Religion & Public Life With Mark Silk

Religion & Public Life With Mark Silk

The Ayn Rand Republicans

I confess to feeling a little bit queasy about the American Values Network’s new video hoisting Rep. Paul Ryan, Sen. Rand Paul, Rush Limbaugh, and other GOP luminaries on the petard of Ayn Rand and her atheistic philosophy of objectivism. Take a look.

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Yes, it’s delicious. But what’s the precise point? In his email announcement, AVN executive director Eric Sapp puts it this way:

Republican leaders are praising Ayn Rand and saying her teachings inspire their politics and the values in their budget.  Yet Rand not only rejected Christ, but she condemned all those who believed in him and said his teachings were evil. Our new video exposes the wolves in sheep’s clothing in Washington.  As Rand herself made clear, people cannot support her teachings and morality while also claiming to support Judeo-Christian values.


The implication here is that because Rand rejected Christ, her acolytes in Washington do likewise. They pretend to be good Christians while advancing anti-Christian legislation.

It’s not difficult to make the case that the Ryan budget plan has a lot more in common with Rand’s teachings than Jesus’. Yet there have been devout Christians in the past who have embraced draconian social policies towards the poor. Call me prissy, but I’d have been happier if the video traded less heavily in guilt by association with an anti-Christian atheist.

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posted May 24, 2011 at 7:41 pm

They see no conflict whatsoever. They simply re-invent Christ as a social Darwinist….

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posted May 24, 2011 at 10:24 pm

It’s like the creators of the video were shocked, shocked to find Ayn Rand fans in the GOP. This shouldn’t be news about Ayn Rand, or the Republicans.

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posted May 25, 2011 at 10:00 am

A short video by its nature requires more simple arguments, though this one is pretty straightforward. Read the memo for a fuller picture though. This isn’t guilt by association, and it’s not that she was an atheist. She went much farther to say Christ’s teachings were evil and that her purpose as a writer was to undermine the Church. Ryan said Rand was his inspiration for entering politics and that what DC desperately needs are more thinkers like her. Rand said people cannot follow her and Christ, and yet there are billions of dollars being spent to convince conservative Christians to accept her world and economic view. Ryan and others are praising her morality, ethics, economic view, and philosophy. They require staff to read her books.

Christians, especially the GOP’s Christian base, need to understand what is behind this philosophy and that it is absolutely anathema to Judeo-Christian morality. If someone said Hitler or Marx was their inspiration for coming into politics or that their writings were their political foundation, it would matter. Rand’s name ID isn’t as strong and so people don’t know what she believed and taught, and it’s hard to find many philosophers in the 20th Century who were more anti Christ than she…and that should matter to Christians as they decide how to apply their faith in the public square.

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posted May 25, 2011 at 4:58 pm

I think the important point here is that all these Republicans are getting their presumed philosophical underpinnings from an anti-religious, anti-Christian person. A lot of their supporters obviously don’t know that and they should since it would presumably force them to make some choices. Quite likely some of them don’t know it either.

I don’t hold her religious views against Rand, just her economic views. (I used to be a fan but I grew out of it.) It’s an open question how much her economic views influenced and were influenced by her religious views; maybe someone can make a good case, I can’t.

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Hank Chambers

posted January 7, 2012 at 12:08 pm

After seeing this video a while ago, I wanted to know why these people could be so taken in by an atheist, I decided to read Atlas Shrugged, at least get the flavor of it. Once I started, I could not stop, and read all 1150+ pages. The atheism is not explicit, but still obvious. The heros in this book all celebrated not self-reliance but utter selfishness, the opposite what is Christian. It is so obvious, that no Christian can possibly miss it. However, what is excellent about this book, is the story of a totalitarian socialist philosophy taking hold of the United States as it did in Russia (of which Ayn Rand was an eye-witness), the hatred for the productive, and the total collapse of the state if the philosophy is totally implemented. I started wondering what would happen if the current 1%-ers simply would go on strike. They don’t the money anymore, they have plenty. They could go on vacation for the rest of their lives. Would they be replaced? Would there not be an intense competition for people with proven talent? Would that not drive the price up? And would there be enough talent?
As a Christian I deplore Ayn Rand’s ONE commandment “Thou Shalt be Totally Selfish” (while reading the book I couldn’t stop thinking about Nietzsche), and certainly also her obvious atheism. But I still thought it was very interesting as a warning for the consequences of a redistribution-of-wealth society where job creators are villified and an entitlement mentality is rampant.
I would say it is a cheap shot to suggest that Christians didn’t see her atheism and her anti-Christian philosophy. But thanks anyway, because it made me read the book and I am glad I did.

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posted April 5, 2012 at 1:33 am

I’m sorry, but this video is purely propaganda. What these Congressman are quoted as saying is that they support her morality of Capitalism. While Ayn Rand was completely against the concept of religion and God, this has little to do, in my opinion, with her ideas on social structure and Capitalism.

But back to the main point, which urges the viewer of the video to damn these Republicans based on their admiration for a philosopher. This could be a rather interesting discussion, but it is immoral for the video to only bring up Rand’s views of religion, and not what she would say about government, when the video is essentially a governmental attack ad.

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