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Exclusive: Christians must reject Ayn Rand, faith-based group tells Raw Story

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During this time of financial crisis and talk of severe austerity measures in nearly every statehouse across the nation, the philosophy of author Ayn Rand has become a rallying cry for many leading Republicans who see her as something of a patron saint to American capitalism.

But before evangelicals fully commit to the tea party’s favorite budget measures — like eliminating Medicare and food aid for the poor — one vocal Christian group thinks they should know something about the movement’s famous figurehead.

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Rand, perhaps best known for coining the philosophy of “Objectivism,” was the author of numerous best-selling novels, including “Atlas Shrugged” and “The Fountainhead.” Part and parcel with her philosophy is a complete separation of government and the economy — an idea antithetical to progressives who see government partly as a policeman meant to protect individuals and communities from the worst abuses of power.

However, it’s not just Rand’s economic and regulatory arguments that has the non-profit advocacy group American Values Network (AVN) angsty: they want Republican evangelicals to know that Rand was also an atheist who quite literally hated Jesus. They’ve even produced a video to that effect.

“Ayn Rand encapsulates in a very powerful way this drift [away from Christian values], especially with the rise of the tea party which is in many ways very un-Christian,” AVN Executive Director Eric Sapp told Raw Story in an exclusive interview. “There’s a lot of political pressure to combine the Christian right with that new, powerful tea party movement on the right. Ayn Rand kind of puts the point why Christians need to be very, very wary of those who are trying to do so.”

While the AVN is officially a non-partisan organization that wants to see Christians at the helm of both political parties, they’ve been vocal supporters for a number of Democratic initiatives, such as health reform and the anti-nuclear START treaty. They also focus on non-political initiatives such as medical aid for impoverished populations and housing aid for veterans, and advocate for morality-based policy solutions to climate change.

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“We look for opportunities to make a positive impact,” he said.

“Christians should hold both parties accountable and act as a moral anchor for our politics,” Sapp continued. “This is why the Ayn Rand issue is so powerful and so effective.”

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He added that Jesus Christ told Christians they would know a fellow believer “by their fruit,” but that the Republican budget is “clearly bad fruit.” And he went even further: “The thing about Ayn Rand is, she shows that it’s not just the fruit, but the roots of the budget that are rotten.”

A lengthy source document providing references for all the Rand quotes they use in the video below was published to AVN’s website.

This video is from the American Values Network.

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news outlets, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.


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