The World and Everything in It — September 1, 2020

MARY REICHARD, HOST: Good morning!

Good Samaritans help out after Hurricane Laura hits Louisiana. And there’s plenty of work to do.

NICK EICHER, HOST: Also Kenosha cleans up after a man-made disaster. 

Plus our Classic Book of the Month.

And WORLD editor-in-chief Marvin Olasky on discernment in faith and science.

REICHARD: It’s Tuesday, September 1st. 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: Up next, Kent Covington has today’s news.

KENT COVINGTON, NEWS ANCHOR: Trump to visit Kenosha, Wis. today » President Trump will travel to Kenosha, Wisconsin today over the objections of Governor Tony Evers. 

The White House said the president will meet with law enforcement and survey the damage in the city from recent rioting and looting. 

Trump spokesman Hogan Gidley said Monday…

GIDLEY: He wants to go there and begin to work to heal what has happened there. I mean, these people are divided. They’re angry. They’re upset. They’re scared to see what their communities have devolved into. This just anarchy cannot continue.  

But Evers said Trump’s visit will only make things worse. In a letter to the president this week, Evers wrote “I am concerned your presence will only hinder our healing. I am concerned your presence will only delay our work to overcome division and move forward together.”

Democrats, White House trade blame for violent unrest » Trump’s Wisconsin visit comes as Democrats and the White House continue to trade blame over the ongoing unrest. 

Presidential rival Joe Biden said Monday that the president—quoting here—“can’t stop the violence because for years he’s fomented it.” 

BIDEN: You know, he may believe mouthing the words ‘law and order’ makes him strong. But his failure to call on his own supporters to stop acting as an armed militia in this country shows how weak he is. 

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler also blamed President Trump this week for the violence. 

But White House spokesman Judd Deere said this week that the blame lies with—his words—“liberal politicians and their incompetent policies that have failed to get control of these destructive situations.”

Meantime, Oregon Governor Kate Brown announced late Sunday that state police will step up patrols in Portland. 

A Trump supporter was fatally shot on Saturday after right and left wing groups clashed on city streets. The head of a group called Patriot Prayer said the victim was a member of the group. Police are still investigating the incident and have made no arrests. 

First direct Israel-UAE flight lands in Abu Dhabi amid deal » An Israeli commercial jetliner emblazoned with the Star of David made history on Monday when it landed in the United Arab Emirates. 

The jet carried a high-ranking American and Israeli delegation from Israel to Abu Dhabi in the first-ever direct commercial flight between the two countries.

Among the U.S. officials on the flight was national security adviser Robert O’Brien. 

O’BRIEN: These two great nations are beginning the process of exchanging ambassadors and are cooperating in a broad range of fields including finance, education, healthcare, trade, and security. 

The flight came after the Trump administration brokered a historic deal to normalize relations between the two countries. 

President Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner was also aboard the plane. Kushner said the flight made history for another reason and thanked the government of Saudi Arabia. 

KUSHNER: Also historic was the kingdom of Saudi Arabia granting permission for this Israeli commercial flight to use its airspace. This is the first time that this has ever happened. 

The plane was decorated with the words for peace in Arabic, Hebrew and English above the pilot’s window.

LA County terminates parking agreement with MacArthur’s church » Los Angeles County is evicting a church in Sun Valley, Calif., from a parcel of land it has leased for more than 40 years. And lawyers for the church say the move amounts to harassment and retaliation. WORLD’s Kristen Flavin has more. 

KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: Worshippers have nearly filled Grace Community Church’s 3,500-seat auditorium at times during the past several weeks in peaceful defiance of state and county health orders. 

So far, L.A. County hasn’t made good on threats of fines or imprisonment against the church or its pastor, John MacArthur. But the county’s Department of Public Works has informed the church that it has 30 days to vacate a large part of a nearby parking lot … that it has leased since 1975. 

Jenna Ellis, special counsel to Thomas More Society, which is representing the church, said the eviction is—quote—“harassment, abusive, and unconscionable.” 

