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. FidyCents

    In keeping with most CNN articles,they find a progressive hillbilly to write a worthless article on a successful person. Liberals loath hard work and charitable causes. Just read what the author wrote and why is she so upset?

    December 1, 2013 at 7:39 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      There are plenty of criticisms of Ramsey and Orman and others. Look them up but the main one in general is they sell expensive products to people who, by definition, can ill afford to buy them. In the case of Ramsey hypocrisy is added as he says not to show your wealth and owns a $5M home clear and free, and also questions over some bogus letters when he had a column.

      December 1, 2013 at 8:44 pm |
  2. Charissa

    What bothers me is that he erased all the negative comments and closed all comments. Sad

    December 1, 2013 at 7:37 pm |
  3. rino

    Just boycott this clown. I saw him a few time on CNN, a lot of BS. Snake oil salesman, that is his lesson to the poor on how to get rich.

    December 1, 2013 at 7:34 pm |
    • StrawMan

      What exactly is snake oil in his program.?I used his program to plan to eliminate consumer dbt and it worked great. Very simple steps applied consistently. Have since done quite well continuing to follow the concept of living within my means. He never promised poor people will become rich. He provides some guidance and a method for getting out of debt and saving for retirement. If you can continue to the next level that is great but he ins' saying it is easy or guaranteed..

      December 1, 2013 at 7:43 pm |
    • CP

      Following Dave Ramsey's advice, my husband and I got out of 34k in debt in 14 months making 32k per year. Yes, you read those numbers right. It's a snake oil I'd recommend to anyone.

      December 1, 2013 at 11:55 pm |
  4. Anna


    December 1, 2013 at 7:33 pm |
  5. Anna


    December 1, 2013 at 7:29 pm |
  6. Mark

    the poor may not exercise because their jobs require them to, well, exercise. See, most wealthy sit on their duff, "directing" and "managing" the poor who do all the work. Yet the rich get richer, and the ones doing it get poorer...

    December 1, 2013 at 7:20 pm |
    • bob

      Then take all of your money and go create a business, work for 60 hours per week and when and if you become successful give it to all the poor people.

      December 1, 2013 at 7:29 pm |
  7. mnperreault

    I just have lost a lot of respect for CNN after reading this negative article about Dave Ramsey!! He has helped millions of Americans (including the poor) get out of debt and practice good money habits. American would be a lot better place if people didn't spend beyond their means (which is exactly what Dave promotes). I can proudly say I have paid off over $18,000 in debt in one year after following Dave's financial plan (Yes, I am in the middle class). I know I wouldn't have paid off that much debt without his guidance. Its sad to see such a well known news channel take such a low jab at a financial leader who is doing so much good in this world. Get your facts right!

    December 1, 2013 at 7:16 pm |
    • Rhoda

      Stop astroturfing already, Dave Ramsey. You suck.

      December 1, 2013 at 7:19 pm |
      • bob

        Rhoda you are a m0r0n

        December 1, 2013 at 7:30 pm |
    • Doesn't Matter

      Did you not read the whole article?? You must not of because you missed come key points. Paragraphs 3 and 4 tell of his "sound helpful advice, particularly for middle-class Americans struggling with mounting credit card bills." The author is merely showing a kink in his armor, in which we all have. We all fall short of the glory of God. I agree and am happy for the millions of people he has helped through his teachings, but I also am smart enough to know when I should and should not agree with someone. I Disagree with Ramsey's points because of their sheer broadness. I hope you have a great day.

      December 1, 2013 at 7:40 pm |
      • rockyfort

        What the author of this article misses about Ramsey is that he talks about gaining wealth in part so that you can give to others and help others. If you cherry pick part of what he says and you miss that other part, sure, he seems greedy. In truth though, he appeals to people like me who in the past saw needs and was not able to help others meet those needs. Since I have followed his program, I have the funds to meet those needs and I'm not paying that interest to the banks.

        December 1, 2013 at 8:04 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          Some of that (giving to others) gets lost when you live in a $5M home with no mortgage.

          December 1, 2013 at 9:28 pm |
        • rockyfort

          So what you are opposed to is success? I would venture to say that his giving to others is far more than yours. He's able to give more because he's made more. His inspiration has caused others to give more as well.

          December 1, 2013 at 9:42 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          No, I'm opposed to people like him making money off of people who by definition cannot afford to buy high-profit-margin products. Look at his webpage – nothing about financial management – full of products for sale and endorsements of other products for which he is compensated. The focus is not on helping people get out of debt, the focus is on making money for Dave Ramsey.
          Research his past.

