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?”