National Debt as a Biblical Issue: Did Selfishness Lead to Giant Deficit?

What would Jesus do about the massive U.S. debt?

ByABC News
February 21, 2011, 10:41 AM

Feb. 22, 2011 — -- When President Obama announced that our national debt could reach $15 trillion in 2011, economists and politicians were not the only ones alarmed. Evangelicals across the country raised their voices, too, saying a staggering national debt violates the teachings of the Bible.

Billy McCormack, founding member of the Christian Coalition of America, said the most relevant biblical passage against debt is Nehemiah 5:3-5. Quoting partially from the passage, he said, Americans are "mortgaging our fields, our vineyards and our homes to get grain during the famine.

"We are subjecting our sons and daughters to slavery, because are fields and our vineyards belong to others," said McCormack, who helped Pat Robertson establish the Christian Coalition, one of the largest grass-roots conservative groups in the U.S., in 1989.

"China has a mortgage on the future of our children," said McCormack, who at 82 is still a pastor in Louisiana. "It's not right for a foreign land to own so much of what is ours. Because we were irresponsible, we have to pay the price."

The Family Research Council, a conservative Christian group started by the founder of Focus on the Family, has purportedly sent its member-base "action alerts" related to the debt.

McCormack does not blame either Republicans or Democrats for our growing national debt, but he points to an overall culture of selfishness and recklessness. He also said this culture is what led to the public pension crisis in states such as Wisconsin.

"It all ties together," said McCormack. "The lack of resources for pensions ties into the national debt itself. It is all a matter of irresponsibility. People have been kicking the can down the road to this moment. Now the can is gone. We can't kick it anymore."