Blog: Biblically Responsible Investing

19 Jun 2018
Chris Pratt at 2018 MTV Movie and TV Awards

With “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” about to hit the summer box office, Chris Pratt is one of the most bankable stars in Hollywood.

In addition to playing the character Andy Dwyer in the NBC TV comedy “Parks and Recreation” from 2009 to 2015, Pratt has had as many hit films as anyone in Hollywood over the last six years.  A short list includes “Moneyball” (2011); “Zero Dark Thirty” (2013); “The Lego Movie” (2014); “Guardians of the Galaxy” (2014); “Jurassic World” (2015) and “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” (2017).

His latest film, “Avengers:  Infinity War” (2018) is still in theaters, having racked up $665 million at the box office since its release on April 27, and snagging the top worldwide opening of all time.

So, he was warmly received when he stepped to the podium on Saturday night, June 16, to receive the MTV Movie & TV Awards show’s Generation Award, which was televised on Sunday.

Pratt, 39, who was raised a Lutheran and is now a self-professed non-denominational Christian, has not kept his faith secret.  But his personal life of late has not been untroubled. After eight years of marriage, he and his wife with whom he has a five-year-old son, Jack, who was born prematurely and nearly died, are divorcing.

Still, he found the courage to speak truth to show-business power – and to millions of young people — in an unlikely setting.

Joking that, as “their elder,” he had sage advice, he listed nine rules for living.  Some of them were silly and even scatological, but in between, he offered these:

“You have a soul. Be careful with it.”

“If you’re strong, be a protector. And if you’re smart be a humble influencer. Strength and intelligence can be weapons. And do not wield them against the weak. That makes you a bully. Be bigger than that.”

“God is real. God loves you. God wants the best for you. Believe that. I do.”

“And finally, number nine, nobody is perfect. People are going to tell you, you’re perfect just the way you are. You’re not! You are imperfect. You always will be. But there is a powerful force that designed you that way. And if you’re willing to accept that, you will have grace. And grace is a gift. And like the freedom that we enjoy in this country, that grace was paid for with somebody else’s blood, do not forget it. Don’t take it for granted.”

He got a strong ovation from a crowd that also gave him scattered applause when he first referenced having a soul and believing in God.

Launched in 1981 as a rock video channel, MTV has largely been a corrosive cultural force, with sex-saturated shows and a consistently immoral worldview.  For Chris Pratt to give a simple proclamation of the Good News in such a venue, it was more than surprising.

It was downright revolutionary.

To God be the glory.

IMAGE CREDIT: Frazer Harrison / iStock Editorial / Getty Images

Please follow and like us:
Facebook

Facebook
Twitter

Visit Us
LinkedIn

13 Jun 2018
photo of mother and newborn child.

Imagine if Alcoholics Anonymous had to post directions to the nearest bar or cut-rate liquor store?

Or if Weight Watchers had to send people to Baskin-Robbins or Fatburger?

Or if Gamblers Anonymous had to give out maps to the nearest casino?

An outrageous California law mandates that pro-life crisis pregnancy centers tell clients where to find low-cost or free abortions, and to post a phone number where women can call for abortion information.

In National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra, which was heard at the U.S. Supreme Court in March, pro-life advocates are challenging lower court rulings upholding the law.   

“The Supreme Court’s upcoming ruling — probably in June — will have a monumental impact on the First Amendment,” writes Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life.  “If the justices side with California, they will be declaring that states can target and regulate the speech of those private citizens who hold opinions not approved by a majority of the legislature and the governor. And if that happens, our Constitution’s guarantee of free speech will have been gutted.”

There is some hope that the Court will strike down the law.  Even liberal justice Elena Kagan expressed concern during oral arguments about the statute’s implications for freedom of speech.

And the Court has ruled repeatedly against the concept of “compelled speech,” where someone is forced to say or facilitate an opinion with which he or she disagrees.

An Encouraging Trend

This year, federal courts have issued opinions that have cheered pro-lifers and ticked off the pro-abortion lobby.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit in early January unanimously ruled that a Baltimore city ordinance requiring pregnancy centers to post signs saying that they did not perform abortions or refer to abortion clinics was unconstitutional because it was not neutral in its application.

“We do not begrudge the City its viewpoint,” Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson wrote about the law enacted in 2009. “But neither may the City disfavor only those who disagree.”

The case involved a religious freedom claim by a center affiliated with the Roman Catholic church.

“The City has considerable latitude in regulating public health and deceptive advertising,” Judge Wilkinson III wrote.  “But Baltimore’s chosen means here are too loose a fit with those ends, and in this case compel a politically and religiously motivated group to convey a message fundamentally at odds with its core beliefs and mission.”

On May 29, the Supreme Court declined to hear a case that sought to overturn an Arkansas law regulating abortion clinics.  Under the 2015 law, abortionists must have contracts with physicians who have hospital admitting privileges.  Planned Parenthood argued that this would severely limit the availability of abortions in the state, since they could not find doctors willing to sign such a contract.

On June 4, the Supreme Court unanimously vacated an order of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit that allowed a pregnant, illegal immigrant minor in federal custody to have an abortion in October.  The Justice Department had opposed allowing the girl to be taken to an abortion clinic, but she got an abortion shortly after a federal judge ruled that the government had no right to prevent it.

The Court said the case was moot since the abortion had already occurred.

“If the opinion invokes an image of Pontius Pilate washing his hands, at least it muddies the waters for attorneys hoping to rush their future minor charges through the irrevocable and heart-breaking process of abortion,” Fr. Pavone commented.

Please follow and like us:
Facebook

Facebook
Twitter

Visit Us
LinkedIn

6 Jun 2018

In a big win for religious liberty, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 7-2 on Monday that a Christian baker cannot be forced to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex ceremony.

Although some observers said the ruling was a “narrow” victory, there was much in the majority opinion and concurring opinions that strongly made the case for religious liberty and freedom of conscience.

Read More

Please follow and like us:
Facebook

Facebook
Twitter

Visit Us
LinkedIn

30 May 2018

A major studio releases a new movie, and the buzz is loud and wide. Television, print and Internet ads, along with the critics, tout it as “must-see.”

But is it worthy of our time and money? Should Christians patronize this new Hollywood offering? Should our children see it?

Read More

Please follow and like us:
Facebook

Facebook
Twitter

Visit Us
LinkedIn