Ayn Rand has been growing in popularity in recent years through economic conservatives latching on to her teachings of self-reliance and individualism, views that seem to run contrary to the teachings of community and love for others in Scripture.
Ayn Rand in a 1965 Playboy Interview
“My views on charity are very simple. I do not consider it a major virtue and, above all, I do not consider it a moral duty. There is nothing wrong in helping other people, if and when they are worthy of the help and you can afford to help them. I regard charity as a marginal issue. What I am fighting is the idea that charity is a moral duty and a primary virtue."
Jesus in Matthew 25:37-40 (ESV)
"Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’"
Excerpts from Mike Wallace's interview with Ayn Rand in 1959.
Rand: “You love only those who deserve it.”Wallace: “And then if a man is weak or a woman is weak he is or she is beyond love?”Rand: “He certainly does not deserve it. He certainly is beyond it."
Wallace: “Isn’t it possible that we all believe in it [collectivism] because we’re all basically lonely people and we all understand that we are our brothers’ keepers?”Rand: “You couldn’t really understand it because there is no way in which you could justify, nobody has ever given a reason why man should be his brothers’ keeper, and you have every example, and you see examples around you of men perishing by their attempt to be their brothers’ keeper.
Wallace: “What’s wrong with loving your fellow man? Christ, every important moral leader in history has taught us that we should love one another. Why, then is this love in your mind immoral?”Rand: “It is immoral if it is placed above love of oneself."
The Apostle Paul writing about Jesus in Philippians 2:3-8 (ESV).
You decide. Do the teachings of Paul and Jesus line up with the teachings of Ayn Rand?"Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross."