‘Christian Right’ Is An Oxymoron
I cannot think of two ideologies more diametrically opposed to one another than Christianity and right-wing conservatism. Yet, in U.S. politics no two words get conjoined more than “Christian Right”.
How is it that people who claim to live according to the compassionate teachings of Jesus Christ — alleged champion of the poor and the meek — simultaneously, and with straight faces, attempt to impose sociopath Ayn Rand’s world vision of selfishness upon their fellow citizens?
In one hand conservatives cling to The Bible, proclaiming themselves to be morally-superior to the opposition. In the other hand they brandish that book’s antithesis, Atlas Shrugged, like a loaded revolver with which to thin the American ‘herd’.
Let’s break down the two ideologies to show the implausibility — if not the impossibility — of their co-existence within the same rational, logical mind:
Their political ideology is largely built upon their beloved Ayn Rand’s “anti-altruism” philosophy. She sums it up here in her 1959 Mike Wallace interview:
Rand: … [man’s] highest moral purpose is the achievement of his own happiness, and that he must not force other people, nor accept their right to force him, that each man must live as an end in himself, and follow his own rational self-interest.
Wallace: [In a Newsweek review, a critic writes] you are out to destroy almost every edifice in the contemporary American way of life, our Judeo-Christian religion, our modified government-regulated Capitalism, our rule by the majority will. Other reviews have said that you scorn Churches and the concept of God. Are these accurate criticisms?
Rand: Yes … If I am challenging the base of all these institutions, I am challenging the moral code of altruism. The precept that it is man’s moral duty to live for others. That man must sacrifice himself to others, which is the present day morality.
Wallace: What is self-sacrifice? You say you do not like the altruism by which we live. You like a certain kind of Ayn Randist selfishness. […] We’re taught to feel concerned for our fellow man, to feel responsible for his welfare, to feel that we are — as religious people might put it: “children under God and responsible, one for the other”. Now why do you rebel? What’s wrong with this philosophy?
Rand: But that is what in fact makes man a sacrificial animal. That man must work for others, concern himself with others, or be responsible for them. That is the role of a sacrificial object.
In the spirit of Ayn Rand, conservatives prioritize tax cuts for the wealthiest citizens and corporations, while imposing deep draconian spending cuts — and thereby pulling the rug out — from the poor, the elderly, and the most vulnerable amongst us.
Now contrast their conservative political ideals with what they claim to be their heart-felt religious ideals: Christianity (as quoted from the Bible):
Prov. 29:7. The righteous is concerned for the rights of the poor; the wicked does not understand such concern.
1 John 3:17. But whoever has the world’s goods, and beholds his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?
Acts 4:32-35. And the congregation of those who believed were of one heart and soul; and not one of them claimed that anything belonging to him was his own, but all things were common property to them. And with great power the apostles were giving witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and abundant grace was upon them all. For there was not a needy person among them, for all who were owners of land or houses would sell them and bring the proceeds of the sales and lay them at the apostles’ feet; and they would be distributed to each, as any had need.
Mt. 6:24. “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will hold to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and Money.”
Prov. 19:17. He who is gracious to a poor man lends to the LORD, and He will repay him for his good deed.
Prov. 14:31. He who oppresses the poor reproaches his Maker, but he who is gracious to the needy honors Him.
Obviously, the conservative right’s political and religious belief systems are steeped in GROTESQUE and INSURMOUNTABLE contradictions. One could logically conclude that you cannot be both ‘disciples’ of Jesus Christ AND Ayn Rand (who detested both religion and moral responsibility to others).
Considering the significant role the Evangelical community played in getting George W. Bush re-elected in 2004, the Left would be wise to drive a wedge between these ideological contradictions, and effectively split the conservative base, once and for all.
Because never before has Ayn Rand’s cruel “anti-altruistic” ideology been so close to becoming an American reality. And never before, in my lifetime, have conservatives been so eager to proclaim themselves to be Ayn Rand ‘disciples’.
UPDATE (June 6, 2011):
Many Christian voters are now taking these gross contradictions outlined above, and posing them directly to Republican politicians (including Paul Ryan). Judging from the Republican responses (or lack thereof), you can see this is a topic that terrifies them: (SEE THE VIDEOS).
New Study: The American Public Prefers LIBERAL Policies Which Would Cut Budget By $437 Billion
A recent study entitled “Competing Budget Priorities: The Public, The House, The White House” by the University of Maryland’s Program For Public Consultation reveals that on nearly every single budgetary issue a majority of Americans were polled as preferring policies which would be classified as ‘liberal’.
The study compares the different budgetary priorities of: 1. the American public, 2. the Obama administration and 3. the Republican-led House of Representatives.
Here’s a few of their key findings, outlining their budgetary preferences:
American public would cut by 18% (or $109.4 billion)
President Obama would increase by 4% (or $23 billion)
Republican-led House would increase by 2% (or $9 billion)
Energy Conservation & Renewable Energy Spending:
American public would increase by 110%
President Obama would increase by 44%
Republican-led House would cut by 36%
Pollution Control Spending:
American public would increase by 17%
President Obama would cut by 13%
Republican-led House would cut by 39%
Job Training Spending:
American public would increase by 130%
President Obama would cut by 3%
Republican-led House would cut by 47%
Higher Education Spending:
American public would increase by 92%
President Obama would increase by 9%
Republican-led House would cut by 26%
Science Research Spending:
American public would increase by 5%
President Obama would increase by 11%
Republican-led House would cut by 12%
Economic Support Fund Spending (Foreign military aid to countries like Afghanistan, Pakistan, Egypt & Israel for ‘strategic purposes’):
American public would cut by 23%
President Obama would cut by 9%
Republican-led House would cut by 6%
Humanitarian Assistance (to Foreign Countries):
American public would increase by 18%
President Obama would cut by 8%
Republican-led House would cut by 17%
– American public would increase taxes to provide an additional $292 billion in revenues annually (w/ $155 billion of that amount coming from raising income taxes on those making above $100k per year).
– President Obama’s proposal to increase taxes in 2012 would generate an additional $62.5 billion in revenues annually.
– President Obama’s proposal to increase taxes in 2015 would generate an additional $97.2 billion in revenues annually. (NOTE: the increase in revenues between 2015 and 2012 is due to the fact he again promises to end Bush tax cuts on those making above $250k/year in 2015).
– Republican-led House proposes NO tax increases on anyone (including wealthiest 2%) thereby generating $0 in additional revenues.
So how would each of the three groups fare (in terms of the annual budget) if their preferred policies were implemented?
The overwhelmingly LIBERAL policy preferences of the American public cuts the budget by a whopping $437 billion for 2015.
If Obama hadn’t broken his campaign promise, and allowed Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest 2% to elapse, he would have cut the budget by $28 billion. Since he pressured his party to extend Bush’s tax cuts, he for now at least will actually increase spending by $37 billion.
The Republican-led House called for an additional $61 billion in spending cuts, with no increases in revenue (tax increases) which would cut the budget by $61 billion.
What this study shows is that if our democracy actually worked, and our public representatives actually legislated the will of the AMERICAN PEOPLE rather than those of the moneyed special interest groups who line their pockets, our country wouldn’t be in the dire financial straits it now finds itself. It also shows that progressive policies are far more fiscally sound than those proposed by conservatives.
Here’s a fabulous debate between MSNBC’s Cenk Uygur and conservative UMD Economist Peter Morici on the study’s results (broken down above). Watch Morici get flustered as he continues to try to push the tired old MSM ‘mythical middle’ narrative, despite the proof staring him right in the face.