The World and Everything in It: December 14, 2022
The potential impact of Kyrsten Sinema’s decision to leave the Democratic Party; the latest international news; and how the tradition of decorating Christmas trees with ornaments got its start. Plus: commentary from Joel Belz, and the Wednesday morning news.
MARY REICHARD, HOST: Good morning!
Lessons from last week’s runoff election in Georgia and a question: does Krysten Sinema’s defection from the Democrats really matter?
NICK EICHER, HOST: That’s ahead on Washington Wednesday.
Also our weekly digest of international news—WORLD Tour.
Plus we’ll meet a European collector of Antique Christmas Ornaments.
And WORLD Founder Joel Belz gets an unusual request.
REICHARD: It’s Wednesday, December 14th. This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Mary Reichard.
EICHER: And I’m Nick Eicher. Good morning!
REICHARD: Up next, Kent Covington with today’s news.
KENT COVINGTON, NEWS ANCHOR: Biden signs marriage law » On the South Lawn of the White House Tuesday, President Biden signed a bill that changes the definition of marriage in federal law.
BIDEN: Today, I sign the Respect for Marriage Act into law.
Biden held a signing ceremony featuring performances by LGBT pop stars Cyndi Lauper and Sam Smith.
The law repeals the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which defined marriage as the union of one man and one woman and codifies a right to same-sex marriage in federal law.
The bill was amended with some protections for the religious liberty of people who hold a biblical definition of marriage. But critics say that protections don’t go nearly far enough.
Putin won’t deliver annual address » Vladimir Putin will not address the Russian people in his traditional annual news conference this month. WORLD’s Anna Johansen Brown reports.
ANNA JOHANSEN BROWN, REPORTER: At the end of each year, Putin typically delivers a marathon speech and then answers questions on a wide range of issues, though the events are tightly controlled.
But this year, with his troops on their heels in Ukraine, it could be impossible to avoid uncomfortable questions even at a highly choreographed event.
Putin so far also failed to deliver the annual televised state-of-the-nation address to parliament as the Russian constitution requires.
For WORLD, I’m Anna Johansen Brown.
U.S. reportedly to send Patriot missiles to Ukraine » As Russia continues to launch airstrikes against Ukraine’s infrastructure, the Pentagon is reportedly planning to ship the Patriot missile defense system to Ukraine.
That’s according to a Fox News report citing a top U.S. official, who said the move is still pending final approval, but an announcement’s expected this week.
Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell says both parties remain committed to Ukraine.
MCCONNELL: The Ukrainians’ brave stand has been made possible in part because the United States and a number of other countries have realized that supporting their self defense directly serves our own interests.
The advanced long-range Patriot systems are highly effective at shooting down ballistic and cruise missiles.
Bankman-Fried » The U.S. government has officially charged former billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried with a host of financial crimes.
Bankman-Fried is the founder and former CEO of the cryptocurrency exchange FTX.
Federal prosecutor Damian Williams:
WILLIAMS: We charge that from 2019 until earlier this year, Bankman-Fried and his co-conspirators stole billions of dollars from FTX customers.
Bankman-Fried was arrested Monday in the Bahamas where he lives.
He faces charges on eight alleged crimes, ranging from wire fraud to money laundering to conspiracy to commit fraud.
Inflation / rate hike » Inflation appears to be slowing in the United States.
Prices on most things are still rising sharply, but not as severely as a few months ago.
President Biden celebrated new numbers released on Tuesday…
BIDEN: Prices of things like televisions and toys are going down. That’s good news for the holiday season. Used car prices fell for the fifth month in row.
Consumer prices rose just over 7% in November from a year ago. That was down sharply from 7.7% in October and a recent peak of more than 9% in June.
But the inflation fight is far from over, and the Federal Reserve is expected to announce another interest rate hike today.
TX Biden adoption suit » Texas is suing the Biden administration to shield faith-based adoption groups from an LGBT rule. WORLD’s Josh Schumacher reports.
JOSH SCHUMACHER, REPORTER: In 2019, the Obama administration created a rule stating that any group receiving federal funds related to adoption or foster care can’t discriminate on the basis of gender identity, sexual orientation, or same-sex marriage status.
Texas sued and the Department of Health and Human Services agreed not to enforce the rule, but it remained on the books. Now, the Biden administration is committed to enforcing it.
So Texas is suing once more. Attorney General Ken Paxton said it’s “not right” to force agencies to adopt “a radical woke agenda or surrender their mission of helping children.”
For WORLD, I’m Josh Schumacher.
Fusion energy » Scientists are calling it a major breakthrough. Researchers at a laboratory in California say we’re one step closer to harnessing the process that powers the sun.
They have reportedly produced more energy in a fusion reaction than was used to ignite it.
And U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm says that’s a big deal. She said fusion energy could have many uses …
GRANHOLM: Transportation fuels, power heavy industries, so much more. It would be like adding a power drill to our toolbox in building this clean energy economy.
Kim Budil is director of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, which reported the breakthrough. She called it a “first step”…
BUDIL: A truly monumental one that sets the stage for a transformational decade in high-energy density science and fusion research. And I cannot wait to see where it takes us.
She said they’ve been able to replicate for the first time certain conditions that are found only in the stars and the sun.''
I’m Kent Covington. Straight ahead: the potential impact of Kyrsten Sinema’s decision to leave the Democratic Party.
This is The World and Everything in It.
MARY REICHARD, HOST: It’s Wednesday the 14th of December, 2022.
Glad to have you along for today’s edition of The World and Everything in It. Good morning, I’m Mary Reichard.
NICK EICHER, HOST: And I’m Nick Eicher. It’s time for Washington Wednesday.
After last week’s runoff election in Georgia, Democrats were set to hold a 51-seat majority in the Senate. But then the math seemingly changed.
Right after Sen. Raphael Warnock won reelection, Senator Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona announced that she’s leaving the Democratic party.
Here to talk about her announcement, as well as the Georgia election—and the Trump effect—is Kyle Kondik. He is an elections analyst and director of communications at the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics.
REICHARD: Kyle, good morning!
KYLE KONDIK, GUEST: Good morning.
REICHARD: Well Kyle, technically, Democrats were set to have 49 seats after Warnock’s win, not 51, because senators Bernie Sanders and Angus King are independents, at least on paper. But they caucus with the Democrats, and that’s really all that matters.
What are Kyrsten Sinema’s plans as she departs the Democratic party?
KONDIK: I mean, it seems like her role is going to stay fairly similar in that she's going to be, you know, effectively a Democrat, but probably one of the less reliable Democratic votes in the caucus along with Joe Manchin, the Democratic senator from West Virginia. It does not seem though that Sinema would kind of switch to the Republicans. It seems like she's gonna vote for Chuck Schumer to be the majority leader. And so nominally the Democrats I think are still gonna have this 51-49 majority. So I think she's probably going to be a less reliable “Democrat” than Angus King and Bernie Sanders are. Both of them are Independants, but they're pretty loyal Democrats, they really haven't been a pain in the neck for leadership the way that Sinema was as a Democrat and how she might be as an Independent for the next two years.
REICHARD: And was this Sinema’s way of avoiding a tough Democratic primary fight in the next election or was there more to it?
KONDIK: I think it's probably about the 2024 election. Sinema’s polling numbers are really pretty bad in Arizona. She has fairly weak numbers with both Democrats and Republicans and unaffiliated or independents, however you want to put it. And so she probably figured she would lose a primary situation. It's kind of similar to that of the previous occupant of this seat, Jeff Flake, a Republican who was sort of an anti-Trump person. And it became clear to Flake early on in the 2018 cycle that he was gonna have a very hard time winning re-nomination. He decided not to run that year and set up an open seat battle that Sinema ended up winning herself. And now she finds herself in kind of a similar position that Flake did in that her overall numbers are fairly poor. And, you know, frankly, I think she'd have a hard time winning a Democratic primary, but I think she'd also have a hard time winning, you know, as an Independent, particularly if there are credible Democratic or Republican opponents as well.
REICHARD: Right now, we have a 50/50 split in the Senate, but Democrats have the tie-breaking vote in the person of Vice President Kamala Harris. So what difference will having one extra seat make for Senate Democrats?
KONDIK: A lot of it has to do with the logistics of confirming nominees. When you've got the Senate as being the same party as the president, one of the Senate's main functions is essentially to operate as a judicial nomination factory - or rather a judicial confirmation factory. And it's just easier to get the judicial nominees through the committee process because the Democrats will actually have majorities on committees now, as opposed to it being a split in a power sharing situation. So the Democrats are going to continue to fill these judicial vacancies and to fill vacancies in the administration. And they just will logistically have an easier time doing that. Part of the challenge in the Senate is just getting the kind of getting the schedule right, and getting things on the calendar and moving through the sometimes arcane processes in the Senate. And the processes will just be easier for Democrats over the next two years, assuming that they retain an actual 51-49 majority. Again, it doesn't seem like Kyrsten Sinema’s move necessarily threatens that, but maybe something could happen down the line here that would change things. There haven’t been that many party changes in recent Senate history. One that was really pretty consequential was more than 20 years ago, the Senate was 50-50 in the 2000 election, and the Republicans ended up having a majority with Dick Cheney as the vice president then as being the tie breaking vote. Jim Jeffords of Vermont who was kind of a liberal-moderate Yankee Republican. Jeffords left the Republican Party became an independent, decided to caucus with Democrats. And that gave the Democrats a 51-49 advantage until the 2002 election. So you know, these things, they do change over time. You do sometimes have members who will migrate from one party to being independent or from one party to the other. And there's always the possibility that something like something else like that could happen between now and the next election.
REICHARD: Let’s talk about last week’s Georgia election—an interesting one—because voters did not divide the ballot straight down party lines. Republican Governor Brian Kemp easily won reelection, but GOP Senate challenger Herschel Walker lost a close race to the Democratic incumbent.
What stood out to you as you looked at the numbers coming out of Georgia last week?
KONDIK: It’s just the continued Republican erosion in metro Atlanta. Not only is the core of Atlanta, so heavily blue and some of the kind of inner inner rings, sort of suburban counties, but you're also seeing erosion for Republicans in some traditionally much redder, suburban/exurban counties. And that's the real thing that's driving the trends in Georgia. And despite Herschel Walker got some better margins in certain parts of the state between November and the December runoff, Raphael Warnock just did even better in terms of his margins or in terms of his share of the vote in the metro Atlanta area in some other parts of the state. And that was the difference. And Republicans really need to be careful in Georgia, because obviously they can win the state with strong nominees, but with a weak nominee, with someone who has really identified with Donald Trump, we've seen that they just haven't come through. And the fact that Georgia is gonna continue to have two Democratic senators here, it's pretty striking given where Georgia was even 5-10 years ago.
REICHARD: Many people thought that this did really come down to candidate quality. In fact, Georgia’s Republican Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan called Herschel Walker “one of the worst Republican candidates in our party's history.”
Do you think a different GOP candidate might have defeated Warnock? What are your thoughts on that?
KONDIK: Yeah, I think certainly it's possible and the final margin ended up being a little less than three points. The first round voting, the race was decided by less than a point and all the rest of the Republican statewide ticket, many of whom were incumbents, ended up winning. So yeah, you can easily imagine there being, you know, a different Republican candidate maybe producing a different result. However, you also have to give credit to the fact that Warnock, just like Brian Kemp, was an incumbent and an incumbent who didn't have really obvious problems. So it was, it wasn't just that Walker was a weak challenger, it was that Warnock is also a pretty strong incumbent, I think. And it's not like he's winning landslide victories or anything. And again, maybe a different challenger would have produced a different result. But I do think you have to give credit to the incumbent here a little bit too.
REICHARD: You touched on the Trump effect earlier. Prior to November, Walker was advertised as the Trump-backed candidate. But after that election, heading up to the runoff, a lot of the advertising in Georgia touted Gov. Brian Kemp’s endorsement, without any mention of Trump.
