MARY REICHARD, HOST: Good morning!
Pregnancy centers that are faith-based haven’t typically prescribed contraceptives. But that is changing.
REIMER: And so these women are ingrained in a lifestyle that won’t necessarily change just because I share with her the truth.
NICK EICHER, HOST: Also what it’ll mean for the United States when Brexit actually happens.
Plus, you’ll meet a former nightclub promoter who thought he had it all until he realized he really didn’t.
HARRISON: And I realized on this two-week trip how deeply unhappy I was and actually how deeply unhappy most of the people around me were.
And WORLD commentator Les Sillars on keeping it real this Christmas.
REICHARD: It’s Tuesday, December 17th. 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 news. Here’s Kent Covington.
KENT COVINGTON, NEWS ANCHOR: Schumer calls for Mulvaney, Bolton and others to testify in likely Senate impeachment trial » Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Monday that if and when the impeachment trial moves to the Senate, he wants to hear from four new witnesses.
SCHUMER: These are the four who have the most direct contact of the facts that are in dispute, most particularly, why was the aid to Ukraine delayed?
Schumer wants to hear from White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney and his top aide, a budget official who handled Ukraine affairs and former national security adviser John Bolton.
SCHUMER: His attorney stated publicly that he has additional relevant information to share, information that has not yet become public. How on such a weighty matter could we avoid hearing this?
But the Republican Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee Lindsey Graham is pushing for a short Senate trial. He told CBS’ Face the Nation…
GRAHAM: I don’t need any witnesses. The president can make a request to call witnesses. They can make a request to call Mike Pence, and Pompeo, and Joe Biden, and Hunter Biden. I am ready to vote on the underlying articles. I don’t really need to hear a lot of witnesses.
With both parties digging in their heels, tomorrow’s impeachment vote in the House is on track to be a starkly partisan roll call.
Boeing to halt production of 737 Max airliner » Boeing is temporarily shutting down production of its grounded 737 Max jet as it struggles to get approval to put the plane back in the air. WORLD Radio’s Leigh Jones reports.
LEIGH JONES, REPORTER: The company said Monday that it will stop producing the jets in January at its Renton, Washington plant near Seattle.
Boeing employs 12,000 workers at that plant, but said it does not expect any layoffs “at this time.” Employees who build the Max will keep working on the 737 or could be assigned to other teams in the Seattle area.
The Max is Boeing’s most important jet, but it has been grounded since March after two deadly crashes overseas. And federal regulators told the company last week that it had an unrealistic timetable for getting the plane back into service.
In a statement, Boeing said it will determine later when production can resume.
Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Leigh Jones.
At least 9 people dead in weather-related crashes » At least nine people have died in weather-related crashes in several Midwestern states. That amid a storm that dumped nearly a foot of snow in places.
But Brian Hurley with the National Weather Service said some of the most treacherous roads don’t appear to be buried under heavy snow and ice.
HURLEY: A lot of these areas aren’t necessarily seeing the heaviest snow or the heaviest ice, but the combination of the two is certainly making for some tricky travel.
The wintry weather was part of a storm system that hit parts of the Midwest and was expected to extend into the Northeast through tonight.
At least four people died in Missouri, where the storm dumped 3 to 9 inches of snow across the state. The state’s highway patrol also responded to more than 500 other traffic crashes.
Thousands protests in streets of New Delhi » Thousands of university students flooded the streets of India’s capital Monday…
AUDIO: [India protests]
Part of a widespread protest over a new law giving citizenship to non–Muslims who entered India illegally to flee religious persecution in neighboring countries. The measure will fast-track the naturalization of migrants who fled Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh because of religious persecution before 2015.
The protests in New Delhi followed a night of violent clashes between police and demonstrators at a university. Some protestors who student organizers said were not students set three buses on fire. Police then stormed the university library, firing tear gas at students crouched under desks.
Supreme Court declines street-sleeping case » The Supreme Court allowed a lower court ruling to stand on Monday. That ruling effectively blocks a city from punishing people for sleeping on the sidewalk or in public parks if no other shelter is available. WORLD Radio’s Kristen Flavin reports.
KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: The justices did not comment on why they refused to review the matter. It stems from a case in Boise, Idaho where prosecutors convicted six homeless people of violating the city’s camping ban.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the city. It said prosecuting people for sleeping in public places constituted cruel and unusual punishment.
The ruling covers all nine Western states in the 9th Circuit, including California. Lawyers for the city of Boise argued that allowing homeless people to live on sidewalks and in parks—quote—“cripples the ability of more than 1,600 municipalities in the 9th Circuit to maintain the health and safety of their communities.”
Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Kristen Flavin.
I’m Kent Covington. Straight ahead: the Supreme Court issues rulings in two cases heard earlier this year. Plus, the story of a man who went from promoting nightclubs in New York to digging water wells in Africa. This is The World and Everything in It.
NICK EICHER: It’s Tuesday the 17th of December, 2019. Glad to have you along for today’s edition of The World and Everything in It. Good morning, I’m Nick Eicher.
MARY REICHARD: And I’m Mary Reichard. The Supreme Court handed down two opinions in cases argued in October.
First, victory for a debt collection firm.
In this case, a man failed to pay his credit card debt. A collection company sued him for the money, but the wrong person accepted the lawsuit papers.
The man lost his case by default judgment, but he didn’t learn about it until years later, when he applied for a mortgage.
So he sued, arguing federal law doesn’t allow for serving the wrong person lawsuit papers.
The justices disagreed, overwhelmingly, 8 to 1, reasoning that the law’s one-year limit in which to sue was long past. Exceptions to the law exist, but the man didn’t raise those in time.
EICHER: The second opinion is unanimous. It upholds the so-called “American Rule”—that is, who pays the attorney’s fees. The context is a drawn-out dispute in which an inventor contested the U.S. Patent Office’s decision to deny his request to register a patent. He appealed several times, and in the course of doing so racked up massive attorney’s fees for both sides.
The Patent Office thought he should have to pay its legal bill, but the justices said differently: The American Rule says each litigant must pay for his own lawyer, win or lose. And it’ll stay that way unless Congress says otherwise and writes a law saying so.
NICK EICHER: Coming up next on The World and Everything in It: contraception and the pro-life movement.
And a note to parents before we get this story started. If you have little ones listening with you this morning, and we are very glad that they are, you might want to hit pause and come back to this story a bit later.
MARY REICHARD: Pro-life pregnancy centers generally fall into two categories: those run mostly by volunteers who offer counseling rather than medical advice. And then those staffed by doctors and nurses who provide medical care shaped by a pro-life worldview. Most of these faith-based clinics do not dispense birth control. But that’s starting to change.
WORLD Radio’s Anna Johansen reports now on what’s behind the move.
ANNA JOHANSEN, REPORTER: Andy Schoonover knew this would be a controversial decision.
SCHOONOVER: But I think somebody had to be the first.
Schoonover is CEO of The Source. It’s a chain of eight women’s health clinics across Texas. And starting in January, The Source will offer contraception.
Each clinic provides STD testing, ultrasounds, and prenatal care. They all have an OBGYN on site. And they’re unwaveringly pro-life.
SCHOONOVER: We will not refer for abortions and we will not provide, uh, abortifacients…We do consider that life starts at conception.
Schoonover became CEO in March 2017.
SCHOONOVER: I had a great conversation with our medical director who said, Hey, listen, if you really want to reduce unplanned pregnancies, you have to provide contraception.
And for Schoonover, reducing unplanned pregnancies is a priority.
A lot of the women who come to The Source are in a crisis situation. Maybe they’ve already had one or two abortions in the past. Schoonover asks, if he can prevent a crisis in the first place, why wouldn’t he try?
SCHOONOVER: The women who are coming, that we’re giving contraception to, are engaging in sexual behavior. And so we are trying to figure out a way to reduce the collateral damage as a result of doing that.
The Source will only offer certain types contraception—types that prevent pregnancies rather than ending them. Schoonover believes that strategy fits within the pro-life worldview. But many Christians say it undermines the mission.
Matt Larson is the national director of the Morning Center. It’s a pro-life pregnancy center with clinics in Tennessee and Georgia. And it doesn’t offer contraception.
LARSON: My thinking may look a little bit different than someone else because I see a lot of things in my life that my plans don’t work out. I mean the Scriptures say many of the plans in a man’s heart, but in the end, the Lord directs the path.
Larson says sometimes people need to experience the natural outcomes and consequences of their actions, so they don’t make those same mistakes again.
LARSON: We’re always looking to short circuit a process…I mean everybody knows how you get pregnant. It’s not like there’s, there’s not a mystery enshrouding it in any fashion. So how do you make decisions to not put yourself in situations where you’re going to have to deal with additional decisions that you maybe weren’t ready for.
Larson wants to build relationships with people and walk alongside them. He says that’s a better way to prevent a crisis.
LARSON: The prevention to me is actually caring for human beings and if more people cared about each other, if we had more people genuinely loving others, I think you’d see a massive shift.
Other Christian groups say that offering contraception sends a mixed message. If you tell a woman that her lifestyle is dangerous, but then give her a tool to maintain that lifestyle, why would she change?
Michelle Reimer is the executive director of Hope Pregnancy Ministries. She says she understands that position and why many pro-life clinics are opposed to offering birth control.
REIMER: But I also would ask them to come sit in the room with me.
The average woman who comes to Reimer’s clinic is about 27 years old and has already had 10 sexual partners.
REIMER: These women are ingrained in a lifestyle that won’t necessarily change just because I share with her the truth, which is that abstinence is the best way and that abstinence is going to protect her 100 percent of the time.
Reimer says she has to earn the right to teach women the truth. And right now, she’s a little frustrated with the current pro-life strategy.
REIMER: As a nurse, I feel like my hands are tied. We are medical professionals. And yet we’re expected by our movement to stay in a certain little tiny niche where it doesn’t make sense.
Reimer wishes more pro-life groups would consider offering contraception.
REIMER: We need to change our thinking and we can do that without betraying our convictions.
The board members who oversee Reimer’s clinic are considering making that change. Reimer has spoken to pastors and theologians about how that move might affect the ministry and what the Bible has to say about it.
Reimer’s clinic isn’t the only one considering contraceptives. Andy Schoonover says he’s already had half a dozen clinics contact him with questions about how they can do the same thing.
Reimer knows this change in strategy has the potential to divide the pro-life movement. But she hopes it won’t.
REIMER: There’s enough division out there. I’d like to see pregnancy medical clinics really being able to support each other and understand each other and know that we all have our patients’ best interests at heart.
Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Anna Johansen.
NICK EICHER: Next up: Brexit, finally.
Three years after voters in Britain opted to leave the European Union, it appears it is going to happen at last. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party won a decisive victory in last week’s election in the UK.
He campaigned on a promise to get Brexit done by the end of January. And voters gave him the majority he needed to make it so.
MARY REICHARD: Joining us now to talk about it is professor Glen Duerr. He teaches international studies at Cedarville University in Ohio. Good morning!
GLEN DUERR, GUEST: Good morning!
REICHARD: Going into last week’s election, it was not at all clear what the outcome would be. Since that first Brexit referendum in 2016, U.K. voters and lawmakers have been deadlocked over this issue. Why do you think Boris Johnson won such a decisive victory now?
DUERR: I think two reasons. One was really a fatigue with the whole Brexit process as you mentioned it’s been over three years, approaching three and a half years. And so with Johnson coming to the floor as one of the most prominent Brexiteers, a lot of people—especially conservatives—rallied behind him.
The second big point, too, was he faced—Johnson, that is—faced Jeremy Corbin, probably the British version of Bernie Sanders, as a main opponent for the Labour Party. And there are a number of Labour, typically, areas—especially in the north of England—that also wanted Brexit and many of those voters left and supported Johnson. So I think a combination of those two factors together helped get him to 365 seats, a solid majority, in the 650 member House of Commons in the U.K.
