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Good Christians Don’t Follow Ayn Rand

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posted on Jan, 6 2011 @ 08:27 AM
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Good Christians Don’t Follow Ayn Rand is the title of an article first published in Sojourners. The concluding sentence in the cited review is pointed:

If you cheer Rand’s self-worshipping objectivist ideals, you cheer with the devil.

Rand, in Atlas Shrugged, The Fountainhead and other works, promoted objectivism and atheism. In her words:



My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute.

~ Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged


This article highlights the hypocrisy of self-described "Christians" who uphold Rand's objectivist ideals, pointing out that Rand herself "was clear that her philosophy, known as objectivism, was incompatible with that of Jesus."

...I've always wondered how Christian Libertarians juggle their conflicting priorities.



It’s fascinating to see Atlas Shrugged author Ayn Rand posthumously elevated to the level of saint by conservatives who are allegedly driven by Christian values. For Rand was an aggressive atheist who condemned altruism of all kinds, writes Tim King in Sojourners, and “Grace, by its very definition, cannot find any place within Rand’s philosophy.”

...Rand was clear that her philosophy, known as objectivism, was incompatible with that of Jesus. For her, any system that that required one individual to live for others and follow anything beside his or her own self-interest was immoral. For Jesus, any system or behavior that does not take into account living for others and acting on their behalf is immoral. Christians should take Ayn Rand’s words as a warning. To follow her and her vision, one must give up Christ and his cross.


So "Jesus Shrugged."

How about you? Do you see the hypocrisy? Wonder about it? Or do you think that the the two philosophies, Christianity and objectivism, can be somehow reconciled?




posted on Jan, 6 2011 @ 08:38 AM
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I am a Christian, and I love the book "Atlas Shrugged". I do not buy into her entire moral belief system, but I also do not believe that it is the responsibility of the producers of the world to support the moochers of the world. The Apostle Paul said it best when he said "He who WILL NOT WORK shall not eat"(emphasis mine)((II Thessalonians 3:10)).


10 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.

11 For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies.

12 Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.

13 But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing.

14 And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed.

edit on 6-1-2011 by sonofliberty1776 because: To add quote



posted on Jan, 6 2011 @ 09:26 AM
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reply to post by sonofliberty1776
 


Back at 'cha.

You are, I think, equating "welfare bums" with Biblical beggars - but in the Bible, only those who are "able to work" are forbidden to beg - and the Bible tells the community to help those who are poor and unable to work (meaning unable to work for any reason - be it lack of opportunity, illness or economic abuse).

Randian objectivists tend to consider anyone who is unable to work to be a "useless eater," who should just be left to die. Not at all Christian according to the Bible and Jesus.

The Bible has guidelines under the law to help the poor.


Exodus 22 and 23 tells the Israelites to help the aliens, widows, orphans, and the poor. God protects their property, warns again against showing favoritism, and sets up a system of “gleaning” to help prevent starvation and malnourishment (Ex. 23:10-12).

In Leviticus 25:8-43, we see that God institutes the practice of the “Year of Jubilee” to be practiced every fifty years. God says to the nation of Israel:

“…do not take advantage of each other, but fear your God.”
—Leviticus 25:17 (NIV)

“If one of your countrymen becomes poor and is unable to support himself among you, help him as you would an alien or a temporary resident, so he can continue to live among you. Do not take interest of any kind from him, but fear your God, so that your countrymen may continue to live among you…”
—Leviticus 25:35-36 (NIV)

“If one of your countrymen becomes poor among you and sells himself to you, do not make him work as a slave. He is to be treated as a hired worker or a temporary resident among you; he is to work for you until the Year of Jubilee”.
—Leviticus 25:39-40 (NIV)

In Deuteronomy 15, we see that God’s intention will be that His people will have all debts canceled every seven years. This was appropriately called “The Year for Canceling Debts”.

More: Tim Cowley, Eden Communications

God's many names throughout the Scriptures emphasize His great love for the poor:

Defender of the fatherless and widows (Deut. 10:18; Psalm 10:16-18; 40:17, 68:5; Jeremiah 22:16)

Protector of the poor (Psalm 12:5)

Rescuer of the poor (I Sam 2:8, Psalm 35:10, 72:4, 12-14, Isaiah 19:20, Jeremiah 20:13)

Provider of the poor (Psalm 68:10, 146:7, Isaiah 41:17)

Savior of the poor (Psalm 34:6, 109:31)

Refuge of the poor (Psalm 14:6, Isaiah 25:4)...

"Ye have shamed the counsel of the poor, because the LORD is his refuge."

"For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall."


The Mosaic legislation regarding the poor is specially important.


They had the right of gleaning the fields (Lev. 19:9-10; Deut. 24:19, 21).

In the sabbatical year, they were to have their share of the produce of the fields and the vineyards (Ex. 23:11; Lev. 25:6).

In the year of jubilee, they recovered their property (Lev. 25:25-30).

Usury was forbidden, and the pledged raiment was to be returned before the sun went down (Ex. 22:25-27; Deut. 24:10-13). The rich were to be generous to the poor (Deut. 15:7-11).

In the sabbatical and jubilee years, the bond-servant was to go free (Deut. 15:12-15; Lev. 25:39-42, 47-54).

Certain portions from the tithes were assigned to the poor (Deut. 14:28-29; 26:12-13).

They shared in the feasts (Deut. 16:11, 14; Neh. 8:10).

Wages were to be paid at the close of each day (Lev. 19:13).

In the New Testament (Luke 3:11; 14:13; Acts 6:1; Gal. 2:10; James 2:15-16) we have similar injunctions given with reference to the poor.

Begging was not common under the Old Testament, while it was so in the New Testament times (Luke 16:20-21, etc.). But begging in the case of those who are able to work is forbidden, and all such are enjoined to “work with their own hands” as a Christian duty (1 Thess. 4:11; 2 Thess. 3:7-13; Eph. 4:28).



posted on Jan, 6 2011 @ 09:33 AM
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I have always thought of people who love Ayn Rand and her philosophy as selfish. A true Christian (IMO) is not selfish, but selfless. I never thought of it before, but it does seem that the value systems are in direct opposition to each other.



posted on Jan, 6 2011 @ 09:36 AM
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Originally posted by soficrow
reply to post by sonofliberty1776
 


Back at 'cha.

You are, I think, equating "welfare bums" with Biblical beggars - but in the Bible, only those who are "able to work" are forbidden to beg - and the Bible tells the community to help those who are poor and unable to work (meaning unable to work for any reason - be it lack of opportunity, illness or economic abuse).
I am not confusing them at all, thus my emphasis on WILL NOT. Those who cannot work are to be helped, but privately, not by government confiscation. The government is the most inefficient way imaginable to help people in need. The church and private individuals are much better, as they are able to 1) respond directly to the NEED and 2) ensure personal accountability. Additionally, churches and private individuals are much more motivated, not to mention effective, at getting the person in need back on their feet.


Randian objectivists tend to consider anyone who is unable to work to be a "useless eater," who should just be left to die. Not at all Christian according to the Bible and Jesus.
And I made clear, or so I thought, that I did not support such a view. Did you read Atlas shrugged at all?



posted on Jan, 6 2011 @ 09:40 AM
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I'm beginning to wonder if there is anyone out there who doesnt live by some assinine label or the ideas of some other man.

And of those who do surrender their lives to the philosophies of others or the words on a piece of paper (seemingly far too many of you) do you really follow your chosen master so literally as such a contradiction would even matter to you?

In short, who cares?


 
Posted Via ATS Mobile: m.abovetopsecret.com
 



posted on Jan, 6 2011 @ 10:28 AM
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reply to post by soficrow
 


Well some folks have this idea about christains and what they should be, mostly other "christains", that in the end makes the christain the perfect sucker.



posted on Jan, 6 2011 @ 10:49 AM
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I am beginning to wonder if the OP and others have actually read Atlas Shrugged, or just someone's review and adopted their prejudices since they fitted the readers presupposed world views?

For example, please show me exactly where John Gault or Dagney Taggert, or Hank Reardon actually practiced these "anti-christian" values.

EDIT: Aside from the premarital sex. The OP has mentioned nothing like that, so let's not derail the thread with it. Thanks.
edit on 6-1-2011 by sonofliberty1776 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 6 2011 @ 11:07 AM
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Yes and someone show where Roark was a toss? He was more like Christ than folks could know.



posted on Jan, 6 2011 @ 11:08 AM
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reply to post by soficrow
 


Good Christians reject the use of violence against the innocent, which means they must reject socialism.

It is clear that good Christians follow Rothbardian anarcho-capitalism, because that is the only system of purely peaceful voluntary interactions between humans.



posted on Jan, 6 2011 @ 11:11 AM
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reply to post by soficrow
 


Jesus Is an Anarchist


(A free-market/libertarian anarchist, that is--otherwise what is called an anarcho-capitalist.)
by James Redford


The above title may seem like strong words, for surely that can't be correct? Jesus an anarchist? One must be joking, right?

