The World and Everything in It — September 22, 2020

MARY REICHARD, HOST: Good morning!

The performing arts are hard hit by the economic shutdowns. We’ll hear how that’s true especially for theaters.

NICK EICHER, HOST: Plus, the flexible life. Myrna Brown profiles a homeschool family living in a bus.

Also new realities have put a dent in the number of volunteers able to help after natural disasters. You’ll hear a report from Louisiana in the aftermath of a hurricane.

And WORLD commentator Kim Henderson on making infants of adults.

REICHARD: It’s Tuesday, September 22nd. 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 with today’s news.

KENT COVINGTON, NEWS ANCHOR: McConnell: Plenty of time to confirm justice by Election Day » Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Monday that there is more than enough time to confirm a new Supreme Court Justice before Election Day. 

MCCONNELL: History and precedent make that perfectly clear. 

The November 3rd election is 42 days away. McConnell noted that the Senate took just 33 days to confirm Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and only 19 days to confirm Justice John Paul Stevens.   

But Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said given that Senate Republicans waited till after the 2016 election to fill the seat of the late Justice Antonin Scalia…

SCHUMER: By every modicum of decency and honor, Leader McConnell and the Republican Senate Majority have no right to fill it. 

President Trump said Monday that he’ll announce his choice after the memorial service for the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg at the end of this week. And over the weekend, he said his pick will be a woman. 

Speculation surrounding a nominee has centered on two federal judges, Amy Coney Barrett and Barbara Lagoa. But Trump said he’s currently considering five candidates. 

U.S. hits Iran with new sanctions » Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday announced new US sanctions against Iran. 

POMPEO: The president’s executive order announced today gives us a new and powerful tool to enforce the UN arms embargo and hold those who seek to evade UN sanctions accountable. 

That after the Trump administration over the weekend unilaterally declared that all UN penalties eased under the 2015 nuclear deal are back in place.

National security adviser Robert O’Brien explained that when the United States entered into the nuclear deal…

O’BRIEN: The Obama administration told the American people that the United States would always have the right to restore UN sanctions on Iran, even without the approval of other nations. That provision was key for obtaining the United States’ approval for the JCPOA. 

JCPOA is short for Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the formal title of the nuclear deal. 

A UN arms embargo on Iran will expire in October under the terms of the nuclear deal, but Pompeo and others insist the snapback of sanctions keeps that embargo in place.

On Monday, Pompeo announced the administration was hitting more than two dozen Iranian individuals and institutions with penalties. He also announced new sanctions against Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro regime. 

CDC retracts new coronavirus guidance » The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it made a mistake when it published new coronavirus guidance suggesting that 6 feet of social distance may not be enough indoors. WORLD’s Paul Butler reports. 

PAUL BUTLER, REPORTER: On Friday, the CDC posted the following statement on its website: It said “There is growing evidence that droplets and airborne particles can remain suspended in the air and be breathed in by others, and travel distances beyond 6 feet (for example, during choir practice, in restaurants, or in fitness classes). In general, indoor environments without good ventilation increase this risk.”

That raised concerns that restaurant dining, school classrooms, and other indoor settings where people may remove face coverings may not be safe. 

But on Monday, the agency said “a draft version of proposed changes” to its COVID-19 guidance “was posted in error.” 

It added that the “CDC is currently updating its recommendations” and will update the language once the process is complete. 

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Paul Butler. 

DOJ announces $100M more to combat human trafficking » Attorney General William Barr Monday announced $100 million in federal grants to target human trafficking. 

Barr called trafficking “one of the top enforcement priorities of the [Justice] Department” and said “we’re on the forefront of this fight.”

BARR: And these grants are going to support state, local, and tribal jurisdictions, victim service providers task forces and key research initiatives. 

He made the announcement Monday in Atlanta with presidential adviser Ivanka Trump and Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp.

In August, the Trump administration awarded $35 million in grants to organizations that provide safe housing for victims of human trafficking.

