The Supreme Court Controversy: How should Christians view the justices' decision?
The Supreme Court decision upholding the constitutionality of so-called "Obamacare" has understandably been the subject of much discussion this past week. Also generating controversy has been the decision of a video retailer to remove an otherwise solid movie because of a few bad words. During this week's interview, we'll delve further into both topics, as John Stonestreet, Eric Metaxas and guest, Dr. Francis Beckwith weigh in.
Dr. Francis J Beckwith
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is some 2,700 pages long. To say it's confusing is an understatement. But perhaps even more confusing is the recent Supreme Court decision upholding it.
To help unravel this tangle of issues, we invite Dr. Francis Beckwith, professor of philosophy and political science at Baylor University, to shed some light on what he says was a decision by which he can both disagree with and understand.
While Dr Beckwith counts himself among the many Christians who were deeply disappointed after the Supreme Court upheld "Obamacare" on modified grounds, he cautions against the impulse to criticize or condemn the court for not stepping into territory which he says belongs to the other two branches of government.
A staunch opponent of judicial activism, Beckwith encourages those less than happy about last week's 5-4 decision to consider the importance of restraining the judiciary's role in policy-making. After all, he says, conservatives have never hesitated to criticize judges who overstep their constitutional bounds to "legislate from the bench."
"I do think that we make a mistake to see the courts as our cultural saviors," he says. "That is what the Left has done, and they've been largely successful."
As Beckwith argues, Chief Justice John Roberts, who tipped the recent ruling in "Obamacare's" favor, did so not out of support for the law, but out of a desire to restrain his own court from becoming a second and smaller Congress.
Whatever happens to the new healthcare law from here on out, John Stonestreet urges all Christians to keep the challenges to religious freedom raised by its implementation at the forefront of our conversation.
"The infringements of religious freedom which come from the HHS mandate...is just the very first application of "Obamacare." Who knows where it's going to go next?"
"The Blind Side" removed from Lifeway Christian Stores: What does it mean?
During the remainder of this week's interview, John sits down with BreakPoint co-host Eric Metaxas to talk shop about arts and media, and how Christians are on a profoundly wrong track when we sacrifice praiseworthy entertainment for petty reasons.
"Are we being Pharisees," Eric asks, "or are we being Christians? I think a lot of people don't know the difference."
"The Blind Side" poster, Warner Bros Pictures, 2009
If you missed Eric's recent BreakPoint commentary, you can catch it here. In a nutshell, some Christians prefer to reject a good film with a godly message because it doesn't live up to a particular standard: in this case, profanity and bad behavior, though portrayed in the correct light, are seen as inexcusable.
"I really think that some people think being 'morally clean,' not saying a foul word or whatever, is what it means to be a Christian," says Eric. "You realize, that's not what it is to be a Christian. We like things in neat packages, we want them black and white. But when you take things out of balance, you look at the movie and say it's a bad movie because of that, that's crazy stuff. We have people making these judgements all the time, and making them very badly."
"It goes back to what we mean by "Christian art," says John, who laid out his vision for Christian art in Friday's BreakPoint broadcast. "Art, itself, has a job: to paraphrase and make people thinks deeper thoughts about the world. Listen: the only world we live in is a world that's fallen. And a world in which Christ came to redeem those who are fallen. The world we live in is a broken one, and that's what makes redemption so rich."
Read and listen to John Stonestreet's comments from June 29 on BreakPoint about the Supreme Court's Obamacare decision. >>CLICK HERE
Can't find "The Blind Side" at your local Christian booksellers anymore? Pick up your copy from the Colson Center Store today. >>CLICK HERE
Read and listen to Eric Metaxas provocative BreakPoint commentary from July 5, which has gone viral across the Web. >>CLICK HERE
Catch John Stonestreet's remarks about "The Blind Side" controversy from Thursday on The Point. >>CLICK HERE
Read and listen to John Stonestreet's BreakPoint commentary from July 6, in which he challenges Christians to rethink how we make art, and to move beyond the Christian artistic "ghetto." >>CLICK HERE