Jesus Gault

Neil Carter, Patheos blogger of Godless in Dixie,posted this article. Carter notes that two climate change deniers (Rubio and Cruz) are now chairing two science committees in the Senate. He asks, “What is the agenda, and where does it come from? How did men who openly deny scientific consensus get to be in charge of government oversight over that field? Why do they oppose the consensus and why did the people who voted for them do so? And who is Jesus Galt?”

…Jesus Galt is the offspring of the unholy union between two diametrically opposed ideologies: one which favors the resourceful and affluent, and one which champions helping the poor and the helpless. He is the blending of Ayn Rand’s iconic hero John Galt, who refused to help anyone who would not give him something in return, and Christendom’s Man of Sorrows, who once told a man to give away everything he owned with no thought for his own well-being. These two personages should have been impossible to mix, but somehow a generation of evangelical Christians have grown utterly convinced that the party of the wealthy represents God’s Own Party in modern American political life. They are the party of biblical values, which evidently has nothing to do with helping the poor and has everything to do with telling people when and how and with whom they can have sex.

Jesus Galt loves to hunt, and he’s a card-carrying member of the National Rifle Association. Jesus Galt loves freedom, and he supports invading any country that doesn’t have enough of it (especially if they have large reserves of oil). He’s also a wee bit racist. He thinks gays are yucky, and he wants boys to be boys and girls to be girls. He endorses only one specific model of family and everything else is illegitimate. He also believes that hard work should see a person through, and anyone who doesn’t succeed must not have worked hard enough. He won’t countenance government benevolence because it promotes laziness and learned helplessness. People should pull themselves up by their own bootstraps, because Jesus Galt only helps those who help themselves. This is the man Republicanity wants us to worship. He is a champion of small government, of big business, and of loud, demonstrative faith. He’s truly an ideal American deity.

What Part Does Religion Really Play in All This?

I don’t think the evangelical church made this happen. The truth is that they really never had much political power themselves until the people with really deep pockets figured out how easily this voting bloc could be led. Pastors were certainly flattered to be given a place at the grown-ups’ table of American politics, and they eagerly accommodated its less savory elements so that they could enjoy their promoted place of importance. Sitting right there, ripe for the picking, was a massive throng of well-organized, dutiful citizens with a penchant for conformist thinking and an eagerness to please those whom they felt God had put over them for their own good. They were perfect, frankly, and the wealthy snatched them right up. It was like shooting fish in a barrel. I am convinced that the trusting nature of this subculture built around faith played a huge role in the winning of the white evangelical world to the cause of conservative politics.


2 thoughts on “Jesus Gault

  1. You know that Rand was obsessed with a psychopathic serial killer named William Edward Hickman. He committed a series of obscene murders in the late 1920’s. The final murder was the culmination of the kidnapping of a 12 year old girl. The victims father was a wealthy banker who finally payed Hickman his ransom and then tragically discovered that his daughter had been horribly murdered and dismembered. Hickman had cut off the girls head, wired the eyes open and displayed the head to look like the girl was tightly constrained and tied up when he met the father.
    Rand was so smitten with Hickman that she modeled her first literary creation — Danny Renahan, the protagonist of her unfinished first novel, The Little Street — on him.
    What did Rand admire so much about Hickman? His sociopathic qualities: “Other people do not exist for him, and he does not see why they should,” she wrote, gushing that Hickman had “no regard whatsoever for all that society holds sacred, and with a consciousness all his own. He has the true, innate psychology of a Superman. He can never realize and feel ‘other people.”
    This echoes almost word for word Rand’s later description of her character Howard Roark, the hero of her novel The Fountainhead: “He was born without the ability to consider others.” (The Fountainhead is Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ favorite book — he even requires his clerks to read it.
    Rand was a classic psychopathic sociopath. Other people clearly do not really exist for her. She bastardized the writings of Nietzche and Schopenhauer.The fear that some felt at the time was that these philosophers’ dangerous, yet nuanced ideas would fall into the hands of lesser minds, who would bastardize Nietzsche and Schopenhauer and poison the rest of us. This aptly describes Ayn Rand, whose philosophy developed out of her admiration for “Supermen” like Hickman. Rand’s philosophy can be summed up by the title of one of her best-known books: The Virtue of Selfishness. She argues that all selfishness is a moral good, and all altruism is a moral evil, even “moral cannibalism,” to use her words. To her, those who aren’t like-minded sociopaths are “parasites,” “lice” and “looters.”
    But with Rand, there’s something more pathological at work. She’s out to make the world more sociopath-friendly so that people her hero William Hickman can reach their full potential, not held back by the morality of the “weak,” whom Rand despised.
    Galt became the finalised essence of her demented musing and the fears that these ideas would fall into hands of lesser minds has truly manifested itself.

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