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Jesus or Ayn Rand - can conservatives claim both?
Author Ayn Rand stands in New York City in this 1957 photo. Her criticism of religion outraged some, but her books remain popular.
June 29th, 2011
10:22 AM ET

Jesus or Ayn Rand - can conservatives claim both?

By John Blake, CNN

(CNN)– Can a person follow Ayn Rand and Jesus?

That’s the question posed by a provocative media campaign that claims that some prominent conservative leaders cannot serve two masters: Jesus and the controversial author of  "Atlas Shrugged," Ayn Rand.

The American Values Network, a group of political activists and pastors, sparked a debate when it recently released a video challenging some conservative and Republican leaders’ professed admiration for Rand,  an atheist who saw selfishness as a virtue and celebrated unfettered capitalism.

Eric Sapp,  AVN’s executive director, said the Republican Party cannot portray itself as a defender of Christian values and then defend the worldview of "the patron saint of selfishness" who scorned religion and compassion.

Sapp singled out Republican leaders such as Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, and talk radio host Rush Limbaugh after all of them expressed admiration for Rand.

Ryan,  architect of the GOP’s propsed budget and Medicare plan, once said that Rand’s philosophy was “sorely needed right now,” and that she did a great job of explaining “the morality of capitalism.”

Sapp sees little morality in Rand's worldview:

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…

Sapp cited conservative leader Chuck Colson who released a video condemning Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged” as a silly novel that “peddles a starkly anti-Christian philosophy.”

Sapp added:

Hard to reconcile leaders of ‘God’s Own Party’ praising someone who is about as anti Christ as one can get, huh?”

Onkar Ghate, a senior fellow at the Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights in Washington, said the philosophies of Christianity and Ayn Rand are incompatible.

Jesus taught that people should love and serve others, including their enemies. Rand taught that people's fundamental focus should be on their individual happiness, he said:

 I don’t think what Ayn Rand advocates in 'Atlas Shrugged' and what Jesus teaches in the Sermon on the Mount are compatible. She’s an egoist and therefore an individualist.  Jesus is advocating altruism and collectivism.

Rand died in 1982, but she remains polarizing. The great recession has triggered new interest in her novel, “Atlas Shrugged.” The book depicts a bleak future where the U.S. government has seized control of private industry and discouraged innovation.

The book may have been rooted in Rand's childhood trauma. She was born in Russia in 1905, and saw the Communist Party come to power in a violent revolution. Her family was left destitute after party officials seized her father’s business.

She immigrated to the United States where she eventually became a screenwriter. She ultimately made her mark through her novels. Critics say Rand’s characters were stilted mouthpieces for her philosophy of  Objectivism, which insists that individuals should be driven by “rational self-interest.”  Still, "Atlas Shrugged" is now considered one of the most influential books of the 20th century.

Rand's philosophy didn’t say much good about religion. In a 1964 Playboy interview posted on the Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights site, she said that religious faith is “a negation of human reason” and charity wasn’t a virtue.

Rand told Playboy:

There is nothing wrong in helping other people, if and when they are worthy of the help and you can afford to help them. I regard charity as a marginal issue. What I am fighting is the idea that charity is a moral duty and a primary virtue.

Defenders of Rand say that a person can adopt elements of Rand’s philosophy and reject whatever clashes with their faith.

Yaron Brooks, president of the Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights, also defended Rand’s philosophy in a recent CNN.com commentary.

He said while people call Jesus or Mother Teresa heroes, they should use the same description for people like 19th century oil tycoon, John D. Rockefeller and inventor and businessman, Thomas Edison.

Their pursuit of personal profit is a virtue because it enriches society, not just individuals, Brooks said.

Brooks wrote:

It is they, not the Mother Teresas of the world that we should strive to be like and teach our kids the same.

Elections, some say, are ultimately a contest of ideas. It’ll be interesting to see if those political leaders who admire Rand continue to talk openly about her philosophy as the 2012 presidential campaign escalates.

Or will they deflect a question I suspect they’ll hear again and again:

How can you invoke Jesus and follow Rand?

- CNN Writer

Filed under: Belief • Books • Business • Christianity • Culture wars • Economy • Ethics • Politics

soundoff (1,025 Responses)
  1. Aletheya

    This one is easy. Repubs admire Rand because most of them are not really Christians. They think they are, they say they are, but when you look at how they live, none of them live according to the teachings of Jesus. Love your neighbor. Turn the other cheek. Sell all your possessions and give the proceeds to the poor. Serve others. It is harder for a rich man to enter the kingdom of Heaven... Render unto Caesar. Repubs do none of these things. Megachurches, in particular, and most especially their pastors, are diametrically opposed to Christ's teachings. So of course they can admire Rand and still claim to be Christians. They give only lip service to Christianity, so there is no real conflict for them.

    June 29, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
    • jason

      I agree; in fact we don't even have a Christrian right in this country, we only have a religious right. It isn't a Christian right because there is nothing in it that reminds you of Christ.

      June 29, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
    • Student of World Religions

      Truth is, it is the Objectivist Party that admires Ayn Rand.

      June 29, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
  2. Nathan Prophet

    You cannot serve two masters. Chose Rand or Jesus, or neither. Ayn Rand was bitter, hard, selfish, and a loner. She was definitely strongly influenced by Communist Russia and her childhood experiences. Her writings are all biased and bitter. On the other hand, being an atheist, she naturally espouses amoral behavior; a lack of moral principles – only those that are self-imposed and self-executed, and which are subject to change at a whim. In her world, exploitation of other people for one's self interest is a good goal. "Greed is good."

    June 29, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
    • JohnR

      Most atheists are not objectivists.

      June 29, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
  3. Reality

    Christian Economics 101:

    The Baptizer drew crowds and charged for the "dunking". The historical Jesus saw a good thing and continued dunking and preaching the good word but added "healing" as an added charge to include free room and board. Sure was better than being a poor peasant but he got a bit too zealous and they nailed him to a tree. But still no greed there.

    Paul picked up the money scent on the road to Damascus. He added some letters and a prophecy of the imminent second coming for a fee for salvation and "Gentilized" the good word to the "big buck" world. i.e. Paul was the first media evangelist!!! And he and the other Apostles forgot to pay their Roman taxes and the legendary actions by the Romans made them martyrs for future greed. Paul was guilty of minor greed?

    Along comes Constantine. He saw the growing rich Christian community and recognized a new tax base so he set them "free". Major greed on his part!!

    The Holy Roman "Empirers"/Popes/Kings/Queens et al continued the money grab selling access to JC and heaven resulting in some of today's richest organizations on the globe i.e. the Christian churches (including the Mormon Church) and related aristocracies. Obvious greed!!!

    An added note: As per R.B. Stewart in his introduction to the recent book, The Resurrection of Jesus, Crossan and Wright in Dialogue, ( Professors Crossan and Wright are On Faith panelists).

    "Reimarus (1774-1778) posits that Jesus became sidetracked by embracing a political position, sought to force God's hand and that he died alone deserted by his disciples. What began as a call for repentance ended up as a misguided attempt to usher in the earthly political kingdom of God. After Jesus' failure and death, his disciples stole his body and declared his resurrection in order to maintain their financial security and ensure themselves some standing."

    Some of Paul's money gathering activities some of which resulted in buying the Gentile entry into the then mostly Jewish version of Christianity:

    Paul claimed almost total independence from the "mother church" in Jerusalem.[12] and yet was eager and diligent to bring material support from the various budding Gentile churches that he planted to the mother church at Jerusalem.

    When a famine occurred in Judea, around 45–46,[24] Paul and Barnabas journeyed to Jerusalem to deliver financial support from the Antioch community.[25] According to Acts, Antioch had become an alternative center for Christians following the dispersion of the believers after the death of Stephen. It was in Antioch that the followers of Jesus were first called "Christians."[Ac. 11:26]. This act basically "greased" the entry of non-circu-mcised Gentiles into Christianity.

    "Paul collected the money from his four provinces, Galatia, Macedonia, Achaia and Asia but, for obvious reasons, of propriety, had representatives take each province's own contribution".

    vs.

