The World and Everything in It: April 9, 2024 | WORLD
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The World and Everything in It: April 9, 2024


WORLD Radio - The World and Everything in It: April 9, 2024

Israel faces new challenges in the war with Hamas, meteorologists help firefighters with a new satellite system during recent Texas wildfires, and fathers and sons build cars and character. Plus, a review of Bad Therapy by Abigail Shrier and the Tuesday morning news

A vehicle hit by an Israeli airstrike in Deir al Balah, Gaza Strip, April 2. Associated Press/Photo by Ismael Abu Dayyah

PREROLL: The World and Everything in It is made possible by listeners like us. My name is Mary Suzanne Crockett, and I live in Saint Louis, Missouri where my beautiful friend, Nancy Williams listens every day when she isn't saving lives as a gifted doctor or telling people about the love of Jesus. I hope you enjoy today's program.

MARY REICHARD, HOST: Good morning! Israel faces new challenges as the war with Hamas passes the 6 month mark.

MYRNA BROWN, HOST: We’ll talk about it with an expert in Israel. Also, how meteorologists helped firefighters in the recent wildfires in Texas.

AUDIO: There was a point where we were like we could see it on satellite. It's burning.

Plus, fathers and sons in Kentucky team up to build the fastest model cars.

MCALOON: You’ve got designs like tanks! You’ve got racecars! You’ve got cars that look like a rocket!

And talk therapy that hurts more than it helps.

REICHARD: It’s Tuesday, April 9th, 2024. 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: Yellen wraps up China trip, Lavrov arrives » Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen just wrapped up four days of high-stakes meetings in Beijing. She says open communication has put a rocky relationship on firmer footing.

YELLEN: This progress matters. Given the size of our economies, the U.S.-China economic relationship is among the most important bilateral economic relationships in the world.

But the two governments will continue to clash on a range of issues. Among them is China’s aggressive production of cheaper electric vehicles, solar panels, and batteries.

The White House worries about Chinese overproduction driving down prices and undercutting other producers at a time when the Biden Administration is subsidizing green energy projects in the U.S.

YELLEN: When the global market is flooded by artificially cheap Chinese products, the viability of American and other foreign firms is put into question.

Yellen raised other issues including security concerns tied to the popular TikTok app which is owned by a Chinese company. And China’s support for Russia. It’s worth noting as Yellen departs Beijing Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov just arrived.

Economist David Bahnsen says it’s not immediately clear whether the trip was a success and besides China’s not likely to commit when it’s not sure who it’ll be dealing with next year.

BAHNSEN: Most things that are on the table with U.S.-China economic and trade relations are very likely to take place in 2025. I do not expect much needle-moving activity in an election year.

Yellen was expected to leave China today.

Biden student debt » President Biden is making another push to cancel student debt with the election less than seven months away.

BIDEN: My administration will propose a new rule to cancel up to $20,000 in runaway interest for any borrower that owes more now than when they started paying the loan.

Biden made the announcement in the critical battleground state of Wisconsin.

The proposal is less ambitious than an earlier plan to erase billions in student debt which the Supreme Court found to be unconstitutional.

The president says the plan could help millions of Americans to get ahead.

Republicans say Biden wants taxpayers who didn’t go to college to foot the bill for those who did.

Trump pro-life stance » Donald Trump says abortion in the post-Roe era is a state-level issue, and that is where it should stay.

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 must be the law of the land, in this case, the law of the state.

For weeks, it appeared he was inching toward endorsing nationwide restrictions on abortion after 15 or 16 weeks. But he made clear on Monday that he does not support protections for the unborn at the federal level.

In a statement, he also endorsed in-vitro fertilization and suggested the Republicans need to be careful not to politically over-reach on life issues.

TRUMP: You must follow your heart on this issue, but remember, you must also win elections to restore our culture and in fact, to save our country.

Trump added that Democrats were the ones who are radical on the issue with many supporting unfettered abortion.

SOUND: [Israeli protesters]

Gaza latest » Demonstrators in the Israeli city of Sderot demanding that Israel continue its offensive against Hamas.

Demonstrator Yael Lasri:

LASRI: We didn’t start the war. They did. Okay? They murdered 1,200 of our people!

Over the weekend, the Israeli military pulled out of the West Bank city of Khan Younis, ending a months-long operation ahead of a planned ground offensive in the city of Rafah.

SOUND: [Palestinian weeps]

One Palestinian woman heard weeping at the destruction left behind saying she has nowhere to sleep tonight.

