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The Fountainhead of Satanism
First Things ^ | June 8 2011 | Joe Carter

Posted on 06/08/2011 9:34:29 PM PDT by Shalmaneser

Over 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. LeVey 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 Libertarians, 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.


TOPICS: History; Other non-Christian; Religion & Culture; Religion & Politics
KEYWORDS: aynrand; christian; dnc; lavey; objectivism; religion; satanism; slander
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My first post. Sorry if it is wrong.
1 posted on 06/08/2011 9:34:31 PM PDT by Shalmaneser
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To: Shalmaneser

Why is that?
^^^^^^^^^^

When Ayn Rand is right she is very right!

And...Yes, parts of her philosophy are flat out wrong. That can and should be acknowledged without discarding and discounting everything that is true. True is true and will **always** be true. Truth can not be made to disappear simply because wrong also exists.


2 posted on 06/08/2011 9:40:08 PM PDT by wintertime
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To: Shalmaneser

How absurd.

Equating Rand to Satanism? Let alone LeVay’s cult version of Satanism?

Maybe if you are naive enough to buy into the mythology, but LaVey was a hoax who started a cartoonish cult that was in vogue for a short period of time (No really, the Rolling Stones were counted as fans)...and later in life, fans of metal music, and a certain Dungeon and Dragons crowd picked up on the imagery of it. He is not influential. He essentially mixed ideologies from Darwinism, and a bunch of -isms, including even Calvinism, and mixed it with Aleistor Crowley and Alice Bailey mumbo jumbo. If a real Satanic church exists - he isn’t it, and likening Ayn Rand to that legacy is even more far fetched.


3 posted on 06/08/2011 9:44:04 PM PDT by harmonium
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To: Shalmaneser
My first post. Sorry if it is wrong.

Within hours(?) of signing up. Expect to be under the microscope for months.

You noobs think you're a big deal, don't you? If you had any integrity, you would name names instead of trying to have us follow a link of dubious origin.

4 posted on 06/08/2011 9:45:43 PM PDT by buccaneer81 (ECOMCON)
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To: Shalmaneser

Your premise is shaky and your conclusion is, well, retahded.


5 posted on 06/08/2011 9:51:42 PM PDT by ExpatGator (I hate Illinois Nazis!)
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To: Shalmaneser; Religion Moderator; Admin Moderator; Jim Robinson; darkwing104; Old Sarge; 50 Cal
LeVey was able to recognize what many conservatives fail to see: Rand’s doctrines are satanic.

Time for the Kitties!!

6 posted on 06/08/2011 9:52:25 PM PDT by buccaneer81 (ECOMCON)
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To: Shalmaneser

IB4TZ!


7 posted on 06/08/2011 9:55:28 PM PDT by freedumb2003 (Herman Cain 2012)
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To: Shalmaneser
Welcome to FR.

Take a look at


Also, when you find something you like, right-mouse-click it and click on source, then copy and paste what you like out of it, into your comments.
Also be sure to preview your comment before you post, and make the changes you want, before you click post.

Again, welcome to Free Republic, and have a good time.

8 posted on 06/08/2011 9:55:43 PM PDT by Yosemitest (It's simple, fight or die.)
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To: Shalmaneser
This one makes for a curiosity. The standard complaint about Rand is that she was too moralistic. She did transpose "Judge not, lest ye be judged" into "Judge, and prepare to be judged." She also came up with a defense of black-and-white thinking in morals, saying that grey areas were compositions of black and white elements. She went out of her way to say that letting evil hide in the gray areas through non-judgmentalism only makes evil grow.

I find it hard to reconcile Rand's moralistic streak - obvious in her non-fiction writings, particularly her later ones - with the claim that Rand was a proto-Satanist. Don't Satanists want to obliterate all moral judgments?

9 posted on 06/08/2011 9:57:44 PM PDT by danielmryan
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To: buccaneer81

Good god man give it a rest!


10 posted on 06/08/2011 9:58:49 PM PDT by Soothesayer9
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To: Shalmaneser
"My first post. Sorry if it is wrong."

There's nothing wrong with the way you posted, but your logic sure could use some help.
11 posted on 06/08/2011 9:59:40 PM PDT by shibumi (Ego Nunquam Ubi Sub Ubi!)
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To: Shalmaneser
Welcome to FR
Ya didn't do too bad for a first post....
I've seen worse.....

Be prepared for criticism......
Your post will come under close scrutiny......

N00Bs who post the first thing after joining FR usually don't fare too well.......
Good luck....

12 posted on 06/08/2011 10:00:30 PM PDT by Fiddlstix (Warning! This Is A Subliminal Tagline! Read it at your own risk!(Presented by TagLines R US))
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To: Yosemitest

It won’t be around long enough to have a good time.


13 posted on 06/08/2011 10:01:12 PM PDT by buccaneer81 (ECOMCON)
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To: Shalmaneser

IMHO...

You’re absolutely right. I think it every time I see fawning over this or that book or author.

Christians must remember their faith, and if they do, they will not be so caught up in this or that non-Christian ideology or philosophy. Then someone will say “but that’s blind belief”. No, I’m simply saying to take things with a grain of salt, digest them (intellectually), then in your daily prayers and meditations, take some time to analyze this new ideology or philosophy, and validate it against Scripture. Of course, in order to do that, one has to be quite familiar with Christian doctrine. Then again, we should be that, anyway. Over time, we will come to see where our secular works differ with the word of God. Of course, in the mean time, in our zeal to think that some ideological author has happened upon some magical cure for our problems, we can very easily mislead ourselves, which is why Christians need to study the Bible and consult properly ordained pastors. And if we hear unsound doctrine, doctrine that, try as we might, we can’t escape the fact that it seems to be flawed, find another. Because as sure as Jesus is truth, the word of God is perfect. In the Bible is everything we need to meet life’s challenges. And every man, in his conscience, must come to terms with God. This is why people change congregations or even denominations. Bible study is the most important study we shall ever undertake.


14 posted on 06/08/2011 10:02:47 PM PDT by PieterCasparzen (If you are a Patriotic Conservative Christian Capitalist, I invite you to visit my Profile)
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To: ExpatGator

It is neither my premise nor my conclusion. I did not write the article. I only posted it.


15 posted on 06/08/2011 10:03:28 PM PDT by Shalmaneser
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To: buccaneer81
The link is not dubious in any way. First Things is a reputable journal of religion in American life that has been published for several years.

There is no need to attack me personally. I am sorry you found the ideas in my first post to be offensive. I did not realize that criticism of Ayn Rand's ideas was forbidden here.

16 posted on 06/08/2011 10:03:32 PM PDT by Shalmaneser
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To: buccaneer81

Lighten up on the newbie.

First Things is a well respected Catholic opinion journal. There is nothing new here. Rand’s atheism has always been criticized by Christians. See Whittaker Chambers in National Review in 1957:

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/222482/big-sister-watching-you/flashback


17 posted on 06/08/2011 10:04:11 PM PDT by iowamark
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Comment #18 Removed by Moderator

To: Shalmaneser
Really?

What would Christ/God think of someone who prays, tithes and does charitable works due to guilt, hedging their bets on whether there's an afterlife and/or to feel superior to others?

Rand clearly speeks to these types of people and her opinion of them is just as low as Christ's would be.

Rand deals with government forcing one to give what they earn at the point of a gun. Government is us - the people.

Jihad on behalf your your God, whether by beheading the infidel or having government force one to obey the tenets of your God is wrong, un-Christian and not what Jesus taught us.

I can make the same case you do that Rand is laying the blueprint to follow Christ's admonition to render to Ceasar what is Ceasar's and to God what is God's...

Christ wants us to come willingly to his Father out of love, not guilt, superiority or bet-hedging.

If we then force the unenlightened to come to God via the point of gun (social justice) they are not saved and neither are we.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with being saved and recognizing that Rand correctly pointed out the dangers of a collectivist government and a theocracy.

Regards.

