The World and Everything in It — September 3, 2020

MEGAN BASHAM, HOST: Good morning!

The president of Belarus has held on to power for 26 years. We’ll talk to Christians there to find out why so many people say it’s time for a new political leader.

MYRNA BROWN, HOST: Also several influential evangelical organizations in the United States are joining the call for criminal justice reform. We’ll tell you about the changes they want to see happen.

Plus WORLD’s Hope Awards are right around the corner and we’ll profile our first honoree.

And Cal Thomas on power and leadership in Christian circles.

BASHAM: It’s Thursday, September 3rd. This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Megan Basham.

BROWN: And I’m Myrna Brown. Good morning!

BASHAM: Up next, Kent Covington has the news.

KENT COVINGTON, NEWS ANCHOR: Biden, Trump trade jabs over handling of pandemic » As campaign season kicks into high gear, Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden took aim Wednesday at President Trump’s handling of the pandemic. 

BIDEN: If President Trump and his administration had done their jobs early on with this crisis, American schools would be open and they’d be open safely. Instead, American families all across this country are paying the price for his failures. 

President Trump countered that Biden’s lockdown policies would have crippled the American economy for years to come. And he told supporters in Wilmington, North Carolina Wednesday that the economy is now on its way back. 

TRUMP: The stock market’s hitting another high. That means your stocks, your 401ks. We have to do what we’re doing. The country is coming back really strongly. 

His remarks came one day after the Trump administration issued a directive stopping residential property owners from evicting certain renters through the end of the year to prevent the spread of the virus.

The move stems from Trump’s executive order last month ordering federal health officials to consider measures to halt evictions. The CDC followed up Tuesday by declaring that any landlord shall not evict anyone for failure to pay rent if they meet certain income and hardship criteria.

Steroids confirmed to help severely ill coronavirus patients » Some good news for severely ill COVID-19 patients this week. New studies have confirmed that some cheap, widely available steroids improve survival rates for those patients.

A major medical journal published the pooled results from seven studies. The report found that steroids reduced the risk of death in the first month by about one-third in these seriously ill patients who needed extra oxygen.

For some patients, it’s not the illness itself that proves deadly, but rather their body’s overreaction to it. Steroids can help reduce inflammation and counter that risk. 

House panel flags “waste, fraud, and abuse” in small business loan program » House Democrats this week said the Paycheck Protection Program has helped millions of businesses survive the pandemic. But billions may have been sunk on “fraud, waste, and abuse.” WORLD’s Kristen Flavin reports. 

KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: The Paycheck Protection program, launched in April, was a part of the $2 trillion CARES Act. It offered more than $600 billion in small business loans that were forgivable under certain conditions. 

A House panel released a 10-page report Tuesday stating that the program suffered from—quote—“a lack of oversight and accountability” steering a large chunk of the money away from deserving businesses.

The analysis stated that the government paid out more than a billion dollars to companies that received multiple loans. And it sent about $200 million to companies that could not legally receive the loans. The panel said another $3 billion in loans were flagged for other concerns. 

But the report says the program largely achieved its goal of keeping many employers afloat during lockdowns, approving more than 5 million loans in total.

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Kristen Flavin. 

Pentagon: China likely plans to double nuclear stockpile » The Pentagon is warning that China likely plans to double its stockpile of nuclear warheads in this decade. 

That from the Defense Department’s annual report to Congress on China’s military power.

Even with those increases, China’s nuclear force would be far smaller than that of the United States. And unlike the United States, China has no nuclear air force. But the report said Beijing might close that gap by developing a nuclear air-launched ballistic missile.

The Trump administration has urged China to join the United States and Russia in negotiating a three-way deal to limit nuclear arms, but China has declined. 

The Pentagon said the nuclear buildup is part of a bigger strategy. Beijing aims to match or surpass America as the dominant power in the Asia-Pacific region by 2049. 

And Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday that China is already throwing its weight around, increasingly “bullying its neighbors.” 

POMPEO: That bullying is also evident in the South China Sea. Last week, the United States imposed sanctions and visa restrictions on Chinese individuals and entities responsible for the Chinese CCP’s imperialism there. 

China is also locked in a tense border dispute with India over territory in the Himalayas. 

Germany says Soviet-era nerve agent used on Russia’s Navalny » The German government said Wednesday that Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was poisoned with a Soviet-era nerve agent—the same substance used in an attack on a former Russian spy in England two years ago.  

