Thursday, February 25, 2016


I Was Just Thinking About - - -

In 1995, Mr. Holland's Opus was a film produced featuring Richard Dreyfus. Dreyfus plays the role of Glenn Holland, a professional musician and composer who wants to compose a piece of orchestral music. Out of necessity, at age 30, he finds himself accepting a High School position of teaching music. Part of the storyline is that a Music Teacher is a marginalized faculty member in the faculty’s hierarchy. With all of the frustrations due to the marginalization by the faculty and the disinterest on the part of the students, he patiently persists to make a difference in the lives of the students. There is a point in the film when the Principal, who had been one of his few supporters,  takes him aside to inform him that she will be retiring. She has a special gift that she presents to him – a Compass. She wants him to know that she has respected him for one who had been a Moral Compass for the students. The Music Department will ultimately be eliminated by a new administration at the High School. The film concludes with former students with whom he has been a major influence return for his retirement and play their instruments to introduce a composition he has worked on throughout his lifetime – Mr. Holland’s Opus.

Amid the cultural malaise in which we find ourselves today, one voice that was consistent as a Moral Compass was Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Most reports about his life and legacy echo a similar truth about his legal commitment: “Justice Scalia was the proud possessor of a rigorously textual sense of legal reasoning…He was known, by friend and foe alike, as the promoter of a novel approach to judicial decision-making known as originalism. He insisted that Supreme Court decisions should be constrained by the plain meaning of texts and the original meaning of constitutional terminology.” He was a religious man who held to core values and beliefs. During a speech at the Knight’s of Columbus Meeting in Baton Rouge, LA, Justice Scalia stated: “If I have brought any message today, it is this: Have the courage to have your wisdom regarded as stupidity. Be fools for Christ. And have the courage to suffer the contempt of the sophisticated world." He was obviously quoting from I Corinthians 4:9-13, “We have become a spectacle to the whole world...We are fools for Christ, but you are wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You are honored, but we are dishonored. To this very hour we are hungry and thirsty, we are poorly clad, we are brutally treated, we are homeless. We work hard with our own hands. When we are vilified, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; when we are slandered, we answer gently. Up to this moment we have become the scum of the earth, the refuse of the world.”

A possible change in perspective and judicial temperament is on the horizon. It has been reported in Washington Whispers (US News), 02-24-16: “On Wednesday, (President) Obama laid out his wish list for a Supreme Court nominee, writing in a post on SCOTUSblog that his ideal nominee should "approach decisions without any particular ideology or agenda, but rather a commitment to impartial justice, a respect for precedent, and a determination to faithfully apply the law to the facts at hand." (President) Obama also wrote that an ideal high court judge should view the law "not only as an intellectual exercise, but also grasps the way it affects the daily reality of people’s lives in a big, complicated democracy, and in rapidly changing times," a possible rebuttal against Scalia's doctrine of constitutional originalism.” The looming question is: Who has mislaid the moral compass? Why is this not the primary requirement for any nominee to SCOTUS? During the Eulogy for his father, Paul Scalia stated: “We are gathered here because of one man. A man known personally to many of us, known only by reputation to even more. A man loved by many, scorned by others. A man known for great controversy, and for great compassion. That man, of course, is Jesus of Nazareth. It is He whom we proclaim. Jesus Christ, son of the father, born of the Virgin Mary, crucified, buried, risen, seated at the right hand of the Father. It is because of him. because of his life, death and resurrection that we do not mourn as those who have no hope…Scripture says Jesus Christ is the same yesterday today and forever. And that sets a good course for our thoughts and our prayers here today. In effect, we look in three directions. To yesterday, in thanksgiving. To today, in petition. And into eternity, with hope.” 

Biblical Christians need to locate the Mislaid Moral Compass and reinstitute it in our lives, our homes, our churches, our nation and our culture. Will you assist in finding it and restoring it to its rightful place regardless of any personal cost to you? Consider these things with me!

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