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"Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." (Luke 23:34).

 I don't often have New Testament quotations floating through my consciousness but these words of Jesus Christ as he was being crucified keep entering my mind as I consider Mitt Romney's recent selection of Paul Ryan as his vice-presidential candidate, particularly as it relates to Ryan's lifelong worship of Ayn Rand and his disingenuous pandering to Christian fundamentalists. How is all this possible?

In a now mostly forgotten 1959 television interview by the late Mike Wallace, Ayn Rand, Russian immigrant and author of the novel "Atlas Shrugged", gave Americans a chilling explanation of her self-invented philosophy she called 'Objectivism'. Arguing that reason based solely on self-interest is the only moral required for life, she defines 'altruism'  to be an "evil force". Under pointed questioning by Wallace she describes herself as an atheist who doesn't believe in self-sacrifice for others under any circumstance (a view  not commonly held by most prominent atheists who profess that altruism and moral character are a natural part of human instinct necessary for survival of the species). Using this unique and caustic morality she goes on in the interview to justify and indeed promote the notion that unbridled industrialists operating in a totally unregulated free market capitalist model would be the salvation of man. Obviously anti-socialist (even though she collected Social Security and Medicare in her later years), she goes on to deride most all of the institutions of American democracy, espousing a dangerously narrow view of our Constitution that would make even the most libertarian conservatives of today squirm.

So how could it happen that a self-described atheist (and pro-choice advocate)  become associated with the religious right? Even William F. Buckley, hero of early neo-conservatism, published in his 'National Review' a review of "Atlas Shrugged" by Whittaker Chambers calling it a thousand pages of "lack of goodness" promoting a godless society. How could the ideas of an ant-theist with such scorn for charity become the cornerstone of fundamentalist Christian politics?

Enter Paul Ryan and his cadre of faux libertarian manipulators. During the 1940's and 50's Ayn Rand attracted to her 'objectivist' philosophy a number of early libertarians including  Austrian School economist Ludwig von Mises and a youthful Alan Greenspan who was to become the recent Federal Reserve Chairman. They began holding regular meetings in New York becoming what has been loosely termed "the collective", an obvious pun on their anti-Marxist attitudes (Rand participated in the McCarthy era House Un-American Activities Hearings as a protagonist). In spite of her anti-religious stance and other philosophical differences she became the darling of these supposedly 'true' libertarians for her insistence on a totally unregulated form of free market economy (interesting in that no business entity has ever existed outside the legal framework granted to it by a sovereign nation except for piracy and black markets).

Friedrich Hayek, considered the father of libertarianism, founder of the Austrian school of economic thought, and perennial rival of John Maynard Keynes lamented in his later days that there were no 'true' libertarians because they all make exceptions and only use that which serves their own personal agenda. So it is the case with the Paul Ryans of the political world. Paul Ryan who as recently as 2005 said  “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”, completely ignores the anti-theist, anti-altruist, sterile argument that is the basis of her philosophy. And he can't plead ignorance. The above words were spoken at a meeting of The Atlas Society, a group that promotes the Randian philosophy, at a celebration of what would have been Ayn Rand's 100th birthday. And he told the 'Weekly Standard' in 2003 that he gives out copies of "Atlas Shrugged" for Christmas presents and asks his interns to read it. Conveniently, however, Ryan has denied his connection to Rand just in the last few months. Really Paul, you can't run from your past....you just can't.

What is most remarkable is how right-wing political figures like Paul Ryan have been able to fool the religious right. Somehow they have been able to engender a metamorphosis of fundamentalist Christian values that sees government helping the poor as being evil and any regulation of business a violation of God-given rights. But this is not at all a new phenomenon. Politicians like George Bush, Dick Cheney and their advisor Karl Rove knew early on that their only hope was to get people to vote against their own best interest. They saw the religious right as a low hanging fruit to be plucked....and pluck they did by pandering to them with promises of government intrusion on issues involving 'family values' (certainly not views of a true libertarian) and, in doing so, co-sign Jesus Christ's name to a philosophy of greed and nihilism. In the end many fundamentalists became disenchanted with their alliance when it became obvious that all the Bush/Cheney camp wanted was their vote and the policy efforts they had been promised never materialized.

But apparently memories are short-lived. The 2012 Election has become a replay of the 2000 election, only with a new and more virulent cast of characters. Funded by PACS that could not give a damn about Christian values, the Republican Party has veered toward the far right and become dominated by fake libertarians and conservative corporatists. The self-interest embodied as the keystone of Ayn Rand's philosophy is the underlying theme of their campaign. It could not be more obvious.

When Mitt Romney selected Paul Ryan as his running mate he signed on to this dark and fraudulent philosophy. He has cast aside any hopes of capturing the moderate conservative vote in favor of opportunistic demonization of those who really lack any power... the poor, the elderly, the sick. From now until the election we'll see nothing from them but veiled attacks on gays, women, immigrants, the unemployed, minorities of race and religion, and all done in a manner which appeals to a bastardized and distorted view of Christian values.

It's time that people of faith as well as those who see altruism as the natural instinct that elevates humanity to account for themselves. The alternative is a legitimized barbaric system that pits one man against another so that the few can prosper. In order to accomplish their goal they will have to run from their pasts. Let's not let them.

Originally posted to Lonnie Griesbaum on Mon Aug 13, 2012 at 11:11 AM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Thanks for this excellent synapsis of a (15+ / 0-)

    dumb-founding contradiction in Paul Ryan's belief systems.
    Ann Ryan's extreme form of libertarian "objectivism" seems to be antithetical to the compassion, and "our brother's keeper" foundations of his purported Catholicism, that was original espoused by Jesus.

    In a now mostly forgotten 1959 television interview by the late Mike Wallace, Ayn Rand, Russian immigrant and author of the novel "Atlas Shrugged", gave Americans a chilling explanation of her self-invented philosophy she called 'Objectivism'. Arguing that reason based solely on self-interest is the only moral required for life, she defines 'altruism'  to be an "evil force". Under pointed questioning by Wallace she describes herself as an atheist who doesn't believe in self-sacrifice for others under any circumstance (a view  not commonly held by most prominent atheists who profess that altruism and moral character are a natural part of human instinct necessary for survival of the species).

    The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

    by HoundDog on Mon Aug 13, 2012 at 11:36:01 AM PDT

    •  Speaking of contradictions... (9+ / 0-)

      Ryan claims reading Ayn Rand is what inspired him to enter "public service." (?!)

      Translation: "self-aggrandizement by hoodwinking the public"?

    •  Objectivism= selfishness justified (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dirtandiron, terabthia2, ThatBritGuy

      Ayn Rand's philosophy is in a nut-shell all about justifying selfishness in all aspects of a person's life under the guise of rational thought.  

      It also doesn't work practically because even Rand depended on social security and medicare in her later years.  Rand was just another self serving con artist who justified everything including cheating on her husband.

      Paul Ryan's adoration of Rand is in total conflict with his catholic social teaching which even the American Catholic bishops found distastefull in his original Ryan Plan which privitized social security and medicare and did not reduce the deficit for 30 years.  Taking care of the sick, the poor, the elderly  and welcoming the stranger has been part of the Catholic Churches' social philosophy since the time of Peter and Paul but has been bumped by the hieracy's obsession with abortion and now, gay marriage.  

      This is all about the continuation of the gravy train and transference of the rest of our nation's wealth to the richest 1%.
      Shame on you Mr. Ryan.

  •  The Christian right only cares about abortion... (18+ / 0-)

    ...and contraception and theocracy and the return of a vengeful Christ that will convert the Jews after Armaggedon and the Rapture.

    The Ayn Rand ideologues only want 100% privatization of everything and the destruction of all social programs.

    These two wishes are not incompatible. They may even be synergistic. No government except for defense and police enforcement of a theocratic vision.  

    They don't fool each other, they help each other because they only care about their true believer set of objective.

    It is a destructive marriage of convenience that may even get 45% of the votes, if we work our asses of to help the Obama campaign.

    The fact that their barbaric (as you well describe it) vision has a chance is scary.

    We live in dangerous times.

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Mon Aug 13, 2012 at 11:41:44 AM PDT

    •  Overturning the sexual revolution (3+ / 0-)

      is the only important thing to them. So they can't get the support of rational people because rational people realize overturning the sexual revolution is impossible. The supporters of Ayn Rand style "free enterprise" are the only people who will support them. Use them would probably be a better term. But if you are convinced overturning the sexual revolution is the only way to restore morality to America and returning "morality" to America is more important than anything else then you take the supporters you can get.

      This is why the Catholic bishops are turning away from the economic teachings of the Popes. Politically these teachings require the acceptance of contraception, abortion, and gay marriage. Once you decide to oppose contraception, abortion, and gay marriage the economic teachings of Ayn Rand are your only politically viable alternative.

  •  Rand was also a bigot. nt (7+ / 0-)

    There is only one planet suitable for human habitation in our solar system.

    by too many people on Mon Aug 13, 2012 at 11:42:07 AM PDT

    •  gots quotes? (8+ / 0-)

      We need to run excerpts of that Mike Wallace interview, in campaign ads this year.