    Ayn Rand

    "born Feb. 2, 1905, St. Petersburg, Russia — died March 6, 1982, New York, N.Y., U.S.) Russian-born U.S. writer. She immigrated to the U.S. in 1926 after graduating from the University of Petrograd and worked as a screenwriter in Hollywood. She won a cult following with two best-selling novels presenting her belief that all real achievement comes from individual ability and effort, that laissez-faire capitalism is most congenial to the exercise of talent, and that selfishness is a virtue, altruism a vice. In The Fountainhead (1943), a superior individual transcends traditionalism and conformism. The allegorical Atlas Shrugged (1957) combines science fiction with her political message. She expounded her philosophy, which she called objectivism, in nonfiction works and as editor of two journals and became an icon of radical libertarianism."

    June 29, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
  4. Matt

    Of course modern conservative "Christians" can square Rand with Christianity – they've already ditched all the incompatible bits, especially all the crap that dirty hippie said about loving others. He can stay nailed RIGHT to the wall where he belongs – they've got money to make and people to hate!

    June 29, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
  5. joopiteer

    Ah, seems as though a lot of people are trying to intellectualize greed, kinda makes them feel good about themselves. But, I think it's very easy to see from the teachings of Jesus Christ that He wasn't espousing selfishness. You really can't serve God and mammon, is there any doubt that is what Jesus was teaching?

    June 29, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
  6. Ranterdon

    Cognative Dissonance...easy for Conservatives impssible for Progressives.

    June 29, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
    • zazu

      You are on the money. And I am an evangelical christian. It is beyond me how my dear brethren uphold, "The love of money (greed) is root of all evil" and "Greed is good" philosophy at the same time! That is where the phrase, "useful idiots" come to play. I have said that conservatism is 5% people who game the system ( like the slave holders of old) and 95% useful idiots those who fight for them but have no interest in the outcome (used by the system–manipulated)!

      June 29, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
  7. JohnD

    The same way one should read the Bible – subjectively. If that were not the case, Red Lobster would be out of business because one cannot eat shellfood. Every barbecue joint from here to Timbuktu would be boycotted by Christians for their pork, and sush would have a real hard time when serving octopuss. It is about taking what is valid, and putting the rest in context. Unfortunately those of supposed "high mindedness" forget that in their zeal to be "right"

    June 29, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
    • joopiteer

      Ah, seems as though a lot of people are trying to intellectualize greed, kinda makes them feel good about themselves. But, I think it's very easy to see from the teachings of Jesus Christ that He wasn't espousing selfishness. You really can't serve God and mammon . . . is there any doubt that is what Jesus was teaching?

      June 29, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
  8. Doomguy

    It really is time for a world wide discussion, both among leaders and on the internet about this whole religion thing. I mean really only the very insane and deluded really believe this stuff. It is time to stop playing games and continuing to teach fantasy as reality. Fantasy is fine in books, toys and games, but when it comes to the real world, I would rather the next generations grow up knowing the cold hard facts of the world. Morality can exist outside of religion and can be packaged in a way that can be taught in schools without religious indocrination.

    June 29, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
    • scoobers

      only the very insane and delusional believe? LOL at that comment, you my friend are a TARD. Is Francis Collins insane and delusions? Oh wait, you probably dont know who that is, try looking him up.

      June 29, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
    • The good people, atheist and religious

      I treat religion as ppooorrnn and keep it away from kids. When they are 18, it's their choice, at least they aren't being brainwashed. Then again, as alcoholics, the religious need their belief-ing buddies. They will fight keeping their delusions from kids because they know the brainwashing will stick longer.

      Sad but true,

      June 29, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
    • oxymoron

      "only the insane and deluded believe this stuff" – Which is why you should never be part of such discussions.

      With your very own thought process, I very easily could say, "Only the insane and deluded don't believe this stuff".. and you will cast me down as wrong, and will puff yourself as right.

      Thus... no such discussion is to be had.

      June 29, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
    • Student of World Religions

      Which morality should we teach? That of a relativist, a conventionalist, a subjectivist, or an objectivists. Which morality do we follow and who gets to make that decision?

