A Reason for Faith: Onward Christian Egoist
Adherents of Ayn Rand and followers of Jesus Christ must set aside differences to secure individual rights.
February 28, 2013 - 7:25 am
Despite adhering to fundamentally different worldviews, Christians and Objectivists can find common ground on the primacy of the individual in public policy. Consider Ayn Rand’s vision for government:
A society that robs an individual of the product of his effort, or enslaves him, or attempts to limit the freedom of his mind, or compels him to act against his own rational judgment-a society that sets up a conflict between its edicts and the requirements of man’s nature—is not, strictly speaking, a society, but a mob held together by institutionalized gang-rule. Such a society destroys all the values of human coexistence, has no possible justification and represents, not a source of benefits, but the deadliest threat to man’s survival. Life on a desert island is safer than and incomparably preferable to existence in Soviet Russia or Nazi Germany.
If men are to live together in a peaceful, productive, rational society and deal with one another to mutual benefit, they must accept the basic social principle without which no moral or civilized society is possible: the principle of individual rights.
To recognize individual rights means to recognize and accept the conditions required by man’s nature for his proper survival.
Man’s rights can be violated only by the use of physical force. It is only by means of physical force that one man can deprive another of his life, or enslave him, or rob him, or prevent him from pursuing his own goals, or compel him to act against his own rational judgment.
The precondition of a civilized society is the barring of physical force from social relationships—thus establishing the principle that if men wish to deal with one another, they may do so only by means of reason: by discussion, persuasion and voluntary, uncoerced agreement.
What part of that conflicts with Christianity? On virtually every issue facing the nation today, Objectivists may conceivably stand alongside Christians in common cause. Though opposed to religion, the Objectivist’s affirmation of conscience guarantees religious freedom. At Tea Party rallies across the country, signs asking “Who is John Galt?” were held alongside others reading “God only asks for 10%.” While differing greatly on philosophical particulars, each contingent seeks limited government tasked with upholding individual rights.