The World and Everything in It: November 25, 2022
On Culture Friday, the cultural epidemic of brokenness among young men and what Congress is set to do on marriage; Collin Garbarino reviews a film about real heroes facing real struggles; and the music of Thanksgiving. Plus: your listener feedback, and the Friday morning news.
MYRNA BROWN, HOST: Good morning!
Today on Culture Friday: mass shootings and the cultural epidemic of brokenness among desperate young men.
NICK EICHER, HOST: We’ll talk with John Stonestreet about that and about what Congress is getting set to do on marriage.
Also today, WORLD Arts and Media editor Collin Garbarino with a preview of a couple of Thanksgiving movies opening this weekend.
And listener feedback and WORLD’s Advent Music series gets going.
BROWN: It’s Friday, November 25th. 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.
KENT COVINGTON, NEWS ANCHOR: A record 166m shoppers expected over the weekend » Today is Black Friday. And after two years of holidays dampened by the pandemic, shoppers are out in force.
Businesses have some concerns that inflation might lead to a dropoff in holiday sales. But National Retail Federation CEO Matt Shay told CNBC …
SHAY: Our expectation is they’re going to shop, especially beginning this weekend in record numbers; 166 million, that’s more than we’ve ever seen. That’s almost 10 million more than last year.
Last year, with shoppers flush with cash and supply chain issues choking inventory, there weren’t many deals to be found. But Shay said that’s likely changing this year.
SHAY: This is going to be more likely to be a promotional holiday season, something more like 2017, 18, 19, not like the last couple of years.
Thanksgiving travel » And something else that’s returning to pre-pandemic norms: holiday travel.
AAA spokesman Andrew Gross says almost 50 million drivers are hitting the roads this weekend. While Wednesday was the busiest road travel day of the year, he says weekend traffic will be more spread out.
GROSS: They may come home Thursday after dinner. They may be done with hanging out with family and want to get home. Or they may come home on Friday or Saturday or Sunday. There’s more of a trickle back effect. So you won’t be running into that intense travel headache.
AAA expects air traveler volume to be at about 99% of holiday levels in 2019 before the pandemic.
Railroad talks » Experts are concerned that already high retail prices could go up even more this Christmas, if railroad workers decide to strike. While meeting with first responders in Massachusetts yesterday, President Biden said his administration is working to prevent a strike.
BIDEN: My team has been in touch with all the parties and their own political parties. And I have not directly engaged yet because they’re still talking.
His administration helped both sides reach a tentative agreement a few months back, but four unions have voted to reject the deal. Vacation time and sick-leave are among the sticking points for railroad workers.
Biden assault weapons » The president also said Thursday that after more recent mass shootings, he’ll again ask for a ban on so-called assault weapons during the lame duck session of Congress.
Those are semi-automatic rifles that have a military appearance.
BIDEN: The idea that we still allow semi-automatic weapons to be purchased is sick. It’s just sick.
While rifles such as the AR-15 are semi-automatic, many handguns are also semi-automatic. One bullet is dispensed with one squeeze of the trigger.
The gunman in this week’s Walmart shooting in Virginia wielded a handgun.
It’s unclear if the president will push to ban all semi-automatic weapons or only military-style rifles.
Geneva human rights Iran probe » The United Nations Human Rights Council voted yesterday to condemn Iran’s crackdown on peaceful protesters.
Protests broke out about two months ago after a 22-year-old Kurdish woman died in police custody.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Turk.
TURK: The security forces, notably the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and Basij forces, have used live ammunition, birdshot and other metal pellets, tear gas and batons.
The United Nations says more than 14,000 people have been arrested in connection with the protests.
It has also called for the creation of a fact-finding mission to investigate other abuses.
Ford recall » Ford says more than 600,000 of its SUVs have a problem that could cause the vehicles to catch fire. WORLD’s Josh Schumacher has more.
JOSH SCHUMACHER, REPORTER: The auto giant is recalling the 2020 through 2023 model years of its Bronco Sport and Escape SUVs. All of those models have 1.5-liter, three-cylinder engines.
Those vehicles are prone to cracked fuel injectors that could cause fuel leaks.
The company has received 20 reports of fires.
Ford dealerships say they will inspect fuel injectors in the problem models and will replace them if necessary.
For WORLD, I’m Josh Schumacher.
I’m Kent Covington. Straight ahead: Culture Friday with John Stonestreet.
Plus, music of Thanksgiving.
This is The World and Everything in It.
MYRNA BROWN, HOST: It’s the 25th day of November, 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. It’s Culture Friday!
Joining us now is John Stonestreet, president of the Colson Center and host of the Breakpoint podcast.
Morning, John. Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!
JOHN STONESTREET, GUEST: Thanks. I hope you both had a great Thanksgiving as well. Thank you.
EICHER: Yeah, it was a terrific day, yeah. But heavy hearts across the land, too, John, with news of mass shootings. There was the nightclub attack right there in your hometown of Colorado Springs, the Q Club, five people killed there.
Then in Chesapeake, Virginia, six people killed, including a 16-year-old, a WalMart manager went into the breakroom and—as one witness said—just started spraying bullets.
Ten days before that, and just 20 miles away at the University of Virginia, a student is accused of shooting three fellow students to death.
And in the aftermath, the commentary follows a pretty predictable pattern. John, what are we missing on these mass shootings? Where is the analysis consistently getting it wrong?
STONESTREET: Well, I think one thing is we can stop blaming Ron DeSantis and Tucker Carlson somehow, for being loosely connected with this. As details continued to emerge, for example, on the shooter in Colorado Springs here. The narratives that we all kind of punt to immediately just completely fall down. The person who stopped this shooter was an example of the kind of masculinity that many people call toxic. And it tells you that we still need that sort of heroism, particularly in a world that's broken and fallen like ours. The narrative that this is somehow fueled by LGBTQ hate is not jiving now with a shooter that self-identifies as non-binary and goes by a set of preferred pronouns. The thing is that immediately we all punt to our own narratives and try to superimpose that on something that clearly is revealing brokenness in our society. It seems to be emerging that this is a young man, this particular shooter in Colorado Springs is a young man who threatened to do a mass shooting years ago, and we had a problem of policing with him. The commonalities here are that young men in America are not doing well. This is the most extreme and evil expression of that, these acts of mass violence. But when you talk about these kinds of twin categories of deaths of despair and acts of desperation, they're rooted in the fact that young men have an identity crisis, and almost all the time, they're dealing with a family brokenness and the loss of dad. So I hope now we've maybe gotten around to actually what we're facing. And that is a cultural epidemic of brokenness that has to do with the loss of family and the loss of meaning. If we target those two things, the loss of family and the loss of meaning, I think we're going to see a dramatic reversal, and how frequently these mass shootings occur. And also all the other kinds of social ills that we're seeing this kind of uptick.
EICHER: Family breakdown, John, I think we need to talk about that, because it leads to the other topic I wanted to bring up and that’s respect for marriage at the policy level.
Specifically, let’s talk about what happened last week in the U.S. Senate, when 12 Republican senators cast an all-important procedural vote to set the table eventually to enshrine Obergefell marriage into federal law.
I’m trying out that moniker, Obergefell marriage, because it refers to the Supreme Court case Obergefell v. Hodges from 2015 that ordered states to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. We hear the term “gay marriage,” but I think to be accurate, maybe “Obergefell marriage” is more precise.
So the Respect for Marriage Act would codify the Obergefell standard, but it also contains provisions on religious liberty that supporters of religious liberty are arguing about.
Issue one is that set of provisions: I don’t know where you come down on those. Do you think they’re a reasonable compromise? Were the 12 Republicans right?
STONESTREET: No, they weren't. I mean, any more than, you know, the level to which the Supreme Court has acted to protect religious liberty. And I mean, I think even those people who are defending these religious liberty protections as being sufficient, almost always go back and say, you know, point to all the ways that the court has supported religious liberty, and the court has supported religious liberty, but the court has not extended those protections, particularly in areas of sexuality and same sex marriage, to speech and to private businesses. So we're back to this kind of shriveled up definition of religious liberty, which is we all have the right to believe what we want in our own hearts, our own homes, our own houses of worship, and in our own heads. But that's not sufficient to protect the Jack Phillips, the Barronelle Stutzman in the Laurie Smith's of the world. That's why they're still litigating, you know, now, after all these years, and this doesn't protect that at all. I mean, people point to the fact that it has protections for religious institutions like Christian colleges, what does that mean? It has protections that they don't have to force a boy into a girl's dorm, or dress out a biological male on the women's basketball team, but it doesn't do anything to protect certifications and accreditations and by the way, what we've seen over the last couple of weeks is there's a number of Christian colleges, they can't wait to change their minds on this anyway. And that's where I want to get to on your question. These 12 Republican senators did not support this bill because they thought it had sufficient religious liberty protections. They're using that to justify the ultimate reason they supported this bill. And that is because a they either support same sex marriage or be they think it's a electoral liability, and they're ready to move on. And what they're moving on on, and how they're moving on, is with another branch of the U.S. government saying something that's not true, that marriage is what we make it like, that we can take any institution or any relational arrangement we want, stamp the label on it, and then it's marriage because we call it that. And it'll have all the benefits and privileges there unto, but that's like saying, you know, hey, the Rockefellers are rich, I'm gonna change my name to Rockefeller so I can be rich too. That's not the way reality works if marriage is actually a thing. And also, this doesn't do anything to protect children. And I'm grateful for the voice of people like Katie Faust, who are pointing this out, like, you don't want your government not only to promote something that's not true, any branch of it, but also to do it in such a way that it actually compromises children. And Obergefell marriage is going to be more than same sex marriage. That's, that's my only issue with your moniker here is Obergefell was a decision about same sex marriage. This bill would even further de gender, both marriage and parenting, and rites and malls, even to a new level. And so no, they weren't right. This is not good.
BROWN: Issue two on this is the idea of making peace with Obergefell marriage. The argument goes: you know, we’ve had this for seven years now and it’s time to move on.
We hear commentators like David French saying that same-sex couples have a “deep reliance” on Obergefell. He says they have “formed families” and that to reverse that “legal superstructure” would be “profoundly … unjust.”
So how do you rate that argument, that what the Supreme Court has joined together, let Congress not separate?
Is that a legit Christian view?
STONESTREET: By the way, that's a great way of putting it: what the Court has joined together, let Congress not separate. Absolutely not - just because the Supreme Court called something marriage doesn't mean that it is. Because the Supreme Court has called something families doesn't mean that it is. The idea that because of Obergefell, same-sex couples have formed families. No, they formed relational arrangements and called them families. That's not forming families. And that's not something we can actually endorse, particularly when the lives and well-being of children are at risk. We had the Secretary of Transportation this year, after adopting children, he and his partner laid on a hospital bed as if one of them had just given birth, and celebrated the “forming of families.” And at least at that point, the issue was adoption, the number of same-sex couples who have now done this by hiring surrogates and advancing artificial reproduction that treat babies as commodities, and rob them of their biological mom and dad, pretending as if the mom doesn't exist, the one who actually did give birth, who was in the hospital bed because she needed to be after going through that. In other words, we're making people disappear. We're taking children's rights completely out of the picture 100%. This law did not form families. This law did not allow people to form families unless you think the family is something that we create and whatever relational arrangement we justify, and our particular social moment magically becomes families because we use that nomenclature. That is just not the way reality works. And that's certainly not the way a Christian view of reality works, which begins with the idea of a creator creating the world in particular ways. And basically giving us created givens. Jesus pointed to that when he was asked about how to handle relational arrangements in his day. And he pointed back to the fact that there was actually something to male and female, there was something to what God joined together, let not man separate. And you know, what God joined together was moms and kids. What Obergefell does is separate those two. So that is unjust for children. If the law is unjust, removing it is the right thing to do.
BROWN: John Stonestreet is president of the Colson Center and host of the Breakpoint podcast … John, we’re so thankful for you!
STONESTREET: Well, thank you. I'm thankful to be here every week, almost every week.
MYRNA BROWN, HOST: Today is Friday, November 25th. 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. Up next: Thanksgiving movies.
Hollywood knows Thanksgiving week tends to be a popular time for Americans to head to the movies. Here’s arts and media editor Collin Garbarino with some thoughts on movies you should watch out for.
COLLIN GARBARINO: During the Thanksgiving holiday week, animated family movies usually reign supreme. Nine of the top ten biggest box-office receipts for Thanksgiving are beloved family classics. But if you’re planning to head to the movies this week, you probably should keep the kids at home.
Ethan: Oh! Hey, Dad.
Searcher: You brought the dog? What are you doing here?
Ethan: Look, Dad. I just want to help.
Searcher: Ethan, we talked about this.
That’s Disney’s latest animated movie—Strange World. It’s a journey-to-the-center-of-the-earth story featuring a father, son, and grandfather, who go on an adventure in a “strange world.” But this might be Disney’s wokest movie so far. The teenage son Ethan is the studio’s first gay main character. And the movie offers some heavy-handed moralizing about being sustainable and eco-friendly. It’s certainly not going to be fun for the whole family. For the kids maybe you could pretend like it’s 2013 and queue up a Frozen sing-along with Anna and Elsa.
But older teens and adults have a few options. You could see Glass Onion, the sequel to Rian Johnson’s oh so clever murder mystery Knives Out. And then there’s The Fabelmans, Steven Spielberg’s semi-autobiographical movie about a Jewish boy who falls in love with movies. Hollywood loves movies about movies.
But if you want to see a movie based on a true story, you might be interested in Devotion. It’s an inspiring movie about naval aviators during the Korean War.
Cevoli: The North Koreans came pouring over the 38th parallel. This is war, and we’re up.
Devotion tells the story of Ensign Jesse Brown—the first African-American naval aviator—and his white wingman Lieutenant Thomas Hudner. Jonathan Majors plays Jesse Brown, and he’s really good. Glenn Powell plays Tom Hudner. Powell just looks like a pilot. Maybe that’s why he also played the naval aviator “Hangman” in this summer’s Top Gun: Maverick and he played the astronaut John Glenn in the movie Hidden Figures.
Brown: That was pretty good.
Hudner: Pretty good.
The movie is set during the Korean War, but the action is secondary to the relationship between Brown and Hudner and the racial tensions Brown faces being the first black man to fly for the Navy.
Reporter: Your commanding officer called you one of the best pilots he’s ever seen. It must be hard being—
Brown: A naval aviator. It’s the toughest job there is.
We see Brown suffer some overt racism, but the movie has a lot of nuance. Much of the film’s energy flows from Brown and his family navigating softer or subtler racism.
Brown: I can’t tell you how many times people have told me to give up. Quit. Die even. That’s why you can’t always do what you’re told.
Hudner: What do you want me to do?
Brown: Just be my wingman.
Majors plays the role of Ensign Brown as a man fueled by the pain and hurt he’s experienced. He possesses self-mastery, but you get the sense there’s a deep-seated anger raging beneath the surface. Lieutenant Hudner wants to be Brown’s friend. But the two men have experienced the world differently. Hudner doesn’t always understand Brown. Brown struggles to trust Hudner and feels the need to prove himself.
Brown: Two-zero-five, I still have ordinance. I can hit the bridge.
Hudner: It’s too much AA, two-eleven. Stand down. Jesse, stand down! That’s an order!
Devotion is the first big movie for director J.D. Dillard whose own father was an African-American Navy pilot. Maybe that personal connection accounts for the respect and sensitivity the film exhibits for the military. Despite depictions of racism, this is a patriotic movie.
Devotion has some fantastic cinematography, and some of the battle scenes feel uncomfortably real. It’s incredible to me that pilots ever flew those souped-up tin-cans with propellers into combat. It’s a wonder any of these men survived. The action sequences are intense, but Dillard shows the horror of war without being gratuitous.
Brown: That’s a direct hit. That’s a direct hit. Bridge is down.
Pilot: That a boy, Jesse!
Pilot: Good going, Ace!
Besides the war sequences, Devotion gets its PG-13 rating for strong language. Some of the military men engage in a bit of coarse jesting. But the language is likely pretty mild compared to the historical reality.
My biggest complaint about this film is that at 2 hours and 20 minutes, it’s too long. A couple of the scenes in which Brown and Hudner stumble toward friendship feel redundant. But the long running time is a minor flaw.
This is a film about real heroes facing real struggles—both internal and external. The movie doesn’t apologize for the belief that America, despite its problems, is a special place worth fighting for. It shows us friendship and courage, and it teaches us about the importance of love and sacrifice. Devotion gets a thumbs up from me.
I’m Collin Garbarino.
MYRNA BROWN, HOST: Today is Friday, November 25th. 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. Time now for Listener Feedback for November.
We begin with a couple corrections: First, Geri Sullivan left us this message about our November 2nd segment on the Australian Fistball Team. We said that the game started 240 years before Christ under Roman Emperor Gordian III—240 BC, but that was incorrect.
GERI SULLIVAN: Gordian III was the Roman emperor in 240 AD…Rome didn't actually have Emperors 240 years before Christ. The first Roman emperor was Augustus who took power in 27 BC. Anyway, just thought I'd pass that on. Love this program.
BROWN: Thanks Geri. A.D. not B.C.
Next another historical clarification. Retired physics professor Dan Mandel MAN-DELLwrote about our November 14th History Book segment. We said that German mathematician and astronomer Johann Kepler challenged a number of fundamental assumptions and soon figured out that the planets orbited the Sun in elliptical patterns. Professor Mandel wanted to clarify that timing.
MANDEL: He probably worked on that calculation…for eight years. And because he had access to the best data in the world at the time from Tycho Brahe…his attempts at using circular orbits didn't quite fit…And so he was forced to try something else and he finally tried ellipses. And that worked out fine. Remember, there were no calculators, so probably hundreds of pages of work it took to figure this out.
EICHER: Thanks Dan. Next we head to Colorado Springs, Colorado, and listener Joy Davenport. She enjoyed last week’s Culture Friday conversation.
DAVENPORT: I just want to say hip-hip-hooray for your excellent interview with Seth Dillon of the Babylon Bee. I'm a longtime fan of their satire, fully appreciating that there are no sacred cows for his group. And double hats off to Carl Peetz and Johnny Franklin for the Flight of the Bumblebee as the accompanying track. I definitely laughed out loud in pleased surprise. Keep up the good work.
I agree, those guys are so great. As I was listening to that, I was smiling right along with you. Perfect choice!
Well, we do have time for one more voicemail today. This one taking me to task for passing up what was obviously a pretty easy Dad joke opportunity a few weeks ago in our kicker story about the couple who got married in their local ALDI grocery store:
CAROLINE: Hi, my name is Caroline and I live in Beaufort, South Carolina…That almost too wild to be true anecdotes halfway through the show are always entertaining. Although, I must say that Nick missed a key opportunity for one of his classic dad jokes during the story on November 16…I mean, this takes walking down the aisle to a whole new level or food department, depending on which aisle it was the bride walked down. Thanks again for all that you do. God bless.
Womp womp, I missed it. It was a layup, a tap in, an empty-net goal and I just fanned on it. Caroline, you’re so right. I’ve got to keep my Dad Joke game strong.
BROWN: You’re slipping Nick! No standing still on that! Well, one more thing before we go, a number of you have asked that we include the scripture reference for the ending scripture passage each day. Maybe you’ve noticed, but we’ve started to do just that! We appreciate how many of you use it as a verse of the day in your own life of faith. And we want to encourage Biblical literacy so we will include the reference to our verses from now on. Thanks for your interest in knowing better where these verses come from.
EICHER: Well that’s it for this month’s Listener Feedback. Thanks to everyone who wrote and called in. If you have comments to share with us you can send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you’re writing, why not take a moment and record your comments on your phone and send that along as well. We’ve included instructions on how to do that on our website: wng.org/podcasts. Or you can phone it in. Our listener line is (202) 709-9595.
MYRNA BROWN, HOST: Today is Friday, November 25th. 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.
Well, for the past several days culminating in Giving Tuesday, which is just a few days away, we’ve been emphasizing the building up of WORLD’s Global Desk.
The goal here is to connect with, train, and hire more international Christian news correspondents. What we’re hoping to do is put boots on the ground in 100 countries in the next five years and we’re asking your support to give that project a big boost.
1) On the line now from Porrentruy, Switzerland, is WORLD correspondent Jenny Lind Schmitt. Morning, Jenny.
2) Right, of course. And that’s not all, not just a time difference, I guess. How do you handle Thanksgiving living in Europe?
3) Jenny, this is the first time we’ve talked together on the program since the World Journalism Institute, the first-ever WJI held in Europe, a highly important program for the growth of the Global Desk. Talk about how that went.
4) So Jenny, as an American who’s lived your adult life both in the States and in Europe and done journalism, how would do you evaluate the global press, how is news reported differently, or similarly?
Thanks Jenny and happy Thanksgiving to come.
I hope you’ll visit WNG.org/GivingTuesday to help support the building up of the Global Desk.
And if you’ve never given to WORLD, if you make a first-time gift between now through Giving Tuesday, we have a long-time WORLD Mover who’s agreed to match your first-time gift dollar for dollar. There’s no limit, the only limit is that your first-time gift has to be in on Giving Tuesday or before to qualify for the match.
Again, WNG.org/GivingTuesday and thanks so much!
MYRNA BROWN, HOST: This Sunday marks the start of the Advent season. Over the next four weeks Christians around the world will prepare for—and reflect on—the coming of Christ.
From now till Christmas, we’ll be ending each Friday program with an Advent musical selection from one of our reporters from the global desk we were just talking about.
Today we kick off that series—but with a hymn of thanksgiving. And just a quick note, we’re creating a Spotify and Apple Music playlist again this year. We’ll keep them updated throughout the month so you can find the music for your own enjoyment. We’ve included the link to that in today’s transcript at WNG.org/podcasts.
PAUL BUTLER, REPORTER: All People that on Earth Do Dwell is one of the oldest hymns commonly sung today. Nearly every Christian denomination has a version of it in their hymnals.
The English-language text is attributed to William Kethe—a Scottish clergyman who fled England during Queen Mary’s persecution of the Protestants. Kethe eventually ended up in Geneva where he worked on the English translation of the Bible named after the city—the Geneva Bible. And while there, he wrote 25 English metrical Psalms—including Psalm 100—the text to All People that on Earth do Dwell.
The tune is “Old Hundredth.” It is one of the most widely known tunes in all of Christendom. It is credited to the French musician Loys Bourgeois. The tune is also one of the many tunes sung to the Doxology.
We kick off our five weeks of music with All People that on Earth Do Dwell—a fitting hymn of thanksgiving as recorded live at the Getty Music Worship Conference: Sing! 2018.
NICK EICHER, HOST: Well, it’s time to say thanks to the team members who helped put the program together this week: David Bahnsen, Lauren Dunn, Leo Briceno, Jenny Rough, Joel Belz, Kent Covington, Onize Ohikere, Mary Reichard, Janie B. Cheaney, Bonnie Pritchett, Anna Johansen Brown, Cal Thomas, Collin Garbarino, Josh Schumacher, Carolina Lumetta, Lynde Langdon, Steve Kloosterman, and Mary Muncy.
MYRNA BROWN, HOST: And thanks also to the guys who stay up late to get the program to you early…Johnny Franklin and Carl Peetz. Our producer is Kristen Flavin. Production assistance this week from Lillian Hamman, and Benj Eicher.
Paul Butler is our Executive Producer.
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: fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10 ESV)
Remember to worship in your local church alongside your brothers and sisters in Christ.
God 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.