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The World and Everything in It: January 1, 2024


WORLD Radio - The World and Everything in It: January 1, 2024

On Legal Docket, an opioid settlement deal arrives at the Supreme Court; on the Monday Moneybeat, big economic stories from 2023; and on the World History Book, a 17th-century challenge to government oppression of a religious minority. Plus, the Monday morning news

US Supreme Court SeanPavonePhoto/iStock/Getty Images Plus via Getty Images

PREROLL: The World and Everything in It is made possible by listeners like me. My name is Anell, and I'm a homeschooling mama from the Carolinas. When my husband was deployed in Bahrain, he introduced me to Washington Wednesdays. But now I listen to each broadcast as I go about my day. I hope you enjoy today's program.

MARY REICHARD, HOST: Good morning! A bankruptcy case for the ages: billionaire makers of OxyContin vs opioid victims.

PRATIK SHAH: Whatever is available from the Sacklers, whether that's 3 billion, 5 billion, 6 billion, 10 billion, there are about $40 trillion in estimated claims.

NICK EICHER, HOST: That’s ahead on Legal Docket.

Also today, the Monday Moneybeat. Financial analyst David Bahnsen be along shortly, and we will look back on the year that was in business, markets, and the economy.

And the WORLD History Book: defending religious liberty in America long before the First Amendment was drafted.

THOMAS KIDD: So the Flushing remonstrance is, it's a group of just local residents in Flushing, New York saying we are not going to participate in the persecution of the Quakers.

REICHARD: It’s Monday, January 1st, 2024. 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: Time now for the news with Kent Covington.

KENT COVINGTON, NEWS ANCHOR: Navy sinks Houthi boats » Over the waters of the Red Sea on Sunday, U.S. attack helicopters opened fire on Houthi Rebels in attack boats as the militants launched another assault on a commercial cargo ship.

U.S. forces sank three of the four Houthi speed boats, killing all assailants on board.

The Iran-backed Houthi rebels operate out of Yemen. And GOP Congressman Mike Turner says sooner or later, the Biden administration will have to turn its attention there.

TURNER: In order to be able to address this, they’re going to have to look at operations into Yemen where the capabilities are, where Iran continues to reload them as they continue to attack commercial shipping areas and put at risk US military.

The USS Gravely and helicopters from the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower aircraft carrier responded to the cargo ship’s distress call and issued verbal warnings to the attackers, who responded by firing on the helicopters.

Amid a hail of return fire, one of the four attack boats fled and escaped.

NETANYUAHU: [Speaking Hebrew]

Israel » Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says the war to eradicate Iran-backed Hamas terrorists in Gaza will last for—quote—“many months.”

NETANYUAHU: [Speaking Hebrew]

In a press conference over the weekend, he vowed that Israel will “continue to fight until all the objectives of the war are achieved.”

He has firmly rejected calls by some to end the war amid a humanitarian crisis in Gaza where Hamas terrorists hide among civilians.

Border talks » In south Texas, Republican Congressman Tony Gonzalez says House Speaker Mike Johnson and other lawmakers will travel to his district along the border on Wednesday where they’ll hear from local officials about the border crisis.

GONZALES: Hosting Speaker Johnson next week is very critical to getting House Republicans on board. I’m expecting at least 60 of my Republican colleagues to join us on that visit.

That comes as lawmakers continue talks over legislation to tackle the problem.

Record month at border » And it looks like migrant traffic at the border will shatter yet another record.

CBS News reports that when the official December numbers are released, they’ll reveal more than 300,000 migrants processed at the southern border.

That would break the record high for a single month set just three months earlier in September with 270,000 migrant encounters.

Trump immunity » Special counsel Jack Smith is urging a federal appeals court to deny former President Donald Trump’s claim to presidential immunity in a case accusing him of interfering in the 2020 election.

Smith filed a document over the weekend arguing that Trump claiming immunity from prosecution “would be particularly dangerous” to US democracy.

GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham said of the case:

GRAHAM: I think there are more legal issues around this than you can even imagine about what can a president do as president? What are the limitations of being president?

And he told CBS’ Face the Nation that for that reason he does not believe this case will go to trial before this year’s presidential election.

New Year’s resolutions » Well, it’s New Year’s Day, and that of course means New Year’s resolutions for many including this New York resident:

NY Resident: The usual, lose weight, drink less, you know, exercise more.

But numerous studies show that most Americans give up on their resolutions by the first day of spring.

