The World and Everything in It: September 23, 2022
On Culture Friday, celebrities and politicians continue to peddle misinformation about abortion; a review of a Disney+ prequel series that takes the Star Wars franchise into darker territory; and the Queen’s heritage of faith. Plus: the Friday morning news.
MYRNA BROWN, HOST: Good morning!
Redefining abortion, celebrity Chrissy Teigen starts a debate over that. And, self-harm and social media, plus religious schools and new pressure points.
NICK EICHER, HOST: We’ll talk about that today with John Stonestreet on Culture Friday.
Also today Collin Garabarino reviews the latest Star Wars series.
Plus a modern hymn writer reflects on a short conversation he once had with the Queen.
BROWN: It’s Friday, September 23rd. 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: Blinken at UN » Secretary of State Tony Blinken faced world leaders at the UN General Assembly on Thursday, urging them to stand up to Russia.
BLINKEN: The very international order that we have gathered here to uphold is being shredded before our eyes.
Russia this week called up a portion of its reserves for the first time since World War II.
Today, Moscow’s hand-picked leaders in Russian-occupied parts of Ukraine are set to hold supposed referendums on joining Russia.
After those votes, the Kremlin will declare that it has annexed those occupied regions …
BLINKEN: When that’s complete, we can expect President Putin will claim any Ukrainian effort to liberate this land as an attack on so-called Russian territory.
Blinken said that’s all the more menacing after Putin made a thinly veiled threat to use nuclear weapons in response to any attacks on Russian territory.
Russia protests/exodus » That reservist call-up has sparked anti-war protests in Russia. Demonstrators continue to defy the Kremlin, some yelling “I will not die for Putin.”
Russian police have reportedly arrested more than 1,300 protesters.
And multiple reports Thursday stated that the government is conscripting many of those protesters into the military.
At the same time, thousands of Russians are trying to flee the country.
One-way airline tickets out of the country skyrocketed in price and began rapidly selling out after Putin announced the mobilization. And Finland is considering barring Russians crossing the border as traffic has surged at checkpoints.
Prisoner swap » Meantime, Ukraine announced a high-profile prisoner swap on Thursday with Russia. WORLD’s Kristen Flavin has more.
KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: Many of the Ukrainian fighters who defended a steel plant in Mariupol during a long Russian siege are home with their families today.
Ukraine gave up a prominent ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin and 55 other prisoners to bring them home. Officials in Kyiv said Russia released 215 Ukrainian and foreign citizens in return.
Many were soldiers and officers who faced the death penalty in Russian-occupied territory.
Reporting for WORLD, I’m Kristen Flavin.
Hurricane Fiona » Hurricane Fiona is now taking aim at Canada after sideswiping Bermuda last night.
Fiona packs winds around 130 miles per hour. But it is expected to weaken to a category 1 storm before landfall tomorrow.
As for the rain, Philippe Papin with the National Hurricane Center says that in and around Nova Scotia...
PAPIN: We’re expecting 3-to-6 inches of rainfall with local maximum of up to 10 inches. And so this rainfall could result in areas of flooding, some of which may be significant.
Fiona passed to the west of Bermuda on Thursday night, lashing it with strong wind and rain, but sparing the island its full wrath.
Puerto Rico » Meantime, in Puerto Rico, more than a half million people remained without water service Thursday, three days after Fiona triggered catastrophic flooding.
President Biden yesterday announced federal emergency funding…
BIDEN: For debris removal, search and rescue, power and water restoration, shelter and food for the whole month. We’ll do everything we can to meet the urgent needs you have. We know they’re real and significant.
The storm wreaked havoc on an electrical grid that was never fully rebuilt after Hurricane Maria struck five years ago.
Fiona dumped roughly two feet of rain on parts of Puerto Rico before blasting across the Dominican Republic and the Turks and Caicos Islands.
Judge blocks Indiana abortion law » An Indiana judge on Thursday blocked enforcement of a pro-life law just one week after it took effect. WORLD’s Josh Schumacher has more.
JOSH SCHUMACHER, REPORTER: County Judge Kelsey Hanlon issued a preliminary injunction against the law, which protected unborn babies in almost every case.
The law took effect last week, making Indiana the first state to enact tighter abortion rules since the U.S. Supreme Court reversed Roe v. Wade in June.
Abortion activists sued, claiming the law violates the state’s constitution. And the judge sided with them, ruling that their lawsuit will likely prevail and that an injunction is warranted in the meantime.
