Thursday, June 23, 2011

Jesus vs. Howard Roark

By Joseph Kellard
While talk continues in Objectivist circles about a Christian organization's comparison of Ayn Rand to Jesus, I'd like to remind or enlighten HBLers [subscribers to the Harry Binswanger List], as I did when Mel Gibson's “The Passion of the Christ” was all the rage, about an excellent letter Miss Rand wrote that contrasts Jesus and Howard Roark. You'll find it in “Letters of Any Rand” (p. 287, hardcover), under the title: “To Sylvia Austin, a fan.”

Among the ideas Ayn Rand addresses are the contradiction between individualism (in regard to Christianity's reverence for the sanctity of the individual soul) and Jesus' morality of altruism, the demeaning implication that what is noble in man is strictly divine and not human, “bearing each other's burdens,” and “loving one another.”

About the latter she wrote: “Since all men are not virtuous, to love them for their vices would be a monstrous conception and a vicious injustice. One can not love such men as Stalin or Hitler. One can not love both a man like Roark and a man like Toohey. If one says one does, it merely means that one does not love at all.”

Stick that in your pipe, American Values Network!

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