What does it take to snap Joe-Sixpack, USMC out of his reverie? That’s easy. Keep attempting to redeem the ideas of Ayn Rand and Christianize them. I’ll fix bayonets and come running like a teufel-hunden responding to one of those silent dog whistles.
Reverend Robert A. Sirico of the Acton Institute (which I generally admire) recently wrote an article entitled Who Really Was John Galt Anyway? Therein, Rev. Sirico tries to tease out Jesus Christ from the persona of Ms. Rand’s fictional character John Galt. Or perhaps he tries to tease out Ms. Rand’s longing for the Lord.
The essay is, in my mind, a failed attempt either way because if John Galt = Jesus Christ, then I will have to pull a quote from Flannery O’Connor and say “to hell with it.” Christianity, that is. If Ms. Rand actually longed for Christ, as Rev. Sirico implies in his essay, then she had an odd way of showing it.
No. I don’t have to say to hell with Jesus Christ (FYI…He’s been there and back!), but I can say to hell with the Anti-Christ, though in this case he’s a fictional straw man argument in Ms. Rand’s novel. That is who John Galt really is. One doesn’t have to be from the left or the right on the political spectrum to know that this is the case. To apologize for, and then try to paint a starkly different portrait from the one already committed to canvas (by the author herself), is a glaring example of cultural relativism at work.
You cannot pound the square peg of Ayn Rand/ John Galt into the round hole of the Incarnate Word. I don’t care how big a hammer you throw on it. But you might sound smart trying to. It is one thing, for example, to pray for the soul of Vlad the Impaler, who was an actual believer in God and a Christian, regardless of his failures along the way, and a whole ‘nother thang to hope that Ayn realized that the hero of her Magnum Opus really turned out to be Christ. Good luck with that. Ayn Rand was lost when it comes to the basic tenets of the faith, which is why her hero is a straw man argument, committed to paper.
Joe Six-Pack will keep this simple for you. X ≠ Y. The three hour long diatribe that is John Galt /Ayn Rand’s speech to the world is not, nor shall it ever be, the Sermon on the Mount. Mercy is greater than justice and yet, justice prevails in the end. But Joe, you say as you tsk, tsk, my bumpkin-ness, “judge not,” and “as you measure, so you shall be measured.”
To that I will say I am a worm, an inch-worm perhaps. No, even better than that, I am what my pal Blaise Pascal said he was, “a reed, but a thinking reed.” My other pal Qoheleth, the inspired writer of my favorite Old Testament book, didn’t need three hours to monologue us to death on an ersatz philosophy built around selfishness either. Actually, his advice regarding following the ideas of any magisterium-of-one is,
He has made everything appropriate to its time, and has put the timeless into their hearts, without men’s ever discovering, from beginning to end, the work which God has done. (Ecclesiastes 3:11)
Be not just to excess, and be not overwise, lest you be ruined. Be not wicked to excess, and be not foolish. Why should you die before your time? It is good to hold to this rule, and not to let that one go; but he who fears God will win through at all events. Wisdom is a better defense for the wise man than would be ten princes in the city, yet there is no man on earth so just as to do good and never sin. (Ecclesiastes 7:16-19)
So really, it is a fool’s errand to waste your time trying to Christianize “Objectivism.” You’d be better off reading Qoheleth’s whole book rather than trying to find Christ in John Galt. But that is just one man’s opinion.