The World and Everything in It: July 5, 2024 | WORLD
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The World and Everything in It: July 5, 2024


WORLD Radio - The World and Everything in It: July 5, 2024

On Culture Friday, the business sector pulls back on Pride Month; a review of Despicable Me 4; and on Ask the Editor, a fond farewell to one of WORLD’s own. Plus, the Friday morning news

The 53rd annual Chicago Pride Parade in Chicago, Sunday Associated Press/Photo by Anthony Vazquez/Chicago Sun-Times

PREROLL: The World and Everything in It is made possible by listeners like me. I'm Carrie Gray from Williamson, Georgia. And today I am standing on Mars Hill in Athens, Greece where Paul proclaimed in Acts 17: “The God who made the world and everything in it does not live in temples made by man.” I hope you enjoy today's program.

MYRNA BROWN, HOST: Good morning! Today on Culture Friday, a quieter Pride Month. Is that even possible and could it signal a change?

NICK EICHER, HOST: John Stonestreet is standing by. We’ll talk about that and more in just a few minutes. Also today …

GRU: Why can’t you be more like your sister Edith. She lies all the time.

EDITH: No, I don’t.

GRU: See! See! She’s lying right now!

Despicable Me 4. Collin Garbarino says it’s silly and shallow, but may keep the kids entertained.

And later, Ask the Editor. Paul Butler says farewell to a colleague and friend.

BROWN: It’s Friday, July 5th. 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 with today’s news.

SOUND: [Big Ben chimes]

KENT COVINGTON, NEWS ANCHOR: UK election » As Big Ben struck 10 o’clock last night in London … the results of exit polls from Thursday's election were projected onto the side of the BBC's London headquarters.

SOUND: [Election cheers]

Labour Party supporters celebrated as the words, “Labour landslide” flashed in bright colors.

SOUND: [Election cheers]

The exit polling, commissioned by UK media outlets predicted that the Labour Party would enjoy a majority of roughly 170 seats ousting the Conservative Party from power.

That would make the Labour leader, Keir Starmer, the next prime minister. And he’s promising big changes, starting with the economy.

STARMER: The way we create wealth in this country is broken. It leaves far too many people feeling insecure. So we will reform it.

Outgoing Prime Minister Rishi Sunak surprised his own party when he called an election for July 4th which could have taken place as late as January of next year.

Hurricane » Hurricane Beryl is now lashing Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula after unleashing its wrath on Jamaica on Thursday.

One resident of Kingston, Jamaica said the then-Category-4 hurricane leveled homes and ripped apart infrastructure.

 RESIDENT: Everything is gone. Everything you can think about is gone. People are homeless. They need food, they need water.

The storm is blamed for at least nine deaths across the Caribbean.

Beryl has weakened over the Yucatan Peninsula. But Michael Brennan with the National Hurricane Center says from there … it will turn over warm Gulf waters.

BRENNAN: We are forecasting some re-strengthening over the Gulf of Mexico as Beryl turns more northwestward and approaches the coast of northeastern Mexico and south Texas.

He said the storm could make landfall there by Monday morning.

Hezbollah rocket attack » The Iran-backed terror group Hezbollah says it's launched over 200 rockets at several military bases in Israel as payback for a strike that killed one of its senior commanders.

The attack was one of the largest in the monthslong conflict along Israel’s border with Lebanon, where Hezbollah is based.

NETANYAHU: [Speaking Hebrew]

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday, “In the tough campaign against Lebanon we have set a principle - whoever harms us is a dead man.”

He added that the Israeli government is determined to restore security to the country’s northern border region to allow thousands of residents who have fled the fighting to return home.

Biden governor’s meeting » Democratic governors are presenting a united front after meetings with President Biden this week in the wake of his troubling debate performance.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul:

HOCHUL: I am here to tell you today that President Joe Biden is in it to win it.

Maryland Gov. Wes Moore said, “the president has always had our backs. We're going to have his back as well.” But he said it was a candid conversation with the president.

