The World and Everything in It: April 10, 2024 | WORLD
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The World and Everything in It: April 10, 2024


WORLD Radio - The World and Everything in It: April 10, 2024

On Washington Wednesday, former President Donald Trump’s position on abortion concerns pro-lifers; on World Tour, news from Rwanda, Mexico, the South China Sea, and Tunisia; and a pastor roasts coffee for his congregation. Plus, volcanic vortex rings, Andrée Seu Peterson on parenting, and the Wednesday morning news

Former President Donald Trump Associated Press/Photo by Manuel Balce Ceneta, File

PREROLL: The World and Everything in It is made possible by listeners like us. Hi. My name is Ethan. I am a carpenter and fellow laborer in Christ, in San Luis Obispo, California. I hope you enjoyed today's program.

MARY REICHARD, HOST: Good morning! Former President Donald Trump laid out his position on abortion this week. Pro-life leaders are responding to him.

MYRNA BROWN, HOST: We’ll hear from one of them on Washington Wednesday. Also, World Tour. Plus, a pastor who has taken coffee to the next level at his church.

AUDIO: I’ve even heard people who will tell their friends “You know, you oughta come to our church, the coffee’s really good!”

And what young parents today can learn from 1950s parents.

REICHARD: It’s Wednesday, April 10th. This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Mary Reichard.

BROWN: And I’m Myrna Brown. Good morning!

REICHARD: Up next, Kent Covington with today’s news.

KENT COVINGTON, NEWS ANCHOR: Japanese Prime Minister White House visit » President Biden is hosting the leader of one of America’s biggest and most important allies at the White House for an official state visit.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and his wife had dinner with President Biden and the first lady last night.

National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan says beginning today:

SULLIVAN: This official state visit will build on the immense progress between our two nations that we’ve made toward creating a safer and more secure Indo-Pacific.

Japan is a critical U.S. partner in countering China’s military buildup and its growing aggression in Asia.

The Japanese government is beefing up its own defenses at a pace not seen since World War II.

But Sullivan says the leaders will tackle a range of issues during Kashida’s visit.

SULLIVAN: Deepening our partnerships on space, technology, economic investment, fighting climate change, coordinating global diplomacy.

And Kishida will stick around Washington on Thursday to take part in a trilateral meeting with Biden and Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

The Philippines is another key strategic ally in the region. The country’s relationship with China has been repeatedly tested by skirmishes in the disputed South China Sea. 

Mayorkas impeachment » House Republicans will likely wait till next week to deliver impeachment articles against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to the Senate.

Some senators had asked for more time to prepare. But there might not be a trial to prepare for.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer says the impeachment is pure political theater, and 

SCHUMER: We’re going to try and resolve this issue as quickly as possible. Impeachment should never be used to settle policy disagreements.

Schumer hinting that Democrats will likely use procedural maneuvers to table the articles of impeachment, after he initially said the Senate would hold a trial.

At a news conference today, Sen. Marsha Blackburn turned Schumer’s own words back on him.

BLACKBURN: Prior to the impeachment of President Trump, he said—and I’m going to quote him—“We would do well to remember our constitutional duty to act as judge and jurors in a potential trial.”

Republicans note that this would be the first time in U.S. history for the Senate to refuse to hold a trial for an impeached executive who has not already resigned or died.

Rafah invasion plans » Despite White House objections, Israel is still planning a ground operation in the southern Gaza city of Rafah.

NETANYAHU: [In Hebrew]

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday, “It will happen. There is a date.”

But he’s not tipping his hand on when that will be.

U.S. Secretary of State Tony Blinken:

BLINKEN: We do not have a date for any Rafah operation — at least one that’s been communicated to us by the Israelis. On the contrary, what we have is an ongoing conversation with Israel about any Rafah operation. The president has been very clear about our concerns, our deep concerns.

The White House says a ground invasion there could significantly worsen the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. But Netanyahu says Rahah is the last remaining Hamas stronghold … and that there’s no way to win the war without rooting out the remaining terrorist commanders and battalions in the city.

Idaho man ISIS plot » Authorities have arrested an Idaho man who allegedly planned attacks on local churches in the name of ISIS. WORLD’s Christina Grube reports:

CHRISTINA GRUBE: Authorities say Alexander Scott Mercurio planned to attack local churches using explosives, knives, and fire.

The 18-year-old was reportedly outspoken in his support for terrorist groups and even shared a video pledging his support to ISIS just before his arrest.

Court documents show investigators found several different weapons in the suspect’s bedroom along with butane canisters and an ISIS flag.

The complaint also claims Mercurio planned to incapacitate his father and handcuff him in order to steal his firearms.

He now faces up to two decades in federal prison.

For WORLD, I’m Christina Grube.

Support for defense funding » Meantime, House Speaker Mike Johnson is pushing a foreign funding bill that would provide funds to allies like Israel, Taiwan and Ukraine. More relief funds for Kyiv remains a contentious topic among House Republicans.

But GOP Congressman Greg Murphy says …

MURPHY: The funding that the speaker is asking for now I fully support. 90 percent of that is actually going toward our own military, recouping our supplies, restocking kind of things. It’s not going all for Ukraine.

Some Republicans say the bill wouldn't do enough to help secure the U.S. southern border.

The criticism comes as Georgia Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene continues to threaten to file a motion to vacate the speakership in an effort to oust Speaker Johnson.

Arizona Supreme Court ruling keeps unborn protections » The Arizona Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld a state law protecting unborn children in almost all cases.

The majority of the court found that a pro-life law from 1863 is still enforceable. It prevents any person from assisting a woman in obtaining an abortion unless it’s necessary to save the mother’s life.

Planned Parenthood had filed suit arguing that the law was unenforceable … because it conflicted with a newer law that blocks abortions after 15 weeks.

NAIA new policy » The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics is committing to a new policy that will bar male athletes from competing in women's sports. WORLD's Alex Carmenaty has more.

ALEX CARMENATY: The new NAIA policy states that only biological women can compete in female sports. The organization believes these rules will promote fairness and uphold Title IX, the 19-72 women's right law.

Several Christian colleges are members of the NAIA.

The decision stands in contrast to the NCAA’s policies which allow men who self-identify as women to compete in some women’s sports.

For WORLD, I'm Alex Carmenaty. 

I’m Kent Covington.

Straight ahead: Donald Trump’s abortion policy for 2024…on Washington Wednesday. Plus, World Tour.

This is The World and Everything in It.

MARY REICHARD, HOST: It’s Wednesday the 10th of April, 2024.

Glad to have you along for today’s edition of The World and Everything in It. Good morning, I’m Mary Reichard.

MYRNA BROWN, HOST: And I’m Myrna Brown. It’s Washington Wednesday.

Former President Donald Trump on Monday explained how he thinks the federal government should approach abortion now that the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade with its Dobbs decision nearly two years ago.

TRUMP: My view is now that we have abortion where everybody wanted it from a legal standpoint, the states will determine by vote or legislation or perhaps both, and whatever they decide will be the law of the land, in this case the law of the state.

REICHARD: Pro-life responses have been mixed. Some, like South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, say Trump’s position is “exactly right” for the current political climate. Others say it’s “a slap in the face,” such as Trump’s former Vice President Mike Pence.

BROWN: What does Trump’s clarified position on unborn life mean for the pro-life movement?

Joining us now to talk about it is Abby Johnson, a former clinic director at Planned Parenthood who now advocates for unborn babies.

REICHARD: Abby, welcome!

ABBY JOHNSON: Thank you. Thanks for having me.

REICHARD: Abby, we will get to President Trump’s statement in a moment. But first, let’s set the stage with your speech at the 2020 Republican National Convention. You said President Trump had “done more for the unborn than any other president.” Abby, what was it like to be a pro-life activist during the Trump administration?