Meanwhile, efforts continue to broker a cease-fire between Israel and the terrorist group.

National Security Council spokesman John Kirby:

KIRBY: A proposal has been presented to Hamas, and we’re waiting on Hamas’ response.

Kirby said he expects a response in a matter of days.

Red Sea mission to repel Houthis » A European Union naval fleet has warded off Houthi rebel attacks against roughly a dozen commercial ships in the Middle East over the past two months.

The mission has been dubbed Aspides, which is Greek for “shield.”

Operation commander Vasilios Gryparis …

GRYPARIS: Aspides is proud to say that so far, all protected vessels have been successfully safeguarded throughout these attacks, and that all ships that requested protection have been escorted.

But Gryparis says the attacks are unrelenting, and he’s appealing for more military assets to defend the critical shipping lane.

Iran-backed Houthi terrorists have launched a campaign of drone and missile attacks on shipping in and around the Red Sea in November after the start of the war in Gaza.

Boeing Vessel Engine Cover » The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating a pair of safety incidents over the past week involving Southwest Airlines flights.

On Sunday, an engine cover fell off and struck a wing flap just after takeoff out of Denver.

AUDIO: Let's go ahead and declare an emergency for Southwest 3695, and we'd like an immediate return.

The Boeing 737 landed safely.

In a statement, Southwest said its maintenance teams “are reviewing the aircraft.”

That incident came just days after a reported engine fire forced pilots on a runway in Lubbock, Texas to turn around and head back to the gate.

NCAA championship » The men’s and women’s college basketball crowns have been claimed. WORLD’s Alex Carmenaty reports:

ALEX CARMENATY: Monday night saw the UConn men's basketball team win its second straight national championship in a 75-60 victory over Purdue. Fifth year senior Guard Tristen Newton led the way with 20 points.

The Huskies are the first program in nearly 20 years to win back to back national titles.

One day earlier, the University of South Carolina women's basketball team defeated Iowa 87-75.

Six foot seven Center Kamilla Cardoso scored 15 points and pulled down 17 rebounds.

South Carolina finished the season with a perfect 38-0 record.

The win also marked the program's third national title under Head Coach Dawn Staley.

For WORLD, I’m Alex Carmenaty.

I’m Kent Covington.

Straight ahead: new challenges for Israel after 6 months of war. Plus, using satellites to help fight fires.

This is The World and Everything in It.

MARY REICHARD, HOST: It’s Tuesday the 9th 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.

First up: a somber anniversary for Israel. Sunday marked 6 months since Hamas launched an unprovoked attack on Israel. The attack killed more than a thousand Israelis, along with hundreds more kidnapped and more than 100 held hostage to this day.

Over the weekend, American Jews held a rally in Washington. Here’s one of the speakers outside the Lincoln Memorial.

MEIRAV LESHEM GONEN: I'm the mother of Romi Gonen, a beautiful 23-year-old young woman held by the cruel hand of Hamas for six months now. I ask the free world, “Let my people go.”

REICHARD: On Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel is a step away from victory in Gaza. But two missile strikes last week complicate things.

That’s when Israel struck a consulate building next to the Iranian embassy in Syria. Iranian military officials were meeting with members of Hezbollah.

Iran promised retribution.

BROWN: That same day, an Israeli drone strike killed seven aid workers with World Central Kitchen, who were delivering food in Gaza. While Israel took responsibility for what it said was an unintentional attack, President Joe Biden said he was outraged. In a phone call on Thursday, he demanded Israel do better, or else.

Reporters asked National Security Advisor John Kirby about it.

REPORTER: Is the president threatening to withhold aid to Israel if they do not make these changes?

KIRBY: The president made it clear that our policies with respect to Gaza, will be dependent upon our assessment of how well the Israelis make changes and implement changes to make the situation in Gaza better for the Palestinian people.

REICHARD: Joining us now to talk about what’s going on is Itamar Marcus. He’s the founder and director of the Israel-based organization, Palestinian Media Watch.

Itamar, welcome back to the program!

ITAMAR MARCUS: Thank you very much

REICHARD: Of these two missile strikes, do you think one or the other will have greater consequences for what happens next?

MARCUS: I think they're both going to have impact and but it's gonna be a completely different impact. Iran, primarily has been embarrassed. So they have promised a serious response. I mean, Israel has been put on high alert, all leaves in the in the army were canceled. I know a number of people who had been released not so long before from the army who received draft call ups. So Israel understands that because of their image and their pride, Iran is going to do something. So that's going to be significant. And we're all waiting to find out what it's going to be. 

Now regarding the tragedy in the Gaza Strip that the aid workers were killed, I don't think anyone in the world who has any sense thinks that Israel would have done something like that on purpose. The fact that Israel has been pounced on by so many Western countries and condemned for this is just unbelievable, because every military person who has experience in combat, whether it was in Iraq, or in Mosul, or wherever it was, the civilian casualties were much, much higher. Everyone was saying that no one has done anything like Israel to prevent civilian casualties. And I think it's tragic that the United States is putting extra pressure on Israel to fight with, you know, one and a half hands behind our back because of this tragedy. There have been collateral damage to civilians when terrorists were also attacked. That definitely happened, but I don't remember specifically. I think this is the first time where there was an intentional targeting of a vehicle that turned out to be a vehicle of aid workers. I think that the United States should be praising Israel, and say, “Wow, you've been there six months, and this is the first mistake like this. That's really incredible. Keep up the good work.”

REICHARD: The Biden administration is pushing for the formation of a Palestinian state, and I want to get your take on this. Is the Palestinian Authority able to replace Hamas with a better governing solution in Gaza?

MARCUS: Since October 7, the PA and Hamas have gone through a whole cycle. Initially, after the 1200 Israelis were murdered and tortured and raped, etc. Hamas became so popular in the Palestinian Authority that the Palestinian Authority had to join with Hamas. They were celebrating the murder. They were celebrating the killings, even though Hamas is their political enemy. They had no choice. There was one poll, this is a Palestinian poll, 98% of Palestinians were proud of the events since October 7. So here's the Palestinian Authority dilemma: The world wants a new government free from terror, but the Palestinian Authority knows that to their own people, they have no legitimacy without having Hamas join them in a unified government. So what the PA is trying to do is they want to put masks on Hamas. They want to have Hamas be a partner, but in a way that they can lie to the Western world and say it's not really Hamas, its people X, Y and Z. And that's what we're going to see in the future. We're going to see this game of the PA talking about how wonderful it is to unite with Hamas to their own people. And we hear this almost every day.

REICHARD: How has the average Israeli changed his or her thinking about the Palestinian issue, compared to before October 7th?

MARCUS: For many Israelis now after six months, most Israelis, understand that with a genocidal religious population who believes that Allah wants the murder and ultimately extermination of Jews, we have no one to talk to. And it's made people recognize that we have to strengthen ourselves. There's no longer compromising on the idea of a Palestinian state. A Palestinian state will be an existential threat to Israel. As the Palestinian Authority tells its people, they tell their people a Palestinian state is the first step toward destroying Israel. So most Israelis completely reject a Palestinian state today. The fact that the entire world is ignoring this and is willing to create an Iran state right next Israel on absolutely indefensible borders is really tragic. And we have to just keep working with our friends around the world, the political leaders around the world who actually do care about Israel, that point out that you don't want Iran, you certainly wouldn't want Iran to replace Mexico or Canada. Why do you want Iran sitting on our border? Because that's what you're asking us to do.

REICHARD: Itamar Marcus is founder and director of the Israel-based organization, Palestinian Media Watch. Itamar, thank you for your time.

MARCUS: Thank you.

MYRNA BROWN, HOST: Coming up next on The World and Everything in It: Wildfires in Texas.

Back in February, volunteer fire departments from across the Texas Panhandle joined state and federal emergency agencies to battle what would become the nation’s second largest wildfire – The Smokehouse Creek Wildfire. Four separate blazes merged to burn just over one million acres.

MARY REICHARD, HOST: Two people died. While tragic, that number is well below average for a fire that size and in a region with the same population. How did forecasters and emergency responders work to prevent casualties? WORLD reporter Bonnie Pritchett visited the Panhandle to find out, and brings us our story.

FIRE FIGHTER: Here she comes.

REPORTER, BONNIE PRITCHETT: On February 27th, fire surrounded Canadian, Texas on three sides.

FIRE FIGHTER: Look at that ugly beast. At least this is one of the fingers.

The day before, abundant dry grass and wind gusts up to 60 miles an hour fed the beast bearing down on Canadian.

Kris Hogan is the town’s volunteer fire department chief.

KRIS HOGAN: And by then I'd done called told then get everybody back to town because we're going to make a stand in town. And then, I kinda need to back up a little bit, whenever I got into Canadian they were evacuating town.

