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Archive for April 13th, 2011

Congressman Paul Ryan, the man behind the proposed Republican budget, has said that the single greatest influence on his career path was Ayn Rand. His budget reflects this, disdaining the needy while rewarding the wealthy. The rich, according to Rand, are the benefactors of society  and the poor deserve their fate as inferior beings. Selfishness, according to Ayn Rand, is a moral good and the pursuit of money a moral goal. Sacrifice for others is foolishness.

Paul Ryan is a Catholic. That he, and other free market Catholics, can cite such a wicked woman as an inspiration is appalling. Conservative Catholics have long- and rightly- derided prochoice Catholics for their inconsistency. But where is the outcry over Catholics who admire a philosophy so mistaken that it can accurately be described as the opposite of Christianity?

 At every point the thought of Ayn Rand contradicts the teachings of Christ.  Where Christ counsels humility, Rand counsels pride. Christ lived a life of selflessness and sacrifice. Rand lived a life consistent with her principles, indulging her desires and lusts, betraying anyone who got in her way. Christ said it was the poor, the meek, the lowly who were blessed. To Rand, they were to be despised.

Indeed, most philosophical errors consist of emphasizing one good at the expense of others. Randian philosophy is unique in its utter wrongheadedness, its embrace of primal evil, of selfishness. It is truly the ethics of Antichrist.

But is there any outcry about this? Any demands that bishops deny communion to anyone promoting such drivel?

I’m afraid that too many Catholics are selective in their outrage, overlooking what is after all only one of the more extreme examples of the Americanism that has haunted the Church in this country for most of its history. Apparently you can be a “good Catholic” while adhering to a philosophy totally contrary to the faith  you profess.

But then, consistency is not the strong suit of American Catholicism…

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Gimme Mine

Critics of Social Security and Medicare frequently invoke the words and ideals of author and philosopher Ayn Rand, one of the fiercest critics of federal insurance programs. But a little-known fact is that Ayn Rand herself collected Social Security. She may also have received Medicare benefits.

Rand acolyte Congressman Paul Ryan, architect of the proposed Republican budget, which cuts benefits for the poor and elderly and cuts taxes for the rich (and doesn’t touch the ravenous military), also has collected Social Security benefits, which put him through college: http://phoenixwoman.wordpress.com/2011/01/27/ayn-rand-paul-ryan-social-security-recipients-against-social-security/

I have written before of the hypocrisy of Tea Party advocates who cling to their own government benefits. Turns out there is a long pedigree for this sort of thing, all the way back to that wicked woman,  Ayn Rand.

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