Guilt by Ayn Rand Association

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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.

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.

  • ctd

    The logic expressed in the email announcement may be weak, but the conclusion is correct. One cannot embrace Randian philosophy and Christianity. They are simply incompatible. The video does a good job at calling attention to that fact.

  • The irony lies in the fact that this organization’s President is also a leader in the Sojourners organization which is heavily funded by militant Atheist George Soros. One has to question their honesty when they’re attacking Ayn Rand for they’re Atheism, but lead by a man with close ties to possibly the most militant atheist alive today.

  • Mike

    George Soros might be an atheist, but he is hardly militant about it:

  • Stone

    Why should Mark Silk feel happier if the video made the anti-Christian thinking of Ayn Rand less clear? What’s at stake here, ultimately, is galloping hypocrisy. Republicans today have traded heavily on the gambit of repeatedly declaring that “I am Christian, and you’re not”. Not only is that a sickening exercise in holier-than thou preening, but it’s virtual bullying as well: “If you disagree with me, you’re not Christian, and therefore you’re not really American either”[!].
    Once one takes such a gambit, its a bit rich for Republicans to suddenly complain when others notice that their own philosophy is, um, not exactly Christian either. Fact: Rand’s philosophy is being overtly praised by a number of today’s Republican leaders. Fact: Rand’s philosophy is explicitly against Christianity, most specifically the Jesus declarations for an altruistic lifestyle. Anyone who wants to seriously question those two facts will have to show some example of Rand herself declaring that her philosophy is compatible with Christianity. Newsflash: There is no such declaration from Rand; in fact, Rand explicitly declares her ideas as being the opposite of both Christianity and, specifically, Christian altruism.
    Any observation that it’s time for those Republicans who’ve praised Rand to make an honest choice for either Objectivism or Christianity is spot-on. One can’t choose both — unless one is a hypocrite.

  • Mark Silk

    I don’t have a problem with being clear about Rand’s hostility to Christianity. Nor do I have a problem with asserting that a set of policies are unChristian. I do have a bit of a problem with guilt by association.