Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend 3 (3 Shares)  

Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites (# of views)   9 comments
OpEdNews Op Eds

Strange Bedfellows: Ayn Rand and the Tea Party Christians

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Joe Parko     Permalink
      (Page 1 of 1 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

Must Read 1   Valuable 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H3 5/15/11

Author 10347
Become a Fan
  (1 fan)

A columnist in my local newspaper recently wrote that the Republican federal budget bill that gives tax breaks to rich and takes away programs that help the poor, children, the elderly and the sick is contrary to the teachings of Jesus. A reader responded with a letter to the editor that declared that as a Christian he would see to the needs of the poor and the sick and that government had no business helping these people. This exchange of views gives us a clear idea of how differently people see the relationship between religion and government. Some people see Christianity as a purely personal religion that has nothing to do with government while others view Christianity as the way to redeem not only themselves but also our world including our government.   Our letter writer obviously takes the first approach. His brand of Christianity is strongly anti-government and is based on the idea that people should take care of each other without the need for government help. I would ask him if he is ready to provide a lifetime pension for all of his retired or disabled neighbors? Is he ready to pay the medical bills for all of his sick neighbors who don't have insurance? Is he ready to give a monthly check to all of his neighbors who have lost their jobs? In my small county alone we are talking about thousands of men, women and children. Those Christians who say that government has no role in helping people are simply fooling themselves. It is a fantasy to believe that voluntary giving could somehow replace government assistance for the millions of Americans who need help. Providing canned goods, used clothing and an occasional check to charity cannot replace our tax dollars which is the price we pay to live in decent society where we all chip in to help each other.

What accounts for the hatred of government expressed by some Christians?   Other than a selfish desire to not pay taxes that help others, it seems that many of these Christians have allowed their faith to be subverted by the radical writings of the Russian-born atheist, Ayn Rand. Rand has become the darling of the Tea Party Christians because of her hostility to government. There is even a low- budget movie of her novel "Atlas Shrugged" that is currently being aggressively marketed to Tea Party members. Her novels celebrate a selfish individualism that cares nothing for the less fortunate. She divides society into two classes--those who produce and those who don't. According to Rand, your value as a human being is totally dependent upon your ability to produce, which is completely at odds with the Christian emphasis on the absolute value of every person regardless of his or her economic or social status. Rand despises efforts to aid society's less fortunate, whom she believes deserve to suffer. Rand's message is not only anti-government. It is anti-Christian.

The philosophy, such as it was, which Rand laid out in her novels and essays was a frightful concoction of hyper-individualism, power-worship and a sociopathic egotism. She opposed all forms of welfare, unemployment insurance, support for the poor and middle-class, the regulation of industry and Wall Street, and any government provision for roads or other infrastructure improvements. She also believed that law enforcement, defense and the courts were the only appropriate arenas for government, and that all taxation should be purely voluntary. Her view of economics starkly divided the world into a contest between "moochers" and "producers" with the small group making up the "producers" generally composed of the spectacularly wealthy and the titans of industry. The "moochers" were more or less everyone else who labor as drones in the corporate beehive. On the level of personal behavior, the heroes in Rand's novels commit borderline rape, blow up buildings, and dynamite oil fields -- actions which Rand portrays as admirable and virtuous fulfillments of her characters' personal will and desires as super humans. Ordinary people are worthless according to Rand.   Her early diaries gush with admiration for people like William Hickman, a serial killer who raped and murdered a young girl. Rand admired him because he showed no regard for "the necessity, meaning or importance of other people." For good measure, Rand denigrated Native Americans as "savages" going so far as to say they had no rights and that Europeans were right to take North American lands by force. She expressed horror that taxpayer money was being spent on government programs aimed at educating "subnormal children" and helping the handicapped. Needless to say, when Rand told Mike Wallace in a 1953 television interview that altruism was evil, that selfishness is a virtue, and that anyone who succumbs to weakness or frailty is unworthy of love, she meant it.  

Ayn Rand is the complete opposite of Jesus. Everything that Rand says contradicts what Jesus told us in the Gospels. There is no better example of the saying that politics makes for strange bedfellows than this weird mixture of Rand's extremist ideas combined with Christianity. How do some Christians justify their idolization of an atheist who regards compassion as evil and selfishness as the pinnacle of human values? When hatred of government becomes an obsession, the Christian message is lost. You cannot serve both God and Ayn Rand.

 

- Advertisement -

Must Read 1   Valuable 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

Joe Parko is a retired college professor who taught for 28 years in the School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University. He is a member of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) and serves on the steering committee of Cumberland (more...)
 

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon



Go To Commenting
/* The Petition Site */
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Follow Me on Twitter

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
- Advertisement -

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

What is Community Organizing?

Israel's Nuclear Weapons

Class Warfare in America: The Upper Class is Winning

Strange Bedfellows: Ayn Rand and the Tea Party Christians

The Psychology of Conservatism

Israel is illegally using U.S. weapons in its attack on Gaza