The World and Everything in It: August 5, 2022
On Culture Friday, Andrew Walker joins to discuss how Christians can engage with challenging stories in the news; and Collin Garbarino reviews a new animated movie on Apple TV+. Plus: Ask the Editor, and the Friday morning news.
MYRNA BROWN, HOST: Good morning!
What can we as Christians learn from some of the challenging stories in the news? And how should we approach those who disagree with us as we seek to change their minds?
PAUL BUTLER, HOST: That’s ahead on Culture Friday.
Also today, a new animated film that explores sacrifice and finding family. WORLD’s Collin Garbarino has a review.
And the importance of accurate terms on this month’s Ask the Editor.
BROWN: It’s Friday, August 5th. This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Myrna Brown.
BUTLER: And I’m Paul Butler. Good morning!
BROWN: Up next, Kent Covington with today’s news.
KENT COVINGTON, NEWS ANCHOR: Chinese military Taiwan Strait » AUDIO: [Taiwan missile strikes]
The waters of the Taiwan Strait sound like a war zone as the Chinese military carries out “precision missile strike” drills off the eastern coast of Taiwan.
China launched the live-fire drills on Thursday. They’ll run through the weekend. Beijing claims it’s a response to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan earlier this week.
But Secretary of State Antony Blinken pushed back.
BLINKEN: I want to emphasize nothing has changed about our position and I hope very much that Beijing will not manufacture a crisis or seek a pretext to increase its aggressive military activities.
The Chinese military is conducting the drills at six different positions surrounding Taiwan, which Beijing claims belongs to China.
Griner » The U.S. government says it’s not giving up on Brittney Griner.
A Russian court Thursday sentenced the WNBA basketball star to nine years in prison after convicting her on drug charges.
US diplomat Elizabeth Rood serves at the US Embassy in Moscow. She told reporters …
ROOD: President Biden’s entire national security team and the entire American government remain committed to bring Ms. Griner home safely to her family and friends and loved ones.
Russian authorities arrested Griner at an airport in Moscow when they found vape canisters of cannabis oil in her luggage.
The Biden administration has offered a prisoner exchange, reportedly Griner and former U.S. Marine Paul Whelan for a Russian arms dealer in US custody.
Grossi warns about nuclear plant in Ukraine » Meantime, in war-torn Ukraine, Europe’s largest nuclear power plant could be dangerously unstable.
That was the dire warning Thursday from UN nuclear chief Rafael Grossi.
GROSSI: Zaporizhzhia is completely out of control not what you would expect and need to have.
While Russia controls the plant, a Ukrainian staff continues to run its nuclear operations. Grossi said that’s led to inevitable moments of friction.
He also said the supply chain of equipment and spare parts has been interrupted. And projectiles falling on the facility may be compromising its integrity.
GROSSI: Things that should never be happening in any nuclear facility.
Grossi said, “Every principle of nuclear safety has been violated.” And he’s urging both Russia and Ukraine to quickly allow experts to visit the complex to stabilize the situation.
Feds charge 4 police officers in fatal Breonna Taylor raid » Attorney General Merrick Garland announced federal charges Thursday against four Louisville, Kentucky police officers over the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor in 2020.
Garland said the charges allege that members of an investigations unit…
GARLAND: Falsified the affidavit used to obtain the search warrant of Ms. Taylor’s home, that this act violated federal civil rights laws, and that those violations resulted in Ms. Taylor’s death.
Twenty-six-year-old Breonna Taylor was fatally shot during a raid at her apartment tied to a drug investigation.
The charges named former officers Joshua Jaynes and Brett Hankison, along with current officers Kelly Goodlett and Sgt. Kyle Meany.
Hankison was the only officer charged Thursday who was on the scene the night of the shooting.
Jobless claims » The number of Americans applying for jobless aid rose again last week. WORLD’s Anna Mandin has more.
ANNA MANDIN, REPORTER: The Labor Dept. says 260,000 Americans applied for jobless benefits last week. That’s an increase of 2 percent from the week before.
First time applications are generally an indicator of layoffs.
The total number of people collecting jobless benefits for the week ending July 23rd rose by more than three percent.
In the month of June, employers also posted fewer job openings—about 600,000 fewer.
But economists expect the unemployment rate to remain at 3.6 percent, where it’s been since March.
Reporting for WORLD, I’m Anna Mandin.
FBI answers Hunter Biden coverup allegations » FBI Director Christopher Wray, testifying on Capitol Hill Thursday, said he was disturbed by allegations of an FBI coverup regarding Hunter Biden.
WRAY: When I read the letter, I found it deeply troubling.
That letter contained accusations by a whistleblower that some within the FBI attempted to suppress information about the business activities of President Biden’s son.
Sen. Chuck Grassley is Ranking Member on the Judiciary Committee. He charged on Thursday …
GRASSLEY: The FBI headquarters team falsely labeled Hunter Biden information as, you know what, disinformation.
Hunter Biden has been under investigation over his business dealings, taxes, and possible gun law violations, but he has yet to be charged.
U.S. declares public health emergency over monkeypox outbreak » The Biden administration is stepping up its response to the monkeypox outbreak.
Health and Human Services Sec. Javier Becerra declared Thursday…
BECERRA: In light of the evolving circumstances on the ground, I want to make an announcement today that I will be declaring a public health emergency on monkeypox.
The emergency declaration will free up resources to fight the virus, including wider access to vaccines and treatment.
The virus has infected more than 6,500 Americans.
The monkeypox virus spreads through skin-to-skin contact, as well as sharing bedding, towels and clothing. Homosexual men are at highest risk of contracting the virus, but health officials emphasize that monkeypox can infect anyone.
I’m Kent Covington. Straight ahead: cultural confusion over moral realities.
Plus, a new movie about family, foster care, and sacrifice.
This is The World and Everything in It.
MYRNA BROWN, HOST: It's the 5th day of August, 2022. Glad to have you along for today’s edition of The World and Everything in It. Good morning, I’m Myrna Brown.
PAUL BUTLER, HOST: And I’m Paul Butler. First up: Culture Friday with Andrew Walker.
Andrew’s a professor of Christian ethics and apologetics at Southern Seminary and managing editor of WORLD Opinions. Morning, Andrew!
ANDREW WALKER, GUEST: Good morning, Paul. Good morning, Myrna.
BROWN: The World Health Organization has now declared monkeypox to be a “public health emergency of international concern.” California and Illinois just joined NY in declaring it a national public health emergency. As I share those statistics, I need to include the report from the New England Journal of Medicine which estimates 95 percent of all cases of monkeypox can be traced to sexual contact, specifically men having sex with men.
Dr. Al Mohler wrote in his recent WORLD Opinions article, monkeypox is a dangerous disease but it is also a parable of today's moral confusion. What do you make of that?
WALKER: This whole situation is really demonstrative of the confusion that our culture has in talking about moral norms and moral realities. Our culture, it prides itself on being very relativistic and even prides itself on saying that all forms of sexuality, all forms of sexual identity are all equal, all good. Practice what you want insofar as there is consent involved. Without a doubt, the statistics are very clear that the monkey pox virus is traceable back to homosexual activity. And so we find the culture being very clear about the fact that this is where the virus is originating, but being unable to make any clear moral pronouncement that engaging in activity is actually wrong. And I think this is really particularly convoluted from a moral perspective when we think about the fact that we've been immersed in a two year long pandemic, where we've been told to not do X, Y, and Z. And now all of a sudden, when there's a politically correct form of a virus that we know could be reduced or stopped if certain activities were not engaged in, our cultural elites or even medical professionals in the government, they're unwilling to state what is obvious - that you should stop engaging in this type of activity. So there's just a glaring moral contradiction. It's a glaring moral hypocrisy. But this was what we should expect in a culture that prides itself on political correctness more than it does moral seriousness.
BUTLER: Well Andrew, turning to a different medical story this week. WORLD’s Leah Savas writes about Archie Battersbee. He’s the 12-year old boy in the U.K. who’s been on life support since April. That after an apparent failed internet challenge.
Doctors at the hospital claimed he was brain dead and beyond recovery—so they ordered the removal of life support. The parents have been lobbying for more time. They appealed to the U.K. Supreme Court and the European Court of Human Rights—both of which declined to intervene. So late Wednesday Archie Battersbee’s parents filed a request to move the boy to hospice so that he could end his days there privately with his family instead of the hospital.
It’s a heartbreaking story and frankly impossible for us so far away from it to know which course of action would have been best. But is it cynical to wonder if this decision didn’t come down to cost over perceived value? And what rights do you think the parents ought to have in this situation?
WALKER: Situations like this are absolutely heartbreaking. And it's hard to take instances like this, and apply absolute universal principles that would apply to all other situations. Because, again, of those facts specific, context specific details that go into all of the various component parts and how to do the analysis here. But my own personal opinion here is this should be something ultimately left to the parents, whenever the state is going to step in, and take away the life of an individual, I think that there is a tremendous burden that they need to clear and this isn't something where we're dealing with capital punishment. We're dealing with what's a medical decision. And I think the state intervening between the parents and the doctors, I think that's a problem. I also think there's a situation involved here that we should take into consideration that this is a child, this isn't someone who's elderly, which then the analysis could be a little bit different, perhaps. But for the pure sake that this is a child, that we don't know what potentially could happen were this child given more time to potentially recover, that it would be wrong for the state to step in and intervene. And even if it thinks it has a valid reason to do so, to disrupt the parent–doctor relationship.
BROWN: The Bible tells us to always be ready to give an answer or make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you. Andrew, you posed a question recently about persuasion. You asked: What does it mean to persuade in our culture? What prompted that question and how should we answer it in light of that verse in 1 Peter.
WALKER: Myrna, thanks for that. That's been a real personal question I've been thinking about and I don't know if I've got this perfectly resolved. It actually might become a WORLD Opinions article at some point. But I've just been thinking to myself that we live in a world where the difference and the starkness of the worldviews are becoming evermore clear as we move forward as a culture. And I feel like that makes persuasion and changing one's mind a little bit more difficult, because we're operating from such different moral presuppositions.
And I think that we can also separate out that some issues we can change our mind on more easily than others perhaps. And we're not talking about whether you like Diet Pepsi or Diet Coke here. We're talking about instances of what is a marriage perhaps, or what is a human being. But worldviews play a massive role in this. And sometimes I think a lot of this is going to be determinative on how ideological someone is, how entrenched they are in their particular worldview. And I think to the extent that they're further entrenched in a particular worldview, it will be harder to engage in actual persuasion for someone to actually meaningfully change their mind.
I think that where you have individuals who maybe aren't as convinced one way or the other - if there is a remaining middle in our culture, I'm not sure that there is much - I think those individuals would be more apt to to change their minds.
But as I've been wrestling through this, and who knows, I might change my mind about what I'm going to say right now eventually in the future. To me, I think given the starkness of the worldviews, I think what we're going to expect in the future, especially as Christians, is that persuasion and a change of mind on the most pressing issues and moral issues of our day, I think that's going to be brought about more by mass disruption and I think what I mean by that is actual conversion. Because I think we're living in a time where the superficialities of worldviews are being stripped away. And people are having to really live with the implications of the fact that there either is a God or there isn't a God. And we know just from a conversion standpoint in the history of ideas and the history of Christianity, it's been individuals who have had conversions that have had their minds most profoundly changed. I have a good friend of mine, who before she was a Christian, she was kind of a pro-choice feminist. And she became a Christian and she realized, oh, those worldviews are incompatible with my newfound Christianity, and then she changed her mind. And so I think that's illustrative of the fact that sometimes these political issues and cultural issues and moral issues, they're really deeply theological issues. And for us to change our mind, we can't just keep them in the political; we have to go to a deeper philosophical and theological arena as well.
BUTLER: All right, Andrew Walker. He’s a professor of Christian ethics and apologetics at Southern Seminary and managing editor of WORLD Opinions. Thanks, Andrew!
WALKER: Thank you.
PAUL BUTLER, HOST: We’ve all heard stories of people stumbling across valuable baseball cards, perhaps in grandma’s attic.
So when I tell you that New Yorker Allie Tarantino found a potentially very valuable card that had been tucked away for years, you might think of the usual names—Hank Aaron or Mickey Mantle, perhaps.
But no. This card pictures a young boy, about 8 or 9 years old, holding a baseball bat and smiling for the camera in a red uniform. The kid even autographed his card, perhaps hoping he would one day become a big league star.
Well, that never happened. The player on this particular card never played pro ball, but it is a name you would likely recognize: Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook.
Tarantino was Zuckerberg’s summer camp counselor 30 years ago, and Mark offered the card as a parting gift.
The card will soon hit the auction block, and there’s no telling how much it will fetch.
Tarantino said “On the back of his card, [Zuckerberg] put a .920 batting average — which is like impossible in baseball. So even as a little kid, he was aiming high.”
It’s The World and Everything in It.
MYRNA BROWN, HOST: Today is Friday, August 5th. Thank you for turning to WORLD Radio to help start your day.
Good morning. I’m Myrna Brown.
PAUL BUTLER, HOST: And I’m Paul Butler. Coming next on The World and Everything in It: A new animated movie on Apple TV+ called Luck is gaining attention.
It's the first movie produced by Pixar co-founder John Lasseter since he lost his job at the studio in 2018.
BROWN: Christians believe all things come from the hand of God, so can a movie about luck be as good as Lasseter classics like Toy Story and Cars? WORLD’s Arts and Media editor Collin Garbarino says the movie might not have the same magic as Pixar’s best, but it’s still a fun option for families looking for a movie they can watch together. And it has a better message than its title implies.
Hazel: Find a penny, pick it up…
Hazel and Sam: And all day long you’ll have good luck!
COLLIN GARBARINO: Bad luck follows Sam Greenfield, voiced by Eva Noblezada, wherever she goes. She’s a young woman who’s just aged out of the foster care system. She’s trying to make it on her own, but nothing ever seems to go her way. Despite her unlucky breaks, Sam really just wants to help her younger friend Hazel who’s still in foster care find a family of her own.
Sam: She’s meeting a new couple on Sunday. If I could just give her a little good luck. But you can’t give someone something you’ve never had. Still, if I could, and if good luck was something you could actually hold in your hand, I’d give it all to Hazel that maybe she could find a forever family and not end up alone like me, sitting on a curb, talking to a cat. Oh!
That cat leaves behind a lucky penny that changes everything for Sam. She wants to give the penny to Hazel, but as luck would have it, she loses it before she can pass it on to her friend.
Sam: It was you. You gave me that lucky penny. Please, I just need one more. Wait, wait, come back!
Sam pursues the cat through a magical portal into the Land of Luck. The place from which all good luck flows. It’s a magical world populated almost entirely by cats, bunnies, and leprechauns.
Bob: What manner of crazy human are you?
Sam: What kind of a crazy talking cat are you?
Bob: A lucky Scottish one, obviously.
Sam: But black cats aren’t lucky.
Bob: Ha! In Scotland, black cats are considered very lucky, thank you very much.
Sam: Is this Scotland?
Bob: No! And humans cannot be here!
The black cat is named Bob, and he’s voiced by the funny Simon Pegg. Sam needs a lucky penny from Bob, and Bob needs Sam to leave the Land of Luck before he gets in trouble for having a human follow him home. The two decide to work together. But having the unluckiest girl in the world walk through the Land of Luck tests Bob’s patience.
Bob: Just how unlucky are you?
Sam: Yeah, super duper unlucky.
Bob: Well, I wish you would have made that clear before we shook on our little deal. Oh! Hi, guys. Hi there! Just checking on the rail grips. There is no unlucky here. So, if you want that lucky penny for your wee friend you best start blending in.
Luck doesn’t break a lot of new ground. But the movie has some creative elements and likable characters. The animation is solid, though not eye popping. The voice cast is good. Luck is a pleasant and entertaining film, free of objectionable content. It’s a rare movie these days that has both a G-rating and a plot.
Jerry: So, this is Good Luck R&D where good luck is created.
Scientist: Finding your lost wedding ring in the brownies. Shirley always comes up with the best stuff.
Sam: Wait. They actually think up the good luck? Yes, those two work in Happy Accidents, one of the many good luck departments like Lucky in Love, Front Row Parking Spot, Right Place Right Time. You humans love that one!
We all know luck doesn’t come from a magical land of leprechauns, but Christian parents might want to have a conversation with their kids about the difference between believing in luck and believing in the providence of God. Nothing is as random as it seems.
But while luck is central to the movie’s plot, this isn’t really a story about luck at all. I got the chance to interview the film’s director Peggy Holmes. She told me about how the inspiration for her and co-writer Kiel Murry came from talking with real kids in foster care.
PEGGY HOLMES: Kiel and I were able to meet with these young adults who had lived very similar lives to Sam—these men and women who have grown up in foster care systems and have aged out and are alone in their world now in their twenties. And they were so positive and hopeful and generous of heart. And we were so inspired by them. And we were like, that’s the story. That’s the story for Sam. Is that through her generous heart, and she comes upon a little bit of good luck, and she doesn’t use it for herself. She uses it for Hazel, right? She uses it for a friend. We thought that is so beautiful and so true to who these people were.