      If there are additional quotes from Rand that expose her bigotry, queue those up for more ads!

      Some progressive religious organization should get behind this and say unequivocally:  "You can't serve two masters: you can't be Christian and Randian at the same time.  Now choose: one or the other, which shall it be?"

      "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

      by G2geek on Mon Aug 13, 2012 at 03:09:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Here's some quotes (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        G2geek, Dirtandiron

        4:19 – Mike Wallace: “You are out to destroy almost every edifice of the contemporary American way of life, our Judeo-Christian religion, our modified government regulated capitalism, our rule by majority will. Other reviews have said you scorn churches and the concept of God. Are these accurate criticisms?”

        Rand: “Yes”

        3:03 – Rand: “If you take Jesus Christ as the example of the ideal human being, and that is properly the view of Christians, what do you do with your ideal human being? You put him on the cross. You torture him and murder him for the sake of those who are less virtuous . . . I think that is a monstrous idea.”

        5:20—Wallace: “You say you don’t like the kind of altruism by which we live. You like a certain kind of Ayn Randist selfishness.”

        Rand: “‘Don’t like’ is too weak a word, I consider it evil.”

      •  She called Arabs (0+ / 0-)

        or Palestinians something like

        "almost totally primitive savages". I can't find the quote, but google ayn rand Arabs and you should find the you tube video of an appearance on Phil Donahue.

        There is only one planet suitable for human habitation in our solar system.

        by too many people on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 03:22:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Between Ayn Rand and the Religious Right (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Louisiana 1976, Lonnie Griesbaum

    I find Ayn Rand much more objectionable.

  •  Thank you for this diary... (7+ / 0-)

    I have several Ayn Rand fans in my immediate family. I almost don't want to know how thrilled they are with the Paul Ryan VP selection.

    I have often wondered how it came to this, as you call it, the "unholy alliance".

  •  Here's another verse for you (10+ / 0-)

    "Jesus wept." (John 11:35).  

    Isn't it fascinating how the fundamentalists--a key core constituency, and determiners of Iowa caucus results--have been left out in the cold this election?  Jesus Christ has been superseded by Ayn Rand, Brigham Young, and social Darwinism.  

    The Catholic church is already on record about the non-Christian-ness Ryan's plan.  Will we hear anything from Bachman, Santorum or Huckabee?

    Never teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig

    by YankInUK on Mon Aug 13, 2012 at 12:00:23 PM PDT

  •  thanks (12+ / 0-)

    This is a great diary and I appreciate you differentiating between Rand's views on atheism and morality and that of the typical atheist.  As an atheist I am mortified her f'ed up philosophy will become the "face" of atheism as this campaign goes on.  As a kid I took a lot of flak for not believing in a god and told how I couldn't be a decent, honest, and caring person because of it.  Unsurprisingly, the most vocal attackers were usually the most dishonest, indecent, and selfish people I would ever know.

  •  Republican Rock/Paper/Scissors (2+ / 0-)

    Only one problem: No one can ever win this game, because each one is a walking talking paradox:

    Religious Right: Altruistic, yet filled with hate.
    Ayn Rand: Objectivistic, yet used social services.
    Paul Ryan: Religious, yet economically Darwinistic.

    fpg

  •  the Religious Right is NOT altruistic either (4+ / 0-)

    They've got no problem with most of the people who have ever lived getting tortured for all eternity as punishment for not being just like them.  They've got many people who can and do justify enormous suffering in this life too.

    They may not share Ayn Rand's atheism or her belief that profit is the arbiter of morality, but they do share her absolutism, her holier-than-thou attitude, and her obvious contempt for anyone who does not conform to their own narrow beliefs about what is right.

    To those who say the New Deal didn't work: WWII was also government spending

    by Visceral on Mon Aug 13, 2012 at 04:26:16 PM PDT

  •  Ryan's Late Rejection of Rand (9+ / 0-)

    After cricitcisms by Catholics, Paul Ryan now says he rejects Rands philosophy because she's an atheist --as if he just dicovered it!

    I look forward to interviewer asking him when he learned she was an atheist and what took him so long to reject her philosphy on those grounds. It's hardly something someone could discover later after being a follower for twenty years or so.

    "I can't believe that noblest instict of man- his compassion for another - can be completley dead here".

    by renewables on Mon Aug 13, 2012 at 05:21:09 PM PDT

  •  as an aside (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    happymisanthropy

    Rand hated Hayek.

    She thought he was a fraud and a "pink"

  •  Rand condemned all charity (7+ / 0-)

    Members of the Christian right frequently say that if welfare ends, churches and charities can take care of the needy. But do they realize that Rand condemned all charity, and in particular condemned Christianity because it says that the rich owe something to the poor?