The German government said testing by a German military laboratory proves the poison was a Novichok chemical nerve agent.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said—quote—“There are very serious questions now that only the Russian government can answer, and must answer.” She added, “He was meant to be silenced, and I condemn this in the strongest possible manner.”

Navalny remains in serious condition in a Berlin hospital. 

Saudis to allow flights to and from U.A.E “from all countries” including Israel » Saudi Arabia made an announcement Wednesday that some believe could be a precursor to normalized relations with Israel. WORLD’s Sarah Schweinsberg has that story. 

SARAH SCHWEINSBERG, REPORTER: The Saudi government said Wednesday that flights to and from the United Arab Emirates “from all countries” will now be allowed to fly through Saudi airspace. 

Earlier this week the kingdom—for the first time—allowed an Israeli commercial jetliner to fly over Saudi Arabia en route to Abu Dhabi.

That followed a historic deal between Israel and the U.A.E. establishing formal diplomatic ties. 

Some analysts have speculated that Saudi Arabia may be the next Arab nation to exchange ambassadors with the world’s only Jewish state. 

But Wednesday’s announcement didn’t mention Israel by name. And the Saudi foreign minister on Twitter reaffirmed that the kingdom’s—quote—“firm and established position toward the Palestinian cause and people will not change.” 

Some Arab leaders consider normalized relations with Israel an affront to Palestinians. 

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Sarah Schweinsberg.

I’m Kent Covington. Straight ahead: a new evangelical effort to promote criminal justice reform.

Plus, Cal Thomas on the source of true power.

This is The World and Everything in It.

MEGAN BASHAM: It’s Thursday the 3rd of September, 2020. Glad to have you along for today’s edition of The World and Everything in It. Good morning, I’m Megan Basham.

MYRNA BROWN: And I’m Myrna Brown. First up: a new effort to promote justice.

BASHAM: The Prayer & Action Justice Initiative brings together black, Hispanic, and Asian Christian organizations along with other high-profile Christian groups, like the National Association of Evangelicals, National Day of Prayer, Prison Fellowship, and World Relief. Together, they’re advocating for criminal justice reforms.

WORLD senior correspondent Katie Gaultney reports on what they hope to achieve.

KATIE GAULTNEY, SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: The persistent cry for criminal justice reform has become a deafening roar in recent months. And a group of influential Christian organizations recently added its voice to the effort.

Jenny Yang is vice president of advocacy and policy with the Christian humanitarian group World Relief. It’s one of the organizations supporting the Prayer & Action Justice Initiative.

Yang says those backing the initiative agree the church can’t be silent in the face of injustice.

YANG: I do think that the racial injustices that we’re seeing grieve God’s heart. I think this is an incredible opportunity for the church to step in, to demonstrate the love of Christ and to point to a better way.

The coalition advocates for police reform—education, training, policies. But it also believes the need for reform goes beyond what happens at the moment of arrest.

Heather Rice-Minus is senior vice president of advocacy and church mobilization for Prison Fellowship. She notes disproportionality exists at every level of the justice system for people of color. Black Americans are more likely to get harsher sentences than similarly situated white Americans. They’re less likely to get a plea deal. And the rate of people of color in prison is higher.

After release, Rice-Minus says black and brown people tend to have fewer opportunities to rejoin society.

RICE-MINUS: What we want to do is not only continue to push forward those reforms, but provide unity and clarity about the impact that this has on communities of color and be with one voice and saying that the church does not tolerate racial injustice and is actually going to be part of the solution. 

The coalition is looking for lawmakers to enact specific measures that will “level the playing field so that outcomes” for offenders will be “driven more by justice than wealth or race.”

The statement also said its signatories mourn those who have lost their lives and goes on to say, “The church must take these injustices personally, and take initiative to expel racial hatred and partiality from our society.”

Gabriel Salguero pastors the multicultural Lamb’s Church of the Nazarene in New York City. He’s one of several pastors who have signed on in support of the initiative’s efforts.

SALGUERO: As an evangelical, I have deep concern around racialized violence. And I think that many of us do but many evangelicals across the country do, but maybe not have a framework on how to engage from a gospel center to biblical centered worldview.

