Jesus vs John Galt

In an apparent bid to best all other Hathos Alert nominees (see our Awards Glossary here), the third installment of the film version of Atlas Shrugged will feature cameos from Ron Paul, Sean Hannity, and Glenn Beck. Elizabeth Stoker interprets the news as one more sign of “a bizarre ongoing project undertaken by Rand-entranced members of the political right to jam Christianity and Randian ‘Objectivism’ together.” She longs for the days when conservatives like William F. Buckley, Jr. and Whittaker Chambers rejected Rand’s brand of libertarianism:

Buckley, like Chambers, didn’t capitulate to Rand and her philosophy; they understood correctly that there is no room for Objectivism in a coherent, genuine Christianity. While Rand’s ideal human is self-interested and self-sufficient, the Christian person is devoted to serving others and is always in need: of God, forgiveness, grace, mercy, and the love of Christ. The ideal Randian person, on the other hand, is entirely capable of managing and perfecting his own satisfaction, a far cry from the Christian understanding of a person as perfectable, but not through his own means.

Of course, that aspect of Christianity is a problem for those who prefer to think of themselves as John Galt–esque supermen. Indeed, the disturbing trend of trying to force Christianity to accommodate Rand’s antithetical philosophy is likely a result of her seductive appeal to the very egoism Christianity warns against. It’s a shame conservatives like Paul, Beck, and Hannity have lost the courage of conviction that motivated Buckley and Chambers (among others) to call a spade a spade when it came to Rand; the resulting “philosophy,” if it can be called that, amounts to a vitiated version of Objectivism as well as a pathetic Christian testimony. That Paul, Beck, and Hannity intend to peddle this mess to their broad audiences bodes poorly for a right wing that once knew better.