The World and Everything In It — March 26, 2021

MARY REICHARD, HOST: Good morning!

South Dakota’s governor bends to pressure from the NC-double-A on a plan to ensure only women compete in women’s collegiate sports.

NICK EICHER, HOST: That’s ahead on Culture Friday.

Plus a new family-friendly movie about kids and parents saying yes to adventure.

And your listener feedback.

MYRNA BROWN, HOST: It’s Friday, March 26th. This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Myrna Brown.

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

MYRNA BROWN, HOST: Up next, news with Kent Covington.

KENT COVINGTON, NEWS ANCHOR: Biden holds first press conference as president »

BIDEN: Good afternoon. Before I take questions….

President Biden held his first solo press conference since taking office on Thursday.

And he quickly cleared up rumors that, at age 78, he may be planning to be a one-term president.

BIDEN: My plan is to run for reelection. That’s my expectation.

Biden touted progress on the coronavirus vaccine rollout. And he said he’ll announce his next big policy push in Pittsburgh today. He wants a new multi-trillion dollar spending package for infrastructure and other domestic programs.

The president also fielded plenty of questions about the surge at the southern border. He said most people who arrive at the border are sent back.

BIDEN: Tens of thousands of people who are over 18 years of age and single people, one at a time coming, have been sent back. 

He again said former President Trump is to blame for many of the problems at the border. And he added that his administration is working to build up capacity to care for the thousands of unaccompanied minors arriving each week.

CNN reports that border officials are now detaining more than 600 unaccompanied minors per day. That’s almost twice the number of minors that showed up at the border at the peak of the 2019 surge.

North Korea test-fires ballistic missiles » President Biden also spoke out about a new ballistic missile launch in North Korea just hours early.

The missiles launched Thursday from the country’s eastern coast. The two short-range missiles flew about 280 miles before plunging into the sea.

BIDEN: UN resolution 1718 was violated by those particular missiles that were tested, number one. We are consulting with our allies and partners. And there will be responses if they choose to escalate. 

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said the firing threatens the “peace and safety” of Japan after the missiles landed outside its exclusive economic zone.

It was North Korea’s first ballistic missile test since President Biden took office.

Pyongyang has a record of challenging and provoking new U.S. administrations to push for favorable negotiations. North Korea has said it would only enter talks with the United States if it abandons its—quote—“hostile” policies.

Jobless claims fall to lowest level since start of pandemic » The number of people seeking unemployment benefits fell last week to the lowest level since the pandemic began. WORLD’s Anna Johansen Brown has more.

ANNA JOHANSEN BROWN, REPORTER: Thursday’s Labor Department report showed jobless claims fell to 684,000 last week. That was a drop of nearly 100,000 claims from the week before.It’s the first time that weekly applications have fallen below 700,000 since March of last year.

The number of people seeking benefits under a federal program for self-employed and contract workers also fell to 241,000. That’s a drop of more than 40,000.

And there are more signs that the pandemic is slowly losing its grip on the economy. Hiring increased in February, with nearly 380,000 jobs added — more than double January’s total.

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Anna Johansen Brown.

Alleged gunman in Boulder shooting appears in court » The accused gunman in Monday’s Boulder supermarket shooting made his first appearance in court Thursday. The suspect, 21-year-old Ahmad Alissa entered court in a wheelchair. He sustained a gunshot wound to the leg during the shooting.

During the brief hearing Alissa did not speak other than to answer “yes” to a question from the judge.

He faces 10 charges of first-degree murder, Boulder County District Attorney Michael Dougherty said …

DOGHERTY: I will say the crime scene has not yet been completed [SIC] the processing. We will be filing additional charges in the next couple of weeks. 

Alissa did not enter a plea on Thursday. That will come later.

His attorney, Kathryn Herold asked the court for an assessment of his mental health.

HEROLD: Our position is that we cannot do anything until we are able to fully assess Mr. Alissa’s mental illness.  

Alissa’s next hearing will not be scheduled for two to three months to allow the defense team to evaluate his mental health and evidence collected by investigators.

In the meantime, authorities will hold him without bail.

AstraZeneca confirms strong vaccine protection after US rift » AstraZeneca says it has analyzed more data … and that it still shows its coronavirus vaccine to be safe and effective. That after U.S. officials questioned the numbers the company touted earlier in the week. WORLD’s Kristen Flavin reports.

KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: On Monday, AstraZeneca announced that the Phase 3 U.S. trial of its vaccine showed it to be safe and 79 percent effective at preventing symptomatic COVID-19.

But the next morning, U.S. health officials publicly called out the company for cherry picking its data. The Data and Safety Monitoring Board said AstraZeneca relied partly on “outdated information.”

And in a rare rebuke, the panel went on to say—quote—“Decisions like this are what erode public trust in the scientific process.”

But AstraZeneca now says after analyzing more data, the needle moved only slightly. It now concludes its vaccine is 76 percent effective instead of the 79 percent it reported on Monday.

But the real test will likely come next month when the FDA begins scrutinizing the data to determine whether to green light the vaccine for emergency use.

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Kristen Flavin.

I’m Kent Covington.

Straight ahead: a surprise about-face in South Dakota.

Plus, your listener feedback.

This is The World and Everything in It.

MYRNA BROWN, HOST: It’s Friday, March 26th, 2021.

Glad to have you along for today’s edition of The World and Everything in It. Good morning, I’m Myrna Brown.

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

Perhaps you heard South Dakota passed a bill that would require all student athletes to play sports based on their biological sex at the K-12 and collegiate levels.

This, of course, is a response to the transgender moment and concern about its effect on women’s sports.

In a surprise this week, the conservative Republican governor of the state, who said she had planned to sign the bill, suddenly reversed course. Governor Kristi Noem issued a “style and form” veto.

A word of explanation here. In South Dakota, governors may send a bill back to lawmakers with recommended changes instead of signing or vetoing what they pass. Governor Noem wants the measure to apply only to K-12 athletes, not college athletes, and she cited legal advice saying the measure would ultimately fail because of the collegiate provision.

AUDIO: So we could pass a law, then we could get punished, then we could face expensive litigation at taxpayer expense, and then we could lose. We’d have nothing but a participation trophy to show for it.

MYRNA BROWN, HOST: The governor said she expected the punishment would come from the collegiate sports body, the NC-double-A. It has a policy that does allow biological men to compete as women athletes. She feared the NC-double-A would retaliate against her state if she signed the bill into law.

AUDIO: That means they could pull their tournaments from the state of South Dakota, they could pull their home games, they could even prevent our athletes from playing in their league. That’s their prerogative. So a fight doesn’t truly protect women’s sports and doesn’t allow women to compete ultimately is going to hurt South Dakota families.

NICK EICHER, HOST: John Stonestreet joins us now. He’s president of the Colson Center and host of the Breakpoint podcast. John, good morning!


EICHER: Governor Noem said she’d consulted with legal experts to support her refusal to sign, but let me quote a legal expert who disagrees. This is the general counsel of Alliance Defending Freedom, Kristen Waggoner. Here’s what she said this week: the governor “gutted protections for collegiate athletes and took away legal recourse for girls forced to compete against biological boys. We are shocked that a governor who claims to be a firebrand conservative with a rising national profile would cave to ‘woke’ corporate ideology.”

Now, John, I never thought I’d have to say: Do you agree with Governor Noem or do you agree with Kristen Waggoner? But here we are! Complicated days.

STONESTREET: Kristen Waggoner. Not only because she also is a Colson Fellow, having spent a year with us when Chuck Colson was alive studying Christian worldview, but also because she’s absolutely right on this one. This is a bizarre turn from a governor who had said from the very beginning she would sign this bill. It’s model legislation. It’s not anything uniquely troubling about this legislation. Very similar to what has passed in other settings, particularly in Idaho and other places. And people forget that the Idaho statute had, I think, about 14 different states that had signed on in an amicus brief to support it. The claims that the governor’s making don’t match reality. And the gutting that this bill has taken—appealing to birth certificates that under other laws could be changed and altered after birth to reflect one’s new gender or new chosen gender expression or whatever. The idea of — Kristen’s line that this removes legal recourse, that’s really, really important right there because if a girl is mistreated by being forced to compete against a biological male, she has no recourse. She has nowhere to go from here. So, if you don’t actually have any way of enforcing a law, how is it a law? Look, there’s too much smoke here. There’s something fishy. And the economic pressures are big and I would tell the governor to take a cue from North Carolina. Stand your ground. This stuff really matters. Protect all the girls that compete in South Dakota sports.

EICHER: You have said before: Christians need to develop a theology of getting fired. We need to be ready for this sort of thing. Maybe this isn’t precisely on point because you’re talking about individual believers and this involves the governor of a state. But isn’t this the basic point: the governor wants to avoid the consequences of what she says she believes.

I totally understand what she’s doing. But if you take a certain position that goes against the freight train of LGBT ideology bearing down on you, you’re tempted to jump out of the way. But isn’t this fundamentally the point about living the public life? You need a theology of getting fired, getting sued, getting voted out of office, whatever.

STONESTREET: Well, absolutely. But I would just nuance or add to that maybe in two ways. Number one is you particularly stand up for those things that matter the most. And the ones that matter the most are the ones that disproportionately affect the vulnerable victims of bad ideas. What this looks like right now is the governor has chosen a strange path and it’s going to lead to two consequences. Number one is she might — she seems like she’s protecting herself. I think that’s probably not going to happen politically. This is not coming off well for someone who had established such a strong reputation. But it’s also clearly coming across as protecting herself at the expense of others. And that’s especially the time you don’t want to be forced to, as Rod Dreher put it and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, to leave this principle of not saying what’s not true. This is a big deal.

EICHER: Well, John, I want to turn now to the 2nd mass shooting in about a week in Boulder Colorado—10 dead, including a 51- year- old veteran police officer, Eric Talley, husband and father of seven. He was the first on the scene and gave his life for his friends. Both President Biden and Boulder’s mayor called him an American hero. But it was the statement given by Officer Talley’s father, that resonated with me.  Homer Talley told the local TV station his son, “loved his kids and his family more than anything,” And he added his son “believed in Jesus Christ.” What a testament! It’s heartbreaking and beautiful at the same time. And I don’t want us to lose sight of that. A lot of things going on, a lot of talk about different issues. But we probably shouldn’t lose sight of that.

STONESTREET: We absolutely shouldn’t lose sight of that. I think that’s such a wise thing to listen to those words, especially in an event yet at an incredibly new speed, the narratives rush to take over what actually happened. And the narratives have proven to be either somewhat flimsy or just flatly wrong between these two shootings that have taken place in less than a week. It’s just exposed the corners, the ideological corners that we live in and how tragically they misshape our vision and view of life in the world. So, these words speak on their own.

It also reminds me of something that we hear so often about matters of faith, that we should keep our faith to ourselves. And there are moments like this when we see Christians rushing into brokenness, rushing into violence, rushing into loss, rushing into evil and trying to help others that we think I’m not sure we want Christians to keep their faith to themselves. And I’m not sure those that are calling for that — I know what they mean. What they mean is legislatively. They mean, “Stop telling us morally what to do, especially when it comes to sex.” But this same faith is what drove Officer Talley to run into this dangerous situation. And has motivated so many people, whether we’re talking about rescuers in natural disasters. I’m not saying that only Christians run into the brokenness, but that is a reputation that is historically verifiable for people of faith.

BROWN: John Stonestreet is president of the Colson Center and host of the Breakpoint podcast. Thank you, John.

EICHER: Thank you, John.


EICHER: The Mars mission for NASA is working toward another first-flight milestone: that of its little helicopter called “Ingenuity.” NASA spokeswoman Lori Gaze talking about the work of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory the JPL.

AUDIO: A small team of NASA helicopter experts assisted JPL in verifying that Ingenuity could fly in Mars’ super thin atmosphere.

Right now they’re looking at April 8th for the big moment. And this first flight will pay tribute to the original first flight the Wright Brothers flight 117 years ago over Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.

NASA’s Martian helicopter holds a small swatch of fabric from the 1903 “Wright Flyer.”

Engineers taped the material to a cable beneath the helicopter’s solar panel.

And this isn’t the first time one of these historical fragments has traveled to space. A different piece of the Wright Brothers plane also flew to the moon with Apollo 11’s Neil Armstrong more than 50 years ago.

It’s The World and Everything in It.

NICK EICHER, HOST: Today is Friday, the 26th of March.

Thank you for turning to WORLD Radio to help start your day.

Good morning. I’m Nick Eicher.

MYRNA BROWN, HOST: And I’m Myrna Brown.

Coming next on The World and Everything in It: family fun.

A new comedy streaming on Netflix encourages families to make memories together.

And WORLD’s Sarah Schweinsberg says at the same time, it encourages parents and children to respect their God-given roles.

SARAH SCHWEINSBERG, REPORTER: Allison Torres played by a sunny Jennifer Garner once lived by “yes,” neither too busy nor too afraid to pass up the adventures life offers daily.

She and her husband, Carlos, actor Edgar Ramírez, then said yes to one of the greatest adventures of all, children. But with those three children came something Allison hadn’t ever let herself live by: “NO.”