    I am no longer a believer, but I respect and admire most of the Sermon on the Mount.  Do Ryan's fans realize that Rand condemns it all?  It's slave religion according to her (a concept she seems to have stolen from Nietzsche).

    Her ideas are utterly alien to American traditions.

  •  Atlas Shrugged was a mediocre book (7+ / 0-)

    and yet spawned a whole economic philosophy.

    Battlefield Earth was a mediocre sci-fi book, and yet spawned a whole religion.

      Why can't good books do things like this?

    ¡Cállate o despertarás la izquierda! - protest sign in Spain

    by gjohnsit on Mon Aug 13, 2012 at 05:45:03 PM PDT

    •  Mediocre is far too kind... (4+ / 0-)

      As a work of fiction, Atlas Shrugged is a fine polemic.  I found a copy at a used book sale a couple years ago, and being familiar with the name alone, decided to give it a try.

      What a fricking mistake.

      A friend told me at the start "Look, don't waste your time.  Find the chapter called 'John Galt Speaks' about three-quarters of the way through and read that.  It's the core of the book, and it's like 70 pages instead of 1200."

      I should have listened.  It started out ... not well-written, but as an innocuous enough story about a train company.  But then the characters started acting ... oddly.  Doing things that human people don't do; saying things human people don't say.  The heroes became incredibly put-upon by the cartoony villains with overtly transparent excuses that they seemed to actually believe for some reason, and through superhuman fantastical awesomeness overcame them and had really great sex.

      Whaa?

      The last 2/3 of that book was the most excruciating reading process I've ever gone through, but I stuck to it, wearing my pain as a badge of honor.

      3 June 2008: I join the Democratic Party

      by Rorgg on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 07:39:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, Yes, and Yes (0+ / 0-)

        I unfortunately read all 1200 pages -  hours of my life which I will never get back. At least I got it from the library and didn't have to pay for it.

        I found the last chapter or so to contain an incredible amount of WTF. I was hoping for a reward after wading through all the rest of it, but I was sorely disappointed. My reaction was, "That's it? That's IT?" I couldn't believe it all boiled down to basically nothing of substance.

        "Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything even remotely true." -- H. Simpson

        by midnight lurker on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 08:13:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Job-creators gospel according to John Galt. (0+ / 0-)

        The 1% will always be with us.

        Barack Hussein Obama- Don't Mock the Constitution.

        by odenthal on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 03:42:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Hayek was never Keynes rival (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hooktool, happymisanthropy

    Don't fall into the RW trap of comparing Keynes with Hayek.

     Keynes actually did real things and was at the center of world finance; made important math based contributions to economic theory, and proved amazingly prescient in his actual judgments.

    Hayek wrote one book with a catchy title, filled with largely   unsupported assumptions, which bests serves as an indictment of Hitler's attack on the rule of law--not "proof" central planning leads to slavery.  

    Comparing economist Hayek to economist Keynes is like comparing basketball coach Jim Rome to basketball coach Phil Jackson.

  •  Sociobiology: The Evolution of Altruism. (4+ / 0-)

    There is a considerable body of research done by Dr.  Robert Axelrod and Hamiton, as well as Trivers from 1980 to the present day,  and many other sociobiologists, showing how altruism and cooperation as a group characteristic shows a comparative advantage to those individuals and groups whose members act primarity out of self-interest.

    Through at least three different mechanisms, and as many as five mechanisms, these sociobiologists have shown through a choice or game model called The Prisoner's Dilemma, that the stragegy to selflessly give to others and society are characteristics of successful individuals and groups, and would tend to be selected IN to the genotypes of individuals. In other words, modern science can show how Ayn Rand and the Libertarians like Hayak are completely wrong about assumption number 1; that only self-interest matters.

    Religion has long recognized the value of cooperation and the necessity of acting selflessly as a survival value within a successful culture. Catholic Social Teaching is the most often cited. The scholars of the Church saw early the need for groups of people to act as if the interests of the group trump the interests of the individual. In this, modern sociobiology and religious teaching converge in agreement.

    Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

    by OregonOak on Mon Aug 13, 2012 at 06:56:25 PM PDT

  •  Ayn Rand on Reagan: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    No one gets out alive, Nespolo

    "Mr. Reagan is not a champion of capitalism, but a conservative in the worst sense of that word--i.e., an advocate of a mixed economy with government controls slanted in favor of business rather than labor (which, philosophically, is as untenable a position as one could choose)..."

    Stick that in your objectivism and smoke it.

  •  consistancy is not the right's strongpoint. unless (0+ / 0-)

    its consistant willful ignorance and cognitive dissonance.

    Dear Noah, The flyer said THURSDAY!!!! Seriously, WTF?!?!? jerk. sincerely, unicorns

    by bnasley on Mon Aug 13, 2012 at 07:59:28 PM PDT

  •  Forgot to include (0+ / 0-)

    the Book of Mormon. Mediocre, spawned religion.

  •  Romney, Ryan, Rand, Religious Right (5+ / 0-)

    The Four R-ssholes of the Apocalypse.

  •  What would a psychologist say about Ryan's flirta (5+ / 0-)

    tion with Ayn Rand's objectivism?

    Maybe they might see him as a young person grappling with the loss of his father and the meaningless of his death.
    He sought his own identity like many adolescents and turned to objectivism to deal with the pain of loss. The fatal "conceit of socialism" depending on others. He hid in individualism. It was a way of rebelling against established values he grew up with. His family was very middle class.

    His revolt against reason is another matter. He knows better. People took care of him and he has taken care of others.

    There is a little greed in the mix of all this. Reagan made it ok to be greedy. Small government means there won't be enough room in the life boat for everyone.  Then you have to decide that there are those who don't deserve to be there. It gets complicated. All those rationalizations for selfishness.

    Why can't we just be decent to one another?

  •  Tipped and Rec'd by an atheist who... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Superskepticalman

    opposes virtually everything Ayn Rand stood for.

    Romney/Rove 2012: If you liked Bush's Brain... you'll love Romney's.

    by jethrock on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 12:53:47 AM PDT

  •  Interesting, they demand muslin clergy (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stlsophos

    To speak out against the radicals, to come forward and demand that their religion is not one of hate...where is the demands from the Christian clergy, that they too must prove theirs is not a religion of hate?

  •  "co-sign J. C.'s name to a philosophy of greed" (0+ / 0-)

    That's it right there.

    If that isn't evil, I don't know what is.

    Let's make them own that, too.

    The Fail will continue until actual torches and pitchforks are set in motion. - Pangolin@kunstler.com

    by No one gets out alive on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 05:04:51 AM PDT

  •  A Message to Atheists and Christians Alike (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ScienceMom, StateofEuphoria

    Ladies and Gentlemen:

    Christians believe in God; atheists don't.  

    But by and large, that's where the dissimilarity ends.  The MORALITY practiced daily by Christians and atheists is, in general, remarkably similar.  Honesty, charity, respect toward others, compassion toward those less fortunate -- Christians will tell you that these are God's commandments, and atheists will tell you it's simply the right thing to do.

    "Christians" are not the religious right, and "atheists" are not godless commies.  Both are, by and large, good people trying to do good things day after day.

    Which is why Christians and atheists alike are appalled by Ayn Rand, not intrigued by her.  Got that, Mr. Ryan?

  •  I keep seeing references to (0+ / 0-)

    the term "Christian values".  Would someone please provide a list of what these values are?  There has to be a definitive list somewhere because both liberal and fundamentalist Christians refer to it all the time and compare each other to it, and claim the other side isn't following it.

    Even this diarist uses it by blasting Ryan et. al. ...."a bastardized and distorted view of Christian values."

    Since people seem to love to use this as an argument against politicians, and we see it almost every day, I will be glad to drop my claim that there is not such thing as "Christian values" in exchange for a peek at the official list.

  •  When I see and hear the loons of today's GOP, I... (0+ / 0-)

    I also think of a New Testament quote:

    Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.

    Aldus Shrugged : The Antidote to Ayn Rand. @floydbluealdus1

    by Floyd Blue on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 05:49:27 AM PDT

  •  Thank you for posting this! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    happymisanthropy

    I have been the sounding the Ayn alarm for over a year as I finished my book, eviscerating her (literally and figuratively...hee hee).

    Aldus Shrugged is a total takedown of ayn's "philosophy" and her writings, through an ironic and altruistic story of modern American Capitalism, set in the here and now:  the re-election of President Obama and downtown Brooklyn, where John Gall is building his new basketball arena.

    Aldus Shrugged is also a complete evisceration of ayn rand the person, whose foibles and hypocrisy are mercilessly laid bare and ridiculed, from Branden her true love, to machines and bridges and wyatt's silly little torch; until she meets quite the appropriate brutal end, all alone in her little apartment.

    I apologize to anyone who is sick of me mentioning my book (ucch, the last thing I want to do is sound like Chris Matthews), but it is damn good, and if you like President Obama and/or despise fox "news", you will love it.  And hey, what the hell, this is Capitalism, and so we all must market ourselves.  But, more importantly, it is a wonderful positive message which must propagate.  If I had the money, I would send it free to everyone on here, AND give out copies in Charlotte as well.  Alas, I am broke, due to the economy, and my alleged middle class laziness.