Holmes told me she wanted to tell a story about sacrifice and finding love and family. In this movie, luck is a metaphor for life’s circumstances outside our control. We might not be able to control our circumstances, but we can determine how we’re going to respond to them. And that’s a message both children and their parents can take to heart.
I’m Collin Garbarino.
PAUL BUTLER, HOST: Today is Friday, August 5th. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Paul Butler.
MYRNA BROWN, HOST: And I’m Myrna Brown. Coming up next: our monthly edition of Ask the Editor. We understand Christians have lots of opinions about COVID-19 and how best to treat it. But regardless of where you fall in that debate, we got a note this week about one particular treatment medication and whether it’s been reported on correctly—both on our program and in others.
BUTLER: During Monday’s newscast we mentioned that President Biden had a “rebound case” of COVID. We identified it as “rare” in our story. Later that morning I received the following email from listener Chris Farrington. He writes:
I feel in a time of COVID pandemic, it would be helpful to listeners of The World and Everything in It to point out that Dr. Fauci also had this “rare case of COVID Rebound” after being treated with Paxlovid.
Paxlovid is the Pfizer medication combining the two antiviral medications: nirmatrelvir and ritonavir. The US Food and Drug Administration granted it emergency use authorization for the treatment of COVID-19 last December—particularly for those with mild to moderate symptoms.
Early clinical trials found that some patients tested positive with a COVID rebound case a few days after the treatment’s conclusion. According to the study, it happened about 1 to 2 percent of the time—hence the description in the literature as “rare.” However, as a recent Forbes article points out, those clinical trials occurred long before the most recent COVID variants—which appear more contagious than previous adaptations. So the risk of rebound cases may indeed be substantially higher.
Chris offers evidence of that fact by pointing to Anthony Fauci’s “Paxlovid rebound” case from earlier this summer. That makes two very prominent and public figures with similar experiences. It is at least anecdotal evidence that perhaps rebound cases aren’t as “rare” as Biden’s doctor or the NIH say.
Additionally, we should take Fauci’s testimony to heart when he reports that the rebound symptoms after taking Paxlovid proved to be more severe in his experience than those the first time around.
Back to Chris’s email:
You have a responsibility as reporters to point out obvious discrepancies from the official government's narrative.
Here at WORLD we train our reporters to ask four fundamental questions: What do you mean by that? Where do you get your information? How do you know you’re right? And what if you’re wrong?
As reporters it is our duty to dig into our stories—and sources—and make sure the account matches reality. When it doesn’t, we need to point that out. So Chris, you’re right. We shouldn’t have described it as “rare” and we will avoid doing so in the future.
Chris ended his email with these words:
Thank you and love the podcast. Sent from my Phone...please forgive my brevity and typos.
Chris, not a single typo that I saw, just a missing word or two…but certainly nothing to forgive. And I do appreciate brevity. You’re a brother in Christ who has proven the truth of Proverbs 27:6 — “Faithful are the wounds of a friend…” In addition, I hope I’ve modeled Proverbs 10:17.
I’m Paul Butler.
PAUL BUTLER, HOST: As we end today we want to thank you, as your support is what made this week’s programs possible as well as our faithful team here who helped put it all together:
Mary Reichard, Kent Covington, David Bahnsen, Collin Garbarino, Leah Savas, Lauren Dunn, Emily Whitten, Whitney Williams, Onize Ohikere, Janie B. Cheaney, Bonnie Pritchett, Josh Schumacher, Mary Muncy, Anna Mandin, Cal Thomas, and Andrew Walker.
MYRNA BROWN, HOST: Johnny Franklin and Carl Peetz are the audio engineers who stay up late to get the program to you early! Our producer is Kristen Flavin. Anna Johansen Brown is our features’ editor and WORLD Radio’s executive producer is Paul Butler.
The World and Everything in It comes to you from WORLD Radio.
WORLD’s mission is biblically objective journalism that informs, educates, and inspires.
Proverbs 10:17 (ESV) says: “Whoever heeds instruction is on the path to life, but he who rejects reproof leads others astray.”
Remember to worship with your brothers and sisters in Christ this weekend, and God willing, we’ll meet you right back here on Monday.
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.