For now, the state will go back to its previous law that protects the unborn from abortion after 20 weeks gestation.
Reporting for WORLD, I’m Josh Schumacher.
Iran protests » In Iran, at least nine people have died in clashes with security forces. They’re protesting the death of a 22-year-old woman in police custody and venting anger over social repression and the country’s mounting crises.
Violence erupted over the weekend with demonstrators taking to the streets in at least a dozen cities.
Iran’s government shut down mobile internet service again on on Thursday in an effort to curb the growing protests.
I’m Kent Covington. Straight ahead: social media spreads abortion misinformation and self-harm discussions.
Plus, the latest Star Wars series.
This is The World and Everything in It.
MYRNA BROWN, HOST: It’s Friday the 23rd of September, 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 and time to bring in John Stonestreet. John is the president of the Colson Center, and he’s the host of the Breakpoint podcast. John, Good morning.
JOHN STONESTREET, GUEST: Good morning.
BROWN: Well, John, my 30 year old daughter flagged this story for me and maybe you've heard about it as well. Chrissy Teigen, model author and wife of entertainer John Legend, made a startling confession about a miscarriage she had two years ago. And the reason we know about the miscarriage is because Teigen-Legend posted on social media very revealing very personal images of them in a hospital room holding each other after losing their baby at 20 weeks old. Well, Teigen, who is currently pregnant, is now saying that miscarriage two years ago was actually an abortion. She says she came to the realization after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. John, I've heard some rumblings about this being a sad example of a mom and dad using social media in the most vile way ever. What do you make of it?
STONESTREET: Well, not much. I mean, because I don't want to make much of the kind of the cult of self revelation that happens on social media. This particular person, Chrissie Tegan, if I'm saying her last name right, is a very popular social media person. I do know enough about social media to know that she's well known in that space. Here's the bigger issue that's happening. I don't know what to think of this because I don't know what's meant. This past week. person running for state office in North Carolina posted a similar story. The details are a little bit different. But what she did as a Democratic candidate trying to kind of own the Republicans in North Carolina who are advancing anti abortion pro life legislation, is to talk about her abortion only she wasn't talking about an abortion, she was talking about a miscarriage that she had and what she went through a D&C and she called the D&C, which of course, is a medical procedure that can be used to cause an abortion or can be used and part of treatment for women who have undergone miscarriages. It can be used either way it she but she identified that as an abortion. And she did that in a way that we're now hearing. And in the New York Times, you're hearing on major media outlets that the sort of legislation that's being promoted would ban a procedure like D&C. Of course, none of that is true. There's not a single state law that has been proposed or a single state law that has been passed, that would limit care for women who are undergoing miscarriages. But that's what we're hearing. It's simply not true. It's either a outright lie, or it's something where somebody has just believed it. And then the case of a celebrity, like Chrissy Tegan, she might just be telling a story wrong, because of all the bad information out here that is being trumpeted and pushed around so often. It's just really a disturbing set of conditions. So for example, in this Facebook post for this woman running for state level office in North Carolina, where she basically described the courage of having her own abortion, but she wasn't; she was talking about having had a tragic miscarriage and the hospital taking care of her, none of which would be overturned by any law that has been proposed in North Carolina. She's using it in a way to get political sympathies and the comments reflected that she was getting those sympathies. There's a lot of misinformation out there right now, about what an abortion is. And I'm grateful for Alexandra DeSanctis in particular over at National Review, who has done a very careful study of all the state level laws, and has demonstrated that this is just misinformation being passed around. I don't know if that applies to this particular situation with Chrissy Teegan, but that's what really matters in this whole story. So I'll take that question, Myrna, and make it about what I want to.
EICHER: I want to call attention to a study on social media misuse, specifically about the explosion of posts on the subject of self-harm. The study comes from an outfit called the Network Contagion Research Institute … along with Rutgers University. The study found that posts about self-harm grew 500 percent in less than a year. Our Juliana Chan Erikson wrote about this for WORLD and I’ll link to her piece with the requisite warnings about what you’ll find in the story. Very disturbing.
But there are a number of directions to go on this. It’s not clear that this growth represents actual growth in self-harm, but growth in the number of young people discussing it on social platforms, and in some cases receiving advice on how to conceal the self-harm from parents or family members. Here’s the question: To what do you attribute this phenomenon and how can parents know about this?
