Back when I left home and entered the university I saw a notice on a bulletin board (the real cork kind) about what I believe then was called the New Romanticism. Since I was intending to concentrate on studying the Romantic poets (especially John Keats) I was ready for my first meeting of the New Romantics. Unfortunately I soon discovered that this was all a front for what Ayn Rand called Objectivism. It didn’t take too long to realize that the crap being handed out by the followers of Any Rand was directed towards the gullible and stupid people who were the precursors of the ME-ME-ME generation.
I read a portion of Rand’s works—Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead—and was appalled at how poorly written they were and how obvious their silliness was to anyone with any critical thinking skills. I dumped Any Rand immediately.
During the 2012 elections, Ayn Rand came back into my life via a little weasel named Paul Ryan. That is when I realized how right I had been fifty years ago about Ayn Rand and her followers. In the 21st century it is hard to believe that people can be so deluded as to espouse the dangerous teachings of Ayn Rand.
But one thing that troubled me in 2012 continues to trouble me today. Ayn Rand was a total atheist and considered anyone that continued to believe in God to be stupid and delusional. Now Rand might have been right but the problem is that the religious right in America seems to have teamed up with Ayn Rand’s atheistic Objectivism. How does that work?
To help us all understand this conundrum, Truthout has published an article by James Sanford called
Galt and God: The Courtship Between Ayn Randians and Right-Wing ChristiansAn odd collaboration between Ayn Rand disciples and Christian rightists, based on a mutual attraction for aggressive free enterprise, is on the upswing. The relationship seems to signal further cohesion and ideological extremism on the Tea Party right.
Ayn Rand’s followers and Christian rightists often find themselves on the same side of issues these days. The Tea Party, with its stress on robust capitalism and righteous liberty, has been a rallying point for both groups. Still, the philosophical disharmony between Christianity and objectivism (Ayn Rand’s philosophy) has commonly presented problems for anyone seeking to straddle the two worldviews. Just ask Rep. Paul Ryan.
Ryan, a conservative Catholic, made no bones about his love for Rand’s signature novel, Atlas Shrugged, when he began his political career. The novel’s portrayal of heroic entrepreneurs fighting an evil government fits perfectly with Ryan’s ideal of conservatism. But a few years ago, the congressman began to feel pushback from traditional Christians who weren’t so keen on Rand’s theological views. How, they asked, could Ryan condone an atheist who dismissed religionists as ignorant and deluded? The upshot: Ryan began parsing his words in a hurry.
Judging from recent trends, however, the icy divide over the God issue shows clear signs of melt. Gradual movement toward accommodation is coming not just from Christians wishing to co-opt Rand’s capitalistic ethic, but from Randians seeking to expand their fan base.
Sanford goes on to further discuss this apparent new-found cooperation between Galt and God. Please read the complete article to form your own opinion.