But you read correctly, and I will demonstrate exactly that. At this point you may be incredulous, but I assure you that I am quite serious. If you are a Christian and find the above title at all hard to believe then you of all people owe it to yourself to find out what the basis of this charge is, for if the above comes as news to you then you still have much to learn about Jesus and about the most vitally important struggle which has plagued mankind since the dawn of history: mankind's continuing struggle between freedom and slavery, between value producers and the violent parasitical elite, between peace and war, between truth and deception. This is the central struggle which defines mankind's history and, sadly, continues to do so. As Christians and as people in general, what we choose to believe and accept as the truth is equally as vitally important, for ultimately it is people's beliefs about the world that will shape and determine what outcomes transpire in the world. If the mass of people believe in political falsehoods and deceptions then mankind will continue to repeat the same gruesome mistakes, as it does presently, and the aforementioned struggle will continue to be no closer to a desirable resolution. Genuine change must first come by changing one's mind, and if what one had believed before was in error then one cannot expect good results to proceed forth from it. And all change starts with the individual. You can help change the world by simply changing your mind. All I ask of you is to believe in the truth--know the truth and the truth will make you free (John 8:32).



edit on 6-1-2011 by mnemeth1 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 6 2011 @ 11:31 AM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
I have always thought of people who love Ayn Rand and her philosophy as selfish. A true Christian (IMO) is not selfish, but selfless. I never thought of it before, but it does seem that the value systems are in direct opposition to each other.


I dont know. Christ said he sent some into his vineyard to check up on things and they were poorly treated so the owner sent his son. Well those at the vineyard killed the son so god said he would kill them. He said the kingdom was like this. So its really not like a charity fund rasier or a soup kitchen. Its a war between the owners and the occupiers.



posted on Jan, 6 2011 @ 11:42 AM
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Originally posted by Logarock

Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
I have always thought of people who love Ayn Rand and her philosophy as selfish. A true Christian (IMO) is not selfish, but selfless. I never thought of it before, but it does seem that the value systems are in direct opposition to each other.


I dont know. Christ said he sent some into his vineyard to check up on things and they were poorly treated so the owner sent his son. Well those at the vineyard killed the son so god said he would kill them. He said the kingdom was like this. So its really not like a charity fund rasier or a soup kitchen. Its a war between the owners and the occupiers.


Wrong

Yeshua said that to show how the prophets before Him were treated and then how He would be treated as the Son sent to the "vinyard".

Do you not think that if you was warned by the boss over and over again, and even after comming himself to warn you that he does not have the right to sack you?



posted on Jan, 6 2011 @ 11:44 AM
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reply to post by sonofliberty1776
 



Those who cannot work are to be helped, but privately… The church and private individuals are much better, as they are able to 1) respond directly to the NEED and 2) ensure personal accountability.


So the church and private individuals should determine individuals' needs and abilities.

That is one of the most ridiculously flawed positions I have EVER heard.

imho - DOCTORS are most qualified and "able" to determine an individual's abilities and disabilities, and consequently, their needs.

Church and private individuals without medical degrees have only their medically-uninformed self-righteous capacity for judgment. Unfortunately, such judgments tend to rely on a virtual infinity of prejudices, fears and personal demons - not medical tests.

It happens that many medical disabilities today are "invisible," and result from different kinds and degrees of immune system dysfunction or compromise. Also, such disabilities tend to appear and disappear with completely unpredictable "flare-ups," thus making sufferers "unreliable" and unable to participate in the mainstream economy. It IS true that neighborhood gossips who see such disabled people on an "upswing" DO make broad, inaccurate assumptions, and ill-informed judgments.

…Churches and private individuals without medical degrees cannot possibly make any legitimate determinations regarding any individual's medical disability(ies).



Additionally, churches and private individuals are much more motivated, not to mention effective, at getting the person in need back on their feet.


That's the problem. Motivated, inclined to act in ignorance of the medical facts and push already-sick people into heart attacks, strokes and cancer by creating inappropriate stress and over-loading their immune systems. Good plan. (Not.)




Those who cannot work are to be helped, but ...not by government confiscation.


So…

You have no problem with laissaez faire capitalism, and supporting an economic system built on and sustained by usury, even though usury is expressly forbidden in the Bible?

You support laissaez faire capitalism, and a global system of "free trade" that protects mega-corporations' legal rights and ability to put profits before people?