STONESTREET: Well, you know, as a friend of ours often says, it's not one thing, it's everything. One part of this is the cultural set of ideas, the backdrop that's at work here, which is one that denigrates the body. It's such a weird time we live in in which we try to fight against these rising rates of teen suicide, and yet, at the same time, push forward legislation that actually makes Doctor assisted suicide an option, we say Suicide is not an option unless it is. And that inconsistency if we think that young people don't notice that they're just simply foolish, we say that the body should not be harmed, that things like cutting, and then these things are bad for you. It absolutely is. But if you think you were born in the wrong body, it's absolutely okay. And fact, as we learn this week about Vanderbilt University, no matter even if you're a minor, will do irreparable damage to your body in order to justify your wrong mental state. It's just a, the inconsistencies here are incredible. And if we think those inconsistencies will not bear fruit, well, we're just foolish, of course they will. And so that's the ideological factors that are at work, or are mixed messages about whether it's okay to harm yourself, and whether your body is actually good or bad. I think there's also then the social media component of this. And when you say, How can parents know about this? Look, at this point, parents might not know about the specifics of this. But if parents don't know that the internet, particularly in the form of cell phones, handheld devices, through social media, is feeding their kids really, really bad and dangerous ideas. I don't know how else they could know. In other words, every single thing points to the fact that social media, in particular, is bad for young people, especially young girls. And you know, I was thinking about this this week in our editorial team at the Colson center as we were preparing one of our commentaries for our podcast is, you know, Jesus said, “If you're right eye offends you, if your right arm offends you, get rid of them.” Like if Twitter offend. If Twitter is harm, if Instagram is causing damage to your daughter, get rid of it. Say no. Stop it. And it's amazing how unthinkable that is for so many of us. I think it needs to become thinkable.
EICHER: John, you saw that the Supreme Court turned down a request for an emergency stay for Yeshiva University in New York—this is the religious school that denied recognition to an on-campus LGBTQ group called YU Pride Alliance. Seems like a cut-and-dried religious-liberty claim, a religious school—in this case Orthodox Jewish—contending for the right to be Jewish. There’s related action going on where Seattle Pacific University—and that’s a Christian school—is under legal pressure to reverse its policy of not hiring people who are in same-sex relationships. A group is suing the board of trustees on the grounds that it’s failing in its fiduciary duty to keep the school up-to-date with the social views of the wider community.
What are your thoughts on these new pressure points?
STONESTREET: You know, I think that these are interesting stories. And I think they're examples of even a larger trend than just having to do with religious liberty, I do think we're seeing more and more examples of conservative Christian beliefs or religious beliefs in the case of Yeshiva University, especially on the area of sexuality not only being considered wrong but being considered harmful, and therefore, they have to be stopped. I learned this week, for example of the sort of offensive attacks that state governments and radical pro abortion states like California and Washington are taking against pregnancy resource centers, where it's no longer a, you know, you remember that case in California a couple years ago, where the government was like, Oh, you have to actually advertise the state services and the Supreme Court just kind of smacked that down. When now you actually have the state actively not saying that. pregnancy resource centers has to campaign for them, but they're actively campaigning and investigating pregnancy resource centers. I think there's you know, Your your line of these are pressure points, these are new pressure points is exactly right. And the ability of religious institutions to be religious is something that the Supreme Court has been incredibly clear about. And so, you know, in this case of Yeshiva University, the Supreme Court basically said go through the process. But I don't think anybody really is up in the air on how the Supreme Court rule if this actually does make it back up in the Supreme Court then takes the case. I think there's a much bigger risk not of the Court, the Supreme Court bringing relief to these pressure points as it is that these schools themselves cave on it. You know, if you are a religious institution that is religious, and that articulates and is consistent about the religious conviction, you have the right, and the Supreme Court has repeatedly defended that right to operate according to those convictions. But there's a whole lot of particularly historic evangelical schools that are really scared of that they're running away from that they're self censoring way more than they're going to be censored. And so I think the my main thought on all this is that Christians will have to be Christian and wishy washy, squishy middle of the road stuff isn't going to pull it off.
BROWN: Well, John Stonestreet is president of the Coulson center and host of the breakpoint podcast. Thank you, John.
STONESTREET: Thank you both.
NICK EICHER, HOST: Well, we know that beer and highways shouldn’t mix and now we have a messy reminder of that simple fact. They simply are not meant to go together.
Police had to close a section of Interstate 75 near Tampa a few days ago after a semi truck got into an accident trying to change lanes.
