MARY REICHARD, HOST: Today is Friday, October 26. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from member-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Mary Reichard.
NICK EICHER, HOST: And I’m Nick Eicher. It’s time now for Listener Feedback. Managing editor J.C. Derrick is here. He’s been through the mail, he’s looked at our iTunes reviews, Twitter and Facebook. He’s gathered quite a bit to share. Morning, J.C.!
J.C. DERRICK, MANAGING EDITOR: Good morning! Great to be here again. As always, we’ve had a lot of feedback this month.
REICHARD: Yes, and, as always, we need to start by owning up to a couple of mistakes. In his recent Word Play segment on storms in literature, George Grant said a winter thunderstorm rumbled ominously at Helm’s Deep just before the Battle of Five Armies in Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings.
DERRICK: Well, several listeners noted we got our battles mixed up. The Battle of Five Armies takes place near the end of The Hobbit. The Battle of Helm’s Deep doesn’t happen for another 60 years, as told in The Two Towers.
REICHARD: We obviously have a few Tolkien fans in the audience!
DERRICK: Indeed we do. We also have listeners in Montana who rightly noted a slip-up on this week’s Washington Wednesday. While naming the three tossup Senate races that have recently moved in the Republican direction, we said Kevin Cramer was leading Senator Heidi Heitkamp in Montana.
But they’re actually running in North Dakota. The Montana race between Senator Jon Tester and Matt Rosendale is still considered a tossup—although Tester leads in the polls.
EICHER: And now let’s go to the listener feedback line, 202-709-9595.
REICHARD: First, we have a grammar correction from Dennis, who called in from Greenville, South Carolina, where he works for BJU Press.
AUDIO: As a professional editor, I enjoyed hearing your short item this morning about Mike Pompeo requiring State Department employees to adhere to the Chicago Manual of Style. It didn’t quite ring true though, however, to say that he gave no official guidance on the long-standing debate over Oxford commas, since the 17th edition of Chicago Manual says, “When a conjunction joins the last two elements in the series of three or more, a comma, known as the serial or series comma, or the Oxford comma, should appear before the conjunction. Chicago strongly recommends this widely practiced usage.
DERRICK: Duly noted, Dennis. Thanks!
EICHER: We have a comment from Marcus in Ellensburg, Washington, and he has a thought to add to my Washington Wednesday interview a week ago with Henry Olsen, when we were talking about House races.
AUDIO: Given the inaccuracy of the polls in the last election that we had, presidential election, I’m a little bit surprised that you’re not asking about factors that might be causing these polls to be accurate. Of course, no one knows for sure. But I think it’s a question that ought to be asked.
DERRICK: Well, we actually have discussed that with Henry in the past on Washington Wednesday, but we didn’t this time. There’s a poll coming in, oh, about 11 days that will tell us exactly where things stand.
REICHARD: That’s for sure! Another listener wrote in to add a comment to my conversation with Grant Duwe. He’s the researcher whose recent report showed felons who have a social network and prison visits more often avoid re-arrest.
Well, listener Brent England is a federal prison chaplain in California. He said working with volunteers is often a difficult task. Quoting now:
From my own perspective, I’ve struggled to recruit those of Reformed and/or Presbyterian backgrounds to come and support ministry on the inside, to help those men (or women) who are due to release in the near future. Both sound and unsound theology are contagious, and when there is a prevalence of unsound theology, which is the norm in prison ministry, unfortunately, you get easy-believism or emotional appeals that have little to no lasting impact. Inmates involved in religious programming are a unique and overlooked ministry opportunity.
DERRICK: Well, may those opportunities be overlooked no more. I can’t help but think of the words of Jesus in Matthew 25: “I was in prison, and you visited me.”
REICHARD: Several listeners also wrote in response to Joel Belz’s commentary about increasing student-teacher ratios in the classroom. Jean Kim thought comparing education to factory assembly lines troubling.
Children aren’t just identical blank pages on which to be stamped knowledge. They all have different needs and ways of learning. Individual attention is crucial. Imagine applying that same logic to parenting. In an earlier segment you even said that teachers should teach morality. I’ve heard from teachers. Their jobs are to teach their subjects. It’s the parents’ jobs to teach morality. How exactly do you expect so much from one person in the time they are given to teach so much to so many people? Children, people, are not assembly lines.
DERRICK: Thank you, Jean. As always, we appreciate all the feedback we get, even when it’s in disagreement…
REICHARD: Now, as regular listeners know, we launched a new segment this month: World Tour. Some of you who who filled out our recent feedback survey asked for more international news on the program. And we listened! The response has been great so far. Here’s my favorite, from listener Becky Morgan. She left this simple comment on our website, WorldAndEverything.org:
Wonderful, wonderful, and more wonderful!
DERRICK: Several listeners also wrote in with praise for Kim Henderson’s piece on police in Brookhaven, Mississippi, where two officers died in the line of duty. Kim’s reflections as the wife and mother of law enforcement officers struck a chord with listener Christine Heric. She wrote:
I am the wife of an officer in the Seattle area and I can say for sure that we don’t hear much positive about the difficult jobs our [law enforcement officers]do. Your piece was thoughtful and covered so many aspects that few consider—especially the “why.” I really appreciated it. Keep up the good work!
REICHARD: Well, thank you, Christine. We’ll do our best!
DERRICK: And finally, here are a couple of iTunes reviews. One user wrote—quote—“I really enjoy this news show! The fear mongering from our major network news, like Fox and CNN, is exhausting. This show and WORLD Magazine are my go-to sources for news from a Biblical perspective.” End quote.
And another one is titled, “Like NPR but BETTER…Topics are much more varied than the echo chamber of the [mainstream media]. You can also sense a genuine camaraderie among the varied “voices” on the programs.”
REICHARD: Well, that is genuine indeed. We all get along and enjoy working together! And I’m not just saying that because J.C. is in the studio.
If you would like to reach us, you can call our listener feedback line at 202-709-9595. Or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. And please follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook.