The World and Everything in It: August 2, 2022
A pregnancy center in Massachusetts faces challenges from local and state politicians; the rising demand for special education teachers is not being met with enough supply; the Classic Book of the Month for August. Plus: commentary from Whitney Williams, and the Tuesday morning news.
MARY REICHARD, HOST: Good morning!
Acts of violence against pregnancy centers escalated after the Dobbs decision leaked in May.
MYRNA BROWN, HOST: Also teachers for students with special needs are in short supply. We have a report.
Plus WORLD’s Classic Book of the Month.
And hearing an old song in a new way.
REICHARD: It’s Tuesday, August 2nd. This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Mary Reichard.
BROWN: And I’m Myrna Brown.
REICHARD: Time now for the news. Here’s Kent Covington.
KENT COVINGTON, NEWS ANCHOR: Biden counterterrorism » Speaking from the Blue Room Balcony at the White House last night, President Biden announced a major counterterrorism strike.
BIDEN: The United State successfully concluded an airstrike in Kabul, Afghanistan that killed the emir of al Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahri.
The CIA carried out the drone strike on Saturday.
al-Zawahri was Osama bin Laden’s deputy during the 9/11 attacks. And he took the reins of the terror group after bin Laden’s death.
BIDEN: He carved a trail of murder and violence against American citizens, American servicemembers, American diplomats, and American interests.
During the war in Afghanistan, the US military splintered al-Qaida, sending leaders into hiding.
But following America’s exit from Afghanistan last September, U.S. military officials say al-Qaida is now ready to rebuild in Afghanistan. And they’ve warned that al-Qaida still aspires to once again attack the United States.
Pelosi leads delegation to Asia » House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is in Singapore this morning, the first of several stops in Asia.
As of last night, there was still no word on whether Taiwan will be one of those stops. But local Taiwanese media report that Pelosi will arrive on the island tonight despite threats from Beijing.
National Security Council spokesman John Kirby responded to China on Monday.
KIRBY: We will not take the bait or engage in saber rattling. At the same time, we will not be intimidated.
China made another threat Monday, saying its military would—quote—“not sit idly by” if Pelosi leads a delegation to Taiwan.
The Chinese government claims Taiwan as its property and it would see a high-level US visit as an affront.
But Secretary of State Tony Blinken said if Pelosi visits the territory…
BLINKEN: This is very much precedent in the sense that previous speakers visited Taiwan. Many members of Congress go to Taiwan, including this year.
Pelosi has confirmed that she’ll meet with leaders in Malaysia, Japan, and South Korea on the trip for meetings on a range of issues.
Iran nuclear readiness, threat » And new threats Monday out of Tehran after a top Iranian official claimed the country is now capable of making nuclear weapons. WORLD’s Kristen Flavin has more.
KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: Iran’s nuclear chief says his country now has the technical ability to make an atomic bomb though he claimed they don’t intend to build one.
But a social media channel linked to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard stated that “Iran can immediately … build an atom bomb.”
And a video posted to that channel threatened to turn—quote—“New York into hellish ruins,” if provoked.
The Biden administration maintains that diplomacy is the best way forward.
Secretary of State Tony Blinken said reviving the 2015 nuclear deal “remains the best outcome for the United States,” Iran, and the world.
Reporting for WORLD, I’m Kristen Flavin.
Ship carrying Ukrainian grain leaves Odesa » AUDIO: [Ukraine Ship Horn]
In Ukraine, for the first time in months, a cargo ship carrying grain left the Port of Odesa on Monday. The ship set sail for Lebanon carrying 26,000 tons of corn.
Lebanon buys most of its grain from Ukraine and has been feeling the pinch of food shortages caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
European Commission Peter Stano spokesman reacted Monday.
STANO: This is a welcome first step towards mitigating the global food crisis which was enhanced by Russia’s illegitimate aggression and blockage of Ukrainian ports.
Ukraine and Russia signed a deal more than a week ago to allow grain out of Ukrainian ports. But before the ink was dry on that agreement, Russia bombed the sea port town of Odesa.
CA wildfire » A massive wildfire burning in California is now the largest blaze in the state this year.
The McKinney Fire near the Oregon state line has exploded in size over the last two days. It has now engulfed roughly 90 square miles.
Eighty-one-year-old Althea Schwander said she lost her home in the fire, but she’s happy to be alive.
SCHANDER: The fire department came and told me, she said just leave now. Get out of here. So I came here and I woke up happy … which was a surprise.
The fire erupted on Friday and has killed at least two people so far.
US Forest Service spokesperson Adrienne Freeman said the blaze is under investigation.
FREEMAN: We don’t have a cause yet. It is yet undetermined.
But she said lightning strikes caused multiple other fires now burning in the state.
KY flood update » Meantime, in Kentucky, officials have raised the death toll from massive flooding to 37.
And Gov. Andy Beshear said Monday that number is likely to rise.
BESHEAR: There are hundreds of unaccounted for people, minimum. And we don’t have a firm grasp on that. I wish we did.
Flood waters have knocked out bridges and made roads impassable. The National Guard has now rescued more 400 people by helicopter or by boat.
The floods in Kentucky came just days after historic flooding hit the St. Louis area and other parts of Missouri.
State Abortion Laws » A battle over life and abortion is raging at the county level in Michigan. WORLD’s Josh Schumacher has that story.
JOSH SCHUMACHER, REPORTER: A state Court of Appeals said a Michigan judge’s temporary hold on the state’s 90-year-old abortion ban does not apply to county prosecutors. That means abortion facilities in 13 counties could face criminal charges for ending pregnancies.
Prosecutors in seven of those counties have said they won’t prosecute abortion providers. But at least two counties do plan to prosecute them.
Michigan’s Democratic attorney general, Dana Nessel, says that the Court of Appeal’s ruling will not be the final say on the issue.
Neighboring Ohio, Indiana, and Wisconsin already have near-total abortion bans in effect. And protections for the unborn are expected to take effect in about half of the states.
Reporting for WORLD, I’m Josh Schumacher.
I’m Kent Covington. Straight ahead: pregnancy centers face escalating violence and what’s being done about it.
Plus, the Classic Book of the Month for August.
This is The World and Everything in It.
MYRNA BROWN, HOST: It’s Tuesday the 2nd of August, 2022.
You’re listening to WORLD Radio and we’re so glad to have you along with us today. Good morning, I’m Myrna Brown.
MARY REICHARD, HOST: And I’m Mary Reichard. First up on The World and Everything in It: violence against pregnancy centers.
Pro-life pregnancy centers across the country have been dealing with increased vandalism and arson since the leak of the draft opinion in the Dobbs case. In blue states, pregnancy centers are dealing with attacks on other levels too: political attacks from local and state politicians.
BROWN: Leah Savas reports on some of the challenges facing one center in Massachusetts.
LEAH SAVAS: The morning of July 7, Kelly Wilcox got a disturbing call. At the pregnancy center she directs in Worcester, Massachusetts, vandals had shattered the glass doors and spray-painted words on the sidewalk in front.
WILCOX: Well, I was there within 45 minutes. And it was, you know, discouraging. My first thought was, This is so sad. My second thought was, they don't understand who we are and what we do. And my third thought was, how fast can I get our doors open again?
That attack wasn’t the only recent hint Wilcox has gotten that her community doesn’t understand the work of pro-life pregnancy centers.
The Worcester city council voted last month to start working on an ordinance that would target centers like the Clearway Clinic, where Wilcox works.
MAYOR PETTY: Any such establishment operating within city limits with a primary purpose of providing services to people who are or have reason to believe they may be pregnant, including mobile facilities, must either directly provide or provide referrals for abortions or emergency contraception.
AUDIO: [CITY COUNCIL VOTE]
Wilcox has watched similar ordinances make their way through other Massachusetts towns.
WILCOX: It started in Somerville, and then it went to Cambridge. And then Easthampton is now considering it, and now Worcester.
So far, the only one that has passed is in Somerville, which has no pregnancy centers. That ordinance singles out centers that don’t promote abortion and prohibits them from engaging in—quote—deceptive practices. The problem is, who gets to define “deceptive”?