Experts say around the new year, people tend to set lofty goals and eventually get disheartened. Psychologist Omid Fotuhi says you don’t want goals to feel intimidating.

FOTUHI: Goals are only there to serve a function — to get you started. And if they don’t do that, maybe that’s not the appropriate goal for you.

And Dr. BJ Fogg with Stanford University says rather than focusing on huge goals, create new daily “tiny” habits — small enough to easily maintain … and then build on them gradually.

I'm Kent Covington.

Straight ahead: victims of the opioids epidemic take their case to the Supreme Court on Legal Docket. Plus, The Monday Moneybeat.

This is The World and Everything in It.

NICK EICHER, HOST: It’s The World and Everything in It for the first day of January, 2024. We’re so glad you’ve joined us today. Good morning! I’m Nick Eicher.

MARY REICHARD, HOST: And I’m Mary Reichard. Happy New Year to you!

EICHER: Happy New Year to you!

REICHARD: Well, it’s good to return to our regular coverage of oral arguments at the U.S. Supreme Court.

But first, an early decision. It came in December, an opinion in the case of Acheson Hotels, LLC v Laufer.

That involved a disabilities activist who checks hotel websites for compliance: she checks to determine whether they post information about handicap accessibility. If not, she sues the hotel under the ADA, the Americans with Disabilities Act.

She’s sued hundreds of hotels in this way, including Acheson Hotels.

EICHER: In this Supreme Court case, Acheson disputed the woman’s legal standing to sue. After all, she never intended to book a room or visit the premises.

And before the dispute even made it to the Supreme Court, though, she’d dismissed the case. The hotel had new owners. So what dispute was left?

You could hear the eventual ruling in this comment from Justice Elena Kagan. Here she is during oral argument:

JUSTICE KAGAN: But when you look at a case that’s dead as a doornail several times over. The defendant's website, everybody agrees, is now in compliance with the ADA. So this is, like, dead, dead, dead in all the ways that something can be dead.

REICHARD: The unanimous decision sends the case back to lower court with instructions to—you guessed it—dismiss the case as moot, moot, moot.

Alright, now on to oral argument in the biggest bankruptcy case in years: the case of Harrington v Purdue Pharma. This case grows out of the deadly opioid crisis.

The day of the argument, the case attracted protesters outside the Supreme Court.

PROTERSTERS: Sacklers lie! People die!

Sound from NBC:

PROTERSTERS: Sacklers lie! People die!

EICHER: Protesters singling out the family that owns Purdue Pharma, the Sackler Family. Purdue makes OxyContin, the painkiller widely blamed for fueling the opioid epidemic.

The Sackler family is accused of profiting off the addictive nature of the drug, all the while aggressively marketing it and downplaying the risks.

This protester says he lost his son because of opioids.

FATHER: I came here today because I lost my son Eddie in Philadelphia in 2001. All the parents want justice. The Sacklers want all the benefits of bankruptcy without being in bankruptcy. Well, my dead son does not release them. And I don’t release them.

There’s a lot of anger against Purdue and the Sackler family, but it’s also fair to mention other parties involved in pushing opioids.

The federal Food and Drug Administration, for example. It approved OxyContin in the 1990s. The American Pain Society, now defunct, campaigned to promote opioids. The Joint Commission added its support. As did the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services: its support was financial. The government rewarding physicians for writing prescriptions.

REICHARD: Meanwhile, the Sackler family earned billions of dollars from OxyContin sales.

Then came the stories of addiction and death. Hundreds of thousands of stories. And myriad lawsuits followed, alleging the Sacklers knew of OxyContin’s addictive nature and yet pushed hard its use.

EICHER: Along the way, the Sacklers took money out of the company and placed it into trusts and holding companies. By 2019 Purdue filed for bankruptcy, Chapter 11, the kind that reorganizes a company.

Under the bankruptcy plan the Sacklers have to give up ownership of Purdue Pharma, settle with a subset of claimants, and put up to $6 billion toward fighting the opioid crisis.

Tracking all the moving money here is pretty complicated, but it’s not important to understand it to grasp the legal question presented. For our purposes today, what’s important is the question of liability and where it ends.

The controversy is around the provision that wipes out victims’ lawsuits against the Sacklers — even if those victims didn’t agree to it.

REICHARD: Still, an appeals court approved of it.

That’s when the US Bankruptcy Trustee under the Justice Department stepped in and objected. This overseer among other things represents the interests of the public trust in bankruptcy proceedings.

The Trustee’s lawyer is Curtis Gannon:

GANNON: The court of appeals approved a Chapter 11 reorganization plan that will release claims that Purdue Pharma's creditors have against other non debtors, principally, the Sackler family members who took billions of dollars from Purdue in the years before Purdue's bankruptcy but have not filed for bankruptcy protection themselves and have made only a portion of their assets available to the estate in Purdue's bankruptcy.

Gannon argued the release of the Sacklers goes far beyond the statute’s language and intent. The release lets the Sacklers out of liability for alleged violations that bankruptcy has never permitted. For example, fraud or other willful violations.

EICHER: But lawyers for Purdue and the Sackler family argue this release is not only lawful but sensible. Listen to Gregory Garre, lawyer for Purdue:

GARRE: If the Trustee succeeds here, the billions of dollars that the plan allocates for opioid abatement and compensation will evaporate. Creditors and victims will be left with nothing, and lives literally will be lost. Nothing in the code commands that tragic result.

“Left with nothing” is precisely the worry of some of Purdue’s creditors—particularly unsecured creditors. Their lawyer Pratik Shah supports the bankruptcy plan as an alternative to suing piecemeal, victim by victim.

PRATIK SHAH: I think this is critically important. Whatever is available from the Sacklers, whether that's 3 billion, 5 billion, 6 billion, 10 billion, there are about $40 trillion in estimated claims. As soon as one plaintiff is successful, that wipes out the recovery for every other victim. That is why the victims insisted on this release. As soon as one plaintiff is successful, they get the recovery, every other victim gets exactly zero dollars. That is the most fundamental point I think to understand. That is why 97 percent of the victims agreed to this nonconsensual release. They have no love lost for the Sacklers.

REICHARD: For the justices, the question is a dry, legal one: does the Bankruptcy Code allow an agreement that cuts out current and future claims by victims without their consent … while also shielding the Sacklers from further civil liability?

You can hear the justices grappling with that. First, Justice Elena Kagan addressing lawyer Gannon for the Trustee who objects to the plan:

JUSTICDE KAGAN: It's overwhelming, the support for this deal, and among people who have no love for the Sacklers, among people who think that the Sacklers are pretty much the worst people on earth, they've negotiated a deal which they think is the best that they can get.

EICHER: Justice Brett Kavanaugh along the same lines:

JUSTICE KAVANNAUGH: I think what the opioid victims and their families are saying is you, the federal government, with no stake in this at all, are coming in and telling the families, no, we're not going to give you payment, prompt payment, for what's happened to your family, and we're not going to -- your -- the federal government's not going to allow all this money to go to the states for prevention programs to prevent future overdoses and future victims and in exchange, really, for this somewhat theoretical idea that they'll be able to recover money down the road from the Sacklers themselves.

Gannon for the Trustee later had a rejoinder:

GANNON: Well, we -- the Trustee has been given this watchdog role and has been told by Congress to participate in these proceedings. And the Trustee does this in hundreds of cases a year, and so our interest is in having the bankruptcy law as a force- enforced appropriately.

Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson pointedly asked Purdue’s lawyer, Garre, about releasing the Sacklers, despite the family taking around $11 billion in profits and putting that money elsewhere:

JUSTICE JACKSON: So Justice Kagan says they're not putting all of their assets on the table. But my understanding is that not only are they not doing that, but most of the assets we're talking about were originally in the company and that they actually took the assets from the company, which started the set of circumstances in which the company now doesn't have enough money to pay the creditors. So even if there was a world in which categorically we -- we wouldn't say you can never do these kinds of releases, why wouldn't this be a clear situation in which we would not allow it?

GARRE: Well, first, the Trustee's position is it doesn't matter on the circumstances.

REICHARD: Garre answered that such a release should be allowed because first of all, 40 percent of the transferred money went to pay taxes. The rest, the bankruptcy court below found, was substantial and fair and the best available plan for the victims. Anything else leaves up in the air actually collecting any money for the victims.

Justice Jackson focused attention back to the Sacklers wanting a certain condition before settling:

JUSTICE JACKSON: Only because the Sacklers have taken the money offshore, right? I mean, it's not like -- it's not like by operation of law it's necessary to do this. It is necessary to do this because the Sacklers have taken the money and are not willing to give it back unless they have this condition.

EICHER: But, it must be noted, even the Sacklers don’t have the $40 trillion in estimated claims pending against Purdue and the family. For perspective: The entire annual Gross Domestic Product of the United States isn’t even $30 trillion, according to the Federal Reserve.

REICHARD: Finally, a back and forth between Justice Kagan and lawyer Shah for the unsecured creditors in favor of the plan. She begins with lawyer Gannon’s argument in favor of abandoning the bankruptcy plan on the table right now that releases the Sacklers from civil liability:

JUSTICE KAGAN: Mr. Gannon suggests that if we rule for him, it actually gives

victims greater leverage in this kind of situation.

SHAH: If there's one thing you take away from my argument today, it is this, and let me be crystal-clear: Without the release, the plan will unravel, Chapter 7 liquidation will follow, and there will be no viable path to any victim recovery. The bankruptcy court --

KAGAN: Well, that sounded very emphatic. (Laughter.)

SHAH: Yes. But -- but -- but let me -- it's not just me being emphatic, Justice Kagan.

KAGAN: But I really want to know, like, you know, why?

SHAH: Yes, why.

KAGAN: Because there's something to what Mr. Gannon says. You rule for him, then you have another tool in your toolbox when -- when -- when the people that you represent sit around the table with Purdue and the Sacklers.

Back and forth they went, until Chief Justice Roberts announced:

JUSTICE ROBERTS: The case is submitted.

Whew. Almost two hours of argument!

Other drug manufacturers and distributors of opioids have already settled or gone to trial: among them, Johnson & Johnson, Teva, Cardinal Health, Walgreens, and CVS. But this case is uber significant in size and complexity, and any decision will affect the future of mass litigation like this and bankruptcy proceedings.

And that’s this week’s Legal Docket!

MARY REICHARD, HOST: Coming up next on The World and Everything in It:

The Monday Moneybeat.

NICK EICHER, HOST: Time now to talk business, markets, and the economy with financial analyst and adviser David Bahnsen. David heads up the wealth management company the Bahnsen Group, and he joins me now. David good morning on this first day of 20-24.

DAVID BAHNSEN, GUEST: Well, good morning, Nick, good to be with you.

EICHER: Well, the year’s gone by, and time to take stock, I guess. Let’s run though it in that order, business, markets, and the economy. How you appraise the year that was in those three categories? And let’s start in business, David, what do you think was the big story in global or US business?

BAHNSEN: Well, I think it's a good distinction between business, markets, and the economy. And when you talk specifically about the world of business, it was the resilience of companies, their capacity for profit making activity in the face of muted economic growth, in the face of a lot of uncertainty in the jobs market as to what the overall economy would do, and also in the face of higher interest rates, higher borrowing cost, the fact that the business environment and the country held up so well, I think is a testimony to the nature of a free enterprise system, and how business owners and business conglomerates are able to respond to changing conditions, the alignment of incentives that exist in a market economy, the knowledge that is, I think, far superior in the hands of business men and women, then it is in the hands of central planners and politicians, I think that the business environment held up well. If I had started off the year saying that China was going to essentially have a negative growth type year, when expectations were that they were going to have such a positive growth year in the aftermath of reopening and their delayed COVID moment, I would have expected a lot of global businesses to suffer quite a bit. And if I would have known that we would persist in a high rate environment, have a total freezing of bank lending, and deal with the high cost of borrowing embedded in capital markets, I would have been very hard pressed, it would have been a tough call to come up with the profit gains, and the overall dynamism that we've seen in our corporate economy in 2023. I credit it as a testimony to free markets.

EICHER: This is probably not a contrary example, but I do remember the morning the story broke in the spring, in March, that SVB, Silicon Valley Bank failed. Was that a market story or a business story, to your mind?

BAHNSEN: Oh, it's very definitely a story of markets. Because what it was, is a direct byproduct of what had happened in the bond market, putting their net worth upside down. They had a bond portfolio that had gone so far with long dated bonds, that then because of the rapidly increasing interest rates caused the market value of those bonds to drop, that once they had any deposit withdrawals, it cycled in a way that accelerated their demise and left them without the necessary capital, because the marked market value of their bond portfolio had gone down so much. And so that was really connected to financial markets. But then in the aftermath of that, Nick, which I think is more of a market story, you get a very positive business story. And that is how quickly other banks were able to take on those customers, take on those depositors, redeploy some of those investments that the Silicon Valley Bank and subsequent First Republic Bank failure did not become more contagious is really one of the more interesting stories of 2023.

EICHER: And that was a story of business resilience and not necessarily government policy, or would you make a distinction there?