    Reading it is therapy.  It will make you feel good, and make you laugh and cry as well.  I am confident of that.

    Eff Ayn, Eff Ryan, Eff Romney.

    Aldus Shrugged : The Antidote to Ayn Rand. @floydbluealdus1

    by Floyd Blue on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 06:02:06 AM PDT

  •  I'm not so sure the religious right was "duped" by (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jessical, happymisanthropy

    the "faux libertarian manipulators."  I think they were a knowing and willing participant in this exercise.  That's because they embodied anything but altruistic values when this whole charade started.

    They remind me of a DC Comics character, "Bizarro," who was the evil mirror image of Superman.  Except for his evil countenance, he had the same build, the same general look, and the same caped costume.  But he stood for everything Superman hated and fought.

    The religious right is the "Bizarro" image of Jesus Christ.

    Because stupid people are so sure they're smart, they often act smart, and sometimes even smart people are too stupid to recognize that the stupid people acting smart really ARE stupid.

    by ZedMont on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 07:27:54 AM PDT

  •  don't forget she was the model for Satanism (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    happymisanthropy

    Like I keep saying here, Ayn Rand's work was the major source Anton LaVey used for the Satanic religion.  He said that Satanism was just "Rand's philosophy with some ritual and ceremony added."  The Church of Satan's website has a big essay up about her.

    This, by the way, is a REALLY fun thing to show to fundies who've embraced her philosophy.  I've done it to a few of them and they freak out and start questioning their own judgement and making excuses right and left.  It's hilarious!

    "Glenn Beck ends up looking like a fat, stupid child. His face should be wearing a chef's hat on the side of a box of eclairs. " - Doug Stanhope

    by Front Toward Enemy on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 07:52:42 AM PDT

  •  Watching History (0+ / 0-)

    The welding of "I made that -- all of it -- and it's MINE" in a defensive, "I'm really an adult mommy" mode, along with the right wing Christian authoritarianism, is apparently going to be the predominant popular screed as our empire loses power and goes nuts on the rest of the world.  For ten years we've been listening to the left compare this movement to various authoritarian and fascist screeds, looking for "14 points" of similarity and so on.  But it is its own thing, with similarities to other distinct ways societies go mad.

    History is funny and we may avoid being what Gawker mocks as "history's greatest monsters".  Or we may not avoid it at all.  If we don't, future academics will study this stuff for years...

    ...j'ai découvert que tout le malheur des hommes vient d'une seule chose, qui est de ne savoir pas demeurer en repos dans une chambre.

    by jessical on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 08:33:24 AM PDT

  •  Ayn disliked religion for the opposite reason (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fishtroller01

    that most atheists. like me who dislike religion dislike it.  I'm not talking here about reasons for being an atheist in the first place, which in a perfect world should be purely objective.  I'm talking about the reasons for disliking it, a topic where emotion and subjectivity are acceptable.

    Most atheists who dislike religion do so because we don't believe it to be as altruistic as it is cracked up to be, and we think its reputation as a source of compassion and goodness is false.  In other words we LIKE compassion and altruism and think religion is actually a detriment to them.  Contrast this with Ayn.  She voiced compliants in exactly the opposite way.  She accepted and agreed with the reputation that religion has for being altruistic and compassionate, and THAT is why she didn't like it!  Very much the direct opposite view.

    •  This is exactly was I was asking about.. (0+ / 0-)

      when I inquired in a post a bit back about what the term "Christian values" means. No one has answered me yet. Your statement goes to this issue...

      "Most atheists who dislike religion do so because we don't believe it to be as altruistic as it is cracked up to be, and we think its reputation as a source of compassion and goodness is false."

      People throw around the terms "Christian morality" or "Christian values" as if everyone listening has the same set of definitions for that in their heads. Then they take those concepts and either praise or bash someone in reference to whether they fit those definitions or not.

      A good example.  Many Christians say that being pro-choice on abortion is immoral and against what God and Jesus stand for.  Other Christians say that being pro-choice still means you hold Christian values because you support the freedom to choose.  So which view represents "Christian" values?

      I have seen several essays on here going after Romney or Ryan or other GOP/Fundamentalists which are based on criticizing them for not following "Christian values", and I find this tactic meaningless.

      •  I answered you. the values are written (0+ / 0-)

        in Matthew 25.  The B Attitudes.  the Christ teachings.

        feed the Hungry
        Clothe the Poor
        Visit those in jail
        Give what you have ..all that you have
        it's in the book....Read it.  if you want to know of that which we base the values.

