What’s posted here is basically an exchange on Facebook, but I found myself, as you do sometimes, surprised that what I said in response to the subject pretty much sums up my views. I’ve long tried to resolve the basic contradiction as to how people who claim to be Evangelical Christians (meaning the most literal and passionate strain of Christianity – at least according to them) can embrace and celebrate the teachings of a woman whose basic philosophies contradict everything that Jesus Christ stood for and, according to The Bible, died for. Anyway, what got this all going was an initial posting by a friend.
OK so here goes, I’m not into politics in any way shape or form and generally avoid any comments that can be construed as such. Translated, I ain’t drinking either flavor of cool-aid or feeding either one of the beasts. But, occasionally it just so absurd!! The elephant in the room at the moment is this. Ayn Rand!! Why is it the party that claims to be the moral majority and represent Christians keeps quoting a person that very publicly rejected all forms of religion.
As I mentioned, I’ve pondered this myself. So I said;
I’ve been pondering this for ages. I have Right-Wing Evangelical relatives and friends who love all things Ayn Rand. I’ve never understood how Bible-thumping Christians could lionize a woman who was a professed atheist and whose writings and philosophy contradicted everything Jesus stood for.
Rand argued that people had to choose between following her teachings or those of Christianity and other religious traditions. She said religion was “evil,” called the message of John 3:16 “monstrous,” argued that the weak are beyond love and undeserving of it, that loving your neighbor was immoral and impossible and that she was out to undermine the idea that charity was a moral duty and virtue.
And Right-Wing Evangelicals love her? It just doesn’t compute.
To which an Ayn Rand supporter replied;
I wouldn’t say I love Ayn Rand’s theology – she was definitely misguided in that regard. It’s very strange too because she escaped oppression in Russia by communists who also rejected God. But she believed in freedom and was very able to reflect that love in her works. That’s the part I respect and admire.
Isn’t the exactly what we were talking about? About how absurd it is that some people can reconcile their Christian beliefs and Ayn Rand’s teachings?
I’ll post my response below, but not as a quote block. What I had to say on the matter pretty sums up everything I believe about Ayn Rand, and the absurdity of Christians defending her.
Ayn Rand believed in the freedom that came from from rejecting all religious doctrine and moral code. Her writings were the epitome of the “every man for himself” mantra that you hear so often from soulless corporate raiders, and she believed in the canonization of the wealthy. How any Christian can look at what Ayn Rand taught and what Jesus Christ taught and reconcile the two is beyond me. They cancel one another out. Simple as that. We can’t talk about Ayn Rand’s “theology”, because she had none. She was a strident atheist who dismissed all theology and religion as so much bunk.
You can’t separate Ayn Rand’s religions beliefs from her beliefs about unfettered capitalism and pick and choose which ones you like and which ones you don’t. It is specifically her beliefs about the ascendancy of corporatism to the detriment of any kind of human compassion or Christian altruism that puts her directly at odds with everything Jesus Christ stood for.
Someone who claims to be a Christian and yet reveres Ayn Rand has clearly not read either Ayn Rand or The Bible. Only a lunatic could look at the two and think they’re complimentary. Sadly, there seems to be a lot of lunatics running about. And you can’t talk to them. They actually get more upset if you question Ayn Rand than they do if you question Jesus Christ. Let’s face it, Ayn Rand is the face of modern Christianity (at least as it exists on the Right), not Jesus. The problem is that most of the Christians who claim to revere Ayn Rand don’t have the slightest clue what she really stood for, and instead have bought into some white-washed version in which Ayn Rand stands for the freedom of the individual. Well, actually, she did sort of stand for the freedom of the individual. The freedom to starve. The freedom to work for slave wages. And the freedom to die young.
Honestly, I just don’t get it. I mean, I know why millionaire corporate raiders lionize Ayn Rand, because she gives them a convenient excuse for raping the American economy and moving billions of dollars off-shore so they’re free of taxes. What I don’t understand is why average, hard-working Americans revere Ayn Rand, when they’re the very people Ayn Rand identified as the beggars who hoped to suckle at the teat of America’s corporate elite.