The World and Everything in It - January 14, 2022
On Culture Friday, the man who now has a pig’s heart beating in his chest; a review of the streaming crime drama Dalgliesh; and the family-friendly music of Rain for Roots. Plus: the Friday morning news.
MYRNA BROWN, HOST: Good morning!
Today a groundbreaking medical advance. We’ll talk about whether “can do” is getting way ahead of “should do.”
NICK EICHER, HOST: That’s ahead on Culture Friday.
Also today a new streaming series for lovers of mysteries of the British variety.
And music inspired by a famous Biblical proverb.
BROWN: It’s Friday, January 14th. 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: Time now for news. Here’s Kent Covington.
KENT COVINGTON, NEWS ANCHOR: Supreme Court issues split decision on vaccine mandates » The Supreme Court says President Biden overstepped his authority with his vaccine mandate for private businesses.
With a 6-to-3 ruling on Thursday, the court blocked his COVID-19 vaccine order for companies with 100 or more employees. The court’s three liberal justices dissented.
The mandate would have forced all indoor, on-site workers at those companies to get vaccinated or test weekly and wear masks.
In light of Thursday’s high court ruling, the White House is urging companies to voluntarily impose vaccine mandates. Press Secretary Jen Psaki:
PSAKI: So President Biden will be calling on and will continue to call on businesses to join those who have already stepped up, including one-third of Fortune-100 companies …
But in a 5-to-4 vote Thursday, the justices did uphold the requirement for healthcare providers to get vaccinated. Religious and medical exemptions are allowed.
Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh joined the court’s three liberal justices in that ruling.
Biden: more military medical help, at-home tests on the way » President Biden says beginning next week 1,000 military medical personnel will start deploying across the country to help overwhelmed medical facilities.
They’ll help to ease staff shortages brought on by the COVID-19 omicron variant.
And he said an additional six additional military medical teams will fan out across six hard-hit states:
BIDEN: Michigan, New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Rhode Island.
And New Mexico.
The new deployments will be on top of other federal medical personnel who are already pitching in across the country.
Biden also said his administration will double the number of rapid, at-home tests that the government will mail out for free to Americans. Last month, he announced 500 million free tests. He now says it will be 1 billion.
He also said the government will start distributing high-quality N95 masks for free across the country.
BIDEN: I know we all wish that we could finally be done with wearing masks. I get it, but they’re a really important tool.
Some scientists are hopeful that the omicron surge may be close to peaking in the United States. But in the meantime, the incredibly infectious variant is straining healthcare systems and worsening worker shortages.
4 rockets target US Embassy in Baghdad » At least four rockets targeted the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone on Thursday. That according to two Iraqi security officials. WORLD’s Kristen Flavin reports.
KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: Three of the rockets struck within the perimeter of the American Embassy, according to the officials. Another hit a school located in a nearby residential complex. A girl and a woman were injured in the attack.
The U.S. Embassy said in a statement that its compound had been attacked by “terrorists groups attempting to undermine Iraq's security, sovereignty, and international relations.”
This was the latest in a series of rocket and drone attacks that have targeted the American presence in Iraq since the start of the year.
Pro-Iran Shiite factions in Iraq have vowed revenge for the 2020 U.S. attack that killed Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani. The U.S. government said the general was a key planner of Iran’s proxy wars and terrorist operations.
Reporting for WORLD, I’m Kristen Flavin.
U.S. hits N. Korean officials with sanctions after missile test » The Biden administration this week slapped sanctions on five North Korean officials.
The move comes after North Korea recently test-fired a hypersonic ballistic missile.
The Treasury Department said it’s punishing the five officials over their roles in obtaining equipment and technology for the North’s missile programs.
And the administration will push for new UN sanctions in response to North Korea's six ballistic missile launches over the past four months. U.S. officials say each of those launches violated UN Security Council resolutions.
Queen removes Prince Andrew's military roles, patronages » Queen Elizabeth II has stripped Prince Andrew of all his honorary military titles and royal roles in charities and other civic groups. That as Prince Andrew faces sexual abuse allegations. WORLD’s Anna Johansen Brown has that story.
ANNA JOHANSEN BROWN, REPORTER: Buckingham Palace announced the move after more than 150 British navy and army veterans wrote to the queen. They asked her to strip her second son of all his military ranks and titles after a U.S. judge said a sex assault lawsuit against the prince could move ahead.
