DISSECTING RAND: PART IV: No Christian Can Possibly Admire Rand and Be True to Christ

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There is nothing wrong in helping other people, if and when they are worthy of the help and you can afford to help them. I regard charity as a marginal issue. What I am fighting is the idea that charity is a moral duty and a primary virtue.” Ayn Rand

At a recent town hall meeting, Congressman Paul Ryan was challenged over his fanaticism of atheist Rand.

“…CONSTITUENT: My question concerns your current and previous feelings toward the author and philosopher Ayn Rand. […] Mr. Ryan, are you telling us that your political career was founded on the concepts of a rally of hers, but until recently, you never realized Ayn Rand was an outspoken atheist, that she felt altruism was evil, supported abortion, and condemned Christianity for advocating compassion for the poor?

RYAN: […] Just because you like someone’s novels doesn’t mean you agree with their entire worldview philosophy. She has a worldview philosophy which is completely antithetical to mine because she has an atheist philosophy. […] It’s really kind of a canard, is what I would say.

CONSTITUENT: You spoke as a keynote speaker for Ayn Rand banquets. You were quoted at length about how you loved her. You say you grew up and Ayn Rand taught you who you are and what your values are. I think we’ve learned the question of your honesty.

RYAN: It’s a great book! It’s a great book! Let’s go on to somebody over here, I think we’ve covered it pretty well. By the way, I don’t require it. I have a reading list. Lots of young people ask me what are good books. I give them Alexis de Tocqueville, I take the Founders, Friedman, Hayek, Atlas Shrugged. There are lots of good books worth reading if you want to study freedom, free enterprise, the Founders, economics. There are a lot of good books out there to read, it doesn’t mean that you subscribe to the person’s worldview and philosophy. That’s really kind of a stretch….”

The fixation some in the GOP and conservative world have with Ayn Rand is destroying the GOP. It’s that simple. You cannot support Rand and dispute Democratic claims that the party is heartless, and against the poor.   What’s more, The Pink Flamingo does not think it possible for a Christian to be true to Christ and even admire Rand.   One might say that she had some excellent ideas about deregulation and lowering of taxes, but that has been a plank in the GOP platform when Rand was considered only a pathetic manipulator of very bright men and women who were basically social outcasts.  If these people had been born years later, they would have been the ultimate Trekkies or followers of Scientology.  Rand somehow brainwashes people, even today.

“…But the self-interest thing really has a nice ring to it, recalling as it does the elegance of Satanism’s single commandment: “Do as thou wilt shall be the whole of the law.” Rand’s books have sold nonstop from the moment they were published because people love hearing how not only can they get away with being totally selfish, it’s absolutely the right way to be. The best way to be, as in, morally the best. EST and the Prosperity Gospel have much the same appeal. And sure, that all sounds fine when you are home reading a book, by yourself, but just go out there and try it. As Rand herself did….”

Swampland

The late, iconic Christian figure, Chuck Colson was probably the most outspoken Conservative when it came to Rand.  He did not mince words.

“...But perhaps the strongest statement put out was by conservative Christian icon Chuck Colson.

Colson is one of the lions of the Christian right and the founder of Prison Fellowship, which, all politics aside, is the best thing coming from the Christian right and a powerful ministry to a segment of society even progressives often ignore.

But Colson condemned the strong support of Rand in Republican and conservative circles and urged his followers not only to stay away from the new film of Rand’s book, “Atlas Shrugged,” but to “stay away from anyone who intends to watch the film.”

Colson said Rand and her followers were precisely the types of “cranks” and “crypto-cultists” that his friend Bill Buckley had fought to purge from conservative ranks.

He said the “real problem with Rand is the world view her novels and other writings sought to inculcate in her readers … it’s hard to imagine a world view more antithetical to Christianity.”..>”

He also wrote:

“…By “happiness” Rand meant “rational self-interest.” For her, “virtue” consisted of doing what “secured” your life and well-being.

Where did that leave altruism and self-sacrifice? As vices. For Rand, altruism and self-sacrifice represented a betrayal of what should be a person’s “highest values,” that is, his life and well-being. Similarly, justice would be possible only where you never sought for nor granted unearned or undeserved results, “neither in matter nor in spirit . . .”

But without altruism and self-sacrifice, how do people relate to one another? Ayn Rand says through exchanges that promote mutual advantage, what she called a “trade.” In other words, as if each of the parties were businesses, not people.

Rand’s inversion of biblical norms had predictable results: Scott Ryan, who wrote a book on Rand’s philosophy, called objectivism a “psychologically totalitarian personality cult that allowed Rand . . . to exercise personal power over [her] unwitting victims.” He cites, for example, the way she manipulated “her own unemployed and dependent husband” to get him to agree for her to have “an adulterous sexual affair.”

We’re not talking here about personal flaws or merely human weaknesses. As Ryan puts it, these abuses are “demonstrably connected to Rand’s own ‘philosophical’ premises”—that is, her worldview.

Rand and her followers, you see, lived in a way consistent with her worldview. But you can hardly regard a philosophy that exalts selfishness and condemns altruism as the basis for a good society….”

US Catholic

 “…Yaron Brooks, president of the Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights, also defended Rand’s philosophy in a recent CNN.com commentary. He said while people call Jesus or Mother Teresa heroes, they should use the same description for people like 19th century oil tycoon, John D. Rockefeller and inventor and businessman, Thomas Edison….”

CNN Religion Blogs"...An embryo has no rights. Rights do not pertain to a potential, only to an actual being. A child cannot acquire any rights until it is born. The living take precedence over the not-yet-living (or the unborn).

“…Abortion is a moral right—which should be left to the sole discretion of the woman involved; morally, nothing other than her wish in the matter is to be considered. Who can conceivably have the right to dictate to her what disposition she is to make of the functions of her own body?”…”

 

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