When I say that Ayn Rand was a wanna be Antichrist who inspired The Satanist Bible, I am not suggesting that Paul Ryan, a huge Ayn Rand fan, shares that distinction. Ryan is struggling to be a good Catholic Christian and a devotee of a woman who turned the teaching of Jesus on its head.
Fortunately, a long list of conservative politicians and Christians has no illusions about Ayn Rand. The late Charles Colson, shortly before his death, made a last ditch attempt to warn fellow conservatives that Ayn Rand and Jesus are antithetical. “Atlas shrugged,” Colson said, “and so should you.”
Colson wasn’t alone.
In a biting article in First Things, a conservative Christian journal founded by Richard John Neuhaus, Joe Carter addressed the link between the Satanism of Anton LeVey (the author of The Satanic Bible) and Ayn Rand’s Objectivist philosophy.
. . . to be a follower of both Rand and Christ is not possible. The original Objectivist was a type of self-professed anti-Christ who hated Christianity and the self-sacrificial love of its founder. She recognized that those Christians who claimed to share her views didn’t seem to understand what she was saying.
Many conservatives admire Rand because she was anti-collectivist. But that is like admiring Stalin because he opposed Nazism. Stalin was against the Nazis because he wanted to make the world safe for Communism. Likewise, Rand stands against collectivism because she wants the freedom to abolish Judeo-Christian morality. Conservative Christians who embrace her as the “enemy-of-my-enemy” seem to forget that she considered us the enemy.
Even if this were not the case, though, what would warrant the current influence of her thought within the conservative movement? Rand was a third-rate writer who was too arrogant to recognize her own ignorance (she believed she was the third greatest philosopher in history, behind only Aristotle and Aquinas). She misunderstood almost every concept she engaged with—from capitalism to freedom—and wrote nothing that had not been treated before by better thinkers. We don’t need her any more than we need LeVay.
Few conservatives will fall completely under Rand’s diabolic sway. But we are sustaining a climate in which not a few gullible souls believe she is worth taking seriously. Are we willing to be held responsible for pushing them to adopt an anti-Christian worldview? If so, perhaps instead of recommending Atlas Shrugged, we should simply hand out copies of The Satanic Bible. If they’re going to align with a satanic cult, they might as well join the one that has the better holidays.
Faux historian David Barton wasn’t publicly unmasked until conservative Christian scholars, embarrassed by being associated with blatant lies and distortions, went into full revolt. I am hoping the same dynamic plays out in connection with Paul Ryan’s boyish infatuation with a woman who hated his Jesus with the darkest passion.
This debate transcends partisanship. The big problem is that Ayn Rand’s Antichrist philosophy drives a business culture where, by design, only the strong survive. Unless you argue that Christian ethics have nothing to do with the teaching of Jesus, or that the teaching of Jesus should be dissociated from business ethics, this is a problem. Paul Ryan like Ayn Rand because, like most American politicians, red and blue, he shares her take-no-prisoners, profit-driven outlook. The only people exempted from this survival of the fittest social Darwinism are your family of origin, your spouse and your children. Everyone else is on their own.
That is the philosophy of Antichrist.
If you find it hard to believe that Ayn Rand was (a) the inspiration for popular Satanism, or (b) philosophically opposed to the empathy and compassion of Jesus, you should peruse this extensive list of telling quotations compiled by Bruce Wilson of Talk to Action. You will notice that virtually every Rand critic quoted is a card carrying conservative.
But before you scroll down the list, check out this video Bruce Wilson put together:
“I give people Ayn Rand, with trappings”
- Anton LaVey, founder of the Church of Satan (to Kim Klein of the Washington Post, 1970), as cited on page 2 of Contemporary Religious Satanism: A Critical Anthology, by Jesper Aagaard Peterson (Ashgate Publishing Limited, 2009)
“Ayn Rand, more than anyone else, did a fantastic job of explaining the morality of capitalism, the morality of individualism.”
- Congressman Paul Ryan, 2009 official Ryan For Congress video ad.
Mike Wallace: “You are out to destroy almost every edifice of the contemporary American way of life, our Judeo-Christian religion, our modified government regulated capitalism, our rule by majority will. Other reviews have said you scorn churches and the concept of God. Are these accurate criticisms?”
Ayn Rand: “Yes. I am the creator of a new code of morality.”
- Mike Wallace 1959 CBS interview with Ayn Rand
“Objectivism, the philosophy of Ayn Rand, is an acknowledged source for some of the Satanic philosophy as outlined in The Satanic Bible by Anton LaVey… Satanism has far more in common with Objectivism than with any other religion or philosophy. Objectivists endorse reason, selfishness, greed and atheism. Objectivism sees Christianity, Islam and Judaism as anti-human and evil. The writings of Ayn Rand are inspiring and powerful.”
- from the essay Satanism and Objectivism, republished on the website of the Church of Satan
“My great friend, the late Bill Buckley – one of his greatest contributions to modern conservatism was his effort to purge it of cranks and crypto-cultists and for Buckley, Ayn Rand and her followers certainly fit that description… [Ayn Rand’s] patently anti-Christian ideas seem to be gaining steam… powerful committee chairmen on Capital Hill make their staffers read her tracts.”
- former Nixon Administration member Charles Colson, May 2011 installment of his “Two Minute Warning” video series, titled Atlas Shrugged and So Should You
“I just want to speak to you a little bit about Ayn Rand and what she meant to me in my life and [in] the fight we’re engaged here in Congress. I grew up on Ayn Rand, that’s what I tell people..you know everybody does their soul-searching, and trying to find out who they are and what they believe, and you learn about yourself.
