Will Willimon: Ayn Rand and Christmas

Will Willimon on Ayn Rand.  Excellent.

Rand’s “Fountainhead” and “Atlas Shrugged” repudiate family and community. Their major characters’ families and spouses are leeches whose communities are filled with sponges attempting to live off the powerful, brilliant few.

And what about this,  that Rand abhors the very concept of God.  Whaaaa?   GOP?  Christian prsperity gospel fundies?  Athiest?  OH,  I see why you admire this lady.  God has NOTHING to do with it.  Whaaaa?  (kind of like their backing Gingrich —  he of multiple divorces and infidelities– and “family values” at the same time.

Her views on the danger of government, the sovereignty of the individual, the evil of the family, and the sanctity of self-aggrandizement directly relate to her hatred of God and religion (God as a primitive, silly illusion, and religion, any religion, as “a crutch” used by weak people who can’t cut it in a competitive market). Atheism accounts for Rand in a way that it doesn’t even count in Marx.


I am immensely disturbed in particular when Christians express any sort of admiration for Rand.  It is antithetical to the Jesus I read in the gospels,  and antithetical to the God of Israel as articulated by the prophets.  No question.  And yet “Free Market” is worshipped in a manner strikingly eerie in its resemblance to worship of the Golden Calf.  In fact,  the Golden Calf is a story that strikes at the heart of the worship of money and power.  And yet these “prosperity gospel” folks continue to insist that God  wants us to be rich.  And that if we are faithful,  we will be.

Ryan doles out Rand quotes during budget committee hearings and cites her many times with approval in public debate. Congressman John Boehner also reverently quotes her, pushes Rand’s books as brilliant social political tracts, and says that her thoughts are his on America.

And so the Advent/Social Gospel message that so  closely articulates itself in apparent solidarity with those  of the Occupy movement.

I’m amazed that these politicians promote Rand’s philosophy without concern for her atheism. But more amazing is the grand celebration we Christians are about to witness. Christmas, the nativity of Jesus Christ, is an eloquent rebuke to Rand and her contemporary devotees, because Christmas is God’s grand revelation of who God really is.

But the heresy is so strikingly apparent in the Christmas story.

These social leeches, as Rand regards them, were the first to be told by God of “God with us”. The rich and powerful, Rand’s chosen few, resisted Jesus from the day of his birth.

This is ,  for me,  the REAL “war on Christmas”.  It’s being perpetuated by those very people who have popularized an inane “war” and particpated and spread the REAL war.

And then we have these “Tea Party Christians”  contemptous of the Occupy movment,  and the idea of “Social Gospel” as tantamount to Marxism/Communism/Socialism.

And this is one of those “Amen” moments for me:

unlike the devotees of Rand we really believe that the babe in the manger is the whole truth about God and about who we are meant to be. Ayn Rand is lying. That’s the grand truth we get to preach this Christmastide.

Amen! God with us.


About Theoblogical

I am a Web developer with a background in theology, sociology and communications. I love to read, watch movies, sports, and am looking for authentic church.

One Reply to “Will Willimon: Ayn Rand and Christmas”

  1. Medical PMA

    Ayn Rand was not against God per se. What she wrote against was organized religion which was used by "witchdoctors" as opiate to the masses. Her idea of rational self-determination is not in conflict with a belief in God. Someone has to feed the flock, no? Enter John Galt.

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