Christians Vs. Republican Party’s Worship of Atheist Ayn Rand’s Philosophy of Selfishness

Left: Ad from Christian group attacking Republicans over Rand’s influence in the party; right: Democrats’ ad depicting Republicans tossing Granny off a cliff

Here’s a new and welcome twist. Christians are attacking Republicans on moral grounds, targeting the decidedly un-Christian influence over the party of Ayn Rand, a best-selling author of novels in which she advocated atheism and what she called the “virtue of selfishness.”

[Faith] is a sign of a psychological weakness. . . I regard it as evil to place your emotions, your desire, above the evidence of what your mind knows. That’s what you’re doing with the idea of God.
– Ayn Rand

These Christians are particularly critical of the GOP’s 2012 budget bill which was authored by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, who is both a Catholic and an outspoken proponent of Ayn Rand’s cult of godless individualism. The Christians say Ryan based his “toss Granny off a cliff” kill-Medicare plan on Rand’s “every man (woman and child) for himself” philosophy.

Ryan’s bill passed in the House in April with 253 Republican votes. All the Democrats and three Republican members voted against it. It failed in the Senate last month with all Democrats and five Republicans voting against it and 40 Republicans voting for it. Despite the draconian cuts in Ryan’s bill, including its provision to kill Medicare for everyone 54 and younger, had it passed and been signed into law, it would have still added as much as $6 trillion to the debt over 10 years.

It’s about time that true Christians — that is, those who believe in Christ’s message of compassion and forgiveness and who follow his admonitions to care for the poor, homeless and sick — called out the Republican Party over its moral degeneracy on Christianity’s most fundamental values. The GOP and its tea party base make a practice of putting the interests of their corporate sponsors — for example, the health insurance industry — over the needs of their brothers and sisters — for example, the uninsured — all the while depending on the votes of right-wing evangelicals to cling to power.

On Friday, as Rep. Ryan left a right-wing religious conclave sponsored by Ralph Reed, the Christianist leader who was disgraced by his dealings with the Bush-era GOP lobbyist Jack Abramoff, he was caught on video being approached by a Catholic protester who tried to give him a Bible. Ryan refused to take it.

Amy Sullivan at Time Magazine:


Let’s Make a Deal: Qur’an Burning for Manhattan Muslim Center

Orlando Sentinel photo of Mohammad Musri talking to reporters
The head of Orlando’s Islamic Society of Central Florida was among the many folks in Gainesville lining up to see Pastor Terry Jones, the leader of the 50-member Dove Outreach Center, who plans to spend Saturday night burning Qur’ans. But unlike the FBI agents and members of the press gathered nearby, Mohammad Musri was making an offer.

Mohammad Musri, of the Islamic Society, went to the church for the second day in a row Thursday afternoon, this time to make a deal. He said if Jones agrees to call off the Quran burning, he will urge Feisal Abdul Rauf, the controversial Imam behind the proposed mosque and community center near New York’s “ground zero,” to relocate the planned mosque in New York City.

No word on Jones’ decision.

It’s been a busy day for Jones, as he counts down to the fateful moment at 6 p.m. Eastern time on Saturday when he has promised to burn Qur’ans in commemoration of the events of Sept. 11, 2001.

Obama: “Yeah. I hope he listens to…those better angels.”

FBI sources tell ABC News that the agents were there to brief Jones on all the death threats he’s received and to discuss how they’re going to protect him and the church on Saturday.

Protecting University of Florida Gator football fans is also a major issue, as the home team plays cross-state rival Tampa’s University of South Florida Bulls in a game that kicks off at 12:21. What with the press, protestors, and supporters flocking to Gainesville to witness the Qur’an bonfire, Gainesville police have their hands full. Add thousands of drunk football fans and who knows what will happen?


93-Year-Old Stetson Kennedy Vows to Arrest Qur’an Burner

stetsonkennedyLocal (in my neck of the woods anyway) legend Stetson Kennedy, best known for his ground-breaking journalism exposing Ku Klux Klan members in the 1940s, is taking on the Qur’an burning church. The 93-year-old Kennedy has vowed to perform a citizen’s arrest of Pastor Terry Jones of Dove World Outreach Center on Sept. 11.

Stetson Kennedy says he’ll be in Gainesville this weekend, and will conduct a citizen’s arrest on Dove World Outreach Center Pastor Terry Jones on the grounds of inciting violence and rioting.

“Any citizen in the presence of a crime in progress may make a citizen’s arrest,” Kennedy said.

“In this case, I would intend to take the Reverend Jones to the nearest U.S. Attorney.”

Kennedy plans to arrest Jones on grounds of sedition, which can be defined as inciting people to disturb the public peace. It’s a bit of a reach, but it makes more sense than Jones’ own plan to paint all of Islam with one brush, based on the attack by Osama bin Laden’s followers nine years ago.

Around the world, others are making a similar error of generalization in mistaking Jones’ idiocy as representative of all America, or all of Florida, or even all of the Missouri-born Jones’ operating base of Gainesville, with some Muslims vowing revenge for Jones’ ignorant actions against Americans, including troops, abroad.