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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. Zeflik

    Some conservative think that Ayn Rand was Jesus, or, to be more precise, he came in her form in order to correct his previous errors such as the talk about protecting the poor and loving thy brother.

    June 30, 2011 at 10:20 pm |
  2. Squeezebox

    I think that the "Moral Majority" has hijacked Republican Party for so long that people have forgotten that not all Republicans are evangelical Christians. The TEA party is really Libertarians in disguise and they're trying to hijack the Grand Old Party. I don't think the Republicans have really been themselves since 1972.

    June 30, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
    • Grumpy

      They haven't been themselves since Ike!

      June 30, 2011 at 10:23 pm |
  3. El Kababa

    Ayn Rand is the poster girl for the modern CEO: no looks, no brains, no talent – just successful.

    June 30, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
    • Bryan

      yeah...you've said that twice. I think she actually had a brain and whether you like her ideas or not...they are worth talking about.

      June 30, 2011 at 8:49 pm |
  4. NYliberal

    GOP (greed over people) uses christianity to justify their randian phiolosophy. Yeshua ben-Joseph was a liberal.

    June 30, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
  5. Nonimus

    "The mission of the Ayn Rand Center is to advance individual rights (the rights of each person to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness) as the moral basis for a fully free, laissez-faire capitalist society."
    (http://www.aynrand.org/site/PageServer?pagename=arc_why_individual_rights)

    I think Ayn Rand somewhere said that the only purpose of government should be the prevention of force. No nation should be able to force another to do their bidding (national defense) and no person should be able to force another to do their bidding (police). All interactions should be mutually agreed upon and, if done correctly, mutually beneficial.

    June 30, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
    • Nonimus

      Mis-posted reply to an earlier comment.

      June 30, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
  6. Devara

    Ayn Rand was a nutjob. Her idea of the perfect man was one William Hickman, a murderer and rapist who kidnapped, killed and cut the legs off a little girl named Marian Parker. She called him "a brilliant, unusual, exceptional boy," shimmering with "immense, explicit egotism." Rand had only one regret: "A strong man can eventually trample society under its feet. That boy [Hickman] was not strong enough." I'm not sure how much strength it takes to chop the legs off a child, but that's not my idea of strength. Thanks anyway, I'll follow Jesus any day over Rand.

    June 30, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
  7. Grumpy

    It's fun to play with the works of authors and philosophers so as to make their positions compatible with one's own. Rand would find it quite amusing to know that so many "Christians" find her views compatible with those of Jesus of Nazareth. For her, it would prove her views of religion correct.

    June 30, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
    • BroNate

      Christians aren't the only ones who practice "selective deafness" in picking and choosing parts of their source texts to highlight or ignore. Forget Ayn Rand, in some places the Bible even contradicts itself. Genius at coping with paradox lies at the root of religion and quantum physics.

      June 30, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
    • Andy Wormhole

      There are no paradoxes in physics.

      July 1, 2011 at 7:50 am |
  8. Lolita Pitts

    Mr. Blake, You don't really think that I am going to let the things that you wrote about what is and what is not in the Bible go unchecked and proved wrong do you?

    Is CNN seriously allowing you to print this stuff without doing it's due diligence ?
    Keep reading my blog 🙂 litaslamp@blogspot.com

    June 30, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
  9. El Kababa

    Ayn Rand reminds me of George W. Bush: no looks, no brains, and no talent. Just successful.

    June 30, 2011 at 11:03 am |
    • The Globalizer

      Well, at least she wasn't an internet troll.

      June 30, 2011 at 12:18 pm |
    • El Kababa

      I beg your pardon! I am NOT an internet troll. I am a world wide web warlock. I was deeply offended by your crass mis-characterization of my true nature.

      June 30, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
  10. Milton Freenagle

    Yaron Brook (not "Brooks") did not say "Their pursuit of personal profit is a virtue because it enriches society, not just individuals." Nor did he say anything like it. Their pursuit of personal profit is a virtue because (in the Objectivist ethics) each person is an end in himself, and virtue is pursuing one's own self-interest. Check it out in Brook's article using the link provided.

    June 30, 2011 at 11:00 am |
    • El Kababa

      In short, "If I am greedy and I enrich myself by any means possible, then that is actually good for others. If not for me, all the little people would still be living in caves. That is not to say that I care about them, because I don't. I'm in this for number 1."

      June 30, 2011 at 11:08 am |
  11. Normon

    As someone once said,

    The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money to spend.

    June 30, 2011 at 10:37 am |
    • El Kababa

      That was cute the first hundred thousand times I heard it. It means nothing, but it's a cute play on words.

      June 30, 2011 at 10:40 am |
    • LinCA

      @Normon

      You said: "As someone once said,
      The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money to spend.
      "

      Yeah, but we'll never run out of idiots to parrot some catch phrase.

      June 30, 2011 at 10:46 am |
    • Normon the Parrot of 100,000 sayings

      Damn you guys are touchy.
      Look it seems pretty evident that the US is running into the first instances of "running out of other people's money." Why else would the US be having an internal struggle over raising the debt ceiling.
      Hell, look at Greece, they are practically 100% dependent on Germany's money, the financial engine of Europe right now. Iceland has gone bankrupt. Is Italy, Spain, or Portugal next.

      It may be "cute" or cliche, but don't try to claim it's not true.

      June 30, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
  12. Jim

    Both are works of fiction so you might as well add Tolkien's Lord of the Rings.

    June 30, 2011 at 9:04 am |
    • XD

      Frodo is Jesus! He put the One Ring of Sin into the volcano of Hell and freed us all with his finger!

      June 30, 2011 at 9:07 am |
    • Gandalf the White

      This internet is strange. I don't see any place to sit down at all.

      June 30, 2011 at 9:31 am |
    • Gimli son of Groin

      I still have stuff stuck in my beard!

      June 30, 2011 at 9:35 am |
    • Pun son of Anoing

      to XD: That sounds like a digital exorcise in utility.

      June 30, 2011 at 9:38 am |
    • Sauron

      @Gandalf: At least you have something to sit with. My ar-se is gone along with my body!

      June 30, 2011 at 9:41 am |
    • Gorbag's ghost

      Those filthy Isengarders! This is all their fault!

      June 30, 2011 at 9:45 am |
    • scorgg the ork

      soron rulz, elves drool !!!!!

      June 30, 2011 at 10:20 am |
    • Serutan

      One ping to bring them all and internet port bind them!

      June 30, 2011 at 10:27 am |
    • Ghân-buri-Ghân

      Fake sky-god sees nothing, does not exist. Many crazy fights, who will win?

      June 30, 2011 at 10:43 am |
  13. El Kababa

    Ayn Rand was a terrible writer. Her characters are six year old narcissistic kids running around in adult bodies. Her philosophy is merely a weak attempt to make heroes of jerks, and that is why jerks love her. She is the only author who could make Bernie Madoff the hero of a novel. She was an adulteress who had not a single kind word for Christianity, which she saw as the belief of suckers and saps.

    I am sorry that her name is still being mentioned in the 21st century.

    June 30, 2011 at 9:01 am |
    • Nonimus

      At least she didn't turn a narcissistic kid into a god like the Bible does. Oh, and Madoff is a thief, liar, and a fraud, none of which would be respected in Objectivism.
      I think Objectivism has flaws, but they aren't these.

      June 30, 2011 at 10:26 am |
    • El Kababa

      Madoff was a loner who was true to his own vision. He saw possiblities that no one else could see. He pursued his dream. You may not like Madoff, but our Corporate leadership are certainly not Ayn Rand's heroes either. They lie to consumers, lie to regulators, lie to government, lie to investors, and lie to juries. They produce product that are poorly designed and which harm people – cars whose gas pedals stick to the metal – and they conceal it, lie about it, and finally admit it when we see a copy of the memo they signed.

      There is no room in capitalism for Ayn Rand's juvenile heroes.

      June 30, 2011 at 10:44 am |
    • Nonimus

      @El Kababa,
      "She is the only author who could make Bernie Madoff the hero of a novel."
      I disgree and apparently you do too.

      "...like Madoff... our Corporate leadership are certainly not Ayn Rand's heroes either."
      I agree.

      "There is no room in capitalism for Ayn Rand's juvenile heroes."
      I'm not convinced this is true, but won't argue a point of opinion.

      June 30, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
  14. Reality

    Looks like the Baptist, Jesus, Paul, the Apostles and the Christians et al filled A. Rand's bill i.e. "that all real achievement comes from individual ability and effort".

    To wit:

    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."
    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 30, 2011 at 7:32 am |
    • M.

      Oh honey, if you're gonna copy and past Rand's biography from a generic encyclopedia/merriam webster – why not do the same for John, Jesus and Paul instead of writing your own interpretive biography? You don't seem to have a bias at all!

      June 30, 2011 at 9:19 am |
  15. Alex

    The philosophies of Ayn Rand are perfectly compatible with conservative Christianity. Objectivism and the Right Wing agenda both have in common intense self centered interest - which lies at the core of the Republican/Tea Party movement. Ayn Rand did not believe in God and neither do those identifying as Conservative Christians–they merely pretend to be as a tool to suppress and pacify the opposition. (That is the only thing Ayn Rand might object to, but it is a minor point.) Just about every teaching of Jesus runs contrary to Ayn Rands beliefs, but again, Conservatives do not follow the teachings of Christ either.

