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Catholics Credit Ryan Budget to Ayn Rand


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#1 Dennis Hardin

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 03:24 PM

House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan made the following comment about his budget proposal:

“It is rare in American politics to arrive at a moment in which the debate revolves around the fundamental nature of American democracy and the social contract.” We are faced with “the choice of two futures,” he said.

Catholics United agrees.

A choice between Ayn Rand and Jesus Christ.

Catholics United, the national Catholic social tradition advocacy organization, suggested Tuesday that another choice is playing out. Noting Ryan’s oft-expressed admiration for objectivist author Ayn Rand, the group declared: “Paul Ryan’s 2013 Budget Reflects the Teachings of Ayn Rand, Not Jesus Christ.”

“Ryan’s budget emulates Randian principles by decimating safety net programs and turning them into voucher-based systems, ostensibly ignoring the human dignity of the most vulnerable in society. Catholics United calls on Congressman Ryan to sincerely examine his conscience and recognize the devastating impact his Rand-inspired budget will have on the most vulnerable in society. The social Darwinist teachings of Ayn Rand have consistently been denounced by major Catholic leaders as antithetical to Catholic doctrine,” argued Catholics United, while the group’s executive director, James Salt, said:

“This is not the time for political ideology to trump human dignity. The recently-released budget saddens me as it’s clear Congressman Ryan continues to follow the teachings of Ayn Rand, not Jesus Christ. For Catholics, there is no debate on this issue: the needs of the poor and vulnerable take preference over the needs of the wealthy and powerful—period. It’s puzzling and frustrating Congressman Ryan and so many self-proclaimed Catholics in Congress ignore this fundamental Catholic teaching.”



#2 Jerry Biggers

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 07:20 PM

Catholics United is a political advocay group. Its leaders have been closely allied with some union (president is a former union organizer) and appears to favor policies of, you guessed it, Obama and the Democratic Party.

Michelle Malkin and some other conservative (and Catholic) groups claim that it is funded by George Soros (see http://michellemalki...atholic-groups/ ). The group denies this. Whether it is or not, its leaders have been frequent guests at The White House.

In one sense though, their accusation against Rep. Paul Ryan is accurate. He has often expressed his admiration for Ayn Rand (his staffers are reportedly required to have read Atlas Shrugged as a precondition of employment at his office), and he has stated that he is a professed Cathoilc.

Note however, that Ryan's budget plan could equally be labelled as libertarian or even conservative. Catholics United apparently think that making the connection to Ayn Rand is more damaging to its chances of being passed (which are, with today's congress: exactly ZERO).

#3 Brant Gaede

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 07:32 PM

"The poor and the vulnerable"--the altar boys?

--Brant

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#4 Jerry Biggers

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 07:46 PM

"The poor and the vulnerable"--the altar boys?

--Brant


Touche' ! :laugh: :blush:

#5 Selene

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 07:53 PM

More like Ragnar and the Boondock Saints!


"Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice..and moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue."

#6 Dennis Hardin

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 12:45 AM


In one sense though, their accusation against Rep. Paul Ryan is accurate. He has often expressed his admiration for Ayn Rand (his staffers are reportedly required to have read Atlas Shrugged as a precondition of employment at his office), and he has stated that he is a professed Cathoilc.


Catholics United is exactly right. I applaud the stand they have taken. It is critical that we draw attention to the fact that America faces a choice between two antithetical philosophical viewpoints, and that the alternative is Ayn Rand or Jesus Christ. And they correctly identify the fact that Ryan's proposal contradicts his self-proclaimed Catholicism. "Social Darwinism"--i.e., survival of the fittest--is obviously not an accurate description of Rand's position, but you would expect such a leftist group to characterize Rand's position as malevolent. The most important thing is that they are drawing attention to the fact that it is the moral code of altruism that is destroying this country.

I find it surprising that a leftist Catholic group would explicitly identify Ayn Rand as their enemy, considering how popular Rand is at this particular time and how well she articulated her opposition. Perhaps that will inspire more people to take a more careful look at what Rand actually said.

#7 Peter Taylor

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 07:08 AM

Dennis Hardin wrote as if for The Objectivist Newsletter:
Catholics United is exactly right. I applaud the stand they have taken. It is critical that we draw attention to the fact that America faces a choice between two antithetical philosophical viewpoints, and that the alternative is Ayn Rand or Jesus Christ.
end quote

To more clearly imitate Rand I would merely put a colon after the word “viewpoints” in the last sentence, snip a word or two so that it reads:
“America faces a critical choice between two antithetical philosophical viewpoints: Objectivism or Jesus Christ.”

And Ayn Rand would add, “Dennis, you are: brilliant, fundemental, and concise. Good job!”
Peter Taylor
Semper cogitans fidele,
Independent Objectivist,
Peter Taylor

#8 Selene

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 07:57 AM

Dennis Hardin wrote as if for The Objectivist Newsletter:
Catholics United is exactly right. I applaud the stand they have taken. It is critical that we draw attention to the fact that America faces a choice between two antithetical philosophical viewpoints, and that the alternative is Ayn Rand or Jesus Christ.
end quote

To more clearly imitate Rand I would merely put a colon after the word “viewpoints” in the last sentence, snip a word or two so that it reads:
“America faces a critical choice between two antithetical philosophical viewpoints: Objectivism or Jesus Christ.”

And Ayn Rand would add, “Dennis, you are: brilliant, fundemental, and concise. Good job!”
Peter Taylor


So this would be a semantic colonoscopy?
"Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice..and moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue."

#9 Peter Taylor

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 11:27 AM

You should not joke like that Adam – it hurts. I had one done about four years ago. The day before you need to fast, then take some salty crud to flush out your system, until you poop and poop. Then, the day of the colonoscopy you must inject two enemas and poop some more. Yuk! The VA just offered me one for free and I said no way, Jose! Unless I have some dire symptoms I will never do that again.
Peter
Semper cogitans fidele,
Independent Objectivist,
Peter Taylor

#10 Selene

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 11:33 AM

You should not joke like that Adam – it hurts. I had one done about four years ago. The day before you need to fast, then take some salty crud to flush out your system, until you poop and poop. Then, the day of the colonoscopy you must inject two enemas and poop some more. Yuk! The VA just offered me one for free and I said no way, Jose! Unless I have some dire symptoms I will never do that again.
Peter


Mea Culpa...
"Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice..and moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue."

#11 Dennis Hardin

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 11:46 AM

A comment added to The Nation article by Harry Binswanger:

Ayn Rand is so far to the right of Paul Ryan that she makes him look like Herbert Marcuse. She argued for a total separation of economics and state. Slowing the growth of federal spending? Hah! Let's talk about abolishing all programs except defense (which could itself be way cut back) the courts, and maybe the FBI, because she held (and I agree) that since government is the agency with a legal monopoly on the use of physical force, its only proper functions are to retaliate against those who initiate its use.

Radical, yes. But also 95% in agreement with the Founding Fathers of this country.


Interesting that he says nothing about the clash of moral viewpoints represented by Rand vs. Jesus.

#12 Brant Gaede

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 12:03 PM

You should not joke like that Adam – it hurts. I had one done about four years ago. The day before you need to fast, then take some salty crud to flush out your system, until you poop and poop. Then, the day of the colonoscopy you must inject two enemas and poop some more. Yuk! The VA just offered me one for free and I said no way, Jose! Unless I have some dire symptoms I will never do that again.
Peter

Your "dire" symptoms would likely be your death notice. The purpose of the exam is to discover any pre-cancerous polyps. If your last exam showed no polyps and there is no history of colon cancer in your family you know of, you're good for at least another five years. Never mind the VA, consult with your doctor. The quality if not length of anyone's life has a lot to do with a little optional courage to avoid the necessity of massive courage and later on distress.

--Brant
don't be the ignorant hero who gets his education shovelled onto him

Rational Individualist, Rational self-interest, Individual Rights--limited government libertarian heavily influenced by Objectivism


#13 Merlin Jetton

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 12:21 PM

In other words, Catholics United endorses extortion (via taxes) while pretending moral righteousness.

