Thursday, July 28, 2011
Mad Rant: Son of God/Political Football
Let me also say, even though I know it annoys a lot of people when I say anything nice about the objectivists, that even at their worst the objectivists and libertarians are better for religion than the radical revolutionaries. The revolutionaries want to destroy religion, suppress it and promote what is contrary to it. Libertarians, as with most things, simply take a “hands-off” attitude toward religion, neither favoring nor opposing it. Undoubtedly, Ayn Rand was an adamant atheist who was not bashful in her opinions toward any religion including Christianity. In fact, she openly stated that she considered the very concept of “faith” to be immoral. However, though neither her friends nor foes talk about it much, she was also adamant that she was not a “militant atheist”. She stated clearly that she was not trying to fight against religion, she was fighting for pure laissez-faire capitalism. Remember that one of her fundamental principles of objectivism was a total rejection of force or coercion. She adamantly opposed denying anyone the right to be religious just as much as she adamantly opposed denying anyone the right not to be religious at all.
However, the objectivists are not saying that. If you look at what they say closely, they are, again, actually agreeing with the socialists that one must choose between Ayn Rand or Christ. The socialists are saying this because they are portraying Christ as a socialist and what Christians to reject anything Ayn Rand or her modern disciples say. The objectivists are saying it because, well, they think Christianity is basically socialist as well and are hoping you choose Ayn Rand and her philosophy instead. They are not that blatant about it but, keep them talking on the subject long enough and they will admit eventually that, yes, they think ultimately one would have to choose between the two and of course they think objectivism is the superior philosophy to Christianity. They are both, essentially, accepting the same lie: that Christ was a socialist.
That is what is at the heart of socialism; using force to take what one person has to give it to someone else. That never happened in the New Testament, Christ never did it, nor did He ever advocate or command anyone to do it. Jesus did give to the poor and afflicted, and a good Christian is supposed to be “Christ-like” but we do have one serious roadblock to doing exactly “what Jesus would have done” which is that we are not God. Christ could work miracles, He healed the sick, fed the hungry and so on by performing miracles. I suppose I should not speak for everyone but I certainly cannot do that. If I could work miracles there would be crowned heads ruling over the world, I would have perfect health, be living in a villa in Costa Rica and married to Alessandra Ambrosio. In short -not going to happen. Look, instead, to the example of Christ and the rich, young nobleman who asked what he had to do to obtain salvation. Christ told him to give away all of his wealth and follow Him. ‘Aha!’ the socialists exclaim, ‘see, he was one of us!’ Uh, no, because there was no coercion. Now, if Christ had seized the young man, robbed him of all his riches and then, after pocketing a bit for Himself, gave the rest to the poor, THEN Christ would have been a socialist. He didn’t do that. He advised people to be compassionate and charitable, He never advocated using force to take from one and give to another.
As the great William Shakespeare so famously wrote, “The quality of mercy is not strain’d, It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven Upon the place beneath: it is twice blest; It blesseth him that gives and him that takes:” Compassion and charity cannot be forced. When it flows naturally, as Shakespeare said, it rewards both parties in the transaction. Socialism is, at best, coerced charity which simply replaces one possible injustice with another definite one. Besides which, at the end of the day, we all know Jesus was a monarchist. To see objectivists and socialists, two essentially atheist groups, arguing over what economic system the son of God would have preferred, neither adhering to the facts, makes me an extremely … Mad Monarchist.