19 posted on 06/08/2011 10:05:39 PM PDT by Abundy
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To: buccaneer81; Religion Moderator; Shalmaneser
You noobs think you're a big deal, don't you? If you had any integrity, you would name names instead of trying to have us follow a link of dubious origin.

The link works just fine. First Things is a conservative Christian Magazine which is often cited here on the Religion Forum. Personal insults like the one you hurled above are generally not accepted here. It is true, however, that nasty responses like that are quite common on the Religion Forum after criticisms are leveled against another religion. In fact, your response bolsters the case made in the article that Any Rand's philosophy really is a religion!

20 posted on 06/08/2011 10:06:22 PM PDT by Ronaldus Magnus
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To: Shalmaneser
"I did not realize that criticism of Ayn Rand's ideas was forbidden here. "

There are a lot of critics of Rand who post here.

Most of them use less ludicrous arguments.
21 posted on 06/08/2011 10:08:15 PM PDT by shibumi (Ego Nunquam Ubi Sub Ubi!)
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To: buccaneer81

This place just oozes friendliness.


22 posted on 06/08/2011 10:09:10 PM PDT by Shalmaneser
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To: Shalmaneser
If you want to scare someone about the dangers of Satanism, give them a copy of the following books.
But read these with caution, they ARE EVIL.
23 posted on 06/08/2011 10:09:53 PM PDT by Yosemitest (It's simple, fight or die.)
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To: buccaneer81

Discuss the issues all you want, but do not make it personal.


24 posted on 06/08/2011 10:10:35 PM PDT by Religion Moderator
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To: Ronaldus Magnus

I thought the article was an interesting take on the Rand phenomenon. I had no idea that Rand was above criticism here, nor did I imagine posting an article critical of her would lead to personal insults and so forth.

I have lurked this site recently, and my conservative friends have told me it is fun to post something here occasionally, so I thought I’d try it. I must say that so far, the fun seems a bit muted.

Since I have no desire to stir up rancor on this forum, I guess it’s back to lurking for me. Apologies to all for the controversy.


25 posted on 06/08/2011 10:13:40 PM PDT by Shalmaneser
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To: Shalmaneser
This place just oozes friendliness.

We like it just fine. If you don't...take a hike.

26 posted on 06/08/2011 10:14:09 PM PDT by buccaneer81 (ECOMCON)
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To: Religion Moderator

Give me a break. This guy has been on FR for two hours.


27 posted on 06/08/2011 10:16:12 PM PDT by buccaneer81 (ECOMCON)
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To: danielmryan

“Don’t Satanists want to obliterate all moral judgments? “

I think that’s the Christian view of the Biblical concept, but it doesn’t really reflect in the junk LaVey compiled.

He believed in judgement and morals, in cases of revenge. An “eye for an eye” was big in his crowd. A lot of it was based around some survival of the fittest, Individualist thing.


28 posted on 06/08/2011 10:18:11 PM PDT by harmonium
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To: Shalmaneser
Rand didn't believe in Satan any more than she believed in God, i.e. not at all. But con men such as LaVey - he was a self-promoting hedonist, not a Satanist - appeared in abundance in Atlas Shrugged, and they were cast as villains. The author would benefit a great deal from actually reading the work he purports to criticize.

Common to the two is the erroneous proposition that man, and not God, is the ultimate authority behind morality, but there they depart. For LaVey the true character of man, freed from the strictures of a false religion, was that of swine; for Rand that true nature was that of angels that replaced the ones in whom she refused to believe. The first is contemptible, the second, pitiable, but they are not the same illusion. IMHO, of course.

29 posted on 06/08/2011 10:19:37 PM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: Shalmaneser

Welcome to FR.

And I think it’s a great first post.


30 posted on 06/08/2011 10:30:05 PM PDT by DannyTN
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To: Shalmaneser

LaVey would have made a great Ming the Merciless.

Freegards


31 posted on 06/08/2011 10:34:21 PM PDT by Ransomed
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To: Billthedrill
The early part of the 20th Century saw the rise of several materialistic philosophical outlooks.