AUDIO: No became the new yes. No is part of the job. No is the light. No is the answer. Saying no 50 times an hour. Well that’s parenting. 

For good reason, no, is many a child’s second if not first learned word. It teaches both physical and moral boundaries. But, used too often and without explanation, it can also stifle and frustrate children.

That’s how the Torres children come to feel about their stay-at-home mom. Allison isn’t a helicopter parent. She’s a loving, busy, and tired mom whose daily mission is to make sure her children grow up in a safe, secure, healthy home. Amid the daily parenting grind, she often forgets to enjoy her children’s personalities and imaginations.

Then a school coach suggests a “yes” day.

ALLISON: Yeah, well it’s not fair. I hear myself when I’m with the kids and I think I wouldn’t even want to hang out with me. 

COACH: I’m so sorry, I have a suggestion. Sorry, I didn’t’ mean to frighten you. I was just eavesdropping. I have six beautiful kids at home. You want to know what my secret is? I give my kids yes days. 

CARLOS: Yes days? What’s a yes day? 

COACH: You pick a day in the not too distant future and for 24 hours you say yes to everything your kids want. 

It’s a day where Allison and Carlos will banish “no” and say “yes” to everything their children want to do—with some ground rules. The kids have to earn their day of fun by completing homework and chores, and they can’t plan on illegal or dangerous activities. But that doesn’t preclude whacky activities like throwing lemonade-filled balloons or driving through a carwash, windows down.

When the “yes” day finally arrives, the Torres family embarks on an adventure of relearning how to enjoy and relate to each other.

NANDO: It’s yes day! Everybody wake up! 

ALLISON: Who’s ready for yes day! Hahaha. You know my rule about no bouncing on the bed? Wanna bounce on the bed? 

ELLIE: Yess!  

KIDS: Sorry guys, no screen time today. 

Carlos? Are you serious? 

KATIE: The entire day you can’t use anything that has a screen. That means no cell phone, no ipads, no laptops, nada. 

Some of those adventures in this PG-rated film include mildly inappropriate bathroom humor and language, roughhousing, and some shirtless male models. The oldest daughter, Katie, also gets away with more sass than I imagine most parents watching would allow.

But Yes Day holds some valuable lessons for families. It inspires parents raising children in a busy, often scary world to approach their parenting with a lighter touch, to remember to laugh and have fun. Sometimes “no” is simply a way to avoid inconvenience or fear. For parents who just want to be friends with their kids, the film reminds them children crave authority, too.

CARLOS: This party’s over! Stop! I said STOOOP! 

ELLIE: Yay, daddy! 

CARLOS: I said the party’s over but the cleanup starts NOW!

The too-often sassy and disrespectful Torres children also learn a few lessons. They realize the truth of the Bible’s admonishment to “honor your father and mother that it may go well with you.” The world is a not-so-cool place without loving, authoritative and, yes, sometimes “lame” parents.

KATIE: Mom! 

ALLISON: Katie! Oh honey. 

KATIE: I am so sorry. You were right about this place. You are the best mom.

ALLISON: Don’t worry. Worse has been said to moms. It’s hard to let you grow up. That’s the truth. It’s just hard for moms. 

KATIE: It would’ve been more fun to come with you anyway. 

If parents choose to watch Yes Day with children, they may want to set some ground rules of their own. My advice: Don’t watch the movie with your kids if you don’t plan on offering them some form of a “yes” day, whether a “yes” hour or a whole day planned together. I don’t have children, but I can only imagine the guilt trips afterwards if there’s no application of the “yes” day concept.

And it’s a good idea to remind children that your family “yes” day won’t be—indeed, shouldn’t be at least for insurance purposes—as zany as the Torres family’s. But you can still find ways to say yes to making memories together.

I’m Sarah Schweinsberg.

NICK EICHER, HOST: Today is Friday, March 26th. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Nick Eicher.

MYRNA BROWN, HOST: And I’m Myrna Brown. Time now for our monthly round of Listener Feedback!

Starting of course with some corrections!

EICHER: Yes, we have a few this month. First, in the introduction to our notable speech featuring UCLA basketball coach John Wooden, we mentioned a famous matchup between his school and Villanova. For some reason we said “New York’s Villanova” and that, of course, is wrong. Quite a few Villanova Wildcats among us wrote in and kindly explained their alma mater is proudly in Pennsylvania!

And then another geography miscue for which I expect some ribbing at the next family reunion down in Arkansas. We referred to Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson as governor of Arizona. Missed that one by about 13-hundred miles.

BROWN: At least we didn’t say Alabama then I’d hear it at my next family reunion! You know the WORLD listener is a very gentle and very attentive listener in bringing errors to our attention. Just about everyone even in pointing out our flaws in the same messages also expressed thanks for our work, and we certainly appreciate that encouragement!

EICHER: Yes, we do. And speaking of encouragement, a listener wrote in to thank Sarah Schweinsberg for her interview with Helen Sandvig about living through two pandemics.

Don Barber listens in Newfields, New Hampshire, and he’s a high-school teacher there. He told us about the small dry-erase board that hangs over the door to his classroom. Every few days he puts a new quote on that board and asks his students to read it as they leave the room.

After hearing Sarah’s interview with Helen Sandvig … something Helen said inspired him, and it was this:

AUDIO: I am so thankful for each day and to be able to do the things I can.

BROWN: Don said that brought a tear to his eye and inspired him to post that quotation up on the board for his students. He called Helen’s words of wisdom something we should all consider every day, no matter how old we are. And Helen Sandvig is 109, so she’s had plenty of practice living that out!

EICHER: Next we have some feedback on Janie B. Cheaney’s commentary on Ravi Zacharias. Janie said it was a shame all the details in the case didn’t come out until after his death because he didn’t have the opportunity to publicly repent. But listener Phil Wade says Zacharias did have a chance when his very first accuser came forward.

AUDIO: He doubled down on his denials, refused accountability. And his ministry more or less showed him to be the idol for them as you were suggesting the ministry was for him. So we already know how he would have responded. What we would love to know is what would have happened had the ministry handled it in a Biblical manner—pressed for accountability, pressed for the truth—instead of claiming to know what they didn’t know and trusting Ravi far beyond his trustworthiness.

BROWN: Next we have an email from Rick Porter. He’s a retired pastor and teacher from Cape Cod, Massachusetts. He wrote in after hearing Jenny Rough’s story about the pastor who fixes bicycles. He said,

From the starting sound of a bike chain turning to the redemptive message from that pastor’s heart, the story made me smile.

EICHER: Next we have a call from Jason Woodard, who listens in Battle Creek, Michigan.

AUDIO: I just wanted to say how much I appreciated the news and personal stories about the Texas power outages. The news coverage is exactly what I’ve come to expect: unbiased clear articulate coverage in a world where all the other coverage I’ve heard is politically biased and literally unbelievable. So really appreciate that and then the personal stories from some of the own WORLD folks who have lived through it were very interesting. And I appreciate the fact that it was presented as such, a personal story not news. So just love what you guys do. Keep up the good work. Thank you. I look forward to listening every single morning.

EICHER: Reminder, much as we appreciate your emails we also love hearing your voice. You heard Jason Woodard there. He called in to our listener feedback line at 202-709-9595. If you hear something during the next few weeks that you’d like to comment on, give it a try! It’s as easy as leaving us a voicemail. We’ll remind you again a little closer to the next time we do listener feedback.

BROWN: Right, and if you’re a little more tech savvy, you can record your comments using your smartphone and email them to [email protected]. You’ll find all the instructions for that on our website: Click on “Engage” from the top menu and then click on “Record a preroll.” The instructions are the same!

EICHER: Before we go, one last thing. Today, that’s right, today, is the application deadline for the 2021 World Journalism Institute. The course will be for two weeks in May at Dordt University and it will be an awesome opportunity for aspiring journalists in college to hone their skills.

So you’ve got until midnight. Journalism is a deadline business so if you’re not finished you’re really going to have to hustle. Hope to meet you in Iowa very soon.

NICK EICHER, HOST: It takes a team to put this program together and deliver it to you each morning.

Thanks are in order:

Joel Belz, Anna Johansen Brown, Kent Covington, Esther Eaton, Kristen Flavin, Katie Gaultney, Amy Lewis, Onize Ohikere, Bonnie Pritchett, Mary Reichard, Jenny Lind Schmitt, Sarah Schweinsberg, Cal Thomas, and Emily Whitten.

MARY REICHARD, HOST: Johnny Franklin and Carl Peetz are our audio engineers. Leigh Jones is managing editor. Paul Butler is executive producer. And Marvin Olasky is editor in chief.

And, thanks to you. Because of your support, you’re helping make it possible to bring Christian journalism to the marketplace of ideas.

“Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord. Peace in heaven and glory in the highest.” Have a great weekend and worship with your brothers and sisters on this Palm Sunday.

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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