To Join the Ayn Rand Busters? To Be A Hero? I’m In!

Hey, look at the calendar. The election cycle is coming around again! Time to check our brains at the door and just go with our gut feelings. Embrace fuzzy math concepts like 1 + 1 = 3.18275. Stuff like that.

Forget the real substantive issues we can actually do something about, like fixing Social Security’s looming bankruptcy, and instead focus on bankrupting ourselves by bombing Yemen. Sweet!

And in a tradition that spans the history of the human race, bad ideas don’t die. Hell, they don’t even fade away anymore, thanks to the internet. They just get repackaged. Better yet, they just get rediscovered by those who didn’t know what they were really looking for in the first place.

Did you see Fr. Steve Granow’s post today over at the Word On Fire blog? It is his riff on the chord struck by Barbara Nicolosi’s recent article in Crisis Magazine entitled Exposing Euthanasia Through the Arts. Go read them both.

Fr. Steve points out what I have decided to call The Layman’s Conundrum™. It’s sort of like Hamlet’s line “To be? Or not to be?” In the world, that is. Well, I’m a layman, a husband, a father, so guess what? I’m definitely in the world. But I’m also a Catholic Christian and realize that I am called to not conform to this age. Come Holy Spirit!

And be not conformed to this world; but be reformed in the newness of your mind, that you may prove what is the good, and the acceptable, and the perfect will of God. (Romans 12:2)

I like how Fr. Steve’s title plays off of the wise words written in my favorite Old Testament book, Ecclesiastes. They’re right there in Chapter 3,

All things have their season,
and in their times all things pass under heaven.
A time to be born and a time to die.
A time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted.
A time to kill, and a time to heal.
A time to destroy, and a time to build.
A time to weep, and a time to laugh.
A time to mourn, and a time to dance.
A time to scatter stones, and a time to gather.
A time to embrace, and a time to be far from embraces.
A time to get, and a time to lose.
A time to keep, and a time to cast away.
A time to rend, and a time to sew.
A time to keep silence, and a time to speak.
A time of love, and a time of hatred.
A time of war, and a time of peace.

The life of a layman is one of constant struggle. Christ hasn’t promised you a rose garden, and yet the one you’re in is pretty thorny. We have joined the cause of Truth and the Truth shall make us free. Both articles linked to above point out that we really can’t flee the culture if we are to make the message of Christ known.

Which brings me right ’round back to Ayn Rand again. Her thoughts are corrupting our brothers and sisters and it smells like a zombie apocalypse to me. In a riff off Qoheleth, it’s time for Christians to kill their ardor for Objectivism.

Because if you know what Anti-Christ is, you must engage it. Even Roger Ebert, the film critic “gets” Ayn Rand. As he put it in his review of the film Atlas Shrugged Part I, her philosophy is “I’m on board, pull up the lifeline.”

Speaking of films, popular culture alert! This is how I feel about Ayn Rand and her ideas: “Why won’t you die?!” Roll tape,

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Um, it’s not that easy, but it sure is fun. Mark Shea is a member. And Joe Carter (Semper Fidelis, brother!) is in the Rand Busters too. I’m definitely in.

We need others, you know. Both Catholics and Protestants. Sign up in the commbox below. Write your blog posts, wake the neighbors, phone your friends and tell them that when it comes to Ayn Rand, well…what he says!

I promise more on The Layman Conundrum™ later. In the meantime, stay true to your calling. Be a light to the world. We could be heroes, you know (watch this all the way to the end!).

Need more motivation? Read this. And look what happened today. Wow.

  • Anonymous

    One of the problems that I see is that so many Christians tend to vote Republican. And it is usually republican candidates that espouse Objectivism.

  • Frank

    Truth is Nonpartisan.

  • Fran

    Truth is nonpartisan indeed. Ayn Rand… do not get me started, do not get me started. Atlas Shrugged. Fran simply went UGH.

  • Anonymous

    Never read it, never want to. Rose

  • thereserita

    I'm onboard with the Rand Busters too. Glenn Beck had Rand folks (cant remember names) on his show several times so that translates to many Catholics as a blessing. I think that's where some of the confusion's coming from. Great post.

  • Bill

    My favorite quote about Atlas Shrugged is as follows:"There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs."I don't know who said it, but I endorse it.

  • peculiarwit

    I do not believe, when applied in the political or personal sense, there is a religious conflict with most (not all) of her positions. But I do agree in the "social" and certain "spiritual" senses, as Christians, yes, there is a conflict of vision.One problem I have is when leftist Christians (like "Rev" Jim Wallis, for example) apply Christian principles of charity to a political system and force the duty of charity upon all. "Charity" can never be dispensed from the barrel of a gun by force, by definition. It is, in essence, an INDIVIDUAL right. Critique Ayn Rand, by all means, but uphold and edify her reasoning when possible. Do not discard her logic simply because she is atheistic and pro-abortion. The idea and sanctity of the individual is not in conflict with the catholic or christian vision. God cherishes an values EVERY individual. It is the ideas of collectivism, in the political sense, that Ayn Rand successfully and logically demonstrated to be the greatest threat to the mind of man and killer of the human spirit. And the force of those ideas, intentional or not, as been a greater force against certain evils in the world than the countless organizations feeding at the Federal trough for "charity" which is taken by force to dispense largely for the benefit of the organizations that depend on it, religious ones as well.

  • Frank

    Yes, God does cherish every individual, and so should Christians. But Rand herself did not, and neither do her ideas.Which is why I point to the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church for a humanism that is worth following.

  • John Janaro

    Amen.The Ayn Rand Cancer keeps growing. Please sign me up for Rand Busters! This is a post from my own blog, from March:

  • Frank

    Holy Synchronicity John! We both posted on Ayn on March 10, 2011. Bravo Zulu.

  • Frank

    John's link made live: Jesus Does Not Shrug (awesome title).

  • Stacy Trasancos

    OK, thanks to Lisa Graas I'm in too. I read AS in college and followed it for a while. I've been really wanting to write a piece on how Rand's philosophy would have changed had she been a mother. Thanks for rallying the troops Frank.

  • Wine in the Water

    peculiarwit,The problem, of course, is that everything that Rand gets right can be gotten from other sources, and everything that she gets wrong severely compromises what she gets right.

  • Frank

    As Wine notes above, it's not like Ayn Rand invented the market economy or anything.

  • Not a wine critic

    Wine in the water,I believe that the correct phrasing is, "Ayn Rand is both right and original. Where she is right she is not original, and where she is original she is not correct."