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What Dave Ramsey gets wrong about poverty
Financial advisor Dave Ramsey is also an evangelical Christian.
November 30th, 2013
09:59 AM ET

What Dave Ramsey gets wrong about poverty

Opinion by Rachel Held Evans, special to CNN 

(CNN)– Dave Ramsey is rich. And he makes his living telling other evangelical Christians how they can get rich, too.

Host of a nationally syndicated radio program and author of multiple best-selling books, Ramsey targets evangelical Christians with what he calls a “biblical” approach to financial planning, one that focuses primarily on the elimination of consumer debt. His for-profit Financial Peace University is billed as “a biblically based curriculum that teaches people how to handle money God's ways."

Much of what Ramsey teaches is sound, helpful advice, particularly for middle-class Americans struggling with mounting credit card bills. I have celebrated with friends as they’ve marked their first day of debt-free living, thanks in part to Dave Ramsey’s teachings and all those white envelopes of cash he urges his students to use instead of credit cards.

But while Ramsey may be a fine source of information on how to eliminate debt, his views on poverty are neither informed nor biblical.

Take, for example, a recent article by Tim Corley posted to Ramsey’s website. Entitled “20 Things the Rich Do Every Day,” the article presents some dubious statistics comparing the habits of the rich with the habits of the poor, including:

“70% of wealthy eat less than 300 junk food calories per day. 97% of poor people eat more than 300 junk food calories per day.”

“76% of wealthy exercise aerobically four days a week. 23% of poor do this.”

“63% of wealthy listen to audio books during commute to work vs. 5% of poor people.”

One need not be a student of logic to observe that Corley and Ramsey have confused correlation with causation here by suggesting that these habits make people rich or poor.

For example, a poor person might not exercise four days a week because, unlike a rich person, she cannot afford a gym membership. Or perhaps she has to work two jobs to earn a living wage, which leaves her little time and energy for jogging around the park.

A poor family may eat more junk food, not because they are lazy and undisciplined, but because they live in an economically disadvantaged, urban setting where health food stores are not as available: a so-called “food desert.”

Critics were swift to point out these discrepancies and among the critics were some of Ramsey’s fellow evangelical Christians who also noted that, though the book of Proverbs certainly heralds success as a common return on faithful labor, nowhere does the Bible guarantee that good habits lead to wealth.

The writer of Ecclesiastes observed that "under the sun the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favor to the skillful; but time and chance happen to them all."

And far from having contempt for the poor, Jesus surrounded himself with the needy and challenged the excesses of the rich. “Blessed are you who are poor,” he said, “for yours is the kingdom of God. … But woe to you who are rich, for you have already received your comfort” (Luke 6:24).

"It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle," Jesus famously said, "than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God."

It’s hard for the wealthy to flourish in the kingdom that Jesus inaugurated because the economy of that kingdom runs so contrary to the economies of the world. It rewards the peacemakers over the powerful, the humble over the proud, the kind over the cruel, and those who hunger to do the right thing over those whose wealth has convinced them they already are.

Ramsey responded to the pushback with an addendum to the original post calling his critics “ignorant” and “immature” and instructing them to “grow up.”

“This list simply says your choices cause results,” he said, again committing the false cause fallacy. “You reap what you sow.”

The list, he said, applies only to people living in “first world” countries, where Ramsey believes economic injustices are essentially nonexistent. While the poor in developing countries are so as a result of external circumstances beyond their control, the poor in the United States have no one to blame but themselves.

“If you are broke or poor in the U.S. or a first-world economy, the only variable in the discussion you can personally control is YOU,” Ramsey says. “You can make better choices and have better results.”

America, he argues, has prospered as a direct result of its “understanding and application of biblical truths” which have led to “life-changing industry, inventions and a standard of living never known before on this planet.”

“There is a direct correlation,” he concludes, “between your habits, choices and character in Christ and your propensity to build wealth.”

For Christians, Ramsey’s perceived “direct correlation” between faith and wealth should be more troubling than his other confused correlations, for it flirts with what Christians refer to as the prosperity gospel, the teaching that God rewards faithfulness with wealth.

Ramsey’s particular brand of prosperity gospel elevates the American dream as God’s reward for America’s faithfulness, the spoils of which are readily available to anyone who works hard enough to receive them.

But such a view glosses over the reality that America was not, in fact, founded upon purely Christian principles (unless one counts slavery, ethnic cleansing, gender inequity, and Jim Crow as Christian principles), so we should be careful of assuming our relative wealth reflects God’s favor. (The Roman Empire was wealthy, too, after all.)

It also glosses over the reality that economic injustice is not, in fact, limited to the developing world but plagues our own country as well.

When medical bills are the biggest cause of bankruptcy in the United States, there are systemic injustices at work.

When people working 40-hour weeks at minimum wage jobs still can’t earn enough to support their families, there are systemic injustices at work.

When approximately 1% of Americans hold 40% of the nation’s wealth, there are systemic injustices at work.

When the black unemployment rate has consistently been twice as high as the white unemployment rate for the past 50 years, there are systemic injustices at work.

And throughout Scripture, people of faith are called not simply to donate to charity, but to address such systemic injustices in substantive ways.

The 17-year-old girl who lives in a depressed neighborhood zoned for a failing school system who probably won’t graduate because her grades are suffering because she has to work part-time to help support her family needs more than a few audio books to turn things around.

People are poor for a lot of reasons, and choice is certainly a factor, but categorically blaming poverty on lack of faith or lack of initiative is not only uninformed, it’s unbiblical.

God does not divide the world into the deserving rich and the undeserving poor. In fact, the brother of Jesus wrote that God has “chosen the poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom that he has promised to those who love him” (James 2:5).

God does not bless people with money; God blesses people with the good and perfect gift of God’s presence, which is available to rich and poor alike.

And that’s good news.

Rachel Held Evans is the author of "Evolving in Monkey Town" and "A Year of Biblical Womanhood." She blogs at rachelheldevans.com. The views expressed in this column belong to Rachel Held Evans.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Bible • Business • Christianity • Ethics • evangelicals • Faith • Leaders • Money & Faith • Opinion

soundoff (2,299 Responses)
  1. Ethel

    I've re-read the articles and am not finding where Dave Ramsey says poor people are lazy. I also do not find where he projects any dislike of the poor. What I have seen is a list of differences. What is the problem with someone trying to assist in raising the quality of life for a group of people, many of whom may want the information he shares? It is one thing to critique a method or article but to argue points that do not exist weakens the points.

    January 3, 2014 at 12:55 pm |
    • kellienicholson

      You have to use a little critical thinking to see that "poor people are lazy" is implied. I get why so many people are differing in their opinion of the original article about Dave Ramsey's list. All points of view are correct. Some poor people really are lazy and many rich people really do get up earlier than everyone else. The list provides great advice, but at this time in history, I think it stings when so many people are on a treadmill of poverty that is impossible to get off of no matter how disciplined they are, without changes in economic policies.

      I just would like to see an acknowledgement of the rigged game we're all playing, so as not to put all the blame on the people Mr. Ramsey's claims to want to help. Trust me, I'm well-aware that the people who will take his courses are the ones who also have many other attributes for success. Others will complain and do nothing, but not everyone is built for great success. What I would like to concentrate on is creating a society where everyone doesn't have to be focusing on money every waking moment. Not everyone is driven to outdo everyone else, so can't we give them a fair share for what they do contribute? Not everyone cares to win the marathon, but should they starve, if they're only willing to run a few laps, so they can spend time with their children?

      January 3, 2014 at 5:43 pm |
  2. DebbieF

    Seriously! You can't exercise without a gym membership! Have you never heard of walking, jogging, situps, etc. Have you not noticed programs on television that will even take you through a whole routine!

    And health food doesn't have to come from a health food store. Eggs are cheap and healthy. Water is a lot healthier than soda.

    Another huge difference between the rich and the poor: the poor like to make excuses. And in this article are some perfect examples.

    January 3, 2014 at 11:39 am |
  3. shawn

    Somebody call the waaaaambulance. All Dave Ramsey is saying is you make the bed you lay in.