While the group seeks to reshape policies, it’s also after hearts and minds. It’s planning social media outreach and organizing prayer rallies. It’s also training pastors and churches on how to speak about the topic of race and justice biblically, and encouraging pulpit swaps between Biblical pastors of different races, classes, and denominations.

SALGUERO: I’d like to see more pastors engage this. I think the gospel has a lot to say about how we exact justice and how we pursue justice in the public sphere… 

This isn’t the first time Christian groups have promoted equality, or even criminal justice reform. But people seem more engaged now. Why? Part of it may be the video evidence of so many of these incidents. Rice-Minus referenced footage of George Floyd’s death as an example.

RICE-MINUS: Having that all on tape for such an extensive time and force that seemed so excessive and unnecessary, given the circumstances, I think really did play a role.

Salguero points to changing demographics as another factor, both in terms of Christians leadership—more people of color are taking positions of influence in evangelical organizations—and in the generation of believers now coming of age.

SALGUERO: Younger evangelicals are asking for real leadership and real solutions on some of the most deeply unresolved issues around race and justice and community and reconciliation.

Of course, “social justice” is a polarizing term. Some think of it as virtue signaling, or consider it a code word for some sort of secular humanist religion. Those I spoke with who are involved with the Prayer & Action Justice Initiative encouraged fellow believers to set those notions aside and remember the Biblical emphasis on justice. World Relief’s Jenny Yang said justice is inherently social, since it reflects God’s character, with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit relating to each other.

YANG: And so when we pursue justice as His representatives on this earth, we’re really trying to build His kingdom here on earth. It’s actually enacting the very thing that God did throughout the Scriptures that reflect His character in a broken and sinful world.

With elections looming, it’s unlikely the Prayer & Action Justice Initiative will make significant headway from a policy standpoint over the next several months. But Rice-Minus said there’s plenty to do until then, for those who want to make a difference.

RICE-MINUS: While we want to engage people in policy, and there’s timely opportunities to do that, in many cases, we really want to lean into prayer first. 

Pastor Salguero prays all these efforts won’t lose momentum.

SALGUERO: I am prayerful and hopeful that this movement will capture the imagination of evangelicals and Christians of every stripe, so that the kingdom of God and the justice of God could be established in our hearts. That’s my prayer. As one rabbi said, “If not now. when? And if not us, who?”

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Katie Gaultney.

MEGAN BASHAM: Coming up next on The World and Everything in It: unrest in Eastern Europe.

MYRNA BROWN: Alexander Lukashenko has ruled Belarus for 26 years. Critics call him “Europe’s last dictator:” The communist-leaning leader became president in 1994 during the country’s first elections after breaking away from the Soviet Union.

BASHAM: Lukashenko has clung to power ever since. But this year’s elections and resulting protests prove Belarusians want change. WORLD correspondent Jenny Lind Schmitt has our story.

JENNY LIND SCHMITT, CORRESPONDENT: Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko claims he won the August 8th election with 80 percent of the vote. Electoral observers say the election was rigged.

And millions of Belarusians agree. In the weeks since the vote, they have taken to the streets across the country to protest the result. But now they are also protesting the Gestapo-like methods Lukashenko’s government used to crack down on the protests immediately after the election.

Secret police arrested and imprisoned over seven thousand people, and severely injured many others. Hospital workers treated hundreds of protestors arriving with fractures, head injuries, rubber bullet wounds, and internal injuries. They said it was like being in a war zone.

AUDIO: [Man speaking Belarusian]

Sergey—whose last name is being withheld for his safety—leads worship at an evangelical church in Minsk. He didn’t attend the protests, but was walking home with a friend on August 11th. Soldiers grabbed them and threw them into a bus where they were severely beaten.

SERGEY: Nobody knew where we were. We were treated as if we were sentenced to death. They call it the “swallow position”: you walk facing the ground with your hands behind your back while being beaten by the guards. The guards used batons.

Sergey and other arrested civilians were taken to prison and made to stand spread-eagled in the cold for 22 hours.

SERGEY: Even though everyone in this line at the wall behaved perfectly, for an unknown reason the guards behaved viciously, like they were trying to break us mentally.

Then they were beaten and coerced into signing a “confession.”

SERGEY: While I was trying to sign it, with a side glance I managed to see it was some kind of protocol. It said something like: “For active participation in public events.” There were men who did not want to sign at all until they could read this document. But they all ended up signing it after several minutes of severe beatings with batons.

As prisoners were finally released, stories similar to Sergey’s were repeated over and over. Videos surfaced that corroborated the reports. Belarusians were shocked and angry that Lukashenko’s forces would do this to their own people.

AUDIO: [People marching, shouting “We are power here.”]

That indignation has brought more and more people out into the streets. 

The largest demonstrations in Belarusian history took place on August 23rd. Despite the intimidating presence of riot police, protesters have remained peaceful. Last Sunday was Lukashenko’s birthday, and thousands of women came to the presidential palace with “gifts” of pumpkins—a traditional way to turn down a suitor.

Opposition leader Svietlana Tsikhanouskaya fled to neighboring Lithuania in the days just after the election to escape government threats to her family. But she has maintained calls for free and fair elections and encouraged factory workers who are organizing strikes as protests. Last week, she addressed members of the European Parliament.

TSIKHANOUSKAYA: Belarus has woken up. We are not the opposition anymore. We are the majority now. The peaceful revolution is taking place.

Opposition leaders say change will require a long, drawn-out effort. Lukashenko won’t leave easily. They are also clear that they don’t want outside intervention. They say that would only play into Lukashenko’s hands. He claims foreigners are behind the protests, and that NATO is massing troops on the border. NATO leaders deny this.

On Friday, the United States, Great Britain, Switzerland, and the European Union issued a joint statement condemning the violence and repression in Belarus and declaring solidarity with the nation’s people. But Lukashenko has an important ally—Russian President Vladimir Putin. He says Moscow is ready to deploy a reserve of law enforcement officers at Lukashenko’s request.

AUDIO: [Horns honking, people shouting in Belarusian, motorcycle sounds]

Over the weekend, Belarusian news channel Belsat reported seeing busses with Russian license plates and Russian flags at Victory Square in Minsk. Authorities deported several foreign journalists covering the protests and revoked the accreditation of several others.

Amid the increasing tension, churches are drawing together. After the initial crackdown, evangelical pastors issued a joint statement condemning violence. They called the nation’s seventy thousand evangelical Christians to daily prayer for a peaceful resolution.

AUDIO: [Man praying in Belarusian]

Pastor Leonid Mikhovich is a leader of the Baptist Union of Belarus.

MIKOVICH: Even two days ago we prayed with other churches, Orthodox, Catholic, Baptist, Pentecostal, Charismatic, Jews. We met in central cathedral in Minsk. I prayed and some other brothers and sisters. It’s maybe first time in our history. 

Mikhovich says church unity is one positive thing coming from this time of turmoil. Another is the opportunity churches have to help those injured in the violence.

MIKOVICH: We trust our Lord, and we try to help people in many ways, as we have some resources and opportunities to do it. That’s our mission now.

As far as help from the international Christian community, Mikhovich says the best thing now is to pray for peace in the streets and unity in the churches.

MIKOVICH: We would ask you to pray for peace for our people.

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Jenny Lind Schmitt.

MYRNA BROWN: An Australian man was shocked this week when he returned home to find that the ceiling over his kitchen had collapsed.

Even more surprising was what caused the collapse. 

When David Tait returned to his house in Queensland on Monday, he found a large chunk of his ceiling lying on his kitchen table. 

And there was another surprise waiting in his bedroom: two 100-pound carpet pythons slithering around a knocked-over lamp. The snakes apparently fell through the ceiling before roaming into the next room. 

Snake catcher Steven Brown came out to remove the snakes. He said the two male pythons were likely fighting over a mate. 

Brown returned the two intruders to the wild, but the suspected third snake hasn’t been found.

Talk about a love triangle!

It’s The World and Everything in It.

MYRNA BROWN: Today is Thursday, September 3rd. Thank you for turning to WORLD Radio to help start your day. 

Good morning. I’m Myrna Brown.

MEGAN BASHAM: And I’m Megan Basham. Coming next on The World and Everything in It: the Hope Awards for Effective Compassion. 

Every year, WORLD recognizes a handful of non-profit ministries on the ground working to mend broken lives. Those ministries are nominated by WORLD readers and listeners, and each one has to fit a specific set of criteria. First, the ministry has to offer challenging help. It can’t just give handouts. Second, the help has to be personal, not a cookie-cutter approach. Finally, the ministry has to have a spiritual component.

