TWO TEACHERS WITH OPPOSITE MESSAGES
Ayn Rand was one of the most influential fiction writers of the twentieth century. Born Alice Rosenbaum, in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 1905, she emigrated 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 sixty years after it was first published. 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!
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 lifetime 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 only the strongest in society to survive.
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!”
AYN RAND’S LIFE IS CELEBRATED ON A U.S. POSTAGE STAMP
“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.
“THE CONCEPT OF GOD IS DEGRADING TO A MAN”….AYN RAND
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 “The love of money is the root of all evil?” She called Christ’s instruction Judge not lest you be judged, “an abdication of moral responsibility.” She went on to say that the proper moral position should be “judge, and be prepared to be judged.”
“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”……AYN RAND
HOW CAN THIS IDEOLOGY APPEAL TO CHIRSTIANS?
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, the late President, Ronald Reagan, former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich, Congressman Richard Armey, of Texas, Congressman Tom Delay, of Texas, Senator Trent Lott, of Mississippi, Congressman, and 2012 Republican Vice presidential nominee, and current Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Paul Ryan, former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, and many more.
In addition to political leaders, Rand’s ideology is represented today by numerous figures inside the nation’s 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, Sean Hannity, Larry Elder, 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 Christ 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 be 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 ON SERVING OTHERS
“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.”
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. Rather 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 Randian’s 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.
Let us take the displeasure of the Objectivist a step further. If they are true to their principles, no one should help them if they are in dire need. If an Objectivist has a car accident and their car is on fire and they are trapped, no one should give up their time long enough to pull them out! If one of their children is drowning in a swimming pool, a person has no moral obligation to jump in and save them. The thousands of rescue workers who volunteered night and day following the tragedy of September 11th, 2001, were wrongly giving up their time! Those New York City fire fighters who worked even when off the clock must be fools in the eyes of the Objectivist.
THOUSANDS OF HOSPITAL VOLUNTEERS GIVE COMFORT TO THE SICK
If one is true to the Objectivist cause, than he or she must conclude that Mother Teresa, of Calcutta, wasted her life. Physicians who travel to third world nations on their own time to help impoverished children must be fools! Those who worked to eliminate land mines in places like Bosnia, after that horrible war during the 1990’s, are damn fools!
“JUST AS LIFE IS AN END IN ITSELF, SO EVERY HUMAN BEING IS AN END IN HIMSELF, NOT THE MEANS TO THE ENDS OR THE WELFARE OF OTHERS, AND THEREFORE, MAN MUST LIVE FOR HIS OWN SAKE, NEITHER SACRIFICING HIMSELF TO OTHERS NOR SACRIFICING OTHERS TO HIMSELF.”………AYN RAND
OBJECTIVIST FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD VISIT AYN RAND’S GRAVESITE
SELF RELIANCE OR SELF INDULGENCE?
No one disputes that true self-reliance is best for everyone in our world. In scripture the Apostle Paul clearly advocates self-reliance and urged members of the church to work and not be a burden to their brethren. (2nd Thessalonians 2:9) In addition, if one becomes truly self reliant, this allows he or she to be a giver and to do good works. It is always better to give than receive.
True self reliance has been misconstrued by Ayn Rand and like minded people. What they are truly advocating is self indulgence! The true Randian thought is “I’ve got mine, I’m going to keep it, and to hell with everyone else!” One of the more frightening examples of Ms. Rand and her follower’s self-indulgence was when Ayn Rand’s casket was draped in dollar bills at her 1982 funeral!
Ayn Rand and people of likeminded principles have referred to people in need as “parasites” and “non-producers.” Can there be any doubt that this line of thinking flies in the face of true Christianity?
JESUS CHRIST ON SACRIFICE
Unlike Ayn Rand and the Objectivist movement, Jesus of Nazareth, believed that mankind has a great obligation to others. One great example of this was his encounter with a wealthy young man. When asked by him “what things shall I do to have eternal life?” First Jesus told him to obey the commandments. To the young man that was not a problem. For he didn’t murder, commit adultery, steal, bear false witness. He always honored his father and mother and he was kind to his neighbors. He informed the Lord, “All these things I have kept from my youth. What do I lack?” This wealthy man was not ready for what Jesus said next. “If you want to be perfect, go sell what you have and give it to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come and follow me.” (Matthew 19:16:21) Once he heard this, he went away sorrowful. After his departure Jesus told his followers that, “It is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 19:23-24)
Where this wealthy man fell short is that he had a love for righteousness, but he was unwilling to give his all in the service of God. He was holding back out of his love for material riches. After all, he and his family had worked hard for the things that they possessed. Why should he give them away to others who had not earned them? If one is a true Christian, they understand the Lord’s instruction to present their bodies a living sacrifice in service to the God of the universe. (Romans 12:1) In addition, the Apostle Paul calls this a “reasonable service.”
Jesus Christ tells us “And he who does not take his cross and follow after me, is not worthy of me.” (Matthew 10:38)
AYN RAND ON SACRIFICE
“THE MAN WHO SPEAKS OF SACRIFICE, SPEAKS OF SLAVES AND MASTERS, INTENDS TO BE THE MASTER.”
Ms. Rand is quite correct in the above statement. There has been throughout history many corrupt leaders who demand sacrifice from their people for the wrong reasons. Interesting though, Jesus Christ is guilty in every part of Rand’s above statement. Jesus of Nazareth indeed spoke of sacrifice; he spoke in parables about slaves and masters. He truly does intend to be dictator in the world to come! The difference here though is that Jesus intends to reward his followers an abundance of great things, in return for their sacrifice. He promised them the “divine nature” upon their death, a living state of immortality. (2nd Peter 1:4) These are the ones spoken of in Revelation the twentieth chapter who partake in the “first resurrection.”
To true believers in the philosophy of Ayn Rand, the kingdom of God and his new earthly government might not be for them! After all, in this society thinking men everywhere will indeed find happiness in a dictatorship!
THE KINGDOM OF GOD WILL BE A DICTATORSHIP!
In God’s kingdom which he has promised to set up right here on the earth, Jesus Christ and his saints will be rulers over the planet. In this kingdom people will be required to love their neighbor as their selves. They will, in fact, be their brother’s keeper. (Luke 22:29-30) (Isaiah 11:1-10) In God’s kingdom under the ruler ship of his son Jesus Christ, all of the evil things, called the “former things,” will have passed away. This includes all forms of self-centered greed. No longer will the people of the world have their lifestyles dictated to them by corrupt governments and corporations. The law will come from Jehovah God, through Jesus Christ, and his saints. (Isaiah 2:1-4, 25:8-12, 35:1-10) (Revelation 21:1-3)
According to the Objectivist, “Thinking men cannot be ruled.” Our answer to this is yes they can. Not only can they, in the coming kingdom they will want to be. In this new society every man will learn righteousness; as a result, there will be a great abundance of true freedom. Mankind will be working for everyone’s common good, this will provide us with endless possibilities. All because of the SACRIFICE of Jesus Christ.
It is important to keep in mind that this is not a personal condemnation of Ayn Rand or her admirers. It is likely that many of them have adopted these ideas with the best of intentions. Remember the claim of the Randian is that this individual selfishness ultimately benefits everyone.
Heeding the words of Jesus, “judge not lest you be judged” we pronounce judgement on no one. Only God knows what is in a person’s heart. Unlike the Objectivist, we believe that God is the only one capable of righteous judgment upon others. The purpose of this article is to inform those claiming to be Christian’s that this ideology is not compatible with the teachings of Jesus. You can either be a follower of Ayn Rand or you can follow Jesus Christ. You cannot serve God and man.
“HE WHO SPEAKS FROM HIMSELF SEEKS HIS OWN GLORY; BUT HE WHO SEEKS THE GLORY OF THE ONE WHO SENT HIM IS TRUE, AND NO UNRIGHTEOUSNESS IS IN HIM.”
ALL THE FAMILIES OF THE EARTH WILL BE BLESSED BECAUSE JESUS VOLUNTEERED HIS LIFE!