home
RSS
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. Richard

    How about just following common sense? Rand was a hyper-egotistical nut case. Jesus was a great role model, but too many of his followers–esp. The Big Church–have since twisted his teachings into proto-Fascist dogma. As for today's U.S. conservatives: right out of Alice In Wonderland . . .

    June 29, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
    • The good people, atheist and religious

      jesus was not the only one who performed good works. Many people do, many also lost their lives. That includes the religious and atheists, today.

      June 29, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
    • Eric

      Ayn Rand was totally correct in every philosophical area. Politics, ethics, metaphysics, you name it.

      June 29, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
    • hiyousuckers

      Most organized religion is more interested in worship of the dollar. Jesus said you cannot serve God and mammon, for you will either love one and hate the other. The flashy organized religions have clearly forgotten Jesus' words, or never bothered to understand them in the first place. One must put on humillity to be a true servant of the Living God. Wealth seldom embraces humility, rather throws it out completely. And charity for tax purposes is not charity at all.

      June 29, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
  2. Jim

    I follow no one blindly and certainly not a fiction writer. I am conservative and Christian and try to follow Christ. However, I saw a lot of refreshing political/economic ideas in Rand's works. When I first read, "Atlas Shrugged" years back I kept thinking to myself that it should be required reading for all politicians. However, once I hit the latter 1/3 of the book I could see it was fairly strongly anti-religious. That lessened its appeal for me personally, but doesn't negate the value of some of the ideas in the book - it (to me) just shows she's wrong about religion and has a very negative view thereof. So, I think you can see things of value in each.

    June 29, 2011 at 2:27 pm |
  3. icygirl

    I think that there is a middle ground, you can be a capitalist and believe that everyone should take care ofthemselves and still believe in Jesus. Ayn Rand is an extremist, but show me anyone outspoken in the political world now who isn't. You can take parts of her beliefs and christian beliefs adn be compatible, but much like her philosophy stated, take care of yourself. If it makes you feel good to help someone, then it's selfish to help that person, but it's also Christian!

    June 29, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
    • The good people, atheist and religious

      Good comes from good people, the religious and non-religious. Yes, I included atheists. In fact it is good people who tamed religions. Without them, the inquisition all over again.

      June 29, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
    • KennyG

      Excellent response: I totally agree with you. The 'help those that help themselves' statement is a good one to follow when delving out charity. The exception: we must educate all about the meaning of life and God's gift to us, His Son. One's soul after all, is the most important thing that we can assist.

      June 29, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
    • hiyousuckers

      There is no middle ground. Jesus said He would rather we were hot or cold. He said if we were luke warm, He would spit us out.

      June 29, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
    • WichitaThinker

      I would disagree. I think that the author is right – Rand advocated that the individual should act in the manner that best served that individual. I do not believe there is any exception in her philosophy on that point, and in fact, believe that is the base of her entire viewpoint.

      Christ's teachings are the polar opposite. Love thy neighbor, turn the other cheek, the entire Sermon on the Mount, etc. Christ taught that the self is secondary to the whole. Trust me, Rand would not accept the meek inheriting a roll of toilet paper, let alone the Earth.

      June 29, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
  4. Kent

    Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

    June 29, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
    • The good people, atheist and religious

      Zeus was around for 7,000 years. The current one has still a long way to go. And Zeus came before..

      June 29, 2011 at 2:27 pm |
    • fred

      The good people, atheist and religious
      Sorry but God refers to himself as "I AM" since he exists outside of time and space as we know it. He was around long before the man made Gods such as Zeus

      June 29, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
    • The good people, atheist and religious

      Fred,

      as man wrote you mean. No god ever spoke to you or anyone else you know. Rather odd that a god never showed up in modern times when man has a better concept of reality. Instead he ‘showed up’ during the existence of primitive man, when man worshiped volcanoes and all. If you choose to believe as the volcano worshippers, go right ahead. I only ask you to let kids be kids and NOT brainwash them as you have been.