REICHARD: Speculation was rampant over what Brexit might mean for the European Union after the first go-round. That sort of got shelved when it wasn’t certain that Britain would actually leave the EU. Now that all doubt is gone, what effect do you think this might have on the European Union overall?
DUERR: Well, hopefully it leads to reform. Because I think a lot of people in the U.K. as well, even though they might have voted for Brexit, are looking at this and thinking the EU is overly bureaucratic, it’s largely unelected, it’s got a lot of power over the lives of everyday people. But at the same time, it’s prevented a World War III, there’s a proliferation of trade across the continent, people tend to like one another, and so maintaining some level of trade, a solid European intergovernmental organization is good. It just needs to really change. And so maybe Brexit is the catalyst for all of this. But it still has to get done and it’s going to take awhile to get through the minutia of what exactly will be needed to do Brexit.
REICHARD: This decision obviously affects Great Britain and other European countries the most. But they’re all strong U.S. allies. And so Brexit will have ripple effects across the pond. How might this change U.S. policy in that region, especially when it comes to trade?
DUERR: Well, the big opening for the United States is now the U.K. and the U.S. can sign a free trade agreement. Under the European Union, no member state is allowed to sign an individual bilateral trade agreement with any country, including the United States. And so this is a big opportunity for the United States. The U.K. is the sixth largest economy in the world, a significant bilateral trade. And Prime Minister Johnson and President Trump like each other a lot. And so there is an opening for the United States.
REICHARD: It seems like everything is global these days, even local politics. One post-election report I heard last week said Democratic strategists would be analyzing the Labour Party’s loss for insight into possible trends in our 20-20 presidential election. Is that too much of a stretch, do you think? Or are there parallels?
DUERR: I think there are parallels absolutely, because if we go back to June of 2016 with the Brexit vote, it was a foreshadowing of President Trump’s victory in November of 2016. If we simply compare the state of Michigan with significant parts of northern England, they’re very, very similar. And you can paint a pretty similar situation in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, in Ohio, states like that in the midwest that ultimately led to the Trump victory. And so … the Democrats will be very well-advised to look at the pitfalls of the Corbin campaign and to take real notes. I mean, and in some ways, if you look at candidates like Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, if they stay on their current messaging, they could face a Corbin-like loss if they end up being the Democratic nominee. It might open the door to a more moderate candidate—Joe Biden, for example, potentially Pete Buttigieg, and even Mike Bloomberg—to come from the middle and provide a better contest against President Trump.
REICHARD: Professor Glen Duerr teaches international studies at Cedarville University in Ohio. Thanks for joining us today.
DUERR: Thank you for having me.
MARY REICHARD: These days, folks look for their forever love on dating apps. But Chris Morris decided to go analog.
He hand wrote a singles ad seeking a companion and posted it on a bulletin board at a local grocery store.
And here’s where the story gets even stranger because the headline read “Duck Seeking Duck.”
You see, the problem is there are no dating apps for waterfowl.
Morris was seeking a companion not for himself, but for his feathered friend named “Yellow Duck” who lost its mate to a predator two weeks ago.
Morris drew a picture of a duck with the heading: “Lonesome runner duck seeks companion—partner recently deceased.”
The Bangor Daily News reports local farmer Sadie Greene might have just the one to mend Yellow Duck’s broken heart. The two are arranging a meeting for the ducks this week.
Yellow Duck loves eating slugs and Morris said they might be on the menu for the big date.
It’s The World and Everything in It.
NICK EICHER: Today is Tuesday, December 17th. Thank you for turning to WORLD Radio to help start your day. Good morning. I’m Nick Eicher.
MARY REICHARD: And I’m Mary Reichard.
It’s that time of year when families gather together, catch up on each other’s lives, and share traditions. Christmas pulls people together, and for some parents, that includes grown children who are spiritually adrift.
