The Tea Party and Ayn Rand

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The Tea Party and Ayn Rand

http://www.firstthings.com/onthesquare/2011/06/the-fountainhead-of-satanism

Over the past few years, Anton LaVey and his book The Satanic Bible has grown increasingly popular, selling thousands of new copies. His impact has been especially pronounced in our nation’s capital. One U.S. senator has publicly confessed to being a fan of the The Satanic Bible while another calls it his “foundation book.” On the other side of Congress, a representative speaks highly of LaVey and recommends that his staffers read the book.

A leading radio host called LaVey “brilliant” and quotations from the The Satanic Bible can be glimpsed on placards at political rallies. More recently, a respected theologian dared to criticize the founder of the Church of Satan in the pages of a religious and cultural journal and was roundly criticized by dozens of fellow Christians.

Surprisingly little concern, much less outrage, has erupted over this phenomenon. Shouldn’t we be appalled by the ascendancy of this evangelist of anti-Christian philosophy? Shouldn’t we all—especially we Christians—be mobilizing to counter the malevolent force of this man on our culture and politics?

As you’ve probably guessed by this point, I’m not really talking about LaVey but about his mentor, Ayn Rand. The ascendency of LaVey and his embrace by “conservative” leaders would indeed cause paroxysms of indignation. Yet, while the two figures’ philosophies are nearly identical, Rand appears to have received a pass. Why is that?

Perhaps most are unaware of the connection, though LaVey wasn’t shy about admitting his debt to his inspiration. “I give people Ayn Rand with trappings,” he once told the Washington Post. On another occasion he acknowledged that his brand of Satanism was “just Ayn Rand’s philosophy with ceremony and ritual added.” Indeed, the influence is so apparent that LaVey has been accused of plagiarizing part of his “Nine Satanic Statements” from the John Galt speech in Rand’s Atlas Shrugged.

Devotees of Rand may object to my outlining the association between the two. They will say I am proposing “guilt by association,” a form of the ad hominem fallacy. But I am not attacking Rand for the overlap of her views with LaVey’s; I am saying that, at their core, they are the same philosophy. LaVey was able to recognize what many conservatives fail to see: Rand’s doctrines are satanic.

I realize that even to invoke that infernal word conjures images of black masses, human sacrifices, and record needles broken trying to play “Stairway to Heaven” backwards. But satanism is more banal and more attractive than the parody created by LeVay. Real satanism has been around since the beginning of history, selling an appealing message: Your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God.

You can replace the pentagrams of LeVayian Satanism with the dollar sign of the Objectivists without changing much of the substance separating the two. The ideas are largely the same, though the movements’ aesthetics are different. One appeals to, we might say, the Young Libertarians, and the other attracts the Future Wiccans of America.

What is harder to understand is why both ideologies appeal to Christians and conservatives. My guess is that these groups are committing what I’d call the fallacy of personal compatibility. This fallacy occurs when a person thinks that because one subscribes to both “Belief X” and “Belief Y,” the two beliefs must therefore be compatible. For example, a person may claim that “life has meaning” and that “everything that exists is made of matter” even though the two claims are not compatible (unless “meaning” is made of matter). This take on the fallacy has long been committed by atheists. Now it appears to be growing in popularity among conservatives and Christians as well.

But to be a follower of both Rand and Christ is not possible. The original Objectivist was a type of self-professed anti-Christ who hated Christianity and the self-sacrificial love of its founder. She recognized that those Christians who claimed to share her views didn’t seem to understand what she was saying.

Many conservatives admire Rand because she was anti-collectivist. But that is like admiring Stalin because he opposed ****sm. Stalin was against the ****s because he wanted to make the world safe for Communism. Likewise, Rand stands against collectivism because she wants the freedom to abolish Judeo-Christian morality. Conservative Christians who embrace her as the “enemy-of-my-enemy” seem to forget that she considered us the enemy.

Even if this were not the case, though, what would warrant the current influence of her thought within the conservative movement? Rand was a third-rate writer who was too arrogant to recognize her own ignorance (she believed she was the third greatest philosopher in history, behind only Aristotle and Aquinas). She misunderstood almost every concept she engaged with—from capitalism to freedom—and wrote nothing that had not been treated before by better thinkers. We don’t need her any more than we need LeVay.

