The World and Everything in It: September 9, 2022
On Culture Friday, the legacy of a unique British monarch; Leah Savas reviews a film about the beauty of life and adoption; and TobyMac’s latest recording project inspired by the death of his son. Plus: the Friday morning news.
MYRNA BROWN, HOST: Good morning!
The legacy of Queen Elizabeth the Second and the future of the British monarchy. Today, predictions and perspective.
NICK EICHER, HOST: We will talk with WORLD Opinions Editor Albert Mohler ahead on Culture Friday.
Plus WORLD’s Leah Savas reviews a new Christian film about adoption.
And TobyMac is back with a recording project inspired by the death of his son.
BROWN: It’s Friday, September 9th. This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Myrna Brown.
EICHER: And I’m Nick Eicher. Good morning!
BROWN: Time now for the news with Kent Covington.
KENT COVINGTON, NEWS ANCHOR: Queen Elizabeth » Soccer fans joined in the singing of God Save the Queen before a match between England and Denmark on Thursday after news of Queen Elizabeth II’s passing.
Tributes continue to pour in to Britain’s longest-reigning monarch.
First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon said for more than 70 years, the queen was—quote—“the great constant in our national life.”
STURGEON: She has inspired us, on occasion comforted us and always personified values we hold dear.
President Biden called her a steadying presence and a source of pride for generations of Britons.
And Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said…
TRUDEAU: In a complicated world, her steady grace and resolve brought comfort and strength to us all.
The queen died on Thursday at her summer residence in Scotland surrounded by members of the royal family.
Ukraine offensive » Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy was among the many world leaders who paid tribute to the queen.
ZELENSKYY: [Speaking in Ukrainian]
He called her death a “heavy loss for the whole of Europe and the world.”
He also announced Thursday that Ukraine’s military has recaptured multiple towns from Russian forces.
ZELENSKYY: [Speaking in Ukrainian]
He said "our heroes have already liberated dozens of settlements."
U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley says Ukraine is making steady progress.
MILLEY: Russian command and control and their headquarters have been disrupted, and they’re having great difficulty resupplying their forces and replacing their combat losses.
Milley added that Ukraine’s forces have demonstrated superior tactical proficiency and a stronger will to fight.
US aid to Ukraine / Blinken in Ukraine » And the Biden administration says it's committed to ensuring Ukraine has the weapons it needs to continue that fight. The U..S government announced nearly $3 billion in additional military aid to Ukraine and other European countries threatened by Russia.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin:
AUSTIN: So the United States will continue to stand with Ukraine today and tomorrow. And along with our allies and partners, we will increase the momentum.
Secretary of State Tony Blinken paid an unannounced visit to Kyiv on Thursday.
BLINKEN: We’re proud of the fact that our support and the support of so many other countries is helping to enable what the Ukrainians are doing and working to liberate territory seized by Russia in this aggression.
Blinken said the administration would provide $2.2 billion in long-term military financing to Ukraine and 18 of its neighbors. That’s on top of nearly $700 million's worth of heavy weaponry, ammunition and vehicles for Ukraine alone.
Sweet Cakes Supreme Court » Two Christian small business owners are once again taking a First Amendment fight to the steps of the Supreme Court. WORLD’s Anna Johansen Brown has more.
ANNA JOHANSEN BROWN, REPORTER: Melissa and Aaron Klein were the owners of the now-closed Sweet Cakes by Melissa bakery in Gresham, Oregon. The bakery served all customers without discrimination. But in 2013, they declined on religious grounds to design a cake for same-sex wedding ceremony.
The state called that discrimination and hit the Kleins with a six-figure fine.
In 2018, the US Supreme Court told an Oregon court to take another look at the case. But again the court ruled against the couple.
Now the Kleins are once again asking the high court to declare that religious businesses cannot be forced to act against their beliefs.
The Supreme Court could act on their appeal as soon as Oct. 3rd.
Reporting for WORLD, I’m Anna Johansen Brown.
Memphis shooting » Memphis police have arrested a suspect in a shooting spree Wednesday that killed four people and injured three.
A witness described one of the shootings.
AUDIO: We were in the middle of setting up the tents and everything, and setting up the food when they heard the shots. And my pastor and a some other members including my pastor's father, went inside and the man was on the floor.
Police arrested caught 19-year-old Ezekial Kelly around 9 o’clock last night.
Kelly was charged two years ago as an adult with attempted first-degree murder in 2020.
Authorities gave no motive, and charges are pending.
Bannon surrenders » Former White House strategist Steve Bannon surrendered Thursday to face charges in New York. WORLD’s Josh Schumacher has that story.
JOSH SCHUMACHER, REPORTER: The Manhattan district attorney accuses Bannon of pocketing money meant for the “We Build the Wall” campaign. The effort raised millions of dollars to fund private sections of a wall at the U.S. southern border.
Federal prosecutors previously charged Bannon, but former President Donald Trump pardoned him.
Bannon said the charges are “phony” and politically motivated.
Reporting for WORLD, I’m Josh Schumacher.
I’m Kent Covington. Straight ahead: The legacy of Queen Elizabeth II and the future of the British monarchy.
This is The World and Everything in It.
MYRNA BROWN, HOST: It's the 9th day 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!
Given the sad news yesterday afternoon of the death of Queen Elizabeth II, we are turning today to Albert Mohler. He is editor of WORLD Opinions and a true Anglophile. He wrote a tribute to Queen Elizabeth that we published online yesterday and we’ll talk about her life and place in history.
ALBERT MOHLER, GUEST: Good morning to you, Nick. It's great to be with you and Myrna and the listeners to The World and Everything in It.
BROWN: Excellent column yesterday afternoon, thank you for it. You wrote: “There will not be another like her, at least for a long time.”
Would you talk about what made Elizabeth the Second a unique British monarch?
MOHLER: Well, in so many ways, she established the monarchy once again in in the 20th century in the way that that the monarchy had to be reset at various times. You know, the the thing I want to remind people of because Americans often don't think about this, is that the question of what grounds legitimacy and government is a huge question. It was a consuming question for the American colonists and the revolutionaries. And there very few answers to that question. And actually, biblically, it was a problem that vexed Israel, even when Israel demanded a king, which was not God's intention for them. A monarchy a hereditary monarchy is a way of grounding legitimacy of government. And history is just recorded that in a fallen world, there are a few ways to do that successfully. And and Monarchs are not always successful, and monarchies don't always survive. But the survival the British Monarchy for about 1000 years is one of the rarest of human achievements. Its civilizational. in its in its achieving significance, and and yet, in the modern age, which is particularly inhospitable to the idea of something like a hereditary monarch, Elizabeth in her person, Elizabeth the Second, Her Majesty embodied the state in a way that that meant that even as in the early 20th century, the emperor of the Austro Hungarian empire, that monarchy was destroyed, the German monarchy destroyed, you can just go down the list not to mention the Russian monarchy destroyed, the British Monarchy actually got stronger and stronger and stronger. And it really is largely due to three people in the 20th century George, the fifth, George the sixth, and Elizabeth the Second, and the longest reigning of them, the only one of them to rain for very long, such that you can name an age after her was Elizabeth the second she was 10 years old. When her father unexpectedly became king, she instantly became the first in a line of succession. The weight of an entire nation during one of the most tumultuous centuries of all human existence fell on the shoulders of a 10 year old girl who literally grew up to be a queen. And as I say, in the article at World opinions, we rightly speak now of a second Elizabeth, an age in British history. And those of us who are alive now need to know we should mark this day for it's the end of an epoch.
EICHER: You noted that Elizabeth reigned through a revolution in morality and culture that she could hardly have appreciated when her reign began in 1952.
One of our colleagues here at WORLD noted the irony that a king’s philandering is what placed Elizabeth into the line of succession and with her death we now in essence have a philandering king, her son, King Charles III. So it wasn’t just a moral and cultural revolution that cut through the world over 70 years; it cut through her family as well, didn’t it?
MOHLER: Well, it did. And I would correct what you said in only one sense, and that is that it wasn't technically the philandering, the gut did monarchy into trouble. It was the question of divorce. And the question of marrying a divorced woman whether the king could marry an American, by the way twice divorced woman and, and so it was the question of divorce the Church of England I mean, unfortunately, there have been a lot of philandering kings and princes, but a divorced King was inconceivable in 1936 and that brought about the abdication crisis. And you know, there are multiple ironies here just because Queen Elizabeth the Second sister, it was embroiled in a massive scandal and Queen Elizabeth did not allow her to marry a divorced man and and then you just fast forward as you indicate, she had four children clean it was Queen Elizabeth the Second and only one of them did not divorce or has not yet we hope not. And so you're right this just cut all the way through it. Elizabeth would not be queen if divorce had been socially acceptable and acceptable to the Church of England in 1936, she would have been probably a forgotten princess. But she became queen precisely because of divorce. And now her divorced and, yes, philandering son becomes, we think King Charles the third, he has become king, we need to make that clear he became king immediately upon the last breath of his mother. But he has not yet announced his throne name, which is likely to be either Charles the third or George the seventh.
EICHER: We’ve read hundreds of times already “the end of an era.” No doubt that’s true. But I wonder how far that end-of-an-era idea goes. We’ve seen monarchies collapse. Do you wonder whether this is more than the end of the reign of this Queen but also the end of Britain’s monarchy itself?
MOHLER: You know, I would not bet against the British Monarchy for a couple of reasons. Number one, it really is the grounding of legitimacy for the British government. And the British government is based around that so comprehensively, that Parliament can only meet in the sovereigns name, the prime minister can only serve by the by the monarchs invitation, government can only exist by the monarchs current authority exercised, even by the monarch signature, it's virtually impossible to have England or Great Britain or the United Kingdom, which is technically the first thing we should say it's impossible to have the United Kingdom without a king, or a queen, as a reigning sovereign. Now you could have another nation, but it would actually have to reinvent itself. And by the way, there's another reason, less perhaps estimable why the British Crown is going to continue. And that is, it is now the huge draw for international attention. And so in a celebrity age, the royal family becomes the great tourist attraction when people do not go to Germany, or to Paris very often to see, you know, the palaces of former kings and queens, they want to go see the palace of a king, or a queen. And so the there's a commercial reason why. And also, just in terms of royal warrants, if you just consider the legal authority by which banks operate, and schools operate, and, you know, nonprofit organizations, NGOs, as we would call them operate, they all operate and buy some kind of warrant that eventually is traceable back to the crown. So I'll just predict that, that barring something like a Bolshevik revolution, you're not likely to see the Fall of the House. But to make your point, Nick, the bigger concern is whether the royal family will maintain moral credibility, because it's possible to conceive of them as nothing more than salacious celebrities. And I would just argue that that will mean the fall of the monarchy over time, because you can replace celebrities, you can't replace a monarch in terms of authority and integrity and credibility. That's what made Elizabeth so special is that Elizabeth was a woman who embodied duty service love for her country. I mean, imagine that falling on the shoulders of a 10 year old girl, and then it was in the midst of economic depression. And then comes World War Two, where her own nation is in grave danger of just disappearing against the Nazi onslaught. And you just look and you recognize the legitimacy of the British government has has been on her shoulders now for 70 years personally and for longer than that anticipation. And there's just nothing in American life that compares which is another reason why we just need to say as Americans, our government is we just have to admit derivative of the British government, our political traditions are a continuation of the Anglo American political traditions. And so that's the reason why, even after a revolution, established relations between and by the way, you had another war in 1812, that by the time you get to the end of the 19th century, it's clear that Winston Churchill will put it best when he said the English speaking peoples belong together and were indivisible. Even if we were a one people, two nations separated by a common language as he put it.
BROWN: Albert Mohler is editor of WORLD Opinions. It’s been a busy week, thanks for squeezing this in!
MOHLER: Oh, absolutely. This is such an important time. I just hope that Christians listeners to the world and everything in it, just understand the gravity of this moment. This is a this is a kind of time when parents and children, grandparents and family just need to say you know, this is just one of those major historical milestones that we will and should remember for a very long time you need to remember where you were. When the death of Queen Elizabeth the Second was announced, nothing like this almost by definition is going to happen in our lifetimes.
NICK EICHER, HOST: Today is Friday, September 9th. 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 pro-life movie.
In their new feature film Lifemark, Christian filmmakers Kirk Cameron and the Kendrick brothers tell the true story of a boy who was almost never born.
EICHER: The movie touches on the important themes of adoption and choosing life over abortion. But it doesn’t quite do justice to the true events that inspired the film. Here’s WORLD’s life beat reporter Leah Savas with a review.
LEAH SAVAS, REPORTER: High School student David Colton’s parents adopted him as a baby, and he doesn’t like to talk about it. Sure, he loves his adoptive mom and dad and has a happy life, but he’s afraid of being different. So when his parents receive a voicemail from the adoption agency soon after his 18th birthday, it rocks his world. His birth mom, Melissa, has updated her records, and he’s now old enough to contact her. David has to decide what to do.
