Optimistic about common ground between Ayn Rand and Christianity, Paul Strand, is a senior Washington correspondent with CBN News. He is also well-informed about Ayn Rand’s philosophy and its influence on our society and culture since she came on the scene over fifty years ago. In this interview, he asks about how Christians and followers of Ayn Rand can come together. Is there common ground?
One of the questions this begs is “How would we know whether they can come together?” To ask the question, “Is there common ground between Objectivism and Christianity?” is important, but we need to agree on the answer. If we don’t engage with one another, we aren’t going to come to that point of agreement. In fact, even if the common ground exists (and I believe it does), their may never be solidarity and mutual benefit if conservative Christians and secular libertarians do not begin to interact, engage, and listen to one another. It may be so obvious that it’s overlooked.
It’s great to talk about political figures, like Rand Paul and Paul Ryan, who have been vocal about their enthusiasm for Ayn Rand’s ideas of limited government, free markets, individual liberty, and personal responsibility. But it’s not enough to mention her name. It’s even more frustrating when a person backs down and effectively disavows what she stands for altogether. I totally get that Ayn Rand is a political hot potato in some respects. I hasten to add, however, that it’s not necessary to agree with everything she has written or to advocate all of her life choices in order to sit down with an Objectivist. Neither are Ayn Rand followers obliged to memorize Scripture before they talk with Christians. Good thing, too. Because the most important step is the first one.
What do you think are the biggest barriers keeping people from sitting down?