JOHNSON: Well, it was great. I mean, we we really thought that we had an advocate in the White House. The one great thing I can say is that he did put good people around him, people that we knew. We didn't know him. We knew the things that we heard, which weren't always that great. And I'll be honest, I did not, I was not super pumped about him in 2016. But over that four years, 2016 to 2020, you know, I thought, okay, he's put good people around him, we're going in the right direction. And so when I was asked to speak at the RNC, I felt secure enough in the fact that we, I knew that we were going to have, there was going to be an opportunity to overturn Roe, and I thought we, we have to have the right players in place. And I thought if we don't, then this maybe once in my lifetime opportunity is going to be taken off the table. And so I was really fighting for another term for him. It didn't work out, but thankfully, we did get Roe overturned anyway, and I was very happy about that. And that was because of the Supreme Court justices that were put on the bench. And that was, that was great.

REICHARD: Well, now we have the former president saying abortion should be left to the states with allowances for rape, incest, and the life of the mother. So what do you think about this stance?

JOHNSON: I feel like we were all a little conned by him. I think that he said the things that he needed to say to all of us, to all of the major players, and to all the major pro-life organizations to get the vote. He knew he needed another term, and so I feel like he said the things that he needed to say. And now he doesn't have to do that anymore. I think now he can say how he really feels. I do believe he's against third trimester abortion. He's said that over and over again. But when it comes to first and second trimester abortion, I think he's perfectly fine with it. And now here we are, and we're stuck with this guy who I don't believe is pro life. But he's less pro-abortion than Biden. And that's where we are right now.

REICHARD: That's what my next question is about. There are a lot of people saying, hey, from a practical standpoint, the unborn are still better off with Trump as president than with a pro-abortion Democrat of any stripe. What do you say about that?

JOHNSON: I mean, I don't know that that's necessarily true, if I think about it, the way that abortion was when Roe was on the books, there were very few states, there were only like three or four states that provided third trimester abortion, there are more now. We did not have states that had abortion written in their constitution. We do now.

So I don't know. I don't know that leaving it up to the states has been a better thing, because the rage vote is very real. And we know statistically, women don't want to hear this. People don't want to hear this, but this is true: we know that the more women that vote, the more liberal the vote becomes. And right now, angry women are voting. They're coming out to the polls, and they're voting and they're voting in favor of death. They're voting in favor of abortion.

REICHARD: Well, let's talk about state versus versus federal now. There are pro life for groups that agree abortion should be a federal issue when we're talking about life matters, that Dobbs did allow for Congress to act, not just the states. So Abby, what other steps do you want to see the Federal Government take to protect the unborn?

JOHNSON: Well, I mean, there is there is a federal statute against murder. I don't know why abortion should be any different. But we have just such a strange view of life in this country. We don't have a consensus that life begins at conception, even though scientifically, there is a consensus. If you ask scientists, they will tell you life begins at conception. But just in the general lay population, we don't have a consensus that life begins at conception. And if you don't believe that life begins at conception, if you don't believe that there's life in the womb, then you can't believe that taking a life from the womb is murder. So I think we have a pretty big education problem in this country. So I mean, politically, I don't know. I don't know federally where we go. I was very disappointed to hear Trump say that he wouldn't even support a third trimester ban on abortion. I mean, I know he doesn't like third trimester abortion - he talks about it over and over and over again. So why wouldn't he at least try to ban third trimester abortion? He didn't even talk about the Mexico City Policy.

REICHARD: Which says what?

JOHNSON: That's restricting global funding of abortion, he didn't even talk about that. Which is a, that's like a ping pong issue. No matter who's in office, if there's a Democrat in office that's the first thing they do on day one, they start funding abortion globally. And then if it's a Republican in office, they immediately stop it on day one. He didn't even talk about that. He didn't talk about supporting initiatives to protect babies that have been born alive after an abortion, making sure those babies can be resuscitated and cared for. The CDC says that at least four to 500 babies are born alive after intended abortions, every year. No comment on that? No, no provision to support those babies? I and then I mean, he started right off the gate with in vitro fertilization, which I know is is super controversial, particularly in the pro-life mix. A lot of people have conceived their children that way. But I think there's a lot of education to be had on IVF. There is, you know, narrowly an IVF procedure that takes place where unborn lives aren't destroyed. But he says that we're going to protect IVF at all costs. I think his lack of education on the pro-life movement was really showing in his statement, I think he's showing us really truly who he is. And I don't believe he believes that life begins at conception. And I don't believe that he's for protecting the preborn in the womb.

REICHARD: I've got a frank question for you here. You've already referenced how since Dobbs overturned Roe that pro-abortion candidates and ballot initiatives have been successful at the ballot box. I'm thinking of Kansas and Ohio as examples of that. So just just to be clear, would you prefer that Trump states he supports federal action on abortion, even if that means that he would lose lose the election to someone pro-choice like, like Joe Biden is?


REICHARD: And why?

JOHNSON: I would rather lose 25 years of elections if that meant that people will finally stand up and stop compromising on the issue of abortion. And I believe that that would happen. My oldest daughter is 17, and she and her friends, I believe that we are creating the most pro-life generation that we've ever seen probably in 40 years, 40-50 years. They are no-compromise. And I believe that one of the reasons is because their first pictures of themselves are pictures of themselves in the womb. Ultrasound technology has changed the face of this nation. And it has changed this particular generation of 17 to 20 year olds, I believe that we are raising a generation of no-compromise pro-lifers, and I see them at the March for Life every year. They are motivated, they're excited about life. And so if that means that we have to lose election after election after election, until that group of people grows up, and they're old enough to vote and change the face of this nation, and we have to lose until we protect them all, then I'm willing to lose.

REICHARD: Final question here, Abby, for those who don't know you. Can you tell a little bit about why you were so passionate about saving the unborn?

JOHNSON: Yeah, I mean, I was a perpetrator of abortion. I worked in the abortion industry for eight years of my life. I was a clinic director of Planned Parenthood. I've seen these children die, I've pieced their body parts back together. I watched a 13 week old baby die in the womb. I watched that baby fight and struggle against the abortion instruments until eventually, his body was torn apart by the force of the suction machine. And that was the pivotal moment in my life where God changed my heart. And so while I want none to perish, that was the moment that God spoke to me and said, We are not to compromise with evil. And I believe that he's calling us as a nation right now, to say, flee from evil. 

REICHARD: Abby Johnson is the founder of Pro-Love Ministries and the subject of the 2019 movie Unplanned. Abby, thank you so much for joining us. Appreciate it.

JOHNSON: Of course. Thank you.

MYRNA BROWN, HOST: Coming up next on The World and Everything in It: World Tour with our reporter in Nigeria, Onize Ohikere.

AUDIO: [Singing]

Rwandan genocide — We take off today in Rwanda’s capital of Kigali, where thousands held candles at a Sunday vigil to commemorate the start of the Rwandan genocide 30 years ago.

Extremists from the Hutu ethnic group began attacking members of the Tutsi minority and also other moderate Hutus on April 7, 1994. The massacre lasted for 100 days and left about 800,000 people dead.

AUDIO: [Trumpets]

Rwandan President Paul Kagame lit a flame of remembrance and laid a wreath at the memorial site with the remains of 250,000 genocide victims.

Kagame said the international community failed his country by not intervening during the violence and called the tragedy a warning for other countries.

KAGAME: The process of division and extremism which leads to genocide can happen anywhere if left unchecked.

African leaders and other foreign guests, including former U.S. President Bill Clinton and Israeli President Isaac Herzog attended the events.

The Sunday festivities mark the start of a week of remembrance where flags will fly at half-mast and music is not allowed in public places.

AUDIO: [Protesters chanting]

Mexico-Ecuador rift — In Mexico, protesters rallied outside Ecuador’s embassy as both countries are locked in an unprecedented diplomatic spat.

The row began after Ecuadorian special forces stormed the Mexican Embassy in Ecuador’s capital of Quito. They arrested Ecuador’s former vice president Jorge Glas after Mexico granted him political asylum as he faces corruption charges.

Mexico severed diplomatic ties with Ecuador after the raid and ordered its diplomatic staff to return to Mexico. The raid has also drawn criticism from Bolivia, Brazil, Peru, and other regional governments.

Gabriela Sommerfeld is Ecuador’s foreign minister.

SOMMERFELD: [Speaking Spanish]

She says here that it’s unlawful to grant asylum to convicts or people facing prosecution.

Her Mexican counterpart, Alicia Barcena, condemned the raid and arrest.

BARCENA: [Speaking Spanish]

She says here that the Mexican government will take the matter to the International Court of Justice.

AUDIO: [Navy officer, commands]

South Asia joint drills — Over in the South China Sea, U.S. defense forces joined their counterparts from Australia, Japan, and the Philippines for a one-day joint exercise.

The four nations said they held the exercise to uphold freedom of navigation and use of international airspace. Their operations included anti-submarine warfare training and communication activities.

China has long-simmering tensions with Southeast Asian nations over the disputed waters. China’s Communist Party authorities accuse the United States of inflaming tensions.

In an apparent response to the joint drills, China’s military said it also conducted air and sea patrols over the South China Sea.

AUDIO: [Applause]

British milestone — We wrap up in the Tunisian city of Bizerte where a 27-year-old British man concluded a nearly 10,000-mile run across the length of Africa.

Russ Cook started the feat last April in South Africa and chronicled several hurdles along the way. He and his team were robbed of their money and passports at gunpoint in Angola. He paused in Nigeria after suffering severe back pain, then faced more delays in Algeria over visa complications.

Nicknamed the Hardest Geezer, Cook clocked more than 19 million steps in 16 countries.

His run has raised more than $870,000 for a charity that helps homeless young people and another that aids displaced people from Western Sahara.

AUDIO: [Final cheer, congratulations]

That’s it for today’s WORLD Tour. Reporting for WORLD, I’m Onize Ohikere in Abuja, Nigeria.

MYRNA BROWN, HOST: You’ve heard the old saying “Get your head out of the clouds?” Well, for Sicilians, that’s where their eyes and ears are.


That’s the sound of wind from Mt. Etna in Italy where a new volcano crater opened up last week followed by spectacular vapor rings rising 11,000 feet above the summit.

MATTHEW WATSON: What you tend to see with most volcanoes is just a puff of gas. The volcano’s geometry and de-gassing is in a bit of a sweet spot.

That “sweet spot” means no volcano on earth sends up as many rings as does Mt. Etna.

WATSON: A vortex is set up so you can actually see them, the individual rings spin and that’s what holds them together and keeps them in the atmosphere for a few minutes.

Backlit by the Mediterranean sun makes for quite the scene!

MARY REICHARD, HOST: So long as Etna doesn’t blow its top!

BROWN: It’s The World and Everything in It.

MARY REICHARD, HOST: Today is Wednesday, April 10th. Thank you for turning to WORLD Radio to help start your day.

Good morning. I’m Mary Reichard.

MYRNA BROWN, HOST: And I’m Myrna Brown. Coming next on The World and Everything in It: coffee roasting.

Now, Mary, I know you prefer mushroom coffee.

REICHARD: Yep. Few things in life better than that together with an open Bible.

BROWN: Well, a pastor in Virginia agrees with you, if not the mushroom part! This pastor roasts the coffee in his home for the congregation to drink each Sunday.

REICHARD: WORLD Correspondent, Jeff Palomino caught up with the coffee- roasting pastor. Here’s the story.

JEFF SCHLENZ: So receive them and be them. By God’s grace and for his glory. Let’s pray.

