Following up on Paul Ryan's recent repudiation of Ayn Rand and embrace of Thomas Aquinas, Mike Kimel point us to a couple of arguments Aquinas mounts in the Summa Theologica — one against interest, which is also prohibited in Islam, and the other to the effect that the purpose of wealth is to provide aid to the poor. Aquinas also asserts that it is no sin to appropriate the private property of others for survival, if society doesn't provide the means of subsistence.
Interestingly, both Ayn Rand and Thomas Aquinas professed to be followers of Aristotle in asserting the reason is the defining characteristic of human nature. The assumption that humans are "rational animals" also underlies REH. However, Ayn Rand and those subscribing to REH hold that rationality equates with individual pursuit of maximum utility economically. Aquinas could not disagree more. He holds that rationality and faith are compatible rather than mutually exclusive, as Rand thought.
The views of Aquinas that Kimel mentions stand in stark contrast to the foundational assumptions of modern capitalism, especially neoliberal economics. However, in the mind of Aquinas he was just providing a solid rational basis for the teaching of the gospels, which is a matter of faith, showing the compatibility of faith and reason.
Jesus was much more direct,however, and cut to the chase:
"...but seek ye first the reign of God and His righteousness, and all these shall be added to you." Matthew 6:33 (Young's Literal Translation)
"...Verily I say to you, inasmuch as ye did it to one of these my brethren — the least — to me ye did it." Matthew 25:40 (Young's Literal Translation)
"Treasure not up to yourselves treasures on the earth, where moth and rust disfigure, and where thieves break through and steal, but treasure up to yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth disfigure, and where thieves do not break through nor steal, for where your treasure is, there will be also your heart." Matthew 6:19-21 (Young's Literal Translation)
"... 'If thou dost will to be perfect, go away, sell what thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven, and come, follow me.'" Matthew 19:21 (Young's Literal Translation)
These are called "hard sayings." Many either ignore them or else reinterpret them to suit themselves. But the meaning is abundantly clear, and the message is incompatible with what Paul Ryan represents.
The entire Sermon on the Mount, including the Beatitudes (Matthew, chapters 5-7) are considered by most Christians to be the formula for discipleship, and scholars, who often argue over the authenticity of sayings attributed to Jesus, are in general agreement that the Sermon on the Mount represents authentic sayings of Jesus, probably very close to the words he uttered on the occasion. So there should be no dispute over this.
Read it at Angry Bear
Ayn Rand v. Thomas Aquinas in Paul Ryan's Mind
by Mike Kimel