Acton Institute Powerblog

The Fountainhead of Satanism

Share this article:
Join the Discussion:

rand-laveyOver the past few years, Anton LaVey and his book The Satanic Bible has grown increasingly popular, selling thousands of new copies. His impact has been especially pronounced in our nation’s capital. One U.S. senator has publicly confessed to being a fan of the The Satanic Bible while another calls it his “foundation book.” On the other side of Congress, a representative speaks highly of LaVey and recommends that his staffers read the book.

A leading radio host called LaVey “brilliant” and quotations from the The Satanic Bible can be glimpsed on placards at political rallies. More recently, a respected theologian dared to criticize the founder of the Church of Satan in the pages of a religious and cultural journal and was roundly criticized by dozens of fellow Christians.

Surprisingly little concern, much less outrage, has erupted over this phenomenon. Shouldn’t we be appalled by the ascendancy of this evangelist of anti-Christian philosophy? Shouldn’t we all–especially we Christians–be mobilizing to counter the malevolent force of this man on our culture and politics?

As you’ve probably guessed by this point, I’m not really talking about LaVey but about his mentor, Ayn Rand. The ascendency of LaVey and his embrace by “conservative” leaders would indeed cause paroxysms of indignation. Yet, while the two figures’ philosophies are nearly identical, Rand appears to have received a pass. Why is that?

Perhaps most are unaware of the connection, though LaVey wasn’t shy about admitting his debt to his inspiration. “I give people Ayn Rand with trappings,” he once told the Washington Post . On another occasion he acknowledged that his brand of Satanism was “just Ayn Rand’s philosophy with ceremony and ritual added.” Indeed, the influence is so apparent that LaVey has been accused of plagiarizing part of his “Nine Satanic Statements” from the John Galt speech in Rand’s Atlas Shrugged .

Devotees of Rand may object to my outlining the association between the two. They will say I am proposing “guilt by association,” a form of the ad hominem fallacy . But I am not attacking Rand for the overlap of her views with LaVey’s; I am saying that, at their core, they are the same philosophy . LaVey was able to recognize what many conservatives fail to see: Rand’s doctrines are satanic.

I realize that even to invoke that infernal word conjures images of black masses, human sacrifices, and record needles broken trying to play “Stairway to Heaven” backwards. But satanism is more banal and more attractive than the parody created by LeVay. Real satanism has been around since the beginning of history, selling an appealing message: Your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God.

You can replace the pentagrams of LeVayian Satanism with the dollar sign of the Objectivists without changing much of the substance separating the two. The ideas are largely the same, though the movements’ aesthetics are different. One appeals to, we might say, the Young Objectivists, and the other attracts the Future Wiccans of America.

What is harder to understand is why both ideologies appeal to Christians and conservatives. My guess is that these groups are committing what I’d call the fallacy of personal compatibility. This fallacy occurs when a person thinks that because one subscribes to both “Belief X” and “Belief Y,” the two beliefs must therefore be compatible. For example, a person may claim that “life has meaning” and that “everything that exists is made of matter” even though the two claims are not compatible (unless “meaning” is made of matter). This take on the fallacy has long been committed by atheists. Now it appears to be growing in popularity among conservatives and Christians as well.

But to be a follower of both Rand and Christ is not possible. The original Objectivist was a type of self-professed anti-Christ who hated Christianity and the self-sacrificial love of its founder. She recognized that those Christians who claimed to share her views didn’t seem to understand what she was saying.

Many conservatives admire Rand because she was anti-collectivist. But that is like admiring Stalin because he opposed Nazism. Stalin was against the Nazis because he wanted to make the world safe for Communism. Likewise, Rand stands against collectivism because she wants the freedom to abolish Judeo-Christian morality. Conservative Christians who embrace her as the “enemy-of-my-enemy” seem to forget that she considered us the enemy.

Even if this were not the case, though, what would warrant the current influence of her thought within the conservative movement? Rand was a third-rate writer who was too arrogant to recognize her own ignorance (she believed she was the third greatest philosopher in history, behind only Aristotle and Aquinas). She misunderstood almost every concept she engaged with—from capitalism to freedom—and wrote nothing that had not been treated before by better thinkers. We don’t need her any more than we need LeVay.

Few conservatives will fall completely under Rand’s diabolic sway. But we are sustaining a climate in which not a few gullible souls believe she is worth taking seriously. Are we willing to be held responsible for pushing them to adopt an anti-Christian worldview? If so, perhaps instead of recommending Atlas Shrugged , we should simply hand out copies of The Satanic Bible . If they’re going to align with a satanic cult, they might as well join the one that has the better holidays.

Joe Carter Joe Carter is a Senior Editor at the Acton Institute. Joe also serves as an editor at the The Gospel Coalition, a communications specialist for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, and as an adjunct professor of journalism at Patrick Henry College. He is the editor of the NIV Lifehacks Bible and co-author of How to Argue like Jesus: Learning Persuasion from History's Greatest Communicator (Crossway).


  • Leslie Martinez

    Well, it would seem, that as a typical Pro Christian writer, Joe Carter as little understanding of his opponents (victims?).
    For example, in Antons “Satanic Bible” he explains that the goal of the
    Satanist is self gratification not dominance of the world, enslavement
    of others or even sacrificial offerings.
    He also references the “…
    pentagrams of LeVayian Satanism …” He fails to understand that the
    pentagram is no more satanic than the cross. If he really knew what he
    was talking about, he would know that Satanists also use an inverted
    cross, just like the inverted pentagram, as a symbol of their opposition
    to Christianity.
    And, he even relates Wicca to Satanism. Truly a
    man with no eduction on his subject rather than to blast that that
    differs from his brainwashed beliefs. Wicca is about nature, and
    harmony with nature. He might as well be slamming the Buddhists for the
    belief in universal harmony with no deity.
    Now, I am not campaigning
    for anti Christianity, I do not typically care what belief others have,
    as long as they are not harming others nor forcing their beliefs on
    others. And I will typically support others in their beliefs as long as
    they can be open minded and support others in theirs.

    • Satanist is self gratification not dominance of the world, enslavement of others or even sacrificial offerings.

      Indeed, and how does that differ from Rand’s philosophy?

      He fails to understand that the pentagram is no more satanic than the cross.

      I never said it was. Notice the way I use that reference. I don’t think the pentagram solely belongs to satanists any more than I think the dollar sign belongs to Objectivists.

      Wicca is about nature, and harmony with nature.

      No, it’s really not. Wicca is a 20th century neo-pagan religion founded by Gerald Gardner whose primary adherence is to hedonism, not nature. That’s why the Wiccan motto is, “Do what you will, so long as it harms none.” Also, Gardner borrowed heavily from the work of Aleister Crowley. Wicca may not be Satanist, but there is definitely more than a little connection to satanic occultism in it.

    • Jim

      “I do not typically care what belief others have, as long as
      they are not harming others nor forcing their beliefs on others. And I will typically support others in their beliefs as long as they can be open minded and support others in theirs.” Sir, if we are being open minded then we should open our minds to the reality of all belief systems. If I believe, as Joe Carter does, that a particular worldview is damaging, I am doing a disservice to my neighbors if I don’t point that out. If truth exists,then not all things can be true.

    • robert chacon

      “Satanist is self gratification not dominance of the world, enslavement
      of others or even sacrificial offerings.” Self gratification leads to dominance. That is precisely the evil in the world today. The sum of self gratification leads all too often to the extremes of inequities in capitalism that Pope Francis has been talking about. Even if one should differ about what the Popes seems to prescribe as the solution, it is all too evident that unfettered self gratification leads to disorders in the individuals appetites as well as the disorders in the allocation of resources in the overall sum of these individual appetites , which is the economy. Even if you limit such a maxim to that which does not harm another, you then negate the power of the original idea, which is complete self gratification. The two are incompatible if self gratification is to be maximized. Self gratification has already lead to attempts at world dominance and enslavement.

  • jeddom

    Carter has clearly come up with a great quote, but here is where he uses a sloppy or lazy lack of erudite
    scholarship in this particular article: “The original Objectivist was a
    type of self-professed anti-Christ who hated Christianity and the self-sacrificial love of its founder.”

    he clearly makes an ad hominem directly against Ayn Rand herself,
    without the benefit of even defining the Objectivism to which he makes
    reference to, for the benefit of the understanding of his reader.

    specifically posits that there is an objective reality that exists
    outside of and in spite of any observer. I think that *most* Christians
    will agree with this position.
    The entire brief article compares Objectivism with Satanism without ever defining either, and makes a logical fallacy.

    • Haydn

      Objectivist philosophy also espouse the idea that people should live to promote their own happiness and NOT sacrifice themselves for others. This sounds anti christian to me. You posted a short definition, but left out the
      part many people would find repugnant or anti christian.

      • jeddom

        @Haydn Your point carries some validity. However, I
        think, that as Christians, we largely have issues not with Rand’s
        Objectivism, or belief in objective reality, but with her assertions
        about altruism. We as Christians believe that we are called to acts of
        charity, for example.

        However, if
        a political system (such as Communism or even Obamacare, for that
        matter) enforces altruism with threat of force, then it is no altruism
        at all.

        In this, I think many Christians wish to preserve enough
        individual liberty and solvency to serve God according to conscious, and
        not be subjected to some kind of enforced social morality.

        there is still much that Christians and Rand can agree upon, albeit for
        slightly different reasons. (She gets to be free to be selfish, and we
        get to be free to serve God)

        • raycathode

          Rand had no issue with charity, so long as it did not entail the sacrifice of greater values for lesser ones. In fact, in person, she was to most accounts a very generous person. For instance, a young person should not sacrifice their education to provide for a drunk or drug addict – that would truly be a sacrifice, but to provide for someone one truly cares for, is no sacrifice – it is a reflection of one’s caring.

          • tjl

            Sacrifice doesn’t work that way.
            It is not a sacrifice to give up education to provide for a drunk or drug addict, that is either foolish, if you are choosing to do so, or enslavement if you are forced to.
            Sacrifice is not determined by feelings, good or bad, toward another.
            Rather, it is simply the use of more than personal surplus to help another person, whether they are friend or foe.

          • Susan

            All interesting comments. Rand seemed to hate “selflessness”–the basis of Christianity/Jesus; that idea that true “happiness” only will occur with selflessness, was rejected and mocked by her. (Socrates stated that Wisdom only will occur with humility (she didn’t have much).

            “Happiness” is the goal of human beings. Rand could never grasp that Christian concept of what contributes to true “happiness” (which the majority, of even Christians, have trouble understanding). Rand never gave birth, so never really understood that idea of total dependency in lives of children, which requires selflessness of parents for not just survival, but for true flourishing and happiness.

            She was wrong on the essential element of “selflessness” in civilizations, which is essential for flourishing cultures and futures and dignity of human beings. Christian Theology has been proven the most free, diverse and creative ideology/Theology in the history of man (perfect–no, but nothing is)—because of their ideas on Charity and Hope and individual dignity of man, which created the university systems, hospitals, Common Law, US Constitution, etc. etc. It couldn’t happen without the Christian Worldview where “selflessness” is crucial.

            Socrates stated that without Virtue, Freedom is impossible. That is fact. Christianity invented the most perfect “Virtue” system, which created the flourishing of Western Civilization and the most free and creative and diverse cultures in the history of man. Her morality system was defective and could never compete with the civilization created by a dominate Christian Worldview because she leaves out Charity/selflessness.

          • Mr. Hunter

            Charity and selflessness are not the same thing.

            I can choose a place to do charitable acts because my MIND thinks that this is a good thing to do. When we talk about our ‘heart’ we really mean our ‘mind’ because hearts don’t have conscious perceptions.

            “Selflessness” is often equated with the losing of the self in Nirvana. I daresay Ms. Rand would have thought such things ridiculous. I’d tend to agree.

  • Caleb

    Hey Joe,
    I can finally agree with you. Rand is a scandal as is the recent openness to her in certain circles.

  • misterioso

    As if there was such an entity as “Satan.”

    • Aleteia

      There is, requires faith to believe it.

  • Simon

    Joe, I think you are absolutely right here. Rand herself describes her philosophy as advocating egoism. Egoism is indeed the fountainhead of all that is sinful in our world.

    What puzzles me, given her virulent and explicit anti-Christian statements and open disdain for the teachings of our Lord, is why many conservative Christians venerate her ideas and writings. Even Piper has been an apologist for her work. Perhaps this is something inherent in the kind of Protestantism that came to America – i.e. Radical Protestantism that is particularly individualistic. Piper’s strange ideas concerning “Christian Hedonism” provide some idea of this extreme individualistic approach to Christianity that seems collude to some extent with an egotistical outlook to life in general.

  • Barbara

    While I don’t disagree with the premise, I’d be more likely to believe the assertions if the author would specifically source his quotes.

  • ctrace

    This post is a bit overwrought. Most conservatives note Rand’s atheism when they discuss her works. Finding wheat amidst even that kind of chaff is hardly satanic. As for associating her philosophy overall with satanism I’d have to know more of your understanding of liberty vs. tyranny. Many even theologically conservative Christians come across as disappointingly shallow on such issues.

    • Mr. Hunter

      And religious organizations have committed atrocities too. Pedophile priests anyone? The crusades? The current radical Islam that seeks to kill everyone else?


    • Walter Bernhard

      So those who reject ancient mythology are “chaff”? How enlightening. Meanwhile, in the real world…

  • GW

    Joe, Thanks for this article. I was really taken aback by just the first two paragraphs. Could you provide more details about the incidents you refer to there? I would like to look into this further.

  • PaulBot 1138

    The fallacy you commit is that of conflating all of Ayn Rand’s ideas into one overarching philosophy. While Rand certainly did this, it is by no means the only way one may utilize her philisophical arguments. Just as one may accept Immanuel Kant’s deontological moral philosophy without accepting his metaphysics, so too can one fully embrace Rand’s libertarian political philosophy without thereby accepting her Objectivist moral philosophy.
    Full-blown Objectivism may be incompatible with Christianity; Randian libertarianism, however, is fully compatible, and it is this aspect that conservatives embrace.

  • Mike Blevins

    So precisely what are these so-called “connections” between Rand and Satanism? This article goes on and on about them without ever describing what the connections actually are. As such, it stands as an ad hominem.

    • IndianaGary42

      I think the author equates atheism with satanism. When I saw, “LaVey was able to recognize what many conservatives fail to see: Rand’s doctrines are satanic”, my first thought was to read through the article and see if the author could provide any support for the statement. Alas, I could find no such support. This is just another fairly typical smear of Rand totally without support.

    • Swiper Fox

      What I got from this is a definition of Satanism that is wholly based on one detail: self worship and self deification. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” The author is correct in that point; both Rand and LaVey’s “philosophies” have this in common (Nietzsche too) and it would seem to be inimical to Christianity.

  • Charles Cosimano

    Well, as my old, pet rock was a better philosopher than Aristotle or Aquinas, I have to give her credit for that. Otherwise this essay does descend into silliness.

  • Brian

    Rand/Objectivism completely excludes any spiritual realm where people act according to what’s best for themselves. A Christian would/should include the spiritual realm in determining what’s best for themself. John Piper has advanced a “Christian hedonism” philosophy/theology where a Christian’s pursuit of “the highest good will always result in our greatest happiness in the end.” Furhter, moral acts (despite what Rand say) do not have to be self-sacrificial.

    In addition to a Rand quote, one section of that link shows that Jonathan Edwards “resolved, to endeavor to obtain for myself as much happiness in the other world as I possibly can, with all the power, might, vigor, and vehemence, yea violence, I am capable of, or can bring myself to exert, in any way that can be thought of.” He’s applying a selfish motive for his own pleasure but he’s adding the existance of eternity to his cost/benefit analysis (and last time I checked, eternity was much longer than the life expectancy here on earth).

  • Snake Plissken

    Rand’s work is a true test of endurance, slogging through an eleven hundred page fable that shouldn’t have been any longer than a few pages is a true test of endurance. The main thing Rand has going for her is most of her fans are too intellectually lazy to ever bother cracking open any of her books.

    • Hominid

      You contradict yourself. If the book is so tedious as to be unreadable, those who decline to read it are not to be adjudged ‘intellectually lazy.’

      • David

        It is intellectually lazy if you promote the value of a book that you have not read; regardless of its tediousness.