Few conservatives will fall completely under Rand’s diabolic sway. But we are sustaining a climate in which not a few gullible souls believe she is worth taking seriously. Are we willing to be held responsible for pushing them to adopt an anti-Christian worldview? If so, perhaps instead of recommending Atlas Shrugged, we should simply hand out copies of The Satanic Bible. If they’re going to align with a satanic cult, they might as well join the one that has the better holidays.

Has the Tea Party been tricked into embracing satanic principals?

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So because some people agree with her views on the role of government that means that they agree with her on religion too? I thought they were two different things.

So if someone agrees with the political views of Tom Cruise or John Travolta does that mean they embrace Scientology?

So why has there been such a renewed interest in Ayn Rand?

Stephen Moore identified one reason in his Wall Street Journal column, “Atlas Shrugged: From Fiction to Fact in 52 Years.” Atlas Shrugged depicted a future in which America descends into economic chaos due to ever-increasing government regulations. Each new problem spawns new government controls that merely deepen the crisis. The result is a downward spiral that nearly destroys America. Many Americans are finding Rand’s predictions uncomfortably close to real-life events.

Another reason for Rand’s appeal is her emphasis on the moral dimension. One of her themes was that no country can survive when its government constantly punishes good men for their virtues and rewards bad men for their vices. Americans correctly recognize that it is unjust for the government to take money from those who have lived frugally to bail out those who have lived beyond their means. Honest men should not be forced to pay for the irresponsibility of others.

Finally, Atlas Shrugged resonates with many Americans because they recognize that our current crisis is not just about bailouts and budget deficits. It’s also about a more fundamental issue — the proper scope of government.

Ayn Rand was a tireless defender of the principle that the only proper function of government was to protect individual rights.

As she wrote in Atlas Shrugged: “If man is to live on earth, it is right for him to use his mind, it is right to act on his own free judgment, it is right to work for his values and to keep the product of his work. If life on earth is his purpose, he has a right to live as a rational being.”

Hence, men require a government that protects their rights to life. All other rights — such as our rights to free speech, property, and contract — flow from that basic right.

Only physical force or fraud can violate our rights. Hence, the government protects our rights by protecting us from criminals who steal, murder, rape, etc., as well as from foreign aggressors.

Otherwise, the government should leave honest people alone to live peacefully. In particular, the government should protect our right to enjoy the fruits of our labors, not rob us to bail out failing businesses or to fund massive welfare-state programs such as “universal health care.”

America was founded on the principle of individual rights. The Founding Fathers understood this when they declared that all men possessed the rights to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Ayn Rand understood this when she wrote Atlas Shrugged.

But unless today’s Tea Party protesters rediscover and reaffirm this principle of individual rights, their movement will fizzle, just as similar protests fizzled after an initial burst of outrage following the 2005 Supreme Court Kelo decision allowing the government to take away a person’s home via “eminent domain.”

America’s future is at stake. Do we want to enlarge an already-bloated welfare state that tramples on our rights and strangles the economy? Or do we want a limited government that protects our rights and allows individuals to prosper and thrive?

If Americans wish to save America, we must couple our outrage at the government bailouts with a positive vision of a properly limited government. Fortunately, Atlas Shrugged offers us such a vision. Americans should demand a government that respects our rights to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Now that would be change I could believe in.

http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/ayn-rand-and-the-tea-party-protests/

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This article brings up some interesting points.

For a group that claims to be offended by the mere whiff of politics and religion's intermingling, the left sure does bring up Jesus quite a lot.

The most recent outburst is the work of a progressive outfit called American Values Network. In this instance, God is being dragged into the debate as a way to exaggerate the late author Ayn Rand's influence on GOP policymaking and to smear anyone who happens to find any of her ideas appealing. Not only is she loony, don't you know, but also her notions are in "direct contradiction to the Bible." And Beelzebub's minions—Paul Ryan and others like him—simply "can't have it both ways, and neither can Christians."

They can, actually.

As I am neither a theologian nor a Christian, I am in no position to answer the "What Would Jesus Do?" question. My friends on the left (and by friends I mean people I watch on cable TV), though, have alleged that Jesus supports compulsory "charity" so that the wealth can be appropriately invested in Her Lady of the Ethanol, The Blood of Bankruptcy-Prone Social Dependency Program, or other worthy causes. That's what Jesus would do.

