The World and Everything in It - February 18, 2022
On Culture Friday, the benefits of marrying young; the new action-adventure movie Uncharted; and on Word Play, the true meaning of conservative and liberal. Plus: the Friday morning news.
MYRNA BROWN, HOST: Good morning!
We’re talking school boards and marriage to fighting abortion state by state.
NICK EICHER, HOST: That’s ahead on Culture Friday.
Also a new movie that feels awfully familiar.
And George Grant explains why Christians should be both conservative and liberal.
BROWN: It’s Friday, February 18th. This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Myrna Brown.
EICHER: And I’m Nick Eicher. Good morning!
BROWN: Up next, Kent Covington has today’s news.
KENT COVINGTON, NEWS ANCHOR: Biden: ‘Every indication’ Russia prepared to attack Ukraine » The U.S. government says all signs point to a Russian invasion of Ukraine very soon. President Biden described the threat this way…
BIDEN: It’s very high. It’s very high because they have not moved any of their troops out. They’ve moved more troops in.
He added that the Russians appear to be planning a “false flag operation to have an excuse to go in.”
And the president said—quote—“My sense is it will happen within the next several days.”
Speaking at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said Russia’s claims that it has no intention of invading are not credible.
AUSTIN: You know, I was a soldier myself not that long ago. And I know firsthand that you don’t do these sort of things for no reason. And you certainly don’t do them if you’re getting ready to pack up and go home.
Meantime, Secretary of State Tony Blinken pleaded his case to the UN Security Council on Thursday. He revealed some conclusions of U.S. intelligence in a strategy that the United States and Britain hope will expose and pre-empt any invasion planning.
BLINKEN: I am here today not to start a war, but to prevent one. The information I’ve presented here is validated by what we’ve seen unfolding in plain sight, before our eyes, for months.
Russia is believed to have built up some 150,000 military forces along Ukraine’s borders.
Biden: Infrastructure plan gives $1B for Great Lakes cleanup » The president also turned his attention to domestic matters on Thursday. Speaking in suburban Cleveland, he declared that a $1 billion infusion from the bipartisan infrastructure deal would restore polluted Great Lakes harbors and tributary rivers.
BIDEN: We’re going to accelerate cleanup of sites across six states in the Great Lakes basin from Duluth, MN to Milwaukee, WI, Gary, IN, Buffalo, NY and everything in between.
Biden vowed the biggest restoration of the Great Lakes in history.
The lakes provide drinking water for 40 million people and underpin the economy of eight states and two Canadian provinces.
Biden's trip to Ohio comes at a crucial political moment as the state's Republican Sen. Rob Portman is retiring. That will leave a Senate seat open this year that Democrats hope to claim.
Trump must testify in New York investigation, judge rules » A New York judge ruled Thursday that Former President Donald Trump must answer questions under oath in the state’s civil investigation into his business. WORLD’s Kristen Flavin has more.
KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: Judge Arthur Engoron ordered Trump and his two eldest children, Ivanka and Donald Trump Jr. to comply with subpoenas issued by New York Attorney General Letitia James.
James, a Democrat, accuses Trump’s company of dishonest business practices. She said her investigation uncovered evidence that the company used “fraudulent or misleading” valuations of assets like golf courses and skyscrapers to get loans and tax benefits.
The company says James’ probe is politically motivated and that her accusations are false.
The judge ruled that Trump and his two children must sit for a deposition within 21 days. Trump’s lawyers are highly likely to appeal the decision.
Reporting for WORLD, I’m Kristen Flavin.
Canadian protesters prepare for crackdown » Busloads of police poured into downtown Ottawa, Ontario over the last two days, handing out letters to protesters ordering them to leave downtown.
Hundreds of big rigs remain parked in the streets of Canada’s capital city protesting vaccine mandates for truckers and other restrictions.
And many protesters say they have no plans to leave until the government lifts those mandates.
AUDIO: We’ve been here 21 days, and I’ll be here 21 more if I have to be.
Early Thursday morning, construction crews put extra fences around government buildings. With the extra fencing and law enforcement presence, some protesters are bracing for a police crackdown.
