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Saturday, April 16, 2011

Rand, Ryan and the Rich Young Ruler

I just got off the phone with our oldest son, the singer/songwriter who lives in Pittsburgh. He and I got into one of our father-son discussions on some of the differences between Jesus' message on economics and that embedded in most of the current national budget debates. We both noted the fact that, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer's website, politicians like Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan, who wrote the Republican Party's budget proposal, are avid admirers of the late philosopher Ayn Rand. Ryan says she is "the reason he entered politics" and has asked his staff to read her amoral (and unashamedly godless) 1200-page novel, Atlas Shrugged. Many members of the Tea Party are also great fans of her writing.

I then emailed Brad a copy of a letter to the Daily News-Record I had submitted to the paper eleven days ago (and which as of yet had not been published):

Editor, DNR:

I commend you for doing an editorial critique on the renewed attention being given to the writings of Ayn Rand. 

Gary Moore, in an article in the September, 2010, issue of Christianity Today, quotes economist Milton Friedman, one of Rand's disciples, as supporting her kind of amoral philosophy that the "only social responsibility of a business is to make money." 

Moore also cites the following from the book "Goddess of the Market: Ayn Rand and the American Right," by Jennifer Burns,  "Whereas traditional conservatism emphasized duties, responsibilities, and social interconnectedness, at the core of the right wing ideology Rand spearheaded was a rejection of moral obligations to others."  

Not surprisingly, according to Moore, by the time she died she had "alienated most of her friends and was deeply depressed."

Harvey Yoder

[4/18/11 P. S. In response to a call to the DNR, they said the above letter had mistakenly remained in their "unconfirmed" category and that they will print it this week, in a slightly revised version, at my request.]


Brad then emailed me the following lyrics of a song he'd written earlier this month:

wentawaysad


a rich young man came to ask a question,
he didn’t get the answer he was expecting,
  so he went away sad, yeah, he went away sad..
he thought he knew what the law required,
but love was the law and a burning fire,
  he went away sad, yeah, he went away sad..
    you and me, we’re hanging on by a thread,
    there’s nothing that we can’t forget,
    we’re just trying to fill the hole,
    you and me, we’re waiting for our bird to sing,
    still acting like we pull the strings,
    as if we were in control..

I sought love, ‘cause I thought I’d earned it,
the one that I loved did not return it,
  so I went away sad, yeah, I went away sad..
love sought me, I was quick to dodge it,
the last thing I needed was another project,
  she went away sad, yeah, she went away sad..
    you and me, we’re waiting for our bird to sing,
    still acting like we pull the strings,
    as if we were in control..
    you and me, we’re hanging on by a thread,
    there’s nothing that we can’t forget,
    just trying to fill the hole..
      we take the bait so easily,
      the soft escape, the shiny scheme,
      as I live and as I breathe
      I need you to unsettle me..

I asked God for a rhyme or reason,
I fell to my knees and I tried to please him,
  but I went away sad, yeah, I went away sad..
I heard a quiet voice on a crowded corner,
but we all hurried past, trying to ignore her,
  we went away sad, I think we went away sad..
    you and me, there’s nothing that we can’t forget,
    we’re hanging on by a thread, just trying to fill the hole,
    you and me, we’re acting like we pull the strings,
    still waiting for our bird to sing,
     as if we were in control...
                                                                                                    -all rights reserved 

P. S. 2 Daryl Fries posted the following on dnronline April 20, 2011:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2uHSv1asFvU   

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6jkQKAv13A

During her lifetime, Rand advocated “the virtue of selfishness,” declared altruism to be “evil,” opposed Medicare and all forms of government support for the middle-class and the poor, and condemned Christianity for advocating love and compassion for the less fortunate:    Rand also dismissed the feminist movement as a “false” and “phony” issue, said a female commander in chief would be “unspeakable,” characterized Arabs as “almost totally primitive savages,” and called government efforts to aid the handicapped and educate “subnormal children” an attempt to “bring everybody to the level of the handicapped.”


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