The World and Everything in It — September 28, 2020


MARY REICHARD, HOST: Good morning!

President Trump nominates Judge Amy Coney Barrett to fill the Supreme Court seat left vacant by the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. We’ll talk about what Judge Barrett brings to the bench.

NICK EICHER, HOST: That’s ahead on Legal Docket. 

Also today, the Monday Moneybeat—durable goods, home sales, jobs, GDP—we’ll do the numbers with David Bahnsen.

Plus, the WORLD History Book. Today, the 25th anniversary of the Oslo II Accord.

And Marvin Olasky on God’s providence in previous pandemics.

REICHARD: It’s Monday, September 28th. 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: Time now for news. Here’s Kent Covington.


KENT COVINGTON, NEWS ANCHOR: Democrats: A Barrett confirmation dooms Obamacare » Federal Judge Amy Coney Barrett could be the country’s next Supreme Court Justice. And she now finds herself at the center of a national election. 

On Saturday, President Trump introduced Barrett as his pick to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. 

BARRETT: If the Senate does me the honor of confirming me, I pledge to discharge the responsibilities of this job to the very best of my ability. 

Speaking with ABC’s This Week, Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin conceded that Democrats don’t have the votes to block Barrett. 

DURBIN: We can slow it down, perhaps a matter of hours, maybe days at the most. But we can’t stop the outcome. 

So instead, they’re crafting their campaign message around her nomination—telling voters that a high court with a conservative majority could strike down Obamacare. 

Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow…

STABENOW: It’s very clear from her writings that she will be the vote that takes away healthcare for millions of Americans. 

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called a vote for Barrett “a dagger aimed at the heart of healthcare protections” for Americans. And President Trump’s campaign rival Joe Biden said Sunday…

BIDEN: If he has his way, more than 100 million people with preexisting conditions like asthma, diabetes, and cancer could once again be denied coverage. 

President Trump signed an executive order last week declaring it a national policy to protect patients with preexisting conditions. And he said he wouldn’t sign any healthcare legislation that doesn’t do so. But Biden said he’s not buying it.

Trump refutes report alleging tax avoidance » President Trump pushed back Sunday against a New York Times story claiming he paid no federal income tax for 10 of the last 15 years.  It also reported that Trump paid only $750 in federal taxes in 2016 and again in 2017. 

The Times said it obtained more than two decades of Trump’s tax information showing a long pattern of tax avoidance.  

The president last night called the story “fake news.” He said they got “everything” wrong, arguing that he’s paid big tax bills at both the state and federal level. 

And Alan Garten, an attorney for the Trump Organization also refuted the report. He said Trump “has paid tens of millions of dollars in personal taxes to the federal government, including paying millions in personal taxes since announcing his candidacy in 2015.”

Democrats heavily criticized Trump during his first campaign for president for not releasing his tax returns. 

Military suicides up as much as 20 percent in COVID era » Military suicides have increased by as much as 20 percent this year compared to the same period last year. That according to Army officials who spoke to the Associated Press. WORLD’s Leigh Jones has more. 

LEIGH JONES, REPORTER: The numbers vary by service. The Army has reportedly seen the largest increase with a 30 percent spike among active duty personnel. 

While the data is incomplete, Army and Air Force officials say they believe the pandemic is adding stress to an already strained force.

Army officials say they’re looking at shortening combat deployments. Such a move would be part of a broader effort to make the wellbeing of soldiers and their families the Army’s top priority.

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Leigh Jones. 

Fighting erupts between Armenia, Azerbaijan; 16 killed » Fighting erupted anew on Sunday between Armenia and Azerbaijan over a disputed separatist region.

In a televised address, the president of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, vowed victory over Armenian forces. 

AUDIO: [ALIYEV SPEAKING]

Aliyev said “Our cause is just and we will win,” repeating a famous quote from Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin.

Officials in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh said 16 people died and more than 100 are wounded. 

The region, which lies within Azerbaijan, has been under the control of ethnic Armenian forces backed by Armenia since 1994.  

It was not immediately clear what sparked the fighting, the heaviest since clashes in July killed 16 people from both sides.

Stage set for MLB playoffs » The stage is set for this year’s expanded Major League Baseball playoffs. Sunday was the final day of the regular season. 

And for the first time ever, 16 of the 30 big league ball clubs will participate—including the Miami Marlins.