BROWN: Out of the hundreds of nominees you’ve submitted, we’ve narrowed the field to five winners for 2020. You’ll hear about those ministries over the next couple weeks. Each will receive at least some prize money, and the organization that receives the $10,000 grand prize is up to you. Voting opens later this month.

BASHAM: Now, WORLD reporter Anna Johansen takes us to our first Hope Awards ministry: An organization that helps refugees find their footing.

ANNA JOHANSEN: I’m walking around an apartment complex in Raleigh, North Carolina. It’s hot, so not many people are out and about. Except for Providence—she’s 8.

PROVIDENCE: What is that thing?
JOHANSEN: It’s a microphone.

If you ask her how many years she’s lived here, she says “a thousand.” She actually came here with her family about six or seven years ago. A refugee resettlement agency connected them with this apartment complex when they fled the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

SUFFRIDGE: We have people from 30 countries… 

Michele Suffridge started working with refugees here in 2007. 

SUFFRIDGE: We have people who have been persecuted for their race, for their ethnicity, for their religion.

Eight years later, Suffridge officially launched Refugee Hope Partners. The ministry’s goal is to serve refugee families by providing education opportunities, job resources and by building relationships. 

SUFFRIDGE: We have a number of Nepali families. We have a lot of Rohingya Muslims that are coming here—Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan. They’ve come through Jordan, Iran, Turkey, Egypt.

Usually the families are fleeing some kind of catastrophe. They’ve crossed dozens of borders, stayed in refugee camps, filled out applications, been vetted by the United Nations … and finally landed here—in a culture they don’t know with a language they don’t understand. They’re looking for a friendly face.

This cluster of buildings isn’t a government owned facility. It’s just an average apartment complex: A couple of units per building, a common playground, and a central community center. But about 90 percent of the families living here are refugees. The local resettlement agencies know it’s a good spot, so they send families this direction.

SUFFRIDGE: It’s in a city center. There’s jobs in walking distance, it’s on a bus line. And it has big apartments that allow larger families. 

The families get some help from the resettlement agencies, but after about three months, they’re on their own. 

SUFFRIDGE: And so we’ve just been kind of become a gap filler. Through the years of, you know, we’ve created programs that have benefited the refugees. 

AUDIO: [Sound from classroom]

Education is an important part of Refugee Hope Partners. A lot of the kids have learning gaps, so Suffridge organized an afterschool program. It meets in the community center: a small square building in the middle of the apartment complex.

This is a group of 12 and 13 year olds. They’re learning math with Mary Maierhofer.

MAIERHOFER: Well, since all the areas were the same, do you think their perimeters are going to be the same dude? Say No. 

There are six students in the class today. They sit at little desks, all spaced out from each other because of coronavirus restrictions. 

Maierhofer is a regular volunteer. She comes and helps students with their homework, and she teaches summer classes. 

MAIERHOFER: I wanted to help students that don’t have an understanding for math, as I like to teach basics, and then from there, build on to it. 

The students also have a language barrier, so Maierhofer says word problems are especially hard.

MAIERHOFER: When you can’t understand the language, you have to break it down piece by piece. You know, like, “They put a marker on a trail.” They’re like, what’s a marker?

Because of that, Maierhofer does a lot of language teaching, too. But she loves how rewarding it is.

MAIERHOFER: You can see when they get it, it’s like Yay!

AUDIO: Alright, say thank you Miss Mary. Thank you Miss Mary! Bye, see you on Wednesday, good job today.

The ministry also works with parents, providing English classes and getting them connected with job resources. Suffridge knows a lot of local business owners.

SUFFRIDGE: So like Krispy Kreme, they’ve hired a lot of Nepali people. And so they’ll have really good success with this group. 

The ministry emphasizes personal responsibility for all the families. Suffridge used to organize a back-to-school giveaway, collecting donations from local churches, and then giving the supplies to the families.

SUFFRIDGE: You know, a lot of these families have been in camps where trucks come in and there’s stuff on the truck and people rush and we just saw how that was negative in the community.

So they switched it to a back-to-school sale instead.

SUFFRIDGE: So the purchase might be $1, $2. But everyone pays something. It gives the kids the joy of seeing their parents provide and that gives the parents the dignity of providing for their children.  

Suffridge wants to empower the families to do it themselves instead of just taking a handout. 

But the material needs aren’t the most important piece. Suffridge wants to provide opportunities for the families to grow spiritually, too. 

