Someone I used to respect told me several months ago that he’s an Ayn Rand devotee, which is entirely his business. For years, though, and maybe still, he was an evangelical Christian minister, so, the two philosophies being mutually exclusive, I hardly knew what to do with that information other than dismiss it out of hand. Dude, pick a hero — if it’s the biblical Jesus your life will look a certain way. If it’s Ms. Rand, good luck, you’re already morphing into the polar opposite of a Christ-follower. Please don’t think I necessarily care one way or the other — I don’t have a horse in the race, beyond knowing that truth still matters and it never disavows itself. At the end of this post there’s a link to a Salon article, brief-ish and succinct, that illustrates the disconnect required to be both a Christian and a disciple of Randian Philosophy aka Objectivism. Not enough Xanax in the world, lollipop.
Key quote from the article:
“Rand … stated on national television, ‘I am against God. I don’t approve of religion. It is a sign of a psychological weakness. I regard it as an evil.’ Actually … Rand did have a God. It was herself. She said: ‘I am done with the monster of *we,* the word of serfdom, of plunder, of misery, falsehood and shame. And now I see the face of god, and I raise this god over the earth, this god whom men have sought since men came into being, this god who will grant them joy and peace and pride. This god, this one word: *I.*‘” So, yeah, that happened.
Having been stalked by tragedy and pain over the past three decades, both physical and existential, the road forward was in trying to make sense of the human experience in time to survive it, as a result of which I’m no longer an authority on the subject of a God like the one the evangelicals paint for us. IF, however, just say, there WERE to be such a God who cared, loved, nurtured, was intimately engaged in the human sojourn on this planet and took a personal hand in events great and small … then it should be excruciatingly, ostentatiously, nakedly clear, despite Ms. Rand’s deistic stance, that *I* would not be that god, ergo neither would you, and — I know this like I know the universe is ginormous — nor would Ayn Rand. What in hell would be more terrifying, overwhelming, and totally ludicrous than to think that I am/we are/she was in charge, amirite?
You get where I’m coming from, you can’t have it both ways! Either there’s no god, as a true atheist asserts, or there’s an Infinite God who actually gives a flip about every molecule. Or maybe somebody something somewhere between — a Force. A Power. A Powerful Life Force. Or … as Ms. Rand apparently believed … god is/was her, therefore you and me. But probably just her. So that’s more than two ways, yeah — just … really not an expert anymore, but pretty sure the *I* thing can’t be right.
Here’s another quote from the Salon article:
“Ayn Rand removed Americans’ guilt for being selfish and uncaring about anyone except themselves. Not only did Rand make it ‘moral’ for the wealthy not to pay their fair share of taxes, she ‘liberated’ millions of other Americans from caring about the suffering of others, even the suffering of their own children. The good news is that I’ve seen ex-Rand fans grasp the damage that Rand’s philosophy has done to their lives and to then exorcize it from their psyche. Can the United States as a nation do the same thing?”
I don’t know, see, because the generally-accepted rallying cry is that we’re a Christian nation, which clearly gives us a leg up on the rest of the world because we’re right. We can torture choke shoot tase beat and otherwise dispatch fellow persons including animals and it doesn’t make us any less Christian or right because WE’RE CHRISTIAN AND WE’RE RIGHT, dammit!! We’re Christian, man, serious, but you know, things have changed and we’re supposed to just care about ourselves now anyway.
And so she did — cared foremost, apparently, about herself and what she wanted, and anointed herself her own god. A god that stood appropriately god-like against Social Security and Medicare and other government spoils until said god was in need of same. A god that some of my Christian acquaintances seem to co-worship now in a strange brew of sudden jarring philosophical ninety-degree right turns. Whatevs. I don’t even know what the “C” word is currently supposed to mean, I just don’t want my name associated with whatever it is. That’s me talking, not Salon.
Article in the link: