The World and Everything in It — November 12, 2020

MARY REICHARD, HOST: Good morning!

One thing this election showed is that identity doesn’t necessarily equate to politics. Case study: Hispanics.

MEGAN BASHAM, HOST: Also Europeans go back into lockdown mode as COVID cases spike. 

Plus WORLD reporter Sarah Schweinsberg visits a small business in Utah that preserves family memories…

And Cal Thomas on handling emotions after this election.

REICHARD: It’s Thursday, November 12th. This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Mary Reichard.

BASHAM: And I’m Megan Basham. Good morning!

REICHARD: Now the news. Here’s Kent Covington.

KENT COVINGTON, NEWS ANCHOR: Trump, Biden honor veterans in separate ceremonies » President Trump made his first public appearance this week, paying his respects Wednesday at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. 

Vice President Pence joined him for the Veteran’s Day observance as a steady rain fell on Arlington National Cemetery.

AUDIO: [Sound from Tomb of Unknown Soldier]

Former Vice President Joe Biden, meantime, attended a service at the Philadelphia Korean War Memorial. 

On Tuesday, Biden said he’s pushing ahead with preparations to become America’s next commander in chief though President Trump is disputing election results in several states.  

BIDEN: We’re well underway. And the the ability for the administration in any way by failure to recognize our win does not change the dynamic at all of what we’re able to do.

However, Biden is not receiving top-level national security information just yet. 

Director of National Security John Ratcliffe’s office says by the terms of the Presidential Transition Act, it won’t have any contact with Biden’s transition team until the General Services Administration says the election results are clear. That’s a process called “ascertainment.” 

Georgia to recount presidential ballots by hand » But that may not happen quickly. The Trump campaign has filed lawsuits in multiple states and at least one state plans to recount every vote by hand. 

Biden holds a slim lead in Georgia, about 14,000 votes out of roughly 5 million cast. 

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger announced Wednesday…

RAFFENSPERGER: We’ll be counting every single piece of paper, every single ballot, every single lawfully cast legal ballot. 

He said the recount will likely take until November 20th. That’s the state certification deadline. The recount will only apply to the presidential election. 

U.S. coronavirus hospitalizations hit record high » A record number of Americans are now flooding hospitals due to COVID-19. 

That as the country surpassed 1 million new confirmed cases through the first 10 days of November. 

The new wave appears bigger and more widespread than earlier surges. But experts say the nation is better able to deal with the virus this time around.

The death rate from COVID-19 is less than half of what it was in the spring. Still, hospital workers say capacity is a real concern. 

Dr. Julie Watson is a vice president with Integris Health. It operates a network of hospitals in Oklahoma.

WATSON: Our local and state resources are approaching their limits. And if nothing is done soon to slow the rise in cases, our hospitals will be more overwhelmed than they already are, and we won’t be able to be there for those who need it. 

More than 60,000 Americans are now hospitalized, according to the COVID Tracking Project. 

And Harvard epidemiologist William Hanage said holiday gatherings could make matters worse. He told PRI’s “The World” that there are “three Cs” to avoid if at all possible. 

HANAGE: Closed spaces, close contact, and crowding. And it’s fairly easy to see how those three can easily come all together when it comes to the holidays.

Newly confirmed U.S. infections are at an all-time high of well over 100,000 per day. 

TikTok asks court to intervene as U.S. deadline to sell expires » The future of the popular video-sharing app TikTok is in limbo. That as the Trump administration’s deadline to sell off its U.S. operations expires today. WORLD’s Anna Johansen Brown has more.

ANNA JOHANSEN BROWN, REPORTER: President Trump issued an executive order back in August setting the November 12th deadline. 

The administration said it was concerned that TikTok’s Chinese owner, ByteDance, could be sharing its user data with the Chinese government. 

In September, Trump gave his tentative blessing to a deal for ByteDance to place TikTok under the oversight of American companies Oracle and Walmart. Both companies would receive a financial stake in the company. 

