Thursday, 29 March 2012

The Mutual Exclusivity of Ayn Rand and Jesus

To me, politics and religion are a weird mix.  Especially this weird marriage between Christianity and Conservatives in the U.S.  I find it puzzling at times, since evangelical christians have basically decided that the Republican party is the party of God.  Yes, the Republican party has pandered to the evangelical crowd on hot button issues such as abortion or gay marriage, but there are many core values of the Republican party that seem to directly oppose Christian values, at least with my understanding of the Bible.

What I find a bit confusing is that a politician can, at one moment, trumpet the economical ideals of Ayn Rand one moment, and then turn around and discuss his or her deep Christian faith in the next breath.  Because to me, the two seem to approach that line where things become mutually exclusive.  The one leader, Rand, championed an economic system that is driven entirely by ego, in which there are so called elite people that drive innovation and progress and the economy and that these people should be as self serving as possible to become as successful as possible.  On the other hand, you have the other leader who is humble and preaches the sacrifice of the self at all times.  In fact, the very fundamental base of the entire Christian religion is based on self sacrifice, so much so that, according to the Christian narrative, the religion's leader sacrificed his life to absolve humanity of their sins.

And here's the kicker....many of the people whose sins he died for earned the absolving of their sins.  Many of these people were slackers, moochers, deadbeats, drug addicts, alcoholics and people that cheated whatever systems were in place.  There were all kinds of people that got a free ride on this.  Which tends to be the popular excuses from the political right as to why the government should not provide aid to certain demographics.  Then, of course, if one truly considers the message delivered in the Bible, not one single person was truly deserving of the sacrifice made by Jesus in giving his life.  Just saying.

I'm not saying that either Rand or Jesus were right......I'm just pointing out how fundamentally different their world views were.

Which then brings me to this harsh criticism of what seems to be a rather large portion of evangelical Christians I have met.  I've heard way too many of them suggest that Native peoples are a nuisance and a problem and they're sucking up all of our government's resources and that they're simply a bunch of deadbeats, drug addicts and alcoholics mooching off the system and don't deserve handouts of hard earned, taxpayer money.  And while there is no doubt that the Native Peoples in Canada face many issues, the attitude of many Christians I've met not only comes across as racist, but seems to me to be in stark contrast to what their religion was founded on.  Am I saying that continually handing out sums of money to any group of people facing the same issues that Native People face today is a solution?  It's not an effective one, that's for sure.  But neither is ignoring the problem and trying to sweep it under the rug.  Ultimately some level of self sacrifice is going to be needed in order to help a group of marginalized people such as Natives.  Because the common problems faced aren't unique to Native People in North America....anywhere you go in the world where one group of people have been marginalized, you will find the same problems and issues affecting those people.  It's not a race thing, it's a human thing.

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