It was a kind of chain reaction—one thing led to another and before anyone knew it, its entire cargo spilled out onto the pavement, covering the roadway under an ocean of silver Coors Light cans.
No one was seriously hurt, thankfully. But the pileup involved five tractor trailers, so some serious fender-bending and probably some crying over the spilled beer.
It’s The World and Everything in It.
MYRNA BROWN, HOST: Today is Friday, September 23rd. 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. This week a new Star Wars series debuted on Disney+. It’s called Andor and it’s a prequel to a prequel.
Rogue One from 2016 was the prequel to the original Star Wars blockbuster from 1977 and Andor is a prequel to Rogue One. Got it?
BROWN: Ha! Glad you cleared that up. But even though it sounds like more of the same, our arts and media editor Collin Garbarino says don’t expect more of the same.
Andor takes Star Wars in a more adult direction.
AUDIO: [Theme music]
COLLIN GARBARINO: Andor begins with the title character Cassian Andor walking through futuristic city streets in the rain. The light has a neon-blue cast, and the buildings have a gritty techno feel. This opening scene feels like an homage to the sci-fi classic Blade Runner. And it signals that Andor is taking the Star Wars universe into darker territory.
Doorman: Wait there. No weapons. No comms. No credit. No nonsense. In you go. Upstairs lounge is closed tonight.
The story is set five years before the events of Rogue One and Star Wars: A New Hope. Actor Diego Luna returns to the role of Cassian Andor—one of the heroes in Rogue One who stole the Death Star plans. In this series we’ll see where he comes from, and how he gets roped into battling the empire. Part of his quest is obviously personal.
Hostess: There was a girl from Kenari, but she left several months ago. We have a lovely lady here tonight from Tahina who’s got those big dark eyes you’re looking for.
Andor: This girl from Kenari, any idea where she went?
Hostess: What are you? Seriously. Boyfriend? Husband?
Andor: I’m looking for my sister.
Hostess: Well, whoever she is, she’s not here. She disappeared. People come and go. You should leave.
Tony Gilroy is Andor’s showrunner. He wrote the script for Rogue One, and he also helped create the Jason Bourne movies. In this series, Gilroy’s giving me the kind of Star Wars I like best. I’m not interested in space wizards with laser swords. I’m here for the smugglers and space junk—and the droids.
Andor: Listen to me. It’s important. I know it takes a lot of energy, but can you make a lie for me?
B2EMO: I can lie. I have adequate power reserves.
Andor: Don’t tell anyone you saw me. Don’t tell anybody you know where I am.
B2EMO: That’s two lies.
Andor: Let’s have both.
B2EMO: I will have to recharge at home.
I’ll be ecstatic if we can get through all twelve episodes of the first season of Andor without seeing a single lightsaber.
No one was clamoring to see Cassian Andor’s background, and the series is already retracing some of the character’s development arc. But we’re seeing new corners of the galaxy, and we also get a nuanced look at the bad guys. Some believe in what they’re doing. Some just want to get through the day.
Boss: When I said bad timing, I wasn’t referring to the fact that you spent all night worrying this. I meant that I am on my way this very morning to an imperial Regional Command review, where I’ll be asked to make a report about our crime rates, and the goal of that speech, should you ever be asked to deliver it, is brevity. Minimizing the time the Empire spends thinking about Preox-Morlana benefits our superiors and, by extension, everyone here at the Pre-Mor Security Inspection team, which at the moment includes you.
Cassian Andor isn’t a hero. He’s a thief. But he and his thieving friends care about each other. They’re trying to scrape by in a bad situation. Luna strikes a good balance with his portrayal of this morally compromised protagonist. Stellan Skarsgård is also great as the man who will recruit Cassian for the rebellion.
Luthen: I’ll give you another thousand credits to tell me how you got it.
Andor: Another thousand?
Luthen: Done. How?
Andor: You just walk in like you belong. Takes more than that, doesn’t it?
Ador: What? To steal from the Empire? What do you need? A uniform, some dirty hands and an Imperial tool kit. They’re so proud of themselves, they don’t even care. They’re so fat and satisfied, they can’t imagine it.
Luthen: Can’t imagine what?
Andor: That someone like me would ever get inside their house, walk their floors, spit in their food, take their gear.
Luthen: The arrogance is remarkable, isn’t it?