Then he noticed the firestorm heading toward Highway 60, the lone evacuation route.

HOGAN: That's whenever I called Brant on the radio and said, “Hey, we got to shut this evacuation off. We got shut it off now. They're gonna get caught on that four lane out there.”


The remainder of the town’s 3,000 residents were told to shelter-in-place at the high school.

A hundred miles to the southwest at the Amarillo office of the National Weather Service, Doug Weber monitored satellite imagery of the unfolding disaster. He’s the senior forecaster and fire weather program manager.

DOUG WEBER: There was a point where we were like we could see it on satellite. It's burning. The city itself is now showing up on the hotspot…

But Weber and his colleagues weren’t helpless bystanders.

They were using an updated fire alert system that integrates new satellite technology with more efficient inter-agency collaboration. That gets boots on the ground a lot faster.

WEBER: Old satellites used to take 15 minutes - was a standard volume scan. So, I’d get an image. I'll see the next image in 15 minutes.

A rapid scan took 7 minutes.

WEBER: That's not fast. The new satellite’s baseline is five minutes. And we have multiple sectors that give a higher resolution than our baseline where they focus in on a localized area. And that is one minute.

So, every 60 seconds forecasters receive new information about a fire. Exact geolocation of life-threatening blazes are sent to partner agencies who assess the situation and decide whether to ask the National Weather Service to issue an alert.

AUDIO: It’s go time, boys. Alright.

Wildfires are a persistent threat in the Southern Great Plains region that includes West Texas, Eastern New Mexico, the Oklahoma Panhandle and the Kansas Plains.

Lots of grass. Low humidity. High winds. And it doesn’t take much to get a spark.

Meteorologists have a name for the region.

TODD LINDLEY: The Southern Great Plains Wildfire Outbreak.

That’s Todd Lindley. He’s the science and operational officer at the National Weather Service in Norman, Oklahoma.

LINDLEY: It's an outbreak of wildfires that are associated with a single weather system over the Southern Great Plains.

He helped develop the new system that Oklahoma’s been using since 2022. It still needs scientific review, but the anecdotal evidence is encouraging. When compared to a 2019 fire, response time dropped from 82 minutes to 9.

LINDLEY: We actually modeled the fire spread. And we know that on average, a dangerous fire on the southern plains will spread about three to six miles per hour. You could say that, you know, in the amount of time it used to take to issue these warnings, a fire could easily spread six to seven miles, which is a considerable distance.

Once emergency managers have the hot spot information, they collaborate on whether to issue a fire warning and request the National Weather Service to do it.

Doug Weber introduced the new system to agency partners in the Texas Panhandle – in early February.

WEBER: Little did we know two weeks later, we were going to have this massive event. 



The day of the outbreak Scott Brewster had eyes on four Panhandle fires. He’s Canadian’s chief dispatcher.

SCOTT BREWSTER: I'm also signed up for the hot spot alerts and that everybody gets them at once. We were also swamped with calls from the Lefor fire because it was it was actually the first day on Monday that was the main concern was the Lefor fire…


On Tuesday those concerns shifted with the wind. A Northern blew in.

AUDIO: Yeh. She’s about to jump that road.

The almost 15- mile wide, and 40-mile long, wildfire heading east quickly became a 70-mile wide blaze moving south toward Canadian.

The Amarillo National Weather Service continued sending updates – and watching satellite images as the fire surrounded the town. Here’s Doug Weber again:

WEBER: There’s no longer evacuations, you’re now shelter-in-place, and I'm thinking to myself, how many people are we going to possibly lose to smoke inhalation that didn't get out or, God forbid, if that if the city gets a lot of it burned...

Thankfully, it didn’t.

Some homes burned, but no lives were lost.

Federal officials with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration acknowledge the system’s life-saving potential in the Southern Great Plains. In June they will begin evaluating it for expansion nationwide.

As local forecasters and emergency managers assess the system’s effectiveness during the Smokehouse Creek Wildfire, Weber already sees a glimmer of hope even in the loss.

WEBER: And I'm so heartbroken for the two lives that were lost. Because any day we lose a life, it's a tough day for us in the office, because it’s our goal. But over a million acres burned. The burn scar is as big as the Dallas-Forth Worth Metro area, and we only had two fatalities.

Audio of on-the-ground firefighting comes from Thomas Beal with the Perryton Volunteer Fire Department.

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Bonnie Pritchett in Canadian, Texas.