DOJ threatens “anarchist” cities with funding cuts » Also on Monday, the attorney general threatened the cities of New York, Seattle, and Portland with funding cuts. He accused them of “permitting violence and destruction of property” while failing to support the police and protect their citizens. 

President Trump penned a memo earlier this month that would allow the federal government to designate the cities as “anarchist jurisdictions.” That could cost them federal grant money.

Barr noted that New York cut its police department budget by $1 billion despite a rise in shootings over the past three months. He also cited Portland’s refusal to accept federal law enforcement support during violent protests and Seattle’s failure to quickly shut down the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest in June.

Navalny demains Russia return ‘crucial piece of evidence’ in his poisoning » Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny is demanding that Russia return what he called “a crucial piece of evidence” in his poisoning. WORLD’s Leigh Jones has that story. 

LEIGH JONES, REPORTER: In a blog post Monday, Navalny said the Novichok nerve agent was found “in and on” his body. He added, “I demand that my clothes be carefully packed in a plastic bag and returned to me.” He said the clothes are “very important material evidence.”

The 44-year-old politician and corruption investigator is Russian President Vladimir Putin’s fiercest critic. Navalny fell ill on a domestic flight to Moscow last month. He was first brought to a hospital in Siberia. He was then transferred to German hospital where he is still recovering. 

Navalny also blasted Russian authorities for not launching a criminal probe into what happened to him.

He said “There is no criminal case in Russia, there is a ‘preliminary inquiry.” It looks as if I didn’t fall into a coma on a plane, but rather tripped in a supermarket and broke my leg.”

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Leigh Jones.

I’m Kent Covington.

Straight ahead: closed theaters and canceled performances.

Plus, Kim Henderson on the importance of parenting.

This is The World and Everything in It.

MARY REICHARD: It’s Tuesday, the 22nd of September, 2020. Thank you for listening to today’s edition of The World and Everything in It. Happy to have you along! Good morning. I’m Mary Reichard.

NICK EICHER: And I’m Nick Eicher. First up: performing arts.

Theaters and concert halls were among the first to shut down because of COVID-19. It’s hard to meet social distancing guidelines within most venues that usually accommodate about 1,000 people. Many arts groups have been waiting in the wings, hoping they’ll be able to start performing again soon. But when is soon? And can they survive until then? 

WORLD’s Anna Johansen reports.

ANNA JOHANSEN, REPORTER: The Raue Center for the Arts is an old theater in a little downtown district about an hour north of Chicago. It was built in 1929. Red velvet seats. Starry ceilings. The marquee out front has yellow bulbs that flash in rippling patterns. The theater has cautiously begun to reopen, having a few artists perform for audiences of 50 in a space meant for 750. 

But finding an audience these days can be a challenge. Richard Kuranda is the Raue’s executive director.

KURANDA: A healthy percentage of our demographic are over the age of 55. I think the older demographics who typically go out to support the arts are going to be very shy of returning just based on health concerns.

So, to survive financially, the theater has had to branch out. 

KURANDA: This past June, we ran an art auction. We started online classes for children. We’ve had some chalk competitions on the sidewalks downtown. 

The Raue is treading water financially. Kuranda says it was a stroke of dumb luck that the theater paid off almost all its debt a couple years ago, giving it a better shot at making it through a lean season. But other theaters aren’t so fortunate. 

KURANDA: So I think the last number I saw from one of our trade organizations was an estimate that something like 60 percent of the theaters were not going to be able to survive past November without severe government funding.

The iconic Mercury Theater in Chicago has already shut permanently. Like many arts organizations, it streamed online content for months, but that didn’t generate enough income. In June, it finally closed its curtains for good. The theater’s business manager said simply, “We cannot plan for an imaginary future.” 

Another theater in the area, the Paramount, plans to hibernate until spring. By then it hopes COVID-19 will have blown over and the theater can reopen to full crowds. 