SUFFRIDGE: We want to point people to the gospel. You know, we don’t have an equation of if 98 percent of people proclaim Christ here, then we would that would be a success. But we would want 100 percent of the people to know what the gospel is and have heard the gospel in the time that they’re here. 

All of the kids are invited to weekly volunteer-led Bible studies. 

SUFFRIDGE: And I’m always amazed at how many people who are, the kids that aren’t from Christian families, even Muslim families, their parents will allow them to come. And if they don’t, then we’re like, that’s fine. We’ll see you at homework help on Monday.

The families will stay in this apartment complex for a little while, but they eventually move on, to find better jobs, better housing. Suffridge doesn’t always know what happens to them. But she hopes the time they spent here will have a lasting impact no matter where in the world they end up.

She tells the story of one Muslim family that lived here for about four years. They participated in Bible studies and after school programs and ESL classes and none of them ever changed their religious beliefs. They eventually moved to Maine, and Suffridge went to visit them recently. 

SUFFRIDGE: They welcomed me in, had dinner, we sat continued just like we had before. And there’s a relationship there that I feel like God cultivated…

They know where she stands and what she believes.

SUFFRIDGE: Cultivating that ground for wherever they go next, and I know that God is going to provide someone there in that next space for them.

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Anna Johansen, in Raleigh, North Carolina.

MEGAN BASHAM: Today is Thursday, September 3rd. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Megan Basham.

MYRNA BROWN: And I’m Myrna Brown. Commentator Cal Thomas now with some thoughts on the source of true power.

CAL THOMAS, COMMENTATOR: The resignation of Liberty University president Jerry Falwell Jr. after numerous embarrassing incidents is another in a long list of object lessons each generation of Christians seems to have to learn anew.

In 1999 the late Edward Dobson and I co-authored a book titled Blinded by Might: Why the Religious Right Can’t Save America. Dobson was a former dean of students at Liberty and for a brief time I was vice president of Moral Majority (which one critic said was neither moral, nor a majority). In the book we warned about the dangers when Christian leaders get too close to politicians who often use Christian leaders to further an earthly agenda and cloak their own moral shortcomings.

This is not unique to the current president or to contemporary evangelical Christians. Yes, many conservative Christians are good-hearted people who fear the cultural decline is harming the nation they love and is a threat to how they practice their faith. The problem is too many go about seeking change through the very political and government structures they have previously criticized as unable to achieve noble ends.

Political power is a seduction more subtle than sex, though the two often seem to be linked. It was King David of Israel who wrote nearly three millennia ago a profound warning against putting too much faith in political leaders: “Do not put your trust in princes, in human beings, who cannot save. When their spirit departs, they return to the ground; on that very day their plans come to nothing. Blessed are those whose help is in the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God.” 

Why must this lesson constantly be re-learned? There’s a long list of attempts to improve humanity, including Prohibition, “moral re-armament,” the Christian Coalition, even the United Nations, to little avail. Much of it is about fundraising and projecting an image of power and influence. Ignored is the inevitable decline of nations that forget history and abandon unchanging standards of virtue. 

Liberty University is faced with an opportunity. It needs to bring in someone with impeccable academic credentials and who practices a consistent Christian faith; someone who eschews proximity to power and associates instead with the meek and lowly; someone who seeks approval from God, not a political leader.

The school also should dismiss the board that acted like a rubber stamp for Falwell and conduct a comprehensive audit that will get everything out in the open. It should also stop inviting politicians to speak at commencement and convocation. An outside firm has been hired to investigate the tenure of Falwell’s presidency, including his real estate dealings. That’s a good start. These are steps that will restore credibility to a very good university with a potentially bright future.

The university’s motto has been “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is Liberty.” That’s from 2 Corinthians 3:17, and it’s time to invite that Spirit to return.

I’m Cal Thomas.

MYRNA BROWN: Tomorrow: Theology professor Katie McCoy joins us for Culture Friday.

And, an old school movie duo go on a new excellent adventure.

That and more tomorrow. 

I’m Myrna Brown.

MEGAN BASHAM: And I’m Megan Basham.

The World and Everything in It comes to you from WORLD Radio.

WORLD’s mission is biblically objective journalism that informs, educates, and inspires.

Psalm 115 reminds us our God is in the heavens. He does all that he pleases.

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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