Jimmy: Well, I um—She's right. You're old enough now.
Susan: David, what do you think?
David: I don't know.
Susan: We need to talk about this. I mean, do you think you might want to meet your mom?
David: I don't know, okay? It's a lot to think about.
Jimmy: Yeah, well, you don't have to do anything right now, David. It's okay.
David: I don't even know if I want her back in my life. I don’t even know her.
The movie follows David as he connects with his birth parents on social media and later travels to meet them for the first time. In the process, he comes to terms with what it means to be an adopted child.
The movie dramatizes the real-life story of David Scotton. A Louisiana couple who couldn’t have children of their own adopted David in the 1990s. He traveled to meet his Indiana birth parents in 2013. The 2018 documentary I Lived on Parker Avenue captures that reunion and features interviews with David and both sets of parents.
In a lot of ways, Lifemark stays true to David's story, but it makes some changes, mostly related to characters’ backstories. To my mind, the most notable change was how David learned that his birth parents almost aborted him as a baby. In the movie, his birth mom Melissa reveals the truth to David at the very end, about ten minutes before the credits roll.
CLIP: Those few seconds, you wouldn’t be standing here. I would have killed you. I’m so sorry.
Don’t be. You let me live. There’s nothing to be sorry for.
But in the 2018 documentary, it’s clear David knows about the almost-abortion before meeting Melissa. After watching Lifemark, I had a Zoom call with David’s adoptive mom, Susan Scotton, and she said she knew about Melissa’s visit to the abortion clinic almost from the beginning. She and her husband met with David’s birth parents over dinner during their trip to pick up baby David.
SUSAN SCOTTON: And it was there that she shared with me that she had been an abortion clinic. So I knew at the beginning. David, I mean, we were always so open about adoption. Adoption was our life that we celebrated and, but understanding abortion, I started mentioning it to him. Well, my mom and dad was so active in right to life, they would walk in front of the abortion clinics. So he knew they were doing that. And you know, but probably he didn't grasp the idea of what an abortion was until maybe 13, I guess. But he, he knew.
Without this knowledge, David’s struggle to decide if he wants to connect with Melissa and the thanks he extends to her when they first meet don’t have as much meaning.
The filmmakers here missed an opportunity to show David’s long-term attitude of forgiveness towards his birth mom. And to let characters and viewers process the significance of Melissa’s decision to choose adoptive parents for her baby.
David: Thank you. I’ve had a great life.
Melissa: I know you have.
David: That’s because of you. You gave that to me.
I first saw the documentary about David last summer and have since re-watched it and recommended it on this podcast. In it, we see real-life David sob as his adoptive parents reassure him that they don’t love him any less because he’s not their biological child. We see more tears from Melissa as she tells the story of being a teen at the Indianapolis abortion facility. David’s initially distant birth father, Brian, expresses pride that his son looks like him, and we can see the similarities in the nose, the forehead, the mouth.
After seeing the documentary and the real people behind the story, it’s easy to see that the movie falls short. In comparison, the movie feels like a cheap reenactment with too-well-dressed characters living in too-well-decorated houses. Add to that cringey acting, and the story loses its rawness.
Nate: I don’t know, just don’t hold anything back alright? Just give it all to me.
David: Okay. Sure.
Nate: Are you ready? And—action.
David: I didn’t want to be different! I just wanted to fit in!
Nate: Dude are you kidding me? Alright, that’s a cut. That’s a cut.
David: What is wrong with me right now?
But the movie still made me cry because it shows the power of choosing life over death and the beauty of adoption. Viewers who have seen the documentary I Lived on Parker Avenue will notice cameo appearances in Lifemark by David, his adoptive mom, and his birth mom. Those cameos are a reminder of how, in this case, the choice of one teenage mom has influenced a multitude.
I’m Leah Savas.
MYRNA BROWN, HOST: Today is Friday, September 9th. 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. Coming next: Life After Death. Nearly three years ago, TobyMac’s oldest son Truett, died of an accidental drug overdose. The veteran Contemporary Christian Music artist recently released his first album since that terrible day.
Myrna, you’ve had some time to take a listen to what is probably TobyMac’s most personal album ever.
BROWN: I have! It’s called Life After Death. And I admit, before listening to it, I was only a casual consumer of his blend of hip hop, rock and pop. I still consider myself a “true gospel girl,” I was captivated by his well-told story, in his own voice.