      June 29, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
    • fred

      The good people, atheist and religious
      As to volcano worship that is extreme. God addresses his people in a manner in which they cannot deny they never heard Him. You have had several opportunities to hear and see God yet you continue to refuse to hear or see for your own reasons. Regarding “we have a better concept of reality” that is nonsense. A well educated man Paul in the days after Jesus addresses the Greeks and their gods with that conversation being little different from what I see on this site. Nothing has changed since then. Now in the days of old God revealed himself through his creation, prophets and the scripture. Blood sacrifice and such was ritual so as to keep focus

      June 29, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
  5. Ty Price

    Holy crap, the ideas of reality that Ayn Rand discovered is the only way we are going to make it! This is not smorgasbord and their is no compromise with evil of any kind! This is a simple choice of right vs wrong and reality is right and mysticism is undeniably wrong! It is a fundamental fight of freedom vs. slavery! Read this: http://66.147.244.196/~theinvio/?p=2351 

    Unless there is a massive shift back to reality, which is liberty/freedom/capitalism and Individualism, we will remain on this course toward mystical destruction like we are on railroad tracks.  The fact that mystical socialists have for the most part destroyed public education read this: http://66.147.244.196/~theinvio/?p=464 And that has invaded all sciences and people has left a huge portion of the populous unable or unwilling to think, read this: http://66.147.244.196/~theinvio/?p=2108
    Then knowing that power is the problem. Read this: http://66.147.244.196/~theinvio/?p=978  And our rapid trend toward socialism. What happens when we become more socialist what is left, who has the largest and most organized power base. Organized religions!   And they ALL have the same base idea that started socialism, Altruism. http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/altruism.html And they all share the ideas from the same bad modern philosopher, who is directly responsible for there even being religion in this country or anywhere in the western  world...Immanuel Kant! http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/kant–immanuel.html 
    You can see in the tea party where their are 2 distinct groups the religionists and the students of objectivisim! Unfortunately the Religionists are vastly the majority now! Because of their belief instead of the process of finding actual knowledge and faith with their adopted modern Philosophy (Kant) they are capable of and will always allow themselves to be lead. And In any direction! http://66.147.244.196/~theinvio/?p=116
    You add faith to that and you know the direction! A dictator does not care if it is religious or not he is after the power base and will do anything to get it, which of course is the problem. And that is not to mention the islamofacists who are already openly dedicated to a world religious fascists dictatorship. But their world is already falling apart as we see all over the middle east!
    To fully understand what I am saying and Liberty/freedom/capitalism and individualism in context even better than the author of the article above read this booklist and in order: http://66.147.244.196/~theinvio/?page_id=1388 

    June 29, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
    • Tony

      This is misguided. In fact, the only way the race (human) can survive is to look at reality square in the face and accept that the whole "survival of the fittest" (a true perversion of Darwinism and evolutionary ecology, by the way) is plain wrong. It is simply another fiction, yet another a "religion" if you will. Capitalism, militarism, materialism–these are all obsolete 19th century curiosities, and they have led us, and will continue to lead us, to self-destruction.

      June 29, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
    • John Luker

      Thank you Ty! A wealth of information. I copied your entire comment to my drive.

      June 29, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
    • hiyousuckers

      Crap is not, nor has it ever been "holy".

      June 29, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
    • Ty Price

      Tony, context dropping straw man arguments do not apply. Try actually reading what Ayn Rand said in reality hahaha! Here is what tony is misrepresenting! Read this: http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/altruism.html

      June 29, 2011 at 8:34 pm |
  6. Peter

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=51pMod2Aaso&w=640&h=360]

    June 29, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
  7. The good people, atheist and religious

    It is the religious and non-religious that do good works and bad ones.

    No doubt Christianity can be greedy. I suggest we look at the vatican castle, their billion dollar yacht and the popes gold lined wardrobe for a moment. Just like jesus? Or is this simply hypocritical. The most recent scandal of child abuse, the church denies the child victim and tries to play in a victims role now? How sad. And saying others did it too? They blamed the gays for the abuses? Yet the worst abuse was the cover ups. Who covered it up? We know the popes, bishops and cardinals did. Is this how jesus would have reacted? Wouldn't he have helped the child rather than deny the child, as the church does to protect its own reputation over the harm of child? Deflecting and doing nothing is as evil as you meaning it. Your crimes are more important, you meant them and didn’t and don’t care.

