MARY REICHARD, HOST: Good morning!
A historic day at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. Two of our reporters were there as events unfolded. We’ll talk to them.
MEGAN BASHAM, HOST: Also we have analysis of the Georgia Senate runoff.
Plus, Kristyn Getty on teaching hymns to kids.
And commentator Cal Thomas on what Joe Biden means by calling himself a centrist.
REICHARD: It’s Thursday, January 7th. 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: Time now for the news. Here’s Kent Covington.
KENT COVINGTON, NEWS ANCHOR: Democrats set to claim majority in Senate after Ga. runoffs » Democrats will soon claim the majority in the U.S. Senate.
Jon Ossoff appears to have unseated Georgia GOP Sen. David Perdue. Multiple news outlets called the race for Ossoff on Wednesday.
OSSOFF: It is with humility that I thank the people of Georgia for electing me to serve you in the United States Senate.
Fellow Democrat Raphael Warnock also won his race, defeating Sen. Kelly Loeffler in the state’s double Senate runoff.
Both races were close. Together, Ossoff and Warnock defeated the Republican incumbents by about 1 percent. Roughly 4.5 million Georgians voted—shattering the turnout record for a runoff.
President Trump reacted to the results, calling the Senate vote another—quote—“Rigged election.”
But Republican official Gabriel Sterling with the secretary of state’s office said he’s seen “no evidence of irregularities.” And he said he believes the president undermining confidence in the election and attacking other Republicans hurt both GOP candidates.
STERLING: You spark a civil war within a GOP that needed to be united to get through a tough fight like this.
With the dual victories in Georgia, Democrats will have a 50/50 split with Republicans in the upper chamber. But incoming Vice President Kamala Harris will break any tie, giving her party control of the chamber.
Biden reportedly taps judge Merrick Garland for attorney general » President-elect Joe Biden has chosen his nominee for attorney general. WORLD’s Kristen Flavin reports.
KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: Biden has reportedly picked federal judge Merrick Garland to lead the Justice Department.
Most Americans remember Garland as President Obama’s nominee to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court in 2016.
Senate Republicans scuttled his nomination, holding the seat open until after President Trump’s inauguration the following year.
Garland has served on the bench with the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., for the last 14 years. He also held senior positions at the Justice Department decades ago, including supervising the prosecution of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.
Biden is expected to announce Garland’s nomination today, along with other senior leaders of the department.
Reporting for WORLD, I’m Kristen Flavin.
Trump admin. announces early launch of pharmacy vaccine partnership » The Trump administration announced a move on Wednesday aimed at speeding up distribution of coronavirus vaccines.
With many states struggling to roll out the vaccines to patients, HHS Secretary Alex Azar told reporters…
AZAR: We have announced an early launch of the federally arranged pharmacy partnership, which will eventually cover more than 40,000 pharmacy locations across the country.
The federal government is partnering with 19 pharmacy chains to make it easier for Americans to access the shots.
Meantime, for the government’s Operation Warp Speed program, Dr. Moncef Slaoui, said he’s optimistic that another new vaccine could soon help boost supplies.
SLAOUI: We are very eager to see the data once available, as this is a one-shot vaccine that clearly comes with very significant advantages.
Slaoui said drugmarker Johnson & Johnson is on track to file for emergency use authorization of its vaccine by the end of this month.
Two more detectives involved Breonna Taylor raid fired » The Louisville police department has fired two more officers involved in a deadly raid last year. WORLD’s Sarah Schweinsberg has that story.
SARAH SCHWEINSBERG, REPORTER: Officers raided the apartment of 26-year-old Breonna Taylor last March. It quickly turned deadly and sparked months of protests.
Taylor’s boyfriend fired on officers, later stating he didn’t know the intruders were police.
Detective Myles Cosgrove returned fire, discharging 16 rounds, including the one that killed Taylor.
This week, the department fired Cosgrove, as well as Detective Joshua Jaynes, who sought the search warrant that led to the deadly raid.
The department said Cosgrove violated the department’s use-of-force policies and failed to turn on his body camera.
Louisville Police fired another officer involved in the incident back in September.
