of vindictiveness masquerades as righteous indignation. ”

“...Her address to the Council Sayers entitled "The Other Six Deadly Sins," in which she berated the churches’ concentration on lust. Sayers took avarice and held it to the light, with results that must have been unpleasant to the more reflective audience members. "The Church says covetousness is a deadly sin—but does she really think so? Is she ready to found welfare societies to deal with financial immorality as she does with sexual immorality," Sayers mused, rhetorically asking "does the Church arrange services, with bright congregational singing, for total abstainers from usury?"

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