Ayn Rand, Not Jesus, Is The Moral Guide For Today’s Republican Party

Ayn Rand, Not Jesus, Is The Moral Guide For Today’s Republican Party March 22, 2017
Ayn Rand vs Jesus
Ayn Rand vs Jesus

As we watch the Republican Party engage in an orgy of greed in Washington it is important to understand where their moral compass points if we are to engage them effectively. Ultimately they will pay lip-service to Christianity but the reality is, knowingly or unknowingly, that the objectivist libertarian Ayn Rand is the lodestar for their worldview. Their Jesus-scented rhetoric is merely a religious cover for the dark, selfish philosophy that motivates them.

Rand promoted an unoriginal dog-eat-dog, survival-of-the-fittest philosophy which is now the foundation for conservatives, Republicans, and Libertarians today. Her beliefs are widely held by people who call themselves Christians while ignoring the grave differences between Rand and Jesus. And those who contend there is a significant difference between her teachings and libertarianism have yet to offer a logical argument to back up the claim. She is foundational to much libertarian and conservative thought today.

There are any Republicans who follow her or are greatly influenced by her but today I note only one.

Rep. Paul Ryan, who is in the center of power these days, was an open acolyte of Rand until he saw that her raw hate of the things his supporters viewed as good things (like charity) was not good for his career and decided to deny his fascination with her. Just prior to that he said: “But the reason I got involved in public service, by and large, if I had to credit one thinker, one person, it would be Ayn Rand. And the fight we are in here, make no mistake about it, is a fight of individualism versus collectivism.” He said this in a speech honoring Ayn Rand at the Rand-worshiping Atlas Society. He also said: “I grew up reading Ayn Rand and it taught me quite a bit about who I am and what my value systems are, and what my beliefs are. It’s inspired me so much that it’s required reading in my office for all my interns and my staff.”

Ryan’s story and his love of the teachings of Ayn Rand is echoed by many in power today. So what did Ayn Rand teach? These quotes just scratch the surface of objectivist libertarian belief and can clearly be seen in the policies being put in place in Washington since the inauguration of Trump:

“If any civilization is to survive, it is the morality of altruism that men have to reject.”

“My views on charity are very simple. I do not consider it a major virtue and, above all, I do not consider it a moral duty. There is nothing wrong in helping other people, if and when they are worthy of the help and you can afford to help them. I regard charity as a marginal issue. What I am fighting is the idea that charity is a moral duty and a primary virtue.”

“The proper method of judging when or whether one should help another person is by reference to one’s own rational self-interest and one’s own hierarchy of values: the time, money or effort one gives or the risk one takes should be proportionate to the value of the person in relation to one’s own happiness.”

Can you imagine these words coming from the mouth of Jesus Christ? What a great foundation to build a healthy society on. Well, it’s a great foundation if a central feature of your society is a place called “Thunderdome” and issues are settled by a dog-eat-dog system of violence. But it does help us to understand the reason Republicans believe what they do, against all evidence that shows they are wrong, and against the teachings of Jesus. Seriously, if you believe the the things taught by Ayn Rand you are not a follower of Christ, you are a follower of Ayn Rand who believed that the poor and those who sought government help were “irrational,” “parasites,” “dishonest,” and “thieving loafers.” You need to be adult about it and stop pretending this has anything to do with Christianity.

Objectivism, to put it plainly, is an evil philosophy founded on the principle that property, money, individualism, liberty, and “self-interest,” are the most important considerations in any moral equation. When I began reading Ayn Rand’s works as a 16 year-old I was searching for spiritual truth and guidance. I was reading the works of numerous philosophers and religions. Between ages 16 and 19 I seriously explored objectivism and libertarianism. I was captivated by the implications of her objectivist philosophy. I, like her, venerated the individual and “liberty.” But the more I read and thought about what she was preaching the more I had problems with it. By 19 I had read almost every turgid word she wrote and had developed arguments against her evil philosophy. It is during this time I became an active Christian. The conflict between objectivism and Christianity became immediately apparent. Jesus explicitly taught against the selfish and self-centered things that Ayn Rand and libertarianism promote. I came to see that there was no reconciling the two. My chief complaint was that this was totally antithetical to Christianity. I expressed this to her in a question and answer session after a lecture she gave in 1978. She simply reasserted her position and assured me I was not incorrect in how I viewed objectivism in relation to religion. In the ensuing 40 years I have listened to and read scores of people trying to reconcile the two and, while philosophically interesting and intellectually convoluted, none has come close to accomplishing the goal.

Why have they failed at reconciling the two? Because Jesus commanded: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” He taught us the virtue of selfless giving: “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me” – Matthew 25:34-36. The Apostle instructed that Christians were to: “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” And we are told “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”

This one paragraph, 100 words, totally demolishes the foundation of objectivist libertarianism and the political parties that find their essence in the evil teachings of Ayn Rand. If you are a conservative, Republican, Libertarian, or a follower of Ayn Rand the time has come for honesty. You, for some reason, like her juvenile and selfish philosophy. It resonates with you but you also seem to have an affinity for Jesus. Please take some time and think about this. We have a common ground in the teachings of Jesus. America needs you, your energy, your passion. But America also needs the the teachings of Jesus divorced from those of Ayn Rand.

Let’s travel this road together.

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  • kivenaberham

    To put it simply, Ayn Rand=libertarianism=narco capitalism= mob rules.

    • Rekt

      That is to put it so simple that even an idiot as well as a genius would have a hard time grasping the meaning of it.
      Ayn Rand created the philosophy Objectivism. It may resemble Libertarianism on the surface, but their premises are quite different. Anarco capitalism is a contradiction in terms, but I’d expect nothing less from a collectivist ideology (they are all in contradiction). Mob rule isn’t that far off from what the West has had for centuries, except the USA -which was close to Laizzes Faire capitalism from the mid 1800s up until 1913.