    January 3, 2014 at 10:56 am |
  4. goodnews17

    I generally agree with Rachel. It is not that Dave is categorically wrong, just that there appears to be a lack of sensitivity and lack of appreciation of the forces underlying poverty and the dangers inherent in judging the position or condition of anyone poor comparing them to the yardstick of being well off financially. God's standards are different and go much deeper. What Dave Ramsey and proponents of his have not made clear in this debate is what being rich and poor means and what is at the heart of man's response (applicable to both rich and poor but more relevant to the rich) to honour and love God and love one's neighbour as oneself. Both of these royal commandments are broken when we attend disproportionately more to our own pursuits and standards which for many in the world are beyond their reach, let alone those with desperate needs of care. Even from a an ecologically and economic perspective the world cannot sustain the present high levels of consumption and waste equally to all people. It is unsustainable. Reduction of unsustainable lifestyles and living standards and more cooperation and sharing is necessary to arrest the slide and resist further deterioration of the quality of life for the majority of mankind. If one is 'rich' (no matter how that position is reached), then those riches which actually stem from the goodness of God, are HIS (no matter how many good habits we adopt), and should be used to love and serve with, not be idols and blankets of security which ignore or reduce God and emphasise self-indulgent pleasure seeking living which characterises much of the developed world. One would be naïve indeed to ignore our heavily materialistic hedonistic selfish society and economy. This is the danger of being rich or becoming rich(er). It is covetousness and idolatry that are widespread in our modern societies and cultures which affront and dishonour God breeding inequality, injustice, and more suffering because it is more about getting not giving and serving. The world is filled with people who are crying out for help and love. It is clear that if we are blessed with more than what we need, then we should be moved to be gracious givers of that excess, not use and store more for ourselves.
    The clear instruction is that we are to work diligently when we can (not be lazy and idle) and have enough for our families and ourselves and do it for the glory of God, our Master, be content and do good and that includes sharing with 'those in need' (Eph 4:28, James2:15-17;Matthew 25:31-46). Those are the issues for the 'rich' (anyone who has more than they really need). It is not the application of any wealth principles through certain habits that are going to qualify us to enter the Kingdom of heaven, they may indeed be stumbling blocks, rather it is a humble obedient 'poor' spirit that cries to God for salvation from self and the power of Satan, that by faith in Jesus receives the gift of the Holy Spirit dying to self taking up the cross and responds in thankfulness praising God and loving people – with all that God has given us, it belongs to him and is for his glory and characterises his Kingdom. We all are poor and need help, The rich need to become poor in spirit and depend wholly on God to be his instrument to be Christ, to do His work. The poor need to continue to trust God, not to be lazy, but seek the Lord, and the Lord will bless. All of us need to '..seek first the Kingdom of God ..' and allow Jesus to reign in our lives glorying God and blessing people.

    January 2, 2014 at 5:36 pm |
    • Kay Weaver

      I really enjoyed your response. We only have this one life and one world and we have to live with all the choices everyone makes. I do worry about excess as for whatever reason we have so many with less.

