As a devout follower of Jesus Christ for 70 years and a clergyman for nearly a half-century, I believe it is incumbent on America's Christian clergy and other "people of faith" to wake up to the fact that much of what has been passing for "Chrisitan conservatism" in recent years is the very opposite of that teaching, as is made clear below.
The original part of this page (the blue text) came from a very good article at http://www.angelfire.com/ journal2/adrianbiblestudents/jesusvsrand.html, but I believe that I have enhanced it considerably through further research and editing. A Wikipedia article, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ayn_Rand , is also very informative. The purpose of this page is not to lay out all of Rand's views, but simply to show where so many of today's leading Republicans have gotten the Conservative philosophy they promote (i.e. the atheistic selfishness of Ayn Rand), as opposed to where most leading Democrats have gotten the Liberal philosophy they promote (i.e. the generosity, unselfishness and liberalism of Jesus of Nazareth).
"You might wonder why Ayn Rand is the topic of a Christian web site? With the rise of religious political conservatism in the United States, the individualistic theories of this icon have become favorable to many calling themselves Christians. Several prominent political leaders inside of America's Republican Party hold Rand in high esteem. Included among them are former President, Ronald Reagan, former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich, former Republican leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives, Richard Armey, of Texas, Congressman Tom Delay, of Texas, Republican Senate leader, Trent Lott, of Mississippi, Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, and many more. (Dick Armey has since become the power behind the throne of the "Tea Party")
In addition to political leaders, Rand's ideology is represented today by numerous figures inside the nations media and entertainment world. Conservative syndicated columnists such as Cal Thomas, Linda Bowles, Ann Coulter, George Will, William F. Buckley, television reporter John Stossel, and many others, have advanced Randian principles. Talk radio superstars such as Dr. Laura Schlessinger, Rush Limbaugh, Michael Reagan, and others, often quote Ayn Rand directly and indirectly as a source to justify their arguments on issues ranging from tax cuts for the wealthy, to the elimination of the minimum wage.
While one can debate the merits of Ayn Rand's ideology all that they want, clearly her self-centered ideas are contrary to everything Jesus Chirst and his followers have stood for over the centuries. It is safe to say that the majority of Republican conservatives in the United States would also call themselves Christians, many devoutly so. If this were the case, how in the world can they live by the principles of a philosopher who scoffed at the very concept of god?"
"Ayn Rand was one of the most influential fiction writers of the twentieth century. Born Alice Rosenbaum, in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 1905, she immigrated to the United States in 1926 after fleeing communist persecution. After making a modest living writing for the movie industry in the late 1920's and early 30's, Rand began to author fictional novels. She began to obtain fame when she wrote the best seller "The Fountainhead" in 1943.
Rand became a legendary author in 1957 with the release of "Atlas Shrugged," a novel that remains wildly popular some forty-five years after it was first published.
"The Fountainhead" had such an impact that in 1949 it was made into a movie with some of the brightest stars of the time playing the leading roles, Gary Cooper, Patricia Neal and Raymond Massey. |
"" was also made into a movie, but wasn't released until 2011,with much less fanfare, just in time for Easter.
It was, however, her views on fellow human beings, political ideology, and life in general, that brought her a large following in certain intellectual circles. Many claim that reading her various writings served as a "life changing" experience!
Rand's political views were greatly influenced by the persecution that her Jewish family endured under communism in her native Russia. She grew to hate any form of, what she perceived as "socialism." Rand believed that all governments were destined to "enslave" people if they are not held in check. As a result of this, she believed that government had a very limited role and that ultimate happiness is up to each individual. If one failed at his or her life it was no one else's fault. In other words, she "shrugged!"
Her impact on American society seems to have become greater since her death in 1982 than it ever was while she was living. During her life time Rand started what became known as the "Objectivist" movement. This philosophy celebrates the triumph of the individual and advocates the idea that each individual is his own god.
Due to her extreme libertarian to right wing views on politics, Ayn Rand became an icon to millions of political conservatives throughout the world. She saw all forms of social welfare as the government taking from the "achievers" and giving to non-producers. Rand expressed the idea that government has no obligation to the poor and less fortunate of society. Essentially she was a social Darwinist that believed nature intended for the strongest in society to survive."
