In the wake of the release of the Atlas Shrugged movie, Ayn Rand’s prominence in the culture has increased, and people who had previously not been aware of her are taking notice. Notably, Christian groups are now starting to point out the hypocrisy of Republicans who praise both Ayn Rand and Jesus. As Eric Sapp of the American Values Network puts it, “[The] GOP must choose: Ayn Rand or Jesus”.
[Rand] said religion was “evil,” called the message of John 3:16 “monstrous,” argued that the weak are beyond love and undeserving of it, that loving your neighbor was immoral and impossible and that she was out to undermine the idea that charity was a moral duty and virtue.
An ad developed by the American Values Network
on the topic of Ayn Rand vs. Christianity
Though Mr. Sapp’s characterization of Rand’s philosophy is inaccurate, we wholeheartedly agree that the Republican Party cannot consistently follow both Ayn Rand and Jesus, and have long been arguing so. The morality of Christ and the morality of rational selfishness are opposites. As we stated in 2009:
There is no way to reconcile an individualistic, self-interested morality and an altruistic morality of religious duties. Politically, this means there is no way to support both capitalist and religious policies. “The party of principle,” as the GOP often calls itself, is currently governed by two sets of principles that fundamentally contradict one another.
We hope there is more attention brought to this issue. Clarifying what Ayn Rand actually stood for, and how it is contrary to the prevailing philosophies of both the left and the right, can only be beneficial.For more on this topic, read our 2009 article, “The Republican Party’s Identity Crisis”.
The Undercurrent is a magazine distributed at college campuses and communities across the country. We release a print edition once per semester, and in the interim, regularly post additional articles, blog entries, and campus media responses reports to our website.
The Undercurrent's cultural commentary is based on Ayn Rand's philosophy, Objectivism. Objectivism, which animates Ayn Rand's fiction, is a systematic philosophy of life. It holds that the universe is orderly and comprehensible, that man survives by reason, that his life and happiness comprise his highest moral purpose, and that he flourishes only in a society that protects his individual rights.
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