MYRNA BROWN, HOST: Yesterday’s eclipse drew millions of people outdoors to see it. But in Niagara Falls, some people had a dual mission!

Kendall Kern from South Dakota was there:

KENDALL KERN: We came on vacation to watch the solar eclipse and do the Guinness book of World Records.

That’s right, an attempt to break a world record! Can you guess the category, Mary?

MARY REICHARD, HOST: How about “largest gathering of people dressed as the sun.”

BROWN: How’d ya know!?

REICHARD: I saw your script.

BROWN: Folks wore a big yellow sun with sun rays, the whole thing, over a red raincoat. The number to beat was 287 people.

Here’s the result with official adjudicator of Guinness World Records, Mike Marcotte:

MIKE MARCOTTE: You have 309 people. [CHEER] And I could say that the City of Niagara Falls, you are the new Guinness World Record. [CHEERING]

It’s The World and Everything in It.

MYRNA BROWN, HOST: Today is Tuesday, April 9th. Thank you for turning to WORLD Radio to help start your day.

Good morning. I’m Myrna Brown.

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

Coming next on The World and Everything in It: The need for speed.

Last month, a Louisville, Kentucky boys club held its Worthy Derby racing event with fathers and sons teaming up to try to build the fastest – and sometimes unique – model cars. And make lasting memories along the way. Here’s WORLD reporter Travis Kircher.

TRAVIS KIRCHER: It’s an overcast Saturday morning, but inside the youth building at Southeast Christian Church, the 2024 Worthy Derby is about to begin. The pit crew is ready. The track is set. And the racers are just starting to arrive.

Tyler Shell is here with his 8-year-old son Kai and they are eyeing the competition.

TYLER SHELL: We were nervous on the drive this morning. Very excited, but nervous to see how we’re gonna do.

KAI: Yeah!

This father-and-son duo is hoping their car—nicknamed The Ghost—is gonna bring home a trophy for the fastest racer.

KAI: It is white. And I have a silver weight for, like, the windshield. It’s kind of like a slant with a spoiler cut out of the back.

SHELL: We actually finished it at about 10 o’clock last night. [LAUGHS]

But they’re not the only ones eyeing those trophies! Luke Butch and his 8-year-old brother Brody are here with their Dad and Luke says he’s eager for the rubber to hit the road—or in this case, the wood to hit the metal.

LUKE BUTCH: My car is called The Blur. It’s a little rainbow-y.

And his car’s number?

LUKE: One-oh-five! And five is how old I am!

It’s almost race time –

JOE MCALOON: Fall in! Right up here…

And faster than these dads could spin out in Pole Position on their Ataris, Trail Life Kentucky Troop 413 is called to order.

LEADER: Please join me in the Pledge of Allegiance. I pledge allegiance to the flag…

Trail Life was launched in 2013 as a Christ-centered boys club. Ron Smith serves as ministry liaison for this local troop and he says its name isn’t an accident.

RON SMITH: Kentucky 413 – the number was determined after Phillippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”

Trail Life’s motto is “Walk Worthy.” Its vision? To develop character in young men to produce godly and responsible husbands, fathers and citizens. Smith says that’s done through regular Bible studies, as well as outdoor activities like campouts and canoe trips. But it's this event – the Worthy Derby – that’s the highlight of the year. It starts by building the coolest car.

SMITH: The boys will bring their block and they will draw how they want their block to be cut. And then adults will cut the car and then the car will go home and the boys will get their sandpaper and their paint and their – you know, they’ll attach legos to it if they want and put some graphite on the wheels so they can get a fast car.

MCALOON: Congratulations on Heat number four! Trailmen come get those cars and take them to the stage.

As announcer, Joe McAloon calls the races and keeps the crowd hyped. He says part of the fun is seeing the creativity on display.

MCALOON: You’ve got designs like tanks! You’ve got racecars! You’ve got cars that look like a rocket!

Mark Urschel is a leader on the troop’s chaplaincy team. He says the chance to build something with their hands teaches these boys a lot about God’s character.

MARK URSCHEL: It's amazing to see how creative 100 boys can be and none of those cars will look the same. One of the lessons we learn from that is how great our Creator truly is.

And the trophies are just as varied and unique. Seventeen-year-old patrol leader Elliott Harmon:

ELLIOTT HARMON: So we, like, do Most Patriotic. We’ve got Trail Life Spirit. We’ve got Best Paint Job. Best Movie or TV Show Theme. Most Realistic. Most Unusual…

But let’s not kid ourselves. The award every boy and his father wants is the trophy for Fastest Car. And only the Finish Line reveals that victor.