JEFF PALOMINO: Pastor Jeff Schelnz just finished his first sermon of the day, and the nine a.m. service at The City Gates Church is just about over.

SCHLENZ: Why don’t you go ahead and stand, and we’ll sing our closing song.

As the worship team leads in the sanctuary, another team is busy in the kitchen.

AUDIO: [Coffee dripping into carafe]

Coffee ministry. But this isn’t just any coffee. This is coffee Pastor Jeff roasted in his home.

SCHLENZ: I think it was probably three to four years ago. We had been using Folgers or whatever up till then and it just wasn't that great. And we were throwing coffee away each week.

So, his wife Madeline suggested, “Hey, why don’t we roast coffee for the church?” And that made perfect sense. Schlenz had been a home coffee roaster for almost fifteen years.

SCHLENZ: I fell down the rabbit hole of coffee education when I was in seminary - when I had all these books that I had to read for assigned stuff, right? But every now and then you want to get your head, like, out of it. And then 2005 / 2006 was the first time that we bought our first coffee roaster and started playing around with some of this.

Coffee roasting is an objective process graded by a subjective experience. For the home roaster, joy comes from the constant quest to brew what you think is the perfect cup.

AUDIO: [Sound of coffee being scooped from bag onto scale]

It’s now Saturday, and we’re at the Schlenz’s home.

SCHLENZ: There are three main things that are going to impact the flavor that winds up in your cup. One is the origin of the bean, and also kind of like how it was treated along the way.

This morning he roasts beans from Guatemala.

SCHLENZ: Come and smell it. 


SCHLENZ: You can grab a handful of that. Just take a whiff. It’s gonna smell different. In this raw coffee, you're getting hints of what you're gonna taste in the cup.

The second main thing that impacts flavor is how the bean is roasted.

SCHLENZ: How long do you roast it? Do you roast it on the lighter in the mid? Or do you take it all the way out to the darker end?

AUDIO: [Coffee beans being poured into metal tube, tube latched, coffee shakes]

The beans go into a slender, metal drum. That drum goes into the roaster.

AUDIO: [Metal tube going into roaster, roaster being set, roaster starting]

Inside the roaster, the beans roll around.

AUDIO: [Sounds of cracking]

Schlenz’s interest in coffee roasting may have started in seminary, but a vacation with his wife to Hawaii twenty years ago moved him from intellectual to practical. On the trip, he sampled different coffees all at once.

SCHLENZ: This is the first time that I could ever try ten or twelve different cups of coffee and realize how radically different some of the flavors were. So that just kind of like started us on a journey.

The roasting is done.

AUDIO: [Coffee drum being taken out of the roaster]

The beans are now dark brown.

AUDIO: [Coffee drum being shaken]

Shaking removes a layer of skin that’s come off in the roast. So, some flavor comes from the bean, some from the roast. And the third thing? It’s how the beans are brewed.

SCHLENZ: So you could take the exact same bean that you've roasted the exact same way. And then you could brew it multiple ways and get a different result in your cup.

AUDIO: [Coffee beans into grinder, grinder starts, tap, tap]

SCHLENZ: I always think that little tap, tap is how my kids know mom and dad are making coffee.

Now he warms water.

AUDIO: [Water warming]

Schlenz puts the grounds into a paper filter and sets it inside a glass beaker.

AUDIO: [Hot water poured through the filter]

SCHLENZ: If you can see right now it's what's called blooming. Do you see how It's kind of like bubbling up a little bit.

The finished product—fresh, hot, dark, and delicious—drips into the beaker.

SCHLENZ: Coffee is not this like monolithic thing that always tastes the exact same. It's actually got subtleties and nuance.

But is there one combination he likes best?

SCHLENZ: I would say it's not one particular bean, one particular roast, one particular brew, it's a love of the process. It's just, I want something that's good and beautiful at the end.

Most people at Schenlz’s church don’t know that Schlenz and his wife roast the church’s coffee.