The judge on Wednesday refused to dismiss a civil case against Andrew by an American woman, Virginia Giuffre. She says she was coerced into sexual encounters with him when she was only 17 years old by billionaire financier Jeffrey Epstein.
The palace said in a statement—quote—“with the queen’s approval and agreement, the Duke of York’s military affiliations and royal patronages have been returned to the queen."
Andrew stepped back from public duties in 2019, amid controversy over his connections to Epstein.
Reporting for WORLD, I’m Anna Johansen Brown.
I’m Kent Covington. Straight ahead: the ethics of using animal organs to keep people alive.
Plus, music that opens Scripture for the whole family.
This is The World and Everything in It.
MYRNA BROWN, HOST: It’s Friday, January 14th, 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. Time now to welcome John Stonestreet. He’s the president of the Colson Center and host of the Breakpoint podcast. Morning, John.
JOHN STONESTREET, GUEST: Morning.
EICHER: So, this week we learned of a scientific first, a heart transplant using a pig heart to replace the failing heart of a 57-year-old. The story is that the man was suffering from terminal heart disease. He was not eligible for a human heart transplant and his time was running short, so under a “compassionate use” emergency authorization from the government, he was able to have the surgery and thus we have another “first-ever” in the field of medicine.
A colleague of mine here at WORLD made a helpful comment—she’s the editor who oversees our daily news email we call “The Sift.” Lynde Langdon recalled for her readers that one of her first responsibilities here at WORLD years ago was writing about questions of medical ethics and so in announcing this news this week, she made the observation—and I’ll quote her—“As you read about this medical breakthrough and others, be wary of stories that shout, ‘We can do it!’ without asking, ‘Should we do it?’”
Not suggesting an answer necessarily, but our Opinions editor Albert Mohler had a piece that said the same. We need to ask the question “should”? Mohler wrote:
“[T]he perils of unrestrained technology and unprincipled medicine are frightful. There are serious moral and worldview issues to be addressed with this new procedure,” he writes, but doesn’t see a categorical reason theologically to reject it.
So here we are—as a culture—are we even equipped ethically for all the breakthroughs science might offer us?
STONESTREET: We're not equipped ethically for the breakthrough science that's already happened, much less where we're going.
I mean, obviously, ethically we're not thinking about these things well. And it's not just that we're coming up with the wrong conclusions. It’s that we're bringing the wrong framework to bear.
Science has largely been driven with an ethical justification that if we can do it, therefore we ought to do it. And that is a terrible place to be.
Now look, Dr. Mohler’s, right, there's not a categorical reason to reject necessarily using animal organs, animal parts in humans, we already do it in many ways. In other words, before we implanted a pig heart into this gentleman, we've been doing pig heart valves for a long time, muscle tissue. A friend of mine in college had her ACL repaired. This is back when they didn't know how to repair ACLs and they were trying everything. And she got, you know, a rebuilt ACL from the cadaver of a cow. I mean, it was just really amazing.
But again what's driving this is very limited. I'll give you one example. The promise that came with this new story was that we have got a shortage of organs for donation. Now, let me just trace the history here, because it tells you everything you need to know. I'm not opposed to organ donation. But organ donation is brand new. Organ donation came with the promise that now people would be able to get a second chance at life. It became an opportunity for a select few, with an incredible breakthrough. Now, whenever we hear about organ transplantation and the organ donor waiting list, it's now a crisis. Now, what needs to happen for this crisis to be averted? People need to die so that we can take their organs and given them this. Do you see the ethical complicity here? I mean, it's just really an amazing thing.
The issue is that so often in these technologies, the promise becomes an expectation and the expectation becomes a right. And it's essentially a purely pragmatic way, if good things can come out of it, therefore the action itself is justified. What's not playing a role here is anything in terms of ontological ethics, that the practice itself is an ethical practice, what's not in the conversation at all, is the uniqueness of the human person, that every person is made in the image of God. And that humans aren't just mere animals. You know, that sort of framing is absolutely required to prevent abuses, particularly to human rights. So I agree, I don't see anything ethically problematic. But look, we do not have the ethical framing for the technology. Our technology has so outpaced our ethics, you can't even see it from here.
BROWN: John, I’ve heard you say more than once on this program, parents do your homework when college hunting with your kids! And I would add, you might also want to be sure you’re reading WORLD reporter Leah Savas’ weekly newsletter. It’s called Vitals.
This week she’s calling attention to a recent report revealing the connections 69 schools in this country with some brand of Christian confession share with Planned Parenthood.
It’s an astonishing article, pointing to schools like Baylor University, a Baptist school in Waco, Texas, the University of Notre Dame and St. John’s University, both Catholic Institutions, listing Planned Parenthood as a health resource for students or as a student-internship or student-volunteer opportunity. Some schools have allowed the abortion business to exhibit at career fairs. To my understanding, these universities aren’t being accused of actively promoting abortion, but the lack of clarity in their stance might be just as harmful. What do you think?
STONESTREET: Well yeah, I agree, I think it's very problematic. I think it's problematic not just because there is a partnership, but because what this organization is being described at is not accurate, and it's a healthcare provider, you know, a place where you can actually, you know, go volunteer. That is a problem. And it does, I think, point to the level at which parents do need to investigate the colleges that their kids choose. Now, look, all the schools that you mentioned are schools that are very good at a lot of things, Baylor, for example, their men's basketball team is really good. But I mean, even so, they have wonderful scholars, they have people on the faculty that would be just as alarmed by this partnership as we are.
The problem is there are so many degrees by which a college that claims to be Christian can compromise. And I think it's a radically different thing, whether a college claims to abide by Christian values or whether it doesn't, because then you know whether you're going to get an honest education, I think, you know, and it goes deeper than this, you know, for a school that doesn't have a relationship with Planned Parenthood, but has pro abortion faculty teaching in their psychology departments or their, you know, feminist scholars, that cloak kind of a pro abortion, second wave feminism in the guise of Christian language. Those in my mind, by the way, are the most dangerous, those that teach lies and call it the truth. Also, I think there's just, you know, in a pragmatic sense, schools that are so committed to running away from any sort of conservative Christian identity, or even a Christian identity overall, are schools that are going to be talking about it all the time. And if you're talking about it all the time, then you're missing out on all the things that really matter in life. You know, in other words, I think a lot of Christian education, and I put Christian there in quotes, is wasted on conversations about things that get in the way of actually giving a kid a real education. And so all these things have to be factored in. It's not just like, I don't want my kids to hear things that aren't true. If you know they're going into an environment where these various ideas are explored. That's one thing. If you're being told something else, and they're getting these ideas under the guise of Christian teaching, that's a deception. And if you're wasting a ton of time fighting really silly battles, then you're not actually getting a real education. So there's the deception angle, and then there's the stewardship angle. Do I really want to spend my money on something that's not going to be as good of an education as I might get elsewhere.
BROWN: John Stonestreet is president of the Colson Center and host of the Breakpoint podcast. Thanks, John.
STONESTREET: Thank you both.
NICK EICHER, HOST: Plenty of people have been receiving their mail a little bit late these days, but I don’t think we can blame this one on the pandemic.
Angelina Gonsalves—she goes by Jean. She just recently received a letter that her late husband mailed a long, long time ago.
Seventy-six years ago, to be exact.
Army sergeant John Gonsalves died in 2015. He was a World War II vet.
He wrote this letter when he was just a 22-year-old soldier—wrote it from Germany, mailed it to his mom, of course she never received it.
His wife just did.
Here’s her reaction, Jean Gonsalves. The audio from CBS Boston WBZ.
GONSALVES: I love it. I love it. And when I think that it’s all his words, I can’t believe it. It’s wonderful. And I feel like I have him here with me.
The letter turned up in her mailbox with a handwritten note from post office workers. It said “Due to the age and significance to your family history ... delivering this letter was of utmost importance to us.”
File that one under 'way better late than never!'
It’s The World and Everything in It.
MYRNA BROWN, HOST: Today is Friday, January 14th. 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 new streaming series based on the novels of mystery writer P.D. James.
Here’s reviewer Emily Whitten.
EMILY WHITTEN, REVIEWER: Last November, Acorn TV launched the crime drama series, Dalgliesh. If you’re a mystery fan, think Endeavor meets Wallander with some of the flair of Sherlock Holmes. We first meet the inscrutable inspector headed to a crime scene in his forest green Jaguar.
CLIP: [CAR SOUNDS]
But he’s soon down to business at Nightingale House, part of a British school for nursing. When a young nurse dies during a class exercise, Dalgliesh assumes it might be more than just a prank.
CLIP: ‘DS Masterson and I will be taking a witness statement from each of you. We’ll also be requesting your fingerprints. Until we know more, we’re treating this as an unexplained death. Who was it who noticed the disinfectant is missing from the toilets?’ ‘Me.’
The six part series covers three of P. D. James’s novels, with each portrayed over two episodes. That gives each storyline a longer arc than many TV shows, though some characters still lack depth. It certainly can’t compete with longform mysteries like Broadchurch.
That said, the series hits two targets dead center. First, the cinematography based in Northern Ireland. It’s worth seeing the stunning coastal scenes in The Black Tower…
CLIP: [COASTAL SOUNDS]
…or the bustling streets and cloistered drawing rooms of 1970s London in A Taste for Death.
CLIP: [CITY SOUNDS]
Second, actor Bertie Carvel plays Dalgliesh with remarkable depth and gravitas. On the surface, he’s the strong, silent type. But he’s also a published poet, haunted by the death of his wife and baby. Here’s Carvel in the bonus material.
CARVEL: The thing that interests me about Adam Dalgliesh is that I think he’s quite difficult to describe. On the one hand, he’s taciturn, ruthless, inscrutable. On the other hand, underneath those still waters, there’s a deep, emotional hinterland.
Later in that interview, Carvel aptly describes Dalgliesh as a sort of hawk or an eagle. Poised and determined in his search for the truth. He’s never crass or rude, but he will push a witness when necessary. In this scene from A Taste for Death, he presses Lady Barbara about possible motives for killing her husband, Sir. Paul.
CLIP: ‘You’re the chief beneficiary of his will.’ ‘I’m his wife.’ ‘There’s a modest legacy from Ms. Matlock.’ ‘Jolly good.’ ‘Did Sir Paul know about your affair?’ ‘No.’ ‘I think he did. I think he’d found out and that contributed to his state of mind before his death.’ ‘You can think what you like.’ ‘Was he threatening you with divorce?’
P. D. –or Phyllis Dorothy–James published 14 novels featuring Dalgliesh between 1962 and 2008. Here’s James in a 2013 interview with Jennifer Byrne.
JAMES: I thought, I’ll give him the characters I admire. Of high intelligence and compassion but not sentimentality. Sensitivity, courage, and reticence.
I don’t think James was a true follower of Christ, but I see God’s common grace in her writing. For instance, as Dalgliesh hunts down killers, we also see that he holds marriage and women in general in high regard. That’s opposed to other male characters who react with prejudice to female officers.
CLIP: ‘I met the boss at a job down there.’ ‘Is that right? He took a fancy to you, did he?’
In the new shows, racial prejudice gets added to the mix, at times in heavy-handed ways. Even so, Dalgliesh’s commitment to justice remains a positive moral center to these stories. It also drives the action. At first, each murder appears to be suicide or just an accident. But Dalgliesh’s sharp eye and persistence eventually uncover the truth, even as others question his judgment.
CLIP: Human beings do matter, and everyone deserves justice.
The show earned a TV-14 rating for bloody violence, sexual content, and occasional bad language. That means this isn’t a good pick for families with kids and young teens. Even for adults, I recommend keeping the remote handy to fast-forward through the rare sex scene or drawn out death scene.
One final criticism: Each novel is portrayed by a different director or set of directors. Dalgliesh and other characters do provide continuity, but some approaches just don’t work as well as others. For instance, the music and religious characters in Shroud for a Nightingale feel too much like a horror story at times.
That said, mature mystery lovers can still find a lot to enjoy in Dalgliesh. P. D. James put it this way.
JAMES: Here you have a form of literature with a terrible puzzle at its heart. And it is solved. By the end of the book it is solved. Not by good luck or some kind of supernatural agency. It’s solved by human beings, by intelligence and courage and perseverance.
Not bad qualities to savor on a cold winter evening. At least until Jesus comes back, with true justice and healing in his wings.
I’m Emily Whitten.
MUSIC: [Dalgliesh theme music]
MYRNA BROWN, HOST: Today is Friday, January 14th. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Myrna Brown.
NICK EICHER, HOST: And I’m Nick Eicher. You know the Biblical proverb: Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.
And Myrna, I see here you found a group of Christian music artists who are working to live out that Proverb.
BROWN: I did, in fact they’ve spent the last decade not only making music for their children, but with them.
The year was 2012. A handful of busy Christian music artists took a collective finger and pushed pause on their solo projects.
