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The World and Everything in It: March 16, 2023


WORLD Radio - The World and Everything in It: March 16, 2023

An Arizona school district cuts ties with Arizona Christian University over its statement of beliefs; French lawmakers move towards raising the retirement age despite pushback; and how a musician in Asheville found peace through making hammer dulcimers. Plus: the Republican response to the Tucker tapes, a 72-year career in radio, commentary from Cal Thomas, and the Thursday morning news.

People demonstrate in Bayonne, southwestern France, Wednesday, March 15, 2023. (AP Photo/Bob Edme)

PREROLL: The World and Everything in It is made possible by listeners like us. I’m Katie Laven, a wife, mom, and the nurse manager at my local pregnancy resource center in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. And I’m Ellie Bontrager from Limon, Colorado and the mother of Katie. We are informed, educated, and inspired by this show every day. We hope you enjoy today’s program.

MARY REICHARD, HOST: Good morning! A school district in Arizona tells student teachers from a Christian University they are not welcome.

TAMILLIA VALENZUELA: I want to know how bringing people from an institution that is ingrained in their values that will very directly impact three of your board members, who are a part of the LGBTQ community.

MYRNA BROWN, HOST: Also France grapples with raising the retirement age for pensioners.

Plus, the Tucker tapes. What’ll the release mean of more security footage from January 6?

And we’ll meet a man who makes beautiful musical instruments.

JERRY READ SMITH: Who in the world wants to make a trapezoidal musical instrument with 100 strings on it and try to make a living at it? You’ve got to be kidding me!

BROWN: And commentator Cal Thomas on pharmacies and abortion pills.

REICHARD: It’s Thursday, March 16th. This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Mary Reichard.

BROWN: And I’m Myrna Brown. Good morning!

REICHARD: Now the news. Here’s Kent Covington.

Jets scrambled to intercept Russian jets » British and German fighter jets scrambled to intercept a Russian aircraft flying very close to NATO airspace near Estonia on Wednesday.

That incident came just one day after two Russian fighter jets took down a US surveillance drone over the Black Sea.

US Defense Sec. Lloyd Austin:

LLOYD AUSTIN: It’s part of a pattern of aggressive, risky, and unsafe actions by Russian pilots in international airspace.

In response, British and German jets are now patrolling the skies along NATO’s eastern flank.

Ukraine » Austin spoke after meeting with leaders from dozens of other nations supporting Ukraine against Russia. He spoke alongside Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman, General Mark Milley. He said heavy fighting continues in eastern Ukraine.

MARK MILLEY: Ukrainian soldiers wear the blue and yellow of the Ukrainian flag. But the colors of 50 other nations that met today stand beside Ukraine to support the principles of the rules-based international order.

Russia continues to pay severely in terms of lives and military equipment of its continued war of choice. Right now, there is intensive fighting in and around Bakhmut, and the Russians are making small tactical advances but at great cost.

Outside of that, he said the war is relatively static, and that Russia is not making headway elsewhere.

Milley again said the United States and its allies will continue to back Ukraine for as long as it takes to repeal Russia and win the war.

Banking latest » Many banks across Europe are opening with lower stock prices today after shares in the Swiss bank Credit Suisse lost roughly a quarter of their value on Wednesday.

Finance expert Zachary Feinstein says Credit Suisse’s struggles are directly linked to the recent collapse of two U.S. banks.

FEINSTEIN - These are in some sense contagious in that they really are people looking at these balance sheets in new ways.

FEINSTEIN - Credit Suisse is kind of a confluence of these crises all happening at once. And that being such a big player in the financial system, anything that will hit them could ultimately spiral and cause a much larger financial panic.

Credit Suisse had said Wednesday that it had some issues with its internal finance reporting.

Spending, Inflation numbers » Federal Reserve officials are scheduled to meet this time next week to analyze conflicting inflation reports. WORLD’s Josh Schumacher has more.

JOSH SCHUMACHER: The government reported Wednesday that the U.S. Producer Price Index decreased slightly from January to February, after rising the month before.

Compared with a year ago, the Producer Price Index was only up 4.6 percent in February—compared with January’s 5.7 percent.

On Tuesday, another government report said consumer prices are still going up, but at a slower rate.

For WORLD, I’m Josh Schumacher.

Border chief contradicts » U.S. Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz Wednesday contradicted his boss when asked about the state of the U.S. southern border.

House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Mark Green posed this question:

GREEN: Does DHS have operational control of our entire border?
ORTIZ: No sir.

In earlier testimony, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas told lawmakers that border officials do have control of the border.

Ortiz’s testimony was part of a field hearing in McAllen, Texas. Green declared:

GREEN: In just the two years of Secretary Mayorkas’ reign at DHS, more people have come into this country that all of the eight years of Barack Obama’s presidency and all four years of the Trump presidency combined.

Some Republicans are pushing to impeach Mayorkas.

Democrats boycotted Wednesday’s field hearing, calling it a political stunt.

The hearing took place two days after more than 1000 migrants rushed the US border in El Paso over the weekend.

Another atmospheric river pounds California, 27K to evacuate » An atmospheric river that washed over California is expected to push into other states affecting millions of people.

The storm put thousands of Californians under evacuation orders and left more without power.

Meanwhile, another storm is brewing. It is expected to hammer California this time next week.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom:

NEWSOM - This was the 11th atmospheric river of the year of the season. We're only in March. None of us is naive about what we're looking forward to next week, potentially. On Sunday. Monday, Tuesday. 12th Atmospheric River.

NEWSOM - We now do have an emergency deck that includes, as of yesterday, 43 counties. Of the 58 in the state of California, we do has have, as I speak, 31 shelters that are operating in 14 counties in the state of California.

Meanwhile, a winter storm has been sweeping the northeastern U.S., knocking out power for thousands more and causing whiteout conditions on roads.

Abortion case » A judge in Texas is considering whether to reverse the FDA’s approval of abortion drugs. WORLD’s Lauren Canterberry has more.

LAUREN CANTERBERRY: Four doctors and four healthcare organizations brought the case... Saying the drugs harm women and girls.

At the hearing Wednesday, the judge asked whether the court has removed a longstanding FDA-approved drug before.

The plaintiff’s attorney said it hasn’t… but the reason the drug has been on the market for so long is that the FDA has stonewalled any attempt to remove it.

They argued that the FDA wrongly characterized pregnancy as an illness… and did not do proper research on the abortion drugs’ potential side effects.

The plaintiff’s attorney says 35 percent of women who took the drugs visited the emergency room within 30 days.

Right now, about half of the abortions in the U.S. are chemical abortions.

For WORLD, I’m Lauren Canterberry.

UC Davis protests »

AUDIO: [Protests]

A video captured by a Turning Point USA reporter shows police arresting Tuesday night at the University of California, Davis.

About 100 protesters became disruptive and violent outside a campus event center where Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk was speaking.

Ahead of the event, UC Davis Chancellor Gary S. May issued a video in which he claimed Kirk advocated for violence against transgender people. Kirk denies the allegation.

One police officer was injured during the altercations.

The violence is the latest in a string of protests against conservative speakers on college campuses.

Students at Stanford Law School heckled a federal court judge during a lecture last week.

I'm Kent Covington.

Straight ahead: Religious liberty in public school classrooms. Plus, building ancient musical instruments for modern ears. 

This is The World and Everything in It.

MYRNA BROWN, HOST: It’s Thursday the 16th of March, 2023.

You’re listening to The World and Everything in It and we thank you for joining us today! Good morning, I’m Myrna Brown.

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

First up: hostility towards a Christian university.

For over a decade, Arizona Christian University(A-C-U) has worked with the Washington Elementary School District to supply student teachers for classrooms in Phoenix and Glendale, Arizona. The school district gets classroom help, and the students get teaching experience they need to qualify for certification.

That suddenly changed. At a school board meeting in February, the five members of the board unanimously voted to not renew the contract.

Why? Board member Tamillia Valenzuela explains:

TAMILLIA VALENZUELA: While I full-heartedly believe in religious freedom and people being able to practice whatever faith that they have, I had some very concerned concerns regarding looking at this particular institution. When I go to Arizona Christian University's website, and I'm taking this directly from their website…[4:01] that above all else, it is to influence people to be biblically minded. How does that hold space for people of other faiths? How does that hold space for our members of the LGBT community? How does that hold space for people who think differently and do not have the same beliefs? At some point, we need to get real with ourselves and take a look at who we're making legal contracts with and the message that that is sending to our community because that makes me feel like I could not be safe in this, in this school district.

BROWN: Valenzuela’s colleagues agreed and unanimously accepted her motion to end A-C-U’s contract…despite no prior complaints against A-C-U or any of its student teachers and despite the fact that the board had just heard a report on a shortage of teachers in the classroom.

AUDIO: [Motion and vote]

REICHARD: Two weeks later, A-C-U filed a lawsuit in federal court, arguing that the school district violated the university’s First Amendment rights by terminating the agreement solely on the basis of religion.

Last Thursday, in light of the lawsuit and complaints from members of the community, the Washington district school board devoted an hour of its regular meeting time to a public comment period. What happened next was anything but regular. Here’s WORLD Reporter Steve West.

STEVE WEST: There were hundreds of people there, they would, they could only, they only allowed 80 people to come in and sit in the audience of the board meeting. And it was, in a couple of shots that I saw, it was pretty packed, shoulder to shoulder in that room. And then they, if you wanted to speak, you had to fill out a piece of paper, I guess, and put your name and other information on there. And they collected those. And so something like 70 people wanted to speak, they only had an hour, they chose at random 32 of those pieces of paper and allow 32 people to speak for up to two minutes each.

BROWN: Three out of four of those who spoke opposed terminating A-C-U’s contract.

Here’s one of those people…Erica Smith is a health technician for one of the schools in the district.

ERICA SMITH: Terminating the contract has created disunity and stirs up conversations that portray you in a negative light. Is that what you wanted?

REICHARD: This lawsuit looks similar to recent Supreme Court disputes that favored religious liberty.

WEST: I think about a case from last year, Carson v. Makin is a case where it had to do with state funding for provided for, I guess, tuition vouchers for schools, and the state of Maine was trying to distinguish between and give that to secular schools, but not to religious schools. And the court. And the court basically said, No, you can't do that. If you're gonna offer a public benefit, you have to offer it to both religious and secular school, you can't make that you can't make that determination that you can treat them differently. So it's a fair treatment out of the issue, for one, but it's also overt hostility toward religion. And that's like the masterpiece cake shop case involving Jack Phillips, you know, the baker who, in Colorado, who his case went all the way to the Supreme Court over the fact that he declined to design a cake for a gay couple. And, you know, in that particular case, the Colorado Civil Rights Commission was openly hostile towards Jack Phillips’ beliefs and the Supreme Court overruled that lower case decision and sent the case back down based on that hostility.

BROWN: A-C-U now waits for the school board to respond to its lawsuit. Meanwhile, students from the university wait to learn if they can complete their required student teaching in public school classrooms.

WEST: They need these teachers in Arizona, and keeping these educators out of the classroom. Keeping them from practice teaching, is just overlooking the fact of this great need. In addition, like I said, there's no complaints here about these teachers. They're not in the schools to proselytize their schools, to teach, to really care for kids and to teach elementary school aged kids. So I think it's important to realize the great benefit that they provide to the school system.

REICHARD: Steve West is WORLD’s religious liberty beat reporter. If you’d like to read his article on this story, we’ve included a link in today’s transcript.

MRYNA BROWN, HOST: Well, up next on The World and Everything in It, January 6th revisited, again.

MARY REICHARD, HOST: Last week, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy gave Fox News show host Tucker Carlson access to 41,000 hours of Capitol security footage from January 6th, 2021. Starting on March 6, Carlson began releasing his initial discoveries.

TUCKER CARLSON: Media accounts describe Sicknick as someone who was, quote, slain on January 6th. The video we reviewed proves that is a lie. Here's surveillance footage of Sicknick walking in the capital after he was supposedly murdered by the mob.

BROWN: And here, Carlson talks about the (quote), QAnon Shaman, the guy wearing the buffalo hat.

CARLSON: The tape shows that the Capitol police never stopped Jacob Chansley, they helped him. They acted as his tour guides. We counted at least nine officers who were within touching distance of unarmed Jacob Chansley, not one of them even tried to slow him down.

REICHARD: Democrats were quick to condemn Carlson for his take on the events of Jan 6 as well as MCarthy for giving Carlson exclusive access to begin with. But several Republicans chimed in as well. Here is Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

MITCH MCCONNELL: It was a mistake in my view for Fox News to depict this in a way that's completely at variance with what our chief law enforcement official here at Capitol, thinks.

BROWN: Others, like North Dakota Senator Kevin Cramer, are frustrated with what Cramer calls the distraction of the Tucker tapes. Here’s Cramer on NBC.

KEVIN CRAMER: We should be talking about the southern border as you were discussing or that we should be talking about China and the challenge it possesses and, and talking about inflation and the budget that drives up deficits forever. And those are, those are winning arguments for Republicans not relitigating January six.

REICHARD: Cramer also said that he wishes McCarthy released the footage to all media outlets at the same time, rather than give Tucker Carlson exclusive access.

McCarthy promised on Sunday that other news outlets would get access to the tapes, but as of Wednesday evening, that has not happened.

WORLD Commentator Cal Thomas says that Carlson goes too far to say that the new evidence “overturns the single most powerful and politically useful lie that Democrats told us about January 6th,” but he says the tapes do add needed perspective.

CAL THOMAS: There is no question that there was violence and breaking of the law on January 6th and that the people who engaged in that activity should have and are being held accountable. But the heavily edited tapes produced by a former ABC news producer for the January 6th committee, which was 100% anti Trump, thanks to then Speaker Nancy Pelosi, rejecting the two Republicans that had been suggested for the committee, gives a different perspective than seeing all of the tapes about the peaceful people who just simply walked through the capitol and did not destroy anything. At the worst they might have been accused of trespassing. But I know people who were there peacefully and didn't break any other laws and yet who were sent to federal prison. I think seeing the rest of the tapes adds balance, but it certainly doesn't take away from the violence that did occur on that day.

BROWN: Thomas says that the problem of January 6th is not one of data, but of narrative.

THOMAS: One of the problems is that people tune into networks and read things that only reinforce what they believe instead of a more balanced approach. I think the January 6th Committee would have had far more credibility in the eyes of perhaps even Trump supporters if it had Republicans on the committee, who would have cross-examined witnesses and been able to present video evidence that was not presented by the majority anti Trump Democrats and the two Republicans on the committee.

REICHARD: The January 6th Committee may have ended back in December, but the tape they left on the cutting room floor indicates that there’s more to be said.

MYRNA BROWN, HOST: Up next on The World and Everything in It, protests in France.

When French President Emmanuel Macron was first elected, back in 2017, he promised economic reform to make France more competitive in the global marketplace. Part of that effort was pension reform. France has one of the most generous retirement systems in Europe, and it’s on track to run eleven-digit deficits within the next decade. Macron’s initial efforts to reform the pension system fizzled in the wake of the yellow-vest protests and then the pandemic.

MARY REICHARD, HOST: But after his reelection last year, Macron vowed to try again. His administration in January announced a new plan to raise the retirement age in France from 62 to 64. That’s already a concession: The original plan was a change to age 65. Even so, the proposal has French citizens out in the streets protesting. They’ve disrupted trains, metros, schools, even the power grid. Here’s audio from the gas company union going on strike.

AUDIO: [Chanting union protesters]

REICHARD: WORLD’s Global Desk Chief and Europe Reporter Jenny Lind Schmitt says that neither the protesters nor French authorities are likely to budge any time soon.

JENNY LIND SCHMITT: They are saying that, that money is the only thing that Macron will listen to and so that they have to get in the street and shut the system down in order for him to listen. And I think, you know, some of it is solidarity, some in industries that aren't as physically taxing are saying, No, this is we have to stand up to the government. But the government seems very intent on following through with the plans and had sent messages, Okay, we see you but we're not going to meet with the leaders of the unions. And there's even been a talk of using clause And that's a clause in the Constitution that says that the executive can put a law into place without consent of the parliament. And that's because Macron really wants this to pass. He's kind of staking his whole legacy on being an economic reformer and fixing the pension system. And so that is why he has been pulling out all the stops to make this work.

BROWN: While union leaders say that raising the retirement age will require workers in their sixties to work longer in physically taxing industries, supporters of the policy say that it’s the least terrible option for solving an existential problem. Here’s French official Olivier Varan speaking to BFM TV.


SCHMITT: Veran says, “The Senate has adopted this reform which asks the French to progressively work a little bit longer in order to balance our retirement system by 2030. This eliminates the unwished-for alternatives of raising taxes on the French, lowering retirement pensions, or increasing our nation’s debt for future generations.”

REICHARD: Yesterday [Wednesday], France’s Parliament came one step closer to raising the retirement age by approving the measure in joint committee. It will now go back to the Senate and National Assembly for a vote today [Thursday].

Regardless of the outcome of this vote, Schmitt says French lawmakers are right to stop kicking this problem down the road.

AUDIO: [French Protests]

SCHMITT: Somebody at some point needs to make some hard decisions, hard, unpopular decisions and follow through with them. And whatever one might think of Macron’s policies, I do think it's admirable that he has the courage to tell the French what they don't want to hear, and that if they want to be economically stable in the future, they need to make some hard decisions and hard changes now.

BROWN: That’s a lesson politicians in the US would also do well to learn.

Jenny Lind Schmitt is WORLD’s Global Desk Chief and Europe Reporter.

MARY REICHARD, HOST: Here's a Guinness Book of World Record we can get behind. Mary McCoy has been spinning country music records on Texas radio stations for a long time. Audio here from FOX 26 Houston:

MARY McCOY: It's quite a change from the turntables, the reel to reel, tape recorders and goodness, the eight tracks.

REICHARD: The 85-year old got her start after showing up at a radio station talent show. Soon after she started working at KMCO Radio in 1951. Her first program was a 15-minute live singing show. She was 12 at the time.

McCOY: I wasn't happy just doing the one where I sang for 15 minutes. I wanted to play records because I wanted to play the artist.

REICHARD: So it’s been 72 years! One perk? She's met a lot of famous musicians over the years.

McCOY: I had the pleasure of meeting all those artists from Jim Reeves, Elvis, oh goodness, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash. You name them.

REICHARD: And, McCoy’s still at it! Co-hosting two-hours, six days a week for K-Star Country in Huntsville. Meaning her record setting career time is still growing, and if I ever hope to catch up to her, I will have to keep hosting the podcast until I'm 120.

BROWN: You and me both, Mary.

MYRNA BROWN, HOST: Today is Thursday, March 16th. Thank you for turning to WORLD Radio to help start your day.

Good morning. I’m Myrna Brown.

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

Coming next on The World and Everything in It: a journey of faith. Today we meet a folk musician who set out to build the perfect hammered dulcimer—and in the process, found Christ.

Recent WJI graduate Travis Kircher is now a WORLD associate correspondent, and he brings us the story


TRAVIS KIRCHER, REPORTER: The sound of these sanders and bandsaws in this cluttered tool shop in North Carolina are music to the ears of Jerry Read Smith.

JERRY READ SMITH: So we just start from rough lumber. The backs are made out of tulip poplar. The soundboards are made out of either Quarter Sawn Sitka Spruce, or Quarter Sawn African Sapele, or Quarter Sawn Western Red Cedar or a combination of two of those.

Each hammered dulcimer, hand built.

The result is much more musical, as you’ll hear.

Smith describes himself as a former hippy. He grew up listening to The Beatles. But today his shop and home are filled with a very different kind of music.


The hammered dulcimer is a unique instrument … it sort of looks like the inside of a piano. It’s played by striking a series of strings … with a pair of small hammers.

AUDIO: [Dulcimer Playing]

SMITH: It’s like, ‘Why does this guy do this?’ I make a musical instrument that’s been around for three or four thousand years. I make it in a modern style.

Smith says he first fell in love with the hammer dulcimer in 1974, when he was a student at Warren Wilson College.

SMITH: I thought, ‘Well, maybe I’ll just go down to the student union and see what’s going on.’ And when I got outside the door, I heard music inside and something was different. I didn’t know what it was.

But it kept him in his seat. Smith says he didn’t move the entire hour-and-a-half until the concert was done. And when it was over:

SMITH: I just said, ‘I gotta have one of these things.’

So he had to turn to the Smithsonian for a set of plans and get to work. He’s quick to admit the first hammer dulcimer he built wasn’t much to look at: plywood and cement nails.

But he dropped out of college to make instruments full time and hone his craft. He soon found success…not only as a builder… but as a performer at weddings, parties and church events. But stage fright kept him from enjoying it.

SMITH: And the part that bothered me the most was when they clapped. When they clapped I thought, ‘Oh God, don’t do that. I’m not worthy. I don’t deserve to be applauded. I mean, I’m just up here doing the best I can, you know? Please!”

But amid success Smith suffered loss. His father died of cancer, and his best friend died in a motorcycle accident. He says he learned the news of his friend’s death during a concert in Black Mountain, North Carolina.

SMITH: She said, ‘Waldo’s dead.’ I really believe that was the best concert I ever played in my life. I couldn't believe it. My best friend. But I came back and I played and I had absolutely no performance anxiety at all. I was just playing for him.

As Smith explains it … he came to understand success wasn’t enough. He didn’t have peace.

Raised in a universalist church, he struggled with who Jesus was. But that began to change one Sunday morning at a Kentucky craft fair, in a conversation with a vendor.

SMITH: I said, ‘What is the big deal with Jesus? I mean, come on! He obviously seems like an awesome guy and all that, but what is the big deal?’ And he just said, ‘Jesus is the bridge.’ And as if it was a movie, everything dissolved around me right then, and I went, ‘Oh. I’m trying to reach God. I’ve been trying to reach God my whole life, and I couldn’t. I couldn’t reach Him. Jesus is the bridge to God. Jesus is the reason – He’s the Way!’

That’s when Smith says he first understood who Jesus is, and it changed his perspective on everything. He now sees his work as worship.

SMITH: Whatever gifts I have are a gift from the creator of the universe. It’s not because I’m cool. It’s not because I’m smart. It’s not because I’m talented. I’m a bozo just like everyone else on this bus. I’m just a bozo that God has blessed.

Now 72 years old, Smith isn’t slowing down. He wants to perform more. But first, he’s looking to hand off the instrument-making side of business to someone younger.


ZACHARY HAMILTON: You begin with lumber. You’ve got hardwoods. Typically we start with domestic hardwoods.

Zachary Hamilton is Smith’s apprentice.

ZACHARY: And then we’ve got to mill them down to usable sizes to make the soundboard. We’ve got to make the back, pinblocks, endrails, lateral bracing that goes inside of it, and other structural components that you need.

Hamilton began working for free. He just wanted to learn. Smith later hired him, and now Hamilton hopes eventually to purchase the shop and take over from the master.