      January 5, 2014 at 3:06 pm |
  5. Kari

    Both sides of the argument are pretty interesting. I am a social worker, and I work with the poor on a daily basis. I've met the person who abuses the welfare system, and will always live on welfare (simply because they can). I've also met the person working 2-3 minimum wage jobs just so they can get dinner on the table and rent paid (and they benefit from the welfare system but do not plan to live on it forever). The stress of lacking finances can cause health problems physically and mentally. The reason that domestic violence is more prevalent among the poor is due to the tension and the stress that being poor brings.
    I don't necessarily believe that Mr. Ramsey wants his audience to take his advice to be literal or to be the only idea about the wealthy and the poor. He shares some good ideas, but he could have been more elaborate in some of his statements...such as “70% of wealthy eat less than 300 junk food calories per day. 97% of poor people eat more than 300 junk food calories per day.” As he is throwing statistics at us, he fails to research cause and effect. It’s not the lack of access to fresh fruits and vegetable that is the problem.
    Take this example…If you have$20 to spend on groceries, you have two children, and your next paycheck won’t come for a week, what are you going to choose? Would you choose the fresh fruits and vegetables (that cost more money and you get an amount that will feed 3 people for 1-2 days?) The cost of fresh strawberries for instance is about $3-$5 depending on your geographical location. Now the cost for a can of mixed fruit is about…$0.75-$1.50. You can stock up on cans, which are not as healthy as fresh fruit, but they last a lot longer and are a lot cheaper. You can buy a package of pizza rolls for $5 and this package could get you several meals for your family. Where if you buy chicken or beef from the butcher, it’ll cost between $7-$15 and you’ll get about 1 or possibly 2 meals out of it. These are the options that a person with no money will consider when they buy groceries. It is not that they don’t have access to healthy foods, it’s just the fact that the healthier foods cost more and you get a less amount. I bought 1.5lbs of chicken the other day for $8. Three pieces of chicken will give this family one meal. Not to mention that here in Florida I saw milk costing a whopping $4.85. That would give this family maybe a week or milk if they drink it sparingly.
    The one thing that has failed to be addressed is the issues of mental health among the poor. "Poverty level also has an impact on the mental health status of all Americans. In 2010, adults living below the poverty level were three times more likely to have serious psychological distress as compared to adults over twice the poverty level. In general, minorities have less access to, and less availability of mental health services." – US Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health
    There are no right and wrong answers as to how to become rich. The important thing is that we try to help one another as Mr. Ramsey is trying to do. His efforts are commendable, and he is trying to send a positive message to motivate those who struggle with money.
    Mr. Ramsey is accurate about his statistics, but had he taken sometime to understand or explain the cause and effect of these statistics, then I think there would be less people who find this offensive.

    January 2, 2014 at 4:01 pm |
  6. Heather

    Rachel, for someone who has appeared to be as savy and knowledgeable as you, you certainly failed to do your homework on this and just went for an emotional reaction. Dave Ramsey doesn't help Christians "get rich". He teaches them how to get out of debt and make good, biblical financial choices. He and his group have helped people in despair for years. Please do your homework before putting your voice out there to attack a fellow believer.

    January 1, 2014 at 1:04 pm |
  7. Glen

    Ms. Evans. I think you are stretching it. Mr. Ramsey is merely pointing out habits of the rich and poor. I didn't see where he said "do this and you will get rich". You cannot deny that a large part of what we become is in direct relationship to our habits and choices. True, the rich may have more access to health clubs or health stores, but that doesn't mean the poor can't exercise. Mr. Ramsey pointed out that 76% of rich people exercise aerobically 4 days a week as compared to only 23% of the poor. He didn't say where they exercise. It is very possible to get just as good as a n aerobic exercise out on the street taking a light jog than it is to jog on a treadmill in a gym. And please don't tell me that grocery stores, even in the poorest neighborhoods in the US don't have fruits and vegetables that even the poor can choose to eat, rather than all the junk, twinkies, cupcakes, soda's and chips. It really frustrates me to see obese people in a fast food place woofing down a big meal, maybe a few burgers and fries, but washing it down with a diet soda, as if somehow, that diet soda will make all the difference. And then they blame society for their condition and not the person in the mirror. When you make comment about the girl who is in a failing school system, there maybe an injustice taking place, but the injustice is in allowing the school system to continue failing, rather than giving a parent a choice of where to send their children. Why is it that those who claim to support equality and being for the poor are the ones who are really keeping them down? Those same "leaders" who complain about the injustices, campaign against choice of schools...or a voucher program. Why? I believe it is to allow themselves to remain in power. But, I disagree with your basic presumptions about what Mr. Ramsey was saying. I didn't see where Mr. Ramsey guaranteed any particular outcome if you make the choices that the rich are making. Another point missing is how many of those "rich" who were part of whatever study these statistics came from, started out poor, or less than rich. That would be an interesting statistic to discover.

    January 1, 2014 at 12:18 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Your ignorance and bias is showing in your many inaccurate statements. Why don't you read the article a little more carefully and research the exact specifics the author provides. You responding with v@gue general opinions about what people can and can't do with ZERO specific facts is deplorable.

      Critique. Research. Learn. Then post.

