Friday, July 06, 2007

Objectivism: Incompatible With Christianity, Apparently

The Chronicle of Higher Education carries the story of Ashland University's clash with Objectivist and Anthem Foundation fellow John D. Lewis over tenure. The posturing and bellicose Lewis, who is perhaps best described as yet another wannabe-tenured radical, is being spun as something of a martyr; indeed, the incident is being inserted by the Objectivist faithful into Leonard Peikoff's master prophesy of the forthcoming Christian Fundamentalist takeover of America. However, while it does seem clear that the recently appointed president of Ashland is indeed a Christian Fundamentalist (his name, Frederick J. Finks, is straight out of an Ayn Rand novel), it is equally clear that given both Lewis's devout anti-theism and penchant for hysterical rhetoric, and the fact that Ashland was founded by the Brethren Church and has its own Centre For Religious Life, that conflict was pretty predictable. And while the Centre states that "The difference between AU and a Christian college is that faculty, staff and students do not have to adhere to Christian beliefs in order to work at or attend" it also states "Ashland is different from a state school because Christian beliefs and ministry is encouraged and supported on campus." I don't read anywhere that Ashland encourages and supports the empurpled denigration of Christian views that Ayn Rand is famous for.

Personally, I think John D. Lewis' tenure could have been rejected on far more straightforward grounds - for example, the fact that he writes childish, reality-free tracts like this.

3 comments:

Neil Parille said...

Now I'm really confused. I thought we were in an epic struggle between Judeo-Christian morality and Objectivist ethics.

Why then was Lewis teaching at a school where he at least had to give lip service to J-C morality? Shouldn't he be teaching at Founders College?

Daniel Barnes said...

Neil:
>Why then was Lewis teaching at a school where he at least had to give lip service to J-C morality?

Well, now you know what happens if you compromise your values, even to the smallest degree! Rand was right again...

Mark Plus said...

Can't Lewis appeal to the Unification Board or something?