Another protester said it looks like the government is preparing to remove protesters by force.
AUDIO: We saw four buses unload all the police officers. There’s over 150-plus police cars, prisoner transport wagons. There’s six buses getting ready to load guys up.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau declared the protesters’ actions illegal under the country’s Emergencies Act. And the city’s police chief said he would—quote—“take back downtown in the coming days.”
Brazil mudslide death toll reaches 110, with 134 missing » More than a hundred people are dead in Brazil after a massive mudslide. WORLD’s Josh Schumacher has that story.
JOSH SCHUMACHER, REPORTER: Government officials confirmed at least 110 deaths and 134 people are still missing.
The mudslides struck Tuesday in the town of Petropolis in the mountains about 40 miles north of Rio de Janeiro
Footage posted on social media showed torrents dragging cars and houses through the streets and water swirling through the city.
On Wednesday morning, houses were left buried beneath mud while appliances and cars were stacked in piles on the streets.
Heavy rains have punished Southeastern Brazil since the start of the year with more than 40 deaths recorded in other incidents in the region last month.
Reporting for WORLD, I’m Josh Schumacher.
I’m Kent Covington. Straight ahead: Culture Friday.
Plus, the true meaning of two political buzzwords.
This is The World and Everything in It.
MYRNA BROWN, HOST: It’s Friday, February 18th, 2022.
Glad to have you along for today’s edition of The World and Everything in It. Good morning, I’m Myrna Brown.
NICK EICHER, HOST: And I’m Nick Eicher. Well, it’s Culture Friday. Let’s bring in John Stonestreet. He’s the president of the Colson Center and host of the Breakpoint podcast and he joins us now. Morning, John.
JOHN STONESTREET, GUEST: Good morning.
EICHER: We normally don’t report on school board elections, John, but this was interesting. The New York Times had a story on a school board recall election in San Francisco.
Voters there tossed out three uber-progressive school board members and they had the blessing of the city’s liberal mayor. The Times reports, quoting here: “[The recall] reflected a trend: Many Americans, even in liberal places, seem frustrated by what they consider a leftward lurch from parts of the Democratic Party and its allies.
“This frustration spans several issues, including education, crime, and Covid-19.”
Turns out this is a revolt of San Francisco parents, who seem to be saying enough with renaming schools away from flawed historical figures like Thomas Jefferson and Teddy Roosevelt, enough with the masks, enough with the virtue signaling. Just do your job.
I think I know what the political import is here, but do you see a cultural shift happening?
STONESTREET: I don't know if I would call it a cultural shift. I just don't think most Americans are aware, the far left progressive side of the party. And the activists themselves are I mean, I think most people live in a different world. There's a particular level of what Ross Douthat in his book called decadence. I mean, he wasn't the first one to come up with that. But there's kind of a place you get as a society where you're so fat and happy that you can start to accommodate fantasies, and beliefs and wanting to and the impression that you can actually remake the world, not just according to what you want, but away from created realities and everything else in it. And I just think it's gone too far. I was talking with a group of educational leaders this week, and, and we all agreed that the Loudoun County School Board has been the best marketing force for Christian education or educational alternatives. We've seen a buyer's remorse here. Now, of course, the governor of California hasn't helped specifically with the mask mandates. I mean, I think that's one of the big trigger points when when you saw the celebrities come out and party for the last two weeks, you know, in the NFC Championship game and then in the Super Bowl, without masks and you know, the mayor of LA saying, “I held my breath”. And then you're masking up kids. Yeah, you look you can be gracious and say at the early days of the pandemic, even throughout the first year, we were waiting on data we didn't know, better safe than sorry, you can't say that anymore. You can't say that anymore. with school kids. The data is absolutely against not only whether or not masks actually are effective, but specifically the threat to school aged children. And the counter negatives of depression, suicidal ideation, isolation that come from lockdowns and mandates. This has been brutal, not to mention learning objectives. This has been brutal on school kids and parents have had enough.
EICHER: I love research studies and here’s a fascinating one. Quoting from a colleague here at WORLD, Ericka Andersen writing for WORLD Opinions. She cites “… a new report from the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia, the Wheatley Institution at Brigham Young University, and BYU’s School of Family Life, researchers found … that those who marry in their early 20s are happier and more fulfilled than their later-married counterparts.”
“Sadly,” Ericka Andersen writes, “two-thirds of young adults believe that getting married later in life improves the chances that a marriage will be successful. It’s a faulty assumption,” she says.
What she means by that is that many now see marriage as a “capstone” to their success instead of a “cornerstone” for their future success together.
Now, assuming the research is right, and the National Marriage Project has a great track record, why do you suppose that might be? And what benefits do you think might flow from this “cornerstone” versus “capstone” idea of marriage?
STONESTREET: I think that distinction - the Capstone versus Cornerstone - is a really helpful way of pointing out The way different people see marriage these days, or the difference between how it seemed today versus how it was seen 20, 30, 40 years ago, there's so many things tied in with that. There's, for example, the connection with procreation. If you treat marriage as a capstone and then choose to get married later and later and later in life, as we've seen over the last couple decades, then your procreative potential just is diminished in many ways. That betrays that you see that procreation, marriage, and sexuality are not a package deal. I think there's another helpful distinction that tells us where this distinction came from. In other words, why is it that we're now seeing marriage as a capstone as opposed to a cornerstone, we're seeing it as a kind of something to check off the bucket list, as opposed to something that is the mark of adulthood and kind of growing into the kind of person you're going to be? See, what goes along with this data is people who get married in their 30s might have matured, but they probably have cohabitated, over the course of that time. And the factor here is not so much age, it's don't live together first, don't treat another relationship like marriage, that's not marriage. And if you don't live together first, then go ahead, jump into the water. And I know we have this idea, I'm not ready to get married. And when I hear a 20 Somethings say that my answer is, of course, you're not ready to get married, no one's ready to get married. You know, what makes you ready to get married? Getting married, you know, in other words, obviously, there are, you know, if someone's a meth addict, they're not ready to get married. But all things considered equal, jump in and do it together. Because to become one. And I mean, gosh, the more we tweak marriage, the more we expand it, the more we try to adjust it here and there, the more we realize that there's a structure to this thing. You don't even have to point to, you know, the first couple chapters of Genesis, to see that you can point to hard, fast sociological data. And of course, that begs the question why, and that's when you get back to Genesis is that there's actually a way this thing is made. I think that Brad Wilcox and national marriage project continues to point us to that I'm grateful for their work. But we've got to deal with reality, we've got to deal with what it actually is. The myths around marriage, and parenting, the myths that continue to get propagated. It's just really stunning. And then you can go back to various chapters of the sexual revolution, you know, kind of the kids will be fine. And it just turns out to be not true.
BROWN: Shout out to my colleague at WORLD, Leah Savas, and her recent report on pro-life legislation in Florida. Pro-life activists there are working to target what’s effectively become a legal right to abortion in that state. It’s a complicated story, lots of moving pieces, but they’re working on this now, even though all eyes are on the U.S. Supreme Court. But John, you’ve long said pro-lifers will have to battle abortion state by state if the Supreme Court reverses Roe versus Wade. Is this an early indication of that?
STONESTREET: Absolutely. And so is California sanctuary city for abortion, you know, you know, legislative push, which I don't know the status of that off the top of my head, but yeah, I mean, we're just gonna see this state by state by state by state. We've already seen and even prior to this, obviously, any sort of restrictions to Roe v. Wade, that have been pushed in new and creative ways and you know, obviously, this one, the Dobbs case is the one that we think actually will gut Roe in a really substantial way. But I think I mean, I think the most likely outcome of this is not any sort of wholesale protection of unborn life as citizens because, you know, Roe was decided on a terrible definition of viability, and now we're in a new definition of viability. And then viability as a criteria has changed, because now we can look inside the womb and know things about developing fetal development that we've never known before. I wish all that were going to come into play here, but I don't think it is. I think, what's its gonna be is basically, this is a states rights issue. And because of that, there's not some sort of universal magical Penumbra that gives us you know, a right to an abortion. This is going to be a state by state issue.
BROWN: John Stonestreet is president of the Colson Center and host of the Breakpoint podcast. Thanks, John.
STONESTREET: Thank you both.
NICK EICHER, HOST: A Massachusetts man opened the sunroof on the family minivan over the weekend on a nice, sunny day. Temperatures were in 60s and Steve Maguire was enjoying the weather.
Unfortunately, in the middle of February in Massachusetts, the weather’s not likely to remain sunny and 63 degrees for very long. And when he parked the van, he forgot to close the sunroof.
So as he told WBZ-TV on Monday he found a minivan partially filled with snow.
MAGUIRE: And I was like, this could only happen in New England. It’s my wife's car too, which is the worst ‘happy Valentine’s Day.’
Steve was really kicking himself because if anybody should know how quickly the weather can change in Massachusetts, it’s him.
He teaches meteorology at a local high school.
It’s The World and Everything in It.
MYRNA BROWN, HOST: Today is Friday, February 18th. Thank you for turning to WORLD Radio to help start your day.
Good morning. I’m Myrna Brown.
NICK EICHER, HOST: And I’m Nick Eicher. Coming next on The World and Everything in It: a movie you’ve probably seen before.
Well, not exactly because it opens in theaters today. But reviewer Collin Garbarino says it definitely feels like a movie—or several movies—he’s already watched.
Nate: There are places out there you can’t find on any map. They’re not gone. They’re just lost.
COLLIN GARBARINO, REVIEWER: Uncharted is a treasure-hunting adventure film based on a popular video game franchise. We’re accustomed to seeing Tom Holland flip across the screen as Spider-Man. But in this film he stars as Nate Drake, a young pickpocket who believes he’s descended from the English explorer and privateer Sir Francis Drake. Nate thinks his heritage might help him find the world’s greatest lost treasure.
Nate: I’ve been dreaming about this my whole life. Magellan’s gold. The biggest treasure that’s never been found.
Sully: Five billion easy.
Mark Wahlberg plays Sully, another adventurer hunting for the lost gold. He’s got some clues to the treasure’s whereabouts, and he recruits Nate to help him procure—well, really steal—the final key they need to unlock the secret.
Nate: I assume we’re 50/50, right?
Sully: 50/50? You get 10 percent, and that’s me being generous.
But Nate and Sully aren’t the only ones after Magellan’s treasure. Antonio Banderas plays Santiago Moncada, a wealthy Spanish businessman. Santiago believes he’s the rightful owner of the treasure because the Moncada family financed Magellan’s expedition 500 years earlier. The ruthless Santiago hires some even more ruthless soldiers of fortune to help him beat Nate and Sully to the gold.
Moncada: Five hundred years ago, my family found the fortune and then were betrayed. So much blood.
The stakes are high for Nate. Five billion dollars is a lot of money, and a lot of people are willing to steal, betray, and murder to get it. Nate’s partner Sully isn’t above suspicion. He seems like a scoundrel with too many secrets, and Nate never knows if he’s safe among his friends.
Nate: I’m a friend of Sully’s.
Cloe: Sully doesn’t have any friends. I should know, I’m one of them.
Uncharted, rated PG-13 for action and language, is a pleasant enough film in the vein of Indiana Jones or National Treasure. But contrary to its name, it doesn’t take the genre in any new directions. Its lack of originality is too bad because the Uncharted video game series gained acclaim for its inventive storytelling and engaging characters.
It has humorous moments, but most of the story plods along without many surprises, settling for types and tropes we’ve seen before in better movies. To find the treasure, our adventurers must solve intricate puzzles laid out in ancient journals making use of priceless relics along the way. They travel to European and Asian locales, running around in crypts and caves. They dodge booby traps and bad guys.
The Scotsman: Ye should nae have come out to play with the big boys, wee un, because you’re about to get a proper Scottish welcome.
Holland is as likable as ever in this film, but Wahlberg’s Sully is a bit of a disappointment. Sully and Nate’s dialogue was meant to sound like witty banter, but Wahlberg’s detached delivery deprives his lines of the necessary snap and leaves their scenes feeling lifeless. That’s a shame in such an energetic movie. If you’re looking for an action adventure unburdened by a coherent story, Uncharted might tide you over until the next superhero installment.
