‘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).