For Faith In Action: Calling All Rand Busters.™ Please Report To Your Posts!

A few days ago, I got mad as hell and said I won’t take it anymore. What about? Well, some of our Christian brethren believe they can reconcile following Ayn Rand’s poisonous philosophy and still consider themselves, you know, Christians.

So I decided to form a posse, or a coterie of charitable combatants if you will, made up of Christians, both Catholic (and Orthodox too!) and Protestant to fight this nonsense head-on come this election cycle.

It seems like the right thing to do. Left, Right, Center, Non-Partisan, I don’t care where you lie on the political spectrum. Because to join this cause, this is what you need to know:

Ayn Rand is both right and original. Where she is right she is not original, and where she is original she is not right.

Right meaning “correct,” you see. I don’t know who said that originally but that sums it up nicely (thanks to commenter with the moniker “Not a wine critic” for sharing that).

Here then is the Rand Busters™ roll call (with links to posts) so far:

Yours Truly. The actual starter of this cause is probably William F. Buckley, but I’m picking up the torch for him. See the new “Ayn Rand” search tag.

Mark Shea, whom I dubbed “Faramir” once, has been on board with this long before I ever came around. I like his search tag too: The Evil Cult of Rand. Subtle!

Joe Carter (FYI, a Baptist) wrote a great post in First Things about what Objectivism has wrought. He’s a retired Marine too, so I took the liberty of drafting him into the cause.

Lisa Graas wrote a post that Mark shared the other day. It rings the bell with so much clarity that I promptly sent her a “welcome aboard” dispatch. Then the recruitment drive began in earnest with her awesome “link around post.” Check it out!

Daniel P. Horan, OFM. Another draftee, and a Franciscan, he wrote a post with sound ideas that has a very common sense title: The Irreconcilability of Ayn Rand and Christianity. Word.

John Janaro, Catholic blogger at Never Give Up gets the first ever Rand Buster™ Award for Best Anti-Objectivism Post Title with Jesus Does Not Shrug. In a minor miraculous bit of synchronicity, he and I unwittingly posted on Rand on the very same day back in March. Called at the same time, you see.

Anthony S. Layne hasn’t read a bunch of Ayn Rand’s work but he does play with some Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights (golly you would think Rand penned the Bill of Rights or something!) guys named Yaron Brook and Onkar Ghate over at his blog Outside the Asylum. The post title? Of Robber Barons and Moral Codes. Bravo Zulu.

And wrapping it up so far, the other day Stacy Transacos signed up in the comm box. This morning, she posted this great, nay, AWESOME video over on her blog Accepting Abundance.

Hello? McFly!? Anyone home? Make your own #@&* cookies! Please check out her great post too.

So how do you join the Rand Busters™? Simplicity itself. Write a blog post about how Christianity and Objectivism go together like oil and water. In other words, get the truth out there to the world. Then you can e-mail me the link to your post and I’ll take care of the rest with an occasional Round-up of the Rand Busters™ link-around post, sort of like this one today. That’s all there is too it.

The Rand Busters™ are non-Partisan and Ecumenical so all are welcome. If you know of others who should join our ranks, please have them contact me.

So report to your keyboards and get cracking like smoke and oakum! That is all. Here’s a little music to get your juices flowing.

  • Anthony S. Layne

    I've come close to it a couple of times. On The Impractical Catholic, I postulated a sequel to Atlas Shrugged, in which the heroes return to the real world to find that their absence didn't make any real difference to the rest of the world. And in Outside the Asylum, I took apart a op-ed written by a couple of pseudo-scholars from the Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights ("Of robber barons and moral codes"). But I've actually read nothing directly of Ayn Rand's, only picked up pieces secondhand. So I'm not really qualified to take her on directly … but I'll be more than happy to cheer the rest of the RandBusters on!

  • Frank

    You're in!

  • Fran

    Frank – awesomeness!

  • palinurus

    First, an admission: I read "Atlas Shrugged" until she went on a 100 page riff that included a trashing of religion and God. Then, I tossed the book aside and never went back.Second: I consider myself a practicing Catholic. Not a perfect one, but a practicing one. I believe in Christ, go to Mass, follow the teachings re the Sacraments, believe in papal infallibility re Faith and Morals. I try to be charitable in actions and thought. Third: I think I am in sync with most of what I read here and in sympatico websites. So, why does all this Rand bashing strike my ear so sourly?It's not because I agree with Objectivism. Nor is it because is it because I don't think we have some moral responsibility to others. It's probably because I'm hearing some bad logic and misplaced anger directed at something that, on the meter of real world influences, registers very low. First, simply because others have stated some of Rand's true points doesn't detract from their merit or truth. We don't apply that test to CS Lewis or Chesterton. I like them both, but it's not as though Chesterton invented irony. The truth of Rand's view of the all-consuming hunger of the welfare state should be clear to anyone with open eyes. Rand has a character in Atlas Shrugged state that it the "patriotic duty" of citizens to support the welfare state. How many times have we heard that lately? I have heard it from both Bill Clinton and Joe Biden. Second, there is a lot of well-placed scorn directed at Rand, whose ideas regarding God are poisonous indeed, but silence regarding, and even support for, the US bishops' statements related to economics. Any fair minded person should recognize that the bishops, as a group, are as wrongheaded about economics from the left, as Rand is from the right. Rand, at least, has no pretension that she is helping people. The bishops, alas, argue that they are, notwithstanding that facts, economics, and history stand firmly against them.Randian economics can lead to evil, as we (properly) define it. But what of the evil that comes from the bishops providing electoral cover to pro-abortion politicians who agree with the bishops' statist economic views? Doesn't the bishops support (in principle, implicitly or tacitly) for the health care bill and increased federal spending and higher taxes and a massive social welfare state allow vehmently pro-abortion politicians to argue that "Well, yes, I disagree with the bishops on abortion, but we agree on so, so much more!!" This willingly cooperates with evil in a much more practical and widespread way than Randian philosophy every could. Leftist economic philosophy does not help anyone. We can see the harm in Europe and, now, in the US. But the majority of bishops seem bent on stubbornly cloaking leftist economics in religious tenets. How can we stand silently as they blur intrinsic evil and prudential judgment? "Catholic" politicians continue to be re-elected with substantial Catholic support, as the majority of US bishops sit silent, or with minor scolding regarding abortion, but with expressions of support for these same polticians "support for the poor." Are higher taxes a biblical proposition? Is the welfare state Church teaching? I post this respectfully. I don't seek to sow seeds of dissent. I don't think I differ, really, from George Weigel and others like that. But I think the contempt for Rand is misplaced when compared to the substantial and continuing harm that takes place at the hands of our bishops.If I misunderstand your views, I am willing to be corrected. If you think the US bishops are miscast here, say so and defend them with their own stated positions. I love the Church but admit to frustration, and the frustration seems to fall where it should be — on those who should lead in truth and honesty, but don't.

  • Frank

    Palinurus: This post is frankly aimed at rank and file Christians, not the bishops as a political bloc. The Church repudiates "statism," in numerous documents, the latest of which is Caritas in veritate. Here's another example from a few days ago from the Vatican Bank.Pax

  • Daniel Silliman

    If anyone hasn’t read the Whittaker Chambers’s review of Rand, which Buckley published and inaugurated the Rand Busters tradition, it’s pretty amazing: