Lutherans are pink:
Religious and cultural Lutheran values have shaped Nordic societies for centuries. But instead of encouraging capitalism as in Calvinist Europe, Lutheranism promoted a social-democratic welfare state in the Nordic world.
As this year marks the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, this issue is highly topical.
Robert H. Nelson, professor of economics at the University of Maryland, develops these arguments in Lutheranism and the Nordic Spirit of Social Democracy: A Different Protestant Ethic. He probes the large role a Lutheran ethic played in the development of the Nordic welfare state and the Nordic social-democratic political and economic system during its golden years from the 1930s to the 1980s.
Nelson sees this Lutheran ethic as parallel to the Calvinist ethic famously examined by the German sociologist Max Weber In his book the Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. Nelson also compares the American and Nordic ideas of the welfare state in a novel way, discussing the greater influence of Calvinism in the United States as compared with Lutheranism in the Nordic countries.
According to Nelson, fundamental Nordic values, such as a strong work ethic, complete equality between men and women, and others manifested in social democracy are all derived from Lutheran teachings as embodied in the Lutheran ethic.
The Lutheran ethic emphasized The Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” in the pursuit of an individual calling. This has been the foundation of the concept of 20th century Nordic social solidarity, in particular, states Nelson.
The upside? U.S. is not simply Christian but a Calvinist nation.
Except, the Puritans were not exactly capitalists. If you read John Winthrop’s Model of Christian Charity, you would think he’s a socialist.