Kyle, with Trump-backed candidates losing high profile races in the midterms. Do you think this changes Trump’s standing within the Republican party and his odds of holding off primary challengers like Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis?
KONDIK: There’s been some polling that indicates that Trump could potentially be vulnerable to a strong challenger, which Ron DeSantis may or may not end up being a strong challenger. So we'll have to kind of wait and see on that. But I don't think Trump came out of this midterm looking particularly good. And frankly, I think Republicans do need to ask themselves if they think they're going to actually win in 2024 by nominating Trump because you also do see some polls that indicate that Biden might be a little bit stronger against Trump than he might be against DeSantis or another Republican, although, again, I think the numbers are, you know, you could you could sort of spin the numbers in different ways and find different results from different polls. But, again, Trump did not come out of this election looking particularly great, particularly in the states that end up deciding the presidency. Georgia is one of them, Arizona and Nevada, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin. Democrats held up pretty well in those states. And midterms are not really predictive of general elections but certainly if you look at what happened in the most important states, you know, places that maybe voted for Trump in ‘16, but didn't vote for him in ‘20. I don't think you can really point to a whole lot positive that happened in those states and kind of poor nominees who were either hand-selected by Trump or backed by Trump were part of the reason why.
REICHARD: One final question, Kyle. After President Biden spoke at a recent event, someone shouted “four more years,” and Biden responded, “I don’t know about that.” Do you think he’ll seek another term in his 80s?
KONDIK: I mean, I think at this point we have to assume that he’s running and then we can recalibrate if he decides he's not. He sort of left the door open to not running again. But there's also been some reporting indicating that Biden wants to run particularly if Trump runs again, which would set up potentially his rematch at 2024, assuming both were re-nominated, which isn't necessarily a safe assumption and particularly on the Republican side. But we should assume Biden is running again and maybe he changes his mind on that later on, but that's my working theory for now.
REICHARD: Kyle Kondik is with the University of Virginia Center for Politics. Kyle, thanks so much!
KONDIK: Thank you.
MARY REICHARD, HOST: Coming up next on The World and Everything in It: WORLD Tour with our reporter in Africa, Onize Ohikere.
ONIZE OHIKERE, REPORTER: We begin today in southern Africa.
AUDIO: [Choir singing]
Church members and relatives in Zambia’s capital of Lusaka have received the body of a 23-year-old student, who died fighting for Russia in the Ukraine War.
Lemekani Nyirenda was studying at Moscow Engineering Physics Institute when he received a nine-and-a-half year sentence in April 2020 over a drug offense.
The Russia-based paramilitary group Wagner later admitted it recruited him for its “special operation” in Ukraine.
Nyirenda’s cousin in Zambia said the family still believed he was studying in Russia when they learned of his death.
AUDIO: Even now we don't believe Lemekani is no more.
The Wagner group is also accused of recruiting prisoners from the Central African Republic to fight in Ukraine. This month, the U.S. State Department designated the group as a religious freedom violator, along with other notorious terror organizations.
Next, to Peru. Recently appointed President Dina Boluarte is trying to move up general elections to April. At least seven protesters have died in ongoing demonstrations against the new government.
AUDIO: [Protest scene with tear gas]
Protesters are calling for Boluarte’s resignation and the release of former president Pedro Castillo. Authorities detained Castillo last week shortly after his impeachment.
Thousands have demonstrated across Peru, including in the capital of Lima, where police fired tear gas.
AUDIO: [Protesters chanting]
In Peru’s second-largest city of Arequipa, thousands of protesters burned security booths and forced the closure of the airport.
Rural unions and indigenous peoples’ groups have called for an indefinite strike to support Castillo, who was a rural teacher and union leader.
We head over to northern Kosovo.
AUDIO: [Car sounds]
Ethnic Serbs used trucks and other heavy vehicles to block roads on Sunday after authorities detained a former Kosovo Serb police officer.
Kosovo proclaimed independence from Serbia in 2008, but Serbia has refused to recognize its statehood.
The officer was one of about 600 ethnic Serbs who resigned from the force last month. They were protesting a proposal requiring Serbs to trade Serbian license plates dating to before the war for Kosovar ones.
Serbia’s president said he would ask a NATO-led peacekeeping force to deploy a thousand Serbian troops to the region.
Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti rejected the move.
KURTI: Serbia is trying to return its army to Kosova in spite of genocide over 23 years ago, which was stopped by NATO intervention.
NATO and the European Union have called on both sides to avoid provocations.
We wrap up today in Bethlehem, where Christmas pilgrims are making a comeback.
AUDIO: [Customers talking]
Customers walked through olive-wood carvings depicting Nativity scenes. Elsewhere, tourist groups from around the world explored the town where Jesus was born.
Israel reopened to vaccinated foreign tourists last year, but Bethlehem remained closed.
Saliba Nissan is the co-owner of the Bethlehem New Store.
NISSAN: We were closed for almost two years. No tourists, no nothing.
Elias Arja, head of Bethlehem hotel association, said he expects business to start picking up as Christian tourists return to visit the Church of the Nativity, the Holy Sepulchre, and other historic sites.
ARJA: This year, I see it is 100% occupancy of the three nights of the Christmas Eve, and the day before and the day after.
That’s it for this week’s World Tour. Reporting for WORLD, I’m Onize Ohikere in Abuja, Nigeria.
NICK EICHER, HOST: Okay, if you can guess what this sound is, you are The World and Everything in It Listener of the Year!
AUDIO: [SOUNDS OF DUST DEVIL]
REICHARD: Sounds like one of those little sweepers. The dirt devil.
EICHER: That is the sound of a dust devil. Rumbling gusts and dust particles peppering a microphone. But not just any microphone.
This one is attached to the rover “Perserverence” on Mars.
It sounds similar to dust devils on Earth, but a little quieter since Mars’ thin atmosphere makes for more muted sounds and less forceful wind.
It was the first ever sound of a dust devil captured on Mars. As one NASA official said, they caught it “red handed.”
REICHARD: I see what he did there, red-handed on the red planet. Good one.
EICHER: It’s The World and Everything in It.
MARY REICHARD, HOST: Today is Wednesday, December 14th. We’re thankful that you’ve turned to WORLD Radio to help start your day.
Good morning. I’m Mary Reichard.
NICK EICHER, HOST: And I’m Nick Eicher.
Well, it’s Christmas time. If you celebrate with a tree, you know the feeling you get when you pull out all those Christmas ornaments you’ve been keeping in the attic or basement. For some people seeing a beloved Christmas ornament is like seeing an old friend.
REICHARD: But have you ever wondered how the tradition of Christmas ornaments began? And have you ever wondered if you’ve got too many? WORLD’s Jenny Lind Schmitt recently visited a Swiss gentleman who probably has more ornaments than all of us put together. Here’s his story.
AUDIO: [Wiping feet]
JENNY LIND SCHMITT, REPORTER: To get to Didier Oeuvray’s hayloft, you have to go through the garden. The hayloft is the top half of the barn attached to his family home in the village of Coeuve. Next to the door stands a huge wooden wagon wheel. Oeuvray’s grandfather made it. He was a wheelwright. Oeuvray’s father was a butcher and had his shop on the ground floor. Now, Didier Oeuvray owns the house, the barn, and all the treasures inside.
OEUVRAY: Alors c'est un mélange de ce que j'aime, de ce que je entrepose pour le magasin, de ce que de ce que je conserve dans un grenier.
The hayloft is dim as we enter. Then Oeuvray turns a switch, and thousands of twinkle lights sparkle along every wardrobe and bookcase in the wooden interior. Instantly, a million shiny surfaces reflect the light back in reds, greens, whites, pinks, blues. Hundreds and hundreds of antique Christmas balls and ornaments lie nestled in boxes and baskets carefully arranged on every shelf, table, and sofa.
Oeuvray is a brocanteur. That’s a French term that means something between an antique dealer and a thrift shop owner. At his store in town he sells carefully polished antique furniture, dishes, and old tools. He also sells some of the vintage Christmas ornaments he’s acquired over the years, but most of them he keeps on display here in his barn.
AUDIO: [Oeuvray talking and opening cupboard]
Historians say the tradition of Christmas ornaments began in Germany when people decorated Christmas trees with natural things from the garden: nuts, berries, fruit. Legend recounts that one year, a poor glassmaker had a meager harvest, so instead of putting real berries on his tree, he made some out of glass.
Oeuvray thinks the origin is probably less romantic. He holds up a string of small red glass beads.
OEUVRAY: Et probablement qu'à l'origine les verriers allemands faisaient des colliers en perles de verre...
TRANSLATION: It probably began with the German glassmakers making necklaces out of glass beads. Then they figured out how to make the beads bigger. And by making them bigger and bigger, they made glass balls.
Oeuvray’s own origin story began one year when he didn’t feel like decorating an entire tree. But he still wanted some Christmas ambiance. So he got out a couple boxes of heirloom glass balls he’d inherited.
OEUVRAY: J’ai trouvé que ces boites de boules sont magnifiques…
He was struck by how elegant they looked just sitting in their boxes. So he started buying up any antique balls he could find, at yard sales and second hand shops. Then people brought him ornaments they’d found in their parents’ attics. Finally one year, he had so many he couldn’t display them all in the house. So he decided to hold an exposition in the barn.
He invited his neighbors in the village and offered appetizers and mulled wine as they filed through the hayloft and house, admiring his shiny treasures.
OEUVRAY: On faisait le tour ici, on descendait par l'appartement…
TRANSLATION: They came through here, then down into the house, and out the back door. But on the opening night so many people brought food to share, that the next night we served appetizers again. And the next night and the next. Those were 10 marvelous days.
Every evening the sharing continued as guests came from neighboring villages. Then from the whole region.
That experience led Oeuvray to a new vocation. A few years earlier, at age 45, Oeuvray had had a massive stroke that left him relearning to walk and swallow. He’d spent his career working for the Swiss railways. But the brush with death and months in rehab made him think about all the other things he wanted to do in life.
He had always loved old things, objects with a history and a story to tell. The Christmas exposition made him see that he had a talent for helping other people appreciate them as well. Two years later, he took his life savings and bought an antique shop.
Back in the hayloft, we continue the tour. The Christmas ornaments are arranged by color. In the red corner are the oldest balls, made by German artisans in the 1880s. He has me hold one to feel how heavy it is.
OEUVRAY: En fait ces boules-là sont argentées avec du mercure. Et le verre est plus épais.
TRANSLATION: These balls were actually silvered with mercury on the inside. And the glass is thicker. Later on this method was outlawed.
AUDIO: [Didier talking about Art Nouveau…]
Across the room, on the shelves of a white cupboard, sit tiny white glass animal ornaments—a stag and a stork. They were made in Nancy, France, in the Art Nouveau era of the early 1900s.
OEUVRAY: En 1900, il y a beaucoup d'entreprises de Nancy…
TRANSLATION: In 1900, many businesses from Nancy won prizes at the Paris World Exposition for their glassworks and became well known.
There’s a corner of blue ornaments, an antique sleigh full of pink ornaments, and a vintage green velvet sofa covered with boxes of green ornaments. They come in all colors, all sizes, and all shapes too. And Oeuvray has a snippet of history to tell about each one. But exactly how many ornaments does he have?
OEUVRAY: Je ne sais pas. Quand on aime, on ne compte pas...
Oeuvray doesn’t know. And he doesn’t want to know. He just says, “When you love something, you don’t count.”
For WORLD, I’m Jenny Lind Schmitt, finding Christmas treasures in Coeuve, Switzerland.
REICHARD: To see photos and read the story about this man’s ornament collection, look for the December 24th issue of WORLD Magazine and we’ll post a link to the digital version of the story in the transcript of this episode.
MARY REICHARD, HOST: Today is Wednesday, December 14th. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Mary Reichard.