AUDIO: Rojas to first—there it is! There it is! It’s a Marlins win! And for the first time in 17 years, the Marlins are going to the postseason!

Miami finished dead last in the National League last year. But this year, the surprising Marlins made it through an early-season COVID-19 outbreak in which 18 players tested positive. 

The other big surprise—the reigning World Series Champion Washington Nationals did not make the playoffs.

Action begins tomorrow, with MLB shifting to a so-called bubble format. All games will take place in a handful of stadiums with players and coaches under quarantine to reduce the risk of an outbreak.

The last two teams standing will play the entirety of the World Series at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas starting October 20th.

I’m Kent Covington.

Straight ahead: Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s background and judicial philosophy.

Plus, Marvin Olasky on pandemics and God’s providence.

This is The World and Everything in It.


NICK EICHER: It’s Monday morning and time to get back at it for another week of The World and Everything in It. Today is the 28th of September 2020.

Good morning to you, I’m Nick Eicher.

MARY REICHARD: And I’m Mary Reichard. Big, big news on the Supreme Court—and we’ll get to it—I’ve got some analysis for you.

But before we go there, I want you to know we have recorded our final Legal Docket podcast episode for season one.

And have to say, at the risk of seeming verklempt, I’m just grateful today. It took a lot of work by a lot of people. A dream come true to produce something like that. 

But we couldn’t have done it without you, without your faithful financial support for us here at WORLD and I just want to say thanks for that. I’m looking forward to season two, but it does feel good to wrap up season one. 

We did not have a lot of margin—pretty crazy production schedule—but the Lord saw us through.

EICHER: He did. Of course, we’re talking about the Legal Docket podcast—not your regular Legal Docket here on The World and Everything in It.

But I do want to brag on you and Jenny Rough a little bit. In the iTunes store, your Legal Docket podcast, it debuted at No. 2 in the Government category. It did hit No. 1, ever so briefly, but I did take a screenshot. It lingered all summer in the Top 10 and the competitors were National Public Radio, the BBC, Westwood One, some well-funded newcomers like I-heart-Radio. 

Here’s what I want to say about it: First, you mentioned it, Mary, listener support. That’s why we were able to do it in the first place. Second, it was a really good program and y’all can be pleased with a job well done. Third, listener ratings and reviews. Last time I checked, I saw about 800 and that’s a lot for a new program like that. Lots of reviews. All that stuff helps. And I’d make one final plea: Tomorrow, we release that last episode of the first season and the plan is to run between the end of the Supreme Court term and the beginning of the new term, but tomorrow’s program is a preview of cases to come, would you give us a big sendoff? If you appreciated the season, please rate it and then take a moment and give us a full-season review now that you’ll have heard the whole thing, and maybe let us know which episode of the 10 you loved most.

REICHARD: So our last episode, which releases tomorrow, is a preview of the next Supreme Court term. 

What we’ll do today is talk about the woman who is likely the next Supreme Court Justice. Judge Amy Coney Barrett.

Judge Barrett is President Trump’s third nomination to the Supreme Court in four years. His judicial picks may shape a more conservative court for decades to come. 

With the presidential election now just 36 days away, the partisan wrangling will be red hot.

EICHER: A short time in which to push through a nominee, for sure, but there’s precedent for it. Justice Sandra Day O’Connor was confirmed 37 days after President Ronald Reagan nominated her. And Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was confirmed 42 days after she was nominated by President Bill Clinton. 

And now Amy Coney Barrett—let’s listen to parts of a recent speech she gave at Hillsdale College. She talks about what kind of justice she’s likely to be, if she’s confirmed. We have audio:

BARRETT: A judge is obligated to apply the law as it is, and not as she wishes it would be. She is obliged to follow the law, even when her personal preferences cut the other way or when she will experience great public criticism for doing so.

REICHARD: Barrett spoke of her progression toward the judicial philosophy of originalism while still in law school.

BARRETT: I mean, we agree to live by the Constitution until it’s lawfully changed. And judges can’t change it. That’s not democratic, right? We change it by the prescribed process, which is Article V.  

Now, the Constitution doesn’t answer every question. And it gives a lot of flexibility. It gives that flexibility to democratic majorities to meet changing times by passing legislation. The Constitution isn’t the panacea that cures every societal problem. We have to trust our political branches to do that.