      June 29, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
    • MSfromCA

      There is evidence that the human brain is wired for spirituality. Certain types of seizures cause people to have "religious experiences." Spirituality is wide spread and every culture I can think of going back thousands of years had religion. Why fight it? If you try to get rid of it, something else will just take its place under a different name. What most people are really complaining about is not religion at all but ethnocentricity – look it up on wikipedia. Think about this -why have Catholics and Protestants had so much trouble in Ireland but in few other places recently? Its not religion that is the heart of the problem.

      June 29, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
    • The good people, atheist and religious

      Well student, it is good people who do good works, religious and non-religious. Religions and their beliefs do not have the corner on 'good'. It is up to us, as individuals, to promote what is right and creating a better world. It is these same 'good' who tame religions and their propaganda. That is historically accurate.

      June 29, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
    • Lettuce Prey

      As an atheist, your view of believers does not represent mine. More than 90% of the world's population believe in god in one form or another. I can't join them in their faith, it just doesn't work for an empiricist like me, but it is wrong to condemn them and the name-calling is counter-productive. You do not persuade; you alienate.

      June 29, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
    • WichitaThinker

      Regardless of whether you believe that Christ was divine, the fact is the Sermon on the Mount is awesome. To throw away the teachings of Christ because you dislike religion is doing yourself a disservice. I don't put much stock in any religion, but there are some teachings throughout the Bible that make perfect sense to me. I choose to believe those teachings are correct the same way I believe in the principles of quantum mechanics.

      June 29, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
  9. David

    So one cannot agree with Rand's economic views and disagree on issues of morality? How about this then. Is Obama moral if he "redistributes wealth" but is unapologetic about killing unborn children through the process of abortion?

    June 29, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
    • Bruce

      If one wishes to subscribe to Rand's immoral economic views, what do they care about morality?

      And President Obama is not guilty of performing abortions, even if they were murder (they are not). He is guilty of murder in many other ways, and those who cry about abortion as murder seem to always forget that war is murder.

      But I guess if not-murder (i.e. abortion) is murder, then murder (war) is not-murder. That makes total sense...

      June 29, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
    • Summer Tyme

      Wha' chew tawkin' 'bout David – When did Our President have an abortion?

      June 29, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
    • Reality

      BO says abortions should be "safe, legal and rare" but says nothing about the basic tenet of proper human conduct i.e. Thou Shalt Not Kill. And where is BO's sense of indignation that abortions are not rare and that these acts of horror demean the Golden Rule considering that he says he is a Christian.

      And where is his sense of indignation that women who use the Pill do not use it properly resulting in an failure rate of 8.7% as per the Gu-ttmacher Inst-itute statistics. Using these and other Gu-ttmacher Insti-tute data, this failure of women to use the Pill properly results in ~1,000,000 unplanned pregnancies every year. And the annual abortion rate in the USA is?? ~1,000,000 as per the CDC.

      And do males use co-ndoms properly? No, as said failure rate for this birth "control" method is 17.4%!! Again using Gu-ttmacher data, said failure rate results in another ~1,000,000 unplanned pregnancies every year.

      The Gu-ttmacher Insti-tute (same reference) notes also that the perfect use of the pill should result in a 0.3% failure rate (35,000 unplanned pregnancies) and for the male condom, a 2% failure rate (138,000 unplanned pregnancies).

      Bottom line #1: BO is still not aware of the basics of birth control. He still remains the leader of the Immoral Majority and will remain so until he gets re-elected as noted below.

      The Immoral Majority? Those millions voting "mothers and fathers" of aborted womb babies whose ranks grow by two million every year. In 2012, this the largest voting bloc in the US will have ~78 million members.

      In 2008, the Immoral Majority numbered ~70 million. Presidential popular vote results:
      69,456,897 for BO 59,934,814 for JM

      June 29, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
  10. Summer Tyme

    Given those two choices, I'd rather follow an ice cream truck.

    June 29, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
  11. the_dude

    Rand was just a bitter, lonely lady. Her book is just a collection of rants from a deranged lunatic. Obviously, someone in her life abandoned her at some point and her only way the strike back at the world was to attack what most hold dear. Sorry you had a crap life and some man did a number on you and some other person abandoned you but seriously find something better to do with your time.