SMITH: I said, ‘you’re gonna build better instruments than I’ve ever made, no question about it. I mean, I’m gonna teach you everything I know, and you’re gonna take it from there.’ You know, it’s kind of like a relay race, right? You hand the baton off. And I guess he believed me. I mean, he’s still here.


In other words, passing the baton. Or, maybe, passing the hammer to a new generation.

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Travis Kircher, in Asheville, North Carolina.

MARY REICHARD, HOST: Today is Thursday, March 16th. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Mary Reichard.

MYRNA BROWN, HOST: And I’m Myrna Brown. Next up, World commentator Cal Thomas on the latest battleground over abortion: pharmacies.

CAL THOMAS, COMMENTATOR: California Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom recently announced the state will not do business with the Walgreens store chain “or any company that cowers to the extremists and puts women’s lives at risk.” Notice the familiar buzzwords–extremists and putting women’s lives at risk.

Newsom’s statement followed an announcement by Walgreens that its pharmacies won’t dispense the Mifepristone abortion pill in states where abortion is illegal. They also won’t dispense it in several other states where there are minimal or no restrictions, including Alaska, Iowa, Montana, and Kansas because of the “complexity and flux of the laws.”

One might wish the chain had taken a more principled stand. They might have asked, “Isn’t the killing of more than 60 million babies too many?” Or, “what about the women who have been scarred – physically, emotionally and spiritually – by abortion?” Even so, the Walgreens statement sounds good for now, so far as it goes. “For how long?” is the question, as pressure to provide the drug nationwide is likely to increase.

In January, the FDA began allowing pharmacies and mail-in services to distribute mifepristone without medical supervision. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and Rep. Andrew Clyde of Georgia have written the Government Accountability Office arguing the FDAs new guidance about the drug may constitute a “rule”. It would then be subject to Congressional review under the Congressional Review Act. The two Republican lawmakers say in their letter, “The FDA did not submit this policy to Congress and we believe it is imperative that all agency rules remain subject to the full spectrum of congressional oversight afforded by law.”

When I was growing up in the Washington, D.C., area, if anyone wanted a product related to sex, such as condoms, one had to approach the pharmacy counter and request them. Usually this required teenage boys to speak to a woman who could be relied on to offer a disapproving glance. She might have known our parents. These experiences kept many from out-of-wedlock pregnancy, abortion, and STDs.

But today, many in our “anything goes” culture demand that pharmacists support abortion. Gov. Newsom seeks to use the power of his state to force Walgreens to comply with a point of view many do not share.

It reminds me of the pressure and subsequent boycott by gay activist groups against Chick-fil-A restaurants. Christian and conservative organizations urged people to show up on a certain day and buy chicken sandwiches. They did in droves, and the boycott backfired. Supporting Walgreens pharmacies that don’t dispense the abortion pill would send a similar message to management.

There are other issues surrounding the abortion pill. Suppose a pharmacy employee is pro-life and as a matter of religious faith believes abortion to be the taking of innocent life? Will that employee be excused from dispensing the pill and his or her job protected?

While it is increasingly difficult to launch successful boycotts against large companies, pro-lifers can take their business to independent pharmacies and Walgreens stores that don’t dispense the pill. It may not change the way most do business, but one can avoid supporting what some consider to be a modern version of child sacrifice.

I’m Cal Thomas.

MARY REICHARD, HOST: Tomorrow: Culture Friday with John Stonestreet where we talk about the Stanford law students who shouted down a federal judge.

And, Collin Garbarino reviews what’s new this weekend in theaters and online.

That and more tomorrow.

I’m Mary Reichard.

MYRNA BROWN: And I’m Myrna Brown.

The World and Everything in It comes to you from WORLD Radio.

WORLD’s mission is biblically objective journalism that informs, educates, and inspires.

Martha said to [Jesus about her brother Lazarus who had died]: “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life.Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” She said to him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.” John chapter 11, verses 24 through 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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