But ByteDance said this week it’s received “no clarity” about whether the U.S. government has signed off on the deal. 

The company filed a petition Wednesday, asking a federal appeals court to review Trump’s divestment order and the government’s national-security review.

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Anna Johansen Brown. 

Tropical Storm Eta lashes Fla. for second time » Tropical Storm Eta is lashing Florida for a second time this morning. 

As of last night, Eta was still packing winds of about 70 miles per hour, just below hurricane strength. 

Stacy Stewart with the National Hurricane Center said he expected it to slam the coast somewhere north of Tampa, but…

STEWART: Water’s going to be pushed up into the drains in the metropolitan area there, in the Tampa Bay area.  And then you put on top of that rainfall totals perhaps exceeding 4 to near 6 inches of rain, and that water will begin to back up and will definitely flood streets and other low lying areas. 

Storm tracks show Eta passing over Jacksonville later today before spinning back out over the Atlantic. 

The storm already struck the Florida Keys and soaked South Florida on Sunday. 

Court approves sale of J.C. Penney » A U.S. bankruptcy court has approved the sale of the century-old retail chain J.C. Penney, a move that could save 60,000 jobs. WORLD’s Kristen Flavin reports. 

KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: J.C. Penney is on course to emerge from bankruptcy by Thanksgiving. That after a Texas judge gave the green light to sell the ailing retailer to its largest landlords and lenders for $1.75 billion. 

Under the terms of the sale, the chain will split into two entities. 

The nation’s largest shopping mall owners will take over one part of Penney’s.  

Brookfield Asset Management Inc. and Simon Property Group will acquire its retail and operations assets. 

Penney’s creditors will take over the other part of the company … buying its distribution centers and other real estate properties. 

Still, the retailer faces an uphill battle to attract shoppers this holiday season as they stay away from the malls and stores for safety reasons and shop online more.

J.C. Penney filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in May, becoming one of the largest retailers to do so during the pandemic. Without a sale, the company faced liquidation. 

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Kristen Flavin.

I’m Kent Covington.

Straight ahead: growing Republican support among Hispanic voters.

Plus, Cal Thomas with some post-election advice for evangelicals.

This is The World and Everything in It.

MEGAN BASHAM: It’s Thursday, the 12th of November, 2020.

You’re listening to The World and Everything in It. Good morning, I’m Megan Basham.

MARY REICHARD: And I’m Mary Reichard. 

You’ve heard us talking about November as the month we’re asking, if you’re a long-time listener but not-yet-supporter, to make today the day of your first-ever gift of support.

Next month, we begin our December Giving Drive, asking those who’ve supported us to renew that support. 

But this month we’re asking if you’ve not given ever before to join the thousands who make this program possible.

You may say I can only give a small gift and that’s perfectly understandable. Some long-time supporters have offered to match every gift, dollar for dollar. So a $50 gift is doubled and becomes a $100 gift. No one expects any one person to go it alone. We’re in this together. So it’s a great opportunity to help shore up and strengthen this program you’ve come to depend on day after day.

BASHAM: And here’s news I just learned: we now have a convenient text-to-give option. Very cool. This is my kind of thing, because as a busy mom, I get so much done with my phone that if I couldn’t take care of it then and there, it’d totally slip my mind. So text-to-give, as I’m listening to my favorite podcast, I’ll do it and be done with it. Check it right off the list when I’m in a carpool line. 

If I’ve described you, you can text-to-give your support by texting the word “Give” to 218-300-2121. Easy to remember 218-300-2121. Text the word “Give” to 218-300-2121. A few more clicks and you’re done and you can use Apple Pay for that extra layer of security. Such a great system and super fast.

REICHARD: Haha, I’ve got that, too. But I’m so old-fashioned, I go online to—either way, spends the same—supports the same journalism that works hard to earn your trust. Every day.

Well on now to today’s lead story: the Latino vote.

One of the biggest surprises for Democrats after last week’s election? How many Hispanic voters supported President Trump and other Republican candidates. Especially in places like Florida and Texas.

BASHAM: WORLD senior correspondent Katie Gaultney reports now on the growing conservative movement among Hispanics and what to expect from the Latino vote in the future.

KATIE GAULTNEY, SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: Connie Gonzales lives in the heart of San Antonio. One look leaves no doubt about who she voted for.

GONZALES: I’m wearing my Trump hat, my patriotic earrings, my buttons: Trump 2020, and Latinos for Trump.

One of her favorite shirts has a stylized graphic of the president wearing a sombrero, Poncho Villa-style, with the words “Latinos for Trump” underneath. She says her family supported Trump too, but she got some push-back from friends.

GONZALES: There’s some friends that have said, if you’re a Christian, how can you vote for Donald Trump? They just don’t understand. And actually if they call themselves Christians, I tell them, “I don’t understand how you can vote for abortions.”

Gonzales’s husband is a retired police officer, so she appreciated President Trump’s stance on “law and order.” And she largely supports him on immigration. Her family emigrated legally from Mexico generations ago, and she expects others to go the legal route, too. She even campaigned for Trump, making calls and helping to organize several car parades known as “Trump trains.”

GONZALES: All the Trump supporters out there with flags, women for Trump, Latinos for Trump, I mean, it just gave me goosebumps just to know that our president is being loved.

Gonzales wasn’t at all surprised that Latinos turned out for Trump in bigger-than-expected numbers. But plenty of political analysts were.

Samuel Roriguez is president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference. He says Democrats made a tactical error by assuming Hispanics are a monolithic group. A Puerto Rican in New York likely has different values than a Cuban-American in Miami, or a South Texas Mexican-American. But he says after last week’s vote, strategists are keyed in on one fact: Conservatives have a chance to court Hispanic voters. 

RODRIGUEZ: The Latino community just said yes to a formal engagement ring from America’s conservative movement. We’re not married yet, but we’re no longer flirting.

Israel Ortega works with the non-partisan Latino advocacy group Libre. He spent time this election cycle in several heavily Hispanic states—Arizona, Texas, and Florida. Ortega says faith was a key part of Trump’s outreach to Christian Hispanic voters.

ORTEGA: One of the things that President Trump was able to do very effectively, I think this cycle, was the outreach. He did it in evangelical churches in Florida, particularly in Orlando.

Samuel Rodriguez agrees: the faith component in Trump’s support among Hispanics was clear.

RODRIGUEZ: What brings us together as Latinos, beyond the language of Don Quixote? What brings us together as Latinos is our commitment to faith and family.

And Rodriguez says that emphasis on “faith and family” resulted in a rejection of several controversial issues at the polls—abortion, secular totalitarianism, and one other key issue.

RODRIGUEZ: And the third thing we said “no” to that was really loud—“no” to socialism. So here’s my take. The Latino community is America’s vaccine against socialism.

For many Latinos, socialism isn’t just a buzzword. They’ve seen first or second hand the negative effects of socialist policies.

RODRIGUEZ: We’ve come from these countries. We have friends in Venezuela who are starving today because of socialism and in Cuba and in Nicaragua, literally dying of starvation, malnutrition. So it’s right now, a wake up call for the Democratic Party.

But what about immigration? It seems logical to assume many Latino voters would frown on some of the president’s border policies, particularly at the U.S.-Mexico border. But Israel Ortega says it may not be a priority.

ORTEGA: A lot of the polling actually shows that Hispanics do care about immigration, but it’s not usually the first issue. Usually it’s third or fourth; even education ranks higher than immigration…

And Rodriguez notes that supporting Trump doesn’t mean wholesale support for his character or rhetoric. It’s more about recognizing the benefits Latinos have reaped during his administration.