Leninist/Stalinist Communism, Facism and Objectivism.

Objectivism at it's heart is atheistic economic Darwinism. It is a philosopical counterpoint to atheistic Communism

Under both Objectivism and Communism the strong oppress the weak

32 posted on 06/08/2011 10:34:45 PM PDT by rdcbn
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To: Shalmaneser; Jim Robinson; Admin Moderator; Religion Moderator; All
Can we settle this once an for all? This is a campaign against conservatives:

Leftists Using Ayn Rand to Smear Republicans, Conservatives

Don't let the name "American Values Network" hoodwink you. This organization is run by a bunch of dhimmicratic leftists like Kathleen Kennedy Townsend. Recently they put together a video that contains a small segment of Mike Wallace's interview with Ayn Rand. The segment showcases Ayn Rand's hatred for religion, God and Christianity. Then the video features a photo of Rush Limbaugh and quotes him as saying that Ayn Rand was "brilliant". Completely removed from the context of course. What the AVN makers of this video did was to feature a brief segment of Rand bashing God--and then--a photo of Rush Limbaugh quoted as saying "brilliant".

As if to imply that Limbaugh believes Ayn Rand to be brilliant because of her rejection of God.

If you can't win an argument with facts, then distort the facts. The method used most vigorously by the leftist/islamist alliance in America.

There is also a brief spot of Rand Paul likewise giving praise to Ayn Rand.

Just because Limbaugh, and other conservatives, may agree with some take of Ayn Rand on fiscal matters pertaining to free-market capitalism, that does not equate with an endorsement of her rejection of God and hatred for Christianity.

Unbelievably, that is exactly the smear this video wants to imply.

33 posted on 06/08/2011 10:37:30 PM PDT by buccaneer81 (ECOMCON)
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To: Shalmaneser
Please don't take any of the personal insults you receive on this thread seriously. The religious hatred with which these Ayn Rand disciples try to destroy anyone who criticizes their religion is matched only by the fervent zealotry of Islamic Fundamentalists and militant Atheists. These Randian cultists are never an ecumenical bunch, but this article clearly hit far too close to the mark. Enjoy the show as you watch their consternation as they try in vain to shriek "Heretic!!!" without being able to bring themselves to use the word!
34 posted on 06/08/2011 10:38:54 PM PDT by Ronaldus Magnus
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To: Billthedrill
The early part of the 20th Century saw the rise of several materialistic philosophical outlooks.

Leninist/Stalinist Communism, Facism and Objectivism.

Objectivism at it's heart is atheistic economic Darwinism. It is a philosopical counterpoint to atheistic Communism

Under both Objectivism and Communism the strong oppress the weak

35 posted on 06/08/2011 10:39:11 PM PDT by rdcbn
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To: Billthedrill
The early part of the 20th Century saw the rise of several materialistic philosophical outlooks.

Leninist/Stalinist Communism, Facism and Objectivism.

Objectivism at it's heart is atheistic economic Darwinism. It is a philosopical counterpoint to atheistic Communism

Under both Objectivism and Communism the strong oppress the weak

36 posted on 06/08/2011 10:39:11 PM PDT by rdcbn
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To: Ransomed

Yes, he did look like that character!


37 posted on 06/08/2011 10:40:25 PM PDT by Shalmaneser
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To: PieterCasparzen; Shalmaneser
I wholeheartedly agree! Christians need to be shrewd thinkers about EVERYTHING. I do not know that much about Ayn Rand, maybe I read Atlas Shrugged in high school but I don't even want to admit how long ago that was. What I do know is that she is an atheist, so I agree, her thoughts and opinions should be considered in that light. Satan is, after all, an angel of light and deception is his stock and trade.

Thank you, Shalmaneser, for the post. Tell us what you personally think about Rand and your own faith. You posted an article that is thought-provoking so let us know what thoughts it provoked in you. Thanks.

P.S. Don't let the turkeys get you down. Some - no make that all - are all bark and no bite. ;o)

38 posted on 06/08/2011 10:40:35 PM PDT by boatbums (God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to him.)
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To: DannyTN

Thank you. I feel more welcome.