SOUND: “Here we go!” [CAR RACES] “Holy smokes, Luke!”

Cars race four at a time down a metal track. Sensors track the speed of the cars and relay it to software that displays race results on a monitor. Go-Pros at the end of the track create a slow-motion instant replay shown on a Jumbotron.

Hour after hour, the cars race and race and race.

It’s teamwork like this that brings a smile to Urschel’s face. He says the Worthy Derby is a chance for boys to be mentored by men.

URSCHEL: I think it's a great event for young men -- young trailmen and their fathers – because they can work shoulder-to-shoulder on the same thing, with the same objective. And they both get excited when they race.

Meanwhile, it’s the moment everyone has been waiting for: the final championship. The pressure is high.

MCALOON: Are we ready for our final heat? [CROWD CHEERS!] Final heat away! [CARS RACE]

When it’s all said and done, trophies are awarded, high-fives are exchanged, and maybe one or two wheels are lost along the way. But regardless of who walks home with a trophy today, volunteer Kurt Wallace says it’s the memories that are their own reward.

KURT WALLACE: One of the fathers said, “We won just by showing up.” They can see there’s a trophy—but the win for the father is just showing up and having time with his son.

Tyler Shell knows one thing from experience: his son Kai will remember this day for the rest of his life

SHELL: I’m so proud of him. We had a good time doing it together, and I actually remember doing this when I was a kid.

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Travis Kircher. In Louisville, Kentucky.

MCALOON: Let’s do just one big round of applause to all of our racers today. [APPLAUSE]

MARY REICHARD, HOST: Today is Tuesday April 9th. 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: Author Abigail Shrier’s 2020 book titled Irreversible Damage was a bellwether, opening many people’s eyes to the evils of the transgender craze. Today, WORLD reviewer Chelsea Boes tells us if Shrier’s latest work lives up to that high standard.

CHELSEA BOES: In the new book, Bad Therapy, Abigail Shrier imagines if her grandmother–born in 1927–had been born in the 2000s instead. Her grandmother was an undernourished kid, passed among her relatives during childhood. She had gray teeth because she didn’t get enough milk, and she even spent a year in an iron lung. Shrier writes, “Today, school counselors and psychologists would invite a motherless girl like my grandmother into their offices, inquire about her family life and ensure that all of her teachers knew she’d been through something very hard.”

Like other members of the Greatest Generation, Shrier’s grandmother grew through hardship into optimism. But today, Shrier says she’d be at the mercy of “bad therapy”. In other words, “They would hunt for minute signs that she wasn’t coping, and because she was a bright girl, she would catch their meaning: she was damaged.” Shrier imagines that adults today wouldn’t punish her grandmother for bad behavior or dock her grades for missed assignments. They’d reason: “Hadn’t she been through enough?”

Here lies the most powerful point of Shrier’s book: kids require adversity to grow. They’re made that way. Shrier argues that the widespread talk therapy provided to kids raised by gentle parents carries profound risk of iatrogenesis—which means practitioners harming rather than healing their patients.

For Shrier, bad therapy teaches kids to navel-gaze. It encourages them to ruminate, accommodates their worries, and dispenses diagnoses liberally. Finally, bad therapy shepherds kids not toward healthy life patterns of discipline, challenge, and friendship but toward unneeded psychotropics. As she puts it, “Spare the rod, drug the child.” Bad therapy’s result? “Emotional hypochondriacs” who think mainly about themselves, the most depressing state of all.

The book is an engaging read, but Bad Therapy is often more like an invective than serious inquiry. Throughout, the reader feels a phantom pain: Where is the other side of the story? Where in Shrier’s argument is the kid who really did have a need for therapy and even medication? Where’s the therapist who really did help?

Still, Shrier’s book can help parents stop assuming all therapy is benign. A child’s therapist–like any authority figure–can use her influence for good or bad, and Christians should be on guard against possible pitfalls. On the whole, the book can move parents toward expecting more of their kids and hovering less—and that’s a freeing gift.

I’m Chelsea Boes.

MYRNA BROWN, HOST: Tomorrow: the unborn and politics. Is Donald Trump backing away from the pro-life movement? We’ll talk about it on Washington Wednesday. And, a pastor who preaches, teaches, and roasts coffee for his church. 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 records that the jailer of Paul and Silas brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” —Acts 16:30, 31

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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