RODRIGUEZ: The policies lined up with Latinos. The lowest unemployment rate in Latino history in American history for Latinos, because of this guy in the White House, I’m getting paid more money per hour. I’m having more for my children. I can send my kids off to college. It’s not what it used to be back in the day.

So, what’s next? Ortega says Republicans will likely try to ride this year’s momentum in traditionally blue areas, like parts of the Rio Grande Valley in Texas. Democrats, on the other hand, may see this as a wake-up call that they can’t take the Hispanic vote for granted. For his part, Rodriguez is planning outreach to Hispanic voters for the next election.

RODRIGUEZ: And my commitment is for the sake of my children and my children’s children, we’re going to mobilize the Latino community to determine the outcome of the 2024 election, without a doubt, not just Florida and Texas, but across the nation.

Back in San Antonio, Connie Gonzales remains committed to Trump, even in the face of what looks like defeat.

GONZALES: I love America. I love my God. And I love my president, my country, the flag. And they’re not going to take that freedom away from us. No way. I still say Trump 2020! (laughter)

MUSIC: [Nuestro Himno, Olga Tanon, Wyclef Jean and Carlos Ponce]

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Katie Gaultney.

MARY REICHARD: Coming up next on The World and Everything in It: lockdowns in Europe.

MEGAN BASHAM: Over the summer, restrictions loosened across the continent. Now as COVID-19 cases spike to levels higher than those of the spring, European leaders are once again closing up their countries.

REICHARD: But this time leaders are trying to avoid the economic and social costs that followed earlier restrictions. WORLD correspondent Jenny Lind Schmitt reports.

JENNY LIND SCHMITT, CORRESPONDENT: This time, Germany is calling restrictions “lockdown lite.” Stores are staying open, but shoppers must wear masks. People are freer to travel, though strongly encouraged to stay home.

Sharon Page is a laboratory scientist in Munich, Germany. I spoke with her in April, just after Germany had its first lockdown. Back then people needed an official letter to travel beyond home for work. Almost all stores closed, and the government banned social gatherings.

PAGE: You’re allowed to meet up with one lot of people. It’s not quite as restrictive as last time, when it was literally nobody else. I think the reason they do that is for mental health so people can meet up with somebody … They’re trying to mitigate the worst problems. That’s the thing, you’ve got to keep infections down, but you don’t want everyone killing themselves to be brutal about it. They’re trying to keep people happier.

Churches are also open, even though singing is not allowed indoors. So at Page’s church, once the welcome is over, the congregation heads outside to sing, wearing masks. When it rains, they stay inside and only the worship leaders sing.

Page says most Germans follow the rules, but the combination of lockdown fatigue and a lack of personal experience with the virus, mean some don’t take government orders seriously. A growing number of Germans are criticizing the need for restrictions at all.

PAGE: It’s hard to persuade people when they don’t know anyone that’s had it, or they see it happening directly in front of them, that it’s necessary. Noncompliance is there, it just is.

Growing caseloads in the UK led Prime Minister Boris Johnson to put England back into a month-long lockdown starting November 5th. All pubs, restaurants, and most stores are closed. Colleen Catterall lives outside Sheffield, in the north of England. Leaving home should be only for real necessity, and travel outside her county isn’t allowed.

CATTERALL: I think we’re more prepared for this one. Businesses are more prepared. They understand what’s required of them to stay COVID safe.

But churches must close again. That’s difficult after a summer of in-person worship services. And Catterall says that for one older member in particular, the loss of connection is even harder.

CATTERALL: She said It was a real blow to find out that church had to close again. She’s in her 80s.

The big change across Europe is that schools remain open, and governments are trying hard to keep them that way. That helps keep a semblance of normal life. Catterall’s oldest two daughters are at university, and while their classes are online, they are back living in their university communities.

Paola Terrazas and her husband Manuel Zamudio own a Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise in Valencia, Spain. Their business felt the economic hit first hand. When the lockdowns began in March, they were still able to do some take away and drive-through business. They soon realized it wasn’t cost effective, so they closed their restaurants completely. Over the summer, Spain reopened internally, but was still closed to the foreign tourism that makes up 10 percent of Spain’s GDP.