And the Paramount isn’t the only venue adopting that strategy, which has been a problem for Abigail Henninger. She directs Magnum Opus, a Christian ballet company in Madison, Wisconsin. Henninger usually rents theater space for performances, but with so many venues closed until next year, she’s had to look elsewhere.

HENNINGER: Right now we’re currently renting out places like community parks or outdoor amphitheaters and hoping and praying for good weather as we do that. 

Dancing outside is a very different dynamic than dancing on a professional stage. You can’t just throw the dancers out on concrete pavement at a local park pavilion. That’s actually dangerous for the performers.

HENNINGER: So we have invested in outdoor flooring, in specific sprung floor that is definitely going to cushion the dancers and protect the dancers’ ankles and backs. 

Henninger sees that special outdoor flooring as a positive investment. One she never would have made without COVID-19 regulations forcing her to think outside the box. But now that she has it, she’s thankful.

HENNINGER: I think that we’re going to be much more portable in general and it’s going to open up new venues and new ideas of how we can perform in the future.

The real test for many arts organizations is going to come when the weather turns cold or wet. The holidays are a crucial time for fundraising. And many ballet companies count on a Christmas performance like the Nutcracker to generate a lot of income. 

The Houston Ballet already lost millions of dollars from canceled productions this spring. Its annual Nutcracker typically generates $5 million in revenue every year, but not this year. It’s already been canceled. 

Stanton Welch is the Houston Ballet’s artistic director.

WELCH: We could have a loss of anywhere between $11 and $17 million, I think is the estimate from our budget.

The ballet furloughed a lot of staff this spring and just brought its dancers back to restart rehearsals at the beginning of September. They’ll start with filming content to stream online, and hope to start live performances in December. But that plan, of course, could change.

WELCH: I’ll tell you what it’s taught me is to not plan anything. And I pace around the house and I have tables with different plans and then every morning you wake up and you’re like, Okay, which one? Which one are we pushing for today? It’s crazy.

Carol Engelhardt is the executive managing director of the Chicago branch of CYT, Christian Youth Theater. Students age 8 to 18 sign up for classes with CYT, and then have the option to audition for full scale productions. Those productions are the big draw, but they’re also the hardest to coordinate. Like Magnum Opus, CYT rents theater space from other venues.

ENGELHARDT: A lot of our venues expect pretty hefty deposits, 40 to 50 percent deposit, but you haven’t necessarily brought in any income from ticket sales or from student participation.

CYT Chicago has canceled all fall productions and will try again in the spring. But until then, it’s tough keeping kids engaged in classes. Try having a vocal class where every student has to stay, not just 6 feet apart, but 12 feet apart because of extra-stringent regulations on people singing. Engelhardt says only a third of the expected students signed up for classes this fall.

ENGELHARDT: It’s going to be a really tough year. 

So does she think CYT Chicago will make it through this?

ENGELHARDT: Yes I do. Lord willing, I do. 

Richard Kuranda at the Raue says live performances will look different in the future. They’ll be small, community-oriented performances instead of mosh-pit festival events. But he, too, has hope for the future.

KURANDA: I think the arts will definitely bounce back. Once we do come through, I think there will be an outrageous birthing of new arts organizations. 

Kuranda says audiences and artists are just waiting for the right cue.

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Anna Johansen.

NICK EICHER: Coming up next on The World and Everything in It: disaster relief.

It’s remarkable how these natural disasters have come just one after another. First, Hurricane Laura, then Hurricane Sally, and now Tropical Storm Beta and with it the possibility of more flooding in some of those same Gulf Coast communities. 

On the West Coast, many property owners are facing devastation by wildfires.

MARY REICHARD: With so many disasters to tend to, volunteers are spread thin. But the bigger challenge may be our other national disaster: COVID-19. The majority of volunteers serving with disaster relief ministries are 55 or older. They are the ones most susceptible to severe complications from the disease. And because of that, some have chosen to stay home when the call for help goes out.

EICHER: WORLD correspondent Bonnie Pritchett visited southwest Louisiana a little over a week ago to see how the lack of volunteers has affected the work on the ground.

GREENE: [Paper rustling, AC runs in the background] This is the list of jobs we have in our system now for this area. And we’re up to almost 100 and there’s still a stack back that we haven’t gotten entered yet… 

BONNIE PRITCHETT, REPORTER: Ed Greene, deputy state director for New Mexico Baptist Disaster Relief is looking through a spreadsheet for the address in Vinton, Louisiana, where one of his chainsaw crews is working. 

GREENE: And they’ll do the work and then when they get that one finished, they’ll move on to the next one and the next one. The idea is we’ll work down the list until nothing’s left…

This time, Greene wonders if he’ll run out of volunteers before he runs out of list.

AUDIO: [Chainsaws, car door shutting, and footsteps]

At Robert Walton’s home, the chainsaw crew worked bit by bit to remove a tree that came within a few feet of crashing through the roof. The small group looks like any other disaster relief crew: Mostly retirees. Concerns about contracting the coronavirus or spreading it back home have kept some of Greene’s most loyal volunteers from deploying.

 GREENE: Hello, Larry! Come over and meet this young lady…

Larry Schmidt is the crew boss. He began volunteering for disaster relief missions in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans. He was 67 then.

SCHMIDT: June 18, 1938. Ok, 82. 82. God is good. Right? [SCHMIDT LAUGHS] …

Schmidt isn’t cavalier about the virus. He just sees it as another risk to consider before deploying on a mission that is already inherently dangerous.

SCHMIDT: Anytime you have a situation like COVID-19, it’s something we’ve never experienced it before. And when you’re out on a deployment it’s a hazardous thing—you’re working around trees like this. A thousand things could go wrong that could really injure you or kill you…

He gestures toward the rooftop where 72-year-old Wayne Turner and 31-year-old James Holland prepare to take another cut from the oak tree still threatening to fall on the house.


Twenty-five miles to the east, the power was still out in Lake Charles when I stopped in at Glad Tidings church. Generators the size of shipping crates powered dehumidifiers sucking the residual damp out of the sanctuary. Their constant drone mingled with the busy sounds in the parking lot. That’s where Convoy of Hope had set up a food distribution center.

Stacy Lamb is senior director of U.S. Disaster Services for Convoy of Hope. He says concerns about the virus have also kept some of his volunteers at home.

But, like his colleagues at other relief ministries, Lamb says the biggest impact on volunteerism has been compliance with virus mitigation protocols.

LAMB: So, in times past we may be able to bring, say, local church teams from around the country that want to come in and serve for a week. And then we usually use the local church facilities to house them and things like that. We have not done that because of COVID. We have not wanted to risk some of that exposure. So, because of that our volunteer numbers have been down a little bit…

Despite the more limited volunteer help, Lamb and leaders of other relief ministries say the need hasn’t outpaced their ability to serve. At least not yet.

REPORTER: Hurricane Sally made landfall before dawn as a powerful Category 2 Hurricane…

But the ministries are now preparing to deploy teams to Alabama, Florida and, possibly, the Texas Gulf Coast. 

Ed Green with New Mexico Baptist Disaster Relief says the back-to-back disasters aren’t unprecedented.

GREENE: If there’s one thing we know about this business—it’s a growth industry. If you are in disaster relief, you will never lack for work…

And those who answer the call to volunteer often do so over and over again. David Schuknecht is a veteran of eight Convoy of Hope deployments. The 67-year-old was eager to get into the field again after months of lockdown.

SCHUKNECHT: When we ask God for wisdom, He gives it to us. And we definitely need to be wise at this time. But we also need to be proactive, I believe. We’re doers. I can’t imagine just sitting at home and not doing anything. That’s not how we’re wired, how we’re made.

Larry Schmidt says volunteers are compelled to go out of love.

SCHMIDT: And that’s what Scripture tells us, “Love one another.” And that’s exactly what we think about when we’re looking at going on a deployment or something. It’s more loving someone else than it is to think about COVID, you know, or other hazards that you might face on a deployment…

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Bonnie Pritchett in southwest Louisiana.

