The World and Everything in It — November 26, 2019

MARY REICHARD, HOST: Good morning! November is National Adoption Month and there is good news on the adoption and foster-care front.

NICK EICHER, HOST: Also a Christian program for drug addicts risks entanglement with the government. 

Plus, a museum display that exposes an edition of the Bible that has a troubling past related to slavery.

SCHMIDT: Yeah, you are enslaved right now, but you will be rewarded if you simply fill your role in society now because God has a plan.

And Cal Thomas on American support for Israel.

REICHARD: It’s Tuesday, November 26th. This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Mary Reichard.

EICHER: And I’m Nick Eicher. Good morning!

REICHARD: Now here’s Kent Covington with today’s news.

KENT COVINGTON, NEWS ANCHOR: Judge orders McGahn to comply with House subpoena » A federal judge ruled Monday that former White House counsel Don McGahn must comply with a subpoena from House Democrats. They’re demanding that he testify in the impeachment inquiry. 

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s ruling comes three months after the House Judiciary Committee sued to enforce the subpoena. Committee chairman Jerrold Nadler predicted the courts would reject the Trump administration’s claim that current and former White House officials are immune from testifying. 

NADLER: The excuses that the White House gives for McGahn not testifying, the nonsense about absolute immunity, etc., are the same excuses for all the other fact witnesses. 

Following Monday’s ruling, House Democrats may look to force other high-ranking officials to testify. 

The Justice Department said the administration will appeal Jackson’s ruling and seek to put it on hold for now. But an attorney for McGahn said without a court-imposed stay, his client will comply with the subpoena.

Pro-democracy candidates score landslide in Hong Kong elections » Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam said Monday she will “seriously reflect” on the stunning results of this week’s elections. 

Voters sent a clear message with prodemocracy candidates sweeping nearly 90 percent of 452 district council seats.  That seemed a clear rebuke of Carrie Lam, her government’s policies, and its handling of ongoing protests. 

Voters in Hong Kong cannot vote directly for the chief executive. A 1,200 member committee chooses the leader. But District Council members name about a tenth of the people on that committee. 

WORLD’s East Asia reporter June Cheng was in Hong Kong and spoke to voters. Many said they were voting to give pro-democracy forces more sway in choosing Hong Kong’s next leader.

AUDIO: It’s important to get more people from the Democratic side to get into the system, because in the district election, we have more than a hundred votes in the chief executive election. That’s very important.

The next chief executive election is in 2022. 

China’s central government reacted on Monday, making clear that the city will always be under Beijing’s thumb. In a statement, the Foreign Ministry said “No matter how the situation in Hong Kong changes, it is very clear that Hong Kong is a part of Chinese territory.”

Leaked document reveals workings of China’s reeducation camps » Meantime, a new report reveals that China prepared a manual for how to secretly run forced reeducation camps for religious and ethnic minorities. WORLD Radio’s Kristen Flavin reports. 

KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: A group of news organizations published a leaked classified blueprint that shows how the Chinese government runs the camps in Xinjiang.

Guards in watch towers, double-locked doors, and video surveillance “prevent escapes.” Uighurs and other minorities receive scores on everything from how well they speak Mandarin—down to bathing and using the toilet.

The secret documents lay out the government’s strategy to lock up ethnic minorities even before they commit a crime to rewire their thoughts and change the language they speak.

The papers also show how Beijing is pioneering a new form of social control using data and artificial intelligence. Drawing on data collected by mass surveillance technology, computers issued the names of tens of thousands of people for interrogation or detention in just one week.

China has condemned the documents as a “fabrication and fake news.”

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Kristen Flavin. 

Anti-doping panel recommends 4-year ban for Russian athletes » A committee at the World Anti-Doping Agency is reportedly calling for a four-year ban on Russian athletes in global sports. 

The New York Times reported Monday that the panel is recommending the ban as punishment for the brazen Russian doping program that came to light four years ago.  

The proposed penalties would bar Russian athletes from next year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo and other major events like World Cup soccer. 

The World Anti-Doping Agency is expected to announce a final ruling next month after a board meeting in Paris. If it approves the panel’s recommended punishment, Russia can still appeal the decision. 

Thieves steal “priceless” 18th century jewels from museum » Thieves broke into one of the world’s oldest museums on Monday, making off with three “priceless” sets of 18th century jewelry. WORLD Radio’s Anna Johansen has that story. 

ANNA JOHANSEN, REPORTER: The heist happened at the Green Vault at Dresden Castle in eastern Germany. Unarmed security guards spotted the thieves on surveillance cameras. They alerted authorities, who arrived within minutes, but the suspects had already fled in a getaway car.

The thieves broke open a glass case containing three sets of Baroque jewelry—including dazzling brooches, buttons, and buckles. 

Museum officials said they couldn’t place a dollar value on the stolen items, because they would be—“impossible to sell.” But a German newspaper estimated the value to be just over a billion dollars. 

The museum was established in 1723. It contains about 4,000 objects of gold, precious stones, and other artifacts.

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Anna Johansen. 

White House Christmas tree arrives » First lady Melania Trump opened the holiday season in the nation’s capital Monday—accepting delivery of the official White House Christmas tree.

Members of the U.S. Marine Band played as a pair of horses trotted up the White House driveway pulling a green carriage that carried an 18-foot Douglas fir.

The towering tree is the centerpiece of Christmas in the White House Blue Room.

The first lady greeted and posed for photos with the Pennsylvania farmer who donated the fir. 

President Trump is scheduled to honor another holiday ritual today when he issues a presidential pardon to the National Thanksgiving Turkey.

I’m Kent Covington. Straight ahead: good news from the U.S. foster care system. Plus, a heavily edited version of the Bible once used to justify slavery. This is The World and Everything in It.

MARY REICHARD: It’s Tuesday the 26th of November, 2019. Glad to have you along for today’s edition of The World and Everything in It. Good morning, I’m Mary Reichard.

NICK EICHER: And I’m Nick Eicher. First up, foster care and adoption.

November is National Adoption Month. The aim is to  raise awareness about children in foster care who need families to adopt them. Agencies who place these children in homes are always looking for more families to take them in. But there are many more needy children than families willing to provide forever homes.

Now there’s some encouraging news on that front. Here’s WORLD Radio’s Sarah Schweinsberg.

SARAH SCHWEINSBERG, REPORTER: Four years ago, Logan Walker was working as a kindergarten teacher. One of her students was in foster care. At the end of the year, he went back to his biological family. 

WALKER: He was reunited with his birth mom and at our last conference I got to talk with her and she kind of shared her side of things and how supportive the foster mother was. I definitely wanted to be a part of that, but I wasn’t sure how.

Walker and her husband started calling adoption agencies to find out how they could become foster parents. They enrolled in a three-month training, went through home studies, and got certified. 

WALKER: We finished in November, and we got a call for our first placement in December, so it wasn’t even a month later and we got a call. 

The Walkers fostered a baby girl for 18 months until she was reunited with her family. Then in 2018, they got a call about a baby boy named Levi. Reunification with his birth family wasn’t an option. 

WALKER: They were looking for an adoptive home for him last August. And so they called us.. And so we said yes. And he’s been with us ever since. 

According to a new government report, foster care adoptions like Levi’s hit a record high in 2018. Families adopted more than 63,000 children out of the foster system. That’s the largest number since data collection began 25 years ago. 

Herbie Newell heads Lifeline Children’s Services. It’s a Christian adoption agency. Newell says one driver behind the rising number of foster adoptions is the increased public awareness of foster kids. 

NEWELL: What you have seen is a lot more people enter into the foster care system via, through becoming a foster parent, becoming a relief parent or, or even bringing permanence through adoption. 

Newell says another factor has been a decrease in international adoption. Today, many countries have severely restricted or all-together cut off adoptions to foreigners. So families looking to adopt have turned their attention to foster children. 

NEWELL: The positive fallout from that is I think it put this face on foster care. of inter-country adoption that’s really benefited the foster care system.

And that’s not the only good news coming out of the foster care system. Last year there was a slight decrease in the number of kids under state supervision. The number of foster children has climbed steadily since 2011. And in 2017, it peaked at 441,000. 

Last year saw a small but encouraging drop of 4,000 children says Chelsea Sobolik. She’s a policy director at the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention.

SOBOLIK: That means that less children are being placed into foster care and more children are able to stay with their families. 

Corie Liles is the executive director of Nightlight Christian Adoptions in Colorado. She says the decline in foster numbers is being driven in large part by child welfare offices trying to keep children out of the system. 

LILES: There’s a huge push to “safety-plan” and what the means is that you’re going to do everything that you can and get creative as possible while still being safe to make sure that kids can stay in their home. The counties have also worked really hard to make sure that they’re looking for kinship. 

But Liles says there can be a danger in placing more value on keeping children out of the system than on keeping them safe. 

LILES: Sometimes the safest place for this child is actually to just be removed. But there’s a huge stigma around removing children and people try not to do that.

Lifeline’s Herbie Newell says while 2018 presented positive trends, there’s still a long way to go. Of the children in foster care, a quarter are still waiting to be adopted. And the system still moves too slowly.

NEWELL: Even with these positive trends, our child welfare system is underfunded. It’s overworked, and it’s still very much clogged.

Newell says to address these issues more Christians need to get involved both on the front end and the back end of the system. 

NEWELL: Foster care is not just about caring for the kids who have already been separated from their home, but foster care is about aggressively seeking out your neighbor, coming around the drug addict, coming around the alcoholic, coming around the single mom to help them stay together. 

Meanwhile, mom Logan Walker says the support she and her husband receive from their church and Christian friends keeps them from burning out. After adopting Levi, Walker became a stay-at-home mom and is now fostering another baby boy. 

WALKER: Our plan is just to keep doing it until the Lord just shuts that door.

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Sarah Schweinsberg.

MARY REICHARD: Coming up next on The World and Everything in It: helping people who are addicted to drugs.

Don and David Wilkerson are brothers who founded the Christian ministry Teen Challenge in 1968. Teen Challenge is a long-term program for addicts. The ministry has more than 200 centers around the country. And today it’s known as ATC, for Adult & Teen Challenge.

NICK EICHER: The gospel message has always been central to ATC’s work. And the ministry had long resisted government efforts to secularize its programming. But last year, the ATC board announced a change: individual centers would be allowed to seek state licensure for short-term inpatient and outpatient programs.

REICHARD: That will open the door for private insurance and Medicaid payments. But it also could come with state strings attached. And that could undercut the ministry’s founding principles.

Michael Reneau is deputy editor at WORLD Magazine. He’s written about the uproar caused by the ATC board’s decision. He joins us now to talk about it.

Good morning, Michael!


REICHARD: What prompted the policy change with ATC?

RENEAU: Well, Mary, with these state license programs comes more revenue through insurance payments and also through state fees given to those programs. Now, the ATC centers doing it also say that the drug problem in America is a complex problem. We need to be looking for new and complex solutions to fix that problem.

REICHARD: Well, what kinds of solutions? What sorts of programming are we talking about here? 

RENEAU: So, traditionally, ATC has been known for a year-long, pretty intense inpatient program—a residential program—and it’s got, obviously, religious component to it where participants are presented with the gospel. These different kinds of programming are referred to as continuum of care. And, basically, these are short-term programs so instead of year-long residency programs, sometimes these are just for a number of days or a number of weeks. And there are also detoxification programs that come along with this as well.

REICHARD: Have the ATC centers been asking for this for a while?

RENEAU: Well, really, again, it all started in 2003 with Minnesota Adult and Teen Challenge center being the first one to go down this path. They developed short-term programming, got the state licensing, began receiving insurance payments, and whatnot. And since then, several other Adult and Teen Challenge centers have also started pursuing this. Minnesota, Ohio, New England centers have all started doing this. But it really began about 16 years ago.

REICHARD: What differences are there in state-licensed programs versus programs that aren’t licensed by the state?

RENEAU: So, that question really depends on what state we’re talking about. In Minnesota, for example, state license programs cannot force participants to take part in any kind of religious programs. Some decide to do that—it’s an option. But they can’t force it. In fact, the president Eric Vegel of Minnesota ATC told me, “We do not believe in forcing people to engage in religious activities to get our help.” In other states, the rules are different. In Ohio, for example, the state license program—they have a short term program there—can make folks participate in the religious parts of the programming. So it really depends state-to-state.

REICHARD: And there are some people who oppose these changes. What are they saying?

RENEAU: So, Don Wilkerson, the brother of David Wilkerson—a co-founder of Adult and Teen Challenge—he and others are really saying that this gets very far afield from the core DNA of Adult and Teen Challenge. They see ATC as being primarily about evangelism, about sharing the gospel with people who have drug or substance addictions. And so they’re worried that this big carrot being dangled in front of Adult and Teen Challenge centers and insurance funding and state fees and whatnot, is going to be too tempting to stick to the core DNA of what ATC is. I should say, too, that after hearing some of the criticism, the National Adult and Teen Challenge center amended some of the policy and made it so that if ATC centers want to go down this path of continuum of care programming after January 1, 2020, they must do so under a different name and form entities to do so. Now, about 10 ATC centers are going to be grandfathered in—they’d already gotten too far down the path. But as of January 1, if ATC centers want to pursue this, they have to do it under a different entity with separate board of directors altogether.

REICHARD: Michael Reneau is deputy editor at WORLD Magazine. He also leads WORLD’s investigative reporters, known as the Caleb Team. Thanks for joining us today, Michael.

RENEAU: Thanks for having me, Mary.

NICK EICHER: A Michigan woman was driving home recently when she heard the familiar sound of her cell phone ringing.

It was her boss. He was calling about her promotion, and specifically about the routine background check the company had to run.

As it turned out, the background check was anything but routine. Evidently, it turned up an arrest warrant.

JONES: I had to pull over because I was laughing, and he was like no I’m serious. And I was like no, there’s no way. There’s no way I have a warrant.

Yup. Warrant for the arrest of Melinda Sanders-Jones, wanted for overdue library books. The audio from TV station WPIX.

Now the books were overdue and she did return them. But because she’d missed several notices over a roughly two-year period, the Charlotte Community Library set in motion a prosecution.

She expected to pay a fine, or face some kind of collection action, but this?

JONES: I really don’t think that going to jail over those few books is okay. And I really didn’t want to steal their property.

This is actually pretty serious: she’s facing up to three months in jail and a $500 fine. What happened here is that Jones didn’t see the late notices because she had to move frequently to get out of an abusive relationship. Now, if all that checks out, here’s hoping the authorities can see their way clear to drop the charges.

It’s The World and Everything in It.

NICK EICHER: Today is Tuesday, November 26th. This is The World and Everything in It from listener supported WORLD Radio. Glad you’re here today!  Good morning. I’m Nick Eicher.

MARY REICHARD: And I’m Mary Reichard. Here are some reactions to a book that was published in the 1800s: Manipulative. Disturbing. Brazen.

We’re talking about a book now on display at the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C. WORLD reporter Jenny Rough is a docent at that museum. She talked with one of the curators about the display of what’s called the Slave Bible. 

JENNY ROUGH, REPORTER: Perhaps you have many Bibles on your bookshelf: different translations, children’s Bibles, chronological Bibles. 

But have you heard of this one? 

SCHMIDT: Parts of the Holy Bible Selected for the Use of the Negro Slaves in the British West-India Islands.

It’s a mouthful, but it’s the title of a real book. The Slave Bible is a heavily redacted version of the King James Bible. British missionaries distributed the book in the 1800s to enslaved Africans in the West Indies. But much of the Bible’s contents are purposefully missing: Genesis Chapter 4, Genesis Chapter 5, Genesis Chapter 9…

SCHMIDT: It’s probably better to say what was included. 

Anthony Schmidt is a curator at the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C. Only three slave bibles are known to still exist today. The museum has one on display, on loan from Fisk University. 

The book contains about 10 percent of the Old Testament and about half of the New Testament. That’s it.

SCHMIDT: We have the creation story in Genesis, it begins with that and goes to Noah. And then it jumps to the Joseph story where he’s sold into bondage by his brothers. 

The omissions continue, skipping chapters and even entire books, like the Psalms. The Ten Commandments are left in, but most of the rest of Exodus isn’t. What’s missing is the story of how God, through Moses, freed the Hebrews slaves from Egyptian rule to deliver them into the Promised Land. That’s because the missionaries wanted the slaves to convert to Christianity, but didn’t want to rock the social boat and incite rebellion.

SCHMIDT: They didn’t want to give Africans any ideas that this conversion somehow made them equal to the white plantation owners. 

The Slave Bible was published in London by Law & Gilbert. The book functioned like a primer, similar to the way schoolhouses in Colonial New England used elementary textbooks that mixed vocabulary lessons with the basics of Christian faith.  

SCHMIDT: So these are basically beginners readers for people who are learning how to read, in the same list as spelling books and catechisms, right? So this is something that they would’ve distributed to Africans partly of course to teach them Christianity, but also to teach them how to read because that was a big part of the missionary organization’s agenda. 

But from the plantation owners’ perspective, teaching enslaved people how to read was dangerous. The more educated they became, the more likely they would fight for emancipation. 

SCHMIDT: It would encourage them to communicate across plantations, but also to consume abolitionists’ literature. Oh, my gosh, so now they’re learning these new ideas, they could begin reading certain laws and, you know, they might become just more equipped to fight their situation, right, the social structures there.

In order to placate the plantation owners, the missionaries decided to prioritize certain Bible passages over others. Evidence indicates that one of the missionaries’ tactics was to include verses that appear to sanction slavery:

SCHMIDT: Well, the big one that most people that were looking to the Bible to justify slavery is Ephesians 6:5. And that’s “Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ.” 

Parts that were excluded include Exodus 21:16:

SCHMIDT: “And he that stealeth a man, and selleth him, or if he be found in his hand, he shall surely be put to death.”