      January 1, 2014 at 12:27 pm |
    • kellienicholson

      Glen, I don't think anyone is criticizing the great advice Dave Ramsey gives, but the fact is that he is generalizing and leading people to believe that anyone can become rich, if only they change their habits and insinuating that poor people are just lazy. There are many lazy rich people who just got lucky. I know he is trying to motivate people, but better wording would have been more effective. Winners vs. losers or successful vs. unsuccessful might not have been so offensive.

      Our economy is way out of balance right now. To encourage people that they can make it without discussing the road blocks that will hold them back isn't really fair. There are so many factors involved in becoming rich and not all of them can be overcome without outside intervention and assistance. To deny that is misleading. I do have to say that the list of habits for success is great advice, though.

      January 1, 2014 at 2:16 pm |
  8. Cheryl

    Ramsey is basically telling me, that money is a motivator. Wealthy people can buy pricey food, join the gym, listen to audio books in their Audi, send their kids to great schools, island vacations, etc. Such an elitist point of view, that just dismisses the less fortunate and makes them seem like they chose to be poor and irrelevant, lazy and don't care about their health, uneducated hethens (in their terrible public schools). Who really buys into this garbage, except a person with money.

    December 31, 2013 at 11:00 pm |
    • ricegf

      Why the hate, Cheryl?

      Mr. Ramsey's entire career has focused on helping broke people (like I used to be) learn how to handle money effectively, get out of debt, and put themselves into a financial position where they can "give like no one else" (one of his favorite phrases).

      You need to read "The Millionaire Next Door", a thorough study of millionaires in America by Dr. Thomas J Stanley. You'll learn that most American millionaires live modest middle-class lives, buy 2-3 year old quality (but not luxury) pre-owned cars, live on a written budget, and give generously to a few targeted causes where their wealth can make a difference in the lives of people in need.

      That's reality in America, not the fantasy you see on network dramas or class warfare websites.

      January 1, 2014 at 9:03 am |
    • kellienicholson

      Cheryl hit the nail on the head.

      January 1, 2014 at 1:46 pm |
  9. kellienicholson

    Jeff C, my criticism of Dave Ramsey is not in his intent, but in his arrogant approach. Telling a poor person that the only reason they aren't successful is because they are lazy is not inspiring and certainly not helpful. The self-help industry has hit a dead end, preaching to be positive and that anyone can have anything they want, as long as they believe it. The evolution of the industry is to embrace truths about our limitations and work to remove the road blocks. I'm sure many people have followed Mr. Ramsey's advice and gotten nowhere, because there are other factors involved in their situation.

    Though I'm not as successful (shame on me), I do the same thing Mr. Ramsey does, but I make every attempt not to insult the very people I'm trying to help.

    December 31, 2013 at 2:53 pm |
  10. joe schmoe

    Findings in a recent Gallup poll show a positive correlation between poor countries and religiosity while high-income countries like Sweden and Denmark are less than 20%. The only "wealthy" country where this is not true? You guessed it. The US.

    December 31, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
    • PS

      How wealthy would those Western European countries be if they had had to pay a fair share of their national defense over the last 68 years?

      January 4, 2014 at 8:18 pm |
  11. VICKI

    I agree with his findings on the difference between rich and poor, thinking of my own actions, when I'm really need money badly I tend to play the lottery, instead of saving the dollar or two. We live no place close to a gym, but you can exercise at home, you just prioritize your time. We live no place to a health store, you menu plan. He said junk food vs nutritional food,to me candy, chips, soda do not qualify as nutritional foods. You can be dirt poor and still do your best at volunteering, studying hard, working smart, and save money, a person once said if you can't save money when you are poor you probably won't save money when you make more money, thus never becoming rich. I agree with that statement as I still haven't saved money and I'm still not making anymore money. But I love volunteering, and working.

    December 31, 2013 at 10:08 am |
    • Jeff C

      Very well said Vicki!

      December 31, 2013 at 11:06 am |
    • Elizabeth

      I took the Dave Ramsey course. It was a course my parents and my school system did not teach...and now that I am in debt, I learned a lot in the course and it is helping me to get out, save and teach my kids about spending. I don't have money for a gym, but I walk around my town(and sometimes with my kids and that is good quality time) and that was an encouragement to my daughter to loose weight for prom and she did!!, grocery stores are good nutritional stores-I buy more fruits and vegetables and chicken for our family(and my daughter is in college and eats good meals because she is sending cookies home with me or passing them out to other students that family send to her.) I believe that if others are giving you money...that you should use it wisely...meaning if you get state money to feed you and your children-chips and pop are not on the menu.