SCHLENZ: It's funny. You hear people commenting in the halls of like, “Man, the coffee's really good.” And I've even heard people that will tell their friends, “You have to come to our church, the coffee is really good.”  I’m like, “Well, I hope the preaching is, too.”

So Schlenz preaches to his congregation but he also roasts coffee for them to enjoy. He prays both will be a gift from God.

SCHLENZ: I like coffee because it tastes good. There's no reason for us to be able to like what we drink or eat - we could be just like the cows of the field that munch on grass. But this gracious and extravagant, merciful God that we have designed us in such a way that you have the capacity to enjoy the things that you put into your mouth as well. And I think he should be praised for it.

Reporting for WORLD. I’m Jeff Palomino in Fairfax, Virginia.

MARY REICHARD, HOST: Today is Wednesday April 10th. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Mary Reichard.

MYRNA BROWN, HOST: And I’m Myrna Brown. Up next: 1950s-style parenting. Here’s WORLD commentator Andrée Seu Peterson on parenting lessons we can learn from an earlier generation.

ANDREE SEU PETERSON: A stand-up comic said something like, “People in the ’50s had a bunch of kids and weren’t stressed about it. You know why? They didn’t care.”

I laughed out loud because even though that’s not precisely true, I sort of knew what the guy was talking about, being a child of ’50s parents.

Let us state up front that it would be defamatory to say that ’50s parents didn’t care, full stop. By and large, kids were fed, clothed, and somehow made it to adulthood. Once, my brother and sister and I crawled out through the upstairs bathroom window onto the roof in our pajamas. A neighbor phoned the house, and my parents responded quite promptly. That’s prima-­facie proof of care right there.

The mystery remains: Why were Ward and June less anxious than their modern counterparts? Why does having two kids seem like having 10 for young parents today?

For one thing, it was almost a given in the ’50s that you would get married and have children. Mommy would stay home and look after the children while Daddy would go off to work. For another thing, there was no birth control pill, so you took what God gave you. You can already see, I hope, that our 21st-century burden of a surfeit of choices didn’t exist.

The family was such an ingenious creation that if God had not devised it, I can imagine somebody eventually inventing it and winning the Nobel Peace Prize. As Charles Murray wrote in his meticulously documented book Coming Apart, “The family structure that produces the best outcomes for children, on average, are two biological parents who remained married.”

Of course society is always bent on improving on perfection, with mixed results. Murray says, “The new-upper-class parents tend to overdo it. The children in elite families sometimes have schedules so full of ballet classes, swimming lessons, special tutoring, and visits to the therapist that they have no time to be children.”

In the ’50s there was diffused the almost unconscious comfort of what Murray calls “neighborliness.” Remember the roof caper I told you about earlier? People also went to church on Sundays. Murray writes, “People who don’t go to church can be just as morally upright as those who do, but as a group they do not generate the social capital that the churchgoing population generates.”

Richard Tessier, one of my childhood friends, was the second oldest of 16 siblings by the same mother and father. They lived in a duplex with the wall between taken down. They were not rich people unless you count what God calls rich in Psalm 127—a “quiver full” of kids.

As for me, I had my last child at age 42, and panicked at the news—echoing Matthew 6, I worried, “what shall we eat, what shall we drink, what shall we wear?!” My husband said the sweetest thing: “Don’t worry, Andrée, God will take care of this one too.”

And He did.

I’m Andrée Seu Peterson.

MYRNA BROWN, HOST: Tomorrow: taxes. Some people are coming after the tax exempt status of nonprofits. Our legal reporter Steve West will tell us about that.

And, learning to listen to nature during an eclipse. That and more tomorrow.

I’m Myrna Brown.

MARY REICHARD, HOST: And I’m Mary Reichard.

The World and Everything in It comes to you from WORLD Radio.

WORLD’s mission is biblically objective journalism that informs, educates, and inspires.

The Bible says: The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. —Acts 17:24-25

Go now in grace and peace.

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.


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