NICK EICHER: A man in Massachusetts had had it up to here with thieves who’d been stealing the Trump signs from his yard.

John Olivera is his name. He’s 54. He’s a disabled Navy vet. And the first sign that went missing he lost in July. So he bought two more of them—20-bucks apiece—and put them right back out there.

And thieves promptly stole those, too.

He replaced them again. Same result. So he decided to borrow from the president’s playbook and build a big, beautiful wall.

Well, fence. 

Well, not so beautiful.

It’s the kind of fence you’d use to protect livestock. Electric fence.

So far, so good. As I said, doesn’t look great, but his Keep America Great sign is safe—so far.

It’s The World and Everything in It.

NICK EICHER: Today is Tuesday, September 22nd. 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. Coming next on The World and Everything in It: what one Georgia family is willing to do in order someday to make it to the mission field.

WORLD Senior Correspondent Myrna Brown has their story.


MYRNA BROWN, REPORTER: In the corner of a northeast Georgia parking lot, a white school bus straddles eight parking spaces.

MARSHALL FRASIER: We’re in there ok? Yes sir. 

Standing beside the bus, holding a red container and a 12-inch funnel: Marshall Frasier and his teenage daughter, Jessie. 

MARSHALL FRASIER: This is our homemade mechanism to fill up with gas. How much gas does it take? It holds 3 gallons exactly. 


Just enough to crank up the family’s generator. It powers the bus when it’s not moving. The Frasiers know almost everything about this 71-passenger Blue Bird. They’ve spent the last six months transforming it into a home. 


Rebecca Frasier, Marshall’s wife of 22 years, shows off the colorful, patterned cushions they sit on when the bus is moving. But at night… 

REBECCA: It folds out to be a full-size bed. 

That’s where 8-year-old Cayson and 6 ½-year-old Caegan sleep.

REBECCA: The kitchen! This is my favorite thing on the bus. Why is that? This was our dining room table that we cut in half and sanded down. 

Between the kitchen counter and the bathroom, four themed bunk beds for 17-year-old Caeli, 15-year-old Jessie, 11-year-old Catriel and 10-year-old Cairistine. Taking up the rear, a tiny space for Marshall and Rebecca, with words like love, joy, peace and patience written on the wall.

REBECCA: You can’t travel in a bus with eight people, close quarters without a constant reminder of the fruit of the spirit. 

Their journey began about six hours north in Roanoke, Virginia. In 20-16 Marshall planted a church there.

MARSHALL: The second year I started praying, okay God, what’s going on here? Okay God, I’m realizing I’m making mistakes. I’m not seeking after you. Okay God, what do I do differently. And I really started seeking God. My  whole family did it. It was actually amazing. 

Four years later, the Frasiers have traded the comforts of their 2,800 square foot, brick home for the challenges of a 35×9 school bus. 

REBECCA: Hey, we’re here this morning leaving Roanoke. It’s Sunday morning and we are on the bus. (clapping)

They keep friends and family up to date through social media. 

REBECCA: So, what have people said to us that would be like scoffers or haters? The same kind of things that were said to us when we chose to have eight children, instead of the typical 2.5. But we would rather follow God and make God happy than worry about what man has to say.  

Their ultimate goal is to one day serve in Costa Rica, but until they’re able to get there, the Frasiers are traveling around the country sharing their story.

MARSHALL: We just want to love on people and encourage people. Show them what it’s like to trust and follow God and how God blesses you. 

15-year old Jessie keeps a family video journal.  It’s a skill that’s become part of her homeschool lesson plan.

JESSIE: So we just arrived at our first location. Dad’s hooking up the electrical stuff in the rain.  


17-year-old Caeli is learning about entrepreneurship.  While in Georgia, the Frasiers are visiting long-time friends and taking advantage of appliances that aren’t powered by a generator.  

CAELIE: So I’m making cinnamon rolls right now. We’re actually making them to sell in the neighborhood we’re in.  

According to Catriel and Cayson, no two days on the road are alike. 

CATRIEL: The best part is I get to go around and meet other people and tell them about Jesus. 

BROWN: What’s the not so great part about living and traveling on a bus? CAYSON: Sometimes we go to places and then we have to leave our friends.

REBECCA: The biggest obstacle of living like this would be less alone time for my husband and I.

Not to mention traveling during a global pandemic and managing dwindling resources. But the Frasiers say the challenges are drawing them closer to each other and to God. 

MARSHALL: He’s got a plan. He’s got the dream. He’s got the vision and we’re just following Him step by step. He’ll open doors up and we’ll keep following Him. 

Reporting for WORLD in Jefferson, Georgia I’m Myrna Brown.

CAEGAN: How much longer until we’re there? Did you say how much longer until we get there…

REICHARD: If you’d like to see the Fraisers’ converted bus home, Myrna also produced this story for WORLD Watch. We’ll post a link to her video story in the program transcript at

MARY REICHARD: Today is Tuesday, September 22nd. 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. Commentator Kim Henderson now on the cultural trend of glorifying deadbeat dads.

KIM HENDERSON, COMMENTATOR: I recently heard about this raid. Seems the officers got a tip about a party involving underage drinkers and overage enablers. The result was a crazy cocktail of a mess that used to be called debauchery, but I’m not sure what folks call it these days.

And while the IDs were being checked and proper arrests were being made, one guy motioned to a young girl across the room. “That’s my baby mama over there.” 

Those words grabbed my attention. The trendy “baby mama” label and its partner, “baby daddy,” have been tossed around for a while. Let me provide you with an internet definition (since my 1828 Noah Webster dictionary cannot):

“A baby mama is a woman who has a child out of wedlock. She may or may not be in a relationship with the child’s father, but most of the time, she’s not. She may think she has some sort of position or leverage in the man’s life because she had a child with him.”

The writer goes on to describe another cultural phenomenon, “baby mama drama.” That’s what happens when a baby mama uses the child as a pawn to get attention from the child’s father.

Sound complicated? So is the baby daddy phenomenon. 

To research their book, the authors of Doing the Best I Can: Fatherhood in the Inner City, studied the lives of more than 100 “baby daddies.” They discovered the men enjoyed their children, but failed to fulfill other parenting responsibilities. One reviewer summarized the findings like this: “Fatherhood becomes less about fulfilling a set of responsibilities—breadwinning, protecting the kids from harm, serving as a moral guide, providing discipline—and more about subjective feeling. As the authors note, these men act more like kindly uncles than real fathers.”

The book also reported that the dads were most likely to shower attention on the child in his or her first five years and withdraw it afterward. Thus, the coined phrase “baby daddy” becomes a true moniker. Baby mama, not so much. Someone must parent beyond preschool.    

So who can we thank for the rise of the disposable dad? We could start with famous athletes like Tom Brady and rappers like Future—who has fathered at least six children with six women. They’ve helped normalize and glamorize baby daddying. 

But the truth is, conjugal trysts and the resulting deadbeat dads are nothing new. There’s just a lot more of them now—more than 40 percent of births in the United States are to unwed mothers. In my state, lawmakers are concerned enough to offer funding incentives to counties that can lower those rates.      

And while the reasons for the baby mama/baby daddy dilemma are many, the solution is singular: marriage. Children need mamas and daddies (minus the trendy adjectives), and they need communities (and tax codes and a welfare system) that reinforce the notion that marriage comes first, then all its privileges.

Until something changes, we will reap the whirlwind. 

I’m Kim Henderson.

NICK EICHER: Tomorrow: The death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has reset the presidential campaign. We’ll talk about the election implications on Washington Wednesday.

And, we’ll delve into this year’s report on the state of theology.

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.

Whatever you do, do it heartily, as for the Lord, not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.

I hope you’ll have a great rest of the day. We’ll talk to you tomorrow!

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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