NICK EICHER, HOST: And I’m Nick Eicher. Hey, good news about the news.
You may have heard about WORLD’s daily news, The Sift. It’s available online, as an email newsletter each morning, and as radio news around the country. Well, I want to tell you about one more way you can receive news updates during the day from WORLD: The Sift radio news, wherever you get your podcasts. Just search WORLD Radio The Sift—or click the link in today’s program transcript—and add The Sift to your podcast player. We update the news all day long, so whenever you check, you will hear the latest.
Kent Covington, Kristen Flavin, I’m in there from time to time, and, you, too, Mary.
REICHARD: Yes I am, doing news with our great breaking news team led by Lynde Langdon and Steve Kloosterman and reporters Josh Schumacher, Mary Muncy, and Lauren Canterberry. We’ve got a great team.
EICHER: We do and again another example of what we’re able to do with your support. We’ve had the ability to grow our news-reporting and news-gathering because you’ve made it possible. So make good use of The Sift and add it to your daily podcast lineup.
REICHARD: Of course, we’re in the middle of our December Grassroots Giving Drive at WNG.org/donate. However you value the work of WORLD, think about what it means to you in terms of dollars and cents. What does it mean to have Christian journalists sifting the news of the day, every day? Reporters out gathering stories, the kind of reports you hear right here or read about in WORLD Magazine? What’s it worth to have the brightest minds offering intelligent opinion online everyday?
If that all means something to you, it would mean so much to us if you’d make a gift to keep it all going. Just go to WNG.org/donate. Thank you!
EICHER: Talk about being here every day, that would describe our founder and friend Joel Belz. He has some thoughts now on how to keep a Christ-like spirit, no matter the news of the day.
JOEL BELZ, FOUNDER: In my 45 years of magazine publishing, this was a first-time request. Would I be willing, a long-time reader wondered, to moderate a disagreement? It was a family crisis, she said, brought on—unintentionally—by WORLD magazine itself.
Maybe it’s best to let this good friend–I’ll call her Jane Doe–tell it in her own words. Some years ago, after becoming a WORLD loyalist, she entered a gift subscription for her father. It was a hit.
But problems developed. She wrote, “So it seems that my dad would read the articles in WORLD and then go on and on with my mom about the ‘bad’ news regarding our current culture… His negative discussions led my mom to cancel his subscription to the magazine….”
All this came to a head recently when Jane had a visit from her parents. Her father happened to pick up one of Jane’s copies of WORLD. Things seem to have gone quickly from bad to worse. “The discussions turned heated,” Jane said, “and full of strife.”
Her request was simple: “How would you advise someone who tends to accentuate the negative aspects of our government and general news…? Yes, our world is a mess this side of heaven. I realize that a current events magazine will report on those messes because that’s a part of life.”
Jane then graciously asked if I might get in touch with her father. Might I be a voice of reason to him in this painful hassle?
That, of course, I was happy to try. I hope that every issue of WORLD provokes lively discussion among our readers and their contacts. Lively—but not angry!
We may not be equipped here at WORLD News Group to engage in marriage counseling. But we are quite equipped to remind all our subscribers of several wonderful Biblical and appropriate truths. We’ll start with the simple proverb that “a soft answer turns away wrath—but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Is there a country, a culture, an institution where that is not true? Is there a marriage?
A second staggering thought is that God himself is about the incredible task of remaking so many of his enemies into his friends. If that’s right at the core of God’s job description, why should it not be ours?
Now I’ve heard again from Jane. She reports that her family enjoyed a “lovely Thanksgiving meal, (mostly) free from world events, and filled with gratitude for God’s blessings on our family, our friends, and our world.”
I’m Joel Belz.
NICK EICHER, HOST: Tomorrow: The new mayor of Los Angeles has declared war on homelessness. We’ll hear how that might affect compassion ministries in LA.
Also, do abortion bans interfere with doctors treating women who face grave complications of pregnancy? WORLD’s Leah Savas will explore that question.
And, we’ll meet a state auditor taking on corruption in his state.
That and more tomorrow.
I’m Nick Eicher.
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.
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