The Science of the Lambs
"It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but the glory of kings is to search out a matter." Every time I read that verse from Proverbs I think of the kids' magazine Highlights that I used to read in the dentist's office. My only interest in the magazine was the hidden picture puzzles where you had to discover the objects hidden within the various pictures. The world as created by God is filled with hidden objects, and He has left it to man to discover those objects -- whether it be oil or coal beneath the earth's surface or the discovery of the atom. God is the Creator, and being created in His image, we as human beings were designed to create. One of the major tools used in the process of discovery and creation is science.
This week, I watched with great interest the debate on creation vs. evolution between my friend Ken Ham and Bill Nye. I commend them both for engaging in a civil and informative debate over a topic that's at the core of defining who we are and what our purpose in this life really is. Nye, who claims to be "the Science Guy," a title back-handedly bestowed on him years ago by a local TV host, repeatedly asserted that those who believe in "Ken Ham's interpretation of a 3,000 year old book translated into American English" were anti-science. And almost inferring that Christians who believe the Bible have forbidden their children from pursuing scientific education, he appealed to the vast audience about the need for scientists.
I agree we need scientists, that we need those who will discover the hidden things of God, but we also need to discover and invent guided by the moral laws of the Creator. Believing that there is a Creator is not inconsistent with science, nor is the appreciation of and desire to use science. In fact, many of our greatest scientific discoveries and advancements were made by Bible-believing Christians like Sir Isaac Newton, Blaise Pascal, Louis Pasteur, and others.
In reality, this isn't about the incompatibility of creation and science, it's about the incompatibility of man's desire to do whatever he can with the moral laws of the Creator that directs him to do what he should. While I am not always excited about the speed limits on the highways, I still believe the rules are there for a reason. And just because I support the rule of law on the interstate doesn't make me opposed to cars. In my opinion, Nye and others who suggest the pursuit of scientific discovery is inhospitable terrain for Bible-believing Christians are attempting to completely unbridle science from morality, all the more reason we should be equipping and training our children to become scientists.
If you didn't watch the debate, I would encourage you to do so, especially if you have children or grandchildren. Listen closely to Nye's assertions and arguments. And make sure your kids are able to respond with confidence and authority, because as a Christian in this culture, they will be challenged.
Hollywood Changes Its Tune on Original Song Nominee
It's Hollywood -- not holy wood. And nothing about the last several years of faith-based projects has changed that. Despite the mainstream success of movies like Fireproof and Courageous, the entertainment industry continues to look down its nose at the burgeoning crop of Christian movies. So when a project like Alone Yet Not Alone finally catches the Academy's eye, it's no small achievement.
The film, which FRC screened at both our headquarters and the Values Voter Summit, surprised everyone after its nomination for Best Original Song -- an honor owed, in large part, to the incredible performance of Christian author, musician, and quadriplegic, Joni Eareckson Tada. With limited lung capacity, Joni's singing was only possible with the help of her husband pressing on her diaphragm as she hit the higher notes. For everyone involved, the nomination was a dream come true.
A dream, unfortunately, that didn't last. In a stunning show of hypocrisy, the Academy yanked the song's nomination barely two weeks after it was announced. President Cheryl Boone Isaacs accused the song's composer, Bruce Broughton, of improperly lobbying members because it "creates the appearance of an unfair advantage." Of course, what Boone Isaacs did not explain is that lobbying for nominations is as old as the Oscars themselves! Big budget films spend millions of dollars campaigning for awards with full-page ads in Hollywood magazines and other publications. Yet in all the years of these awards, no nomination has ever been rescinded for improper campaigning -- that is, until this small Christian production came along.
To plenty of industry insiders, including Gerald Molen, the Oscar-winning producer of Schindler's List, it seemed a little too convenient that the Academy would finally hold someone accountable after years of not policing the practice. "Your office would be filled with returned Oscars from past winners and nominees who have lobbied their friends and colleagues... and yet the Academy has suddenly discovered lobbying in the case of this one song?" wrote an angry Molen.
Obviously, the Academy was caught in a lie. Everyone acknowledges that campaigning takes place, well beyond a few dozen emails to committee members. Now, by singling out a Christian movie produced by conservatives for punishment, Hollywood is only reconfirming the religious and political prejudices Americans have long understood. As phony and two-faced as the Academy's rationale is, it shouldn't come as a surprise.
Yes, the number of family-friendly movies produced by Hollywood has increased in the past decade. But with the exception of a growing movement of Christian filmmakers, the entertainment industry isn't exactly a hotbed of morality and virtue. Celebrating the themes of hope and redemption are almost completely foreign to a business that's made its reputation glorifying violence, profanity, and promiscuity. As Cal Thomas pointed out, Alone Yet Not Alone would have been a far cry from the 2005 Best Original Song Winner, "It's Hard out Here for a Pimp."
If, as Joni Eareckson Tada suspects, the Academy changed its mind because of a faith-based message, it shouldn't shock anyone. "Jesus has been shunned by much weedier characters [than Hollywood]." The world was just as embarrassed by Him 2,000 years ago as it is by his life-changing message now. And while the Oscars can try to shun these transformational messages in their circle of self-congratulation on March 2, here's the irony. The whole scandal has probably done more to highlight the movie's importance than anything a nomination could have done!
** It was exactly one year ago today that Floyd Corkins, the SPLC-inspired gunman who shot FRC's Leo Johnson, pled guilty to the first-ever charge of domestic terrorism in federal court. What's changed in the last 12 months? Find out in Lt. General Jerry Boykin's (USA-Ret.) new Breitbart piece, "The Politics of Hate, One Year Later"
*** Also, in honor of what would have been Ronald Reagan's 103rd birthday, FRC's Bob Morrison wrote a great column in the Daily Caller, "Reagan the Wise." Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) could learn a few things from Reagan's wisdom, as Connie Mackey points out in the aftermath of the Democrats' offensive comments. Check out her response on CNSNews.com, "Rep. Hoyer's Sexist Comments Are an Affront to Women."
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.