    June 29, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
    • JohnD

      You mean do something better than rant non-sensically on a blog such as you have done? Ad Hominem. Look it up.

      June 29, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
    • Anti-Randian

      Thankfully she is dead and cannot write any more twisted rambling trash.

      June 30, 2011 at 2:15 am |
  12. Satan

    thepragmaticprogressive.org/wp/2011/06/17/am-i-a-fascist/

    June 29, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
  13. OldWing

    I think that Ayn Rand believed in the power of one – one individual – and posited a society in which extrordinary individuals could rise to whatever heights they could. In Atlas Shrugged she dreams of businessmen dealling fairly with each other and with the persons they employ. Those who do not deal fairly will not survive, as no one will do business with them when their methods of business become known. Businessmen were portrayed as dealing fairly with their customers – selling them the best that they could make, for the price set. If no one bought, perhaps the price was too high, or the item not percieved as being good enough. Her ideal businessman would be honest. He or she would give to those causes they deemed worthy, not to those causes deemed worthy be others. No one could force – by law – that contribution.

    June 29, 2011 at 3:43 pm |
    • WichitaThinker

      In other words, Rand set her novel in fairy land. If businesspeople behaved in the exemplary fashion she described, then her philosophy would be much more palatable to people.

      June 29, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
  14. Bruce

    Just an fyi, people–Rand's heroes (Galt, Roark, et al) were never intended to be internalized and universalized as some moral normative standard by which everyone should judge themselves. It is quite obvious that they are exceptions, that society cannot survive if it is full of people like them, that the vast majority of humanity is not fit to lick their boots, let alone attempt to emulate them in any meaningful manner. She was quite elitist. She never harbored any illusions that one day everyone would look up to John Galt and try to be like him. She understood humanity enough that, while she advocated her idiotic and wrongheaded sense of aesthetics to groups of intellectuals, and while she did seek approval from those same groups and hoped to change a few minds, she did not care (nor did she ever expect) the rest of us lowlifes to ever pick up the banner of Objectivism and run with it.

    In fact, the way most of those who seem to support her attempt to do so would (I would think) offend her and she would tell them to sit down and shut up because they make her look stupid.

    Jesus had a similar elitist moral standard only meant for a few to grasp and appreciate, the rest of us he referred to as "sheep" and directed those who understood to feed us, and predicted that many/most of us will never have the "eyes to see and the ears to hear" and he taught in parables rather than being more explicit with his instruction to make sure we never caught on, such that his words would be a stumbling block to our attempts at understanding.

    June 29, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
    • JohnD

      Bravo.

      June 29, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
    • WichitaThinker

      I don't think Jesus meant to be obscure, and there is nothing in his teachings that is even ambiguous to most people. Which parts of the Sermon on the Mount do you two not understand?

      June 29, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  15. Eddie

    The genius of Rand is not about how to run your lives (that's what morality is for). But Rand shows us how to structure a government. Even then, her views are more closely aligned with Christianity than she thinks. Look at her own quote:

    "There is nothing wrong in helping other people, if and when they are worthy of the help and you can afford to help them."

    This is Biblically supported. If they are not worthy of support, you're giving a drunk a drink, so to speak. If you can't afford to help them, then you're being foolish with your resources.

    June 29, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
    • Anti-Randian

      The Catholics have places where they give alcoholics all the booze they want. Want to try again?

      June 30, 2011 at 2:18 am |
  16. MSfromCA

    The politicians associated with the religious right are really just using religion as a stand in for "respect for authority" or "respect for tradition" – most of them not really that religious. They certainly don't have anything good to say about social welfare programs or redistribution of wealth.

    June 29, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
    • Doomguy

      Got news for you. The democrats and people on the left largely use religion the same way.

      June 29, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
    • The good people, atheist and religious

      People who tend to follow religions will likely follow the conservative party. They are easily pliable. A good example is that Obama's loving family is ridiculed by them, they rather have a McCain who dropped his family for a wealthy woman. That is just who they are. They will manipulate their thinking.

      June 29, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
  17. GJ

    The fact that she immigrated from the Soviet Union where there was an orthodox and corrupted church to the United States where the dominant strain of Christianity is Protestant is the real reason her philosophy contrasts so greatly with Christian Religion. Her experience with Religion in Russia was much different than what one would experience in the United States. What she most fought against was collectivism. By the way Jesus was not a collectivist. The collectivist killed Jesus. Rational self interest was one of Rand's lynch pins to her theory of objectivism which is in direct conflict with collectivism. Collectivism is the power of the state, period. The church needs to stop supporting collectivism. It's evil in it's nature and it corrupts the human spirit. I believe we are our brothers and sisters keepers and one could make the argument that it falls under the category of rational self interest; however, the minute people think they can enforce that philosophy at the end of a barrel of a gun (gov't) the whole thing falls apart and religion becomes secular humanism where the state replaces God. And that should be worrisome to us all. That is what Rand ultimately was fighting against and what everyone needs to understand is the great fight going on today all around us. So in the end yes you can be a Christian and have admiration for Rand's philosophies.

    June 29, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
    • WichitaThinker

      Christ turned water into wine and gave it to those that did not have any. He freely distributed his miraculous fish to those who did not have food. Rand would have Christ keep all the wine and fish for himself, because those that did not have any did not deserve any, because they were too weak. Rand's philosophy is not compatible with Christianity. The religious leaders quoted in the article certainly don't seem to think so, and I would certainly be more amenable to their thoughts that yours on the subject as they are experts in Christianity, and based upon your post you are certainly not.

      June 29, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
    • Bruce

      No, collectivism is not statism. They are two very different things.

      Jesus taught to die to yourself. Rand taught to live for yourself. These are also two very different things.

      June 29, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
    • WichitaThinker

      Jesus died for the sins of all mankind, right? He did not teach people to "die to yourself" although I have to admit I am not at all sure what that even means so I may be misunderstanding the point you are making.

      June 29, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
    • JohnD

      Wow Witchita Thinker, thank you for showing that you would rather limit ideas than expand them. There are a lot of people who misinterpret the Bible, you seem to embrace that while still misinterpreting Rand as well.

      June 29, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
    • WichitaThinker

      JohnD,

      I do not believe I've misinterpreted any part of either. Jesus said he came to "give his life as a ransom for many" at Matthew 20:28. So, I don't think anyone familiar with Christ's teachings would contend that he "died to [him/your]self" although that term is senseless to me. I suppose that if supporting my arguments with what I consider to be reliable evidence is the limitation of ideas in your view, then I'm willing to accept that.

      June 29, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
  18. Soulsnagger

    Interesting article. I am a conservative Christian and an Ayn Rand fan. Ayn Rand championed self reliance, a strong work ethic and a rejection of those who take without contributing to society. I can cite verses in the Bible that encourage the same ethic. Jesus turned the other cheek (ultimately losing his life for others) but fought angrily against injustice and greed throughout his life. The epistles encourage giving to those who cannot provide for themselves, but also require hard work and self sufficiency from Jesus' followers. They set forth strict rules to control how to give to others – and clearly they do not encourage giving to those who are undeservedly milking the community of believers. I've read the Bible quite a few times (all of it) and I simply don't find ethical doormats, economic communism or a wide open door to paradise for those who reject what Jesus offered. Gosh – sounds a lot like Ayn Rand to me.

    June 29, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
    • WichitaThinker

      The Sermon on the Mount does not say that charity and generosity should ONLY be bestowed on those who you deem are sufficient producers in society, does it? If so, why did Jesus spend all that time with the lepers, who are about as unproductive as a society member could be.

      June 29, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
    • sarah

      Jesus said unto him, If thou wouldest be perfect, go, sell that which thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.

      How do you rationalize that? Or did you not read the bible?

      June 29, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
    • Lucy

      Very well said!

      June 29, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
    • Big Ben

      Cite some then.

      June 29, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
  19. Student of World Religions

    Can a person follow Ayn Rand and Jesus?

    Well, that depends on if you are a Relativists, a Conventionalists, a Subjectivist, or an Objectivists.

    June 29, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
  20. Nyarlathotep

    John Galt > Jesus

    June 29, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.