Now, Rand's influence may induce Republicans to stray from the Lord Almighty, but it is doubtless that most liberals find Rand's anti-theist views the least distasteful aspect of her philosophy. I am no Objectivist, either, not even close, and though I doubt her ideas contradict the Bible (well, except the ones in which she denies the existence of God and all), I do know they are in direct disagreement with the doctrines of liberal morality.

For the casual Rand fan, it's the rigid and idealistic conviction about individual freedom and capitalism that is most seductive. For ardent detractors, people who believe that compassion and charity are best meted out by economic systems and government policy, this is depravity. Ayn Rand believed that individuals have the moral responsibility for their own actions. In free will. So, as you can imagine, in this kind of disorder, even Ronald McDonald would get away with it.

All of which, of course, would matter if anyone bought the contention that those who embrace one notion of a philosopher are on the hook to embrace all of the philosopher's notions. Are those who admire Isaac Newton now impelled to believe in alchemy? Is anyone who enjoys Richard Wagner now an anti-Semite? Are all those who believe that wealth should be more "fairly" distributed by the state slouching toward Marxism ... Oh.

And why aren't we focusing on more contemporary cases of guilt by intellectual association? You will remember that the mere mention of the president's pastor or his academic roots or his graduate work or his reading material or his testimonial dinners to terrorist apologists were irrelevant to the man. This administration has put together an all-star team of Malthusian nuts, truthers, and Mao-quoting czarinas and czars, yet that doesn't mean a thing. But The New Republic can laughably claim that the heart of Rand's ideology "has become the central focus of both modern conservative thought and Republican policy-making."

Helpfully, the left has spent years pulling passages and alerting us to the bizarre habits of this strange lady. Personally, I enjoy reading about her more than I do reading her work. There are those authors and intellectuals who are so thoroughly odious that they must be completely dismissed. That's understood. But if those on the left are intent on making that case, they should stick to the real reasons they dislike her. Then smear away.

http://reason.com/archives/2011/06/15/what-would-ayn-rand-do

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"GloriaInTX" wrote:

So because some people agree with her views on the role of government that means that they agree with her on religion too? I thought they were two different things.

So if someone agrees with the political views of Tom Cruise or John Travolta does that mean they embrace Scientology?

No, not at all. I don't think it's remarkable that the Tea Party agrees with someone on non-religious matters, where they might disagree on religious matters. That's hardly novel.

What I think is remarkable is that the philosophy of Objectivism that she basically "created" that some conservatives, and particularly Tea Party, use to justify their political views seems to be so at odds with Christianity, and in fact, seems to have been a big inspiration for modern Satanism as defined by Anton LaVey. Since many Conservatives are also very Christian, my first thought would be that they would naturally shy away from the philosophies that inspired Satanism since it seems so at odds with their own religion.

In other words, does it give you pause to wonder if Christianity and Objectivism are really all that compatible?

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"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

In other words, does it give you pause to wonder if Christianity and Objectivism are really all that compatible?

Jesus either exists or he doesn't. I believe that he does, and in the absolute truth of the Bible.

Ayn Rand taught me that there is such a thing as objective reality. Three Aristotelian axioms—Non-Contradiction, Either-Or, and A is A—mark the three sections of Atlas Shrugged. "Contradictions do not exist," Francisco tells Dagny. "Whenever you think that you are facing a contradiction, check your premises. You will find that one of them is wrong." In other words, a thing is true (or false) regardless of what we think about it. This flies in the face of modernism (which tends to dismiss out of hand the supernatural and the miraculous, with no evidence beyond skepticism) and postmodernism (which doesn't so much reject the supernatural as completely relativize it). When a postmodernist says, "All truth is relative; you have your truth and I have mine," Rand, and I, might answer: Your very statement contains an inherent inner contradiction. You claim as objective truth an assertion that would, in effect, negate itself.

All of this, in the end, led me to the non-sentimental and objective claims of the gospel. The gospel is no mere preference. It is true, or it isn't. Jesus is who he says he is, or he is (again, Lewis) a madman or a fraud. Christian doctrine—Creation, Fall, Incarnation, Redemption, Consummation, and our ultimate and beatific vision of the Trinity—is true, or false. It can't be both. Rand's view of objective reality is admittedly limited. She relies on the senses and goes no further. She dismisses faith as mysticism and its practitioners as witch doctors. But she is right in this: If something is true, it is so because it aligns with reality. Our desires neither confirm nor deny its validity. Our only choice is to say "Yes" to truth, or not. As a Christian, that "Yes" is to Truth incarnate, Jesus Christ.

http://reason.com/blog/2011/06/29/ayn-rand-not-just-for-satanist

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"GloriaInTX" wrote:

Jesus either exists or he doesn't. I believe that he does, and in the absolute truth of the Bible.