BAHNSEN: No, I would, because I think there are people that believe the FDIC is the same thing as government because it's a government backing that comes in, but in the case of First Republic, it was a private bank, JPMorgan. I happen to be looking out my window here at my New York office on Park Avenue at their building, and they have the balance sheet and the size to be able to take on those obligations. But even the FDIC itself, I do view a little bit differently than other government bureaus because the FDIC is entirely funded by bank payments, the private sector funds the FDIC with what is essentially a cost of insurance. The banks pay the FDIC and then those monies are used to absorb losses when the FDIC takes losses like they certainly are with Silicon Valley Bank. And so there are some who don't like that system. That's not so much my point here. It's just very nice when the FDIC doesn't have to become an unlimited backstop to other bank failures, because there are private sector solutions, like the one JP Morgan provided in the case of First Republic.

EICHER: Staying with the umbrella theme of markets, I’d like for you to drill into the equity markets, where you live so much of your professional life, the New York Stock Exchange and others, they ended on a very positive note. What’s your sense of the year?

BAHNSEN: I gotta say, getting profit growth on the year was not expected. And certainly getting an increase in the valuation on those profits to the degree we've had, was not expected. And so it was a year in which it was very difficult to lose money investing, whether it was cash, or emerging stocks, or US stocks, or any kind of bonds, at the end of the day, it appears that virtually every asset class under the sun is going to declare a positive return.

EICHER: Then, just the economy writ-large. There was a lot of talk of high prices, a too-high consumer price index, popular talk of inflation, and the federal reserve response to that, with increases in the price of borrowing, raising interest rates in pursuit of a soft landing, avoiding recession. Looks like mission accomplished. What do you say?

BAHNSEN: Well, I think that the economy obviously requires just a real obstinance, or a partisan lack of objectivity to not acknowledge that the economy performed better than people would have expected this year. Now, that doesn't mean it performed great. It doesn't mean it performed great in all categories, or even good in all categories. I think there are certain elements of the economy that are woefully underperforming. But relative to expectations, which were nearly universal a year or a year plus change ago, for a recession, to have had economic expansion, and each quarter of the year for that expansion to have outperformed expectations is really quite rare. And frankly, I think that the employment is the ground zero of this: we have jobs. What I fear is that we won't have workers. And so that's a very different problem than having a lot of workers looking for jobs is when you have jobs looking for workers. And so there's skill mismatch issues that we have to deal with in the future. There is a web of tax and regulation burdens that we have to deal with in the future. But right now, the economy is offering a lot of job opportunities. There's been wage growth, and that's the bright side that I think it behooves us to look at. Manufacturing has declined, even as factory construction has increased. There is a mixed bag in some of that data. Industrial production is not robust. It's declined over the last few months. The total trade globally when you put imports and exports together, has decreased, largely because imports have come down. China's exporting less. And there's going to be ramifications to a lot of these things. But for 2023 coming with what would be a full year GDP number with a three in front of it and unemployment number with a three in front of it. That's a pretty good year Nick.

EICHER: Ok, David Bahnsen is founder, managing partner, and chief investment officer of The Bahnsen Group … his personal website is Bahnsen-dot-com … his weekly Dividend Cafe is found at dividend-cafe-dot-com.

David, thanks, have a great week!

BAHNSEN: Thanks so much, Nick.

NICK EICHER, HOST: Today is Monday, January 1st, 2024. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Nick Eicher.

MARY REICHER, HOST: And I’m Mary Reichard. Up next, the WORLD History Book. Today, the anniversary of Dutch colonists who take a stand for religious freedom. Here’s WORLD Radio executive producer Paul Butler.

PAUL BUTLER: On December 27th, 1657, a local magistrate receives a letter appealing for the religious rights of a persecuted minority. The letter becomes known as the Flushing Remonstrance. Thomas Kidd is research professor of church history at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

THOMAS KIDD: So the Flushing Remonstrance is a response to an order that came down from the government of New Netherlands in the 1650s.

A remonstrance is a strong and reasoned argument against a public or private measure, addressed to a public magistrate. New Netherland was the Dutch colony on the Eastern coast of this country that eventually becomes New York. Its 1640 Charter of Freedoms and Exemptions was an ordinance that mandates: “no other Religion shall be publicly admitted in New Netherland except the Reformed, as it is at present preached and practiced in the United Netherlands.”

Though the charter does allow for other religious expression…as long as it remains private.

KIDD: Lutherans were not allowed to worship publicly in New Netherlands but the Lutherans…sort of stayed to themselves and…so if they would just meet in someone's home and just be quiet about it. They were very likely to be left alone…

But when the Quakers start showing up, it causes quite a stir. As they are much more public about their Christian convictions and theology.