  • gimpi1

    Ayn Rand is fascinating to adolescent males for some reason. Apparently, some folks such as Speaker Ryan never fully matured. My favorite reference here is that there are two writers who generally shape adolescents in America, Tolkien and Rand. One of these writes offers a world based on childish fantasy that is totally unrelated to real humanity, our emotions, our needs, our joint heritage. The other writer offers a world with Orcs and Elves.

    • Glenn Allen Cheek

      Look closely at Tolkien and you can see his anti-war and anti-violence view of the world. He clearly shows that the longer the conflict, the more evil our opponents are portrayed by those in power.

      • chris

        Not to mention how corrupted those in power, especially on our side, become. And how we just accept it.

  • MowTin

    I totally agree. Ayn Rand is anti-Christian and just a rationalization of evil. The reality is Christian conservatives have abandoned Christianity. I’ve always felt that liberals need to try to appeal more to Christians by using Jesus’ own words.

    Republicans basically use issues like gay marriage to win over Christians. Liberals need to use issues like poverty and charity to do the same. Moreover Jesus spoke out strongly against self-righteousness and judgment. It’s an argument that liberals can win. But they don’t try to make that case.

    • chris

      Liberals run on a more secular ideology than that. I think they’ve decided that by appealing to christians using religion they will lose more voters than they will gain.

      • jekylldoc

        It’s a little uneven. I think both Obama and Hillary Clinton are motivated to a great degree by their faith. On the other hand, they also both often use a pragmatic lens to make decisions. I am not sure we can hope for much better than that combination in our leaders. There should be a tension between the two, at least.

        • chris

          I would dare to hope for a leader who is an atheist, but failing that a theist will do if they are pragmatic and secular in their decision making. This isn’t impossible, because I know some christians that I would trust to be in power and make their decisions this way – although there will be some inherent bias towards their religion. I can accept this, as long as it isn’t too bad.

          • jekylldoc

            My take on the issue is that if I cannot explain to an atheist why I think some value of mine makes sense, then I should probably question whether it really is from God. I don’t think we are meant to follow arbitrary rules, but to love our neighbors as ourselves.

          • chris

            I like that philosophy jeklydoc. You are the type of theist that I don’t mind having around.

    • silverccl

      But if some Christians find certain rules dispensable, like gay marriage or birth control, there are those who consider charity for others dispensable when faced with catastrophic illnesses in their families in the absence of employment or insurance. Understandable. Their realities are so overwhelming, so all consuming, that they are rendered helpless to see others’ needs in any clear way. Unless his name is whispered in a prayer, Jesus will have to wait.

  • Glenn Allen Cheek

    At one time, before the term “Conservative” was hijacked by the fear and hate mongers, the difference between a “Liberal” and a “Conservative” was, the Liberal would say, “We need to start a program and hire someone to help these people.” A Conservative would say, “Where do I start?”

  • jekylldoc

    While I do not fundamentally disagree with your analysis, I think it is time we move past the either/or response. Frankly, I think Rand has done more damage by successfully characterizing the matter as a choice between collectivism and excellence than by attacking altruism.

    The people I knew who were charmed by Ayn Rand in their youth were in fact seeking liberation. From what? From a religion dominated by obligation. Sure, one can eventually reach a stage of seeing that only what is done for everyone’s good is truly lasting, and allows us to escape from mental slavery created by systems which pit one person against another. But there is a time in life when obligation to support everyone else is mainly experienced as a burden added to the competition one is already oppressed by. So, not only do you have to study hard so you can earn a lot of money, but then you have to give it all away.

    Life, and an economic system, and spiritual life, all are more complicated than that. Jesus focused on how we relate to others and to God as an indicator of our soul’s condition. Is the system controlling us, or are we serving God (who does not, perhaps you have noticed, give detailed instructions)? I think we could be more open to the whole truth of that if we recognized two valid aspects of the libertarian viewpoint:

    1) obligation does not motivate us very well (compared to excellence, for example, which can take shape in common goals and group projects); and

    2) giving up our freedom in order to punish the rich for their good fortune is a lose-lose structure.

    So how about some thought as to how altruism can create genuine relationship and allows empathy to flow both ways? How about explicit accounting for the benefits we expect from redistribution, and real analysis when it fails to hit those targets? How about more demonstrating and less commanding?

    • All great points. I wish I had the time to respond properly. I will try to address some of these points in the future.

    • starfyre

      excellent, but I take exception to using the words “good fortune” to account for the achievement of riches. On the plus side, it should be “good effort”. On the negative, “successful evil”.
      The former should be admired and encouraged to consider altruism; the
      latter, definitely punished.

      • jekylldoc

        starfyre – good points. Riches often come from energy, insight, vision, dedication and by all means effort. I mean, people who are rich have usually worked really hard. On the other hand, having the brains behind the confidence, and having the temperament to hang in there and work those long hours, can be a species of good fortune. I didn’t mean to suggest that rich people are just those who won some lottery, only that they should feel fortunate as much as they feel deserving.

        Unfortunately riches are also sometimes due to evil. The evil is not always illegal, either. Reading Ayn Rand you would never understand that there are people like the Enron scammers or Ivan Boesky, making their money by taking advantage of the system. So thanks for pointing it out.

        • Reading Ayn Rand you would never understand that there are people like the Enron scammers or Ivan Boesky, making their money by taking advantage of the system.

          Really? Did you ever read Atlas Shrugged? Do you remember characters like James Taggart and Orren Boyle? Corrupt businessmen who make their money by taking advantage of the system? Hello?

          • jekylldoc

            Okay, I fess up. I have never read Ayn Rand. I claimed something without any basis, except the weird stuff that Rand fans say. That was an irresponsible thing to do, and I apologize. Thanks for pointing it out.