        We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

        by Vetwife on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 12:30:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well, I have read Matthew 25. (0+ / 0-)

          And the other four gospels, and the whole bible, and even the rejected gospels. There are plenty of other passages in these texts that demonstrate an anti-family attitude on the part of supposedly the same speaker of the Beatitudes. Plenty of passages where this speaker endorses the immoral concept of hell,and threatens whole towns to damnation in hell for rejection of his ideas. Even Matthew contains these passages. One example Matthew 10:34-40. He was harsh and judgemental, much like many fundamentalist Christians. You are skipping over passages that just don't feel good to you, but were said by Jesus all the same.  How do you justify your "list" when you are not being honest about the other "values" exhibited by Jesus?

          Jesus demanded that grown men leave their families to fend for themselves so they could follow him around. Jesus rejected his family when they came to visit him. He was rude to his mother when she asked him for help at the wedding in Cana.  And when a pagan woman came to him for help he told his disciples to turn her away because he said came only for the Jews. When she persisted, he only relented because she gave him a clever argument.  These are also the morals and values exhibited by "Christ", are they not?
          This is what I mean when I say that these accusations against and arguments over whether a politcian who claims to be a Christian is actually following "Christian values" are meaningless and ineffective.  Paul Ryan can simply point to his own set of interpretations of all this, pull out some passages that back him up or whatever he wants to do with all this, and ignore other Christians completely.  Which is just what he will do.

          •  interpretation of the bible is not for just casual (0+ / 0-)

            reading.  Did you check the Greek and Hebrew?  Did you use a thesorasus?  And no this is not how I perceive Jesus.  Jesus WAS a jew.   What you interpret as rude is your interpretation.  What you are saying is that the entire Catholic, Protestant, and Jesus believing world is deceived by the rabbi or the messiah, depending on one's faith.  You cannot read the bible.  YOU have to study it.
            There is much written in the gospels by Paul..in fact two thirds of the New Testatment was written by Paul, the Jesus quotes are in red.  The other accounts are apostles or deciples reporting or pundits I suppose one would say.  No ....the entire Christian faith and even the Muslim and Jewish Faith including Hindu (Ghandi) comes to mind ..did not peg Christ wrong on his compassion and liberal views.  

            We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

            by Vetwife on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 03:50:36 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  One can interpret the bible many ways (0+ / 0-)

              which is why you are to seek God and then research the scriptures as a scholar if you want real answers because believers accept Christ as the son of God and when you are the son of God
              you can get to turning water into wine at the wedding and not concern oneself with the nuances and get to the business of the Holy Father. ,  and when rejected by his people adopted the gentiles.   As I said, the bible has to read not so much literally but studied.  Many smarter than you and me do JUST that,  This debate is mute...neither of us are bible scholars..

              We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

              by Vetwife on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 04:00:56 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  If one has to be a (0+ / 0-)

                "biblical scholar" and be able to translate Greek and Hebrew and agree with a Hindu's opinion of what this mythologlcal character said or what he meant to say or whatever, then so much for a god who wants to send a message to THE PEOPLE.

                Oh and don't forget, you have to be "smart" and use a "thesorasus" to understand the hidden cryptic messages in order to have an opinion of these texts!  

                Sorry, but this is nonsensical, and insulting to my intelligence and the intelligence of many people, including yourself. Are you not smart enough to read the bible and understand it? Then put it away and just go to the experts so they can tell you what it means. Should these texts just be put on a shelf reserved only for those who are "biblical scholars"?  More than all that, this view basically says a lot about the character of the god you seem to have a high opinion of;  and, if you read what you just wrote, I think you might see it. You just portrayed your god as a gated community snob.

                "Woman, what have you to do with me?"  THAT is what the mythological character named Jesus said to his mother.  I am smart enough to not only read that, but to "interpret" it as a guy who needed to learn some respect for his Mom.

                •  It is to be read in spirit and truth (0+ / 0-)

                  unless one wants to study it for their answers.  if you do not believe then how does one read in the spirit of the book.  If your intelligence is insulted then I cannot help that.  Do I read the bible and understand it?  Not without study and prayer.  No I am not that smart.  I do not have the mind of God .  I need prayer for direction when studying the word. and that is the truth.  A snob.  ?  LOL..   I don't think so.  

                    A divine creation is not a character to me.  Again, kids say dude to their parents and is it disrespect?  To some yes... to others no. Also men wrote the book by inspiration of their interpretation of their inspiring.  Why I study...who knows what he said in terminology of reference other than those writings?  In that erar?  The purpose of the greek and hebrew.   Bottom line..You either believe or not..You either accept or not.  Insulting intelligence?  I am not the one insulting anyone here.  By the way I always read what I write.  I don't blindly peck on keyboards.