EICHER: That was the case when Scott Harrison returned home for the holidays after a decade of hard living. He describes himself at the time as a prodigal son who had drifted far from his Christian upbringing. He confessed he felt as though he was rotting inside.
WORLD’s Jill Nelson brings us the story of God’s redeeming work in the life of this man.
JILL NELSON, REPORTER: Scott Harrison left his small town in New Jersey at age 18 to join a band in New York City. He eventually became a nightclub promoter, getting paid to mingle with the rich and famous. But he was spiritually and emotionally bankrupt.
HARRISON: I had walked away from a very lost Christian faith. I had walked away from morality and just realized if I continued down this path, my tombstone might read, “Here lies a club rat who got a million people drunk.”
After a decade of what Harrison describes as debauchery, he reached a low point. He was 28-years-old, and enjoying an opulent vacation in Uruguay that included servants, chefs, and a private yacht.
HARRISON: And I realized on this two-week trip how deeply unhappy I was and actually how deeply unhappy most of the people around me were.
God began to draw him into a quest for identity and purpose.
HARRISON: It was a really interesting trip because I was partying like crazy, doing tons of drugs, and my father at Christmas, had set me down with this book of deep theology. And you know there was something about the book…
That book was A.W. Tozer’s The Pursuit of God. One passage described God as always present, patiently pursuing us and waiting for us. Harrison reread that passage again and again. Tozer also warned of the danger of seeking after material possessions that will never satisfy.
Harrison began wondering what the opposite of his life would look like.
HARRISON: I mean this was a man who was looking for greater purity and holiness and trying to find and to know God, and I was trying to find and know drugs and girls.
He rented a car and drove aimlessly for several months, talking to God, drinking, and reading the Bible. One verse stood out to him:
HARRISON: The verse in James where it says, “True religion is to look after widows and orphans in their distress and to keep yourself from being polluted by the world.” So I was clearly O for 2.
He decided to surrender his life and dedicate a year to volunteer work.
The only organization that accepted him was Mercy Ships, a Christ-centered floating hospital. It offered him a position as a photographer for a $500 a month fee. Harrison sold his possessions to fund the trip, and showed up smelling of alcohol. There was something symbolic, he said, about sailing away to a new continent.
HARRISON: I never touched drugs again, I was celibate for almost six years until I got married, I never smoked again, I just walked away from everything.
He was totally unprepared for what he saw in the African country of Liberia. He describes one heartbreaking scene in an online video:
AUDIO: There was one day when more than 5,000 sick people came to see our doctors. Some of them had walked for more than a month. But there were too many of them, and we just didn’t have enough doctors. I remember holding my camera, crying.
Harrison had collected a list of 15,000 emails when he was a nightclub promoter. He started sending updates: pictures of people with massive tumors and their radical transformation post-surgery. Many of his contacts wanted to know how they could help.
Harrison visited rural villages and realized their most basic health need still wasn’t being met.
HARRISON: That was great that the doctors were operating and were helping 1,500 to 2,000 people every year on the ship, but there were almost a million people in the country drinking disgusting water. Who was helping them?
One of the doctors on the ship encouraged Harrison to make clean water his mission. So he began to use his New York City connections to raise money for wells. That led to the launch of the nonprofit Charity: Water in 2006.
Today 44-year-old Harrison has a full schedule. He travels abroad to the drilling sites his nonprofit funds. And he shares his story and vision with churches, corporate gatherings, and wealthy donors here in the United States.
HARRISON: I have a really strange life sometimes. I can go from a $2 a night hotel room in remote Ethiopia and 24 hours later be staying in a $45 million home of one of our donors, being driven around in a Ferrari to the airport. But I will say that my experience being around some of the wealthiest people in the world is there’s often just this desire for more. The same trap I was stuck in.
Harrison wants to end the water crisis in his lifetime. But he also hopes his story reminds others that anyone can start over.
HARRISON: There’s another verse that I liked in the book of Joel that says, “God can restore the years that the locusts have eaten.”
Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Jill Nelson.
NICK EICHER: Today is Tuesday, December 17th. 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. A listener in Maryland recently sent us a note. Her name is Diana, and she made the observation that Christian radio stations seem to play more and more secular music—in place of songs about the birth of Christ.
Les Sillars is a WORLD Radio commentator, but he’s also the WORLD Magazine Mailbag editor.
He’s been thinking about it for quite awhile now and he has this response.
LES SILLARS, COMMENTATOR: Dear Diana: I hear you. My Christian station can jump from “Silent Night” to “Santa Baby” without missing a beat.
The casual juxtaposition says we shouldn’t take any of this too seriously. It says that a few stanzas of “Joy to the World” is long enough to spend contemplating the eternal mysteries of the Incarnation—say, three minutes. Then it’s time for more chirpy banter from the hosts and yet another ode to holiday romance from a CCM celebrity.
All this might have to do with the famous question young Virginia O’Hanlan posed to the editorial writers of the New York Sun in 1897. “Please tell me the truth,” she wrote. “Is there a Santa Claus?”
Yes, Virginia, came the reply. There is a Santa Claus. He “exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist.” The strongest man cannot tear the veil that hides the unseen world. The Sun said—quote—“Only faith, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernatural beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.” End quote.
Christians then had no objection to that answer, laced with Biblical allusions. It seemed a worthy response to a skeptical age, in line with Dickens’s “A Christmas Carol.”
That 1843 story delivered a Christian message of Scroogian transformation through faith, even if the object of this faith was a little unclear. And in 1950 C.S. Lewis included Santa in his first Narnia novel as a symbol of hope in the midst of winter, a harbinger of Aslan.
Today nobody is asking if Santa is real. He’s way too real. You can’t get away from the guy, but he’s not the same Santa.
Dickens turned Scrooge into Santa, and then we turned Santa back into Scrooge. Today’s Santa is a grasping, scraping, clutching, jolly old elf, soft as a dinner roll. But he doesn’t covet money. He drains emotion from our souls and leaves us collapsed and dizzy, like Frosty the Snowman after a warm spell.
It shouldn’t be like this. We need mystery in our lives to point us to the transcendent—to the Incarnation. But today’s Santa buries the Incarnation under an avalanche of nonsense and claptrap. So instead of singing “Hark!” we’re humming “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer” as we set up our life-sized inflatable Darth Santa lawn ornament.
So, Diana, this year let’s keep Christmas transcendent, you and me. Well, you and me and Linus.
CHARLIE BROWN: Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?
LINUS: Sure, Charlie Brown, I can tell you what Christmas is all about. Lights, please. And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were so afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.
For WORLD Radio, I’m Les Sillars.
LES SILLARS: And I’d like to add one more thing. As a journalism professor at Patrick Henry College I’ve watched journalism change dramatically over the years, and often for the worse. As a result its credibility is sinking like a cast iron swimming pool noodle. The fact that people consume so much bad journalism speaks to our God-given need for stories about the world around us.
That’s why, I tell my students, this is the perfect time for Christians to embrace journalism. To live rightly, we must understand our times, our culture, and the people God calls us to serve. Good journalism tells the stories that let us orient ourselves to our communities, our society, and ultimately the Great Story: Creation, Fall, Redemption, Restoration.
That’s what we do here at WORLD. It’s a profoundly noble and deeply biblical calling. As one philosopher put it, you can’t know what you’re supposed to do until you know what stories you’re part of.
WORLD tells those stories. You can help.
I’m Les Sillars and this is WORLD’s December giving drive. Please, take a moment and visit wng.org/donate to make a year-end gift. Your support matters because now, more than ever, we need true stories of a fallen world infused with grace.
NICK EICHER: Tomorrow on Washington Wednesday: We’ll talk about how the impeachment fight may go down in the Senate.
And, we’ll take you to the site of a World War II era internment camp with two brothers who lived in one.
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.
Jesus says Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
Go now, in grace and peace.