The teaching of Ayn Rand :
Rand said the following of her beliefs in 1962.
"Man – every man – is an end in himself, not the means to the ends of others. He must exist for his own sake, neither sacrificing himself to others nor sacrificing others to himself. The pursuit of his own rational self-interest and of his own happiness is the highest moral purpose of his life.
The ideal political-economic system is laissez-faire capitalism. It is a system where men deal with one another, not as victims and executioners, nor as masters and slaves, but as traders, by free, voluntary exchange to mutual benefit. It is a system where no man may obtain any values from others by resorting to physical force, and no man may initiate the use of physical force against others. The government acts only as a policeman that protects man's rights; it uses physical force only in retaliation and only against those who initiate its use, such as criminals or foreign invaders. In a system of full capitalism, there should be (but, historically, has not yet been) a complete separation of state and economics, in the same way and for the same reasons as the separation of state and church."
"The concept of God is degrading to a man"
"Ayn Rand was a devout atheist who held the very idea of god in contempt. She saw all forms of god as something that people invented as a way to grasp things that they didn't understand. She strongly disagreed with various teachings of Jesus Christ and other early Christians. For the life of her, Rand could not understand why (i.e. did not agree with Jesus' teaching that) 'The love of money is the root of all evil?' "
"The Virtue of Selfishness"
"Ms. Rand taught that selfishness was not a character flaw, but a virtue! She advanced the idea that human beings are naturally driven to be selfish. One's desire to have riches leads us to strive harder and possibly invent a great product or start a large corporation, which in turn would benefit everyone else. She once said that "Charity is "not" a virtue." Ayn Rand believed that man's only obligation is to himself and that being driven by greed was indeed quite virtuous."
"I swear by my life, and my love of it, that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for me."
"I have come here to say that I do not recognize anyone's right to one minute of my life, it had to be said. the world is perishing from an orgy of self sacrifice."
In the view of John Kenneth Galbraith,|
"The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral
philosophy, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."
"Among the things offensive to followers of Ayn Rand is the concept of one volunteering their time in the service of others. In 1995, President Bill Clinton called on all American's to give of their time in service to those in need. Along with the future Secretary of State, Colin Powell, and other dignitaries, Clinton held a volunteer summit in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Discussed at this meeting were all the ways in which citizens could make this a better society through the giving of their time. Whether it be helping teach others to read, picking up trash on highways, coaching a kid's sports team, helping out at a homeless shelter, or numerous other ways of service. While most people cheered the idea, faithful followers of Ayn Rand's Objectivist principles let their feelings be known.
Guest newspaper columns written by the leaders of the "Ayn Rand Institute" were seen in papers all across the nation. The very idea of volunteer service so offended the Randians that some even picketed outside this summit! Youthful members of college Ayn Rand clubs were seen on CSPAN and other cable networks expressing their outrage."
Ayn Rand, the "anti-Christ"?
I suspect that the only reason that Ayn Rand didn't embrace the moniker of "Anti-Christ", is that this option never occurred to her.
To see how diametrically opposed to the teaching of Jesus Libertarian atheist Ayn Rand's "Gospel of Selfishness" is, go to my
And, to see how diametrically opposed to the teaching of the rest of the bible Rand's teaching is, go to my Godvsgreed.html" and to
Christvscapitalism.html, (which is really an outstanding web page produced by "Antipas Ministries", who are much more conservative than we are on most other issues).
It is truly amazing how an admirer of Ayn Rand like Glenn Beck – who was a professed atheist for a time (like Rand) and now professes to be a Mormon – has the audacity to invite members of Christian churches to leave any church that teaches "social or economic justice" Glenn Beck's war on Christianity.
Far from sharing the love of the poor which Jesus promoted, the more conservative and Republican states become, the more they are rejecting the "Good News for the Poor" which Jesus prooted and implimenting Ayn Rand's "gospel of selfishness", as Mike Papantonio laid out on his May 3rd, 2013 "Ring of Fire" show.
