The World and Everything in It — February 23, 2021

MARY REICHARD, HOST: Good morning!

President Biden puts the United States back into the Paris Climate Accord among other international commitments that President Trump withdrew from. We’ll hear the pros and cons of all the changes.

NICK EICHER, HOST: Also today the Colorado baker Jack Phillips finds himself back in court. Yet again.

Plus, Emily Whitten hosts a roundtable discussion on children’s books.

And WORLD commentator Ryan Bomberger with five lessons for Black History Month.

REICHARD: It’s Tuesday, February 23rd. This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Mary Reichard.

EICHER: And I’m Nick Eicher. Good morning!

REICHARD: Up next, Kent Covington has the news.

KENT COVINGTON, NEWS ANCHOR: AG nominee Garland testifies in confirmation hearing » Judge Merrick Garland, President Biden’s pick for attorney general will face senators on Capitol Hill again this morning on day-2 of his confirmation hearing. 

On Monday, Garland told members of the Judiciary Committee that if confirmed, his first focus would be on prosecuting those involved in the siege of the U.S. Capitol. 

GARLAND: A heinous attack that sought to disrupt a cornerstone of our democracy, the peaceful transfer of power to a newly elected government. 

Garland served as a federal appeals court judge until last year. He was President Obama’s pick to fill the seat of the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. But Republicans scuttled his nomination for the high court.  

Senators on Monday pressed Garland on his assurances that the Justice Department would remain politically independent on his watch.

GOP Senator Chuck Grassley questioned him about special counsel John Durham’s investigation into the origins of the Russia probe. 

GRASSLEY: If confirmed, will you commit to providing special counsel Durham with the staff, resources, funds, and time needed to thoroughly complete the investigation.
GARLAND: Senator, I don’t have any information about the investigation as I sit here today.

Garland said one of his first orders of business would be to check with Durham on how the investigation is going. 

He also assured senators that he has not spoken with President Biden about any potential probe involving the president’s son Hunter Biden. 

The full Senate could vote on Garland’s nomination next week. He is widely expected to win confirmation. 

Biden announces changes to Paycheck Protection Program » President Biden says changes are coming to the Paycheck Protection Program. That is the coronavirus relief program for small businesses—providing loans, which in many cases can be forgiven. 

The president announced Monday…

BIDEN: For the next two weeks, the only folks who can apply for that PPP money are businesses with fewer than 20 employees. 

He said the pandemic has already put more than 400,000 small companies out of business. 

The Biden administration is also carving out $1 billion to direct toward sole proprietors like home contractors and beauticians.

The administration is also changing rules to allow those behind on their federal student loans to seek relief through the program. And new rules will clarify that noncitizen legal residents can apply to the program.

SCOTUS will not block transfer of Trump tax documents » The U.S. Supreme Court handed former President Donald Trump a legal defeat on Monday. The high court will not step in to halt the turnover of Trump’s tax records to a New York prosecutor. WORLD’s Kristen Flavin has more. 

KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: The court’s action is seemingly the culmination of a drawn out legal battle that had already reached the high court once before.

The court’s order is a win for Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., who has been seeking Trump’s tax records since 2019 as part of an investigation. Vance, a Democrat, had subpoenaed the records from an accounting firm that has long worked with Trump and his businesses. 

Vance’s office had said it would be free to enforce the subpoena and obtain the records if the Supreme Court did not step in. But it’s unclear when that might happen. 

While Vance’s office may finally seize the tax documents, they are not supposed to become public

Trump has called the push for his records “a fishing expedition” and “a continuation of the greatest witch hunt in history.”

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Kristen Flavin.

Boeing recommends grounding all 777s after engine explosion » Boeing has recommended that airlines ground all 777 jetliners after an engine blew apart in Colorado over the weekend. 

David Delucia was a passenger on a United Airlines flight out of Denver. 