  • FA Miniter

    We have had a whole political party in America fall under the sway of Ayn Rand’s supply side economics. (But what if you make a widget and nobody has any money to buy it?) They (the GOP, of course, who else) also adopted her “trample on the weak and poor while you steamroll to success” doctrine. There is no Humanism in Rand.

    • Stevelsn

      And we have another political party in America that believes in Nietsche.

      • FA Miniter

        You have it wrong. Rand, with her focus on industrial heroes, is the heir to Nietzsche and Schopenhauer, with their will to power and the primacy of the superman. And that is the focus of the GOP. The Democrats, on the other hand, favor greater equality in society and care for the weak, the poor, the children and the elderly.

        • Mr. Hunter

          From what I can see, the Democrats favor destroying the economic might of the society.

          Without the generation of wealth, you do not have the money for good social services.

          As for ‘the weak and the poor’ — how to get people not to be poor except through economic opportunity? Or are you saying that, somehow, others have claims on SIGNIFICANT parts of your earnings? Why is this?

          I have zero issue over supporting the genuinely disabled and those who can’t work. I have a lot of issue over saying to someone ‘oh you’re poor, here’s (whatever) thousands of dollars per year you don’t have to be bothered.

          Having grown up dirt poor I wanted to work my way out of it, and I did. That does not sound like what you’re advocating.

        • Ramon1710 .

          If they actually cared, they’d help them to rise about their current situation. In so doing, they’d lose their support base, so it’s the last thing they would do. The purpose of the democrats is to keep people dependent on government, and thus, keep themselves in power, as the handout party. This is the same purpose held by the Republican establishment – “Hail the status quo!”
          “Pay your fair share” says Obama, while having his lawyers take advantage of every tax loophole they can find.
          “Save the Nevada turtle” says Harry Reid, while his lawyer sons work to give out grazing land to the Communist Chinese for solar experimentation.
          “Keep the earth from melting!” says Al Gore, while his house uses 5 times the power of any normal house.
          “We must save the planet” says the UN’s IPCC head, Rajendra K. Pachauri, who stands to make millions off carbon trading.
          “We must pass it to see what’s in it,” says Nancy Pelosi, prior to insurance premiums skyrocketing and massive insurance coverage cutoffs.

  • parker1227

    Promoting ones own happiness (selfishness), includes the right to promote a safe and happy world for ones family and fellow human beings.

    So, depending on ones definition of happiness – promoting ones self-interest, is not mutually exclusive with sacrifice.

    (And, ideally, that sacrifice would be an individual and personal choice – not one coerced by government or other “authorities.”)

    • Howard

      Sure, if you define “self-interest” so broadly that it subsumes every conceivable motive for every conceivable action — something you are close to doing, if you’re not there yet — then ta da! Every action is motivated by self interest. Your statement is true, but perfectly useless.

      • Mr. Hunter

        Indeed, I get joy in supporting my wife and being a good husband.

        That’s in my self interest and also a Christian trait.

        People always talk about ‘self interest’ as being only “me, me, me.” Personally I believe that a decent society is in my self interest too – so I do volunteer work in various ways.

        Folks’ blindness is nothing short of astounding.

  • raycathode

    Rand stands for two fundamental things, reason and individualism. If you want to oppose her because she supports reason, then I have no time for you because no real communication is possible. If you oppose her because she supports individualism, then need I point out that that may be Christianity’s only virtue, that it supports individualism- for Christians, a man’s relationship with God (or Christ) is one to one and direct. It will do you no good to say that Caesar directed you to do evil when you face judgment.

    • Simon

      You have misunderstood Christianity. The central sacrament is know as Communion for a reason. We are not individuals, but a communion of saints living in the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church. It is not simply me, my Bible and God. I think this is the reason why Rand resonates with the radical Protestantism that America was founded on. Perhaps America was the only place where her ideas could garner any significant following.

      • tjl

        Actually, as a traditional Catholic I would have to disagree with your understanding of “Communion”.
        It is a personal relationship between a soul and Christ when consuming Christ. That act of receiving Our Lords Eucharistic Body and Blood is done as an individual.
        We must be in “Communion” with the Church (the Body of Christ) in order to receive what many now call “Communion”, but rather should call the Eucharist.
        My fingers each have a personal relationship with me, the whole me, despite the fact that they are working in communion with, and are merely a part of, my body.

