Understanding Shootings in Buffalo and Orange County, Body Shaming, and Russian Art

Breakpoint This Week


John Stonestreet

Maria Baer

John and Maria unpack the stories of the recent shootings in Buffalo, New York, and Orange County, California. Rather than rest on the narratives, John provides a helpful way to consider the landscape and underlying ideas many are glossing over.

Then, Maria asks John for perspective on social media traffic around the recent Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. Offering additional context, Maria helps us consider our culture’s issue with objectifying women and the better way the Church can provide in this moment.

To close, Maria asks John for insight into a few Breakpoint commentaries from the week. John discusses how Russian art is important in this cultural moment, despite the call from some to cancel it in light of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. John also explains the scenario of a lesser-known phenomenon in charitable giving that could impact Christians looking to support biblically based organizations.


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— Recommendations —

The Millennial Vernacular of Fatphobia
Anne Helen Petersen | Culture Study | May 23, 2021

Remembering Peb Jackson – the Most Interesting Man in the World
Jim Daly | Focus on the Family | May 3, 2022


— References —

Segment 1

What They’re Not Telling You about the Buffalo Shooter

These efforts to make mass shooters sound like they’re ultra-violent op-ed writers is tiresome in the extreme. The Buffalo shooter is a despicable racist who should be executed, but the media are trying to mold him into an acolyte of a talk-show host they dislike.

“In short, the manifesto is a rant from a 4chan addict, obsessed with ‘the Great Replacement,’ CRT and white grievance,” writes NBC News’s Ben Collins (He’s the “senior reporter, dystopia beat.”)

It would also be true to note that the presumed shooter is, according to his online manifesto, an anti-conservative environmentalist who says, “We were born from our lands and our own culture was molded by these same lands. The protection and preservation of these lands is of the same importance as the protection and preservation of our own ideals and beliefs.” He says, “sure,” he’s a left-winger and maybe a socialist, “depending on the definition,” but explains that he rejects conservatism because it’s “corporatism in disguise.”

National Review>>


Buffalo suspect allegedly inspired by racist theory fueling global carnage

The theory, known as the ‘great replacement,’ has gained currency on popular television programs and in the halls of Congress

The Washington Post>>

Segment 2

Jordan Peterson Dragged for ‘Sports Illustrated’ Swimsuit Issue Insult

The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue 2022 is out, but author Jordan Peterson is upset at the cover featuring singer and plus-size model Yumi Nu, and is being dragged online for it.

Sharing the tweet of Nu’s cover, Peterson wrote, “Sorry. Not beautiful. And no amount of authoritarian tolerance is going to change that.


Segment 3

Should Russian Art Get Canceled?

In the words of The Economist,  

Shunning the country’s back catalogue means giving up a guide to the darkness, and out of it. Cancel Dostoyevsky … and you miss peerless insights into nihilism and violence. Blacklist Tchaikovsky—or Shostakovich—and you silence a beauty wrenched from the chokehold of repression. Turn away from Malevich’s paintings, and you forgo his urgent vision of a world cracked open. Banishing Tolstoy means losing a timeless prophet of peace.  

Of course, the Soviet era also has had its share of propagandist art, none of which should be celebrated. The problem with this art is not that it is Russian in origin, but what it was for, what it communicated, and the corrupt motives of its creators. As Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn wrote in The Gulag Archipelago,  

The line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either—but right through every human heart—and through all human hearts. … and even within hearts overwhelmed by evil, one small bridgehead of good is retained.



Better Rules for Sex?

Contrary to everything we’re taught, sex is inherently about other people. Biologically, it’s about creating children; sociologically, it’s about making strong bonds between moms and dads for the sake of those children. Spiritually, it’s a reflection of Christ and the Church; metaphysically, it’s about the ways we are each embodied beings, created as men and women for, and in relationship with, each other.



Is the Future of Charitable Donation at Risk?

Imagine if giving money in support of a group that protects religious liberty, crafts pro-life legislation, or teaches a biblical view of sexuality or marriage meant that your name and the amount of your contribution would be publicly available. Anyone, including anyone who hoped to intimidate, harass, or “out you” to your employer, would have access to that information.   

Would you still give if giving exacted a social cost as well as a financial one? That’s the situation countless conservative and Christian donors could face.


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