      One important thing my parents did teach me was to work, don't be afraid of it and if you have bills, children, you have needs and wants, then you better do it. I believe that some of the poor don't like the word "work".

      I work two jobs, partly I have to because of an ex-husband and a judicial system set by men in setting the percent of what I can get from him (always having to use the court system to get any raise of my support when he gets a raise from his state job) to help raise his two children...he left us and now he lives very well...without a lot of parenting responsibility. I am not rich but I too enjoy volunteering, which my parents taught me and now I teach my children the same...something my ex felt was the responsibility of someone else to do especially when it came to his children.

      I still drive the car I bought in 2007, it is a 2003 Vibe, it has over 215,000 miles. I pray and thank God for it everyday and thank the mechanic that works on it each month for he lets me make payments. I have given up time with my children because I needed to work and even though I am tired I still take time to be with them. I have given up time for my love of
      sewing because I needed to work and too tired to do it...I should say my fingers are too tired to pick up pins and scissors.

      I work retail and see and hear a lot from the customers I meet in the store and from my fellow employees...I could go on...
      but I believe if you are determined and given good encouragement, you can accomplish any goals.

      January 1, 2014 at 1:28 am |
      • kellienicholson

        Elizabeth, there are many stories such as yours. Dave Ramsey's success principles are excellent guides to how one can reach their goals of financial freedom., but you are missing the point of Rachel Held Evans' article. Dave Ramsey is leading people to believe that they can become RICH by using these principles and that anyone who isn't rich is just lazy. If you don't understand that it's a lie, then you don't understand our economy. I notice you said that you aren't rich, so why not?

        If he really wants to help people, then he shouldn't be insulting them. Many poor people work multiple jobs. Many poor people can't afford the pain medication they need, so they work through unbearable pain. Many poor people are not overweight. Many poor people are addicted to drugs or they are depressed. We are beyond these types of self-help programs. It's time to concentrate on repairing the broken system we call the American Way, so everyone has a chance to play in the game.

        January 1, 2014 at 2:04 pm |
  12. Daniel

    I think Rachel, you missed something here. First of all, I read the article from Dave Ramsey, and I don't see how anyone is supposed to take this as a literal "you do this and then you will become rich" statement. However, I still want to defend good behaviors.

    When someone get's an A in school, it is not then that they become an A student. They were an A student when they started reading, studying and getting to bed on time. Some have an easier time with that than others, but all people are required to "be an A student" before receiving the grade (I speak metaphorically for those who aren't catching my drift).

    The habits of the poor are consistently those that yield the results of poverty. I grew up in a poor home that remained poor, and then I examined my habits, and without a loan, without college, without a free car, without direction from a relative, I changed my habits. I specifically examined rich people I knew (personally or otherwise) and starting adopting many of their habits. I noticed the difference in poor people I knew, and starting avoiding those. I even refused to eat ramen noodles for several years because people around me said "they're great to eat if you're poor" (note: it also has little food value).

    I worked out from home without any equipment, I chose to eat healthier on my own, I figured out how to learn, starting with borrowing books and eventually listening to audio books (because I just couldn't get enough learning). I listened to these rich people books in a car I bought for $850 by the way.

    What you're missing Rachel, is that the habits of the poor perpetuate poverty. Some people don't know that, and therefore stay poor. Some just don't listen (my family) and therefore stay ignorant of the cause and effect while their uneducated son becomes rich right before their eyes.

    You see, I've been poor. When I was a teenager, I saved up $25 and went and bought a lawn mower and started knocking on doors because I wanted a better pair of jeans. My piers were buying snacks with their money. I saved up $750 as a young adult to start a business while my poor piers were buying DVDs and game machines. The differences are obvious when you are willing to admit to the truth.

    Are their social injustices? Yes, they do exist as well. Injustice exists all around us, and saying "it's not your fault and you can't do anything about it without my help" is an injustice and a lie as well.