A judge has declined several requests from the county to issue a temporary restraining order forbidding the church from gathering for indoor worship. A state court will hold a full hearing on the church’s religious liberty claims against the county on Friday.

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Kristen Flavin. 

Hall of Fame college basketball coach John Thompson dies » Hall of Fame college basketball coach John Thompson has died. 

Thompson became the first black coach to lead a team to the NCAA men’s basketball championship in 1984. 

Georgetown reached two other title games with Thompson at the helm. The Hoyas lost to Michael Jordan’s North Carolina team in 1982 and to Villanova in 1985.

In a 1999 interview, Thompson said he was proud not just of his successes, but of his failures. 

THOMPSON: For 27 years, I was at Georgetown and working as hard as I possibly could and probably made far more mistakes than I ever had success because we attempted to do things. And anytime you attempt to do things, you’re going to fail far more than you ever succeed. 

Thompson led Georgetown to 14 straight NCAA tournaments from 1979 to 1992, and won six Big East tournament championships.

In a statement, family members said “Our father was an inspiration to many and devoted his life to developing young people not simply on but, most importantly, off the basketball court.” 

In an Instagram post, former NBA superstar Alan Iverson posted a picture of himself with Thompson and wrote “Thanks for saving my life coach.” 

John Thompson was 78.

I’m Kent Covington.

Straight ahead: residents of Kenosha, Wisconsin, get to work cleaning up after violent protests.

Plus, Marvin Olasky defines the phrase faith-based.

This is The World and Everything in It.

MARY REICHARD: It’s Tuesday, the 1st day of September, 2020. Thank you for listening to 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: repairing ruins.

Protesters took to the streets in Kenosha, Wisconsin, earlier this month following a police shooting captured on video. Protests quickly turned into riots. Three nights of destruction followed, capped by another shooting.

REICHARD: The violence seemed to dissipate after that, and an uneasy calm settled over the city. WORLD’s Anna Johansen visited Kenosha late last week to find out how people who live there are working to clean up the mess.

ANNA JOHANSEN, REPORTER: There used to be a camera shop at this intersection. 22nd Avenue and Roosevelt Road. Now, that shop is a pile of rubble. There are a few blackened walls left standing, the windows all blown out. A heap of splintered wood and rebar and shattered concrete that’s taller than me. A charred mattress lies flopped on top of it all.

JOHANSEN: Oh, this road is closed. Alrighty then. There are concrete barriers in front of it.

Farther east, in the downtown business district, there isn’t any glass visible. Every building has its windows boarded up. The plywood sheets are painted with pleas for mercy like, “Kids live upstairs,” and “Family-owned business.”

VOLUNTEER COORDINATOR: So we are telling people to go from about where we are here, up to 22nd Avenue.

Community organizers are handing out cleaning supplies from tents set up on the sidewalk.

VOLUNTEER COORDINATOR: Let me get you another pair of gloves in here and a couple extra things and we’ll be good.

Kim got here around 8 a.m. She’s a local resident who’s spent the past three days helping with cleanup.

KIM: I think the first day, it was like raining and we were cleaning metal signs, graffiti off metal signs.

Today, she’s scrubbing graffiti off the smooth stone walls of the Post Office. She’s armed with a wire bristle brush and spray-on spray-paint remover. She says a lot of people have stopped by to see what she’s up to: It looks like she’s making graffiti instead of scrubbing it off. 


Sometimes it’s hard to tell if she’s making any progress. 

KIM: I don’t like this cleaner. This is definitely not on the top of my graffiti cleaner list.

One block over, Dale and Michael are priming a sheet of plywood so other artists can come along and turn it into a mural. Dale lives just down the street.

DALE: The whole city feels unsafe. 

His cousin texted and asked if he wanted to get out of town for a few days, but he said no. He says if he left, he’d feel like the bad guys won. Michael chimes in too.

MICHAEL: We tough it out with our community. This is home. So we gotta be here to wake up and clean it up.


There are different groups of volunteers milling around, painting, chatting. A barefoot guitarist sings Bon Jovi on one street corner. A couple of vendors have set up tents with muffins and smoothies. Artists and volunteers are painting the plywood sheets with bright hearts and flowers and peace signs and butterflies. I ask Michael about the goal of the artwork.

MICHAEL: Love. We’re spreading love. You know, it’s the sun on a dark, cloudy day. So people walk through, get a little enlightenment, you know.

Pastor Matt Henry lives just a few blocks over. He’s been here for almost 25 years.

MATT HENRY: So all these houses except for this corner are all gang houses. 

The furniture store on the corner is completely demolished. There aren’t any murals or cleanup crews here. A few days before a police officer shot Jacob Blake, a young black gang member was shot and killed on this street. There weren’t any protests or calls for change after that shooting.

HENRY: Nobody knows his name. No protests. No posturing.

The streets are quiet today, but Henry still hasn’t relaxed. As a former LA police officer, he knows how quickly things can go bad. He sent his wife to stay with relatives outside the city early in the week.

HENRY: I think since Sunday, I’ve had maybe 9, 10 hours of sleep. I’m sitting right there with all the lights off with my scanner on and my live stream going and my gun sitting right next to me and my car’s backed into my driveway so that if I have to leave, I have to leave.

The first night of riots, he watched buildings burn a block away and listened to cars exploding in the auto lot down the street. When two people were shot, Henry heard the gunfire from his house. 

After that night, though, things got quiet in the city.

HENRY: I think the soul got taken out of it with the shootings.

He says a lot of Kenosha residents are still frustrated with how state and city leaders have handled the unrest. They felt like the government abandoned them. To Henry, everything seems to have come two or three days too late: the extra National Guard troops, the crackdowns and arrests. 

Henry says politicians are using the unrest as a platform for grandstanding, not to achieve meaningful change. 


We walked down the street to the site of the shootings and found a swarm of media and politicians holding a press conference. That was frustrating for Henry.

HENRY: I just don’t have time for the posturing. It’s empty.

He says press conferences and painting murals and even one-night prayer gatherings won’t fix anything if everyone just goes right back to what they were doing before. Things didn’t get to this point overnight and they won’t be fixed overnight.

HENRY: I think we have to realize that the ruins are there, metaphorically and now literally. And the only way to repair them is to regenerate households that are then being equipped to live out that Biblical worldview.

Henry is encouraged by ordinary Christians living well and living out the gospel in their communities. That’s not gonna go viral on Facebook. But, he says, that’s the command.

HENRY: We should never be surprised by evil, but we also know that in Christ, we’re called to be lights in a very dark society. Just keep being faithful.

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Anna Johansen in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

NICK EICHER: Coming up next on The World and Everything in It: recovering from Hurricane Laura.

The category 4 hurricane barreled into the Louisiana coast almost a week ago. It left at least 16 dead and more than 700,000 homes and businesses without power in Louisiana, Texas, and Arkansas.

MARY REICHARD: Particularly hard hit? Lake Charles, Louisiana. Winds topped out at 133 miles per hour. They destroyed buildings, snapped trees, and overturned planes at the local airport.

WORLD Senior Correspondent Kim Henderson surveyed the damage first hand last Thursday, just hours after Laura blew through.

KIM HENDERSON, SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: Last week when authorities ordered communities in low-lying Southwest Louisiana to evacuate, Oberlin resident Paul Le June packed his bags and headed three hours north. He’s a true Cajun who grew up in a household with French as the primary language, and he’s only had to evacuate twice in 15 years.

LE JUNE: When we heard it was going to hit as a 4, we had to move. So we called hotel rooms for 45 minutes before we found the two here.

But not everyone chose to leave. Eighty-year-old Mary Sensat lives in Lake Charles, Louisiana, with her son. He struggles with bipolar disorder and other challenges.

SENSAT: The rest of the family would take me, but not him. So I said, un uh. No, I’m staying with him. That’s my child. So that’s why I stayed.

Riding out Hurricane Laura proved to be scary. About 2 o’clock Thursday morning, winds were buffeting Sensat’s house on all sides, exposing part of her roof. As a beam supporting her porch dislodged and blew into the yard, she and her son just crouched in a corner, praying.

SENSAT: It was the funniest noise and all these trees popping and the lights and everything, you know? And then all of a sudden it stopped, and then it whipped up again, just a “whoo” like that. The house looked like it wanted to just pop. It would just come out and come back in. And one door, we had to shut it. We had to nail it down. And my ceilings are all gone and everything else. All the rains out there, it’s just, it’s horrible.

Justin Schroeder spent the night downtown inside his church, First Baptist Lake Charles. Several families huddled together there and prayed as windows blew out and a vacuum-like suction destroyed part of the sanctuary.

SCHROEDER: I’ve grown up in Louisiana my whole life, but I’d never experienced anything like this intense as far as the wind was really blowing.

Downed utility poles and trees made many streets and even parts of Interstate 10 impassable after the storm. Convoys of relief workers detoured on rural blacktopped roads, passing thousands of acres of sugarcane laid low.

Wayne Collins has worked in and around the sugarcane fields of Port Allen all his life.

COLLINS: Well, right now it’s flat. It’s laid flat over. As the sun shines on it, when it dries up, the tops are going to turn and go up toward the sun. So it’s going to be like an “s.” It’s going to be crooked. Machinery has advanced to the point where they can pick it up and harvest it without it being a total loss. They will lose some though. 

The first Samaritan’s Purse truck pulled into downtown Lake Charles Thursday afternoon. Todd Taylor is leading the response team. He says its main focus will be helping people get back into their homes. Volunteers will cut downed trees, clear yards, tarp roofs, remove wet sheetrock. And with temperatures nearing 90 in Lake Charles this week, it’s hot, dirty work.

TAYLOR: It’s going to be weeks before some people get electric restored, several of the local municipalities, the water systems are down. That’s going to be a big issue of slowing people’s return. They can’t return home until they can flush commodes and get running water. There’s a lot of people, though, that are riding it out here, and pretty soon their 72-hour food supply is going to start running low.

And then there’s the extra layer of COVID-19 complications. Taylor says Samaritan’s Purse has a pool of 150-thousand volunteers from Seattle to Florida and all points in between. But those wanting to help now face a new requirement.

TAYLOR: If volunteers choose to go out with us and come in and house with us, they have to come in with a negative COVID test in hand that can’t be more than 72 hours old. So there’s a lot of restrictions and that’s something that, you know, the volunteers are right now responsible for themselves. So they have to come in and they have to have that paper with them.

Taylor says we shouldn’t compare Hurricane Laura’s victims to those who lived through Katrina or Michael. They all suffer, but disasters present unique opportunities to restore hope.

TAYLOR: They’re questioning everything right now. And to be able to bring them the good news of Jesus Christ at a time like this—we know that sometimes we’re just encouraging believers, and other times we’re planting the very first seed of new faith. We get to be a part of God’s incredible plan, and He just happened to use a terrible disaster to bring us together.

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Kim Henderson in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

NICK EICHER: Alright, this is quite the sight of a tyke flying a kite.

Well, not exactly. You look at the video and it shows the opposite. It’s a kite flying a tyke.

And it’s a little scary.

You can hear the whipping of the wind on the cell-phone video and the crowd of people reacting.

Literally, a wind gust wrapped the tail of a kite around a three-year-old girl. Then lifted the child five stories into the air. Not even kidding.

You’ve got to see it. It’s on WORLD Watch this morning.

This happened near Taipei at a kite-flying festival.

The little girl is upright the whole way—feet dangling. She’s not flailing or anything, like she’s walking on air. Someone whipped out a cellphone and recorded five full seconds of the flight.

Then she plunges and several adults catch her and break the fall. 

She walks away with just a few minor cuts and a story to tell for the rest of her life.

It’s The World and Everything in It.

NICK EICHER: Today is Tuesday, September 1st. You’re listening to WORLD Radio and we’re so glad you are! Good morning. I’m Nick Eicher.

MARY REICHARD: And I’m Mary Reichard. Well, it’s the first Tuesday of the month and that means it’s time for our Classic Book of the Month! And for that, Emily Whitten joins us. Good morning, Emily!


REICHARD: What book would you like to talk about today, Emily?

WHITTEN: Well, with Election Day just around the corner, I thought we could take a look at William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. It’s a fairly short, five act play, but it offers a lot of insight about politics, human corruption, and what makes someone a good leader.

REICHARD: Enduring traits of the human condition, then. Sounds good.

WHITTEN: One note, this was the first of Shakespeare’s plays ever performed at the Globe Theater in 1599. Any guesses, Mary, what a play named Julius Caesar might be about?

REICHARD: I’ll go out on a limb and say, Julius Caesar, the Roman emperor. Final answer.

WHITTEN: Obviously, in some ways that’s true. Spoiler alert here. The play does revolve around the death of Julius Caesar, which happens at the center of the story in Act Three. But many argue Caesar’s good friend, Brutus, steals the show. 

REICHARD: Et tu, Brute?

WHITTEN: That’s the guy. Here’s how actor Brian Cox introduced the play in the PBS program, Shakespeare Uncovered

BRIAN COX: The scale is epic but the play is intimate, and it hinges on a decision that one of them must make, and that decision is Brutus’s. Should he kill Caesar? Should he kill his friend?

Mary, the first act opens with Julius Caesar returned from battle and set to become Rome’s first emperor. But of course, Rome had had elected officials and representative government for about 500 years prior to this. So some senators recruit Brutus to help them resist Caesar and save their country. In Act Three, the senators kill Caesar, but this doesn’t stop the push toward dictatorship. Eventually, a civil war leaves Brutus dead, and those left in charge, including Caesar’s protege, Mark Antony, go on to establish a tyrannical Roman empire. It will last about 500 years.

REICHARD: I guess that’s why they call it a tragedy.

WHITTEN: Exactly. Although, it’s not a total downer. The cautionary tale can benefit us in many ways today. 

REICHARD: Why is that? 

WHITTEN: For one thing, the play can teach us a lot about what dictators sound like. If we go back to the moment just after Caesar’s death, we hear two speeches that attempt to frame the killing. Brutus says he loved Caesar, but slew him because he loved freedom more. Mark Antony, then follows. Here’s a film version of how Antony’s speech begins. It’s produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company and set in West Africa:

ROYAL SHAKESPEARE COMPANY: Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears, I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him….

Paul Cantor is literature professor at the University of Virginia. He hosts a Shakespeare and Politics YouTube channel. In this lecture on Julius Caesar, Cantor summarizes the speeches by Brutus and Mark Antony:

CANTOR: Brutus’s speech is the last gasp of the Republic. He appeals to reason, he appeals to the public good of Rome. Antony goes straight for the jugular. You’re each getting 75 drachmas and the use of Caesar’s park. What’s in it for you? And of course, it’s a tremendously emotional speech. He bears Caesar’s wounds in a really shameful way.

By accepting Antony’s offer, the Roman people essentially give up their rights as citizens. Soon, we see the results. Antony and his cohorts list the political enemies they plan to murder. The pro-Caesar mob kills an innocent poet, Cinna, because he shares the same name as one of the conspirators. Here’s Cantor again:

CANTOR: It really, it looks ahead to the French Revolution, to Soviet Communism, to all the show trials of the 20th century. To the idea that anyone who thinks differently in the community will just be killed when he can’t stand up to the inquisition.

So, it’s kind of cancel culture on steroids, Mary.

REICHARD: I see the connection to today, for sure. Quite relevant. Emily, I wonder if you have any advice for Christians who pick up the book for the first time. Where should they start?

WHITTEN: I definitely recommend watching a video version of the play. You could also watch an introduction, like the Shakespeare Uncovered episode we mentioned. If you have young kids at home, you could read aloud great versions by Marcia Williams or Charles and Mary Lamb. You’re less likely to get lost in archaic language if you know the plot.

One final point if I may, Mary.

REICHARD: Of course. 

WHITTEN: Leading up to the election, I plan to cover more insightful books on government and leadership, including Leadership as an Identity by Crawford Loritts. Here’s Loritts speaking at a conference in 2011: 

LORITTS: As a pastor and a guy involved in Christian leadership for years, I mentor a lot of younger dudes. I spend so much time deprogramming them about these crazy expectations. Everybody is chasing down a platform when they ought to be chasing down Jesus. 

I bring Loritts in here to point out that Caesar, Brutus, and Mark Antony all fail to be the leader Rome needs. They seek human goals by purely human means. And that proves disastrous.

Ultimately, Julius Caesar reminds us that every human government will come to an end someday. So, yeah, let’s avoid the mistakes of the past if we can, let’s seek the good of Rome, but let’s seek “first the kingdom of God and His righteousness….” That’s where our hope lies.

REICHARD: Thank you for the recommendation today, Emily. 

WHITTEN: You’re very welcome, Mary. Happy reading!

REICHARD: For August, Emily recommended Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare. For more classic book ideas, just search for Classic Book of the Month at

MARY REICHARD: Today is Tuesday, September 1st. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Mary Reichard.

NICK EICHER: And I’m Nick Eicher. Here’s WORLD Editor in Chief Marvin Olasky now on faith and science.

MARVIN OLASKY, EDITOR IN CHIEF: Today I’m channeling my inner George Grant and looking into the history of a word—actually a hyphenated word, “faith-based.” 

The religious left used “faith-based” in the 1980s. For example, in 1985 Witness for Peace was a “faith-based movement of North American citizens…united in their opposition to U.S. policies toward Nicaragua.” 

In 1987 the Christian Science Monitor praised “faith-based protest groups, acting out of a sense of moral indignation.” In 1989 The Boston Globe referred to a Quaker-funded house for homeless women as “a faith-based project to create justice and not charity.”

The term entered conservative politics during the 1990s. HUD Secretary Jack Kemp complimented public housing residents for starting “a very faith-based movement” to make their homes drug-free. “Faith-based” took off in 1999 when presidential candidate George W. Bush used it frequently, often in connection with his “compassionate conservatism” campaign slogan. 

Democratic candidate Al Gore did not want to be religiously flanked. He pledged to listen to “the voices of faith-based organizations.” Jim Wallis used the expression 21 times in a Sojourners article. “Faith-based” was everywhere: Recently I Googled it and got 521 million results, including a proclamation of “Faith-Based Community Economic Development Day” in Pittsburgh. 

Why was it so popular? In 2001 social critic Thomas Frank wrote, ‘Faith-based’ is somewhat nebulous, yet noble too. We all want to be faithful, don’t we? Whereas if you say ‘religious,’ people get suspicious. Like, is he against dancing?” But as President Bush lost popularity, headlines like this 2008 one in Patheos became common: “Let’s drop the euphemistic phrase ‘faith-based.’”

That’s fine with me, because “faith-based” by itself doesn’t mean much: The question is, faith in what. In reporting today’s big social issues, I’d rather be Bible-based and science-based. The Bible tells us that God made us male and female. Science backs that up: boys are XY and girls are XX. Imagining something different does not make it so. 

The Bible defends human life but doesn’t say exactly when it begins: Science is helpful in saying life begins at conception. So Christians are not loosely faith-based: We have faith in God as He’s shown in the Bible, and in science, when it’s based on experimentation and not speculation. So should you.     

I’m Marvin Olasky.

NICK EICHER: Tomorrow: Israel and its neighbors. The United Arab Emirates has officially recognized Israel. That’s a big deal. Will other Arab countries follow its example? We’ll talk about it on Washington Wednesday.

And, we’ll tell you about a centuries-old instrument finding new fans.

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.

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

Go now in 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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