  • Greg Watson
  • starfyre

    There is at least a third position: the moral atheist.
    I now reject the Rand philosophy that I once held so dear, but I also
    reject the myth of Jesus and the need for external standards for
    morality. If you can judge the morality of Jesus, any prophet, the
    Bible, or any sacred tome as good….then that judgement comes from
    within you. You already have the intuitive knowledge of good and evil
    sufficient to run your life and a society.

    • chris

      Well said

    • Richard Lambert

      Jesus wasn’t a mythic figure…

      • chris

        He was according to several billion people.

        • Richard Lambert

          Several billion people think the world is flat too …you can believe that Jesus wasint God, if you want, but to claim that he was an entirely mythic figure just because a bunch people think he might be, is just as simple minded…but hey, if countless non biblical, historical sources isint enough to check billions of peoples insistence that there was no Jesus of Nazareth…well, what else can I say. :/ …..go you, for being a different kind of sheep?

          • jekylldoc

            I’m a Christian, but I recognize that there is very much about our ideas on Jesus that are mythical. Just for starters, there are several places in the New Testament in which Paul or Jesus indicate firmly and clearly that the second coming is going to happen soon (“some will not taste death” . . . etc.) Being mythical is really just the ancient way of saying “really important.”

            I don’t agree with Carrier and Price and the “mythicists” who believe that Jesus started out as a concocted story and an entirely supernatural figure, then had “humanity” attached to him after the time of Paul. It doesn’t work with the evidence. But it’s probably a good idea if Christians recognize that the feeding of the multitude and the calming of the storm are told for their symbolism, not their literal (wow!) accuracy.

          • Richard Lambert

            So…then what do you believe about Jesus, and who he was, exactly?

          • jekylldoc

            Richard – I think Christianity has made the mistake of trying to understand itself in terms of creeds since the time of Constantine. What I believe about Jesus is that he is the way, the truth and the life. What I really need to know about how to have life more abundant is captured in Jesus’ self-giving, his forgiveness and his on-going life through the body of Christ. Obviously I am going to have some trouble getting in the face of the Roman Empire, but I think we all need to free ourselves from systems which rely on cruelty toward some of God’s children.

            As a matter of history, I think Jesus started out as a follower in the John the Baptist movement, which preached repentance, compassion and upright living, but found himself with special gifts which motivated him to preach the imminent Kingdom and to see himself as the peaceful Messiah proclaimed in a number of prophetic passages. When he realized this would mean challenging Rome and the local authorities, and accepted to take that role and be faithful to the truth even to his own torture and death, he initiated a revolution in human culture and became the Son of God.

            What do you believe about who Jesus was?

          • Luke Austin

            Christian dogma. Ridiculous Christian dogma. As are all the Abrahamic religions. Dehumanize and subjugate all others to satisfy you own selfishness and greed.

          • jekylldoc

            To a man with a hammer . . .

          • Luke Austin

            “Jesus” is myth. Total myth. As is your Bible whomever you stole it from. Just one more God myth to kill.

          • jekylldoc

            Luke – I think it is a good idea to confront and process the parts of Christianity which make it their business to dehumanize and subjugate all others to satisfy the selfishness and greed of believers. You obviously think the whole thing is a package, and there is no such thing as separating out unhealthy parts. Let me suggest to you that one could make the same claims about family life, or about military defense. Yet somehow I have the feeling that those are not going away. So maybe it is worth learning a few things about how cultures go about improving themselves.

            It seems to me that a confrontational approach, like yours, often has a role to play in that. But it rarely actually gets the job done. So I continue to think in terms of processing and improving, and maybe we both are working toward the same goal.

          • Luke Austin

            blah, blah, blah. why don’t delusional nutcases just give it up.
            Oh, that’s right, they’re delusional nutcases.
            The Earth is NOT 6000 years old.

          • chris

            You don’t have countless non-biblical, historical sources. I challenge you to name 3 and back them up with websites, research articles, that are not christian.

          • silverccl

            I wish that Second Coming would come on, already.

          • jekylldoc

            Well, then we wouldn’t have to do anything about climate change, would we?

          • silverccl

            I wouldn’t even have to keep my hair appointment.

      • starfyre

        The jury is still out on a flesh-and-blood person, but I reject the myth of him
        or anyone being the son of a god and the ultimate standard of morality.

        • A fish with no hands

          jesus seems to have been a real person, and by virtue of his influence and the persistance of stories about him does suggest a mythic quality. whether or not he was a god, a demi-god, or a holy person, or none of these is a matter of belief.

  • Kenneth Vaughan

    If a libertarian is motivated by the non-aggression principle, why would they have to embrace Rand’s ideas on selfishness being a virtue?

    • silverccl

      If.

      • Kenneth Vaughan

        Yes. And many are. So, I’d for it to be demonstrated why these particular libertarians have to embrace Rand’s virtues of selfishness. I think a lot of libertarians do a good job at divorcing themselves from Rand. The author suggests that every attempt to do so fails, but doesn’t really demonstrate this.

    • Rekt

      Selfishness means to act in one’s own interest. Altruism, the opposite, is to act in others interest (at the expense of your own).
      What is most beneficial in the long run? Now, is that virtuous or not?

      And, I’ll just mention that acting in ones own self interest doesn’t exclude others. To do something good for the people you love and care for/about is selfish, because you do it for you; to keep, gain or maintain something you benefit from.

      Love is selfishness.
      You can’t love “for others.” It’s impossible.

  • chris

    The comparison to Thunderdome isn’t as apt as to Rapture from Bioshock, but I suppose that it is one that more people are likely to understand. Check out the story if you want to see an artists impression of a truly Randian Society. The founder’s name is Andrew Ryan – in tribute to Rand.

