“The reason I got involved in public service, by and large, if I had to credit one thinker, one person, it would be Ayn Rand.” -- Paul Ryan
It's too bad Paul Ryan didn't give that credit to Jesus Christ, because that endorsement played a huge part in shaping the congressman's public persona. But Ryan now claims that any philosophical connection drawn between him and Ayn Rand is either overstated or an urban legend.
According to Think Progress, he's broken off his well-documented and longtime love affair with Ayn Rand. At least that's what he now claims. Hmmm. So which Paul Ryan should we believe? And, will Ryan's Ayn Rand rejection today be his urban legend of tomorrow? What will brainless sheep like Sen. Ron Johnson now say after he sold his soul to the devil when he claimed that Rand's "Atlas Shrugged" is his foundational book? Oh Lord forgive RoJo, for he not know what he do.
But, why did Ryan suddenly throw Ayn Rand overboard, albeit with a life preserver and rope? For starters, mainly out of political expediency. Paul Ryan first and foremost is a politician if he is anything. Ayn Rand was hanging like the Sword of Damocles over his career, particularly more so when the Catholic clergy indirectly confronted him in a letter to choose between atheism and Christianity. He chose Christianity of course, but only under that proposition. For a Sunday mass politician like Ryan, rejecting Rand was an easy call to make. In reality though, Ryan still messages Ayn Rand so what he did was akin to sliding a book slipcover of the New Testament over Atlas Shrugged.
Ryan's callous public rejection of his life hero also shows as to what extent he is willing to go to reach his ultimate goal. In my view, this was an obvious yet insidious move by a deceitful politician to use anything at his disposal, including Christianity, to get there. There was no way Ryan was going to sell a trickle-down "upwardly-mobile" austere future built on the fictional tales of anti-American, anti-Christian Ayn Rand. He needed a new philosophical apropos for the new poor his dystopian plan will bring and he thinks he found it buried within Catholic Church teachings of subsidiarity.
Subsidiarity in a nutshell...
Religion News Excerpt: Society’s decisions should be made, Clark wrote at the Catholic Moral Theology blog, “at the lowest level possible and the highest level necessary.” It’s not just a matter of ever smaller government, or reflexively devolving responsibilities downward, but of making sure that key societal functions are provided for.
But that's not how Ryan understands subsidiarity. He believes, "the [Catholic] principle of subsidiarity is really federalism, meaning government closest to the people governs best, having a civil society of the principle of solidarity where we, through our civic organizations, through our churches, through our charities, through all of our different groups where we interact with people as a community...." Ryan's words. Ryan must then view Christianity as the future governing body for the lowest rungs of American society and relegates Jesus Christ to the lowest denominator (a communal subsidiary) for the sake of the poor.
But the congressman doesn't care if he's completely wrong because in his infinite wisdom, he believes some Catholics for too long have had a monopoly on the social teachings of the Church. He'll re-invent Christianity and show them. Another of Ryans' ideological blindspots becomes evident in this passage...
“[T]he preferential option for the poor, which is one of the primary tenets of Catholic social teaching, means don’t keep people poor, don’t make people dependent on government so that they stay stuck at their station in life, help people get out of poverty out onto life of independence,” -- Paul Ryan
That's one-half Catholicism, but 100 percent Rand.
"It only stands to reason that where there’s sacrifice, there’s someone collecting the sacrificial offerings. Where there’s service, there is someone being served. The man who speaks to you of sacrifice is speaking of slaves and masters, and intends to be the master" -- Ayn Rand
In Ryan's real worldview, the master here is the current service government. The slave of course is the one subservient and fully dependent on government and permanently stuck in their station of life.
In his effort to decouple government from subsidiarity, Ryan is then gambling that no one will argue Christ's relationship with the poor. This is why he no longer needs Rand in his future construct. She won't take care of the poor and Ryan's future government only serves Rand's industrious "individual." So that too leaves the poor out. But his proposals do require a communal subsidiary outside of government and if Christianity did not exist, Paul Ryan would have no choice but to invent it. Christianity then becomes nothing more than a convenient but necessary shelter for the poor in Ryan's divided world. Just a shameful and diseased outlook for someone who calls himself a Christian.
On a recent show, Chris Matthews asked a Catholic nun, "Sister, why do you think some people believe the way to get poor people to work harder is to cut their money, to basically hurt them? And the way to get the rich people to work harder is to give them more money. Why do they have different views of incentives?"
John Nichols - Ryan's Claim Budget Reflects Catholic Teaching is Nonsense
Forbes Blog - Ryan Now Rejects Ayn Rand - Will The Real Paul Ryan Please Come Forward?
WKOW - Ryan explains His Catholic Defense of His Budget Plan
Democurmudgeon - Ryan Flops at Georgetown University, insists his plan the only true religion. Pt. 1
Democurmudgeon - Ryan Flops at Georgetown University, Pt.2
BartCop - Cognitive Dissonance On Christianity and Ayn Rand
Huff Post - Ryan Suddenly Does Not Embrace Ayn Rand
Chicago Tribune - Ryan cites Pope to defend Budget Cuts