Why Ayn Rand Is a Fan Favorite Among Christian Theocrats

Anything that unifies extreme groups and reinforces their ideology should set off alarm bells.

Source: talk2action via alternet

Author:James Sanford

Emphasis Mine

Ayn Rand’s followers find themselves sharing a lot of common ground with the Christian Right these days. The Tea Party, with its stress on righteous liberty and a robust form of capitalism, has been a rallying point for both groups. Still, the philosophical disharmony between Christianity and Objectivism (Ayn Rand’s philosophy) has presented problems for anyone seeking to straddle the two worldviews. Just ask Paul Ryan.

Congressman Ryan, a Conservative Catholic, made no bones about his love for Ayn Rand’s signature novel, Atlas Shrugged, when he began his political career. The novel’s portrayal of heroic entrepreneurs fighting an evil government fits perfectly with Ryans’s ideal of conservatism. But a few years ago, the congressman began to feel pushback from traditional Christians who weren’t so keen on Ayn Rand’s theological views. How, it was asked, could Ryan condone an atheist who dismissed religionists as ignorant and deluded? The upshot: Ryan began parsing his words in a hurry.

Judging from recent trends, however, the icy divide over the God issue shows clear signs of melt. Gradual movement toward accommodation is coming not just from Christians wishing to co-opt Ayn Rand’s capitalistic ethic, but from Randians seeking to expand their fan base.

A hint of compromise from the Randian side was evident this fall with the rollout of Atlas Shrugged, Part III, the final film segment of the novel. Whatever the film’s cinematic defects–it has generally been panned by critics–the filmmakers have signaled an interest in reaching beyond the usual circle of devotees, realizing that traditional Christians, a key conservative demographic, are good targets for Rand’s pro-capitalist message. John Aglialoro, the movie’s main producer and a trustee of the pro-Randian Atlas Society, seemed to have their sensitivities in mind in an interview with Bill Frezza of Forbes Magazine awhile back. “Most people have a respect for spirituality, maybe even a yearning,” he stated. “There must be room in Objectivism for charity and benevolence.”

See: http://www.alternet.org/tea-party-and-right/why-ayn-rand-fan-favorite-among-christian-theocrats?akid=13252.123424.3haMGB&rd=1&src=newsletter1038489&t=5

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