    • Rekt

      You haven’t read Ayn Rand. It’s nothing like an individualistic society she would want to see (as in “Galt’s Gulch”).

  • Marc Herman

    If the nazis had won the war they would have pushed Ayn Rand for president.

    • Rekt

      She was against all forms of collectivism. That includes the national variety of socialism (aka nazism).

  • Andrea Stoeckel

    Never could understand the comparisons of Ayn Rand to anyone, I’s read Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead as a young person and thought they were great reads, especially The Fountainhead after I saw the movie about 10 years ago.

    Then, I read Anthem, and now I understand. As a minister I don’t know where I fall in this debate, probably somewhere in the middle

    • silverccl

      ‘Anthem’ is interesting, isn’t it?

  • Christ the Other White Meat

    Yeah the only difference between them both is that Ayn Rand was a hypocrite at the end of her life and the RepubliCants were always pathetic hypocrites

    • MiniMeme

      Nathaniel Branden’s book about Ayn Rand documented in detail her inability to allow the people in her own circle their personal freedom of choice.

      • Rekt

        That’s in dispute. Branden was a douche, and when he didn’t get his way with her he got mad.

    • silverccl

      Could it be that Rand, like most people, merely changed her mind about her formerly strongly held policies & beliefs? As we get older, this will happen: our fire breathing tends to get a bit less consistent & we allow for other possibilities. She may have simply softened, as amazing as THAT seems, in her case.

    • Rekt

      No. She wasn’t. If you understood anything Ayn Rand have said you’d know that the social security she claimed was just a fraction of the money the government had collected from her in taxes.
      There’s no contradiction in anything she said and that she got some of her own money back.

  • A fish with no hands

    thank you for an evidence-based discussion. While I am certainly libertarian when it comes to personal behavior that does not hurt others, the application of rand’s views to governance and the place of commerce in society is self-destructive, as ridiculous as christian science healing. Ryan himself said these things.

    • Rekt

      You’re not “libertarian.” And even if you have read Ayn Rand you certainly haven’t been awake while reading.
      You essentially say “people can do whatever but not hurt others.” How do you reconcile that notion with government social programs? They are, after all, not so much backed by arguments as they are backed with a gun.

    • Mr Cleats

      Brainless kid-fcker

  • Dennis

    John WL Berry: Besides your ad hominem phrases (like “As we watch the Republican Party engage in an orgy of greed”), you make the following false assumptions in your article:
    1. Ayn Rand guides the thinking of the Republican Party and Trump.
    2. Our government leaders should govern based on the teachings of Jesus.

    Regarding #1, Paul Ryan may follow Ayn Rand, but other Republicans do not form their views based on what Ayn Rand thinks. I certainly don’t and don’t know any of my Republican friends who do. Most have never heard of Ayn Rand.

    Regarding #2, we don’t have a theocracy in the USA. The president’s position is a secular position. He is Commander-in-Chief, not Pastor/Priest-in-Chief. The primary job of our government is not to implement the Sermon on the Mount but to keep our country safe and to create a strong economy. I think the Trump administration is doing a good job at that. This will allow a framework in which churches and other groups can do charity and follow the teachings of Jesus as they interpret them.

    • Edward Silha

      The president should not be a “pastor in chief”, however, true Christians would be guided by the philosophy of Jesus as the article notes. Most Republican politicians claim to be Christians (followers of Jesus Christ) but promote legislation that is in opposition to the philosophy that Jesus espoused. Can I suggest that they are hypocrites?
      Are Christians who vote for hypocritical politicians that claim to be Christian, themselves hypocrites?

      • Dennis

        Edward: You run into problems when you require Christians in politics to pass legislation in accordance with the teachings of Jesus, esp. teachings from the Sermon on the Mount, which I believe must be interpreted in its context. For example, some Christians are pacifists and believe that Jesus taught pacifism. I don’t agree with that. So I certainly wouldn’t want people in government to pass legislation that would weaken our national defense. I think the best philosophy for politics is to vote for people (Christians or not) who agree with your ideas for what a government should do. As I said in my original post, at the top of my list is for our leaders to keep our country safe and create a strong economy.

    • Wookie Monster

      Regarding your response to #1: I have the same experience with republicans who claim all democrats follow the teaching of Saul Alinsky, even though most democrats I know have never read anything he’s ever written.

      Regardless, whether or not republicans are directly influenced by Ayn Rand, there is a large chunk of their current positions that is in line with the libertarian/objectivist creed she preached. I think that needs to be acknowledged.

      While I agree with you that the United States is not a theocracy and should never be governed according to any one religious tradition, I do think it is hypocritical for certain self-identified Christians (Paul Ryan) to espouse beliefs that are in direct conflict with the alleged teachings of Jesus. That also needs to be acknowledged.

      • Dennis

        Wookie Monster: You state that it is “hypocritical for certain self-identified Christians (Paul Ryan) to espouse beliefs that are in direct conflict with the alleged teachings of Jesus.” My reply: (1) The verses John Berry quoted from the Bible relate to personal ethics and not running a government . So I don’t know if I agree that Paul Ryan is hypocritical as a Christian in his government duties. (2) Even if Ryan is hypocritical, don’t you think there are also a lot of hypocritical Democrats in office?

        • Wookie Monster

          The verses are about how people should relate to one another. The people are the government, QED.

          • Dennis

            Yes, the verses are about how people should relate to one another. No, the people are not the government. We, the people, elect the government. Government policy does not equal personal ethics. Thus no QED.

          • Wookie Monster

            It should.

          • stephen rollins

            You should join ISIS. such a command philosophy is not even found in 19th century military journals.

          • Wookie Monster

            Really? That’s you’re argument? Insulting me and equating me with a terrorist just because I have a differing view about the role of government?

