Representative Paul Ryan has an older New York City connection through his admiration of local atheist Ayn Rand (see "Ayn Rand's New York"). The Democratic-leaning American Values Network (AVN) just sent us their response to GOP Paul Ryan's faith-based claims about his economic policy. It is a reissue of a 60-second TV spot “Ryan & Rand vs Jesus.” The ad and other material provided by AVN recalls Ryan’s public admiration of the “morality” of atheist and anti-Christian philosopher, Ayn Rand, and how Ryan cites her as the reason he got into politics. Rep. Ryan is quoted as saying, "Ayn Rand, more than anyone else, did a fantastic job of explaining the morality of capitalism, the morality of individualism."
"Ayn Rand's anti-Christian teachings are anathema to what most Americans believe. And yet she is the inspiration cited by Mitt Romney’s newly-minted running mate for entering politics, and the fingerprints of her heartless philosophy are found throughout his budget," said Eric Sapp, Executive Director of American Values Network. "Ayn Rand’s America is not the one most parents would want to raise their children in, and the choice of her most vocal acolyte on the Republican ticket just created a major opportunity for Democrats with evangelical and Catholic voters."
Ryan declaimed his allegiance to Rand's philosophy in an interview with the conservative magazine National Review: “I, like millions of young people in America, read Rand’s novels when I was young. I enjoyed them. They spurred an interest in economics, in the Chicago School and Milton Friedman...I reject her philosophy. It’s an atheist philosophy. It reduces human interactions down to mere contracts and it is antithetical to my worldview. If somebody is going to try to paste a person’s view on epistemology to me, then give me Thomas Aquinas," a Catholic philosopher who emphasized ethics of community welfare and the need for knowledge from God. Episcopal Bishop Edward S. Little recalls how his conversion to Randism in New York City lead to his conversion to Christianity. He says, "I agree entirely that Christianity and Objectivism are utterly incompatible. But my gratitude to Rand remains profound."