    It's what we do, not what we say. When religions stop calling others sinners, stop blaming others and stop pretending they are the only truth, then we might change.

    Let the good people, religious and atheists, carve this world.

    June 29, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
    • hiyousuckers

      There is none good, not even one.

      June 29, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
  8. servantofTHEWORD

    John Galt is dead...without Jesus Christ.

    June 29, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
  9. RonFromNM

    "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."

    And exactly what is so wrong or immoral with this statement? Ayn Rand's entire thesis centered on the idea that force should not be used to help your fellow man, in particular under the guise of the guilt trip of morality (and religion). I think this is the core of freedom, lack of coercion in one's activities. If you want to help someone, that should be your right and your decision. By your own personal definition, you would be helping those worthy of help and when you can afford to do so. What is the alternative? Being forced to help those you don't find worthy when you can't afford to do so?

    And religion is indeed a mind numbing scourge on the world. I value the teachings of Jesus as a philosophy, but how many atrocities have been carried out in his name by his followers?

    June 29, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
    • hiyousuckers

      Worthy of help? Jesus specifically said that we are to be merciful as our Father in Heaven is merciful. The mercy He spoke of is interpreted as, helping another who is suffering from the consequences of sin. Well now, that would be all of us at different times in our lives, but we fail to see ourselves when judging one another as "worthy" of our help. If we cannot be merciful, then it is not likely we will receive much mercy either.

      June 29, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
    • WichitaThinker

      Hiyo nailed it on the head. Christ did not say JUDGE OTHER PEOPLE BEFORE YOU DECIDE WHETHER TO HELP THEM. If people cannot understand that such a concept is totally contrary to fundamental Christian tenets then arguing with them is purposeless – they do not know what they are talking about, which is unfortunate. Rand's thoughts are incompatible with the teachings of Christ, and there are no two ways about it.

      June 29, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
    • Normon

      Hiyousuckers said, "Jesus specifically said that we are to be merciful as our Father in Heaven is merciful. "

      I choose the book of Job as a reference for mercy. Who wants to experience my mercy?

      June 29, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
  10. Libby

    Thomas Edison and Rockefeller are indeed heroes, both smart businessmen and both very philanthropic. Both believed in giving to charity unlike this troll at the center of this discussion. Ayn Rand was nothing but a self-righteous troll - railed against social programs, yet graciously took the help (under an assumed name) when she so desperately needed it. She's a perfect icon of the Grand Ole Perverts... always perverting truth in the name of profits.

    June 29, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
  11. STLBroker

    Jonathan,

    Did you read the same article and quotes that I did? No way in H-E double hockey sticks that Rand's teachings and Jesus's teachings are compatible.

    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…

    June 29, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
    • Normon

      Did Jesus say, "be religious" or "love God"?

      June 29, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
  12. James

    So who stifles innovation and progress? Let me give you a hint...it's not the party that claims to be for capitalism. It is a sad day when china is pumping more and more into research and we are siphoning off of research to fund wars. I am all for a strong defense but I believe that staying on top in the area of research is our best defense.

    June 29, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
  13. IndependentReader

    These subjects can be debated back and forth all day long. Conservative or liberal, makes no difference. One's opinions will not change unless they are open to another's perspective. The fact of the matter is the one thing that has made this country what it is finding a middle ground. Mixed economy, mixed freedoms, and diverse population is what has been the root of American success. This tug and pull of political structure is what has run this country into turmoil. If you have an open mind to all views, then you can be a Christian and accept the values of an atheist. Regardless of what Christians and atheists alike think, Jesus did not preach hatred, segregation, and/or the exclusion of ideas.

    June 29, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
    • Alex

      Of course Jesus preached the exclusion of ideas! You must denounce "satan" and temptation.

      June 29, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
  14. Daniel

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

    Well since Christian conservatives do the same thing with the Bible, I see no dissonance in them claiming both and they're welcome to them.

    June 29, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
  15. RRMON

    The marriage concept was created by a demon to control, while companionship is created by synchronicity to expand.

    June 29, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
  16. DocScott

    It's really simple: You can really only serve one master at a time: financial/material possessions or spiritual wealth. The rationale: It is almost impossible to become materially wealthy on Earth without sinning one way or other (lying, hoodwinking, cheating, begging, stealing, corruption, ignorance, lack of empathy, insiders' information, walking over someone, sleeping the way to top, hurting or depriving someone else in some way, etc.). Show me ten self-made wealthy person who did not sin on his/her way to the top and I'll reconsider my position.

    June 29, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
    • Hyprocrite Much

      Show me the top ten "spiritual wealthy" individuals in the world and you'll see ten people who sinned their way there. Humans "sin" no matter what their creed, race, or religion. For every story of business corruption you also hear of a priest molesting a boy, or a televangelist sleeping around and fleecing the flock of too much for himself. Stop trying to take the morale high ground on an issue where the collective body of the "spiritually wealthy" hold none.

      June 29, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
    • The good people, atheist and religious

      Hyprocrite Much, good post.

      I take it you are a Realist. A Realist is someone who doesn't claim religious or atheist, just someone who see's it and calls it – as it is.

      June 29, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
    • WichitaThinker

      I'd say Jesus was the No. 1 Most Spiritual Person ever. Please explain how he sinned?

      June 29, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
    • Misu

      Jesus was vain for one thing. That's a sin right there.
      And he thought he was better than G-d. That's another sin.
      He broke many of the Ten Commandments. He was not "without blemish" at all.
      He was a human. He stank. He had to poop. He said dumb things. He did dumb things.
      He had two human parents. He lied. He's dead. He lied about that too.
      He probably didn't exist anyway, so in the end it's Paul and his evil cronies who did all the lying anyway.

      June 30, 2011 at 3:14 am |
  17. Jean Lafitte

    Can a Liberal serve Jesus and Karl Marx at the same time?

    June 29, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
    • Peter

      Only stupid people think that Marx and liberalism are the same thing.

      June 29, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
    • IndependentReader

      @ Peter – And in the same respect, only stupid people assume that capitalism and Ayn Rand are the same thing.

      June 29, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
    • Chris R

      Not Marxism qua Marxism but you have to understand that what Jesus taught us about living in this world shares a a lot with some of the ideals of communism. Jesus preached helping and supporting other people even at your own expense. He preached that we should live to serve each other and God. That we should support the weak, the poor, the crippled, and infirm. That we should use our riches for the betterment of people *here on earth*. It's certainly more in line with a lot of modern liberal thought than modern conservative thought. My feeling is that a lot of religious conservatives skip over the parts of the new testament that makes them uncomfortable – how they can put the word of Paul and the laws of Leviticus above the teachings of Christ I will never understand.

      June 29, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
    • Peter

      @Independent

      Very true. Capitalism requires some level of trust while Ayn Rand didn't believe in trust so much.

      June 29, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
    • Bruce

      Jean, a Christian can pay taxes to Caesar and serve God at the same time, even if Caesar uses those taxes to kill innocent people and commit injustices. I'm not sure what it means to "serve Marx," but if what you mean by that is "understand the inherent weaknesses of unfettered capitalism in economic terms and not be surprised when economies come violently crashing to a halt when capital and risk is valued too highly relative to labor and thus produces an unsustainable state of economic affairs," then yes–in that case a Christian can certainly "serve Marx."

      Note that people like Joseph Stalin never "served Marx" in any appreciable sense. Most of the important stuff Marx said was descriptive and predictive, and not prescriptive.

      June 29, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
    • IndependentReader

      @ Chris – You obviously have not read 'Atlas Shrugged.' The article clearly states that one cannot value the concepts of Ayn Rand's book without embracing her religious views. However, if the author had read the book, they would have realized that the book does not make any mention of religion at all. It is purely political. 'Atlas Shrugged' is about socialism devouring capitalism in a very short period of time. The business leaders are forced out of the ownership of their businesses and are expected to continue working giving ALL of their company's profitable gains to the government to distribute through a tremendous welfare system. The characters were not asked for charity. Everything they had was stolen from them. It is a very likely that the author of this article has read 'Atlas Shrugged' and knew very well that they could use Ayn Rand's personal life to taint the message of the book with a nice effective spin.

      June 29, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
    • meinPA

      @Chris R
      Jesus said we SHOULD help others. Marxism and all the other crap take by force from those who have and gives to others. There is no CHOICE when it's taken from you. The gov't can then give it to who ever they want as a way to buy votes.
      Charity should come from the heart. Having something taken from you is not charity.
      Jesus also says nothing about helping those who are able to work but choose not to. I'm extremely proud of the system we have in place to help the disabled and elderly, the one's who can't help themselves. There would be a lot more to go around if the lazy individuals in society helped themselves.

      June 29, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
    • Bryan

      Why serve Jesus when Marx was clearly superior?

      June 29, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
    • Misu

      To all those dumb Republitards who think they deserve a "choice" on whether to pay taxes or not:

      What makes you think you get a choice about taxes? You don't have a right to your money without the consent of the government. That means the gov't is free to tax you, as you have given it that authority in the first place.
      Every time you vote, you are acknowledging the government's legal rights to exist, to make laws, and to tax your stupid ass.

      June 30, 2011 at 3:21 am |
  18. Al

    There are a lot of paradoxes in modern conservationism. The biggest one being that Jesus, at least as portrayed in the Bible, was a bleeding heart liberal humanist. Politically conservative Christianity requires very selective reading of the Bible emphasizing a small number of out of context points and ignoring large swaths that are inconvenient.

    June 29, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
    • Bruce

      Not a "paradox" so much as an outright contradiction, Al.

      There is a troubling heterodox momentum among the evangelicals that favors the individual ("I have a PERSONAL relationship with Jesus!") over the collective, which completely ignores the more-collective ("WE believe ..." instead of "I believe") mindset of orthodox traditions.

      It's like they've never bothered to challenge their brains over the idea of "death to self" that is taught time and again in both scripture as well as other Christian traditions such as the catechism.

      June 29, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
    • Katie K

      I agree – and would add that, based on my experience, most xtians are guilty of "very selective reading of the Bible".

      June 29, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
    • Bucky Ball

      "paradoxes in modern conservationism"

      If you feed the bears, it's not really good for them.

      June 29, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
    • WichitaThinker

      AI – absolutely correct. I always wondered why Democrats didn't go after so-called "Compassionate Conservatives" over their hypocritical position. I think many were hesitant to do it because it leads to religious argument, but I find it hard to fathom how some conservatives can claim they just love Jesus and then turn their back on those people that they judge are unworthy of help.

      June 29, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
  19. We Demand Freedom

    Amazing... Look – The morality of individual Freedom and individual Liberty does not need to be explained or justified. Those who would preserve it are just. Those who would take it are evil. Government does not exist as an extension of individual morality. If it did, the Holocaust would have never happened. Governments are to be watched, restricted, restrained , and definitely NOT trusted. And that, my friends, is the truth.

    June 29, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
    • Bruce

      What you just said, "We Demand Freedom," is in complete contradiction to the notion of rending unto Caesar that which is Caesar's.

      While certainly not statist, Christianity is still fundamentally collective. The individual's relationship to the state is not that of a moral obligation to try to make the state itself just. An unjust state does not reflect on the justice or injustice of the citizen in the case where that citizen participates in a limited way, such as rending unto Caesar that which is Caesar's (pay Caesar taxes even if he's going to use those taxes to kill innocent people and commit other injustices), and rending unto God that which is God's (which is all of the important stuff).

      June 29, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
  20. ReturnedPCV

    It is easy to follow both Jesus and Rand – just cherry pick what you personally like from each of them, and ignore everything else they have to say that does not agree with your personal thoughts and needs. You just have to then acknowledge that faith in Jesus plays no real role in your life.

    June 29, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
    • Jim

      I dont' think it's quite that simple. I try hard not to "cherry pick" from the teachings of Christ. However, I'll gladly consider good thoughts from otherwise flawed human beings. If we didn't do the latter, then we'd pretty much have to disregard everything ever learned by men. So, while I follow Christ, I can see merit in some of Rand's thoughts, even if I disagree with her views on religion and consider her views on charity and compassion somewhat outlandish.

      June 29, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Advertisement
About this blog

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.