Poverty, Welfare, and ‘Rich Men North of Richmond’

A new song has taken the conservative world by storm. It was written and is performed by a former Virginia factory worker named Oliver Anthony, and it’s called “Rich Men North of Richmond.”

At its heart, the song is about the plight of rural Appalachian people who struggle with poverty. It’s a protest song directed at the elites of Washington D.C., who are the rich men who live and work north of Richmond, Virginia. The song’s lyrics have resonated with many conservatives, who have praised Anthony for giving voice to some of their feelings and frustrations.

This story also has a faith element. Anthony recently came to faith and is in addiction recovery for alcoholism. He has even recited Scripture at recent shows. As such, a number evangelical leaders have expressed their heartfelt support for him.

Nevertheless, the song isn’t without controversy. Some of its lyrics could be characterized as having racial overtones, and the song briefly alludes to conspiracy theories championed by QAnon.

In this episode, we dive into the lyrics of the song, the Scripture that Anthony has pointed his fans’ attention to, and common assumptions among conservatives, including many evangelicals, about the “deserving” versus “undeserving” poor.


LISTEN: Expanding the Pro-Life Conversation
LISTEN: Why Do so Many Christians Believe in QAnon?


VIDEO: Oliver Anthony – Rich Men North Of Richmond
Oliver Anthony’s Viral Hit Doesn’t Love Its Neighbors” by Hannah Anderson

Subscribe On Apple Podcasts | Follow On Spotify

Latest Episodes

Is There Such a Thing as a Gay Christian?
Do the 10 Commandments Belong on Public School Classroom Walls?
Tony Evans, Robert Morris, Carl Lentz, and the Fallout From Pastor Scandals
What If We’ve Gotten Heaven All Wrong?
Is the Pope Catholic? Francis' Appearance on 60 Minutes
PTSD, John MacArthur, and Mental Health Awareness Month
What Is the Purpose of the Church?
What To Make of Richard Dawkins' Cultural Christianity
When and How Should Christians Start Disciplining Their Children?
A Better Christian Vision for Immigration
Who Is the Devil? A Deep Dive on Satan
A Christian Perspective on IVF and Other Reproductive Technologies
Cremation, Sainthood, Unforgivable Sin, and Other Questions
Religious Scrupulosity: Super Faithful or Mentally Ill?
Is Alistair Begg Wrong About Christians Attending Same-Sex Weddings?
Does Paul Contradict Jesus? Progressive Christianity on TikTok
Is Joe Biden a Christian Nationalist?
Asian Jesus? Exploring Our Cultural Assumptions About Jesus Through Artwork
Pro-Life or Abortion Abolitionism: Who’s Right?
The Christian Origins of Santa Claus
Can You Walk Away From Church Without Walking Away From Jesus?
Are Ghosts Real?
Seeking Moral Clarity in Israel and Palestine
Unconditional Conference, Andy Stanley, and LGBTQ+ Issues in the Church
Ecumenism: How United Should the Global Church Be?

Explore More Episodes