    December 31, 2013 at 8:57 am |
    • Jeff C

      Well said Daniel!

      December 31, 2013 at 10:54 am |
    • Tom H

      Dqniel, Enjoyed reading your post. Wow what a great story of persistence and hard work. Keep up the great work. You should write a book on your life as it will be an inspiration to others. May God Bless You, Tom H

      January 5, 2014 at 4:08 pm |
  13. bob

    Thanks Rachel.

    December 31, 2013 at 7:14 am |
  14. RJ Lunsford

    If CNN actually paid Rachel Evans for her opinionated ignorance, they got ripped off! Now maybe CNN wanted an ignorant rant, but still, they paid for junk, clearly she doesn't know what she's talking about!

    December 31, 2013 at 2:17 am |
    • Jeff C

      Well said RJ!

      December 31, 2013 at 11:03 am |
  15. Lisa

    This is ridiculous. All Dave Ramsey did was put out a list of statistical information for people to read and draw their own conclusions from. His audience isn't interested in pointing fingers and judging poor people; they're asking for advice on how to better their own financial situation. Maybe you'll find some helpful tips. Maybe you're like me and don't like the idea of getting up at 4 in the morning when you start work at 7. Does that mean you should get mad and say Ramsey's discriminating against those of us who don't work 9-5 jobs? Get over it.

    December 30, 2013 at 6:55 pm |
  16. Jeff C

    I'm not sure a successful argument can be made with a socialist such as Rachel Evans, as by definition, socialists tend to pick and choose which facts support their arguments, leaving ones that don't alone, and they often don't dig very deep in the subject matter either. I don't really like to generalize, but Evans' work here fits that description perfectly.

    First off, as an avid follower of Dave, I can tell you that while he is obviously a staunch Christian and wealthy (now), he is not overly preachy in his radio and TV broadcasts nor is there anything about his teachings that couldn't apply to someone who was agnostic or atheist. So right off the bat, this blog starts on the false premise that Ramsey "makes his living telling other evangelical Christians how they can get rich".

    I also hold issue with the claim that Ramsey is out to teach anyone how to be rich. If you listen to him in any length, which the blog-ster obviously has not, you know that Ramsey's main goals are to teach people how to handle their money better, get out of debt and how to later live better because of those improved choices and processes. From a Biblical standpoint of wealth, what Evans is quick to ignore is the fact that one of the cornerstones of Ramsey's teachings is that when one does eliminate debt and build wealth, it puts us in a much better position to be charitable; his teachings have nothing to do with greed or amassing wealth at anyone's expense.

    I also take issue with some of the socialist narrative in the blog with regards to Ramsey's "20 Things the Rich Do Every Day" list. For starters, one does not need a gym membership to exercise and to imply that, as Evans does, just shows how weak her overall argument actually is. Walk, run, ride a bike, hit the gym in your apartment complex or buy a couple of free weights at a garage sale; just to name a few things most of us could do without a gym membership or without spending much, if any, money.

    Then there's the diet. Just because one is on a tight budget does not mean you have to eat junk food. Frozen veggies are cheap & healthy, as are cans of beans and bags of rice, which Ramsey refers to often; again ignored by the author.

    In short, this author obviously has an issue with capitalism and with Christianity and makes a very poor and flimsy argument against Ramsey, who she has obviously not spent much time actually listening to.

    Good job CNN; I'll know to avoid your blogs in the future.

    December 30, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
    • intimagemd

      Thank you, JEFF C, for being the voice of reason! You are right on target!

      December 30, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
      • Jeff C

        Thanks intimagemd!

        December 31, 2013 at 11:04 am |
    • Joe Cotterino

      This article, like most leftist hater's writings, is a misinformed, delusional joke. Congrats to Miss Evan's on maintaining the liberal status quo!

      December 30, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
    • Billy

      Thanks, Jeff. My thoughts exactly. I wish that people could hear what the other side is saying before adding extra words and straw-man qualifiers to what they've read just so they can oppose it.

      December 30, 2013 at 6:17 pm |
      • Jeff C

        Thanks Billy!

        December 31, 2013 at 11:04 am |
    • Leslie

      Well said!!!!

      January 17, 2014 at 11:40 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.