Atheist abortion-rights advocate Ayn Rand would seem to be a hard sell for the religious right in America, but her ideas about money as the root of all good in the world have a surprisingly-strong appeal to the white evangelical Christians who form the Republican Party’s most active voting base. They have proven perfectly capable of ignoring everything they ought to dislike about Rand to embrace her ideas about poverty, charity, and the role of government in promoting the general welfare. Of course, what Rand has to say on these topics is very different from what Jesus says in the gospels. Here are six videos which demonstrate the way Rand’s philosophy has been slipped into the right wing bible somewhere between Romans and Revelations.
1. Pat Robertson tells an 80 year-old woman to get a job rather than stop tithing to his church. Because nothing means more than gifting what you can no longer afford to people who already have more than yourself — it’s the ultimate act of faith in the divine invisible hand!
2. Lakewood Church co-pastor Victoria Osteen tells her flock to “do good for your own self” instead of for God. Because the good you do should make YOU feel good, since that’s what’s really important here, right? Rand and her cultists are sincerely anti-volunteerism, discouraging any kind of charitable work that isn’t personally fulfilling. This is classic Objectivist philosophy restated as a Christian sermon:
3. Glenn Beck’s favorite pseudo-historian includes “capitalism” in the Ten Commandments of voting. David Barton is not a credible witness. He is a peddler of ahistorical nonsense disguised as historical research, but conducted according to ‘biblical principles.’ In his mouth, the words ‘private property’ should be understood as mammon.
4. Congressman Paul Ryan tells the Atlas Society in 2005 how Rand influenced his personal and political philosophies. Ryan’s every scheme involving Medicare, Social Security, food stamps, etc. is grounded in Rand’s view of such programs as subsidies for moochers. He’s since tried to repudiate Objectivism, but no one actually ever accused Ryan of being part of her cult — just a rabid fan of her ideas.
5. The Republican governor of North Carolina appoints an Environment & Natural Resources Secretary who believes in magic oil. Ayn Rand was hardly all-rational, all the time. Her novel Atlas Shrugged makes clear references to abiotic oil theory, a thoroughly-discredited geological conspiracy theory that she genuinely believed at the time. Right wing evangelicals love abiotic oil theory because it lets them disbelieve in fossils — and fossil-fuels.
6. Senator Ted Cruz (R-Wingnuttistan) says that “we are living in the days of Ayn Rand.” You don’t get a more religious Republican than Cruz, but his ‘End Times’ have more in common with John Galt than Jesus Christ.