I grew up reading Ayn Rand and it taught me quite a bit about who I am and what my value systems are, and what my beliefs are. It’s inspired me so much that it’s required reading in my office for all my interns and my staff. We start with Atlas Shrugged.”
- U.S. Congressional Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI), 2005 keynote speech in honor of Ayn Rand’s birthday, held by the Atlas Society.
“As for his ‘religion,’ he called it ‘just Ayn Rand’s philosophy with ceremony and rituals added’ ”
- Bill Ellis, quoting Anton LaVey on the intellectual source of his form of satanism, from page 180, Raising the Devil: Satanism, New Religions and The Media (2000, the University Press of Kentucky)
“To imply or state that the Church of Satan was the first to clearly state the Satanic ethic is to ignore the continuing impact of Ayn Rand…
To illustrate this historical precedent, let us examine the Nine Satanic Statements [from The Satanic Bible] in view of the Rand work Atlas Shrugged. In Galt’s speech (pages #936-993) is the written source of most of the philosophical ideas expressed in the Satanic Bible… Note that the sequential order of these Atlas Shrugged quotations parallels the order of the Nine Satanic Statements.”
- Essay by George C. Smith, “The Hidden Source of the Satanic Philosophy”, republished in The Satanic Bible (link to PDF file of Anton LaVey’s book)
“[T]he reason I got involved in public service, by and large, if I had to credit one thinker, one person, it would be Ayn Rand. And the fight we are in here, make no mistake about it, is a fight of individualism versus collectivism…
…you can’t find another thinker or writer who did a better job of describing and laying out the moral case for capitalism than Ayn Rand.
It’s so important that we go back to our roots to look at Ayn Rand’s vision, her writings, to see what our girding, under-grounding [sic] principles are. I always go back to, you know, Francisco d’Anconia’s speech (at Bill Taggart’s wedding) on money when I think about monetary policy. And then I go to the 64-page John Galt speech”
- Paul Ryan, 2005 speech to the Atlas Society
“What I am fighting is the idea that charity is a moral duty and a primary virtue.”
- Ayn Rand, 1964 interview with Playboy magazine
“Today you’re supposed apologize to every naked savage anywhere on the globe because you are more prosperous.”
- Ayn Rand, 1980 interview with Tom Snyder
“1. Blessed are the strong, for they shall possess the earth – Cursed are the weak, for they shall inherit the yoke!
2. Blessed are the powerful, for they shall be reverenced among men – Cursed are the feeble, for they shall be blotted out!
3. Blessed are the bold, for they shall be masters of the world – Cursed are the righteously humble, for they shall be trodden under cloven hoofs!”
- from The Book of Satan, part V, in The Satanic Bible
“I am not attacking Rand for the overlap of her views with LaVey’s; I am saying that, at their core, they are the same philosophy. LaVey was able to recognize what many conservatives fail to see: Rand’s doctrines are satanic…
“[P]erhaps instead of recommending Atlas Shrugged, we should simply hand out copies of The Satanic Bible. If they’re going to align with a satanic cult, they might as well join the one that has the better holidays.”
- from The Fountainhead of Satanism, by Joe Carter, published June 8, 2011 in the Neoconservative Catholic-affiliated monthly journal First Things
“[I]f a man smite thee on one cheek, SMASH him on the other!” — Anton LaVey, from The Satanic Bible (Section III, paragraph 7)
“It’s hard for me to imagine a worldview more antithetical to Christianity – also difficult to imagine a more juvenile one”
- the late Charles Colson, May 2011 installment of his “Two Minute Warning” video series.
“Rand’s novels are vehicles for a system of thought known as Objectivism. Rand developed this philosophy at the length of Tolstoy, with the intellectual pretensions of Hegel, but it can be summarized on a napkin. Reason is everything. Religion is a fraud. Selfishness is a virtue. Altruism is a crime against human excellence. Self-sacrifice is weakness. Weakness is contemptible…
If Objectivism seems familiar, it is because most people know it under another name: adolescence.
- Michael Gerson, Former Assistant to the President for Policy and Strategic Planning, and Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of Presidential Speechwriting, under President George W. Bush, April 21, 2011 column in The Washington Post, Ayn Rand’s adult-onset adolescence
“I read Atlas Shrugged recently and respected its support for innovators… 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…
And this, sadly, is the book that a budget expert I admire, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., recommends–apparently without caveat–and tells his staffers to read. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., is also a Rand fan…
…Ryan and others, if they want support from Christians, cannot merely react to the left’s criticism with a shrug: They should show what in Rand they agree with and what they spurn. The GOP’s big tent should include both libertarians and Christians, but not anti-Christians.”
- Marvin Olasky, intellectual father of “compassionate conservatism”, July 16, 2011, Take a stand against Rand, published in World Magazine
“I am afraid that Chairman Ryan’s budget reflects the values of his favorite philosopher Ayn Rand rather than the gospel of Jesus Christ. Survival of the fittest may be OK for social Darwinists but not for followers of the gospel of compassion and love.”
- Jesuit Father Thomas J. Reese, as quoted April 24, 2012 in the Washington Times
“There are two novels that can change a bookish 14-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.”
- John Rogers, screenwriter and comic
“I hope you picked it [Atlas Shrugged] up off the floor of the subway and threw it in the nearest garbage pail.”
- Flannery O’Connor, letter to a friend