MOORE: We always believe that when you, when you love someone, you tell them the truth. And I think we came in and we were honest about the feedback that we were getting. We were honest about the concerns that we were hearing from people.

Many Democrats are worried that President Biden won’t just lose the White House … but could drag down every Democrat on the November ballots.

Biden addresses campaign concerns » The president also spoke with his campaign staff this week. He reportedly told them  … he is running for re-election and nobody is pushing him out.

Biden is doing damage control, not just behind closed doors, but also on the airwaves. He called into “The Source” radio show on WURD in Philadelphia.

BIDEN:  I had a bad debate, but 90 minutes on stage is does not erase what I've done for three and a half years.

But Political Science professor Chris Galdieri with Anselm College said containing the fallout from last week’s debate won’t be easy.

GALDIERE:  I think the problem he's facing is that none of these radio call ins or anything is going to get anywhere near the wall to wall coverage that the debate has.

Reporters this week grilled the White House about the president’s health and mental state. Officials insisted he is healthy and does not suffer from dementia or any cognitive impairment.

North California wildfires » Roaring flames continue to fill the Northern California skies with smoke. The blaze broke out over the weekend about 60 miles north of Sacramento … and has forced thousands to evacuate their homes.

Firefighters have made steady progress against the so-called Thompson Fire despite hot and windy weather. As of last night, the fire was about 7 percent contained.

I’m Kent Covington.

Straight ahead: Culture Friday with John Stonestreet. Plus, Ask the Editor for July.

This is The World and Everything in It.

MYRNA BROWN, HOST: It’s Friday the 5th of July, 2024.

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.

A little celebration today. All those flashes you saw and booms you heard last night, that had to have been us! We are so happy to report that the June Giving Drive was an unqualified success. Thanks to you, we met an audacious goal. If you remember Andrew Belz joining us last week and saying down to the last few days we needed $400-thousand to meet the goal. You blew right by that.

BROWN: And I am reliably told, because of postal delays, checks arriving in the mail postmarked the last day of June are still arriving, so we’re still counting.

But you’ve done so much, we can already say this June Giving Drive has been one of the biggest we’ve ever had,

EICHER: that’s right and so we’re going to get busy putting it to work and making this program better and more than it’s ever been. So thank you, thank you so much for supporting us. We’re humbled and we’re grateful.

Well, speaking of fireworks, it’s time for Culture Friday, and joining us now is John Stonestreet. He’s president of the Colson Center and host of the Breakpoint podcast.

Morning, John!


BROWN: John, this is our first conversation since the end of June, deemed Pride Month by the cultural power centers, and I want to quote one of our WORLD Opinions writers, Bethel McGrew, who says this is the “Pride Month that wasn’t.”

She pointed to dialed-back pride promotion by Target and other progressive retailers and says she thinks we may have reached a cultural tipping point.

I’d point to one other thing. Just a few days ago the rural retailer Tractor Supply released a statement saying, “We have heard from customers that we have disappointed them. We have taken this feedback to heart.” They go on to list five ways the company is making changes, including: breaking ties with the Human Rights Campaign, ending pride festival sponsorships, and eliminating DEI roles in the company.

So John, was this the Pride Month that wasn’t? Has something changed?

STONESTREET: Yeah, I think there's a lot here. And I'm not sure that it was the Pride Month that wasn't. I think, though, that there was one segment of culture that was a lot quieter than previous years. I mean, look, if this is what qualifies as a quiet Pride Month, then that says a lot more about previous Pride Months than it does about this one. It was still plenty loud in almost every segment of culture. The big exception was in the business segment of culture. Now listen, there's different ways people understand culture. You can divide it up into like the political sphere and the art sphere and the education sphere and the religious sphere and the home sphere and the business sphere. And if you do that, when the business sphere gets behind a cause, it's really powerful, because that's where the money is. And the business sphere can touch all the other spheres.

There's been a group of people, many of them Christians, who have been trying to highlight different corporations, like, I know the HRC seems really scary, but you don't have to be scared of them. That's the Tractor Supply story. Praise God for this great work by these organizations. I know many of them, and they're just this is really important work that they are doing.

But one of the reasons that we mistake and think this is quiet is because many of us get to June and somebody says it's Pride Month, and we're like, what's all the other months of the year? Pride Month isn't loud because the drum beat never stops everywhere else, especially in the arts and the entertainment. So when it's just a little bit quieter, and by the way, I think there's another piece of evidence for this, and I'll end with this.

Pride parades became a thing practicing some agenda items that were put forth in a book back in the 80s called After the Ball. One of those was, we've got to calm down. We can't have any of this public perversion. We've got to be victims, and we have to control ourselves in public. Now, it's really, really hard anymore to make the case that this is a movement made up of victims. They're the victimizers.

Number two, I don't know if you saw clips, if you did not see clips, please do not Google it, but in San Francisco and in Portland and elsewhere, the commitments to be on their best behavior during these celebrations, apparently has been is over, and what happened was everybody was on their best behavior so that they could get the kids, so that children would be brought by their parents. Children are still being brought by their parents, but what they experienced in San Francisco was nothing more than aggressive child abuse. That signals to everyone that they think that they're in a new safe territory.

Now, do I think this movement has overstepped its bounds, Target and so on? Absolutely. Do I think this signals the end? Nowhere near it yet.

EICHER: A couple of Supreme Court items I’d like to bring up, John, and I’ll begin with the decisions on the power of the administrative state, the regulators, this term. I’ll begin by saying, being Mary Reichard’s editor all these years, some of her vast legal knowledge has rubbed off on me, and the term “Chevron deference” is a thing I understood before the term re-entered the public conversation. But with the reversal of Chevron, that legal doctrine that allowed regulators to write most of the rules that affect us on a day-to-day basis, instead of Congress, there’s a cultural issue here. After Chevron now, there’s now a very good legal argument that reinterpretations of Title IX—allowing men to compete in women’s sports—may end up getting reversed.

But I’ll ask how you think this might play out. We’ve obviously seen a backlash to pro-life after the Supreme Court reversal of Roe v. Wade. I wonder if the same thing might happen here. What do you think?

STONESTREET: Yeah, because I think the regulations that matter here are not just those being imposed by the Biden administration's reinterpretation of Title IX. That's one face of it. The other face of it is the state by state legislative issues where you actually have now states moving in opposite direction, states moving to say, No, we are going to protect our female athletes, particularly our high schoolers. We are going to protect their ability to compete, and we're going to protect their safety and privacy. And so all this sort of stuff is going to be squashed under our watch.

I think we're, you know, almost half the states now have done this. And in fact, I just saw a map of it this past week, and it's like all the states in the middle are protecting women and girls and their ability to compete and have privacy, and all the states on the outside are not. And it is, of course, Florida being the exception, and also the southeast. But man, especially when you talk about New England and you talk about the west coast and you talk about some of these western states, I do think we are seeing this. And we first noted that it was, as you mentioned, something that was emerging out of the overturning of Roe v. Wade and the state by state battle over Dobbs, that now we have a nation divided state by state over an issue of incredible moral consequence, and it seems that this is the way this is going as well.

So this Supreme Court decision might reign in the federal legislative rule makers that have been imposing new laws, and that's why we're also dizzy from one administration to the next. But it doesn't do anything, in a sense, to prevent the state level reinterpretation of this. And you have states now, and at least lawmakers openly flirting, not only in allowing this sort of competition of boys in girls’ spaces, but also eliminating parents from the process, so inserting themselves, because the only way you can ultimately do this is to insert the state and state officials in between the children and their parents. And this is a sort of language that we hear, and I think that's where this is going to go is again, a state to state battle.

EICHER: The other Supreme Court case, John, real quick, the emergency abortion decision tossed out on a technicality, basically, but it did require Idaho to have to scale back from a no exceptions abortion law. Do you think pro-lifers may be going too far in some cases? Is the strategy too much aimed at setting up challenges instead of writing laws a little more carefully? What's your sense?

STONESTREET: Yeah, it's a difficult one to really make sense of, honestly. I would say that there's real work to be done in clarifying, particularly the laws that apply to medical professionals and their care for women. Now I don't think that there is anything here other than some theater happening on behalf of medical professionals who are wanting to really push forward abortion rights, or maybe, in the best case scenario, ignorance of really what the law requires, and just not wanting to get their hands dirty and going, Well, I'm not going well, I'm not going to get myself in trouble, maybe a good bit of that as well. But there needs to be an awful lot of educating that happens, and there also needs to be great care now, as these protections are rebuilt into law.

I mean, look, it is something, isn't it, that we go back 150 years ago and you didn't need these protections, because people just had the moral framework. I mean here the doctors—a moral framework to know what could be done and what couldn't be done and how to do it, and what comes first, in terms of priorities, of life saving, you know, therapies and treatments and so on, and how that impacts. And the difference between intent, you know, that sort of ethical training as part of the profession, not to mention the cultural landscape has changed so dramatically when it comes to ethics that that framework is not there. So that means you have to put it in the letter of the law, I think, and then do a good bit of educating. So, you know, no one said, Well, some people did, but they were wrong. Most of us said the end of Roe means the beginning of the work, and this is another example of that.

BROWN: All right. John Stonestreet is President of the Colson Center, and he's host of the Breakpoint Podcast. Thanks so much, John. Hope you enjoyed the Fourth.

STONESTREET: You too, thanks so much!

NICK EICHER, HOST: Today is Friday, July 5th. Thank you for turning to WORLD Radio to help start your day. Good morning. I’m Nick Eicher.

MYRNA BROWN, HOST: And I’m Myrna Brown.

Coming next on The World and Everything in It: a new animated family movie for this Fourth of July weekend. Arts and culture editor Collin Garbarino reviews Despicable Me 4.


COLLIN GARBARINO: This week a new installment in Illumination Studios’ reliably entertaining Despicable Me franchise opens in theaters. Gru and his minions are back and they must face a dangerous new enemy while navigating some new family challenges.

Steve Carell returns as the voice of the somewhat cranky, mostly reformed supervillain Gru, who leads a gang of yellow minions as he works for the Anti-Villain League. In each installment of Despicable Me, Gru gets some new family members. First he adopts three adorable little girls. Then he falls in love and gets married. Then he finds his long-lost brother. In Despicable Me 4, Gru and his wife Lucy have to keep up with a little baby boy.

GRU: Junior! Junior, come back here! Don’t touch anything. No, no no no no.

But having a rambunctious and somewhat cranky baby around the house isn’t the family’s biggest problem. Maxime Le Mal is a rival from Gru’s past days as a villain. Will Farrell voices Maxime with an over-the-top French accent that makes his normal voice almost unrecognizable. When Maxime breaks out of prison swearing revenge on Gru, the Anti-Villain League is so concerned that they send the Gru family into hiding.

SILAS RAMSBOTTOM: For your own safety, you’ll all be assuming new identities.

GRU: New identities? Is that really necessary?

Gru becomes a solar panel salesman named Chet. His wife Lucy, a hairstylist named Blanche. And the whole family must adjust to an upper-middle class suburban lifestyle. Not everyone is on board with dissembling.

AGNES: We aren’t supposed to lie.

GRU: Don’t think of it as lying. Think of it as high-stakes pretending.

AGNES: Well, I’m not going to.

Some of the humor relies on taking the everyday conversations parents have with their kids and turning them on their heads.

GRU: Why can’t you be more like your sister Edith. She lies all the time.

EDITH: No I don’t.

GRU: See! See! She’s lying right now!

The family struggles to live normally in suburbia. Gru can’t get respect from the neighbors. Lucy fails abysmally at her new job. And the girls have trouble fitting in and making friends. In the midst of this, Gru gets conned into a heist, where we see the world’s greatest thief dust off his old villain skills.

GRU: You know… the most important part of a heist is being constantly aware of potential dangers.

[Minions start panicking]

Of course, nothing goes according to plan.



POLLY: Oh no! I ruined our heist!

