Neil Gorsuch, NCAA Hypocrisy, Tragedy in Syria, and ‘The Case for Christ’

SIGNS AND WONDERS

Gorsuch Sworn In. Many conservatives and Christians say the only reason they voted for Donald Trump was the Supreme Court. Those votes may have felt a degree of vindication when Neil Gorsuch put his hand on the Bible this week to become the 113th Supreme Court justice in U.S. history. According to the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins, “Antonin Scalia, in that great cloud of witnesses, was no doubt smiling. His 49-year-old replacement is everything the longtime originalist could hope for—a humble, esteemed, and deferential jurist whose legacy will almost certainly outlast the president who appointed him.” A little-known duty of the junior-most member of the Supreme Court: He has to open the door when the justices are in closed session and someone knocks. It’s a job Justice Elena Kagan has had since 2010.

North Carolina’s Back in the Game. The NCAA announced last week that it had “reluctantly voted to allow consideration of championship bids in North Carolina.” The announcement comes after the passage of legislation repealing North Carolina’s House Bill 2. A new law replacing HB2 did not satisfy LGBTQ activists, as it still limits local governments from adopting ordinances relating to bathroom access, private employment practices, and public accommodations. But it was enough for the NCAA. A statement on the NCAA’s website reads, “The NCAA did not lobby for any specific change in the law. The Board of Governors, however, was hopeful that the state would fully repeal HB2. John Rustin, of the North Carolina Family Policy Council, said, “Last night, the University of North Carolina Tar Heels won the national championship for men’s college basketball, and this morning, the NCAA won the national championship for hypocrisy.” He said the NCAA did in fact loudly and publicly lobby for the repeal of HB2. Rustin added, “While we are pleased North Carolina will continue to be considered for collegiate championship events, we strongly oppose the hypocrisy, bully tactics, and discriminatory practices of the NCAA.”

Tragedy in Syria. Russia continues to stand by Syria and President Bashar al-Assad even though the death toll in a suspected chemical weapons attack continues to rise. President Donald Trump, in a news conference with Jordan’s King Abdullah, blamed Syria for the chemical weapons attack, calling it “an affront to humanity” that would “not be tolerated.” The World Health Organization says some victims showed symptoms “consistent with exposure to organophosphorus chemicals, a category of chemicals that includes nerve agents.” From its statement: “‘The images and reports coming from Idleb today leave me shocked, saddened and outraged. These types of weapons are banned by international law because they represent an intolerable barbarism,’ said Dr Peter Salama, Executive Director of the WHO Health Emergencies Programme.”

Making the Case. The movie version of “The Case for Christ” got off to a great start last weekend. It’s pulled in $3.9 million at the box office its first weekend, ending up among the weekend’s top 10 films, according to BoxOfficeMojo. The word-of-mouth is also strong, ensuring it will be in theaters for at least a few weeks more. In fact, the film did so well in a fairly limited release of about 1200 theatres, that this weekend it will expand to 1600 theatres. The movie traces Lee Strobel’s attempt to disprove his wife’s newfound Christian faith, an attempt that ultimately led Lee himself to faith in Christ. “It’s a love story and a thriller detective film,” Strobel said. “I’m delighted it resonated with audiences and opened so strong.” To listen to my interview with Lee and Leslie Strobel, on last week’s BreakPoint podcast, click here.

Warren Cole Smith is an investigative journalist and author as well as the Colson Center vice president for mission advancement.


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