Ayn Rand’s timeless masterpiece could be the most important movie of our time.  Even though it was written in 1957, it’s vision of America’s “near future” is prophetic.  This is not a Christian-themed movie.  Ayn Rand was an atheist who had little use for Christianity and believed that the world would be better off without religion.  In a sense, she’s right.  Religion has done more harm to the cause of Christ than anything.  Her misunderstanding of what the Bible really teaches about personal responsibility, liberty and rational self-interest led to her terribly distorted view of what Christianity is all about.  But don’t let her atheism keep you from seeing Atlas Shrugged!  This movie is not an advertisement for atheism.  It’s a dire warning about giving up the things that helped make America a great country, and how we can get back to what made it great.

I have been living and working in America for 10 years, and I look in astonishment at what has happened to this country since I got here.  Not that my arrival had anything to do with it, but it’s amazing how far we have fallen since 2001.  Freedoms we have given up for a false sense of security, debt that is so high it’s meaningless because nobody can count that high, elected officials governing against not only the will of the people but against the principles, traditions, and ideologies that made America great, and a culture that thinks “the pursuit of happiness” means devolving into perversity.

Rand wrote about these things over 50 years ago.  She wrote about an America on the decline, about a bleak future where success is punished by excessive taxation and punitive regulation, and where citizens have lost ambition and drive and have become lazy, selfish schemers.  She could have been writing about America in 2011.  Reading Atlas Shrugged is like looking into wavy mirror, reflecting a distorted image of America.  Trouble is, that distorted image in 1957 has become reality today.

This movie dramatizes the first third of her very long novel.  Part two is slated for release in June of 2012, with the final installment sometime in mid 2013.

Ayn Rand probably never read what Paul wrote to in 2 Thessalonians 3, but even she, an avowed atheist, would have agreed with the great apostle:

For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example. We were not idle when we were with you,   nor did we eat anyone’s food without paying for it. On the contrary, we worked night and day, laboring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you.  We did this, not because we do not have the right to such help, but in order to offer ourselves as a model for you to imitate.  For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “Anyone who is unwilling to work shall not eat.” (2 Thessalonians 3:7-10)

Atlas Shrugged is playing in Knoxville at the Regal Downtown West Cinema 8.  To find a theater  near you, go here.

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