Despicable Me 4 is rated PG for some rude humor—most of it having to do with Gru Junior’s diaper. There’s also plenty of comic action and slapstick violence. Those yellow minions sure can take a beating. And speaking of the minions, there's a subplot in which five of them get superpowers reminiscent of comic book characters.


Fans will undoubtedly love this latest installment that contains all the typical madcap mayhem. But don’t expect too much from the plot. The various scenes are amusing in isolation, but they don’t hang together well. Maxime is the dangerous supervillain everyone’s so afraid of, but he’s missing from two-thirds of the movie. Much of the second act comprises unrelated comic bits in which the family members fail at suburbia.

The Gru family keeps growing. And the screenwriters are faced with the challenge of giving every member their moment in the script without letting the story get disjointed. They don’t really pull it off.

And the subplot involving mega minions with superpowers? It feels like an attempt to pad the thinness of this 95 minute film. Even the screenwriters seem aware that they’ve compiled a series of sly jokes about movie tropes rather than a cohesive story. One of the characters even says, “I’m sick of superheroes.”

Despite the failings of its narrative structure, kids will enjoy the movie for what it is—a silly romp full of ridiculous moments. But older fans might not find enough substance to warrant repeat viewings.


I’m Collin Garbarino.

MYRNA BROWN, HOST: Today is Friday, July 5th, 2024. 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. Up next: a heartfelt goodbye. In this month’s Ask the Editor, WORLD Radio executive producer Paul Butler says farewell to one of our own.

PAUL BUTLER: Emily Whitten started freelancing with WORLD more than a decade ago. She primarily wrote book and movie reviews for WORLD Magazine before launching her podcast series: The Classic Book of the Month. WORLD radio host Joseph Slife introduced the series on January 2nd, 2017…

JOSEPH SLIFE: Today we begin a new reading series with book reviewer Emily Whitten. Good morning, Emily.

EMILY WHITTEN: Hey, Joseph. Happy New Year!

SLIFE: Happy New Year to you, too. And with the start of a new year, it’s a good time to start new positive habits such as seeking out and reading great, toward that end, tell us about your new series.

WHITTEN: That word “classic” points out that I’ll be focusing on books that have proven their value across the decades and centuries. C. S. Lewis once called older books the “clean sea breeze of the centuries,” and I think he’s right. But more than that, the writer of Hebrews talks about how God’s people who lived before us form a “cloud of witnesses” encouraging us to run with endurance the race set before us. That’s what I hope this series will do--bring us the witness of wise men and women who can teach us to think more clearly, to love God more deeply, and ultimately serve him more fully.

Over the last seven years Emily has done just that. Through careful analysis of more than 80 books, our faith has been strengthened and our love deepened. Here are a few highlights:

WHITTEN: Melville's magnum opus is clearly a classic of American literature. But if like me, you tried to read the book in the past and didn't get very far. You aren't alone. Early reviews of Moby Dick were overwhelmingly negative. Perhaps the worst criticism came from Melville himself who called Moby Dick a wicked book.

WHITTEN: Welcome to the Rexer Family Dinner Table. On March 26th, my husband, two girls and I joined the Rexer family of seven for supper at their home in Nashville and not just any supper but one inspired by our classic book of the month for April: “The Supper of the lamb.” It's a 1969 cookbook by Robert Farrar Capone. In t he book's first three pages, Capone offers an ingredient list for four lamb supper recipes. As an episcopal priest, Capon goes beyond the how of cooking to the why. In a word worship.

WHITTEN: Theologian and pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote “Life Together” in 1938. The Nazis had recently shut down his underground seminary where he lived with 25 students. So he used the time to put some of his reflections in writing.

BONHOEFFER: It is nothing else but our fellowship with Jesus Christ that leads us to the ignominious dying that comes in confession in order that we may in truth share in his cross.

WHITTEN: Our classic book of the month is J Gresham Machin’s 1923 book: “Christianity and Liberalism.” Machin was a professor at Princeton at the time and his calling out of liberalism made plenty of waves. Liberals often see Jesus as an example for faith, not the object of faith. They admit Jesus was a great man, but they might argue his death didn't atone for sin and that trust in him doesn't save.

