Rand, Faith Incompatible
I am writing to take issue with some of the ideas expressed in a column by William M. Yavelak in the Dec. 8 issue of the Sunday News-Register. The column called for following Ayn Rand’s opinions as a guide to American foreign policy. Many followers of Ayn Rand disparage any kind of faith while exhibiting a blind faith in her principles. Mr. Yavelak cites The Gospels, but Ayn Rand’s materialistic objectivism is incompatible with Christianity and any other religious or spiritual world-view.
The writer quotes Ayn Rand as claiming that the philosophy of pragmatism rejects objective reality and holds that that “… whatever people wish to be true, is true.” That statement is false. The founders of American Pragmatism, Charles S. Peirce (1839-1914) and William James (1842-1910), not only affirmed objective reality, but both were rooted in science, which they integrated with religious faith. They revealed deep spiritual insight, affirmed that belief in God is the most rational world-view, and offered a strenuous moral philosophy.
Yavelak goes on to assert that The Declaration of Independence affirms a Triune God and recognizes Jesus Christ as the supreme judge of the world. It does not. Thomas Jefferson was a Deist, not a Christian. A Christian lifestyle is compatible with Deism but goes much further and demands much more, as does Judaism.
In our country many forms of Christianity, Judaismm, and other religions can thrive and work together under the umbrella of separation of church and state. But all of them teach the duty to care about our neighbors and especially those who are least well off. None of them condones the Ayn Randian notion that selfishness is a virtue and greed is good. The growing popularity of Ayn Rand constitutes a radical departure from any religious and spiritual approach to life.
Richard P. Mullin