I really like many of Gilroy’s choices in this series, and it’s far and away better than the Obi-Wan series we got earlier this year. But parents need to be aware that this series isn’t kid friendly like the rest of the Star Wars franchise. It’s rated TV-14 for more than sci-fi action. In the second episode an unmarried couple head to the bedroom after some kissing. And in the third episode we hear a four-letter word uttered for the first time in the Star Wars universe.
Bix: You’ve been holding out on me.
Andor: And you’ve been skimming off the top. So let’s not get emotional.
Despite forcing an enslaved Leia into a metal bikini, up to this point Star Wars remained squeaky clean when compared to other mega franchises. But Andor is a serious, gritty series set in a corner of the galaxy that’s forgotten hope and redemption exist. It’s an interesting story, but I kind of wish it had been an original series rather than a Star Wars spin off. Star Wars loses some of its wonder and magic when earthling expletives enter that galaxy far, far away.
I’m Collin Garbarino.
NICK EICHER, HOST: Today is Friday, September 23rd. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Nick Eicher.
MYRNA BROWN, HOST: And I’m Myrna Brown. Next up, people around the world this week mourned the death of Queen Elizabeth II. Her funeral this week featured classic hymns and two new musical settings of Christian Scripture.
EICHER: And now we’ll hear how the music of the Queen’s funeral reflects a heritage of faith—both for her country and the Queen herself. Here is reporter Josh Schumacher.
CLIP: Who shall separate us? Who shall separate us?
JOSH SCHUMACHER, REPORTER: That’s a clip from the anthem “Who Shall Separate Us?” by British composer James MacMillan. It includes an eight-part a capella setting of lines from Romans 8 composed for Queen Elizabeth’s funeral this week.
CLIP: Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?
As head of the Church of England, Queen Elizabeth was responsible for passing on the British hymnody to a new generation. Many of those hymns have deep roots in Reformation history and doctrine. One hymn sung at her funeral, “The Lord’s My Shepherd,” dates back to 1650.
CLIP: The Lord’s my shepherd, I’ll not want. He makes me down to lie…
For many today, such hymns are beautiful–but empty–relics of their national heritage. Not so for the Queen. During her life, the Queen claimed to follow Christ. Here’s a clip from her video Christmas message from 2000.
CLIP: For me, the teachings of Christ and my own personal accountability before God, provide a framework in which I tried to lead my life.
Irish-born hymn writer Keith Getty says he observed that faith in action over many years.
GETTY: You know, she had a very strong faith, which, which, as is supposed to happen in Christian faith only got stronger and only got more courageous at the very end of her life.
Getty met The Queen in person in Edinburgh in 2018. She bestowed on him, and many others, the Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire award. She even took a few minutes to speak with him.
GETTY: And for a couple of minutes of my comparatively inconsequential life. I had the full attention of the Queen and her interest and songs.
One hymn Getty co-wrote, “In Christ Alone,” is used on a lot of occasions by the royal family. So, the Queen was familiar with his work.
GETTY: And she was just very curious that somebody had wanted to reinvent hymn writing, which had so much such a history and British culture.
Since the 1600s, Britain has had a Master of the King’s or Queen’s Music, the musical equivalent of poet laureate. Current Master of the Queen’s Music, Judith Weir, was commissioned to write a choral piece for this week’s funeral. Weir chose the words of Psalm 42, taken from the Book of Common Prayer.
CLIP: Like as the hart desireth the waterbrooks…
Keith Getty’s hymns don’t share the high church style of Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral. But as he works to fill the world with new, Christ-honoring hymns, Getty looks to older Christian leaders like the Queen for inspiration.
GETTY: ...getting to watch the queen in those 70 years, it’s incredible. They just had a different pace than we have. They have a pace, which understands the long game.
The historic music of the Queen’s funeral points to that long game as well.
CLIP: [Like As the Hart]
I’m Josh Schumacher.
NICK EICHER, HOST: It’s time to give credit to the team that made this week’s programs come together.
Mary Reichard, Kent Covington, David Bahnsen, Addie Offereins, Onize Ohikere, Grace Snell, Emily Whitten, Koryn Koch, Joel Belz, Carolina Lumetta, Steve West, Cal Thomas, John Stonestreet, Collin Garbarino, Lynde Langdon, Steve Kloosterman, Joyce Wu, Mary Muncy, and Josh Schumacher.
Thank you all.
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.
Kristen Flavin is our producer. 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: No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. (Matt. 6:24 ESV)
Remember to worship alongside your brothers and sisters in Christ this weekend. God willing, we’ll meet you right back here on Monday.
Go now in grace and peace.
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