An Insider's Look At How Ayn Rand Destroyed The World
by Lee Stranahan, (filmmaker, writer, photographer), March 13, 2009
I know my Ayn Rand. In fact, when it comes to Rand and her philosophy of Objectivism I'll put put my Ayn cred (credentials) up against almost anyone.
I attended her funeral in 1982. I was one of two students at experimental Objectivist high school back in 1980s. I did the audio taping on a lecture course taught by her 'intellectual heir', Leonard Peikoff. I've attended Objectivist conferences, owned first edition copies of Atlas Shrugged and I was personally kicked off the lawn of the Canadian power trio Rush's drummer by Neil Peart himself asserting his property rights.
Today, I realize that Rand's philosophy isn't just wrong or misguided - it's actually been destructive and dangerous.
This destructiveness has been true on a personal, human level for years. I'm not just talking about teenagers devouring The Virtue Of Selfishness and turning into belligerent, arrogant pricks - pubescent pontificating Penn Jillettes capable of quoting passages about epistemology and almost immediately killing any social occasion.
There were darker personal tragedies, too; fans of Ayn Rand in 1960s who had the misfortune to be in her circle and gay, something that Ms. Rand did not approve of. There were whispered rumors of an Objectivist therapist who broke with Rand after one of his gay patients committed suicide after being unable to reconcile his sexuality with the Objectivist philosophy.
It's even more than the shameful fact that the Objectivist movement and its purported belief in individual rights stayed completely on the sidelines during the Rand's intellectual heyday of the 1960s while the single biggest advance in individual liberty was going on - namely, the civil rights movement. Well, Rand did knock out a few pages in an article called Racism in 1963 that spent as much time blaming 'the Negro leaders' as it did the 'Southern Racists'.
No, the reality is that Ayn Rand is pretty directly responsible for the economic destruction we see around us today.
It's a Rand-worthy ironic plot twist that people like Michelle Malkin are invoking her name today with their Tea Party and "Going Galt' dramatics. One thing, Malkin doesn't even know how to pronounce Rand's name. It's not 'Ann' Rand - it's Ayn, rhymes with MINE.
The real irony is that Malkin and the other Fauxjectivists don't really understand a lot about the specifics of Rand's ideas at all. A twisted version of Rand's thought is the basis for a lot of NeoCon movement, much of the modern libertarian / Ron Paul movement and much of the right wing economic rhetoric used by the tattered remains of the Republican party.
For decades now, Rand's work has given comfort and ammunition to brazen bozos like Rush Limbaugh and McCain economic advisor Phil "Don't Worry Be Happy" Gramm. Its defense of selfishness and unrestricted capitalism provided an air of intellectualism to bad behavior and horrible policy.
Behind of the ideological tossed salad nature of many of the self professed Ayn Rand fans, I don't think it's fair to criticize Rand's ideas on the basis of the scatterbrain sloganeer like Malkin. And besides, just looking at the work of Rand and her official band of lunatics still leaves one with so much to be critical of.
One direct result of Rand is Alan Greenspan. This will be met with hue and cry from Objectivists who will claim that Greenspan doesn't pass their purity, which means he should have wanted even LESS regulation than he did and should have never have run the Federal Reserve but instead blown it up with dynamite and replaced it with the Gold Standard.
But Greenspan himself has admitted that he was tragically wrong about how people would act in unrestricted, unregulated markets. And this philosophy is part of what triggered the current economic crisis.
The ultimate horrible truth is that most of Rand's 'philosophy of the real world' has worked out very badly in the real world. It's a collection of ideas that haven't been tested or just don't work but its adherents still have a Bush-like unshakable faith in it because...well, it's just right and reality be damned.
Sadly, it's damned a lot of the rest of us, too."