KIDD: They're concerned about the activities of Quakers, who are some of the most radical Christians at the time.

Maybe this doesn’t quite match today’s Quaker stereotype…the picture in our mind based on the oatmeal box. That comes from a later, more reserved expression of Quakerism…


But Kidd says, in the early 17th century, the Quakers are very different. He describes them as Christian radicals…

KIDD: And these Quakers would…stand out in the streets and scream and holler about, you know, the need for repentance, and the end is coming. And, you know, you might have the image of somebody on the city corner today…

STREET PREACHER: The Bible says, if you say you have no sin, you deceive yourself! And the truth is that in you. 

KIDD: Some of them are running around naked and just screaming. And, I mean, just doing busting up church services, busting up government meetings,

The director-general of the New Netherland colony had initially been a bit more charitable to non-conformists…even permitting Jews to set up a synagogue. But in 1656 he greatly restricts religious practice…only allowing family worship and prayer for anyone not of the Dutch Reformed Church.

A year later a group of 12 Quakers arrive on Long Island from England. They intend to proceed to New England, but begin preaching in the streets of New Amsterdam. A few are arrested and banished from the colony.

KIDD: The Quakers insisted on going into the streets and doing this…very flamboyant kind of expressive religious behavior and…most governments, were just not going to tolerate that.

The director general then passes a stricter ordinance levying a hefty fine on anyone found sheltering Quakers or hosting their meetings. The residents of whats now known as Flushing, New York—stand up for broader religious rights. They respectfully protest against the ordinances by writing an appeal to the director general.

Here’s a portion of their remonstrance…read here by Henry Miller from a 2009 Dutch heritage program:

MILLER: We desire therefore in this case not to judge lest we be judged, neither to condemn lest we be condemned, but rather let every man stand or fall to his own Master. We are bound by the law to do good unto all men, especially to those of the household of faith…in whatsoever form, name or title hee appears in, whether Presbyterian, Independent, Baptist or Quaker, but shall be glad to see anything of God in any of them, desiring to do unto all men as we desire all men should do unto us, which is the true law both of Church and State.

The remonstrance is signed by 30 residents and merchants of Flushing. When the director general refuses to change the laws, they appeal to the Dutch West India Company that chartered the colony…arguing that religious repression would reduce immigration.

The company agrees and instructs the director general to “allow everyone to have his own belief as long as he [behaves] quietly and legally, [giving] no offense to his neighbors, and…not [opposing] the government.”

The Flushing Remonstrance of 1657 is considered by many historians to be a significant step towards the idea of religious freedom later ensconced in the first amendment to the US Constitution.

KIDD: It's certainly representative and a kind of landmark in terms of what it symbolizes, which is that the wave of the future is that the government is very limited about how much it can persecute, how much it can promote one particular denomination over others. The extent to which the government can limit free exercise, even if that free exercise strikes the government or other people as radical or offensive or something, something like that.

For Professor Kidd, one of the most significant aspects of this story is the fact that it wasn’t the Quakers themselves appealing to the magistrates…it was Christians fighting for others…standing up for a religious group that many of them may have actually have actually disagreed with.

KIDD: For the people of Flushing, New York, in this case, to say that I think is a really I find it, it's an inspiring example. And in that sense, it's symbolically a really important precedent in the history of religious liberty.

The lasting legacy of the Flushing Remonstrance of 1657 is the limiting principle it introduces: government ought not be involved in matters of doctrine or religious conscience. Again, Thomas Kidd.

KIDD: I think for evangelical Christians, it's important to remember that if we're going to have religious liberty, we need religious liberty for all religious groups and not not just, you know, our denomination or our political party or some something like that. I mean, it has to be very broad based. And I think that is one of the crucial precedents. So the Flushing Remonstrance is, it's a group of just local residents in Flushing, New York saying we are not going to participate in the persecution of the Quakers. And the government just needs to get out of this this business of persecuting them because it's just not the government's business.

That’s this week’s WORLD History Book. I’m Paul Butler.

NICK EICHER, HOST: Tomorrow: a new gene-editing treatment for sickle cell disease gets a green light from the FDA, but what are the ethical concerns about editing DNA?

And, the Classic Book of the Month: revisiting apologist Francis Schaeffer’s book The Mark of a Christian.

That and more tomorrow.

I’m Nick Eicher.

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

The World and Everything in It comes to you from WORLD Radio. WORLD’s mission is biblically objective journalism that informs, educates, and inspires.

The Bible says: “[So] God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” —Genesis 1:27

Go now in grace and peace.

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.


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