Okay. But what I'm saying is that it seems like what Christianity says about the way you should govern yourself and interact with other people seems to be at odds with what Ayn Rand says.

For example, when it comes to helping the needy, Jesus says:

Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.' They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?' He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least among you, you did not do for me.'

and

Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said, "You lack one thing; go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me." When he heard this, he was shocked and went away grieving, for he had many possessions.

In Atlas Shrugged Ayn Rand writes:

I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.

and she is also quoted as saying

It only stands to reason that where there’s sacrifice, there’s someone collecting the sacrificial offerings. Where there’s service, there is someone being served. The man who speaks to you of sacrifice is speaking of slaves and masters, and intends to be the master.

and

My views on charity are very simple. I do not consider it a major virtue and, above all, I do not consider it a moral duty. 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

http://www.aynrand.org/site/PageServer?pagename=faq_index#obj_q7

The Church of Satan says:

4. Satan represents kindness to those who deserve it instead of love wasted on ingrates!

http://www.churchofsatan.com/home.html

which sounds a lot closer to what Ayn Rand said than what Jesus said.

On the topic of money, Jesus says:

Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions. [Luke 12.15.]

Truly, I say unto you, it will
be hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. [Matthew 19:23]

You cannot serve both God and Money. [Matthew 6:24.]

While Ayn Rand says:


Money is the barometer of a society’s virtue.

So if you are using Ayn Rand to justify your political policies, and her philosophies seems to be contradictory to Jesus's teachings....isn't there a disconnect somewhere?

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"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

So if you are using Ayn Rand to justify your political policies, and her philosophies seems to be contradictory to Jesus's teachings....isn't there a disconnect somewhere?

Who does Jesus tell to do these things? The people or the government? Helping others is MY responsibility, not the government.

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But the government is simply a tool to do these things. As far as I know, Jesus didn't comment on whether the government should be involved in charity at all (for yes or for no) because people didn't have that kind of government back then.

But he clearly says that is your responsibility to give to the needy, while Ayn Rand clearly says that it's not, so if you're following Ayn Rand's lead on this....

ETA: And the people ARE the government. The government is not some sort of "Other" that is outside of it's citizens. The government is made up of our people that we elect - for the people, by the people. If you believe that Jesus ordered the people to give to the needy, why wouldn't you allow the people to use the government as a tool to do so?

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More on the connection between Satanism and Objectivism, from the Satanic Church, explaining what they have in common and where they differ:

http://www.churchofsatan.com/Pages/SatObj.html

[SIZE=6]Objectivism, the philosophy of Ayn Rand, is an acknowledged source for some of the Satanic philosophy as outlined in The Satanic Bible by Anton LaVey. Ayn Rand was a brilliant and insightful author and philosopher and her best-selling novels Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead continue to attract deserved attention for a new generation of readers. I am a strong admirer of Ayn Rand but I am an even stronger admirer of Anton LaVey for the vital differences between the philosophies of Objectivism and Satanism.
[/SIZE]



First, Objectivism holds that metaphysics, that branch of philosophy which concerns itself with the nature of reality, determines the nature of epistemology (which is concerned with how man acquires knowledge) as well as ethics (which is concerned with valuing human action), politics (social ethics) and art. Current philosophical disagreement on this issue still continues. It is, in fact, an unproven assertion by Rand that one's metaphysical assumptions determine one's ethics.



You don't have to start with metaphysics to create your ethics. Satanism does not assert that the fundamental truth of the nature of reality (metaphysics) is known. In fact, Satanists utilize two different metaphysical assumptions regarding reality as evidenced in Satanic ritual as opposed to the rest of life. In effect, Satanists are pragmatic regarding their beliefs concerning reality. Thus, as Satanists do not claim to know the absolute “truth” regarding what is real they are, by definition, not “Objectivists” who hold that reality is totally objective. Satanists proclaim that doubt is vital in the absence of proof. At this fundamental level there is division between the two views of reality.



Second, Satanism does not hold that “a life appropriate to a rational being” is the sole standard of ethical right as does Objectivism. If anything, Satanism holds that indulgence in life or “fun” as perceived by the individual is the highest standard of ethics. Satanists see that Objectivism has enthroned reason above the individual as opposed to utilizing this sole means to knowledge as a tool to achieve a purpose. Satanism enthrones the individual as a whole, not reason, as the supreme standard to determine the value of actions (ethics).



Third, Rand's philosophy rejects as ethical accepting the sacrifice of another to one's self (to paraphrase the end of Galt's oath from Atlas Shrugged). The Satanic view sees as ethical the reality of domination of the weak by the strong. The assertion in Objectivism is that the use of force to cause others to submit to the will of the stronger or cleverer individual is "wrong" for the individual. This is a second major assertion which Satanism finds unproven by the Objectivists. Consequently, the Satanist is far more flexible in the choice of actions available than is the Objectivist who cannot simply accept his personal needs as absolutely reliable to determine the best course of action in any circumstance.



Fourth, Objectivism is purely atheistic with a complete rejection of the value of a god in their metaphysics. The Satanic view of this is in pure agreement except in two areas. The Satanist holds that the meaning of god is useful when one holds it to mean the most important person in an individual's universe and chooses that person to be himself. The Satanist also ascribes magical god-like qualities to himself when indulging in the alternate view of reality enjoyed in ritual. In both instances, Satanism sees the cultural effect of religion and god as an emotional asset to be tapped rather than simply rejected. In other words Satanism is a religion (with the individual as God) and Objectism isn't.



Let me conclude this brief overview by adding that Satanism has far more in common with Objectivism than with any other religion or philosophy. Objectivists endorse reason, selfishness, greed and atheism. Objectivism sees Christianity, Islam and Judaism as anti-human and evil. The writings of Ayn Rand are inspiring and powerful. If the reader has not yet experienced her power, try her novelette Anthem for a taste. You will almost certainly come back for more.



At the same time, Satanism is a “brutal” as well as a selfish philosophy. We do not hold, as do the Objectivists that the universe is “benevolent.” Satanists view the world as neutral, beyond the concepts of benevolent or treacherous, good or evil. Satanism enables the Satanist to codify his life beyond the ethical and metaphysical straightjacket which Objectivism unfortunately offers. This is not written to attack Objectivism but merely to clarify the areas of difference.



Satanism drew from Objectivism as even Rand drew from others. Both are, however, unique. Both are different from the other.

I guess I'm just saying that if my political standpoint was roughly the same standpoint as the Church of Satan, that might give me reason to reflect and consider if I was on the right track. And I don't even believe in Satan, I just think that a philosophy that is centered around greed and selfishness is not the most moral or noble or just philosophy that you could attach yourself to. And it certainly seems to be counter to what Christ taught.

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"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

But the government is simply a tool to do these things. As far as I know, Jesus didn't comment on whether the government should be involved in charity at all (for yes or for no) because people didn't have that kind of government back then.

But he clearly says that is your responsibility to give to the needy, while Ayn Rand clearly says that it's not, so if you're following Ayn Rand's lead on this....

ETA: And the people ARE the government. The government is not some sort of "Other" that is outside of it's citizens. The government is made up of our people that we elect - for the people, by the people. If you believe that Jesus ordered the people to give to the needy, why wouldn't you allow the people to use the government as a tool to do so?

I don't think the government should have that role at all. They had a government back then it was the Roman government. Jesus said to pay your taxes, but he also said to help the needy. Two different things. Having the government provide takes out a much needed personal aspect that allows those who are lazy to work the system. Charity is for those who in actual need. It also goes the other way and people have gotten lazy and don't want to help people because they know the government will do it for them. There is no personal responsibility to help your neighbor.

1 Timothy 5
3 Give proper recognition to those widows who are really in need. 4 But if a widow has children or grandchildren, these should learn first of all to put their religion into practice by caring for their own family and so repaying their parents and grandparents, for this is pleasing to God. 5 The widow who is really in need and left all alone puts her hope in God and continues night and day to pray and to ask God for help. 6 But the widow who lives for pleasure is dead even while she lives. 7 Give the people these instructions, so that no one may be open to blame. 8 Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

9 No widow may be put on the list of widows unless she is over sixty, has been faithful to her husband, 10 and is well known for her good deeds, such as bringing up children, showing hospitality, washing the feet of the Lord’s people, helping those in trouble and devoting herself to all kinds of good deeds.

11 As for younger widows, do not put them on such a list. For when their sensual desires overcome their dedication to Christ, they want to marry. 12 Thus they bring judgment on themselves, because they have broken their first pledge. 13 Besides, they get into the habit of being idle and going about from house to house. And not only do they become idlers, but also busybodies who talk nonsense, saying things they ought not to. 14 So I counsel younger widows to marry, to have children, to manage their homes and to give the enemy no opportunity for slander. 15 Some have in fact already turned away to follow Satan.

If Jesus had wanted the government instead of the church to do these things it was will within his power to establish a government. I don't hear anyone in the Tea Party quoting anything other than her political views.

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"GloriaInTX" wrote:

I don't think the government should have that role at all. They had a government back then it was the Roman government.

As far as I know, the Roman government was not a hugely charitable organization.

Jesus said to pay your taxes, but he also said to help the needy. Two different things.

Why do they have to be different? If you can pay your taxes AND help the needy, what's the problem?

Having the government provide takes out a much needed personal aspect that allows those who are lazy to work the system. Charity is for those who in actual need. It also goes the other way and people have gotten lazy and don't want to help people because they know the government will do it for them. There is no personal responsibility to help your neighbor.

Not to be mean, but the bolded is exactly what I'm talking about.

4. Satan represents kindness to those who deserve it instead of love wasted on ingrates!

If Jesus had wanted the government instead of the church to do these things it was will within his power to establish a government.

I can't debate with you whether or not Jesus had the power to overthrow the Roman government and start his own. I know why you believe he did, I'm sure you know why I'm skeptical about it, so we'll just agree to disagree there.

I don't hear anyone in the Tea Party quoting anything other than her political views.

Her political views are what I am talking about. Her political views, as espoused in both her book and interviews are what I am talking about. I'm not arguing that only atheists or Satanists can like Ayn Rand (quite the opposite in fact, I'm an atheist and I think she's awful.) I'm talking about her political views regarding the responsibility of society to help the needy. Those views appear to me to be contradictory to the teachings in the Bible, and also appear to have inspired some of the philosophy set forth in the Satanic Bible.

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"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

Why do they have to be different? If you can pay your taxes AND help the needy, what's the problem?

The problem is that YOU are not helping the needy. The government is. It's like the saying... it's better to give than to receive. If you pay your taxes and the government helps people that may(or may not) need help, what are you getting out of it? Jesus talks about giving from the heart, not because your government says you have to and you owe x amount.

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"GloriaInTX" wrote:

The problem is that YOU are not helping the needy. The government is. It's like the saying... it's better to give than to receive. If you pay your taxes and the government helps people that may(or may not) need help, what are you getting out of it? Jesus talks about giving from the heart, not because your government says you have to and you owe x amount.

Again, the government is not separate from the citizens. When the government helps people, that is all of us, helping those people. I don't have to personally hand someone a check to have helped them - what if I gave my money to a charity and they helped someone. That's still me helping, right?

What I get out of the government helping people is the knowledge that anyone who needs help should be able to get it. It's not based on who is the most popular, or who has the most generous neighbors, or who has the saddest story. Anyone who is hungry can eat, and I helped provide that security. That feels great.

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I think that the tea party should follow Stephen Colbert instead of Ayn Rand.

But if this is going to be a Christian Nation that doesn’t help the poor, either we’ve got to pretend that Jesus was just as selfish as we are, or we’ve got to acknowledge that he commanded us to love the poor and serve the needy without condition…and then admit that we just don’t want to do it.

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I think the Tea Party doesn't mind charity for the sake of helping people. They just object to the fact that the federal government has way overstepped it's original intent by collecting taxes "for" poor people, wasting most of it, and then giving whatever is leftover to whoever "qualifies" whether they need it or not.

If someone could please tell me one entitlement government entity that is doing what it's supposed to within the budget set for it, I'd turn liberal in a heartbeat. But there isn't one that doesn't waste more than it actually uses for those it was originally meant for.

I'm fine with donating 10% of my income to different charities, donating time and goods to charities, but I'm sick to death of paying for the waste in our entitlement programs. They are worthless and don't really help anyone because they also give a false sense of income to those who don't realize their great-grandkids will be paying back $50 for the $.50 they received today.

The government allows people to become seperated from the community in a way that nothing else can. I bet the percentage of people scamming the local, state, and federal governments outnumber the ones who would scam a charity or person by at least 4 to 1.