Some Worcester residents accuse local pregnancy centers of deceptive practices. Here’s one local woman speaking at a July 19 city council meeting:
WOMAN: …Particularly Problem Pregnancy. There are many, many people that will go there will say I have an appointment today thinking they're across the street and they're ushered right in and given an ultrasound they think they're at their appointment. And then they are told, basically, inaccurate information about the risks of abortion. They leave extremely upset and end up where they meant to go.
Problem Pregnancy is on the same street as the Planned Parenthood in Worcester. Vandals attacked that center the same night they targeted the Clearway Clinic, Wilcox’s center. Both pro-life centers appear near the top of Google searches for abortion in Worcester. Problem Pregnancy’s search results entry says “Abortion Near Me.” Its website advertises “Abortion consultations” while including a disclaimer at the bottom of each webpage that says “Problem Pregnancy does not perform or refer for abortions.” When I contacted the center, the receptionist said it wasn’t taking media interviews.
But at the city council meeting, Wilcox from Clearway Clinic explained the measures her center takes to avoid the appearance of being deceptive.
WILCOX: Patients however, must sign an authorization before they come to us for services that where it's clearly understood they are not coming to us for abortion services. We tell them on the phone that and I've given for the record copies ofour marketing ads that clearly state right on them stamped across the top we do not provide abortions or abortion referrals.
Wilcox said her center shows up in searches for abortion in Worcester because it markets post-abortion care. It also promotes comprehensive informed consent for women considering abortion. Other women at the city council meeting said they found needed help at Clearway Clinic and Problem Pregnancy. They said they knew the centers did not provide abortions.
The day before vandals attacked the two Worcester centers, the Massachusetts Attorney General issued a consumer advisory to—quote—“warn patients about crisis pregnancy centers.” The advisory notes that most pregnancy centers are not licensed medical facilities and aren’t staffed by licensed doctors or nurses even though they might wear white coats.
But the advisory itself is deceptive. Sure, many Massachusetts pregnancy centers don’t appear on the state’s list of licensed healthcare facilities. But neither do some standard healthcare providers in the state, like private doctor’s offices. Clearway Clinic is fully licensed as an outpatient clinic under the state health department. Here’s Wilcox again:
WILCOX: Most of the pregnancy centers in the United States operate in a doctor's office type of organizational structure. But that's usually one doctor or maybe two, we wanted to have a lot of doctors working in our organization, actually, they volunteer in our organization, and they support our staff, nurses.
Anne O’Connor is vice president of the national pregnancy center group NIFLA.
O’CONNOR: There's 2700 pregnancy centers nationwide and about 80% are medical, meaning they provide medical services under the direction and supervision of a licensed physician, using licensed medical professionals on site to provide those services. So we advise those medical centers in best practices, we advise them to comply with all state and federal laws regarding licensing and things like that.
For Wilcox, these attacks from different levels have taught her that she needs to assume a new role in her community.
WILCOX: I should say, I have failed to educate, and make aware to our lawmakers exactly who we are and what we do. And I think other executive directors in Massachusetts have come to a similar conclusion that we can no longer just serve women and children, we have a responsibility to publicly advocate and educate the public at large about what we do.
Reporting for WORLD, I’m Leah Savas.
MARY REICHARD, HOST: Coming up next on The World and Everything in It: Special education.
The numbers of students who qualify for special ed jumped 1 ½% over the past ten years.
As their numbers rise, there may not be enough teachers qualified to meet their needs. WORLD’s Lauren Dunn reports.
LAUREN DUNN, REPORTER: Sara Baillie Gorman is associate professor of special education and the director of education operations at Trinity Christian College. One of her courses is called “Disability in Chicago.”
GORMAN: This past semester, at the beginning of my class, I said, Okay, I'd love to know why you're here. And I want you to be honest about it. Why are you in this class about disability? And all but one student told me, it was the only one that fit in my schedule, I have no interest in disability.
But by the end of the semester, Gorman said several students changed their majors. At least one decided to go into special education.
Gorman’s class is one of several that fulfill a requirement for all Trinity students. By offering her class to students of any major, the school introduces more students to the field of special education.
And the field needs more prospective teachers.
Laurie VanderPloeg is the associate executive director for professional affairs at the Council for Exceptional Children. She previously headed up the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs.
VANDERPLOEG: Much of the research is showing us that, you know, if we don't put some significant interventions in place to mitigate this special education shortage issue, that by 2025-2026 school year, there could be a shortfall of around 200,000 public school teachers. And many of the states are reporting that within their open positions, about 45% of those are special education positions.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates there will be over 37,000 more job openings in special education by 2030 than there were in 2020.
Lynn Roper is the assistant professor of special education and the special education program coordinator at Cedarville University.
ROPER: I'm out every semester doing supervision. And the things that I see is that you're dealing and not just through the pandemic, this was before the pandemic, a lot more emotional, and behavioral needs of students, you're doing a lot more with meeting a variety of needs.
At Cedarville University, about 35 students are preparing to be special education teachers. About 9 students graduate from the program each year. Graduates are prepared to work with students with mild to moderate disabilities, typically learning disabilities, emotional disabilities, or speech and language needs.
In spite of additional student needs in classrooms, Roper says many special education teachers aren’t receiving extra support.
ROPER: Special educators are asked to be in inclusive classrooms co teaching, then they're asked to be pulling students out and supporting them in a separate classroom, or in the back of a classroom. We have higher and higher numbers of students that we’re responsible for as special educators. And there's just no way with the variety of needs that students have, that if you have a classroom of 20, you're going to be able to meet all the needs of those 20 students.
And those who choose the special education field may not remain there long. One study found that twice as many special education teachers leave the profession as teachers overall.
Sara Baillie Gorman, the Trinity Christian College professor, says that paperwork and meetings add more to teachers’ already full plates.
GORMAN: You're in an IEP meeting instead of in your classroom, you're in a curriculum meeting instead of in your classroom. And a lot of teachers feel burnt out. The reason and the amazing gift of being a teacher is seeing your student learn something interacting, building those relationships, and when that part is taken away, and you get other things to do a lot of that reinforcement, and that joy of teaching can be taken away.
But for Christian teachers going into special education, the job takes on a deeper meaning.
GORMAN: In the Bible, Jesus often reached out to those who were needing extra support, whether that be having leprosy, or you know, variety of ailments, for lack of a better word, according to how it's described in the Bible. This often was how Jesus interacted with the public. And so it's hard to think of a more Christian perspective of how to live your life than to continue to care for those individuals, just like the Bible showed that Jesus did.
This is a calling that Roper says more Christian colleges are preparing to meet.
ROPER: When I graduated from a Christian college, not Cedarville, in 1988, we did not have a special ed program at that point. So in the last 34 years, you know, that has changed. I think Christian schools are realizing that is a need.
In the meantime, Laurie VanderPloeg says many states are looking at temporary fixes, trying to fill positions right now. But she worries that this problem won’t be going away anytime soon.
VANDERPLOEG: I think we need to have a very large national campaign around elevating the profession, and really changing the perception so that we can put effective attraction strategies in place, you know, to really attract more people into the profession.
Reporting for WORLD, I’m Lauren Dunn.
MARY REICHARD, HOST: The biggest gemstone found in 300 years was just unearthed in Angola.
Picture this: 170 carats!
But more than size, its color makes it unique. A pink diamond. That’s one in 10,000.
The company that mined the gem dubbed it the “Lulo Rose.”
Five years ago, a 60-carat pink diamond sold for $71 million dollars.
Gemologists say there’s just no telling yet how much a pink diamond nearly three times that size will fetch when it hits the auction block.
One thing we do know? It’s going to sparkle.
It’s The World and Everything in It.
MYRNA BROWN, HOST: Today is Tuesday, August 2nd. 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: WORLD’s Classic Book of the Month. For August, a cautionary tale.
Children and young adults are heading back to school this month. WORLD reviewer Emily Whitten says this book can help your family withstand some of the worst anti-Christian thinking of our day.
EMILY WHITTEN, REVIEWER: Our Classic Book of the Month for August is Animal Farm by George Orwell. In this clip from the 1954 TV version, a pig named Old Major speaks to the other animals on Manor farm.
