Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The right’s Ayn Rand hypocrisy: Why their “religious” posture is a total sham

From Salon: http://www.salon.com/2014/02/28/the_rights_ayn_rand_hypocrisy_why_their_religious_posture_is_a_total_sham/

Conservatives booted atheists from CPAC, but love a raging anti-Christian. The reason has to do with economic greed

Friday, Feb 28, 2014

Earlier this week, CNN reported that American Atheists, an advocacy group for atheists and atheism, would have a booth at the 2014 Conservative Political Action Conference. The idea behind the booth was to build bridges between historically faith-motivated conservatives and their politically aligned but religiously different atheist counterparts. David Silverman, the president of American Atheists, called the booth “one of many steps” his organization would take in its “outreach effort” targeted at political conservatives.

But the Atheists’ attempt to extend an olive branch was evidently ill-received by the organizers of the CPAC, who have now disallowed the group from sponsoring its planned informational booth. Apparently most conservatives weren’t amused by Silverman’s comments to CNN concerning the Christian right: ““I am not worried about making the Christian right angry. The Christian right should be angry that we are going in to enlighten conservatives. The Christian right should be threatened by us.”

So much for American Atheists’ short-lived liberation effort, which seems to have been aimed as much at bringing to light already-existing atheist sentiments on the right as in inculcating them into current believers. But if the American Atheists’ goal is to make public quiet inklings of atheism in seemingly faith-saturated conservative circles, an incendiary conversion attempt based out of a booth at CPAC is likely the worst tack to take. After all, a much more successful war against religion on the right has been waged by none other than perpetual philosophical train wreck and failed film critic Ayn Rand.

Rand is perhaps the only virulently anti-Christian writer that Republicans nonetheless routinely feel comfortable heaping praise upon. In a charming 1964 interview with Playboy, Rand described the crucifixion of Jesus in terms of “mythology,” and submitted that she would feel “indignant” over such a “sacrifice of virtue to vice.” That Christians are called to care for the most vulnerable of God’s people was, to Rand, manifest proof that the religion has nothing constructive to add to human life: After all, in her philosophy, “superiors” have no moral obligations to those weaker or more vulnerable than they. According to Rand, the Christian moral imperative to serve the needy is a “monstrous idea.”

In a surprising jolt of coherence, Rand held precisely the position such a disdain for Christian humility would suggest: that the strong are the rightful lords over the weak, and that those with the capabilities to secure wealth and resources should be more or less unimpeded from doing so, the rest of humankind be damned. It’s likely this philosophical tenet that wins her so many fans on the right, among them Paul Ryan, Clarence Thomas, Gary Johnson and Rand Paul.

Continue reading at:  http://www.salon.com/2014/02/28/the_rights_ayn_rand_hypocrisy_why_their_religious_posture_is_a_total_sham/

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