The following is from www.bookrags.com/research/objectivismayn-rand-sjpc-03/ :
"Rand has inspired some important public figures. One of Rand's fans was Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. When Thomas headed the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in the 1980s, he allegedly invoked Rand in his speeches to conservatives. In addition, he allegedly invited people to lunch with him in his office, where he treated them to the film based on The Fountainhead. Another Ayn Rand disciple who later rose to high position was Alan Greenspan, the future chairman of the Federal Reserve. While he was a budding economist and Wall Street analyst in the 1950s and 1960s, Greenspan was a member of Rand's inner circle. Unlike other members of Rand's circle, he exercised some independence of thinking and got away with it. British ex-Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and tennis star Billie Jean King were also followers of Rand's philosophy."
An article by a lover of Ayn Rand on the Randian "Reason.com" web site explains that by the standards of today's Conservative Republican presidential candidates in 2012, Ayn Rand would have been targeted for deportation as an "illegal alien".
"Rand lied and bent every rule to gain entry into the United States.
As a vehement anti-Bolshevist, she knew that she would die waiting in line if she applied for permission to permanently relocate to America, although thatís exactly what she intended to do. Temporary tourist visas were easier to land, but only for those who could prove they didnít plan to settle here. So what did Rand do? She committed perjury. She convinced an American visa officer that she had a fiancť waiting for her in Russia whom she intended to marry after a six-month visit with her relatives in Chicago.
But Rand instead married an American citizen in 1929, gaining a path to citizenship. According to Mimi Gladsteinís biography, Rand timed her wedding before her visa, which she had gotten extended, finally expired."
The way conservative economists view people :
Though not as well=known as Adam Smith, David Ricardo has been among the most influential of conservative economists ever since the early 1800's.
Here is a sample of the way such economic "scientists" view "labor", i.e. not as fellow human beings, but more like germs in a petri dish :
lacks independent wealth
has no claim to even the
smallest portion of food."
"On The Principles of Political Economy and Taxation" (1817)
Chapter 5: "On Wages"
"Labour, like all other things which are purchased and sold, and which may be increased or diminished in quantity, has its natural and its market price. The natural price of labour is that price which is necessary to enable the labourers, one with another, to subsist and to perpetuate their race, without either increase or diminution.
The power of the labourer to support himself, and the family which may be necessary to keep up the number of labourers, does not depend on the quantity of money which he may receive for wages, but on the quantity of food, necessaries, and conveniences become essential to him from habit, which that money will purchase. The natural price of labour, therefore, depends on the price of the food, necessaries, and conveniences required for the support of the labourer and his family. With a rise in the price of food and necessaries, the natural price of labour will rise; with the fall in their price, the natural price of labour will fall.
With the progress of society the natural price of labour has always a tendency to rise, because one of the principal commodities by which its natural price is regulated, has a tendency to become dearer, from the greater difficulty of producing it. As, however, the improvements in agriculture, the discovery of new markets, whence provisions may be imported, may for a time counteract the tendency to a rise in the price of necessaries, and may even occasion their natural price to fall, so will the same causes produce the correspondent effects on the natural price of labour.
The natural price of all commodities, excepting raw produce and labour, has a tendency to fall, in the progress of wealth and population; for though, on one hand, they are enhanced in real value, from the rise in the natural price of the raw material of which they are made, this is more than counterbalanced by the improvements in machinery, by the better division and distribution of labour, and by the increasing skill, both in science and art, of the producers.
The market price of labour is the price which is really paid for it, from the natural operation of the proportion of the supply to the demand; labour is dear when it is scarce, and cheap when it is plentiful. However much the market price of labour may deviate from its natural price, it has, like commodities, a tendency to conform to it.
It is when the market price of labour exceeds its natural price, that the condition of the labourer is flourishing and happy, that he has it in his power to command a greater proportion of the necessaries and enjoyments of life, and therefore to rear a healthy and numerous family. When, however, by the encouragement which high wages give to the increase of population, the number of labourers is increased, wages again fall to their natural price, and indeed from a re-action sometimes fall below it.
When the market price of labour is below its natural price, the condition of the labourers is most wretched: then poverty deprives them of those comforts which custom renders absolute necessaries. It is only after their privations have reduced their number, or the demand for labour has increased, that the market price of labour will rise to its natural price, and that the labourer will have the moderate comforts which the natural rate of wages will afford."