ZAMUDIO: Those in Medisa, Mallorca, Benidorm and all these places were tremendously affected. They had a really bad summer. In our case, we were more exposed to local consumers and a little bit of local tourism, so we were able to recover in August about 90 percent of  the business that we had in February.

But they’re still recovering from spring’s financial blow. Government aid that helped pay employee salaries required them to agree not to lay off any employees. That’s something Terrazas and Zamudio already wanted to avoid. But with reduced sales and more restrictions coming, that agreement puts them in a corner.

ZAMUDIO: The last three weeks have been the lowest since we reopened. And we’re concerned. Because we had to assume a significant financial blow over the first hit. Now we need to be ready to avoid being more damaged by a second wave. Right now it’s very uncertain times.

Despite the uncertainty, Terrazas and Zamudio have found a way to live out their faith during the pandemic. They found charity partners to collect unused food from their restaurants for food banks. That kind of partnership is new for Spain.

ZAMUDIO: We were able to become the first franchisee in the country to have 100 percent of our restaurants donating food because of this pandemic.

Along with his pastor, Zamudio is also starting an entrepreneurship workshop at his church to help those who’ve lost their jobs in the downturn.

ZAMUDIO: The church is taking the charge in saying, can you help us to help others to start their own small business, regardless of the size, so they can become self-sufficient. So they can entrepreneur, and start a small business in the middle of this crisis.

In England, Colleen Catterall says there’s an overall sense of resignation to these lockdowns, but that people are also figuring out how to live their lives at the same time as living in a world with COVID-19.

CATTERALL: People are realizing, we don’t know when this is going to end, and so we need to be reasonable and thoughtful about what we’re doing. 

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Jenny Lind Schmitt in Porrentruy, Switzerland.

MARY REICHARD: Today is Thursday, November 12th. 

This is WORLD Radio and we’re so glad you’ve joined us today! Good morning. I’m Mary Reichard.

MEGAN BASHAM: And I’m Megan Basham. Coming next on The World and Everything in It: taxidermy. 

Fall is open season. Over the coming weeks, many deer, elk, moose, turkey, pheasants, and ducks will literally find themselves in the crosshairs. Most will fill freezers, but a few will end up mounted on a mantle or hanging on a wall—thanks to the work of taxidermists. They’re equal parts artist and scientist.

WORLD’s Sarah Schweinsberg spent the day with a family in the business to find out what goes into their craft.

SARAH SCHWEINSBERG, REPORTER: The sharp odor of glues and chemicals fills the High Uintas Taxidermy shop. The walls are covered in elk, deer, and antelope heads from North America, Europe, and Africa. 

Dean Schulte is putting the finishing touches on a life-size mountain lion. 

DEAN SCHULTE: That mountain lion, you can see the muscles in his shoulder.

He’s using an airbrush to paint the last flecks of pink and black onto the lion’s nose. It’s golden back is arched as it prowls over rocks and charred logs. 

DEAN SCHULTE: I painted the black in here to make it look like it was burnt.

Another mountain lion Schulte recently completed sneers at imaginary prey. Schulte used clay to sculpt each wrinkle and fold of the cat’s snarl. And then, he put the big cat’s skin over the clay. 

DEAN SCHULTE: The snarl is very difficult to do. I pre-sculpt all that detail underneath of it and then shave the skin super, super thin. And then it takes me about a day of messing with it… 

Schulte has spent his life making dead things look alive. 

DEAN SCHULTE: This business, this is my 27th year.

It started as a hobby—he’s an engineer by training, but then one day…  

DEAN SCHULTE: I says, Wow, this is I think my thing. And so I just started very aggressively pursuing it. 

Today, his two sons are also aggressively pursuing the craft with him. Each year, hunters send the Schultes hundreds of animals from all over the world. 

Younger son Dominick Schulte is mounting a mule deer head with an impressive antler rack. 

DOMINICK SCHULTE: This one’s a really nice deer. I’m excited to do it.

His older brother, Stephen, is crafting a similar mount.

STEPHEN SCHULTE: They wanted to do something where they could display it. So I’m cleaning it up.

Each of the Schultes say mounting the animal is their favorite part of the process. But it’s also the shortest step. There’s up to nine months of preparation to get to this point. 

Stephen Schulte says when a hunter drops off an animal, it has to be skinned… 

STEPHEN SCHULTE: So after we get it skinned and everything we salt it… 

Then dried… 

STEPHEN SCHULTE: They dry for about a week.

Then sent to a tanner. That’s a person who turns an animal hide into leather. 

STEPHEN SCHULTE: Their turnaround time is about five months.

When the tanner sends the skin back, it’s dry and stiff. In order to work with it, it needs to be soft and flexible. So Stephen Schulte soaks it in warm saltwater. 

STEPHEN SCHULTE: By rehydrating them, we get the stretch back out of them.

But it’s still a bit damp… 


…so he uses a blow dryer to finish drying it. Now, it’s ready to be stretched onto a deer mannequin made of a lightweight, hard foam. Stephen has already made sure this one is the same size of the original deer. 


Next he cuts the mule deer’s antlers from it’s skull…  


And attaches them onto the deer form using a drill. They have to go on at the perfect angle, not sitting too far back or forward. 

Dad, Dean Schulte, says details like that are what bring a taxidermied animal to life. And that takes intimate knowledge of an animal’s anatomy. 

He points back to his big cat. A mountain lion always keeps its head at an angle. 

DEAN SCHULTE: A cat, they carry their head at a 45. So he’s looking this way.

Their head is tilted even when they’re looking straight ahead. That affects the way a mountain lion’s pupils sit. 

DEAN SCHULTE: You’re always going to notice their pupils are not in the center because their head is angled down.

So Dean Schulte is careful to place the synthetic eyes in the exact right place. 

DEAN SCHULTE: And so one way I’ll be able to pick improperly done cats is that they’ll have that eye pupil roll to the center. Those are just little things that you got to pay attention to with carnivores… 

AUDIO: [Drilling again]

After he puts the eyes in and antlers on, Stephen Schulte slathers the mannequin in glue and pulls the skin over the head.

STEPHEN SCHULTE: So the skin gets put on just like that as you saw. 

If he’s done all the prep work correctly, the skin should fit like a glove. 

STEPHEN SCHULTE: There’s times when you test fit it and you’re like, it fits great. Sometimes it’s not fitting and then that can be stressful…

This skin fits well. Stephen grabs a thick needle, dark thread, and sews up cuts in the deer’s hide. 

STEPHEN SCHULTE: Oh, I’m a good seamstress.

This is one reason the family loves this job: It takes so many different skills. And Dominick Schults says it’s fun to put those skills to use for the family business. 

DOMINICK: You’re working for your family. So you know the family name, not just the business name goes into it. 


Now that the skin is sewn up, Stephen staples the ends to the back of the mannequin mount. He doesn’t want the skin to come loose. 

STEPHEN SCHULTE: What happens if the client one day is moving it and sees a gap. That just looks trashy.

Over the next week, Stephen will do more detailed work. He’ll paint the nose and make sure the skin doesn’t wrinkle. Then, this deer will finally head home to its hunter.  

AUDIO: [How are you guys doing?] 

Speaking of hunters, customer Scott Tawzer stops by to pick up his elk head. He and his son shot it last year. He says he got it mounted because he’s proud of the animal and he wants to remember the moments with his son. 

TAWZER: It really is just so much about the memory. He and I got to go out together. We all just love the fact that we can look at that and go oh, yeah, I remember that whole experience.

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Sarah Schweinsberg in Coalville, Utah.

MARY REICHARD: Next up on The World and Everything in It: a preview of Listening In.

This week, a conversation with author and Christian college president Robert Myers. Changing demographics, technological advances, and most recently—a pandemic—have forced many colleges and universities to reconsider how they do higher education. Here’s host Warren Smith.

WARREN SMITH: So how have you done it? Given the environment in which a lot of schools are going away or shrinking. What have y’all done?

ROBERT MYERS: Well I think it’s we sort of followed a principle that you might follow in financial investing. You don’t put all your money in one place. There are too many colleges today who really have said—and they’re smaller type colleges, “we’re going to focus on residential enrollment. That’s all we’re going to focus on.”

But if you start looking at some of the trends, and depending on where you are geographically, high school graduates are declining in numbers, fewer people going to college, a lot of environmental factors. So we said we’re going to follow the same kind of model that you would with investing, and that is we’re going to diversify. 

So we said we’re going to not just worry about residential students, we’re going to build online programs, we’re going to build our dual enrollment programs—which are our juniors and seniors in high school who are taking college courses—and we’re going to develop graduate programs. And those first three legs of the stool have happened, and it has paid great dividends for us.

REICHARD: That’s Robert Myers talking to Warren Smith. To hear the complete conversation, look for Listening In tomorrow wherever you get your podcasts.

MEGAN BASHAM: Today is Thursday, November 12th. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from WORLD Radio, made possible by listeners like you. I’m Megan Basham.

MARY REICHARD: And I’m Mary Reichard. Next up, Cal Thomas with some advice for Christians disappointed by the 2020 election.

CAL THOMAS, COMMENTATOR: Evangelical Christians have unquestionably been a loyal and largely unmovable base of support for President Trump. Should the election results remain unchanged after recounts and court decisions, where do we go and what should we do?

Perhaps no evangelical pastor has been a stronger and more consistent supporter and defender of President Trump than Robert Jeffress. He leads the 13,000-member First Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas.

In an essay written for the, Jeffress urges his fellow believers to return to their first love. 

The presumption is that God should be on the side of Republicans and conservatives. But as Scripture reminds us in Isaiah 55:8:, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.”

Jeffress acknowledges that the election of former Vice President Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris “is a bitter pill” for Christians to swallow. But he adds, “Human government and rulers change at God’s direction and design. Our faith and our salvation lie not in any human ruler, but in the ruler of rulers, the King of kings. The fact that God has established authorities means that by obeying the government, we obey God.”

For many, that will be the bitterest pill of all. How can we pray for an administration that promotes values and ideologies we oppose? The Scriptural command leaves no room for debate, much less disagreement.

This is another opportunity for evangelicals to obey what our leader — Jesus — commands us to do. “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor’ and ‘Hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.”

Politics and politicians may work contrary to evangelical beliefs. But that does not mean churches have been deprived of opportunities to do good. On abortion they can support a local pregnancy help center. When it comes to reaching poor children trapped in failing schools, they can start a fund to help at least some escape to good private schools. 

Poverty? A church might organize retired professionals to reach out to the poor to help them find meaningful work and train them to qualify for it. They could also visit those in prison, as Jesus commanded.

Jeffress concludes his essay by saying that God’s command “applies all the same, whether the emperor was the faith-friendly Constantine, or the evil emperor Nero.

He writes, quote—“When Joe Biden becomes president, we should commend him for the things he does right. We should condemn the things he does wrong. And above all, we must pray fervently for our president. If President Biden succeeds, we all succeed.”

As Baptists might respond: Amen!

I’m Cal Thomas.

MEGAN BASHAM: Tomorrow: Culture Friday with John Stonestreet.

And, I’ll review Ron Howard’s new movie, Hillbilly Elegy. It’s something of a rarity for Hollywood as it focuses on the life of a political conservative.

That and more tomorrow. 

I’m Megan Basham.

MARY REICHARD: And I’m Mary Reichard.

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

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

Jesus said, Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

Go now in grace and peace.

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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