SANDRA MCCRACKEN: Initially it was Ellie Holcomb and Katy Bowser Hutson, Flo Paris Oakes and Alice Smith.
That’s singer/songwriter and musician Sandra McCracken, the group’s organizer.
SANDRA MCCRACKEN: And I just started doing home recordings so I had a home studio and we all were neighbors in the same community.
All young mothers, creating and contemplating from their Nashville, Tennessee carpool lines.
SANDRA MCCRACKEN: So what would it be like to actually create and write and imagine songs that you don’t mind having stuck in your head because they actually open up the truths of God for you. So I was the one who hit 'Record' to capture that.
SONG: Little one, who made the seas? Who made the birds, who made the bees?
With 10 songs in tow, that intimate group of moms, along with their husbands and more than enough children to start a small choir, became known as the Rain for Roots Collective. McCracken says it took them a while, but they finally found a name that captured God at work in their lives.
SANDRA MCCRACKEN: So much of the work that God does is underground. Like if you see a field of flowers, a lot of what is actually germinating is taking place in the darkness when no one else sees what’s going on. So the idea of nourishing what is really beneath the surface, is behind this image of Rain For Roots. So whatever grows up out of that place is receiving the nourishment that God is given it.
The harvest, says McCracken, has been plentiful.
SONG: The storm was big (the storm was big) The boat was small (the boat was small)
In the past decade Rain For Roots has produced four different projects and written 42 kid-friendly, biblically rich songs. Jesus Stops A Storm is from their debut project, Big Stories for Little Ones.
SANDRA MCCRACKEN: On one level it is like this simple child call and response. The storm was big, the boat was small. Just telling the story of what was happening. And then the more you internalize it, the more you realize that I need to hear that in some of the emotional ups and downs that I feel even as a grown woman.
McCracken gets a gold star for bringing Scripture songs to life that aren’t limited to kid’s music. Yes, the lyrics are simple. But parents, you won’t be bored as you listen along with your children. McCracken also proves she isn’t afraid to take risks with her music.
ALL THINGS BRIGHT AND BEAUTIFUL - TRADITIONAL VERSION
On the group’s latest project, All Creatures, she adapts this 19th century Anglican hymn, All Things Bright And Beautiful and transforms it into a singable folk melody that still honors the original hymn.
ALL THINGS BRIGHT AND BEAUTIFUL - MCCRACKEN VERSION
SANDRA MCCRACKEN: So this was one that was kind of on the fence. Where I was like, the original one was so good, and I wouldn’t want to disturb that. But at the same time, I really wanted to write something that would make it singable for a wide audience, like a joyful melody you could sing with a big group or with kids.
McCracken’s distinct voice falls somewhere on the alto-soprano continuum. And whether she’s paraphrasing, quoting or simply alluding to Scripture, her lyrics have a Biblical feel. The youngest of five children, McCracken says that’s her mother’s hand on her life.
SANDRA: A few years before I was born, she had been going to this women’s Bible study in Kirkwood, Missouri and started really deepening her faith, so I was the recipient of that kind of awakening for her - like just this love for the Scripture and knowledge of the Scripture that she was experiencing that then was passed down to me as the youngest.
McCrackin continues that tradition with her own three children. In 20-14 she recorded the song Come To Me, with her then 5-year-old daughter, Carter.
SONG: COME TO ME
Today, you can hear 12-year-old Carter McCracken and other young voices, ages 2 to 16 years old, singing All Creatures of Our God and King. But McCracken says if you listen closely you’ll hear even more.
SONG: ALL CREATURES OF OUR GOD AND KING
SANDRA MCCRACKEN: You hear a community reflected in that music. And a mutual desire for us to share the truths that we believe with the children that are in our lives because we know we need to hear it. And so the more we can pass that on to them, we recognize that that promise continues through generations.
Reporting for WORLD I’m Myrna Brown.
NICK EICHER, HOST: It’s time to thank our dedicated team:
Mary Reichard, Kent Covington, Josh Schumacher, David Bahnsen, Katie Gaultney, Caleb Bailey, Amy Lewis, Steve West, Onize Ohikere, Janie B. Cheaney, Jill Nelson, Cal Thomas, John Stonestreet, and Emily Whitten.
MYRNA BROWN, HOST: Carl Peetz and Johnny Franklin 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: Wait for the Lord, be strong and let your heart take courage. Wait for the Lord.
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.