Reporting for WORLD, I’m Sarah Schweinsberg.
I’m Kent Covington.
Straight ahead: a first-hand account of yesterday’s protests at the Capitol.
Plus, Cal Thomas ponders the meaning of centrism.
This is The World and Everything in It.
MARY REICHARD, HOST: It’s Thursday the 7th of January, 2021.
You’re listening to The World and Everything in It. Thank you for that. Good morning, I’m Mary Reichard.
MEGAN BASHAM, HOST: And I’m Megan Basham. First up: crisis on Capitol Hill.
As you just heard, protesters stormed the halls of Congress yesterday as lawmakers met for a special joint session to certify the electoral college vote.
REICHARD: WORLD’s Harvest Prude had a front row seat from her place in the House press gallery. And outside … correspondent Joshua Raimundo spent the day with President Trump’s supporters. Both of them are joining us now to talk about what they heard and saw. Good morning!
HARVEST PRUDE, REPORTER: Good morning, Mary!
JOSHUA RAIMUNDO, CORRESPONDENT: Good morning!
REICHARD: Joshua, let’s start with you. You were in the crowd when President Trump spoke Wednesday morning. Tell us what that was like.
RAIMUNDO: There were a lot of people. I can’t estimate exactly how many, but crowds and crowds. All different types. I met a lot of people who were immigrants. There were quite a few more African American people than I thought would be there. But the crowd was electric. Just super passionate and very single minded. They all were super convinced that the election was stolen, the election was rigged, that for sure President Trump won and if you think otherwise then you’re just ignoring the evidence. And everyone there believed that, whether they were super solid Christians, which there were many, or definitely not.
REICHARD: Did the mood in the crowd change before some of them made their move on Capitol Hill?
RAIMUNDO: I don’t think so. I think there were the people that were already planning on storming the Capitol. There were people saying, “Today’s the day, today’s the day,” all over. But I mean, I never expected it would be anything like that. When I interviewed people afterwards, after the Capitol was stormed, on the way back I had four different people saying that, no, they think that no matter what would have happened in the speeches that the Capitol was going to be stormed. These people feel disenfranchised and they think it’s Congress’s fault.
REICHARD: When did you realize these people were going to try to get into the building, and then what happened after that?
RAIMUNDO: Yeah, so during the speeches everyone was very peaceful and even the people saying, “This is the day,” or, like, “It’s happening, for real,” I interpreted it as just putting, that we were going to go to the Capitol and just put pressure and have a show of force. As we walked to the Capitol, we were like, “Oh, wow, look at all these people at the Capitol. Wow, like 100,000 people with their flags,” and “Look, they’re on the steps.” And then you’d see people coming back saying, like, “I think they’re throwing tear gas over there. I heard someone say there was pepper spray.”
And so I just kept getting closer, tried to document it. But that’s when I realized it, when people were saying, “I got tear gassed,” “Why?” “Oh, I got tear gassed inside because I was inside.” And then it’s like whoa. That’s when I realized. It was a gradual unfolding of events.
REICHARD: Harvest, you were inside. When did you first realize something was wrong?
PRUDE: Yes, so I was in the House chamber in the press gallery and I started to realize something was wrong when a press aid started coming to us individually and telling us that we should grab anything we needed and we should be ready for a lockdown perhaps for several hours. They weren’t sure how long.
REICHARD: What happened next?
PRUDE: Yeah, so then Capitol Hill police were in the chamber and they told everyone to stay calm but then they started barricading all the doors, like, shutting all of the doors. And so the doors in the chamber have a glass—there are a set of glass doors and then there are a pair of wooden doors. And so all of the wooden doors were being closed. And while that was happening, other aids were distributing basically gas masks or these kind of hoods that would inflate that you could put over your shoulders in case there was a necessity of basically spraying tear gas or something in the chamber.
REICHARD: As you observed what was going on around you and trying to make sense of it yourself, what did the lawmakers do? How did they respond? Was it pretty calm and orderly or did you see panic?
