Fools for Christ

People sometimes tell me that listening to BreakPoint can be depressing. Well, the thinking Christian can indeed find much to dismay him. Take one recent week. On Wednesday the president vetoed the partial-birth abortion ban. Earlier the same week, a District of Columbia Superior Court judge struck from the November ballot an initiative that would have allowed voters to restore student-initiated voluntary prayer in D.C. schools. Think of it. In this ruling the courts have gone so far as to deny citizens even the right to vote on an issue involving religious liberty. But then in the midst of all the disheartening news came a refreshing clarion call in defense of Christian truth. And the best part is that it came from a most unlikely source—none other than a justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. Justice Antonin Scalia would no doubt be embarrassed if I called him a prophet. But in many ways that’s what he is. Scalia, considered by friend and foe alike to be one of America’s top legal minds, has never shied from pointing out the lunacy of the prevailing orthodoxy. Some of Justice Scalia’s finest moments have been in his withering dissents. In Casey v. Planned Parenthood, he excoriated the majority’s position, which defined liberty as “choices central to personal dignity and autonomy.” He warned that it wouldn’t stop at abortion. The next stops were “homosexual sodomy, polygamy, adult incest, and suicide.” Unfortunately, time has proven him right. Last year, dissenting from the Court’s refusal to hear an appeal from abortion clinic protesters, he stated that prolifers were a “currently disfavored class” that cannot expect the Supreme Court to look favorably on their appeals. A week ago the justice spoke out again. Speaking to a meeting of Evangelicals in Jackson, Mississippi, the Roman Catholic justice from Brooklyn told his audience that our culture has moved beyond skepticism to open hostility toward Christianity. Taking his cue from St. Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, Scalia said that “the [worldly] wise do not believe in the resurrection of the dead. . . . So everything from Easter morning to the Ascension had to be made up by the groveling enthusiasts as part of their plan to get themselves martyred.” Scalia noted that cretin—a synonym for moron and imbecile—is derived from the French word for Christian. He continued, “That is the view of Christians taken by modern society. . . . Surely those who adhere to . . . Christian beliefs are to be regarded as simple-minded.” He brought the crowd to its feet when he said, “We are fools for Christ’s sake.” Our response, Scalia said, should be to “pray for the courage to endure the scorn of the sophisticated world.” And scorn is what he got. Washington was scandalized that a Supreme Court justice was speaking out in defense of religion. And Justice Scalia reminded Christians of something we’d rather forget: that a world that has rejected the Truth himself will naturally reject those who live by his word. Thank you, Justice Scalia, for courageously speaking out, and reminding us that acceptance by a hostile culture isn’t the goal for those who follow Christ. Bearing witness to the “truth which is in Jesus” is.


Chuck Colson


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