A few months ago I posted something about the curious and (I think) inconsistent affection some Christians have for Ayn Rand. My conjecture was:
I’ve suspected that what they, the Christians, do is to separate Rand’s economic ideas from her metaphysics. They read Atlas Shrugged or The Fountainhead and are thrilled by the achievements of the heroes, and filled with indignation toward their malicious collectivist enemies. They either miss or mostly ignore the materialist and atheist foundations of Rand’s didactic stories; what they see is an inspiring story of individual heroism against collective stupidity and venality.
(You can read the whole post here.) Yesterday, more or less by accident (following a link to the same site sent to me a friend), I came across a post by Quin Hillyer at The American Spectator which seems to confirm my conjecture:
I know numerous, numerous conservatives, myself included, who thrill to part of Rand's message while utterly rejecting other parts of it. There is not a single contradiction in that unless somebody actually says he embraces Rand in full and then still tries to claim to be a devout Christian.
(Whole post here.) Quin Hillyer is no dummy. He used to work for the local paper here, and was a very astute observer and a good writer, and I was sorry when he moved on. He may be right or he may be wrong, but he's not stupid. And he's right that there is no contradiction in agreeing with one thing Rand says but not another. Left-wing Christians do it with Marx all the time. It depends somewhat, I guess, on what in Rand imparts that thrill. I don't think I experienced a thrill of any sort at any point while reading Atlas Shrugged.