PRUDE: It was a bit of both. There were a lot of people asking confused questions, kind of a babble going on, but as things started to unfold there was also a lot of help and heroism happening as well. As the protesters got closer to where we were, the chaplain inside the chamber actually started praying aloud, just for calm and safety. Members were being told to crouch behind their seats and some of them were comforting others. Other lawmakers were showing others who didn’t know how to put on their gas masks. And when the protesters reached the doors and you started to hear some loud banging, a couple lawmakers rushed to help secure the door. They were dragging furniture along with the Capitol Hill police and along with the police they were talking to those outside the door and trying to calm them down. Because at that point—I was above in the gallery and I heard loud pops and I smelled smoke, so it seemed like there was a gun going off somewhere. There were also protesters breaking glass of the main chamber doors, the one that was barricaded. So, yeah, it was definitely a mix of disorderliness and panic but also a lot of helping hands and stuff as well.
REICHARD: Joshua, you followed the crowd that went inside the Capitol building. And we should say, this was in the interest of reporting on what was happening. So, what was the mood at that point?
RAIMUNDO: The mood was, again, the gradual nature of it. When we got there, people were climbing the scaffolding, placing flags, it seemed kind of harmless and they were screaming, “This is our House. This House is our House.” And then as I got closer and as I followed them in, as you say, for journalistic intent, it got a lot more forceful. It got, like, we’re not going to be let in. We’re going to force ourselves in. Once we got in, the mood was very intense. They were screaming inside the chambers, “This is our House. Let us in.” There was a lot of profanity flying around. And then we got tear gassed. And, yeah, I was near the back so the tear gas didn’t affect me very much and I think the Capitol police did some kind of—I don’t know if they sprayed more tear gas or what they did, but they ended up—the people in the front got really nervous and we were all pushed back. I was kind of slammed against a door and then I tried to move around to try to not slam into someone else. And I have this all on video.
REICHARD: I can’t imagine. When the police began to confront the people doing what they were doing inside the Capitol building, did it help? Did it change things? Or were the police overwhelmed?
RAIMUNDO: The police were always there. So, yeah, they were very helpful. The protesters tried, I think two more times after the time that I went in to storm the Capitol. And on the second attempt after mine, the Capitol police were able to push everyone out and no one was able to get in after that.
REICHARD: Josh, I want to ask you. I saw some accounts that there were 200,000 people there peacefully protesting. So, did you see a difference between the majority people and then what we might call a mob that went into the Capitol building?
RAIMUNDO: Well, some definitely left after Trump’s speech at the Ellipse. I’d say there were probably about 50,000 people at the Capitol, so that would be a quarter of 200,000. But there were probably only about 10,000 who were on the steps surrounding the Capitol and then maybe, I don’t know, 1,000 or so who were actually trying to get in. And those people seemed to be just normal Trump supporters. I didn’t see anyone who was claiming to be a Proud Boy or claiming to be part of any other type of organization. They were just normal, regular Trump supporters who said, “This is it” and “This is our last chance so let’s go.” And I just think that the energy of the crowd just kind of tipped it over.
REICHARD: Harvest Prude is a reporter for WORLD Magazine and WORLD Digital. Joshua Raimundo is a correspondent for WORLD Digital. Thanks to you both!
RAIMUNDO: Thanks so much.
PRUDE: Thank you. Glad to be here.
MEGAN BASHAM, HOST: Coming next on The World and Everything in It: a transition of power.
Democrats are preparing to take control of the U.S. Senate, but by the slimmest of margins. They expect to have the votes they need to approve President-elect Joe Biden’s cabinet nominees and judicial appointments. But not enough to push his legislative agenda through Republican opposition.
MARY REICHARD, HOST: Joining us now to talk about what happened in Tuesday’s runoff elections and what it might mean for the next two years is Jamie Dean. She’s WORLD’s national editor and main political reporter. Good morning, Jamie!
JAMIE DEAN, NATIONAL EDITOR: Good morning, Mary.
REICHARD: Were these races closer than expected?
DEAN: They were. The day after the November elections, most election-watchers were favoring the Republicans to win their contests. And some said: Even if one of the Republican candidates loses, it’s unlikely they’ll both lose. So, there was not much speculation initially about Democrats winning both contests and gaining control of the Senate. It was possible, of course, but a lot of pundits didn’t seem to think it was likely.
REICHARD: What do you think changed?
DEAN: I think perhaps pollsters and others were underestimating the potential for Democratic turnout. The presidential election was very close in Georgia, so why not expect close run-offs, even if you know voter turnout is likely to dip?
But it appears in some parts of the state, Democrats actually voted at higher rates than they voted in the presidential election. The chairman of the board of elections for Fulton County, which includes the very Democratic area of Atlanta, said that turnout there surpassed the November election. That’s unusual for a run-off, and it gives you an idea of how much intensity went into these races.
Democrats raised an enormous amount of money, and they worked on improving their ground game. So I think a large part of the success came from getting their voters to the polls.
REICHARD: What about Republican turnout?
DEAN: It appears less than Democratic turnout, so that seems to have played a role here. Lots of people are asking why Republican turnout dropped, and I think we’ll be hearing a lot of theories about that in the coming days.
Erick Erickson, who is a conservative commentator in Georgia, said he thinks the controversy over the presidential election likely played a part. President Trump has been embroiled in a bitter conflict with some Republican officials in Georgia who refused to declare the election invalid.
When the president rallied in Dalton, Ga., on Monday night, he spent part of his time talking about the Electoral College vote that was slated for Wednesday. So I think people are going to be asking whether some Republican supporters of the president essentially boycotted the election as a protest against the Republican officials in Georgia who Trump was criticizing—and whether other voters might have thought: If the system is rigged, why vote in this contest?
It’s hard to know how this all played out at the ballot box, and there’s usually no one reason candidates lose elections. So it’s not about laying all the blame in one place, but I do think Republicans are going to do some soul-searching, if they are suddenly and entirely in the minority. That can be a clarifying thing, but it can also be quite difficult when there are significant divides in the party itself. So—among many things—that will be something to watch in the months ahead.
REICHARD: Well, Democrats are obviously celebrating, but what would a single, tie-vote majority really gain them?
DEAN: It would give them a pretty clear path to confirm President-elect Biden’s cabinet picks, and any judicial nominations—including to the Supreme Court. They’d have a tougher time passing major legislation that requires 60 votes to overcome a filibuster, but they could make some gains through the budget reconciliation process.
That process can only be used to pass legislation that involves spending and revenues, but that could include some considerable measures. Democrats used that process to pass large portions of the Affordable Care Act, for example. So we may see the party using that process to expand portions of healthcare legislation or pass measures related to pandemic spending. There are a number of things they could pursue, but there are some limits on how often they could use that process—so they’ll have to be selective.
And, of course, they would control committee selections, so they really would have power to steer the agenda for at least the next two years, when midterm elections roll around. It’s hard to believe we’re already talking about another election season, but it’s coming up before you know it.
REICHARD: Yes it will. Jamie Dean is WORLD’s national editor and chief political reporter. Thanks so much for joining us today!
DEAN: You’re welcome, Mary.
MARY REICHARD, HOST: A man in New Mexico set a pair of old dining room chairs outside of his garage. He didn’t worry about leaving them outside as he left for work. Who’d want to steal a pair of tattered old chairs?
But when Conrad Duran returned home, the chairs were gone—on Christmas Eve, no less.
But just a few days later, he returned to find the chairs were back and completely refurbished with new upholstery and fresh red paint.
Duran told KRQE…
DURAN: I thought that someone had stolen these, and low and behold, they had just taken them, redid them and then returned them as a Christmas gift or something like that.
BASHAM: I’m gonna set some old chairs out!
Right?! It’s The World and Everything in It.
MARY REICHARD, HOST: Today is Thursday, January 7th. Thank you for turning to WORLD Radio to help start your day.
Good morning. I’m Mary Reichard.
MEGAN BASHAM, HOST: And I’m Megan Basham. Coming next on The World and Everything in It: handing down great songs of the faith.
Earlier this week, our book reviewer recommended Leland Ryken’s book about hymns as our Classic Book of the Month.
