You hear a good number of Republicans, including Vice-Presidential nominee Paul Ryan, promoting the ideas of Ayn Rand, the Russian-American novelist who authored the libertarian credo best seen in her novel Atlas Shrugged. Rand, an atheist. rejected faith and religion and the kind of altruism that is often the foundation of people of faith.
For Rand life should be guided by individual rights; she even stressed the importance of selfishness and self interest as a “virtues”. Rand was an outspoken critic of government and the collective spirit that often is defined as the common good. If people were just left alone to pursue their own happiness unhindered by the state and the do-gooders, the world would be a far better place.
I personally am a huge fan of St. Matthew, who in his Gospel ( 5:3-10) lays out the eight beatitudes, the first sermon of Jesus. Just as a reminder to all you Catholics (Paul Ryan included) here are the eight beatitudes:
Blessed are the poor in spirit: for their is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are the meek: for they shall possess the land.
Blessed are they who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice: for they shall have their fill.
Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the clean of heart: for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called children of God.
Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice sake, for their is the kingdom of heaven.
Now this is still a free country where people can read what they want and live by a code of ethics that may derive from a novelist or an apostle. But it just seems to me that a political party and its leaders who often tout the value and centrality of religion in the political sphere should read more of St. Matthew and the first sermon of Jesus and not be enamored by the writings of an atheist who glorifies ego and selfishness. We need more of the beatitudes as guideposts for politics,public policy and national life not the musings of Ayn Rand.