The third issue is ‘just war’. Liberia bombs an American missile base. This scene is included in the movie in order to portray the president as a caring person who is not just interested in political gain. He is reluctant to give this order as he considers the likelihood of civilian’s causalities. No other options are considered and he does give the order. It is called a ‘proportional response’. The movie does not develop this issue any further and by its silence suggests that the retaliation solved the problem. In reality retaliation rarely solves anything. Christians believe the Bible teaches against retaliation. However Jesus does display righteous anger and makes a whip to clear the temple. When people are being oppressed and abused it may be necessary to take offensive action. However in the case presented in the movie this is not the case. It seems likely this attack will only encourages an escalation in violence.
The fourth issue is about family values. The President is sleeping with Sydney and they are not married. In fact, marriage is not even discussed. The movie presents the relationship in a very favourable light. At one point the President does questions his actions but only because he is concerned about losing votes. The movie does not consider the ramifications of this behaviour but was focussed on the whether the American people would be accepting of the relationship. These views are clearly in conflict with Biblical views which teaches that, “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral” (Hebrews 13:4). The relationship between the President’s daughter and his girlfriend is also presented positively without any consideration of the ramifications of the nurturing needs of this 12 years old girl. Looking after children is also a priority in the Bible.
I would not recommend this movie for teenagers as it presents casual sex in a very positive light even though there are no actual sex scenes. The president is presented as intelligent, dedicated, popular, and handsome. Yet as a role model he fails badly but this is excused because he is such a good leader.
However for the mature Christian the movie presents a number of ethic dilemmas which are worth considering. As Christians we need to think about where we stand on gun control, the environment, and ‘just war’. This movie presents each of these issues in a realistic way and thus provides the material for a worthwhile discussion with other Christians.