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Lillie -My understanding is that the reason the Tea Party idolizes Ayn Rand is because she speaks out against any sort of compulsory charity and instead insists that pure capitalism is the only way to build a strong society.

I am ALL for reforms that make the government more efficient, less wasteful, et cetera so that the maximum amount of money goes to help people who need it instead of the government paying $60 per lightbulb or whatever ridiculous thing we're always hearing about.

But my understanding is that the Tea Party doesn't feel that any sort of charity should be compulsory, no matter how efficient the government. That's where they fall in line with Ayn Rand.

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I don't feel like charity is compulsory either. I think the Satanic principle goes beyond what you are trying to relate it to. I don't think that anyone can really call what our government does charity. It's not. Charity is the free giving of something to someone else that needs it. We don't have that in the US government. We have them take income taxes (which is their right) out of our paychecks/earnings/income and they dispurse it how they want. If the government was efficient with their money and ran the entitelment programs we had to the point that people were gettting what they needed and not whatever someone six people removed decides is necessary, I'd donate to the IRS. That would be charity.

No one is trying to say that charity is something they dont' agree with by saying that we don't think the government should be running these programs with tax dollars. They are freaking *TERRRIBLE* at it. They have to be the lowest return on investment in the entire world.

And what is wrong with the old fashioned and financially responsible idea that charity is for those in need?There are very few people that use it as a hand up anymore because of the way the system is. I don't know how it looks where you live, but I think if you lived where I did, you'd become less willing to hand over money to the government to distribute post haste. It's appalling how much nicer you live once you qualify for assistance here and in my hometown than when you are working two jobs.

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The very two words actually shouldn't be used together.

char·i·ty   /ˈtʃærɪti/ Show Spelled[char-i-tee] Show IPA
noun, plural -ties.

1. generous actions or donations to aid the poor, ill, or helpless: to devote one's life to charity.
2. something given to a person or persons in need; alms: She asked for work, not charity.
3. a charitable act or work.
4. a charitable fund, foundation, or institution: He left his estate to a charity.
5. benevolent feeling, especially toward those in need or in disfavor: She looked so poor that we fed her out of charity.

I can't find the stats, but aren't Republicans much much farther ahead in the charitable percentage donated by income than Democratics? And since the Tea Party stems from the Republican party, I bet once their numbers are added up, they'll match.

No problems donating to charity. None. Nada.

Huge problems having money forcefully redistributed willy nilly.

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LOL Lillie - I don't have it in me to do the "who gives more to charity" debate again. I practically did a thesis on that one of the last time we debated it.

I'm not the one relating Ayn Rand to the Satanic Principals! Anton LaVey (the guy that wrote them) did that, and the Church of Satan still claims it. It just seems like now Christians are starting to get hip to it. If you check out the American Values Network (a Christian organization) they have a whole section about it with links to tons and tons of articles about how Ayn Rand and Christianity don't mix. The guy that I quoted in my OP is a Christian that writes for a Christian site.

I just think it's really interesting and discordant that the Tea Party and the Church of Satan both relate really heavily to Ayn Rand's work. I wouldn't have expected that. And it's not like I'm saying Tea Partiers are Satanists - not at all! It's just strange to me that they both pull some of their philosophies from the same place. I get that each one takes some of what she said to heart and leaves the rest that they don't agree with - it's just weird that two such completely opposite movements would both borrow heavily from the same inspiration.

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"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

Lillie -My understanding is that the reason the Tea Party idolizes Ayn Rand is because she speaks out against any sort of compulsory charity and instead insists that pure capitalism is the only way to build a strong society.

I am ALL for reforms that make the government more efficient, less wasteful, et cetera so that the maximum amount of money goes to help people who need it instead of the government paying $60 per lightbulb or whatever ridiculous thing we're always hearing about.

But my understanding is that the Tea Party doesn't feel that any sort of charity should be compulsory, no matter how efficient the government. That's where they fall in line with Ayn Rand.

A lot of the problem is the waste. If I knew that my money was really going to people in need I would gladly pay the taxes. But the government keeps asking for more money without first cleaning up the mess they have. Its like someone asking for food stamps when they haven't turned off their cable TV. Turn off your cable TV, get rid of all the unnecessary expenses and then if you truly need food I have no problem helping out. The government needs to get rid of all the waste and quit spending money on all the unnecessary things BEFORE they ask me for more money. If you tax the rich more and give them MORE money they are just going to waste more.