Holland might not be playing Spider-Man in this movie, but he flips and twists and jumps as much as he does when wearing the blue and red tights. Holland moves through most scenes in parkour style, spending almost as much time bouncing off walls as he does with his feet on the floor. And it’s kind of nice that the film doesn’t take itself too seriously. These modern-day pirates engage in some of the most absurd aerial chase scenes and action sequences that I’ve ever seen. Maybe the sheer ridiculousness of it all makes up for the thin story and lackluster acting.
If you see the film, stick around for the mid-credits scene. Sony is already setting up a sequel. Let’s hope they give us a little more story next time.
Nate: This ain't over.
I’m Collin Garbarino.
NICK EICHER, HOST: Today is Friday, February 18th. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Nick Eicher.
MYRNA BROWN, HOST: And I’m Myrna Brown.
The terms conservative and liberal mostly relate to politics these days. But wordsmith George Grant says that wasn’t always the case. Here’s this month’s Word Play.
GEORGE GRANT, COMMENTATOR: Henry Peacham was an English poet and writer best known for his 1622 guide to Renaissance arts and manners, The Compleat Gentleman. In it he defines the word “conservative” as “that power of promoting care, stewardship, learning, and healthfulness whilst opposing diminution, detriment, ignorance, and injury.” In one magnificent example of his Elizabethan and Jacobite prose he describes, “That spherical figure, as to all heavenly bodies, so it agreeth to light, as the most perfect and conservative of all others.”
According to Samuel Johnson, in his incomparable 1755 Dictionary, it is from this term and its incumbent meaning that the word “conservatory” is derived. Thus, he defines it as “A place where anything is kept in a manner proper to its peculiar nature, as fish in a pond, corn in a grainary, or culture in the heart of a student.”
The word “liberal” has a 14th century provenance from Frankish or Old French meaning “that which befits a free people, that which rightly belongs to the people, or that which is gracious, noble, munificent, generous, and unimpeded.” The word became a term of reproach during the 16th century meaning “free from restraint in speech or action.” Thus, Shakespeare intoned in Much Ado about Nothing, “Who hath indeed, most like a liberal villain, confess’d the vile encounters they have had a thousand times in secret.” But, by the 18th century the Enlightenment revived it in a positive sense, meaning “free from prejudice, not bigoted, or tolerant.” It came to be identified with political aspirations “tending in favor of liberty, freedom, and democracy.”
In the same way that conservatory is derived from conservative, the liberal arts are derived from liberal. First used in the 14th century, it was the name for “the seven attainments directed to intellectual enlargement, rather than immediate practical purpose, and thus deemed worthy of a free man.” These arts or attainments were divided into the trivium—grammar, logic, and rhetoric—and the quadrivium—arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy. This is what James Russell Lowell called a Classical Education or a Liberal Education, “because it emancipates the mind from every narrow provincialism, whether of egoism or tradition, and is the apprenticeship that everyone must serve before becoming a free brother of the guild which passes the torch of life from age to age.”
Thomas Guthrie therefore wisely concluded, “As Christians we are necessarily both/and, not either/or: we are Conservative and Liberal. Our institutions are at their best when they are Conservatories rooted in the Liberal Arts.”
To reclaim our language is the first step toward reclaiming our legacy.
I’m George Grant.
NICK EICHER, HOST: Time now to thank the team that put together this week’s programs. In alphabetical order they are:
David Bahnsen, Anna Johansen Brown, Kent Covington, Collin Garbarino, Katie Gaultney, George Grant, Kim Henderson, Onize Ohikere, Bonnie Pritchett, Mary Reichard, Josh Schumacher, John Stonestreet, Cal Thomas, Whitney Williams, and Steve West.
MYRNA BROWN, HOST: Johnny Franklin and Carl Peetz are the audio engineers who stay up late to get the program to you early! Leigh Jones is managing editor, and Paul Butler is our executive producer.
The Bible says, “I will turn their mourning into joy; I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow.” (Jeremiah 31:13b ESV)
I hope you’ll worship with your brothers and sisters in Christ this weekend.
Lord willing, we’ll meet you 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.