            Seriously?

            Bye Troll.

          • stephen rollins

            please learn to read, wook. I did not equate you with isis, only suggested your philosophy was compatable. I am surprised you took offense. I thought you would be proud. Try responding to the facts. Find a 19th century military man who espoused your philosophy. Hint – south of the mason dixon line, bucco…..grow a pair, and part your hair….orc.

          • Wookie Monster

            I don’t buy the argument from some Christians that Jesus was just talking about individual behavior and not societal when it comes to helping the poor and the sick. Mainly because it usually comes from the same people who say the government should outlaw gays and abortion because “Jesus said so (even though there’s no passage in the Gospels where he mentions either subject).”

          • Dennis

            Jesus never put his remarks in the context of how to run a government. His only remarks about government is in the “render unto Caesar” verse. What is your ultimate point? That government should help the poor and sick? I agree that it should, but I don’t base that on a command of Jesus. Do you? If you do, then please explain specifically how Jesus said a government should do that and give me the verses.

          • Wookie Monster

            I don’t believe Jesus existed, so no, he didn’t give any command. I’m only trying to hold Christians to a consistent view of his teachings.

            Which I know is like trying to empty the ocean with a spaghetti strainer.

          • kcwookie

            I don’t agree with your ethics, who is right?

          • Dennis

            I’m not saying that there are no objective ethics. I believe there are. My point to Wookie is just that the New Testament ethics are personal ethics and not about how to run a government.

          • kcwookie

            Stop dancing and answer the question. I don’t care about Wookie.

          • Dennis

            I thought I did answer it. Rephrase your question.

          • stephen rollins

            My Dear Mr. W. Monster:
            If the people are the government, then there is no such thing as a minority or compromise. You are clearly a person who thinks that words like “consumer” means that eskimos buy 17.6 pounds of bananas each year. You forget, I imagine, that Jesus never voted, nor did anyone in the OT vote as a part of a republic, for a ruler. Goodness me, is this thread really that ignorant, or could it be just you? (Hint: somewhere in the middle).
            I suppose I could have “let the wookie win”, but the issue is important enuf to risk having my limbs removed.

    • Luke Austin

      Republicans don’t have any philosophical or moral foundation.
      Lies and hypocrisy are the only GOP morals.

      • Dennis

        Democrats are worse. They would rather protect an illegal immigrant felon in a sanctuary city than they would an American citizen.

        • Snooterpoot

          Bullscat.

        • Luke Austin

          You mean an American citizen like Donald Trump, a degenerate criminal, pathological liar, fraudster, conman, and apparent traitor. That American? Why not Putin?
          It’s the greediest of capitalists who want the illegal immigrant workforce to enslave. Go after the illegal employers and stop wasting time building walls that will do nothing but embarrass us across the world.
          Pathetic stupidity. Get educated.

    • Rekt

      Paul Ryan doesn’t follow Ayn Rand. He’s doing the exact opposite of being objectivist.

      • Luke Austin

        Oh, but Pauly wally has had a hard on for Ayn since going to play Mr. Smith in D.C. He’s a mixed up joke. Not very bright at all for someone who is called a “policy wonk”.

        • Rekt

          I know. He’s stated that Ayn Rand is a big inspiration for him. If that was true, he’d be working to limit the size and scope of government, but instead he’s doing the exact opposite.

  • MiniMeme

    “John Galt worked as an engineer for the Twentieth Century Motor Company, where he secretly invented a generator of usable electric energy from ambient static electricity, but abandoned his prototype, and his employment, when dissatisfied by an easily corrupted novel system of payment. This prototype was found by Dagny Taggart and Hank Rearden. Galt himself remains concealed, throughout much of the novel, in a valley by himself, where he unites the most skillful inventors and business leaders under his leadership.”
    Tesla !!

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Atlas_Shrugged_characters#John_Galt

  • ADPeeko

    Did Christ Jesus advocate, or mandate, the nationwide legislation of morality (i.e. charity, etc.), a.k.a. “Theonomy”, or rather the individual and freewill expression thereof? What did He mean by, “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.” (Matthew 22:21 KJV)? How then does this apply herein? If our national leadership is to legislate Christ Jesus’ philosophy, namely His “Two Greatest Commandments” (Matthew 22:37-40), would this then not also include His complete Torah, thus: Love God (Exodus 20:1-11 & Deuteronomy 6:4-5) and Love Man (Exodus 20:12-17 & Leviticus 19:17-18)? And, if so, then what part of God’s Holy Word (Genesis thru Revelation) does not apply?

    • Luke Austin

      Whaa..? You bible quotin’ Christians have gone word salad Sara Palin/Donald Trump incoherent. Speak English.

  • Terry Washington

    It is worth noting that even the late William F. Buckley, the founding father of American conservatism found Ayn Rand(an avowed atheist incidentally)’s selfish and callous philosophy incompatible with Christian ethics!

    • stephen rollins

      Yessir; but said incompatibility did not stop the late great WFB from advocating lower tax rates and acknowledging with persons like Shelby Steele that our trillions spent on the welfare state have been counterproductive. Jesus stopped feeding the thousands when all they came back for was bread.

  • Luke Austin

    Ayn Rand = One Cold Bitch

    • Rekt

      Have you read her “The romantic manifesto”?

      • Luke Austin

        Again, Ayn Rand = One Cold Bitch

        • Rekt

          How does it make you feel, knowing that all you say is based on nothing but imaginary things? I’m curious.
          I’d feel at least a little bit ashamed.

  • Alonzo

    Reaching back over the centuries for a comparison is a stretch and fallacious.

    • Cliff

      Not when Paul Ryan proclaims that he is a devout Catholic….Besides, your statement makes no sense. Sorry.