                  We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

                  by Vetwife on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 08:12:31 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  If you meant that last sentence to (0+ / 0-)

                    be an insult to me, you should know that it was ineffectual.

                    So the bible can only be read if one is "in the mood" of "spirit and truth".   So it's a magic book.  And when a person reads that god kills Egyptian babies to win an argument with an earthly king, that person is not to question the morality of that action.   And when a "savior" condemns a whole town of people he's never met to the torture of everylasting fire simply because they didn't want to hear his sermons, THAT is to be accepted in the mood of "spirit and truth"?   Do YOU think hell is a moral concept?  I guess you are not allowed to think for yourself when you read the bible.   That explains everything.  Sounds cultish to me... and sad.

                    If what you describe is how the mind of god works and how this god communicates with his/her creation, then again,  that's sad too.  I see nothing noble or wonderous in that. However, it's your choice if you wish to spend your life here on earth with your head so wrapped up in this that you deny yourself freedom of mind.  Best of luck to you.

                    •  you don't know me too well do you? (0+ / 0-)

                      We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

                      by Vetwife on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 09:24:09 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                        •  The point is I don't try and debate (0+ / 0-)

                          a person who obviously does not know any of my work, any of my beliefs and trys to just throw pies.   I don't do pie fights.  you believe what you want but don't try and judge me and talk down to me because of what I believe.  It won't work and I am wasting time I have reserved for helping vets.  You asked a question and I tried to answer it and then you went off into this I am going to convince you that you are nuts for your belief....How is that different from the radical right wing?  None.

                          We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

                          by Vetwife on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 04:52:12 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  I asked a simple question (0+ / 0-)

                            and you threw the bible at me and then told me I wasn't qualified to read it or understand it.  And I think you did that because I pointed out that your "simple" answer, Matthew 25 was fraught with complications because the B Attitudes as you called them were not all that was in the book of Matthew. I pointed out the not so nice stuff in there and that's when you decided that I was not worthy of understanding those texts in the proper way. I would call that the first pie thrown.

                            The radical right wing operates on shutting down free thought, skepticism and inquiry, which is exactly what you tried to do with your declaration that the bible can only be read a certain way with a prescribed attitude.  

                            So again I say to you,  best of luck with that.

            •  Typical obfuscationist answer. Sigh. (0+ / 0-)

              Step 1 - Make a judgement call on the Bible.
              Step 2 - Read the Bible.
              Step 3 - Twist the interpretation as much as possible to get the conclusion you started form in step 1 to come out true.
              Step 4 - Ridicule anyone who decides to swap the order of step 1 and step 2 so they can be honest and objective about it.

              It's really pathetic after a while.  And what's more pathetic is that you pretty much come right out and admit that this is what you do and most people would find it praiseworthy for some reason.

              Honest and objective reading of the New Testament makes one come the the conclusion that the beatitudes are in fact NOT compatible with the moral instructions the Jesus character gave in other parts of the stories.  It's a self-contradictory depiction of morality to have the same hero character say so many mutually exclusive things that anyone can twist the character into saying whatever they want and actually find passages to support their view.

              And for the hard of thinking, no I'm not claiming there was no real-world character upon whom the Bible's Jesus character was based when I refer to him as just a character in a story.  There is evidence such a person existed.  I just don't think there's any evidence that this person said or did the things the Bible claims he said, and so I refer to the Jesus in the Bible as a character and not as a real person.  It's like the difference between the actual actor Adam West and the character from Family Guy Adam West.  The fictional character is definitely based on the real person, but that doesn't mean the fictional character IS the same person.  The actual Adam West has never been the mayor of a small Rhode Island town.  Just like the actual Jesus never rose from the dead and the actual Jesus wasn't born from a virgin.

  •  A recent DKOS diary showed how Ayn Rand's (0+ / 0-)

    uber-capitalist and selfish philosophy was already in place before she was 23 YO. And Grover Norquist had formulated his economic mono-philosophy at least by the time he was 14 YO when he should have been involved in more than just mental masturbation. Yet these two despicable individuals youthful indiscretions have become the economic models beloved of the Tea Party and mouthed by their plutocratic sponsors. How is that possible in a rational political party? Obvious answer.

    I'd tip you but they cut off my tip box. "There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.” - Frank Zappa

    by OHdog on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 12:20:18 PM PDT

  •   AmericanValuesNet on Ayn Rand, Republicans& Jesus (0+ / 0-)

    This was made before the announcement of Ryan as the VP candidate.
    http://www.youtube.com/...

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