DELUCIA: The captain came on at about 10,000 feet, and he was giving the speech that they normally do. And before he could complete that speech, that’s when the engine blew. 

Debris crashed down on soccer fields, homes, and yards in a Denver suburb. No one on the plane or on the ground was hurt. 

The engine was a Pratt & Whitney PW4000. There are 69 Boeing 777s in service with that particular engine. 

United had 24 of the planes in service; it is the only U.S. airline with the engine in its fleet. Two Japanese airlines are grounding another 32 jets. 

Both Boeing and the engine maker say they are working with FAA investigators to determine the cause of the explosion. 

Virginia on verge of ending capital punishment » Virginia is on the verge of ending the death penalty in the state. WORLD’s Anna Johansen Brown has that story. 

ANNA JOHANSEN BROWN, REPORTER: The Virginia House and Senate voted Monday to approve a bill to repeal the death penalty in the state. The votes were largely down party lines. Democrats enjoy a majority in both chambers. 

That sent the legislation to the desk of Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam, who has said he will sign it into law. That will make Virginia the 23rd state to stop executions.

Republicans raised concerns about justice for victims and their family members. They said there are some crimes that are so heinous that capital punishment is the only suitable sentence. 

It’s a major turnaround for a state that has has used the death penalty more than any other dating back to its days as a colony. Since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976—Virginia, with 113 executions, is second only to Texas.

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Anna Johansen Brown.

I’m Kent Covington.

Straight ahead: the end of the “America first” movement.

Plus, Ryan Bomberger on lessons we can all learn from Black History Month.

This is The World and Everything in It.

MARY REICHARD, HOST: It’s Tuesday, February the 23rd, 2021.

We’re so glad you’ve joined us for today’s edition of The World and Everything in It. Good morning, I’m Mary Reichard.

NICK EICHER, HOST: And I’m Nick Eicher. 

It is application season. You heard our colleague Hannah Harris inviting you to apply to World Journalism Institute.

REICHARD: Good ol’ WJI! I’m a product of that fine course. Very grateful. I took the very first WJI course for mid-career folks.

EICHER: Yeah, and so right now we’re looking forward to the full two-week course for college students and recent college grads. 

Really excited to be returning to Dordt University, too, after having to go all virtual last year—teaching by Zoom just isn’t the same. So back to the classroom for our students. And if you’re thinking about a career as a Christian journalist, I really think you ought to consider World Journalism Institute. We’re taking applications now and into the month of March—the last day for that would be the last Friday—March 26th.

REICHER: Check it out at The web address Don’t put it off. It’s a pretty involved application.

Ok. Next up:  global government. 

Former President Trump withdrew the United States from several global institutions and treaties he considered to be ineffective.  Now, the Biden administration is changing course. WORLD’s Sarah Schweinsberg reports.

SARAH SCHWEINSBERG, REPORTER: During his first hours in office, President Joe Biden signed a stack of executive orders.

BIDEN: The third one I’m going to sign is a commitment I made that we’re going to rejoin the Paris climate accord as of today. 

The Paris Climate Accord sets voluntary standards for carbon emission reductions. Former President Trump said many countries weren’t meeting those reductions and pulled the United States out in 2017. 

President Biden also recommitted the United States to the World Health Organization on his first day in office. The Trump administration withdrew from the WHO last May—citing the UN agency’s ineffective handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

And earlier this month, President Biden also moved to rejoin the UN Human Rights Council. Former President Trump left the Council in 2018 over what he called its bias against Israel and hypocritical members like China and Cuba. 

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said via a spokesperson that he applauded President Biden’s decision.

GUTERRES: The Human Rights Council is the world’s leading form for addressing a full-range of addressing human rights challenges. The council’s mechanisms and special procedures are vital tools for ensuring action and accountability. 

Then, last week, the Biden administration announced it wanted to begin talks to revive the 2015 Iran Nuclear Deal.

The Trump administration left the treaty between the United States, the European Union, and Iran in 2018, arguing it failed to restrict Iran’s nuclear missile program. 

President Biden’s secretary of State, Anthony Blinkin, told NBC News these agreements and organizations will help the United States take on rivals like Iran, Russia, and especially China.

BLINKIN: We have to be able to approach China from a position of strength not weakness and that strength I think comes from having strong alliances actually engaging in the world, showing up in these international institutions because when we pull back China fills in. And then they are the ones writing the rules and setting the norms. 

But some foreign policy analysts argue the Trump administration didn’t disengage from the world. It simply withdrew from ineffective and corrupt organizations and agreements. 

James Carafano is a foreign policy analyst at the Heritage Foundation. 

CARAFANO: We were in the Human Rights Council under Obama, it never got better. We were in the World Health Organization, it never got better. We were in the Paris accord, we did better in our environment just because we did better. Most of the other people in the Paris accord did not do better. And when you look at the Iran nuclear deal, even before Obama left office, it was very clear that Iran’s behavior was not going to improve, it never improved under the Iran nuclear deal. 

Carafano points out the Trump administration stayed in many other global bodies that do accomplish their objectives like ICAO, the International Civil Aviation Organization. It sets safety standards and organizes international air space so planes can fly around the world.

CARAFANO: ICAO is not trouble free. One of the things that the Chinese did is they insisted, for example, that ICAO marginalize Taiwan not letting people put Taiwan on their air flights and stuff like that. We didn’t walk out of ICAO right over protests of what the Chinese did. 

The United States also remained committed to INTERPOL—the International Criminal Police Organization. 

CARAFANO: Many countries have tried to use INTERPOL not to put out international arrest warrants, but to howl at their political enemies. Why haven’t we left INTERPOL? Well, because INTERPOL also does a lot of really good international criminal cooperation, you know, cooperation going after criminals that we really need, so we’re not going to leave it. 

Other foreign policy analysts say while the United States was absent from major global bodies, China took charge. Chinese representatives now lead four of 15 specialized UN agencies and groups. No other nation leads more. 

Bill Burke-White is an international lawyer and political scientist with the Brookings Institution.

BURKE-WHITE: If we let China write those rules, they’re going to hurt us. And if we let you know anybody else in the world write them then they’re not going to be in our interest. 

But Burke-White and other foreign policy experts agree the United Nations, the Paris climate accord, the Iran Nuclear Deal, the World Health Organization and others are flawed. So the Biden administration needs to reform them from the inside. 

Steve Charnovitz is an international lawyer at the George Washington University Law School. He calls the approach “build back better.” 

CHARNOVITZ: We do need to build back in these institutions in a better way. And I would hope the United States would play a constructive part of that.

But Heritage’s James Carafano says before recommitting to these organizations, the Biden administration should ask if reform is really possible. 

CARAFANO: What you have to do is say what is the right strategy to block malicious activity and disruptive activity from China and other countries that really want to further their own interests. Sometimes you want to withdraw. Sometimes you want to reform. And sometimes you want to replace.

On some foreign policy fronts, President Biden seems to agree with his predecessor. The Trump administration withdrew from the Obama-negotiated Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal in 2017. During the Democratic primaries, candidate Biden said he would potentially try to renegotiate the deal. But so far President Biden hasn’t made his position clear. 

The Trump administration also joined previous presidents in blocking appointees to the World Trade Organization appellate court. The body has the final say on international trade disputes. 

President Biden announced yesterday that he too would block appointing new members due to deep concerns with the panel.

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Sarah Schweinsberg.

MARY REICHARD, HOST: Coming up next on The World and Everything in It: the ongoing battle for religious liberty in the United States. 

Religious freedom is a constitutional right in this country, but it is under attack. One man who symbolizes the defense of religious liberty is Colorado cake artist Jack Phillips.

NICK EICHER, HOST: LGBT activists first targeted his business 9 years ago after he declined on religious grounds to create a specialized, custom cake for a same-sex wedding ceremony.  

After two big legal victories, including one at the U.S. Supreme Court, Phillips has been dragged back to court again.

REICHARD: This time, an attorney has accused him of violating Colorado’s anti-discrimination laws. Joining us now to explain all this is Steve West. He’s a lawyer and writes about religious liberty issues for WORLD Digital.

Good morning, Steve!

STEVE WEST, REPORTER: Good morning, Mary!

REICHARD: Jack Phillips prevailed at the Supreme Court already and it was a bit of a convoluted decision. I think a reminder might be useful here, Steve. What did the high court decide there? 

WEST: Well, in 2018 the high court decided that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission had acted with hostility toward Phillips’ Christian beliefs on marriage and so the court found that it was unconstitutional what they had done and sent the case back. He basically won that case. 

REICHARD: And then here’s what happened next: an attorney in Denver named Autumn Scardina called Phillips and asked him to make a custom cake to celebrate his “gender transition.” We can guess this person already knew what the answer would be. And when Phillips declined, Scardina filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission. What happened next? 

WEST: Well, that’s right. The same commission that had already been chastised by the Supreme Court for acting with animus toward Jack Phillips went ahead with this case. The commission moved forward with an administrative case against Jack and pursued him. And he was going to be forced to fight that. So, rather than just fight that, he actually sued the commission with the help of the Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys. And then after some information came out about hostile comments that had been made on the record by some of the commissioners, the commission decided to dismiss its administrative action. And so Phillips dropped his action against the commission as well. So, you might say he won that case as well. 

REICHARD:  And then in summer 2019, Scardina filed a private lawsuit accusing Phillips of violating the state’s anti-discrimination laws. Flesh out Scardina’s legal argument here for us, Steve? 

WEST: Well, there’s not much of a legal argument but I’ll give it a try. Scardina filed his lawsuit based on the fact that Jack would not make a cake for him that celebrated his gender identity. So he contended in addition to the claims that were made in the other case—the commission case—he went in and said that Jack violated the consumer protection laws by false advertising. Here’s what he said, basically. He said, “Jack, you said you made birthday cakes. This is kind of a birthday cake for me. You won’t make it for me, so you lied. False advertising.” That’s the sum of it. 

REICHARD: Where does this case go from here, Steve? What happens next? 

WEST: Well, I talked with Jake Warner at ADF—Alliance Defending Freedom—today and he said that a four day trial is scheduled for this matter on March 22nd in Colorado’s state court and there’s also a motion for summary judgement, simply a motion to end the case without actually having to have a trial. That’s pending with the court and so they’re hoping for a decision on that soon. And, you know, I asked Jake what else listeners might need to know and he just said this has been quite an ordeal for Jack. He’s still in business but he hasn’t been able to make wedding cakes for anyone since this all has started. But he asked that listeners pray. And I would say, yeah, that should be a first and not a last resort for all of us. 

REICHARD: Steve West writes about religious liberties for WORLD Digital. You can read his work at Steve, always good to have you on. Thank you! 

WEST: Thank you, Mary.

MARY REICHARD, HOST: The sheriff’s department in Butler County, Ohio received a call last week about a suspicious package found outside of a church. 

A short time later, the bomb squad arrived, inspected the zippered bag, and heard no ticking, but they did hear something coming from inside purring. 

Inside was a momma cat named Sprinkles and her six newborn kittens. An attached note explained that whoever had left the bag couldn’t care for them.

So the local animal shelter did and they say mom and the kittens are healthy and a lot happier now that they’ve found a foster family. 

All’s well that end’s well.

It’s The World and Everything in It.

NICK EICHER, HOST: Today is Tuesday, February 23rd. You’re listening to WORLD Radio and we’re so glad you are! 

Good morning. I’m Nick Eicher.

MARY REICHARD, HOST: And I’m Mary Reichard. Coming next on The World and Everything in It: children’s books.