PETERSON: Instead, the walk to the college had been long, hot, and difficult.

WHITTEN: That's Nancy Peterson's audiobook version of our classic book of the month: “Surprised by Oxford” by Carolyn Weber. You might expect her writing to be erudite, and it is, but she's also down to earth, sharing simple raw insights into her life as a daughter and friend. And that writing style has reader appeal beyond academia. Readers should know that the book represents secular college life in a realistic but non-graphic way. If this book had a movie rating, it might be PG-13 for some of these elements even so this remains one of the wisest books I've ever read.

MOVIE CLIP: ‘Strike three, you’re out!’ ‘Yeah! One more just like that, Davey.’ ‘No batter.’ ‘Easy out, easy out.’

WHITTEN: That’s a clip from the 1981 movie adaptation of Chaim Potok’s novel, The Chosen. The book opens in 1944—the height of World War II. It follows two Jewish American families through the post-war period and the creation of modern Israel. Except for a few instances of bad language including use of God’s name in vain, this is a clean thought provoking story of ideas. Christian readers who look closely here can see shadows of Jesus, the true chosen one.

Before serving with WORLD, Emily Whitten worked with Janie B Cheaney. Together they launched Redeemed Reader—a books resource for families.

JANIE CHEANEY: Emily and I met over books. There is no better way to meet, in my opinion. Have you ever spotted someone reading a book you really loved and you couldn't resist starting a conversation about it? Well, that's not how our friendship happened, but close, she started emailing me about this or that column I'd written and we went from there like me, she's been moved and shaped by great literature, starting with the Bible of course, the book that tells us who we are and what we're meant to be.

But from that point, each of us responds a little differently to this author or that story or those devotional thoughts. We're enriched by friends who enthusiastically ask, have you read this for years? Emily has been making friends over books on this very podcast.

I'll miss her warm Mississippi by way of Tennessee accent. Recommending Lewis or Shafer or other authors I haven't even heard of, but I'll have a reliable list of titles. I'm going to get to. And Emily, thank you for that.

I'm Janie B Cheney.

Emily has been a valued colleague, counselor, and a good friend…like her reviews of Classic Books, she has often spoken lovingly and wisely into our lives as staff and we will miss her at WORLD.

We plan to continue the work Emily started, and Classic Book of the Month will be back after a summer hiatus, but with a different host. In the meantime, we’ll continue to review more recent books as Emily modeled so well.

As we end, Emily has this reflection…

WHITTEN: I just want to say how grateful I am to God for my time at WORLD. I’m grateful I could learn new skills and make new friends I plan to keep forever. And I’m grateful for listeners who were willing to read alongside me for so many years. What an honor! I’m not sure what lies ahead, but (spoiler alert) I do know how this story ends…and I can’t wait to read that final chapter together with all of you who know Him.

And that’s this month’s Ask the Editor, I’m Paul Butler.

NICK EICHER, HOST: Well, it’s time to say thanks to the team members who helped put the program together this week:

Mary Reichard, David Bahnsen, Anna Johansen Brown, Lindsay Mast, Mary Muncy, Dan Darling, Leo Briceno, Carolina Lumetta, Onize Ohikere, Ray Hacke, Steve West, Juliana Chan Erickson, Emma Perley, Cal Thomas, John Stonestreet, and Collin Garbarino.

Thanks also to our breaking news team: Kent Covington, Lynde Langdon, Mark Mellinger, Travis Kircher, Lauren Canterberry, Christina Grube, and Josh Schumacher.

And thanks to the guys who stay up late to get the program to you early: Johnny Franklin and Carl Peetz.

MYRNA BROWN, HOST: Our producer is Harrison Watters.

Our Senior producer is Kristen Flavin and Paul Butler is Executive producer, with additional production assistance from Benj Eicher.

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, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” —Matthew 6:19-21

Let’s worship our Father with brothers and sisters in Christ in church this weekend. And, Lord willing, we’ll meet you right back here on Monday.

Go now in grace and peace.

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


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