        • Aleteia

          The communion with the other members of the Church is very important, I understand that we need each other even if we have a personal relation with God. It strengthen us, religiousness has a collective and social dimension.

      • Douglas Rudd

        “Communion” is supposed to be the communion between God and oneself. Not communion as being part of a group.

        • Nope: “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”

  • David

    I think it highly ironic and quite funny that, in your rant against Carter, you violate your own logical commandment that you show so much disdain for in Carter’s piece. Tell me, did you walk down from mount Sinai with that written on stone? And two, is your face still shinning that I need to get a veil to cover it? How exactly do I know your you are jumping on the very nail you accuse carter of falling on you ask? Well, first, you assume carter is wrong and you assume your definition of the word “explanation” and then judge carter by that criteria and the judge him as “wrong.” You then distract us by parading around your little fictional story about nothing and laud yourself the whole way through. There you go, I’ve demonstrated how you’ve been a hypocrite. But I won’t leave you there. People are hypocritical on a daily basis including myself. God forgives us but I think hypocrisy displays are arrogance. My point is pray for humility as do I. It’s very helpful when you read others. And when I say read with humility I don’t mean through critical thinking out the window. Everyone has room for improvement in explanation. Try to understand where the writer is coming from and that we are all creatures affected by sin. This is an invaluable tool for understanding other people that is not equivocal with agreeing with their premises or methods of articulation which involve subjectivity.

    Hope you had a good easter.

  • Simon

    Jonathan, her entire philosophy is founded on an abhorrent exultation of ego. This is something that is repugnant to the Gospel. That is what’s at issue here. Not only that, but her life is testimony to the misery of ego – dying a lonely wretched woman. Despite her daunting and fierce intellect, she is, at the end of the day, a pitiful person who colluded with her own dehumanization,.

    • tjl

      Sounds like you just described how many of our canonized saints died.
      Before you be too rigid in your judgment of her, remember, to what measurement of judgment you judge others, you will be judged.
      She has many correct philosophical points which have absolutely no opposition to Christian teaching.
      But she has other philosophical points that must be viewed more cautiously in regard to the soul.
      Sounds like she was pretty human and normal to me.
      She isn’t a saint. So what. Neither was Aristotle. I don’t agree with all his thinking either, nor did either expect me to.

      • Marie

        “a pitiful person who colluded with her own dehumanization” describes the death of no saint ever.

        Aristotle’s philosophy is miles different from hers. He believed in a Supreme (and altruistic) Being, for example.

        There was little to nothing in Aristotle’s philosophy (let me emphasize: I’m speaking of his *philosophy*, not his quaint attempts at disciplines such as biology) that actually contradicted the truth – the main problems with his philosophy are absence of truths he could have or perhaps even should have asserted. They’re not there, but neither is their opposite. That’s quite different from asserting things that are at direct variance with the truth, as Rand did.

        Could venture the following comparison: it is like the difference between one person who who states that bread and meat are good for food (they’ve left out two of the four food groups – milk and veggies [I’m using the old-fashioned “four” just to simplify the illustration]) vs a second person who states that bread, meat, arsenic, and cyanide are good for food. Big difference between those two. Follow the dietary advice of the first and you’ll live though you might not be quite as healthy as you could be. Follow the dietary advice of the second and you’ll die plain and simple.

  • Erin Fladmo

    I agree with this completely! When Louis XVI of France was imprisoned by the Revolutionary government in 1792, he noticed books by the anti-Christian philosophers Voltaire and Rousseau in his cell. The King, a devout Catholic, said sorrowfully, “These men have destroyed France.” The Reign of Terror would break out the following year, claiming many innocent lives. All true Catholics must take action against Rand and her works, lest a future devout leader say, “This woman has destroyed America and the world.”

  • CRS

    I remember being almost pulled by the Ayn Rand sway, until I read her sentiments regarding the unborn: anyone who can say the horrible things about an innocent child that she said has nothing valuable to say to me. But the sheer influence of her beliefs is astonishing. It was like being hit by a tidal wave, until the truth made itself apparent.