Today, Emily Whitten talks with singer-songwriter Kristyn Getty about teaching kids to love the hymns of the church.
EMILY WHITTEN, REPORTER: When COVID-19 hit last spring, singer-songwriters Kristyn and Keith Getty ended up quarantined at their home near Nashville, TN. Like other musicians, they quickly moved online to stay connected with their audiences. For the Gettys that included a weekly event they called the Getty Family Hymn Sing.
HYMN SING: Hi, everyone! Welcome to outside at our house and the chaos that is Tuesday night family hymn sing….
Week by week, they welcomed other professional singers and musicians into their home, often streaming live from their back porch. One notable guest choice—they included their daughters. Here’s a clip from last April.
HYMN SING: …please help the coronavirus to go away. In your name, Amen… Sing our final song, What love could remember no wrongs we have done? Omniscient, all knowing, he counts not their sum…
When her children were younger, Kristyn didn’t put much effort into teaching them hymns. But on a tour across the U.S., one day their family showed up at a private school in New Jersey. As part of the event, the school presented one of the hymns Keith is best known for creating: “In Christ Alone.”
Keith and Kristyn and their two children sat in the audience as the school kids prepared to sing.
GETTY: They invited our eldest to come and join them, and as she walked up the front Keith and I looked at each other and thought, Does she know In Christ Alone? Did you teach it to her? And she got up and sure enough she sang the first two lines, and then just smiled and waved at us for the rest of the time.
And that moment, seeing their daughter in the spotlight unable to finish the song, something clicked.
GETTY: But we realized not only does it need to be part of spaces where life happens, but there are moments when we have to be intentional and actually teach them you know?
So, Keith and Kristyn began to purposely teach hymns to their kids. And they found the Hymn of the Month particular approach really helpful.
Kristyn says some hymns like “A Mighty Fortress is Our God” took more effort to learn. They memorized other songs in a snap.
GETTY: Like “Softly and Tenderly” they loved and got a lot of that early on. We taught them “His Mercy is More.” They just learned it so fast. It’s one of the best songs to teach kids because they just loved it.
What should you look for in choosing hymns? For one thing, Christian worldview content.
GETTY: God is the creator. He created you. And then the narrative of the gospel story. What that means so they really understand that. The hope of heaven, and then songs which connect these things to everyday life.
She also recommends songs that are fun to sing.
GETTY: They love, Hallelujah! Thine the Glory. Hallelujah! Amen. And just wonderful praise songs that cheer up the heart really.
As the month goes on, the goal is to get kids to sing along. If you only accomplish this, you’ve done a lot. For one thing, good hymns give kids the vocabulary of Christian faith.
GETTY: What we sing is so important to our spiritual development. How we understand the faith and how we share it and speak about it.
Another advantage of studying a hymn for an entire month is that it creates time to talk about the hymns. One recent hymn of the month was “Abide With Me.”
GETTY: I went through verse 1 again with them and I said Gracie, ‘Remind me again, what does abide really mean? What does it mean to be helpless?’
MUSIC: ABIDE WITH ME
She sometimes shares her own stories about particular hymns like “Great is Thy Faithfulness.”
GETTY: I love being able to tell him I sang this when I was a little girl. And you know Granny and Granddad had that at their wedding. And now you’re going to sing it, and as you go through your life, you’ll be able to add your stories to that song and remember God’s faithfulness.
Kristyn’s perspective as a hymn writer gives some insight into the breadth and depth of the hymns we sing.
The Gettys also take inspiration from good hymnals. Kristyn says they often cover topics like the attributes of God, Biblical themes and doctrines, and the church calendar year.
For some families, being cut off from corporate worship during the pandemic means not singing hymns. Kristyn says churches can support parents, by publishing a list of songs to be sung the next Sunday. Practicing hymns ahead of the service can make the songs more interesting for kids. Or if your church worships virtually, pre-record kids singing hymns for the Sunday service.
But because of the Getty’s profession, they had to keep singing. They ramped up the Getty Family Hymn Sing, and they built a recording studio in their home.