And Jeremiah 22:13:

SCHMIDT: “Woe unto him that buildeth his house by unrighteousness, and his chambers by wrong; that useth his neighbour’s service without wages, and giveth him not for his work.” 

Surprisingly, Philemon is cut out, the story where Paul tells the runaway slave to return to his master. 

But most of the story of Joseph remained in the Slave Bible, you know, the guy who was thrown in jail for not sleeping with Potiphar’s wife. True, Joseph did become a slave. But when he was freed, he rose to become the second most powerful man in the world. Schmidt explains why that story stayed in:

SCHMIDT: It also in a sense teaches what they would consider a moral lesson that, yeah, you are enslaved right now, but you will be rewarded if you simply do your job, fill your role in society now because God has a plan…

Modern sensibilities are offended by this kind of Biblical text manipulation. But that’s not how the missionaries viewed it. 

SCHMIDT: In one sense they were abolitionists, right, they wanted to abolish the slave trade, end it. It was awful, but they would not go so far as to say that we have to end slavery right now.  

So the Slave Bible seemed intended to preserve the system of slavery. 

ROUGH: My question is: Did it work?
SCHMIDT: No, it did not. No.

Thousands of individuals worked hard and fought and died to end the Atlantic slave systems despite obstacles such as the Slave Bible. 

SCHMIDT: Finally, in 1833, the slaves are eventually emancipated. 

The artifact illustrates the temptation of every generation to ignore certain passages. And it begs the question: What portions of the Bible are being neglected or skipped over today to support social causes?

SCHMIDT: If they’re doing that then, what the heck are we missing?

For WORLD Radio, I’m Jenny Rough reporting from Washington, D.C. 

NICK EICHER: Today is Tuesday, November 26th. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Nick Eicher.

MARY REICHARD: And I’m Mary Reichard. WORLD commentator Cal Thomas now on the Trump administration’s latest move in support of Israel.

CAL THOMAS, COMMENTATOR: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently announced U.S policy toward Israel’s “settlements” is reverting to one held by the Reagan administration. That means the right of Israelis to settle in the ancient lands of Judea and Samaria—quote—“is not, per se, inconsistent with international law.”

This is good news—and not only for Israel and its right to national security and sovereignty. After seven decades of enemy attempts to eradicate the Jewish state, it says to the world, “time’s up.”

Israel’s enemies have had the most generous offers to live in peace. Those offers include giving up land Israel captured after many aggressive and unprovoked wars and terrorist attacks. 

A reality check is long overdue: Israel’s enemies continue to promote propaganda statements, fire rockets into civilian areas, and allow sermons that justify the violent overthrow of Israel and the murder of Jews.

Israel and the West have a right to question the sincerity of those Arab and Muslim nations who continue to denounce the Jewish people as illegitimate occupiers of “Palestinian” land. As long as such denial continues, there can be no opportunity for peace and Israel must defend itself.

Let’s be clear: These nations are motivated by hate. They believe they have a mandate from Allah to conduct what would amount to genocide against Jews. So it is wishful thinking to believe they would miraculously change their minds and agree to reverse decades of provocations. 

This has always been the danger when Westerners believe all humans are alike and given the right incentives can be persuaded to act in ways consistent with Western values and practices.

The next step is for the Israeli Knesset to validate the Trump administration’s new policy.

As reported in the Jerusalem Post—quote—“Likud MK Sharren Haskel proposed the bill weeks ago, but decided to fast-track it in light of the change in U.S. policy… Haskel submitted a request to exempt her bill to annex the Jordan Valley from the mandatory six-week waiting period for any new legislation, so that it can go to a vote in the plenum [this] week.” End quote. 

Columnist Caroline Glick wrote for the publication Israel Hayot that Pompeo “told the truth” in the interest of promoting peace. Quote—”Not only are Israeli settlements not illegal. Pompeo noted that they are arguably more justified than civilian settlements built in other disputed territories.”

That’s because they’re based on the historic ties of the Jewish people to Judea and Samaria. 

As long as a religious motivation for wiping out Israel persists, there will be no peace, and no two-state solution. It is why the Trump administration’s position on the legality of settlements in Judea and Samaria is not only correct, but a necessary contribution to peace and stability in the region. 

For WORLD Radio, I’m Cal Thomas.

NICK EICHER: Tomorrow on Washington Wednesday, the new trade agreement with the United States, Mexico and Canada is stalled on Capitol Hill. We’ll talk about that.

And, World Tour with Africa reporter Onize Ohikere.

That and more tomorrow. 

I’m Nick Eicher.

MARY REICHARD: And I’m Mary Reichard.

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 Apostle Paul says, do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.

I hope your day is filled with 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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