Today, Rep. Ryan delivered the Whittington Lecture at Georgetown University. The text is available here. Among other things, the lecture has an admirably civil and warm tone (I didn't hear the talk itself), which I confess I might have had difficulty in maintaining, in the wake of the snooty and dismissive letter he received by way of welcome from a number of Georgetown faculty. Besides the regrettably-common-but-still-simplistic identification of the current state of social-welfare programs with policies clearly mandated by a conscientious application of Catholic Social Teaching, the Georgetown letter snarkily charged that the Ryan budget proposal "appears to reflect the values of your favorite philosopher, Ayn Rand, rather than the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Her call to selfishness and her antagonism toward religion are antithetical to the Gospel values of compassion and love.” Ryan has made clear that his alleged devotion to Rand is an "urban legend", and elaborated:
“I reject her philosophy,” Ryan says firmly. “It’s an atheist philosophy. It reduces human interactions down to mere contracts and it is antithetical to my worldview. If somebody is going to try to paste a person’s view on epistemology to me, then give me Thomas Aquinas,” who believed that man needs divine help in the pursuit of knowledge. “Don’t give me Ayn Rand,” he says. [RG: Nor me!]
RG expands in the post, so be sure to follow the link.