Our sister publication WORLD Magazine devotes an annual issue to children’s books published in the past year. It takes a team of reviewers to cull the options and find the best stories for children and parents. And today, you’ll hear a little bit about how they go about that.

EICHER: Our reviewers are WORLD commentator and author Janie B. Cheaney—as well as book reviewer Hayley Schoeppler of, and Kristin Chapman who edits the kids’-book section. Our Emily Whitten leads the roundtable.

EMILY WHITTEN, REPORTER: In our recent roundtable, Kristin Chapman kicked off discussion of WORLD’s picture book winner, Saving the Countryside by Linda Marshall. It’s a new biography of kids’ book author Beatrix Potter.

CHAPMAN: So I think the beauty of this story is that it tells so much more than what we maybe first knew about Beatrix Potter and does it in a way that children will, it’s not too much information. It’s just the right amount. And it has those beautiful illustrations that try to kind of convey that Beatrix Potter feel to them as well.

Kristin pointed out some of the themes parents can appreciate. 

CHAPMAN: Well, I think that the story exhibits several good character qualities. The first would be perseverance. She had to persevere. She did not give up. I think the other beautiful thing about this story that I use with my children is it, it reflects a stewardship over creation. She had a vision for preserving creation and preserving this beautiful countryside for future generations. So I see that as an opportunity for us as Christians to reflect on that as well.

Another picture book biography on our notable nonfiction list is Through the Wardrobe: How C.S. Lewis Created Narnia by Lina Maslo. One illustration in particular caught Janie’s eye.

CHEANEY: The illustrator included pictures of Squirrel Nutkin. Do you remember that Kristin?

CHAPMAN: I think I missed that. I’m going to have to go back through.

CHEANEY: TYeah, that really impressed me because when you read Surprised by Joy, he, he has like two pages on Squirrel Nutkin. And so it made such an impression on him. The idea of autumn, the whole, the whole ambiance, you know, the smokiness in the air and the leaves turning color and the little squirrels on it. I always love that too. The little squirrels on their little rafts. I just love that picture. So I was really excited to see that picture included in Through the Wardrobe, because that was one of his, his seminal memories.

CHAPMAN: Thank you for pointing that out. I will definitely have to go back through it sometimes I miss things the first couple times through. 

WHITTEN: That’s a good book, when you can do that. When you have to keep on reading it over and over before you can take it all in. I love that aspect of a good kids’ book.

A trend we noticed in books for middle grades—an emphasis on realistic fiction rather than fantasy. That’s true of WORLD’S overall Children’s Book of the Year, Everything Sad Is Untrue. Daniel Nayeri wrote his memoir from the perspective of a 7th grade boy telling the story of how he and his mom came from Iran to America. 

CHEANEY: And the reason they’re in Oklahoma is because his mother converted to Christianity. She was not just a Muslim. She was a Sunni Muslim. So both she and her husband are like a golden couple. They heard the gospel and she heard when she was visiting in England, they returned to Iran and she could not keep quiet about it. And the authorities heard of it. She was arrested, she was tortured. She was threatened. And she escaped with the children with the help of her husband who did not convert. He never converted. But, um, you know, that’s a story. And when asked, why, why did she do that? Why did she give up her privileged position to, um, to come to Oklahoma and live in a, in a crummy house with an abusive husband, not her first husband.People ask her, why did you do that? And her answer is because it’s true. And if it’s true, it’s worth everything. 

WHITTEN: Haley or Kristen, Would one of y’all like to chime in on some of the themes?

SCHOEPPLER: Another quote that I loved, he said, ‘If you believe it’s true that there’s a God, and he wants you to believe in him. And he sent his son to die for you. Then it has to take over your life. It has to be worth more than everything else because heaven’s waiting on the other side.’ He has these beautiful sentences.