      • Alonzo

        Then I suggest you reread what I wrote. HINT: In what century, culture, and nation did Jesus live. In what country, culture, and nation did Rand live? Now try again. Next time consider context.

        Rand Paul’s denomination is irrelevant to the dicussion.

        • silverccl

          In Jesus’ century, culture[s] & nation(s), human life had an even lower value than it has today. It was a brutal time in which to live & try to survive, day to day. Since that time & in good part because of his teachings, we place a higher value on human life & responsibility toward one another. To aid those less fortunate has become an intrinsic feature of our world & our form of governing.

          • Alonzo

            You fail to address the article’s claim and my follow up of comparing the Republican Party and Liberarianism more to Rand than Jesus.

            >>>”In Jesus’ century, culture[s] & nation(s), human life had an even lower value than it has today.”

            REALLY!!!? Murder today across the world is not as brutal as in Jesus’ time? Are you missing ISIS? China? Cuba? South America? Korea? Are you missing the 60-70 million abortions committed just in Russia and China alone and over 40 million in the US? Are you missing the brutality of the Viet Nam war, Korean War? WWII? WWI? What a hasty generalization you make!

          • silverccl

            Salt, when it comes to hastiness & generalization: I never indulge. You may be surprised to learn that there are those who do not consider abortion murder. Above all, I have never overlooked brutality of any war or ‘police action.’ However, I submit to you that my assertion of human life’s being cheap in Jesus’ time is predicated on the acceptance of that fact by everyone living at that time. There were not three crosses on a hill: there were hundreds, with human bodies attached in varying stages of decomposition, lining the roads all the way. There were heads lining the city walls, affixed to spikes. People died of dysentery in the thousands; did they all have wakes, funeral processions & grave markers? Did they even have their own graves? But it was all accepted. Their way of life.
            By your objecting so passionately & enumerating so many exceptional transgressions by humankind, you prove my point. We live in a time in which we expect more & better.

          • Alonzo

            >>>”You may be surprised to learn that there are those who do not consider abortion murder.”

            You cannot have it both ways. You may be surprised to learn that there are those who do not consider the kinds of brutality you mentioned not brutal. Who decides? Popular opinion that can be reversed in a generation? Courts that can be overturned by a vote? Somebody’s human philosophy like Rand’s Objectivism?

            By your comment so passionately rendered with enumerated exceptional transgressions by humankind, you prove my point that you cannot have it both ways. Are you the arbiter of right and wrong by assigning certain transgressions and their degree? Your comments seem to show that you somehow can judge much better than others in terms of right and wrong.

            Many people in Jesus’ time would say the same thing, that they also lived in a time in which they expected better. Better compared to what? “Better” assumes an objective standard by which all live. Otherwise, “better” is simply relegated to relative opinion, and not everyone shares the same opinion.

            Now, are you also the arbiter of good and bad? You cannot have it both ways. You judge people of yesteryear by modern standards, proving my first assertion what the author of the article was doing – “reaching back over the centuries for a comparison.”

          • Evermyrtle

            Only fools do not consider abortion murder!!! Abortion is killing an unborn child, which is living, with a beating heart, getting ready, to come out into the world to live among us, only if allowed to do so, by it’s parents!!!

          • Alonzo

            Agree!

          • Alonzo

            >>>”We live in a time in which we expect more & better.”

            Expectations are not bases for standards of judgment between right and wrong or good and bad. Otherwise, anarchy would ensue and truth becomes subjective to whims, impulses, and fleeting notions and not universal.

  • Deb Beasley

    Thank you for explaining so well what I’ve been trying to explain to people about the GOP embrace of Rand’s cruel Objectivism. We are not human to those who support Rand–we are objects, parasites. There was an article in our local paper today about a caregiver for an elderly man, she not paid because of Illinois short-sighted cruelty, and that man falling and lying on the floor for 90 hours, at least. He survived only because his caregiver came back. What kind of fool is she, she’s not being paid, and what use is that man to Ryan and his ilk? A political party that follows the philosophy of Objectivism is not only callous but evil. This is not my America and certainly not Christian.

  • gratefuldennis

    For many years Ayn Rand was at the top of the reading list of the John Birch Society. Many Republicans, libertarians, Tea Party members are now embracing her capitalistic philosophy. The Koch Brothers are members of the John Birch society as was their father. The Koch brothers are the biggest contributors to the Republicans. They finance several right-wing Think Tanks and foundations. I got this from a John Birch Society website many years ago and it explains exactly what they want for America:

    From the John Birch society themselves:
    Quote:
    ———————
    We Oppose
    Pure Democracy (mob rule)
    Totalitarianism (total government)
    Anarchy (no government)
    Government of “men” – Monarchy, Oligarchy, and Democracy
    Group Compulsion
    Group Responsibility
    Forced Welfare
    Destruction of national sovereignty – One World Government

    We Believe
    Private ownership and control of property
    Free enterprise, capitalism, and competitivism
    Government’s sole function – “To protect”

    We Oppose
    Government ownership or control of property
    Socialism, Communism, and Collectivism
    Government’s function – “To provide”
    ——————–
    end quote

    In Rand’s book “The Fountainhead” she gives credit to one man who built a skyscraper. Also in the book the bad guys were the Unions. Have you ever seen one man build a skyscraper? It is the workers who built it risking their lives to do so.

    The misconception is that people are poor because they are not as smart, but the reality is most honest, hard working folks are poor because of values. They don’t want to do to their brothers and sisters what some people do to get ahead. I will take the morals and values of a poor working stiff any day over the likes of CEO’s like Chaney, Rice, and Ken Lay etc.

  • The seeds for this were planted in 1787 when the constitutional framers replaced the 17th-century Colonial governments of, by, and for God established upon His immutable/unchanging moral law for their own humanistic government of, by, and for the people based upon capricious Enlightenment and Masonic traditions.