CLIP: But we’ll never get our fair share from Farmer Jones. Overthrow this tyrant, and we shall be rich and free! [ANIMAL SOUNDS]
In that opening scene, Old Major blames Farmer Jones for all of the miseries of life, and he calls the animals to revolt–to kick Jones out and rule themselves. Then, he says, all the animals will live peacefully together, sharing the farm as equals.
Several chapters later, that utopian vision works out well for the pigs, especially Napoleon, the leader. But as for the other animals…well, here’s an audiobook clip from the Doses of English Youtube channel.
CLIP: …the hens barely hatched enough chicks to keep their numbers at the same level. Rations reduced in December were reduced again in February. And lanterns in the stalls were forbidden to conserve oil. But the pigs seemed comfortable enough, and in fact, were putting on weight…
Of course, this story isn’t really about farm animals. It’s a cautionary tale about Soviet communism written by George Orwell—that’s the pen name for British author Eric Arthur Blair. In fact, Animal Farm follows the basic plotline of Russia’s revolution—and for that reason, several British publishers in World War II refused to publish the book. They didn’t want to offend their Soviet allies at the time.
Thankfully, Orwell did find a publisher in 1945. And as the West moved into the Cold War, Orwell’s criticism of the Soviets became more important. The book went on to sell more than 11 million copies worldwide.
GUINNESS: The whole parable is a wonderful one of what happens when you have woke leadership taking things over. All pigs are equal, some things are more equal than others, and so on.
That’s apologist Os Guinness. He’s written several books on the Biblical roots of American freedom, including The Magna Carta of Humanity from 2021.
GUINNESS: The greatness of Orwell was he was a left winger. And the honesty of the man was he saw the problems on the left, and was prepared to write about them.
For one thing, Orwell shows how communists twist language to support their cause. Originally, Animal Farm’s characters embrace several maxims such as “Four legs good, two legs bad.” But when pigs in charge decide to walk on two legs, they change the maxim to “Four legs good, two legs better.”
Guinness says communist distortion of words and truth leads to violence. He points to China, North Korea, Cuba, and Venezuela to make his point. But Christians, he says, should have a higher view of words.
GUINNESS: Our Lord is the Word made flesh. We as followers of Jesus should have the highest view of words of all. But the point is today, when words break down, then violence is never far away.
We see that clearly in Orwell’s tale. In one scene, Snowball the pig makes a speech to convince the other animals to build a windmill. But Snowball’s rival, Napoleon, seeks power in a different way. Here’s another clip from the audiobook.
CLIP: Just at this moment, Napoleon stood up, and casting a peculiar sidelong look at Snowball, uttered a high-pitched whimper of a kind no one had ever heard him utter before. At this, there was a terrible baying sound outside, and nine enormous dogs wearing brass-studded collars came bounding into the barn. They dashed straight for Snowball who only sprang from his place just in time to escape their snapping jaws.
In his book The Magna Carta of Humanity, Os Guinness explains why communists find violence especially tempting. As idealists, they see a gap between what people are and what they should be. When they can’t bridge that gap using persuasion, communists often turn to “coercion and violence.”
GUINNESS: If you and I disagree, and I want to persuade you, I try and do it rationally, respectfully. But if I'm frustrated, I'll just attack you ad hominem or be rude to you. Worse still, if I'm a communist leader, I will force you to do what I want.
Christians, of course, see another way of bridging the gap between who we are and who we should be. Ultimately, it’s found in Jesus.
GUINNESS: Christian thinking is obviously always between a radical pessimism, and a radical optimism. Because we know people have fallen. The highest vision of humanity is the vision of people made in the image of God, living with God's truth with God's justice, and all these things, [cut words] But we'll never do that, until the Messiah comes. And that's the greatness of our trust in Messiah.
Orwell doesn’t offer Biblical solutions in his writing, so it helps to read a Christian like Os Guinness alongside him. I should also note–be aware that Orwell’s other classic novel, 1984, covers similar themes, but it includes much more problematic content.