  • CRS

    I’m reading the comments and thinking, “Wow, these people love their Rand. Look how vehemently they defend her!” Truth be told, people, there are far better advocates of life, liberty and property than Rand. Rand could give a Flying Ugly Crack Kangaroo about life, especially unborn life, and she disdained all Christian belief. Do you really think she is an appropriate model for Christian-Conservatives/Christian-Libertarians who value life and the teachings of Christ just because she shared a couple of beliefs with you politically? Think about it.

  • Sam

    Mr. Carter, thank you for this article. Any Satanist worth their black robes has been aware of this for years, but it seems the mainstream still has yet to accept it, despite Mr. LaVey having acknowledged it himself publicly. Mr. LaVey was famous for his recycling of other authors’ works, even to the point of plagiarizing them. Ayn Rand was not the only author he did this to. HG Wells, HP Lovecraft, and a pseudonymous author calling himself Ragnar Redbeard are among his victims as well. Anyone who believes that Satanism has no plans for world domination has never read LaVey’s essay “Pentagonal Revisionism,” where he lays out in 5 specific points what he called, “the current thrust of satanic advocacy.” Anyone familiar with that document who looks back over the last 30 years of history and at the current world religious and political stage knows all too well what’s going on and how powerful the influence of the devil is.

  • Jeff

    It’s curious that people would attack the writer without realizing the connection. Ayn Rand helped foster moral relativism which is devoid of God. LaVay’s ideas aren’t about Satan specifically but about the lack of a true God. Which is essentially the same thing. But, when you sit in opposition to God then you oppose then you’re advocate against Him, which is what the definition of Satan is.

  • David Leighton

    I listened to Atlas Shrugged on CD last year (all 50 CDs!) and have to say, I found it to be a great insight into the direction that this country is headed. The strikingly similar Political Correctness and Gov’t interference in Private business was amazing. I found it amazing how she was able to predict almost to a tee the situation this country now finds itself in. For example, the way the media just goes along and not question this current administration. I never skipped through a single CD until I got to John Gault’s speech. At first I listened to his rant and then it just got old. As a Christian, I just didn’t agree with it. But, if a person can in a way disregard Ayn Rand’s (John Gault) philosophy and rather use the book as a tool to show the evil of Political Correctness and Gov’t interference in private business, the book is a masterpiece.

    • Mr. Hunter

      She lived through the rise of Soviet communism, which is where we are at this time.

      She also had great vision – or rather, an ability to see the direction in which things were going.

  • Ed

    My impression of Ayn Rand after reading her books was her intolerance of people with opposing views. Her warped views seemed to require a lockstep agreement with her Objectivist ideology, or it was off to the Gulag for you. She was so opposed to collectivism that she, ironically, was a tyrant. She actually despised Libertarians; she thought they were a bunch of hippies.

    • Mr. Hunter

      Where has she ever advocated gulags?

      From what I can see – and I didn’t know her personally – she objected to people who espoused points of view that she didn’t see could be backed up with reason.

      Not “suffering fools gladly” (from her point of view) is simply her personality style. I’m not saying it is good.

      However, I’ve seldom seen a ‘liberal’ who does that good.

  • Bill Walker

    Wow, I didn’t realize that about Ayn Rand! No more Ayn Rand!! Great read, unfortunately I was a gullible one. Back to the light….God Bless.

  • Tom Hanson

    Oh, c’mon! Which Senators and what Rep, where, when and in what contexts please? Without that info it is Inherently unbelievable that any National politician would stick his/her neck out that way.

  • Scooter Debouter

    If LaVey knew anything at all about Ayn Rand, it should be that no idea, sentence or word she uttered was not rigorously thought out and deliberately chosen. Unlike LaVey who just spouts out nonsense without any consideration of logic or reason behind what he says. That this charlatan is given any forum to spew his slanderous unsupported allegations is a statement to our era where ridiculous people can broadcast their idiotic ideas regardless of whether they make sense or not and be taken seriously.

  • rsmyth75

    “Good fences make good neighbors.” Rand never said that, but could have! and there is no such a thing as altruism. We all have a selfish reason even for doing good. If u r a believer in God then it may be eternal reward or some other esoteric reason! Even Jesus understand this with sayings like “what does it profit a man,etc” Yes, Rand was an atheist, but to call her a satanist is such a stretch it becomes silly

  • Holly Williams

    This is interesting but I must say I do not like the last paragraph of this blog. I realize that the last couple of sentences were written in a sarcastic tone but I am afraid that some people might actually take it literally. Neither Satanic cult would be acceptable to join in THE LEAST!