    June 30, 2011 at 3:32 am |
    • Shane

      Well said.

      June 30, 2011 at 3:47 am |
    • El Kababa

      Christianity is whatever a Christian says it is. No two Christians can agree on the meaning of any verse in the BIble. Christianity is consistent with vegetarianism, reincarnation, slavery, abolitionism, Conservatism, Liberalism, Communism, Socialism, Fascism (the Pope was a big fan of Hitler's), capitalism, corporatism, democracy, monarchy, and theocracy.

      To be a Christian, you only have to repeat the Nicene Creed. That is Christianity.

      June 30, 2011 at 11:01 am |
    • The Globalizer

      If Tea Partiers were lying about being true Christians, it would make my day.

      Unfortunately, they're still too worried about who's buggering who to get around to Rand's philosophy and Austrian economics.

      June 30, 2011 at 12:22 pm |
  16. Bob

    It's refreshing to see prominent followers of Jesus like Chuck Colson point out that not all of the conservative dogmatic mantras of the tea party movement correspond with the teachings of Christ. As someone who is basically a Reagan conservative -minus his environmental policy views- (and not a tea party conservative), but also a follower of Jesus, I think it's very important for my fellow Christians to examine which views our politicians espouse are clearly touched on in the Bible. Also, we need to see which ones are basically neutral or unclear and/or simply a matter of personal opinion? And which ones are actually opposed to Biblical teaching? This is much wiser rather than adopting a view simply because a conservative label has been stuck on it. Upon closer examination I think many will have to agree that actually many views such as how high or low taxes should be, etc. are not articles of faith by any means and as such require flexibility and pragmatism. Incidentally, Ronald Reagan (who had his Bachelor's Degree in Economics) raised taxes on two occasions when he realized his tax cuts had gone a bit too far. When he came to office the income tax rates on the wealthiest were up around 70 %, way too high, many economists agreed at the time. Today they are less than half that, and taxation is at its lowest level since the 1950's. Is it really right and even moral to require sacrifices only from the middle class and lower class as Ryan's plan would do with his proposed cuts while not requiring any sacrifice from the wealthies? The fact is everybody, wealthy, middle class and lower class included, are going to need to pitch in to fix the budget crisis the country faces. We need a return to the realistic and yet principled conservative pragmatism of Reagan who actually wanted to help people more than dogmatically stick to every single position and who was even willing to compromise with liberals like Tip O'neal at times in order to get something done that would actually solve problems and help the greatest number of people.

    June 30, 2011 at 3:10 am |
    • Deep Throat

      Charles Colson? One of Nixon's Watergate creeps? Wow, Christians really are suckers!

      June 30, 2011 at 3:24 am |
    • Shane

      What is it with you Republicans and Reagan?! He was a bad actor who stumbled into politics. He began his political career as a liberal Democrat (for 30 years), and admirer of Franklin D. Roosevelt. He was also an active supporter of New Deal policies. And he was was against equal rights at first. Here's an actual quote from Reagan: "If an individual wants to discriminate against (blacks) or others in selling or renting his house, it is his right to do so". Then in the early 1950s, he met Nancy who was a Republican and his views changed to match hers. Everything he did had Nancy written all over it. You Reagan Republicans should be idolizing Nancy, not Reagan. Remember the psychics they consulted?! LOL!!!!

      June 30, 2011 at 3:45 am |
    • El Kababa

      I hear that Colson was a model prisoner.

      June 30, 2011 at 11:02 am |
  17. Don

    She was not against charity, but sees the truth of it; one can not be justified by good works unless one does all good works. As it is written in the Word of God.
    She didn't teach selfishness, but capitalism based on serving others. In essence, success built on the honesty of reputation for quality in serving others. Not the hypocrisy of deception in giving the appearance of meeting minimum standards which is the basis of the welfare state. But the deception of the welfare state is that so called charity is not, in fact, charity. But a trade off of individual rights for the alleged common good.
    Can a democracy suffer it and still remain a democracy? If the common good is imposed rather than built on consensus, where does welfare statism retain an economical advantage? Only in war for resources. Only capitalism produces, welfarism takes.
    I'm a Christian and completely agree with her political views, they are not against what Christianity stands for. Christians should not be a burden to others, capitalism is not against this. Welfare statism is.

    June 30, 2011 at 2:55 am |
    • Shane

      @Don-You truly do not understand Rand's beliefs. She may not have been against charity, per say, but she most certainly was agains religion. She abhorred it. She believed in self and individual happiness. She was an egoist, as the story states. Nothing is necessarily wrong with this except for the fact that you conservative Christians are trying to justify and spin her philosophy to fit your beliefs and it doesn't work that way. She was an unapologetic egotistical atheist and that's what I loved about her. Find your own Christian capitalist icon–Rand ain't it.

      June 30, 2011 at 3:18 am |
    • The Globalizer

      Occam's Razor, dude. I'm with you on the enlightened self-interest but where does the god part come in?

      June 30, 2011 at 12:24 pm |
    • MinneeL

      Fundamentally, the two policies conflict in their basic beliefs. BUT mankind is blessed with the ability to learn and adapt. Thus, in a lot of ways I agree with @Don. You can learn from Rand and the Bible. From Rand, becoming self-sufficient and working for the dollar means you don't need charity from others, you are more secure. Her policies may stop there, but enter in the Bible and the belief that you should help each other. If I am self-sufficient and not in need of charity, doesn't that mean I am in a more secure position to help out my neighbor? How can I help someone out with talents or finances if I have not first developed talents and financial gain personally?

      She also states that if you are to offer charity, it better be to someone who deserves it. This has a ring of truth. I do believe in charity and contributing to society, but I would much rather give to someone who'll take the charity and grow with it than someone who'll take it and ask for more.

      June 30, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
  18. Thrawn

    Hey look! The cult members are out in force. Hey Rand readers, why don't you go read Mein Kampf and selectively pick at Hitler's beliefs. I'm sure you'll find some notes of interest in there. Just throw out the rest.

    Rand never has been compatible with Jesus. You don't need to be a genius to figure that out. In the words of the almighty Gordon Gekko, "Greed is good!" Or wait, I think Jesus or God might have had something to say about greed somewhere...in some book... Darn it! I can't remember its name! Where's a good librarian when you need one?

    June 30, 2011 at 2:51 am |
  19. Clear Thinker

    Rand is dead. Jesus is alive.

    June 30, 2011 at 2:50 am |
    • Shane

      Yes, and the funny little man in the red suit and pitchfork is alive too. Idiot.

      June 30, 2011 at 3:49 am |
    • Jesus Moctezuma Alvaredo Vargas Hector Ruiz

      I mow lawns. I exist. I am alive. ALIVE! Do you hear me? ALIVE!

      June 30, 2011 at 9:10 am |
    • Spencer

      Amen!

      June 30, 2011 at 11:21 am |
  20. Dp

    Ayn Rand's book has some concepts that are attractive to libertarians. She's not our Jesus. She's not even that much of a libertarian.

    June 30, 2011 at 2:40 am |
    • Dp

      *Atlas Shrugged in particular

      June 30, 2011 at 2:41 am |
    • e30

      Are you KIDDING me? She is the epitome of libertarianism and free market fundamentalism. Elementary political science can define things even if you choose not to. The current social neo-conservative does not reconcile itself well at all with classic libertarianism. If it did, gay marriage and fear of civil rights wouldn't be calling thousands to the polls with the drum beat behind of religious right. If it did, The Republican party would be relevant again instead of a dying in the back seat of a mini-van parked outside Pat Roberson's local snake oil convention.

      June 30, 2011 at 2:53 am |
    • Nonimus

      @e30,
      Nicely stated.

      June 30, 2011 at 10:39 am |
    • The Globalizer

      @e30: She's a libertarian on economics but has a bit of an absolutist/authoritarian bent to her moral philosophy that borders on fascism.

      Rand appeals to libertarians but REALLY appears to the Pinochet sort of dictators.

      (I still like her, but I flush the social ethics.)

      June 30, 2011 at 12:27 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @The Globalizer,
      "...borders on fascism" How so?
      There are many definitions of Fascism, such as:
      "Fascism first emerged in France in the 1880s as an intellectual movement that absorbed and synthesised socialism and nationalism and created a new ideology of 'a socialism without the proletariat'." (wikipedia)
      or
      "a political philosophy, movement, or regime (as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual..."(http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fascism)

      Socialism, Nationalism, nation, or race *above the individual*, how is that Objectivism?

      June 30, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
    • Nonimus

      Nonimus
      "The mission of the Ayn Rand Center is to advance individual rights (the rights of each person to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness) as the moral basis for a fully free, laissez-faire capitalist society."
      (http://www.aynrand.org/site/PageServer?pagename=arc_why_individual_rights)

      I think Ayn Rand somewhere said that the only purpose of government should be the prevention of force. No nation should be able to force another to do their bidding (national defense) and no person should be able to force another to do their bidding (police). All interactions should be mutually agreed upon and, if done correctly, mutually beneficial.

      June 30, 2011 at 3:41 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.