19 April 2011

The Gospel according to Ayn Rand

The Gospel according to Ayn Rand, by Susan Brooks Thislethwaite (Washington Post, 18 April 2011)

“Then Jesus looked up at his disciples and said:‘Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.’” (Luke 6:20) According to Ayn Rand, the novelist and atheist philosopher so beloved of influential American conservatives today, that’s where Jesus got off track.

“There is a great, basic contradiction in the teachings of Jesus,” Rand writes. She argues that when Jesus teaches about “the salvation of one’s soul,” that’s individualism and therefore good. But when it comes to ethics, Jesus goes off the rails. Jesus’ mistake, per Rand, is the idea that, “in order to save one’s soul, one must love or help or live for others.” And that, Rand concludes, leads to Christianity’s “failure.” Rand, of course, “is noteworthy for her atheism and uncompromising opposition to religion.”
Link: The Gospel according to Ayn Rand