And one final clip about the black robe:

BARRETT: So the black robe doesn’t express individuality. And a judge should not be deciding cases in accordance with her individual preferences. The black robe symbolizes that all judges share a dedication to the rule of law, that we are engaged in a common enterprise of applying the law and doing our best job at it. Justice should not turn on what judge you get. It should turn on what the law requires.

Joining us to talk about this Supreme Court nominee is John Malcolm.  He’s the director of the Meese Center for Legal and Judicial Studies at The Heritage Foundation. 

John, tell us about Judge Amy Coney Barrett.

JOHN MALCOLM, GUEST: Well, she is a very distinguished scholar and judge by any measure. So she’s a graduate of Notre Dame a law school originally from, from New Orleans, by the way, graduate of Notre Dame law school, she then clerked for, it was Lauren Silverman on the DC circuit and Antonin Scalia on the Supreme court, two very distinguished conservative jurists. She worked for a brief time in private practice where among other things, she was part of the team representing president Bush in the Bush V Gore litigation. She spent many, many years in academia teaching primarily at her Alma mater, Notre Dame law school. She published very distinct, scholarly articles in many of the major law reviews around the country on a whole host of issues that conservatives care about and that judges deal with. Things like textualism, originalism when judges should adhere to precedent. And when they should depart from precedent specifically Supreme court justices.

When she was nominated to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in 2017, something remarkable happened: actually all 40 law clerks —who served four justices during the term in which Barrett was clerking for Justice Scalia —wrote a letter on her behalf. One of the signatories of that letter, Noah Feldman, who’s a noted liberal scholar at Harvard law school said that she was out of a group of 40 very distinguished lawyers, whip smart people, she was at the very, very top and be an outstanding judge.

She ended up catching a lot of flack during her confirmation hearings from some of the Democrats who said that, you know, they questioned her religious faith. Dick Durbin of Illinois asked whether she was a devout Catholic. Diane Feinstein of California said that she was very concerned about her religious faith, but the dogma lived loudly in her. They appear to ignore the fact that article six of the constitution says there shall be no religious test for public office. But totally setting that aside in the midst of this onslaught, Amy Coney Barrett was the picture perfect example of grace under fire. She very calmly answered those charges and said that, you know, it’s her job to be dictated by what the law and the constitution say, not take direction from the Pope or any other Catholic with respect to rulings. And then she was ultimately confirmed. And since then she has served with distinction on the 7th circuit. She’s, she’s over a hundred opinions and, and joined many more. They are erudite, reasoned, and it has shown that one, she is not going to be governed in her rulings by her faith. And also that she is, as she said, she would be a very committed textualist and originalist.

REICHARD: John, let’s talk about judicial philosophy. Some people were dismayed that Justice Neil Gorsuch did not follow the originalist way of interpreting statutes in the Bostock case. I’m referencing the Bostock opinion that he authored that expanded the word “sex” to mean something other than it meant in 1964. How do you think Amy Coney Barrett will do in that respect?

MALCOLM: Well, look, I believe that a good textualist is also a good contextual list and who reads that text within the context in which it was written. That doesn’t mean that they have to go beyond the words or resort to legislative history, but they sort of need to read the text in, in terms of approaching the problem that Congress was seeking to remedy. So while I believe that Neil Gorsuch is a committed textualist, I think that was a very bad textualist opinion for the reasons asserted by the dissenters, most prominently justice Samuel Alito. You look, you can never predict exactly how people are going to rule in these cases, but certainly Judge Barrett is a very good textualist.

REICHARD: What do we know about her views on abortion?

MALCOLM: Well, we don’t, other than her personal views on it. She was as a faculty member at at Notre Dame, you know, a member of some pro-life groups in an advisor, pro-life student groups, she’s written in law review articles that while all precedent is important she’s questioned some of the underpinnings of the original Roe versus Wade opinion. She hasn’t written any decisions dealing with abortion on the 7th Circuit, but she did join a couple of dissenting opinions that touched on abortion.

In both cases, they were dissents from a refusal by the entire seventh circuit to rehear a case after a panel opinion. One of them had to do with the parental notification law under Indiana. And the other had to do with what to do with fetal remains under Indiana law and also whether or not abortion can be based on sex selection, racial, you know, racial selection, disabilities things like that. In all of those instances, a panel of the 7th circuit had declared these laws to be unconstitutional. The full seventh circuit declined to hear the whole case. And she joined the opinion saying that the 7th circuit should have heard those cases.

REICHARD: Do you think Amy Coney Barrett is a good or bad pick as far as Trump’s prospect for re-election?

MALCOLM: Oh, that’s hard to say, you know, I don’t tend to get involved in the politics of all of this. A lot of this is going to depend on what the American people think of Amy Coney Barrett and how they think the Democrats have treated her. I mean, one thing that is good is that it gets the president talking about something that to the Republican base has been, you know, a triumph of his first term, which is, you know, his, his federal judicial appointments. So getting to talk about that, I think is a political winner for him. I think that the Democrats are going to have to be a little bit careful how they deal with the nominee at the risk of offending Catholics or offending women. It will be particularly interesting to see how Kamala Harris who was on the Senate judiciary committee questions the nominees, and she is the vice presidential nominee on the Democratic ticket. But there are a lot of things still to happen between now and the election on November 3rd. Although of course in some states, voting has already started.

REICHARD: John Malcolm is director of the Meese Center for Legal and Judicial Studies at The Heritage Foundation. Thank you for joining us today!

MALCOLM: My pleasure. Good talking to you!

REICHARD: And that’s this week’s Legal Docket.


MARY REICHARD: Coming up next on The World and Everything in It: The Monday Moneybeat.

NICK EICHER: Orders for big-ticket items—major appliances, tools, computers—things meant to last for three years or more, rose once again and that makes four months in a row. The economic term is durable-goods orders. The month-over-month rise was smaller than the previous few months, but that’s to say it was more in line with normal economic activity.

This is another of the categories that suffered dramatic decreases in March and April and then started to rebound just about as dramatically over the next three months. It’s not quite back to where it was a year ago, but it is a backward-looking sign that points to future business growth.

Precisely the sort of economic data point financial analyst and adviser David Bahnsen’s been looking for. And we say good morning to him now from New York City.

David, hope you’re well.

DAVID BAHNSEN, GUEST: Yes, good to be with you, Nick.

EICHER: Durable-goods orders, definitely a V-shape chart with double-digit percentage declines when COVID first hit, then double-digit increases. So now we’re settling in with a four-tenths of a percentage point rise in August. I know you’re really happy with this. What does it mean?

BAHNSEN: Yeah, actually not just that it was up. It was expected to be up, but it was up more than expected and then I spent quite a bit of time this week studying what made it go up and I really think that we have a whole global trade story playing out. I think that the demand for household imports is way up in America and I think that even when you see a really significant export growth out of China, that is largely an American story. We’re certainly their biggest customers. So, the durable goods orders speaks to a rebuilding of inventories—inventories were really depleted after the quarantine period, you can imagine. And you just seem to have a pretty good relaunch of manufacturing and industrial production here in America.

EICHER: Alright. And speaking of winning streaks, now three months in a row for home sales, another increase, even with COVID uncertainty.

BAHNSEN: Well, there’s a lot of things happening with housing and it has been a pretty consistent multi-month move higher. You do have, I think, a concerning data point out there, which is that inventories are so low, housing supply is so low that people mistake that as a positive thing because it boosts prices higher. And so if one is a member of the cult of permanent house price appreciation as some good thing, and I only say “cult” a little bit tongue in cheek, it’s such a fanatical view economically, but it really has become one that almost has sort of religious tenets in American economics where we talk as if the permanently escalating prices of housing are supposed to be a good thing and ignore the fact that our kids and grandkids have to buy houses and when house prices are going up because of a mismatch of supply and demand as opposed to natural forces of supply and demand. I don’t think it’s a good thing. 

But to your point in the COVID moment, the fact that there is so many people looking to buy a home speaks to both a social and an economic reality in this current point in time, which is that you do see a lot of millennials that were living with mom and dad or that were living in multi-family that are now looking to maybe go get settled in a first entry home in suburbia and that lower price point, housing seems to be healthy. A little bit less active as you go up the food chain in price point.

EICHER: I keep an eye on weekly initial claims for unemployment benefits, probably the best, most real-time indicator of where we are on jobs, and it’s just stubbornly remaining in that 800,000 zone. It bears repeating, what had been a normal number in a healthy economy and job market that number would bounce around in the 200-thousands pre-COVID so this persistent 800,000 is just a reminder of what a hard hit we’ve taken. How do you read it? Am I overreacting?

BAHNSEN: No, I don’t think you’re overreacting. I think if I were one of the 800,000 people in the food and beverage and retail and hospitality industries in a couple of the states that are creating all of this mess, then I would consider it a very big deal. You got very good news from Governor DeSantis of Florida that they are removing restrictions in some of their service industries in Florida, and yet that 800-to-900,000 weekly initial jobless claims that you’re referring to are literally a direct byproduct of the more draconian measures that seem to be very disconnected from COVID data in specific states and I expect those numbers will not get better until the policies of those areas matches their COVID reality, and I expect it will get better as it does.

EICHER: Let me hit GDP for a minute. Gross Domestic Product—that’s the one-number measure of all the goods and services this economy produces and we talk about it in terms of percentage-point increases or decreases. But it’s a percentage change on an 18-19 trillion-dollar economy—trillion with a “T.” 

First quarter of the year was a decline, but we knew that was the tip of the iceberg. Second quarter a disaster, almost $2 trillion annualized big drop. 

But what I’m leading to is the statement last week of one of the regional governors of the Federal Reserve system, James Bullard of the St. Louis Fed bank saying he thinks a full economic recovery is possible by year end—that third and fourth quarters, Q3, Q4—will be so much better that it’ll wipe out all our COVID losses. 

Is Governor Bullard overconfident?

BAHNSEN: There’s things with Governor Bullard. He’s a very respected federal reserve governor and there’s things with James Bullard that I vehemently disagree with and things that I really strongly agree with. But in terms of the annualized number for GDP after the Q3 and Q4 is available, will we end up with a positive number for all of 2020 even after that Q2 debacle? And, yeah, it’s not out of the question. GDP could end up being positive on the year. It’s going to be hugely positive Q3 and hugely positive Q4. More so in 4 than 3. The question is if that’s enough to rebound from the Q2 drop.

EICHER: OK, David Bahnsen, financial analyst and adviser. Thanks!

BAHNSEN: Thanks so much, Nick.


NICK EICHER: Today is Monday, September 28th. 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:  the WORLD History Book.

Twenty five years ago, the Oslo II Accord set a roadmap for peace. Plus, this week marks the completion of the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.

EICHER: But first, 100 years ago today, a major league baseball scandal that shakes fans’ confidence in the game. Here’s Paul Butler.

PAUL BUTLER, REPORTER: On September 28th, 1920, Chicago White Sox pitcher Eddie Cicotte appears before a grand jury. He confesses to throwing the 1919 World Series. It becomes known as the Black Sox Scandal. 

Less than a month later, the grand jury implicates eight players.

NEWSREEL: Found guilty of conspiracy to fix the World Series, are eight Chicago White Sox players and thousands mourned that baseball wasn’t fully honest. 

For nearly a hundred years, conventional wisdom has been that White Sox owner Charles Comisky was a miser that took advantage of his players. When approached by a gambling syndicate, some of the team’s players conspire to get even. 

But last year, the Society for American Baseball Research released newly uncovered evidence that paints a slightly different picture. It argued that Comisky paid his players more than most other owners at the time. Instead of revenge, the SABR research says it was greed, plain and simple, that led to the scandal. Jacob Pomrenke headed up the study. 

POMRENKE: This idea that the Black Sox players conspired to fix the World Series because they were underpaid, because they felt resentful toward their salaries, or their poor treatment by their owner doesn’t really hold up to scrutiny. I think the Black Sox players saw a high reward for what they were doing. I think they saw very little risk of ever being caught. 

Audio from a 2019 PBS Newshour interview. Pomrenke also believes sports gambling in the early 20th century was more wide-spread than traditionally believed. 

POMRENKE: This is one of the most important aspects of understanding the Black Sox scandal, is to know just how rampant the gambling culture was at this time. We actually don’t know if any other World Series were fixed, but it’s possible that some other World Series was fixed before 1919. 

Jacob Pomrenke, along with many others, see the Black Sox Scandal as a poignant warning for today, as sports leagues sanction betting across the board. 

Next, September 29th, 1990:

AUDIO: [SOUND FROM NATIONAL CATHEDRAL]

Stone masons set the last stone finial at the Cathedral Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul—better known as Washington National Cathedral. Construction began exactly 83 years earlier. The cathedral was built entirely with private funds, and is maintained by the Episcopal Church of America.

It has been the site of U.S. presidential inauguration prayer services, notable funerals, and memorial services for national tragedies like the 9/11 day of prayer and remembrance. 

Many famous people are buried on the premises, including Helen Keller, Matthew Shepherd, and U.S President Woodrow Wilson and his wife Edith. Last year, more than 270-thousand people visited the church.

And finally, Sep 28th, 1995, 25 years ago today:

CLINTON: We revere the determination of these leaders who chose peace. Who rejected the old habits of hatred and revenge. Today the landscape changes, and the chasm narrows. 

U.S. President Bill Clinton, with 100 domestic and international guests witness the ceremonial signing of the Oslo II Accord between Israel and the Palestinians. 

PLO chairman Yasser Arafat:

ARAFAT: I tell you with courage and a sense of responsibility that our participation in the peace process means we are betting everything on the future. 

Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin:

RABIN: We gentlemen will not allow terrorism to defeat peace.  We will not allow it. 

CNN reports that “Clinton beamed as PLO and Israeli representatives inked the agreement, and Rabin and Arafat shared a hearty handshake.” Vice President Al Gore’s wife Tipper became the center of attention for a moment, when she famously snapped a candid photo with a camera she pulled from her purse. 

The Oslo II Accord was only an interim agreement as it primarily laid the groundwork for future negotiations. Despite the high hopes for peace, leaders eventually abandoned the roadmap of the Oslo II Accord without a final agreement.

That’s this week’s WORLD History Book, I’m Paul Butler.


MARY REICHARD: Today is Monday, September 28th. 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. Marvin Olasky now on what brotherly love looks like in the middle of a pandemic.

MARVIN OLASKY, COMMENTATOR: Sept. 28, 1918, is a day that should live in infamy. On that day Philadelphia officials refused to cancel a parade that drew 200,000 spectators. Many contracted what was called “the Spanish flu”—and 12,000 Philadelphia residents died within a month.

With COVID-19, many of our leaders have fumbled the ball, but none as badly as President Woodrow Wilson did 102 years ago. Here’s an example. On October 7, 1918, World War I was almost over. The German army was collapsing. Its politicians were sending out peace feelers. Dr. Cary Grayson, a navy admiral, was Wilson’s personal physician. He pleaded with Wilson: Don’t send more U.S. soldiers to Europe, because that flu was turning troop ships into floating caskets.

I’ll give you just one up-close-and-personal account, from a Colonel Gibson: “The ship was packed… the influenza could breed and multiply with extraordinary swiftness… groans and cries of the terrified added to the confusion of the applicants clamoring for treatment and altogether a true inferno reigned supreme.” Every few minutes another soldier died.

Dr. Grayson pleaded his case: please stop. But Wilson was more comfortable dealing with abstractions than with human beings. He gazed out the window. He sighed. He let the death boats keep going.

Wilson emphasized then, and some leaders emphasize now, top-down management. This time around, a lot of bottom-up initiatives have given us better results. Many churches, and many alcohol and addiction recovery groups, have built an online presence. We have new ways of going to school and buying food.

Unlike many people in 1918, some Christians have followed the advice John Calvin gave almost 500 years ago in his Institutes of the Christian Religion: God “has committed to us the protection of our life. Our duty is to protect it. If he offers helps, use them. If he makes remedies available, do not neglect them.”

Woodrow Wilson fatalistically sent soldiers to Europe on boats that became pandemic death traps. He did not understand how God’s providence and human responsibility go together. One of the best explanations I’ve read came on a Sunday in 1862. Pastor and soldier Robert L. Dabney preached a sermon on God’s “special providence.” He noted that in a recent battle “every shot and shell and bullet was not outside God’s will.”

Shortly later Dabney found himself under fire and took cover behind a large gate post. A nearby officer kidded him: “If God directs every shot, why do you want to put a gate-post between you and a special providence?” Dabney replied, “Just here the gate-post is the special providence.”

In 1918 Philadelphia officials failed to show brotherly love when they did not cancel a parade. Many of us have been wiser this time around. 

I’m Marvin Olaksy.


NICK EICHER: Tomorrow: California fires. We’ll visit fire-ravaged communities to learn how they are recovering.

And, we’ll get an update on the biggest issues facing Europe.

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.

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

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.

Like this story?

To hear a lot more like it, subscribe to The World and Everything in It via iTunes, Overcast, Stitcher, or Pocket Casts.

iTunes

Free

Overcast

Free

Stitcher

Free

Pocket Casts

(Requires a fee)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.