          December 1, 2013 at 9:51 pm |
  8. IpseCogita

    It is OK to say doing thing right will help you get rich, but wrong to say that not doing those thing right will keep you poor?

    December 1, 2013 at 7:15 pm |
    • StrawMan

      He never said poor people are poor because they don't follow his program.. But I disagree that i it is wrong to say not doing things right will keep you poor. Obviously if you make bad decisions with money you will stay poor... That ins't an opinion that is a fact.

      December 1, 2013 at 7:36 pm |
  9. goatmeal

    I don't think Jesus ever gave us a list of steps to stop being poor. If anything he recommended the opposite.

    December 1, 2013 at 7:15 pm |
  10. Des Moiner

    Good ole Dave Ramsey, just another guy famous for being famous. He's kind of the Kim Kardashian of the evangelical nutjob world.

    December 1, 2013 at 7:02 pm |
    • Live4Him

      Who is Kim Kardashian compared to a person who has lived foolishly and then wizened up? And then has used his lessons to pass on to others so they don't need to learn them the hard way. Does Kim do this? Nope, she shows the world how narcissistic she is. Is that what you want to learn? Not me.

      December 1, 2013 at 7:07 pm |
      • Bing

        All Christians live foolishly, in a foolish delusion.

        December 1, 2013 at 7:13 pm |
        • bob

          Bing why are you such a h a t e r. Now go sleep with your brothers sister because obviously you think that is ok

          December 1, 2013 at 7:31 pm |
        • bob is deluded

          December 1, 2013 at 8:53 pm |
      • Mark

        sure, he is a Christian, he works and advises to help others... but I wonder how much of his current riches if from selling his audio and video stuff.
        I'm not a millionaire, but I did retire at 46 and make more than the median income (from my military pension) where I live... about 30% more. I live well within my means, my wife and I do not have to work, and the only "debt" we have is our mortgage. Of course once that is paid (and with my 3.25% rate I can't see paying it a great deal sooner than needed!), my only debt is renting my property from the government in the form of "property taxes".

        December 1, 2013 at 7:23 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          So you don't use roads, will never need emergency services, etc.?

          December 1, 2013 at 9:26 pm |
    • mnperreault

      I just have lost a lot of respect for CNN after reading this negative article about Dave Ramsey!! He has helped millions of Americans (including the poor) get out of debt and practice good money habits. American would be a lot better place if people didn't spend beyond their means (which is exactly what Dave promotes). I can proudly say I have paid off over $18,000 in debt in one year after following Dave's financial plan (Yes, I am in the middle class). I know I wouldn't have paid off that much debt without his guidance. Its sad to see such a well known news channel take such a low jab at a financial leader who is doing so much good in this world. Get your facts right!

      December 1, 2013 at 7:15 pm |
      • Rhoda

        Stop astroturfing, Dave Ramsey. You suck.

        December 1, 2013 at 7:18 pm |
        • bob

          Rhoda, you are still a m0r0n

          December 1, 2013 at 7:32 pm |
      • In Santa we trust

        If you could pay off $18K in one year, you didn't really need advice from anyone. Most of what he says is available for free or low cost, for example http://www.nfcc.org/.

        December 1, 2013 at 9:25 pm |
    • StrawMan

      I rreally don't even see the guy doing anything controversial at all unless getting out of debt is controversial. Not sure how getting out of debt and jsut mentioning how successful people should use their money to show their faith through works is upsetting to anyone or relevant to Kim Kardashian in any way

      December 1, 2013 at 7:52 pm |
    • StrawMan

      What does giving finacial advice (that works) have to do with Kim Kardashian

      December 1, 2013 at 7:57 pm |
  11. Yeah but look

    The notion of the "food desert" is largely myth. We have "food education deserts" and "knowing how to cook" deserts. Working as a cashier at a store in a poor area, it is frightening to watch the percentage of junk that goes by on the belt only to be purchased with food stamps. Soda pop, candy, sugary cereals, donuts, frozen pizza, frozen tv dinners, tater tots, etc. Everything is highly processed and very unhealthful. Seldom any fruits and vegetables except maybe some bananas. In all of this you might be lucky enough to spot a gallon of milk or a pack of ground beef and those will be the most healthful items on the belt. They don't buy this way because it is less expensive they buy this way because it is how they have learned to eat. People eat as they have been taught by their parents and we are several generations from being able to properly cook. I don't know what miracle it will take to bring people back to the ability to cook, but in the meantime we should make it illegal to purchase those items with food stamps which are totally non-nutritive. If you can't buy toilet paper, tylenol or cigarettes with food stamps, you should not be able to buy soda pop, candy or donuts.

