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Sunday, October 28, 2012

• • • Atlas Shrugged, Part II 
Atheism  |Atlas Shrugged movie  |Atlas Shrugged  |Capitalism  |Image  | The United States is in dire financial straits and the federal government steps in to take economic control for the common good. Sound familiar? No, this is not a movie about the government takeover of General Motors: It’s the second installment of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged hitting the big screen.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

• • • Paul Ryan vs. Ayn Rand 
Atheism  |Atlas Shrugged  |Capitalism  |Egoism  |Paul Ryan  |Inaccurate  | Watch: The religious left will immediately attack Mitt Romney’s choice for vice president and give as one evidence of Paul Ryan’s awfulness the recommendation he made to his staffers that they read anti-Christian novelist/philosopher Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. I showed my concern also in a column last year. My question was whether Ryan recommended the novel because of its broader philosophy or because it “shows young readers how capitalism turns individual self-interest into service to others, and in the process helps the poor far more than socialistic schemes do.” The latter was fine, but I wanted Ryan to be clear about what he agreed with and what he spurned.

Monday, April 30, 2012

• • • Paul Ryan loves Ayn Rand—not 
Atheism  |Atlas Shrugged  |Capitalism  |Paul Ryan  | The New York Times this morning has a surprisingly positive profile of GOP leader Paul Ryan. Meanwhile, NYT columnist Paul Krugman and New York magazine are scathing in their criticism. Among Christians a lot of confusion remains, in part because Ryan [...] has combined admirable budget analysis with troubling esteem for Christ-hating Ayn Rand. Happily, he has now clarified (or changed) his stance concerning Rand.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

• • Stories to come 
Atlas Shrugged  | What’s the most compelling narrative with which conservatives challenge the left’s storytelling? Seems to be Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, which makes man the center and offers an immediate buzz but no future hope.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

 Jesus the socialist 
Capitalism  | [Gregory Paul’s] latest column zings American evangelicals who supposedly wave the flag of capitalism, venerate Ayn Rand, and believe that God favors deregulation and low tax rates. He finds it odd that so many Christians adapt happily to a Darwinist (“survival of the fittest”) model for the marketplace but reject it when applied to biology, where it belongs.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

• • • Take a stand against Rand 
Alan Greenspan  |Atheism  |Atlas Shrugged movie  |Atlas Shrugged  |Capitalism  |Egoism  |Image  | Also published at Townhall.com, on 15 July 2011.
I read Atlas Shrugged recently and respected its support for innovators who pour themselves into their businesses and its disdain for bureaucrats who think entrepreneurialism is easy and automatic. I also was amazed at the viciousness of Rand’s view of Christianity, leading up to its conclusion, where the book’s hero traces in the air the Sign of the Dollar, a replacement for the Sign of the Cross. I didn’t mark every purple passage because I was reading the novel on a treadmill, but Rand’s sneering words got my heart beating faster, and it wasn’t true love.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

• • • Godly politics, neither left nor libertarian 
Atheism  |Egoism  |Individualism  |Image  | When members of the evangelical left lump their counterparts on the right in with Ayn Rand and libertarians, they do injustice to the Christian character of conservative evangelical political views. This is true regardless of the affinity Christian conservatives have for their small government fellow travelers. Unlike libertarians, conservative evangelicals defend family as a natural society, the foundation of the broader society. They understand society as moral in character with certain essential moral requirements.

Friday, June 17, 2011

• • • Ayn Rand vs. Jesus Christ 
Altruism  |Atlas Shrugged movie  |Capitalism  |Egoism  |Image  | Anyone who has a passing familiarity with Rand’s moral philosophy, known as Objectivism, sees the conflict with Christianity. Whereas the Christian is called to an other-orientation—toward God and his neighbor—the Objectivist extols a self-orientation. The Christian is called to embrace the love of God; the Objectivist embraces love of self. But Rand’s novels—most popularly Atlas Shrugged—skewer with such exquisite detail and insight those who aggrandize state power, advocates of individual liberty and limited government can’t help but cheer.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

• • • Atlas again 
Atlas Shrugged movie  |Atlas Shrugged  |Capitalism  |Egoism  |Image  | The very nature of Atlas Shrugged—turning on its head all the typical clichés of who’s a hero and who’s a villain and its refreshing honesty about the way Washington works—gives it a certain liberating energy. However, even the most devoted of Rand devotees may experience a niggling uneasiness when they see their heroes of self-interest played out large and in living color. There’s no escaping that there’s something unattractive about the egotistical, ambitious Hank and off-putting about the determined, but amoral Dagny.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

 Treadmill religion 
Conservatism by itself does not stand up to evil as Christianity does, but those whose primary identification is “conservative” should read Benjamin Wiker’s Ten Books Every Conservative Must Read (Regnery, 2010). It’s a pithy introduction to Aristotle, Chesterton, Voegelin, C.S. Lewis, Edmund Burke, de Tocqueville, Belloc, von Hayek, The Federalist Papers and their Anti-Federalist opponents—with material about Shakespeare, Jane Austen, Tolkien, and the Bible tossed in, and a concluding poke at “one imposter,” Ayn Rand.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

 The quiet weapon 
Paul Ryan  | The fact that [Paul] Ryan now sees himself at the center of the congressional debate over government's role is something that surprises him. While a student at Miami University in Ohio, Ryan thought he'd become an economist. He read the likes of Milton Friedman and Ayn Rand and envisioned a life of theories. But he eventually learned that public policy is the arena where ideas really live or die. "That is what built this country—good ideas," he says.

Monday, January 04, 2010

• • Adulterers: Tiger Woods and me 
Atlas Shrugged  |Inaccurate  | I don’t know of anyone except the deceased writer Ayn Rand who sanctions adultery as a moral good. As government intervention skyrocketed in 2009, so did sales of Rand’s opus magnum, Atlas Shrugged. Neither of Rand’s adulterer characters in her 1,000-page novel repents of their sin when their affair becomes known.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

• • No trade-off? 
Capitalism  | Ayn Rand observed, “America’s abundance was not created by public sacrifices to the common good, but by the productive genius of free men who pursued their own personal interests and the making of their own private fortunes.” It is time to learn the fundamental lesson of the last two centuries. Ordinary working people have done much better where entrepreneurs were allowed to take chances and get messy, to make mistakes and learn from failures, to succeed and reap the rewards of serving the consumers—all in the highly organized chaos of the market.

Friday, May 23, 2008

 Comfort seekers 
Atheism  |Atlas Shrugged  | In an age of public license, it's evident that even those who read do not heed. But that doesn't explain why the Bible remains so popular, No. 1 on a [Harris Poll favorite books] list that includes such anti-biblical titles as The Da Vinci Code (No. 6) and Atlas Shrugged (No. 9).

Friday, October 19, 2007

• • •The hole in her universe 
Atheism  |Atlas Shrugged  | Since Ayn Rand had no place for a sovereign, all-sufficient God who cannot be traded with, she did not reckon with any righteous form of mercy. It is indeed evil to love a person "for their vices." But mercy in the Christian sense is not "because of" vices, but "in spite of" vices. It is not intended to reward evil, but to reveal the bounty of God who cannot be traded with, but only freely admired and enjoyed.