It's okay to "bail-out" major banks and mega-corporations, and give billion$ for bonu$e$ for billionaire executives - but it's NOT okay to direct a few pennies towards feeding the hungry and helping the needy?

You think it's okay to create and support a global "economy" that helps Big Box stores like Walmart put local people out of business? Leaving them - and their employes - penniless?

You think it's okay for usurers to prosper and flourish from ordinary peoples' underpaid work, and then blow them off when they falter?

JUST A FEW REMINDERS:

Usury was forbidden.

Certain portions from the tithes were assigned to the poor (Deut. 14:28-29; 26:12-13).

The poor had the right of gleaning the fields (Lev. 19:9-10; Deut. 24:19, 21).

In the sabbatical year, the poor were to have their share of the produce of the fields and the vineyards (Ex. 23:11; Lev. 25:6).

In the year of jubilee, the poor recovered their property (Lev. 25:25-30).

Usury was forbidden, and the pledged raiment was to be returned before the sun went down (Ex. 22:25-27; Deut. 24:10-13). The rich were to be generous to the poor (Deut. 15:7-11).

In the sabbatical and jubilee years, the bond-servant was to go free (Deut. 15:12-15; Lev. 25:39-42, 47-54).

The poor shared in the feasts (Deut. 16:11, 14; Neh. 8:10).




Did you read Atlas shrugged at all?


[tsk] …A rather unChristian-like attempt at a dig, dontcha think? Besides, YOU are the one who is trying to homogenize objectivism and atheism with Christianity. [Can't be done, imho.]

...Anyway, I did read it and I quite like it - and her other works too. Doesn't mean I buy into her philosophies wholesale - and you say you don't either.

Seems we have different sticking points though.



posted on Jan, 6 2011 @ 11:53 AM
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reply to post by Yissachar1
 


Could you be just a little clearer? Its hard to see where we are in disagreement.....unless you are just looking for a leg to piss down.



posted on Jan, 6 2011 @ 12:25 PM
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Thank you everyone - great contributions overall. S&


reply to post by Benevolent Heretic
 


Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
I have always thought of people who love Ayn Rand and her philosophy as selfish. A true Christian (IMO) is not selfish, but selfless. I never thought of it before, but it does seem that the value systems are in direct opposition to each other.


S&
…But - I DO think it's possible to be 'healthily selfish' and spiritually selfless at the same time.

reply to post by Logarock
 


Originally posted by Logarock
reply to post by soficrow
 


Well some folks have this idea about christains and what they should be, mostly other "christains", that in the end makes the christain the perfect sucker.


Christians are NOT "perfect suckers." imho - real Christians help keep our world as decent as it is - as do real Buddhists, Druids, Muslims, Hindis and all the rest.

reply to post by sonofliberty1776
 


Originally posted by sonofliberty1776
I am beginning to wonder if the OP and others have actually read Atlas Shrugged, or just someone's review and adopted their prejudices since they fitted the readers presupposed world views?


…Honey, I probably read Atlas Shrugged before you were born!

As far as ignoring the facts, you're the guilty one here. Your "job" is to (try to) reconcile Randian objectivism with Christianity - NOT to deny the facts:

1. Ayn Rand is a self-proclaimed atheist;

2. She developed the philosophy of objectivism, best summarized in Atlas Shrugged



My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute.

~ Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged


3. Rand and objectivism represent "existentialism on steroids" - and reject belief in "every 'spiritual' dimension, force, Form, Idea, entity, power, or what not alleged to transcend existence."


See
Peikoff 1991, pp. 31–33; an example of the Objectivist approach to metaphysical argumentation may be found in George H. Smith, Atheism: The Case Against God, 1974, Nash, chapters 1-7, ISBN 0-8402-1115-5 and ISBN 0-87975-124-X.


Work with it!




reply to post by mnemeth1
 



It is clear that good Christians follow Rothbardian anarcho-capitalism, because that is the only system of purely peaceful voluntary interactions between humans.


Had to look up Rothbardian anarcho-capitalism. …I think you may be right.


reply to post by mnemeth1
 




…mankind's continuing struggle between freedom and slavery, between value producers and the violent parasitical elite, between peace and war, between truth and deception. This is the central struggle which defines mankind's history and, sadly, continues to do so.



RE:

value producers and the violent parasitical elite

.

Therein lies the confusion I suspect.

Today's Christian / Libertarians have been manipulated and tricked into blaming the 'poor' and unemployed as "the parasites" - when really, it's "the violent parasitical elite" who are bleeding us ALL dry.