The book does contain difficult material. Early on, Daniel’s grandfather kills a bull in a bloody way, and Daniel talks a lot about embarrassing bodily functions. In terms of storytelling, flashbacks will be confusing for younger readers. For those reasons and others, it’s probably best for ages 12 and up. I asked Janie and Hayley if some families might benefit from reading the book aloud.

CHEANEY: I’ve thought about that. I think, I think for a certain age, yeah. Maybe, for a parent who’s a gifted reader aloud. Yeah. I can’t see this book being read in a monotone or anything like that. But younger children, no, I don’t think so.

During my childhood, I encountered plenty of realistic fiction that wasn’t very edifying. So, I asked the group what elevates books like Everything Sad is Untrue or Here in the Real World, a runner up for Children’s Book of the Year?

CHEANEY: I think there’s some transcendent value. It’s not just, you know, this is, this is nitty gritty life and we have to deal with it. Here in the Real World has a lot of Christian symbolism. It’s not a Christian book in the same way that Everything Sad is Untrue is. It’s not necessarily a Christian story. In that book, I saw that the author was picturing art as the redemptive factor. Did you get that impression, Hayley?

SCHOEPPLER: Yes. Even the fact they’re playing in a church and kind of discovering themselves. 

CHEANEY: The boy knows nothing about Christian faith. The girl thinks she does. She’s explaining it to him, and she doesn’t really understand, but I think they both realized that there is something, you know, there’s something beyond this life. There are. There is transcendent value. 

WORLD didn’t have a separate nonfiction winner this year, but we did recommend several notable picks, including John Rocco’s more than 200 page book, How We Got to the Moon. Here’s Kristin again.

CHAPMAN: I thought it was a fantastic book. It kind of surprised me because it’s all about space and how we got to the moon. And at first I was thinking, this is not going to be a topic I am going to enjoy. It’s going to be too detailed, just too scientific engineering. But they had so many excellent, like pullout boxes where they would explain they would highlight problems that the scientists faced and how are they going to resolve this problem? It put things in layman’s terms.

WHITTEN: It’s a little bit comparable to David Macaulay’s work, like the Castle book and that sort of thing. Is that right? 

CHAPMAN: I would say so. I think that if you liked this, you might like that.

CHEANEY: I would like to add that like Kristin mentioned, but there’s a very powerful human element. There’s the dietician, the wardrobe, the seamstress who designed these space suits. There’s all the mission control guys and important people like that, but also  the unsung people. I thought, here’s another book about the moon. You know, we have, since the 50th anniversary of the moon launch, we’ve had a bunch of those. It’s fantastic. And I thought I was reading as I was reading, I thought this could make the backbone of a whole unit study for homeschool family. 

One of my favorite books in 2020 was the picture book Outside, Inside by LeUyen Pham. She’s the illustrator for the popular Princess Black series for early readers. She also won a Caldecott for her illustrations in Bear Came Along. This book is about the COVID-19 pandemic, and it begins with the story of a girl and her snuggly black cat.

WHITTEN: It starts with her, she’s looking outside. There’s all these people outside doing all the things that people do. It’s kind of a Mr. Rogers neighborhood picture. And then all of a sudden she says something like, one day something happened in our town and all the people who were outside came inside. And then you see outside now is empty. She focused on a lot of the things people did that were heroic and kind that people did for one another during this year. And you just kind of get this feeling like we’ve all been through something together and it’s changed us. And that’s okay. There’s something on the other side of this and it’s for good. So it was a book that I needed and enjoyed and appreciated.

CHEANEY: It’s also got a double fold out.

WHITTEN: Ooh, I didn’t know that because I read it. I read it on the digital group. Oh, okay, cool. You got to love double foldouts. Wow. I love those. 

We talked about other  runners up this year as well. Things Seen From Above. Prairie Lotus. Leaving Lymon. One common thread in our favorite realistic fiction—hope.

CHAPMAN: I think my counter is, when an author brings a hard topic, do they still show you hope? Like Leaving Lymon was another very hard book about a boy, what kind of a backstory of, what does it take to be a bully? But even in that book, there’s these glimmers of hope and redemption.

Kristin closed out our discussion with a good reminder. 

CHAPMAN: When we read these books with our children, whether they’re picture book biographies or non-fiction books, it’s showcasing the ways that God is orchestrating things for his glory and for human flourishing and even, and this is even when people may not, the characters may not acknowledge God as their Lord. It’s providing a wonderful opportunity for us to ponder with our children, the ways in which God is accomplishing his good part, his good purposes, and how he’s working even amid the dark or hard moments in history. 

We hope these books will help your family do just that.

I’m Emily Whitten.

You can find links to WORLD’s Kids’ Books of the Year in today’s transcript. 

NICK EICHER, HOST: Today is Tuesday, February 23rd. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Nick Eicher.

MARY REICHARD, HOST: And I’m Mary Reichard. We’re coming to the end of Black History Month. Here’s commentator Ryan Bomberger with five important lessons that history teaches.

RYAN BOMBERGER, COMMENTATOR: As an adoptee with brown skin, I’m grateful that my mother (who happens to have skin much lighter than mine) provided all kinds of books about black American history-makers. There are so many incredible stories that should be intertwined in an educational fabric that celebrates every thread from every hue of trailblazer. It’s American history.

That being said, here are five of the most important lessons we can all learn from Black History Month:

Every person is a human. Every human is a person. The historic struggle of black Americans in this country was rooted in the denial of personhood. When we fail to embrace our God-given humanity, we get the injustices of Dred Scott v. Sanford, Plessy v. Ferguson, Buck v. Bell, Roe v. Wade and more.

We’re Stronger Than Our Circumstances. Overcoming slavery seemed impossible. Overcoming Jim Crow seemed impossible. Overcoming KKK violence seemed impossible. But our strength, in the face of evil, is drawn from substance much stronger than self. Philippians 4:13 makes it clear: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Freedom fighters understood this then and still understand it today.

We are one human race. Racism is given power because people give into an insidious lie—that we’re actually separate races. First classified as such in 1758, the deeply flawed construct of race has never served as a benefit to humankind. Ever. Acts 17:26 clearly states “From one man he created all the nations throughout the whole earth.” Abolitionists, white and black, joined together as brothers and sisters to end the heinous injustice of slavery.

Injustice flourishes when the church is silent about evil. Proverbs 31:8-9 isn’t a suggestion about being a voice for those being crushed; it’s a clarion call. Dr. Martin Luther King excoriated Christian leaders for their silence in the midst of the struggle for civil rights in Letter from Birmingham Jail. King said: “The contemporary church is so often a weak, ineffectual voice with an uncertain sound.” Today, on a host of issues like abortion, LGBT pseudoscience, human trafficking and religious freedom, the Church’s sound is often that of silence. We don’t need apologies decades from now about regret for inaction; we need the Church to illuminate God’s love of justice now and to be that city on a hill that cannot be hidden.

Forgiveness is better than revenge. In 1872 while expressing their support for the Ku Klux Klan Act (an act solely passed by Republicans to quell Democrat-founded KKK violence) a black Republican congressmen proclaimed: “We have open and frank hearts toward those who were our former oppressors and taskmasters. We foster no enmity now, and we desire to foster none for their acts in the past to us, nor to the Government we love so well.” This is so contrary to today’s self-anointed “anti-racists” and leading hashtag movements.

History is powerful. We’re not meant to live in it but learn from it. And those lessons we glean from our past can enable us all to move, unshackled, into a hopeful and freer future.

I’m Ryan Bomberger.

NICK EICHER, HOST: Tomorrow: Immigration policy changes. President Biden has big plans for the border. We’ll tell you what they are.

And, WORLD reporters who endured the Texas winter blackout will tell us their stories.

That and more tomorrow. 

I’m Nick Eicher.

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.

The Bible reminds us that we are to bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 

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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