The Common Good

Coming to a Computer Near You: It's Tea Party Jesus!

Tea Party Jesus from AVN
Tea Party Jesus from AVN

I can’t say I ever expected to see a video like this. But apparently, it's a thing. The American Values Network (AVN) just released a few teasers for its Tea Party Jesus — Sermon on the Mall animated film coming out later this week.

The video will be a satirical take on the Sermon on the Mount with various quotes, signs and policy positions of the Tea Party. While I don’t think the creators of the video would argue that this same test be applied to every piece of legislation Congress considers, it is an interesting experiment.

How often do we divorce the things we say and do or the beliefs we hold from what we read in the Gospels about the person and teachings of Jesus?

This video will drive some conservative Christians nuts for two reasons.

First, because there are conservative Christians, such as Chuck Colson, who have spoken out against Rand and don’t want to be lumped in with her followers.

Second, because Rand’s influence is real and it’s not a good thing.

Rand’s extreme individualism turns Christian virtue into vice and vice into virtue. Her worldview feeds selfishness and a disregard for our neighbors. I read all 1,046 pages of my paperback copy her Atlas Shrugged and I would like at least 700 pages worth of my time back.

Unfortunately, Rand has had significant influence on influential Republican leaders from Ron Paul to Congressman Paul Ryan, author of the Republican budget plan.

Eric Sapp, Executive Director of AVN, said in a press release, “The Tea Party promotes an ideology that puts selfish individualism before the common good, the Gospel reflects the belief that our neighbor makes us stronger.”

Hopefully, a video like this could spark widespread denunciations of Rand’s teachings. What is really needed, however, is a shift in course from the policies and priorities her philosophy has inspired.

The full-length video was released Thursday. Watch it HERE.

Updated on 1/19/2012: Commentor Palosaari pointed out that Rand Paul was NOT named after Ayn Rand and his name is actually Randal Paul.

Tim King is Communications Director for Sojourners. Follow Tim on Twitter @TMKing.

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