The Gettys actually face a temptation most of us don’t. Because they sing so often, they might take hymns for granted.
GETTY: I can remember my daughter Grace, who’s five, kindergarten, saying, ‘Mum, all you want to talk about is sing sing sing sing sing sing sing sing sing!’ And I thought, ‘O great…’
But other times, the seeds they’ve planted bear fruit.
GETTY: Just last week I was in my bedroom getting ready and I heard her in the next room and she was singing. She had other dolls out she was pretending to do church with them. I was standing here and I heard her singing, the Christ Our Hope in Life and Death song at the top of her voice.
Children’s emotions are like weather, constantly changing, Kristen says. She perseveres because God calls her to pass on her faith.
For now, Keith and Kristyn have moved on from their back porch Getty Family Hymn Sings.
They aim to release more projects soon to encourage families to sing good hymns. Some of those families, like mine, won’t be as talented as they are. But we can sing along and make a joyful noise. Thankfully, God’s mercy covers that, too.
HYMN SING: Praise the Lord! His mercy is more!
I’m Emily Whitten.
HYMN SING: Stronger than darkness, new every morn. Our sins they are many, His mercy is more! Our sins they are many, His mercy is more.
BASHAM: Kristyn Getty had a lot more to say on the subject of kids and hymns. So we’ve put together a longer version of this feature. And you can access it this weekend anywhere you find this podcast.
MEGAN BASHAM, HOST: Today is Thursday January 7th. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Megan Basham.
MARY REICHARD, HOST: And I’m Mary Reichard.
How would you define the word “centrist?” Not sure? Commentator Cal Thomas says, you’re not alone.
CAL THOMAS, COMMENTATOR: One of many things that will distinguish our next president from his predecessor: Joe Biden is likely to speak much less in public. He’s also likely to make it harder to know exactly where he stands on the political spectrum.
Whether or not you believe President Trump was a true conservative, his policies were clearly to the right. With the exception of running up the debt, for which both parties share blame.
Joe Biden has self-identified as a “centrist.” What exactly does that mean?
Most people understand policies associated with liberals and conservatives. No one seems to have adequately defined the word “center” in ways that make sense.
Would Biden be willing to move in the direction of Republicans and conservatives toward a center? He’s unlikely to modify his views on social issues like abortion and gay rights. Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, a Democrat from Hawaii, introduced a bill that would protect the lives of babies who survive an abortion. Would Biden support that bill? Not if he wants to avoid attacks from the left. So-called progressives are already slamming Gabbard for what they call a violation of “women’s rights.” How does protecting the life of a newborn affect a woman’s rights?
How about taxes on the wealthy, which Biden wants to raise? It doesn’t appear he would move toward the center on that issue. Ditto environmental protections and regulations, which he says he wants to restore, reversing Trump’s efforts to gut them. Never mind that Trump’s policies helped drive the pre-COVID economic boom and the current recovery.
Climate? Not likely given Biden’s devotion to the subject and refusal to consider any information that contradicts his views.
What about China? Have Biden and his son, Hunter, been compromised when it comes to China policy? Does China have information that would harm a Biden presidency and possibly worse because of his son’s business dealings?
Where is the “center” on confronting Iran and its race to develop a nuclear bomb?
Immigration? Biden has said he wants to grant citizenship to 11 million undocumented people already here. He also won’t continue construction on Trump’s border wall. Such decisions would almost certainly encourage even more people to come.
What is the center position on the Middle East where President Trump has had remarkable success coordinating peace deals with Israel? Would Biden move the U.S. Embassy from Jerusalem back to Tel Aviv and revive relations with Palestinian leaders who remain committed to the destruction of the Jewish state?
I’m still waiting for someone to define centrism. It sounds to me like a cover to hide a radical liberal agenda.
I’m Cal Thomas.
MEGAN BASHAM, HOST: Tomorrow: Culture Friday with John Stonestreet.
And, I’ll review a new Masterpiece Theater series that offers some of the comfort and quiet many of us could use right now.
That and more tomorrow.
I’m Megan Basham.
MARY REICHARD, HOST: 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.
Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom.
Go now in grace and peace.