  • Andrew Patton

    Indeed, Rand, like Marx, does teach the opposite of Christ on every issue, but rather perverts the virtues of Christ’s teaching to her own ends.

  • Chris Comis

    Ayn Rand was Anton LaVey. Just study closely the two photos above. Shave Rand’s head and give her a goatee, and voila . . . it’s LaVey! There’s more than just a philosophical connection here. Much more!

  • Problem is, if Christians are allowed only to read other Christians we would be in a world of hurt for good economics. Of course, there is Roepke and the Salamancan scholars. But the best economics come from Hayek, a self-proclaimed agnostic, and Mises, who was very critical of Christianity before coming to the US.

    Aristotle and Plato were far from friends of Christianity, but the Church revered them for centuries. Church scholars did the right thing: they took the best and ignored the rest. There is some good in every philosophy and religion; it’s part of common grace.

    Christians admire the sound economics, politics and reason that Rand offers. She was the first person I read who got me thinking about capitalism as the only moral economic system. I just ignored her anti-Christian rants because they contributed nothing to her economics and politics.

    Now I know that there are much better economists, philosophers and political scientists, but she got me started on the right path in economics.

  • Aleteia

    Wishful thinking is nice. Socialists also had glorious plans but ended doing atrocities.

    • FA Miniter

      No, you are wrong. Apparently, you have no idea what socialism is. You appear to associate it with totalitarianism. It is no such thing. Socialism, for instance, is the prevailing policy in many European countries, Sweden, for instance, which has absolutely no history of atrocities. Socialism is the human face of government. We live in a socialized capitalist society.

      In fact, it was socialism in America that brought us (1) the Child Labor Laws, ending the abuse of children as laborers, (2) Social Security, providing a minimum level of income in retirement because most businesses do not offer retirement plans, (3) Medicare, (4) Wages and Hours laws, providing for overtime and better working conditions, (5) OSHA, providing safety in the work place, and many, many other similar laws. We in America achieved all of this without atrocities, or did I miss something?

  • Mark Lake

    Thanks Paul. You hit this one out of the ballpark. This explanation of yours is exactly what I was feeling when reading the essay at issue. Truthfully, few people read enough of The Holy Bible these days, and more and more people fill the futility of their lives with this nonsense! I was disappointed to read this essay, especially knowing that it came from a source closely affiliating to the “Christian” church (though more and more I am inclined to doubt that too).

  • MktLdr

    Well stated Paul M. Suggest that Joe Carter connect with “Dr. Jonathan Gruber,” as they both believe their audience is hoodwinked and stupid.

  • CodyLibolt

    Joe, your article misrepresents Rand’s views and gives almost no attention to any of her particular ideas. Rand asked many important questions that we as Christians should deal with. A great starting place for understanding what Rand has to offer is John Piper’s essay, The Ethics of Ayn Rand: Appreciation and Critique.

  • Ray

    Christianity like all religions have an evil (i.e. that which negates a man’s means of survival) nature and foundation. It is the BIG LIE. The lie of intelligence not embodied in material form. The lie of sacrifice of the self for some cause other than oneself, the secret intent which is to convince the slave that the sacrifice of his life in the service of the powers that shouldn’t be, is somehow noble.

  • Burt

    Great opening device, replacing Rand with Levay in the testimony of public figures. However the premise of this article is based exclusively on the claim by Levay that his philosophy and Rands’s are the same. This in turn was a clever device on his part. One can’t help but see as intended somewhat ironically and mischieviously. His claim of the identity of their philosophies hardly establishes this identity. Those who are familiar with the work of both Rand and Levay will find as many or more differences than similarities. For example the central role of manipulation in Levay’s philosophy and its opposite, personal integrity and radical indifference to other people’s opinion in Rand’s philosophy. Rand goes to great lengths to establish a morality whereas Levay dispenses with morality. They are not identical and the failure to perceive this can be chalked up to superficial intellectuality that associates apples and oranges because they are both sort of round.