It’s been a source of both amusement and bewilderment that serial narcissist Ayn Rand is being elevated among Christians as someone to be admired and celebrated. I have a hard time with that. Here you have a woman who was a declared atheist, whose philosophical musings contradicted most of the teachings of Jesus Christ, and yet she’s a hero to the Religious Right in America? Isn’t that sort of like Jews celebrating and elevating the views of Yasser Arafat?
It’s easy to see how so many people could be confused by this. For the most part, rank and file Christians are taught that they should not question their leaders, and their leaders are telling them that Ayn Rand’s particular brand of unfettered capitalism is the only thing that can save this country. I’ve said for a long time that the primary problem in America where the Religious Right is concerned is that too many people are getting their politics and their religion confused. In fact, many people are acting as if they’re one and the same. The Republicans are the party of God and the Democrats are in league with the Dark Lord or something. So, basically, most people don’t put much thought into it, and just parrot what they’re being told.
But really, when Evangelical Christians keep shoving Ayn Rand down your throat, you have to wonder what the hell is going on. In her philosophy of Objectivism, Rand advocated reason as the only means of acquiring knowledge and rejected all forms of faith and religion. How is that compatible with Christian belief? Is the ideal of sink or swim, survival of the fittest and general superiority of the wealthy (ie, you have to be morally and intellectually superior to have made all that money in the first place) really beginning to supplant the teachings of Jesus Christ as the moral paradigm of the day? It must be. How else can you explain the determination of the Republicans, and their supporters among the Religious Right, to turn their backs on the poor, the elderly, the unemployed and the sick, to roll back environmental protections, de-fund education and the arts, repeal the minimum wage and labor laws, decimate Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and Welfare, if not by realizing that Ayn Rand has ascended above Jesus Christ in the estimations of these people?
They would attack you and attempt to discredit you, of course, if you suggested such a thing, but actions speak louder than words. I see very little in the actions of those who so passionately claim to be Christian and live by Biblical principles in a Christian nation that makes me think of Jesus Christ. In fact, these people seem to live in direct opposition to the teachings of Jesus. How else can you explain the elevation of Ayn Rand?
“Jesus (or perhaps His interpreters) gave men a code of altruism, that is, a code which told them that in order to save one’s soul, one must love or help or live for others…This is a contradiction that cannot be resolved.” ~ Ayn Rand
“If any civilization is to survive, it is the morality of altruism that men have to reject.” ~ Ayn Rand
I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t sound compatible with the teachings of Jesus Christ to me. Maybe I read a different Bible from everyone else when I was growing up. But what I read, and was raised believing, is fairly simple and cannot be argued with. You cannot turn your back on those in need and call yourself Christian. You cannot advocate the bombing of other countries and call yourself Christian. And having been well versed in the philosophies of Ayn Rand, I would have to say that you cannot idolize Ayn Rand and call yourself a Christian. Ayn Rand and Jesus Christ are mutually exclusive.
It is with that in mind that I put together an image which I think should be adopted as the official image of the Christian faith in the 21st Century. Or at least the Neo-Conservatives, who claim to be the voice of God on Earth where political matters are concerned. If Evangelical Christians are going to claim Ayn Rand as their philosophical hero, they will have to adopt new imagery and put things into a proper perspective. To my mind, the image you find embedded within this post is a great image for modern Conservative Christians and Ayn Rand adherents. If she is to supplant Jesus Christ in practice if not in theory, she should at least be given the weight of the Christian cross. I hope this image might serve to remind politicized Right-Wings Christians that it was Jesus Christ who died for their sins, not Ayn Rand.
Click on the image or click here to see a larger version.