Go figure.

Great post, quote. S&




edit on 6/1/11 by soficrow because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 6 2011 @ 12:32 PM
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Soficrow,
You do not understand the response that was posted. He never said anything about determining the ability of someone to work. He said it was not the job of government to be responding to the needs of those who could not work. Private charity and Churches are better equiped to handle the response. You are very much stuck on the small segment of the population that suffer from real physical disability and cannot work to support themselves.

The presence of government in this process (sorry its not just the doctors that decide) has expanded the definition of "physically disabled" to include alcoholics, sex addicts, and lard butts. These people are not disabled they are wallowing in their own poor life choices and expecting others to pay their way. THATS IMMORAL and I dont care what religion you are.

Being libertarian or objectivist is not an all or nothing position. The opinion of some Christians that equates Randian's with Satanists is retarded. I will give you that Randians can be called insensitive no doubt. It is not however a proper function of government to be sensitive, logical yes, but sensitive no.
Conservatives promote Randian ideas about government when it is in agreement with their own ideals. They do not accept every aspect of Objectivism nor do they have to.


I am an Agnostic Libertarian myself so I dont really care what Conservative Christians believe or accept.

edit on 6-1-2011 by Dragoon01 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 6 2011 @ 12:39 PM
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Originally posted by soficrow
I DO think it's possible to be 'healthily selfish' and spiritually selfless at the same time.


I completely agree!



Today's Christian / Libertarians have been manipulated and tricked into blaming the 'poor' and unemployed as "the parasites" - when really, it's "the violent parasitical elite" who are bleeding us ALL dry.


That was so well-said, I want to use it as my signature.


Where do our Fed Tax Dollars Go?



Safety net programs: About 14 percent of the federal budget in 2010, or $482 billion, will support programs that provide aid (other than health insurance or Social Security benefits) to individuals and families facing hardship.

These programs include: the refundable portion of the earned-income and child tax credits, which assist low- and moderate-income working families through the tax code; programs that provide cash payments to eligible individuals or households, including Supplemental Security Income for the elderly or disabled poor and unemployment insurance; various forms of in-kind assistance for low-income families and individuals, including food stamps, school meals, low-income housing assistance, child-care assistance, and assistance in meeting home energy bills; and various other programs such as those that aid abused and neglected children.


Federal Pie Chart



U.S. military spending – Dept. of Defense plus nuclear weapons (in $billions) – is equal to the military spending of the next 15 countries combined.



edit on 1/6/2011 by Benevolent Heretic because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 6 2011 @ 12:40 PM
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I really didnt say christains were perfect suckers. That was not my meaning.

Having said that! Socialisim has always gotten a piggy back ride from certain sections of the christan "church" and so have hard driving winner take all "capitalists". By the way nice post above. I have been reading off and on "usury the destroyer of nations" of late.
edit on 6-1-2011 by Logarock because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 6 2011 @ 12:58 PM
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reply to post by Dragoon01
 



Soficrow,
You do not understand the response that was posted. He never said anything about determining the ability of someone to work.


You're right. He didn't say it; he implied it. You are more direct.



You are very much stuck on the small segment of the population that suffer from real physical disability and cannot work to support themselves.

The presence of government in this process (sorry its not just the doctors that decide) has expanded the definition of "physically disabled" to include alcoholics, sex addicts, and lard butts. These people are not disabled they are wallowing in their own poor life choices and expecting others to pay their way. THATS IMMORAL and I dont care what religion you are.


Hmmm. It's my understanding that medical disability is just that, medical. And according to my research, many debilitations that seem to be "lifestyle related" actually result from underlying medical conditions - such as addictions that result from long-term self-medication to deal with pain and keep working. ...But you're saying that you, the church, sonofliberty1776 and anyone else with a strong opinion is better "able" to determine legitimate need than recognized and qualified professionals?

...I do not deny that there are lazy predatorial parasites in our world, and I know some of them "play the system."

However, it is my observation and experience that MOST predator-parasites play the market, and suck on the public teat from the other side. And they go for Billion$ - NOT food stamps or a few hundred a month for subsistence living.



Conservatives promote Randian ideas about government when it is in agreement with their own ideals. They do not accept every aspect of Objectivism nor do they have to.


This thread is about the incompatibility of Christianity with Randian objectivism, which is recognized as based on atheism and as being a form of existentialism (therefor anti-Christian at the core).

I remain curious about what kind of mental gymnastics are required to commit to both ideologies at the same time.




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