Idaho lawmaker’s bill forces students to pass ‘Atlas Shrugged’ test to graduate
The chairman of the Idaho Senate’s Education Committee says that he introduced a bill to require all students to read Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged” because the book “made my son a Republican.”
State Sen. John Goedde (R) introduced the bill in committee on Tuesday to mandate that each student pass a test on the novel before they are able to graduate from high school, according to The Spokesman-Review.
But Goedde said that he filed the bill to make a point and does not plan on pushing the issue.
“It was a shot over their bow just to let them know that there’s another way to adopt high school graduation requirements,” Goedde said during the committee meeting. “I don’t intend to schedule a hearing on it.”
Rand’s 1957 novel has become a favorite of libertarians and tea party Republicans in recent years. Ninety Catholic faculty members at Georgetown University noted last year the the Republican budget authored by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) reflected “the values of your favorite philosopher, Ayn Rand, rather than the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
“Her call to selfishness and her antagonism toward religion are antithetical to the Gospel values of compassion and love,” the group said, adding that the budget was in line with Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism, one of the tenets of which is that greatest purpose in life is one’s own self interest or happiness.
“When I read Atlas Shrugged, and it’s been probably 30 years since I read it, but it certainly gives one a sense of personal responsibility,” Goedde explained on Tuesday. “I don’t plan on moving this forward – it was a statement.”