39 posted on 06/08/2011 10:40:35 PM PDT by Shalmaneser
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To: buccaneer81

Are you claiming that FirstThings.com has anything to do with that video?


40 posted on 06/08/2011 10:43:18 PM PDT by Religion Moderator
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To: Shalmaneser
I feel more welcome.

Don't get comfortable.

41 posted on 06/08/2011 10:43:23 PM PDT by buccaneer81 (ECOMCON)
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To: Ronaldus Magnus

Thanks for the tip and well wishes. I think I am going to return to lurking for now, though. I don’t need some person I don’t even know insulting me on the Internet. Maybe later, if I see something that’s not too controversial, I’ll post again.


42 posted on 06/08/2011 10:45:47 PM PDT by Shalmaneser
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To: harmonium
I think that’s the Christian view of the Biblical concept, but it doesn’t really reflect in the junk LaVey compiled.

He believed in judgement and morals, in cases of revenge. An “eye for an eye” was big in his crowd. A lot of it was based around some survival of the fittest, Individualist thing.

Then Le Vey's real progenitor is Friedrich Nietzsche. Ayn Rand made moral judgments a linchpin of her moral philosophy. She rejected Christ because she thought that "judge not, lest ye be judged" is too forgiving of evil.

That judgmentalism is very much part of canoncial Objectivism. Twenty years ago, Rand's successor Leonard Peikoff booted out David Kelley because Kelley made a minor virtue out of tolerance (of what canonical Objectivism considers to be morally bad.)

43 posted on 06/08/2011 10:46:45 PM PDT by danielmryan
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To: Religion Moderator
I'm simply reposting an earlier post on FR. I also saw a story espousing the same theory about using Rand against conservatives online earlier today. I'm still trying to find it, but it's out there.

Too many coincidences for me on this.

44 posted on 06/08/2011 10:47:28 PM PDT by buccaneer81 (ECOMCON)
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To: Shalmaneser
Don't give up yet. You have done nothing wrong. Go Ahead: Click It!
45 posted on 06/08/2011 10:48:44 PM PDT by Fiddlstix (Warning! This Is A Subliminal Tagline! Read it at your own risk!(Presented by TagLines R US))
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Comment #46 Removed by Moderator

To: Shalmaneser
I don’t need some person I don’t even know insulting me on the Internet.

You obviously haven't been on the Internet for more than a week, have you?

47 posted on 06/08/2011 10:50:58 PM PDT by buccaneer81 (ECOMCON)
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To: rdcbn

The early part of the 20th Century saw the rise of several materialistic philosophical outlooks.

Leninist/Stalinist Communism, Fascism and Objectivism.

Objectivism at its heart is atheistic economic Darwinism. It is a philosopical counterpoint to atheistic Communism.

Under both Objectivism and Communism the strong oppress the weak.
Don't forget about "Humanism" . . . and when it relates to LaVey Howard Stanton Levey, much of his "Bible" is plagiarized from the equally-perverse Humanist Manifesto, whether part un, part deux ou part trois . . .
48 posted on 06/08/2011 10:53:55 PM PDT by Olog-hai
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To: Billthedrill
The author would benefit a great deal from actually reading the work he purports to criticize.

Allow me to throw in a curve ball: a Christian could benefit, as a Christian, by reading Atlas Shrugged. Here's how: all of Rand's villains, in one way or another, are vain. What she calls "incompetence" is a kind of vanity. Thus, Atlas can be read as a powerful illustration of why and how vanity is a deadly sin.

I should add that doing so means keeping this "lens," as it were, in the back of the mind as a pre-judgment - and returning to the Bible by reading the book of Ecclesiastes afterwards.

49 posted on 06/08/2011 10:55:55 PM PDT by danielmryan
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To: Fiddlstix

Thank you for the kind advice. I was afraid I had missed the “no criticism of Ayn Rand” clause in the posting rules!


50 posted on 06/08/2011 10:57:50 PM PDT by Shalmaneser
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