Christianity and Ayn Rand

Despite the fact that she died in 1982, Ayn Rand has been in the news a lot lately. I think there is a danger in that her philosophy was more deeply opposed to Christianity and the Christian understanding of the world than many contemporary Christians realize. She herself seems to have been fully aware of the depth of antipathy between objectivism (her philosophy) and Christianity. Below is an excerpt from a 1959 interview with Mike Wallace:

Mike Wallace: Let me start by quoting from a review of this novel, Atlas Shrugged, that appeared in Newsweek. It said that you are out to destroy almost every edifice in the contemporary American way of life: our Judeo-Christian religion, our modified, government-regulated capitalism, our rule by the majority will. Other reviews have said that you scorn churches and the concept of God. Are these accurate criticisms?

Ayn Rand: Yes. I agree with the fact, but not the estimate of this criticism. [I think that she means that she doesn’t see anything wrong in what she’s being criticized for.] Namely if I am challenging the base of all these institutions, I’m challenging the moral code of altruism, the precept that man’s moral duty is to live for others … since I’m challenging the base I would necessary challenge the institutions you name that are a result of that morality.

Mike: You say you do not like the altruism by which we live. You like a certain kind of Ayn Rand selfishness.

Ayn Rand: I would say that I don’t like is too weak a word. I consider it evil.

It goes on. It would take way to long to list all the ways that her positions are contrary to the gospel of Jesus Christ. I think it’s enough to note that she agrees that she scorns churches and the concept of God.

You can watch her 1959 interview with Mike Wallace here. I kept watching thinking it might get better. It didn’t.

In a 1979 interview with Phil Donahue  interview she said:

“It has to be either reason or faith. I am against God for the reason that I don’t want to destroy reason.”

I don’t believe we have to choose between faith and reason, God created both. But if I have to choose, I’m going to come down on the side of faith.