    For more regarding these two polar opposite forms of government, see online Chapter 3 “The Preamble: WE THE PEOPLE vs. YAHWEH” of “Bible Law vs. the United States Constitution: The Christian Perspective” at http://www.bibleversusconstitution.org/BlvcOnline/biblelaw-constitutionalism-pt3.html.

    Then find out how much you really know about the Constitution as compared to the Bible. Take our 10-question Constitution Survey in the right-hand sidebar and receive a complimentary copy of a book that examines the Constitution by the Bible.

    • Evermyrtle

      Problem here Ted, America is not looking for GOD’S assistance,, “We can do it by ourselves” and we are truly making a great mess of “doing it by ourselves!!!” I shutter at thinking of my 3 year old “perfect” great granddaughter growing up in “This Satanic mess!”

  • Rekt

    Ayn Rand is the hero the world desperately need.
    Why do you have the right to what someone else has worked for?
    There’s no way to answer that question honestly and rationally without sounding like an entitled little narcissist.

    • Luke Austin

      Your are as sick as Rand. And Ryan and all the GOP.
      Devoid of human compassion. Hypocrisy of all morality.
      Sociopathy.

      • Rekt

        So…if you have a rational argument I’m willing to discuss with you.
        The projection and red herrings have got to go, though. In fact, all known logical fallacies have to go if you want a discussion with me.

        Who knows, you might even learn something new.

        • Luke Austin

          I don’t want a discussion with a sociopath.

          • Rekt

            But you only assume that I am. That’s called projection.
            If you don’t want to discuss the subject, that’s fine by me, it does however reveal your intellect, or lack thereof.
            And, out of curiosity, is that what it’s like, to be “compassionate” or to have “human compassion”? Just bash on the things you’re prejudiced against and ignore the invitation to discuss the subject?

            Well…it may make sense in backwards-land, but not in the real world. Contradictions can be held, for a while, but they don’t exist in reality, which means that ultimately you’ll have to face your flaws sooner or later. In regards to the mind -and what we know about it, I would suggest sooner rather than later, because later it will be harder and more painful to correct any flaw or error.

            I’m gonna go out and have a great day! Spring is closing in and the sun is shining. It’s a good day to be alive. 🙂

    • fifthdentist

      Well, first of all, you didn’t respond to the article, which pretty much says: You can admire Jesus or you can admire Ayn Rand; but you can’t follow both.
      It’s a question that’s been asked ever since Christianity became a thing, long before Ayn Rand was a thing who preached selfishness before her chain smoking forced her to depend on taxpayers to pay for her health care later in life. Most humorously, in my opinion, the question was raised by Mark Twain through the character Huckleberry Finn, who is puzzled by his prayers for fishing hooks going unanswered after it worked for fishing line, which, he noted, is no good without the hooks. He was informed that his prayers should not be selfish ones, but that he was to pray for everyone else’s good fortune.
      Although Huck said he didn’t put any stock in prayer after that point, he was the most empathetic character after Jim in the entire novel; and the outwardly pious were the most morally corrupt — from the feuding families who brought their shooting irons to church to the judge who was seemingly willing to screw Finn out of his money for $1.
      Alex Haley said that: “Any time you see a turtle on a top of a fence post, you know he had some help.”
      That’s basically true for everyone in our society. People like Donald Trump and the Koch brothers and the Bushes were born wealthy. But even more than that, they were born with the right connections. For most financially successful people in this country, that’s the case.
      For example, kids who get into exclusive elementary schools in New York are almost guaranteed an Ivy League education and mad connections for hooking up for jobs. All kids are eligible to take these exams, but well-to-do parents spend thousands on tutoring for their little 3, 4 and 5 year olds so that they can perform well on the test.
      They don’t work any harder than anyone else in many cases; they just won the sperm/egg lottery and popped out of the right hoo-hah to have the road to a successful life paved for them at birth.
      You want to talk about hard work? I’ve seen Mexicans picking sweet corn in July. They move like a blur in Southern heat that would cause a lot of healthy Americans to heat-stroke the fuck out in an hour or two. Few people — at least people who weren’t slaves whipped when they were deemed to be slacking off — will never work 1/10 that hard a day in their lives.
      Like that proverbial turtle, those who did use their brains, opportunities and gumption did not get to be successful without help. From the public schools they attended, to the roads they rode on if they happened to attend private schools, to the public utilities that flushed their shit away in one direction and piped clean water into their homes in another, they have depended on others from birth.
      That’s what we do; that’s why humanity has, at least thus far, been a fairly successful species, with a lotta lotta luck, thank meteor that wiped out the ‘saurs and ushered in the age of mammal.
      With the income disparity that has developed in this country, the birth lottery is even more important than ever. A person born into extreme poverty in America has a fractional chance of becoming even middle class, no matter how hard he or she works. College is becoming even less and less attainable at the exact time one has almost zero chance of living anything but a life of poverty without it.
      At one time the U.S. considered investing in its infrastructure and its people as an investment for the future.
      An interesting book I’m reading at the moment by Vaclav Smil about the growth and decline of U.S. manufacturing paints a huge example: The largest decade in the country’s history in terms of the advancement of industrial capacity and efficiency was the 1930s, during the worst economic times Americans ever endured. By his analysis the World War II miracle not only outproducing the Axis powers but transporting weapons 3,000 miles to England or 10,000 miles to Russia, while also sending SPAM and other food was only possible because of that miracle.
      The Liberty Ships; the Hellcat fighter that kept the U.S. in contention in the Pacific; the crappy Sherman tank — and even the awesome P-51 Mustang — were designed in the late 30’s or early ’40s.
      The New Deal, which any Randroid would consider an absolute waste, actually kept these programs going when conservatives accused FDR of being a “warmonger” for trying to at least plan for the possibility of war with Hitler.
      It also paid writers to write books no one probably has ever read in 70 years and built the Appalachian Trail — North Ga. to mother-fucking Maine, baby, which has been well used for going on a century. Those things in and of themselves weren’t vital, or, hell, even practical; but they gave people jobs and hope that this darkness wouldn’t last forever and that one day we would be a nation that read books and had the leisure to walk 800 miles of mountain trails.
      Kennedy’s moon dream wasn’t practical, or at least had no immediate benefit for anyone other than the companies building the rockets, I guess. But its economic paybacks are incalculable.
      So, yeah, for 100,000 years humans worked hard and developed relationships and societies to advance the lives of themselves and the future. And right now they’re thinking: “Thar Rekt douche is a total dick!”
      Like Jonas Salk, who potentially gave up millions of dollars by not patenting the polio vaccine. What a loser dumbass, eh?
      So, yeah, I guess being a human concerned with the lot of the less fortunate is harder work than being a greedy, ill-informed, clueless bastard, but fuck if it’s not worth it.

      • bcullo

        Thank you!

      • Rekt

        Ayn Rand’s chain smoking was indeed the cause of her death, but to collect social security after a lifetime of paying taxes is like getting the crumbs of the bread you have made (from your own wheat etc).

        I didn’t read the rest. You lost me on too many constructed points.

    • Exactly. That’s why capitalism is evil. Because a few at the “top” keep most of the profits themselves, instead of giving it to the workers who actually earned it. The few at the top are the greedy “entitled little narcissists.” Workers are the job creators, who create the value that makes everyone their money. Graduated taxes take money from the thieves and return it to the earners.
      Jesus showed us that when we share ALL of our loaves and fishes with EVERYONE there is more than enough for everyone. That’s socialism, which in pure form is voluntary (although in democracy, the greedy minority sometimes has be forced). Dictatorships like the USSR was, are the opposite.

      • Rekt

        I don’t agree with that. I’ll grant you that in some cases that might be true, but for the most part it is not.
        Those at the top are usually there because they are way smarter, willing to take risks, and have the ability to “steer the ship” so to speak. These are qualities that are more rare than the ability to do “ground work.” Scarcity is what makes things valuable.

        We are all very different individuals. This is biology 101, and it should be obvious to anyone with eyes attached to their brain.
        This is why some will have more resources than others, because we are wired differently.
        What socialism seek to do is to eliminate biological differences by force. You can’t change human nature by force. It’s as simple as that. Socialism is doomed to fail by this simple fact.

        Ayn Rand, on the other hand, to put it simply, made an enormous effort to set the ground rules equal for all. I.e. that everyone is equal before the law. Something that socialism seek to destroy. Under socialism we are not equal before the law.

  • Dennis Wilson

    Who is the moral leader of the Democrat party?

    • Evermyrtle

      Obama, who has no morals!!

      • fifthdentist

        Yes, fucking immoral Obama who’s been married three times, has filed bankruptcy some five times while leaving business partners on the hook, who has made a point of refusing to pay contractors and causing some of them to go out of business as a result, who has accused his predecessor of felonies, who has no clue as to the content of the Bible that he referred to “Two Corinthians” — OK, Two Corinthians go into a bar, something, something: “I thought you the Russian girls were peeing on YOU!” — who used his wealth to avoid going to Vietnam while poor kids got slaughtered by the tens of thousands.
        Drat, that Obamaaaaaa!

  • Evermyrtle

    Insanity raises it’s ugly head, again!!! Of course, we should accept what the WORD OF GOD says in 2 Timothy 3 13 “But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.” but many had rather pay heed to such fools as these, who are wise only in their own sight!.

  • Robert Peate

    You might find my sequel/rebuttal valuable.

    http://www.sisyphusshruggedbook.com

  • David B. Miller

    It is amazing that we even need to have this conversation. For all of the public pronouncements of religiosity and the mandatory invoking of God’s blessing by politician to the left and the right, the levels of biblical ignorance and spiritual blindness in America (myself included) is astounding.

    While I am a Christian, the critique of Rand must be rooted much earlier – in the Hebrew Bible. It is here that the words of Jesus cited in the article find their foundation. From the Torah, we are told that the purpose of people “called by God” is to be a channel of God’s blessing to all nations (Gen 12). We are given the repeated commandments to remember and give priority to the widow, the orphan and alien. These “bad risks” were to receive the most favorable terms in lending, the primacy of increasing profits (large harvests in an agrarian society) was to be forgone to permit gleaning of fields by the poor, the leveraging of capital was to forbidden – or at least limited by Jubilee, the acceptability of the worship of God and the answering of prayers was tied to the payment of fair wages and just treatment of the laborer. (Is. 58)

    For those who want to declare that these are private matters – guess again – they are the measure of a righteous ruler (government!) – Give the king your justice, O God, and your righteousness to a king’s son.
    2 May he judge your people with righteousness,
    and your poor with justice.
    3 May the mountains yield prosperity for the people,
    and the hills, in righteousness.
    4 May he defend the cause of the poor of the people,
    give deliverance to the needy,
    and crush the oppressor. (Ps 72 – Read on it becomes even more clear.)

    Security of the nation was the result of such prioritizing of justice – and the channeling of resources and trust into armaments was judged harshly (see Isaiah 31:1, Jeremiah, et.al.)

    Failure at these matters was permission for God to issue a decree of divorce that results in exile. Even here the lesson for the exiles to learn is to seek the common good – the welfare of even their enemies. (Jeremiah 29:1-12).

    Jesus didn’t invent this vision – but he did proclaim and embody it!

    “Oh when will we ever learn, when will we ever learn…” Pete Seeger.