#14 Dennis Hardin

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 02:45 PM

In other words, Catholics United endorses extortion (via taxes) while pretending moral righteousness.


Well now, Merlin. We all know that "there is no debate on this issue: the needs of the poor and vulnerable take preference over the needs of the wealthy and powerful—period."

What's a little extortion when caring for the poor is our aim? There is no debate on this issue. I'm surprised you have difficulty understanding that.

#15 Selene

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 10:40 AM

The Gospel according to Ayn Rand

“Then Jesus looked up at his disciples and said:‘Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.’” (Luke 6:20) According to Ayn Rand, the novelist and atheist philosopher so beloved of influential American conservatives today, that’s where Jesus got off track.

“There is a great, basic contradiction in the teachings of Jesus,” Rand writes. She argues that when Jesus teaches about “the salvation of one’s soul,” that’s individualism and therefore good. But when it comes to ethics, Jesus goes off the rails. Jesus’ mistake, per Rand, is the idea that, “in order to save one’s soul, one must love or help or live for others.” And that, Rand concludes, leads to Christianity’s “failure.”
Rand, of course, “is noteworthy for her atheism and uncompromising opposition to religion.”

Ever since Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) put out his draconian budget proposal that slashes essential programs for the poor and gives big tax breaks to the rich, Ryan’s attachment to the works of Ayn Rand has been in the spotlight. Jonathan Chait, in the pages of Newsweek, calls out Ryan for launching a “War on the Weak” and explains “How the GOP came to view the poor as parasites –and the rich as our rightful rulers.” The success of this idea that the rich have the right to rule and the poor don’t have any right to their help, is due to the popularity of the philosophy of Ayn Rand on the far right. According to Chait, Ryan is “a Rand nut…Ryan once appeared at a gathering to honor her philosophy, where he announced, ‘The reason I got involved in public service, by and large, if I had to credit one thinker, one person, it would be Ayn Rand.’ He continues to view Rand as a lodestar, requiring his staffers to digest her creepy tracts.”

http://www.washingto...orXzD_blog.html
"Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice..and moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue."

#16 Selene

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 10:45 AM

Good ole Christian Susan continues in another article, bring on that Christian marxism baby!!!!

The choice between the biblical values of “good news for the poor” as announced by Jesus, and the “good news for the rich” of GOP fiscal proposals should be an easy one for Christians across the spectrum from liberal to conservative. But it’s not, as is clear from many polls. Why not?

The support of conservative Christian evangelicals for Santorum, and for GOP fiscal policies in general, rises despite such statements about not caring about unemployment. That’s because, more than any other shift in recent decades, the strong redefinition of the core of the Gospel message away from Jesus’ explicit announcement that his ministry was about “good news for the poor” toward merging biblical values with so-called “family values” defined as anti-gay, anti-abortion, and now, even anti-contraception, is the key to explaining this support. Conservatives have managed to merge conservative fiscal ideas with ‘support for the family.’ Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council says evangelicals are interested in both social and fiscal issues. Jobs and the ability of putting food on the table, he says, are all connected to the well-being of the family.

It is long past time to call out these conservatives on what Jesus of Nazareth actually taught about money and the economy. Conservative political and economic values are completely contradicted by the life, ministry and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth and there’s no doubt about that. None.

http://www.washingto...Pf1PS_blog.html
"Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice..and moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue."

#17 studiodekadent

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 09:39 AM

Ryan is not a Randian in any respect. His budget can't even be fairly accused of 'decimating' social safety nets; he's proposed the partial voucherization of the programs.

This is merely a different means of delivering safety nets.

Now, economists and policy-wonks can debate which means work best. But to compare a partial voucherization to an abolition is so wrongheaded from an economic perspective I just don't know where to begin.

CU's rhetoric is demented and defamatory in its hyperbole.

That said, for ANY religion that believes in Original Sin to go on about human dignity is just plain sickening. Their entire theology attacks human dignity on every level.
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