(RNS) — Christian financial guru Dave Ramsey advises people to set up a $1,000 emergency fund as one of the first steps toward financial peace.
But apparently, a federal stimulus check is no way to get there.
“Well, I don’t believe in a stimulus check because if $600 or $1,400 changes your life, you were pretty much screwed already,” the author and radio host told Fox News on Thursday (Feb. 11).
“You got other issues going on. You have a career problem, you have a debt problem, you have a relationship problem, you have a mental health problem.”
On his daily radio show, Ramsey doubled down, saying that those who could benefit from the stimulus “didn’t have a life.”
Ramsey’s comments overall were in keeping with the no-debt mantra at the core of the advice espoused by Ramsey’s “Financial Peace University,” a nine-week program built around his principles for handling money “God’s way” that is taught in thousands of churches in the U.S.
But critics on social media quickly pointed out that getting a leg up from the feds sounded like one way to lay a financial base, as Ramsey’s program prescribes.
They also noted that Ramsey’s company, which received millions in tax breaks for an expansion to the company’s headquarters south of Nashville, Tennessee, wasn’t above benefiting from government largesse.
Ramsey — who declared bankruptcy in his 20s before starting a career teaching churchgoers how to handle their money — also said he was against forgiving student debt, calling it “smoke and mirrors.”
Ramsey has come under criticism recently for requiring his 900 employees to work in the office, despite an outbreak of COVID-19 at the company.
In addition, the company is currently being sued on allegations of religious and gender discrimination for firing an employee after she informed her bosses that she was pregnant. The company has claimed in court documents that premarital sex violates company policy.