TOBYMAC: When we lost Tru, I had to work through my feelings and beliefs. I had to respond to know that I was alive. A few days after his passing I wrote 21 years, which is a tribute to my beautiful, first-born son and to let God know just how I felt.
21 YEARS SONG: Did he see you from a long way off? Running to him with a father’s heart? Did you wrap him up inside Your arms? And let him know that he’s home?
In the song 21 Years, TobyMac gives us complete access to a very raw and personal conversation with God. His transparency not only draws you in, it also keeps you engaged throughout most of the 15-song album.
21 YEARS SONG: 21 years makes a man full-grown. 21 years, what a beautiful loan. 21 years, I love everyone. Thank you Lord for my beautiful son.
After Truett’s death, Mac asked his daughter to join him at the piano. She had never written or sung professionally before.
TOBYMAC: I asked my daughter Marlee if she wanted to try writing a song about her feelings and the pain that we were experiencing and she said yes. Sometimes music can work like medicine or writing words and melodies can be like therapy. I was just hoping for some togetherness at the piano and a song emerged, called Everything About You.
SONG EVERYTHING ABOUT YOU: I miss everything about you. I just miss being around you. Out of sight, out of mind, don’t add up not this time. It’s the cold hard truth….
Warm and soft, the song Everything About You will likely leave you nostalgic, especially if you have siblings. The keyboard and live orchestra bring just the right touch to this heartfelt song. But don’t expect the album to be drenched in a flood of melancholy.
SONG HELP IS ON THE WAY: Help is on the way (round in the corner) Help is on the way (coming for you) Help is on the way (yeah, yeah) I lived enough life to say. Help is on the way…
Mac says he wrote the song Help Is On The Way at the intersection of his grief and faith.
TOBYMAC: And then I read a scripture in Isaiah 52 that caught my attention. I had never noticed it before and it spoke directly to my heart. It said God is rolling up his sleeves.
HELP IS ON THE WAY SONG: It may be midnight or midday. It’s never early, never late. He gon’ stand by what He claims. I’ve lived enough life to say.
Help is On the Way is a head-bobbin’ foot stompin’ gospel-tinged song. But that’s not the only reason it’s my favorite. The four baritone back-up singers remind me of the men in my hometown church, whose broad shoulders and big voices filled the choir stand every 5th Sunday.
SONG FAITHFULLY: I’ve had a hard time finding the blue in the skies above me.
The song Faithfully is one of TobyMac’s favorites. It’s also one of his rare solo songs on the project, giving us a gut-wrenching insight into the dark days and nights following his son’s death.
FAITHFULLY SONG: But when my world broke into pieces you were there faithfully. When I cried out to you Jesus you made a way for me.
Now, here’s the thing, with lyrics that point so clearly to Jesus, I was disappointed when a TobyMac interview wasn’t as open as his music.
GMA ANNOUNCER: Now to Christian music star TobyMac…
During a Good Morning America interview last month, the reporter asked TobyMac…
REPORTER: People wonder how do you get through the first days of something like this? I can’t give you the answer Chris of how you get through it. I know how I did and it was music.
I so wanted to hear him use that national platform to boldly proclaim…
FAITHFULLY SONG: But when my world broke into pieces you were there faithfully. When I cried out to you Jesus you made a way for me.
The list of collaborators on this project is long—from Sheryl Crow and Zac Williams, to Cory Asbury and former DCTalk band mates Michael Tait and Kevin Max. But don’t we all find solace in our community when navigating a dark season? Life After Death is a collection of songs that are both painful and hopeful. The project will speak deeply to anyone unexpectedly walking through the valley of the shadow of death. And at some point, that will be all of us.
NICK EICHER, HOST: It’s time to give credit to the team that made this week’s programs come together.
Joel Belz, Janie B. Cheaney, Whitney Williams, Cal Thomas, Kristen Flavin, Mary Reichard, David Bahnsen, Collin Garborino, Lauren Dunn, Addie Offereins, Bonnie Pritchett, Jill Nelson, Emily Whitten, Onize Ohikere, Kim Henderson, Amy Lewis, Kent Covington, Anna Johansen Brown, Anna Mandin, Mary Muncy, Josh Schumacher, Albert Mohler, and Leah Savas.
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.
Jesus said: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matt. 22:37-40 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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