    December 1, 2013 at 6:23 pm |
    • Ha ha

      You don't work as a cashier in a poor area. Why do you lie just to bash the poor?

      December 1, 2013 at 7:28 pm |
      • Yeah but look

        Who is bashing? I am pointing out a societal problem and I dare you to prove that I don't work where I say I do.

        December 1, 2013 at 7:33 pm |
      • bob

        ha ha – why do you even breathe. You are really an ign0rant m0r0n

        December 1, 2013 at 7:34 pm |
    • been there done that

      I find it amazing how easy it is to judge when You have never been there. Medical nightmares can ruin it for anyone. I worked 60-80 hours my adult life, owned only one brand new car, and have been crushed under medical expenses numerous times in the last 30 years. I don't have excessive credit card debt, drive an 8 year old car with 150,000 miles that needs work, eat VERY healthy and still fight to keep it above water.

      December 1, 2013 at 7:35 pm |
      • Yeah but look

        Who is "judging" you or anyone else? I am pointing out a societal issue which is very real–namely that in poorer areas people have largely forgotten the basics of cooking with real food and instead rely on processed junk and hamburger helper. If you eat well then really good for you but sadly you are not in the majority if you live in one of these so-called "food deserts."

        December 1, 2013 at 7:38 pm |
      • StrawMan

        People in your situation call into his show all the time and he handles those cases with absolute respect and caring and also provides direction and advice.

        December 1, 2013 at 7:55 pm |
  12. Matt

    I disagree with this article. After 5 years of listening to Dave's show, reading his books and attending his live event, I've never heard him say that the Bible promises wealth as a reward to people who are intelligent, faithful, and responsible. What he does say is no different than what the Bible says (specifically the book of Proverbs), that people with good money habits are likely to prosper. He's not suggesting a guaranteed cause and effect relationship any more than the Bible does in verses like Proverbs 10:4 – “Lazy people are soon poor; hard workers get rich.”

    One of the things I like about Dave is that he does genuinely care about the poor and disadvantaged. First and foremost, by helping them get out of debt and onto a path where they can provide for themselves and their families. Second, he has a phrase: “Live like no one else so that later you can GIVE like no one else.” In other words, make sacrifices now, delay gratification, get out of debt and be smart with money so that you can eventually be more generous to others in need. He frequently dedicates entire sections of his show to stories told by callers of how they were able to bless others because they first did the hard work of getting out of debt.

    December 1, 2013 at 6:20 pm |
    • salvadordalai

      But will Ramsey's method really help the poor get out of poverty? I know the basics of his plan, and a lot of it seems to depend on having a stable income. I think Evans has it right that he's great if you're middle class, and can do all the things that people credit him with. But the poor have the deck stacked against them in many ways–such as not knowing how to cook, as one commenter pointed out. But also not being able to get bank accounts very easily, being subjected to all kinds of fines and fees, being judged on their appearance and clothing–I could go on. Having debt can keep you from being comfortable–but being poor is about more than just some debt.

      December 1, 2013 at 8:44 pm |
  13. Robert Seward

    It is funny, listening to these silly pamphlet Christians, and their silly little lies. They say, " I will never be a widow". They conceal their hatred behind their lies and false accusations. They remind me of those who said that Job must have sinned because of his misfortune; They are very smug and self righteous in their hour of power. On the other hand I am impressed by the many Americans that are not afraid to praise the truth that this author has written.

    December 1, 2013 at 6:11 pm |
    • Observer

      The story of Job is one of the most disgusting and disgraceful stories in the Bible and makes God look like a heartless monster.

      December 1, 2013 at 6:13 pm |
      • Live4Him

        Only because you don't comprehend the story well.

        December 1, 2013 at 7:01 pm |
        • Observer


          WRONG. The REAL problem is that you don't COMPREHEND the significance of the DEATH of 10 children, servants, and thousands of animals.

          Wake up!!! It's all INSIGNIFICANT to you.

          December 1, 2013 at 7:10 pm |
        • Live4Him

          @Observer : The REAL problem is that you don't COMPREHEND the significance of the DEATH of 10 children, servants, and thousands of animals.

          How many of those lives (both human and animals) would still be alive today? ZERO! So, you're protesting an early death, rather than death itself. But, how do you justify that those live would have made a difference today?

          December 1, 2013 at 7:17 pm |
        • Ha ha

          Bet they were never alive.

          December 1, 2013 at 7:24 pm |
        • Observer


          "How many of those lives (both human and animals) would still be alive today? ZERO! So, you're protesting an early death, rather than death itself. But, how do you justify that those live would have made a difference today?"

          WOW! So 30 years from now the Holocaust will be meaningless when all involved are gone?

          You seem as completely cold-blooded and HEARTLESS as God does in the Bible. AMAZING! Pathetic!

          December 1, 2013 at 7:51 pm |
  14. sqeptiq

    The problem with this comment section:

    "When men wrangle by the mouth with no certainty that they mean the same thing while using the same words, it would perhaps be as well if they would keep silence." -Abraham Lincoln

    December 1, 2013 at 6:08 pm |
  15. Bob

    Despite being disadvantaged, there are plenty of ways that the relatively poor and/or disadvantaged can make good decisions. Of course, it is more difficult for some than it may be for others to make healthy decisions. But its ludicrous to say that people are buying junk food primarily because its the only thing available. Come on! It's because it tastes good and people are weak willed. Christ! Beans are cheap and readily available everywhere. So are bananas and so are lots of foods.

    It's not a level playing field...ya we get it. But just because people around you have gained things without real merit doesn't men you should expect the same. Reality is, few people outside of your family will give you anything. So you'd better come up with a way to get what you want. Making excuses and blaming the Man are a good way to kill time and rustle up some motivation. But the Man could care less about you. Make something of your life within the system you see, or start a revolution.

    December 1, 2013 at 6:06 pm |
    • Kenneth

      Look up the term "food desert", get some actual information, and then come back and say people are just weak willed.
      The only thing weak here is your reasoning.

      December 1, 2013 at 6:26 pm |
      • bob

        Kenneth I see you are back to spouting your foolishness and h a t e. Now go get weened.

        December 1, 2013 at 7:38 pm |
  16. Michael Shaw

    Truth hurts I guess.

    December 1, 2013 at 6:02 pm |
  17. Jon

    The larger point here is: poor people aren't poor because their lazy. This myth persists and is frustrating. Anyone who either grew up disadvantaged or has worked with those in economically depressed neighborhoods knows this is not the case. The "playing ground" is not level. People in lower classes face manifold problems that those in the middle and upper classes don't. Yet the notion persists, especially among Christians, that people's socio-economic reality is a direct reflection of their personal ambition.

    It is sometimes true that rich people are hard-working and poor people are lazy. The opposite is also true. It is absolutely true that rich people have ten advantages for every one that poor people have.

    December 1, 2013 at 6:00 pm |
    • WhatsThePoint

      I grew up in a very depressed neighborhood where i got shot at , you couldn't order a pizza because they wouldn't deliver, and the news showed a murder there every day. When I came out of my front door someone tried to make me buy crack or sell it for them.
      If it was impossible to get out I wouldn't have gotten out... If it was wrong for me to believe I could get out, I would still be in that situation. Did I make a plan heck yeah I did. did everyone in my neighborhood. Heck no they didn't
      Dave Ramsey never said everyone will get out of poverty or that everyone can. He just teaches that if you apply certain principles and methods with your money and the resources you have, you have a much better chance of getting out than if you resign yourself to the fact that you can't. There is no way a financial planner could advise anyone without believing people can get out of poverty or convincing them that they can.
      I mean that is one of the fundamental problems with this article... The criticism that he shouldn't be telling people they can get out of poverty when EVERYONE can't/wont. People do it every day. I did.

      December 1, 2013 at 6:15 pm |
      • Jon

        I'm glad to hear you succeeded. And I certainly wouldn't deny that people stay where they are because of lack of ambition. However, to suggest that all or even most people are poor because they are lazy or haven't tried "x," "y," and "z" is patently false. But, this has already been articulated above and elsewhere in the comments.

        December 1, 2013 at 6:59 pm |
        • StrawMan

          He didn't say "most people are poor because they are lazy or haven't tried " He says if you don't do "X Y Z" you will stay there...

          December 1, 2013 at 8:35 pm |
  18. Sylvia

    Having just finished the Dave Ramsey course at our church (which was offered for FREE If you couldn't afford it), I'd say he has a LOT of Biblical wisdom regarding money. His main teachings are to: stay (and/or get) out of debt, don't buy what you can't afford, get rid of credit cards, save for a car instead of wasting money on a payment plan, use a budget so you don't waste money, and work extra jobs if you need to, etc etc etc.. His main emphasis is to be wise with money so you can GIVE more away. The majority of doctors go bankrupt due to not managing their money well, so it's not how MUCH money you have, it's what you DO with your money. I work in an ER with many "poor" patients- the sad reality is that many of them waste their money on cigarettes, I-Pads, fake nails, NIKE shoes, etc, while at the same time getting food stamps, free housing, healthcare, etc. My parents could have qualified for government help, but instead they work themselves night and day.... America IS the land of opportunity, and I've never seen a starving person here.... (while I have seen starving people while traveling to India- where there are NO homeless shelters/food pantries/food stamps!)

    December 1, 2013 at 5:45 pm |
    • Aubry Jones

      Our church did it for free too because they knew if we got out of debt the offerings would grow (more than the fee would produce). You see they sowed a seed and it produced a harvest. I am soooooooooo happy we took his course!

      December 1, 2013 at 6:06 pm |
    • Kristina

      If you have never seen a starving person in America then you have not looked. My first introduction was a child in the 2nd grade who after eating his lunch, he had missed breakfast because he was late to school, he turned to me and said well I have had my meal for the day. I turned to the teacher sitting at the next table with a questioning look and she said that he was probably right and that since it was Friday it might be his meal for the weekend. I know people abuse the system but Jesus does not ask us to find out who is deserving before we give our coat he just says to give it as well as our shirt.

      December 1, 2013 at 6:14 pm |
      • WhatsThePoint

        Not sure what that has to do with Dave Ramsey or that Dave Ramsey promised the child that he would get out of poverty or deserved to be there

        December 1, 2013 at 6:27 pm |
        • Jinx

          She is replying to this comment:
          "America IS the land of opportunity, and I’ve never seen a starving person here…."

          What's your quarrel with that, Thread Nanny?

          December 1, 2013 at 7:19 pm |
  19. NotAPirate

    I'm not sure whether the author's point of the article was a general attack attack of Ramsey's religiosity, or that the economically disadvantaged should resign themselves as victims and just up. Ramsey's " eat healthy, exercise and improve your mind" exemplifies traits of people who take ownership in improving their lives. Eating apples rather than Twinkies is not causal to making one wealthy, but I don't think Ramsey ever suggested that. However, having a lifestyle of self-driven improvement will naturally lead one to improve their finances, as well as their bodies and minds.
    Can't afford a gym membership? You can chalk that up to social injustice, or you can go out for a walk. I don't buy the food desert argument suggesting that legions of poor are begging for healthy food, only to be showered in Fritos. If healthy food was requested and consistently purchased, junk food would lose its shelf space as dictated by the market. And the last time I checked, libraries are free to the public.

    My only critic of Ramsey would be: 1) Never not contribute to your 401k to payoff debt if there is a company match & 2) sometimes it is not practical to buy a $1500 beater car to get out of debt. The repairs will kill you. Otherwise, leave Dave be. He helps a lot more people than CNN does.

    The religious aspect to Ramsey's message is easy to abide or ignore. I am a non-religious Libertarian. Most of the faith based perspective doesn't change Ramsey's financial message. I think its nice that he emphasizes giving as part of his curriculum. I give to orgs like the Red Cross rather than a church.

    December 1, 2013 at 5:40 pm |
    • WhatsThePoint

      Couldn't agree more. He lightly peppers religion in regards to ethics and being generous which are his personal opinions. The program itself is methodical and no religious stuff is really necessary or involved in the methods. And CNN aint helpin' squat esp by discouraging people from listening to his lessons.
      I also dont' get the purpose of the article. Are they saying he isn't christian by promoting prosperity in general or for being prosperous?
      Life isn't fair. Dave Ramsey never said it was. Not sure if they expect people to just sit and resign themselves to being poor or how the author expects people to get out of poverty if they have no chance, if they don't think they can, or if someone doesn't convince them that they can.

      December 1, 2013 at 6:03 pm |
  20. becky

    The fact that unicorns do not exist is not proof that God does not exist. One thing which I find intriguing is how people can look at a world where survival of one species is so interconnected to another (something I find difficult to believe is random), and fail to believe in an intelligent designer (God). One example of interconnectedness is trees producing oxygen, while emitting oxygen; while humans emit carbon dioxide, and require oxygen to survive.

    December 1, 2013 at 5:36 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Do you have evidence that unicorns do not exist? No, you've never seen one and they don't make any sense therefore you do not believe until you see evidence. When it comes to your god however you exhibit motivated reasoning and accept that it does exist until proven otherwise even though all of the evidence we have points away from the personal gods described by all religions.

      December 1, 2013 at 5:44 pm |
    • sqeptiq

      It's only random in the sense that random change only favors what works to allow survival. You only see what things worked because otherwise you wouldn't be here to observe anything. All of the extinct species, including our ancestors, failed to achieve interconnectedness in a successful way so they disappeared. Every failed species is an example of poor "design."

      December 1, 2013 at 5:53 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.