Sunday, April 17, 2011

An Unconventional Palm Sunday Reflection

Shrugging off Atlas Shrugged. The Kingdom of God continues to be obscured for Pie in the Sky... or even less. Fighting the Hijacking of Christianity by Objectivism

Christ Driving the Moneychangers from the Temple, by El Greco (1570)

They make a lot of garbage films in Hollywood and elsewhere these days, but did anyone notice this weekend that the Drudge Report had a link cooing about the release of a film adaptation of Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged? I guess it's been a long time coming, but I'm still surprised that someone made a movie out of that stack of trash. With the rise of the Tea Party, I suppose someone thought it was an opportune moment to make it. As distasteful as Tea Party values are to me on a purely secular and political level, what bothers me more is that it seems to have gained credibility and a certain cachet with Christians too, and sadly, young Catholics in particular. They'd never admit that they've bought into Objectivism (an atheistic and virulently anti-Catholic philosophy), but in effect, that is what they have done. By contrast, many young evangelicals seem to be coming to their senses in the opposite direction. They've been down that road enough times to know that they've been used by people who actually disdain them.

Time to dust off and re-present Supply Side Jesus:

By the way, Andrew Sullivan at The Dish absolutely nailed this with a post called Ayn Rand vs Jesus Christ. He reposts some great contrasts between Objectivism and the scriptures from another article, and makes this devastating observation of his own:
It is possible to read the Gospels as entirely a personal and not political message, and certainly not view Christianity as a short route to socialism. But it is impossible even in one's personal life to be a Christian and to be a Randian. The whole point of the Gospels is that Rand's value system leads to profound misery and spiritual loss. And the whole point of Rand is that Nietzsche was onto something.


crystal said...

I just noticed that David Bentley Hart has written a review of the movie at First Things - he mentions The Planet of the Apes :)

I haven't read her book, just tried to get an idea of it from the wikipedia article. It sounds creepy.

Jeff said...

Oh, thanks. I want to check out what he says about it.

Do you want to see creepy? Watch her explain her philosophy with her dead but shifty eyes darting about. I felt my flesh crawl as if I was watching the embodiment of pure evil. If there ever has been such a thing as demonic possession...

crystal said...

Yeah, creepy. I didn't realize she wasn't a native American - sounds German? Depressing. She must be like the Goddess of the libertarians :)

Jeff said...

Originally Russian, from St. Petersburg

cowboyangel said...

Sometimes I think I should read some Rand, so I can see for myself what she's up to and be able to converse intelligently about her theories. Then, I think, "Nah. I have better things to do with my time."

Especially after watching the awful 1949 version of The Founbtainhead, one of the worst movies I've ever seen. I got enough her philosophy from that. (Poor Gary Cooper.)

cowboyangel said...

Happy Easter, Jeff!

Jeff said...

Hi William,

I agree with you and Crystal. The Fountainhead was horrible and impossible to follow. I'm surprised Cooper wanted to be in it.

Thanks for the Easter greetings. We had a great day, I hope you did too.