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Religious Left Links Conservatives to Ayn Rand's Atheism

"Interestingly, Religious Left groups do not ask if atheist Karl Marx undermines Christianity." -- Mark Tooley, IRD President

Contact: Jeff Walton, Institute on Religion and Democracy, 202-682-4131, 202-413-5639 cell, jwalton@TheIRD.org

WASHINGTON, June 13, 2011 /Christian Newswire/ -- An interfaith group composed primarily of liberal political activists and mainline Christian clergy is attacking Republican devotees of Ayn Rand for allegedly undermining Christianity. "Christians Must Choose: Ayn Rand or Jesus," a new campaign by the American Values Network, targets those who have praised Rand's brand of Libertarianism.

The network is staffed by a Democratic Party strategist and includes as board members former Democratic elected officials and a past Democratic Party National Committee Chair, as well as United Methodist ethicist Phil Wogaman, former pastor to President Bill Clinton.

Saying that GOP leaders are facing a "crisis of values," the campaign points out Rand's atheism and claims that all of her teachings "stand in direct contradiction to the Bible."

IRD President Mark Tooley commented:

    "It's touching how liberal, religiously pluralistic groups like American Values Network are suddenly very concerned that Christians specifically remain faithful to the Bible and to Jesus. Their respective boards are populated with activists and clergy not themselves known for careful adherence to Christian orthodoxy.

    "Rev. Wogaman, from the network's board, has been one of United Methodism's most liberal theologians, across the decades expressing doubt about the miracles in the Bible like the virgin birth.

    "By portraying Rand's admirers as 'wolves in sheep's clothing' these liberal groups disingenuously claim they are defending Christianity when actually they are defending unrestricted Big Government.

    "It's uncertain how religious pluralists at the American Values Network effectively ostracize an atheist intellectual. It's also uncertain whether average evangelical Christians, along with traditional Roman Catholics, will become greatly exercised over some Republican admiration for Ayn Rand.

    "Interestingly, these leftist groups do not similarly ask if atheist Karl Marx undermines Christianity."

The Institute on Religion & Democracy works to reaffirm the church's biblical and historical teachings, strengthen and reform its role in public life, protect religious freedom, and renew democracy at home and abroad.