27 August 2010

Ayn Rand: Goddess of the Great Recession

Ayn Rand: Goddess of the Great Recession, by Gary Moore (Christianity Today, 27 August 2010)

I've come to believe there's a connection between Barna's statement that only 10 percent of Christians integrate our beliefs with our lives, and the fact that the Social Investment Forum says only 10 percent of institutional money under management is integrated with a traditional Christian ethic. We apparently have surrendered to Rand's ethic of seeking maximum personal gain—in the hope, I suppose, that charity can repair the damage. Unfortunately, the fate of Ken Lay of Enron, a generous giver with whom I served on a Christian board, disproved that human reasoning to millions of employees and shareholders.

As a Christian, I believe we have a moral responsibility to act in a socially responsible manner toward the poor and fellow taxpayers who are now on the hook for Wall Street's greed. So I was startled to discover that one outspoken evangelical money manager who claims to "invest as Jesus would"—by which he means focusing on sexual issues—was invested in AIG and Goldman Sachs. Evidently, homosexuality and promiscuity have replaced greed as the root of all evil.

Our financial gurus continue to sing in Rand's temple, using quasi-biblical principles to obtain wealth but disposing of God's principles if the investment doesn't lead to "productive achievement." I've long believed that leaders of the Religious Right and our more popular financial advisers, who have attempted to harmonize their philosophies with economic libertarianism the past three decades, have been na•ve. Libertarians usually despise Christian social values, advocating the legalization of abortion, illicit drugs, and pornography while worshiping wealth. The biblical discouragement of unholy alliances should have named that tune as syncretism. But the angry white man of 1994 sings on at today's tea parties. And his anger is still primarily over economic issues.

Link: Ayn Rand: Goddess of the Great Recession

For other articles by Gary Moore, visit financialseminary.org