“Dead in the Water….Again”: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness in the Twenty-First Century

  • Teresa Delgado
Part of the New Approaches to Religion and Power book series (NARP)


On October 21, 2010, CNN premiered the documentary Black in America: Almighty Debt, hosted by Soledad O’Brien, which, at the time, was CNN’s latest installment in a series of news documentaries about African Americans in the United States. Featured in the 90-minute program was Rev. Dr. DeForest B. Soaries Jr., Senior Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens in Somerset, New Jersey. In addition to his multiple pastoral duties, the documentary highlighted Rev. Soaries’s philosophy of financial autonomy that he advocates for his 7,000-member congregation. His “dfree™” strategy teaches people how to achieve financial independence, which means “living without debt, deficits and delinquencies.” When O’Brien asked Rev. Soaries which was the greater obstacle for African Americans, racism or debt, he responded without hesitation, “Debt is the new slavery…paying last month’s bills with next month’s income is a kind of indentured servitude. It is financial bondage.”


Financial Crisis Financial Bondage Christian Theologian Financial Autonomy Loan Modification 
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Copyright information

© Ada María Isasi-Díaz, Mary McClintock Fulkerson, and Rosemary P. Carbine 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Teresa Delgado

There are no affiliations available

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