Reading the Bible alongside Ayn Rand: Paul Ryan, the U.S. Budget, and a Protestor

Paul Ryan loves Ayn Rand
Paul Ryan loves Ayn Rand

A disturbing number of American neoliberals see no contradiction in having the works of extreme capitalist-libertarian Ayn Rand sitting alongside the Bible on their bookshelves. Christian Randians have achieved what may appear to be an impossible marriage: reading the Gospels in such a way as to support the elimination of Government social services, extreme wealth inequality, and zero taxes. The Jesus seen through the lens of Ayn Rand’s vacuous pseudo-philosophy supports human selfishness as a virtue, tells parables which support unrestrained free-market capitalism, and thinks that God is the Great Invisible Hand.

Paul Ryan – U.S. House Budget Committee Chairman, Representative for Wisconsin, and Roman Catholic – is one of a more than a few Republicans who has recently come out and openly declared his love for Ayn Rand:

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.
– Paul Ryan, quoted in Jonathan Chait, “War on the Weak”, Newsweek, 10 April 2011

Today, after speaking at Ralph Reed’s Faith & Freedom Conference, Paul Ryan was confronted by a fellow Catholic, and protestor, who reasoned with Ryan that he should read what Jesus has to say in the Gospel of Luke. There is some good footage of the protest, here:

“Why did you choose to model your budget on the extreme ideology of Ayn Rand rather than the faith of economic justice in the Bible?”


5 thoughts on “Reading the Bible alongside Ayn Rand: Paul Ryan, the U.S. Budget, and a Protestor

  1. Tyrone,

    This is repellent, but not at all surprising, given that the Invisible Hand was little more than a secularised version of the old man in the sky anyway.

    Again, such things make homesickness next to impossible for American ex-pats, such as myself, who delight in reasoned argumentation and a genuine sense of history.



    • Sometimes there is no accounting for the contours of a hypertext in the nature of a hypotext. Why was Derrida, after his attack on onto-theology but before the mysticism of his old age, quickly made the hero of a faith-in-faith theology? Why is 16 Horsepower loved by atheistic Scandanavian death-metal-loving fans? Why is the film version of The Unbearable Lightness of Being so shit?


  2. […] Quote: America should listen to Paul Ryan That would be like listening to Ayn Rand. Paul Ryan and Ayn Rand: A Love Affair Against the Common Good Paul Ryan's Ayn Rand love gets called out by a 'Catholic' at Faith And Freedom Conference 2011 | Crooks and Liars Reading the Bible alongside Ayn Rand: Paul Ryan, the U.S. Budget, and a Protestor | Remnant of Giant… […]


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