Thankfully, Soviet-style communism isn’t as popular today. But most families will face pressure from new strains of socialism and cultural Marxism. Guinness says Animal Farm can help.
GUINNESS: Now the challenge, of course, is to get our children to start thinking. So Animal Farm points out some of the dangers you see of authoritarianism and the wrong view of equality, and leveling. It doesn't work out that way with envy and other things coming in. But we've got to get them to think Biblically about everything.
Our Classic Book of the Month does include a reference to drunkenness and can be hard to understand for the political novice. For that reason, I recommend the 2019 graphic novel version of Animal Farm for younger readers. It does show some violence, but it’s muted enough for most older kids and teens.
As families head back to school this month, Guinness offers one more piece of advice to busy parents—don’t skip the dinner table discussions. For centuries, Christian families have used those conversations to pass on their values, including the value of ordered political freedom.
GUINNESS: You cannot coerce the heart. That is freedom of religion and conscience and again, evangelicals have benefited from it. We've been the pioneers of it. We should be the champions of knowing how to stand for it today.
I’m Emily Whitten.
MARY REICHARD, HOST: Today is Tuesday, August 2nd. 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.
Mary, have you ever noticed, that an old song will hit you in a completely different way years after you first heard it?
REICHARD: Oh, yeah. You get older, you get wiser.
BROWN: Well, WORLD commentator Whitney Williams heard a classic ‘80s rock song that offers a gospel message hidden in plain sight.
WHITNEY WILLIAMS, COMMENTATOR: In 1987, the year of my birth, rock band U2 released a Gospel lament that topped the Billboard charts.
Thirty-five years later, we’re still groaning.
AUDIO: Alexa: Play ‘I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For’ by Sing 2.
The new animated movie Sing 2 introduced my kids to an updated version of the song, but an impromptu guitar concert at a recent family reunion cemented it in their minds.
It all started at the end of a long, 100-degree day at Jellystone Park in Wichita Falls, Texas. Our BBQ buffet dinner was long gone. The pool was now closed. And the family fellowship was starting to dwindle. Just as my husband and I were calling it a night, Cousin Kirk got out his guitar. Intrigued, we and 30-or-so other family members followed him toward a fireless fire pit encircled by cabins.
I don’t quite remember the order of Cousin Kirk’s setlist, but somewhere in between the lighthearted Family is Family by Kacey Musgraves and a rowdy rendition of Hank Jr.’s Family Tradition, things got serious.
KIRK: You broke the bonds, and you loosed the chains...
When Cousin Kirk sang, “You broke the bonds and you loosed the chains; carried the cross of my shame…” my jaw dropped. Did U2 really lay out the Gospel like that? I quickly Googled the lyrics. Yep. They were original.
I joined in for the well-known chorus.
KIRK: Here we go: But I still haven’t found what I’m looking for…
My eldest ran over: “Mom, it’s the song from Sing 2!” He joined in, waving a green glow stick.
KIRK: Yeah, I still haven’t found what I’m looking for.
Is that OK for Christians to admit? I wondered. That even in Christ we’re often left longing? And what do we do with that?
Take hope, writes C.S. Lewis in Mere Christianity: Quote: “If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.” Unquote.
The umpteenth time my sons requested the song, I decided to make it a teachable moment: “So guys, we don’t have to despair over these deep, insatiable longings, but instead, we can have hope. These longings are actually like Spirit-led signals of better things to come in Heaven.”
“Mom,” my youngest chimed in, “how do you blow a bubble with your gum?”
Oh well. At least I tried.
KIRK: Yeah, I still haven’t found what I’m looking for. You gotta do better than that. I played at a nursing home last week and they did better than that.” [LAUGHS] “Cuz I still haven’t found what I’m looking for.” [CHEERS]
I’m Whitney Williams.
MARY REICHARD, HOST: Tomorrow on Washington Wednesday, the effort to beat back inflation.
And, WORLD Tour.
Plus, Myrna has a profile of a prayer warrior!
That and more tomorrow.
I’m Mary Reichard.
MYRNA BROWN, HOST: And I’m Myrna Brown.
The World and Everything in It comes to you from WORLD Radio.
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Go now in grace and peace.
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