PREROLL: The World and Everything in It is made possible by listeners like us. We are Dave and Darlene Bosch in Loveland, Colorado. One of our favorite moments comes on Friday when Myrna reminds us to join with your brothers and sisters in Christ in church this Sunday, which encourages this pastor’s heart. Thank you Myrna and all at WORLD for all you do. I hope you enjoy today’s program.
MYRNA BROWN, HOST: Good morning!
Basic facts are increasingly under attack as harmful. What will it take to keep telling the truth?
LIAM MORRISON: What did my shirt say? Five simple words: There. Are. Only. Two. Genders.
NICK EICHER, HOST: That’s ahead on Culture Friday with Katie McCoy. Also, the last chapter in the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise.
ROCKET: I’m done running.
And Ask the Editor.
BROWN: It’s Friday, May 5th. This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Myrna Brown.
EICHER: And I’m Nick Eicher. Good morning!
BROWN: Up next, Kent Covington with today’s news.
KENT COVINGTON, NEWS ANCHOR: Ukraine » The White House is firing back after Moscow accused Ukraine and the United States of launching what it claimed was a drone attack on the Kremlin.
National Security Council spokesman John Kirby responded to the claims by the Kremlin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov:
KIRBY: The United States was not involved in this incident in any way, contrary to Mr. Peskov’s lies. And that’s what they are, just lies.
Russian leaders claim Ukrainian drones targeted the Kremlin, and that Washington helped Kyiv carry out the attack.
Top Ukrainian officials say it was likely a “false flag” attack staged by Moscow to fuel its propaganda.
But Kirby says other than to declare that the U.S. wasn’t involved, the White House isn’t ready to comment.
KIRBY: We’re still trying to gather information about what happened, and we just don’t have conclusive evidence one way or the other.
Russia claimed the attack was an assassination attempt against Vladimir Putin. Kirby said the US “certainly would not support” a strike “against Mr. Putin.”
Border » Border towns continue to brace for a massive surge of migrants. Texas GOP Senator Ted Cruz weighed in on Thursday.
TED CRUZ: The crisis at our southern border is the worst in history. We’ve had over 6 million cross illegally under Joe Biden. And next week they’re going to lift Title 42, which means the numbers will go up.
The expiration of the pandemic-era Title 42 rule next Thursday will make it easier for migrants who cross the border to remain in the United States.
The White House says it’s prepared. Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre:
KARINE JEAN-PIERRE: We have been putting forth policies and programs for the past several months, kind of heading into May 11th and understanding that Title 42 is going to lift.
The Biden administration moved to lift the rule last year, but multiple court rulings delayed its expiration until next week.
VP Harris AI meetings » The Biden administration is putting artificial intelligence under the microscope amid growing concerns about the cutting edge tech. WORLD’s Josh Schumacher has more.
JOSH SCHUMACHER: Vice President Kamala Harris met Thursday with leaders of the companies behind new AI tools like ChatGPT and Google’s Bard.
The meeting comes as the administration prepares to spend $140 million dollars to study the impact of those tools.. The funds will go to create seven new research groups.
The Administration says it is also taking steps to have an independent assessment of artificial intelligence engines, as well as an examination of their risks.
Top technology figures like Elon Musk have recently urged companies to pump the brakes on AI development until experts better understand those risks.
For WORLD, I’m Josh Schumacher.
Porn industry sues over age law » A pornography industry group is suing to halt a new Utah law that requires pornographic websites to verify the age of users.
The law took effect Wednesday. It made Utah the second state to require such websites to verify ages to protect children.
But multiple plaintiffs argue the new law unfairly discriminates against certain kinds of speech.
Utah’s new law comes less than a year after Louisiana enacted similar protections for children.
Abortion roundup » State governments across the country have passed abortion legislation this week, both to limit and allow it. WORLD’s Anna Johansen Brown has more.
ANNA JOHANSEN BROWN: Montana’s governor signed pro-life bills into law, including one that declares that the right to privacy in the state constitution does not include abortion.
A Montana court also blocked a law this week that would have required doctors to show an abortion was medically necessary before Medicaid would pay for it.
In Utah a court blocked a law that would have banned abortion centers altogether.
In North Carolina lawmakers say they’ve agreed to extend protection to unborn babies from 12 to 20 weeks.
The law needs a veto-proof majority to survive—which it likely has.
But Maryland’s governor signed a pro-abortion bill into law.
The state will also put a constitutional amendment on the ballot next year that would guarantee abortion access.
And in New York a new rule requires private insurance companies to cover abortion drugs.
For WORLD, I’m Anna Johansen Brown.
Proud Boys » A Washington D.C. jury has convicted four leaders of the group known as the Proud Boys of seditious conspiracy. The charge carries a sentence of up to 20 years in prison.
Jurors cleared a fifth defendant of the seditious conspiracy charge, but still convicted him of several other felonies.
Attorney General Merrick Garland:
MERRICK GARLAND: Today’s verdict makes clear that the Justice Department will do everything in its power to defend the American people and American democracy.
The Justice Department has also hit several members of the Oath Keepers group with similar charges.
I’m Kent Covington. Straight ahead: Culture Friday with Katie McCoy. Plus, wrapping up Guardians of the Galaxy.
This is The World and Everything in It.
NICK EICHER, HOST: It’s the 5th day of May 2023.
Glad to have you along for today’s edition of The World and Everything in It. Good morning, I’m Nick Eicher.
MYRNA BROWN, HOST: And I’m Myrna Brown. It’s Culture Friday.
Joining us now is Katie McCoy. She has a PhD in theology and is author of the new book “To Be A Woman.” Good morning, Katie!
KATIE McCOY, GUEST: Great to see you all again.
BROWN: Katie, in about two weeks we’ll start seeing posts on social media, posters around town, depending on where you live, maybe even a few TV and radio ads, all promoting the so-called, “Pride Month”. Here’s why I bring that up:
On March 21st, in Middleborough, Massachusetts, a seventh grader was taken out of gym class, questioned by school staff and asked to remove his tee shirt. Here’s audio from 12-year-old Liam Morrison, standing before a group of adults at a school committee meeting, explaining why he was told he was singled out.
LIAM MORRISON: What did my shirt say? Five simple words: There. Are. Only. Two. Genders. Nothing harmful, nothing threatening, just a statement I believe to be a fact. I have been told that my shirt was targeting a protected class. Who is this protected class? Are their feelings more important than my rights? I don’t complain when I see pride flags and diversity posters hung throughout the school? Do you know why? Because others have a right to their beliefs just as I do.
It’s not clear if young Liam’s beliefs stem from the Bible. I sure hope it does. What is clear to me is his courage. Two questions Katie: What would you say to this kid? How do we equip more kids and adults to be this bold and articulate?
McCOY: I would say, ‘Well done, and you must have some really great parents,’ because this is going to become more and more incumbent upon all of us to take a stand on what we believe Scripture says about who we are, not just as male and female, but as human beings. What does it mean to be a human being created in the image of God? And today, the simplest statements are going to seem very bigoted to a world that in sexual orientation and gender identity laws, we are essentially as a nation, selling our soul on the altar of SOGI. And we see every year with every Pride Month that more and more businesses and organizations sign on to this. You mentioned the Pride Month coming up something that people don’t always realize, this was pretty new to me recently, is that businesses are being graded according to something called the Corporate Equality Index. And that Corporate Equality Index is essentially dictating for businesses, a new ethical system, and they are being scored, so to speak, on the degree to which they include LGBTQIA+ members in their marketing and in their business. So much of what this young man went up against was not just the new ethos socially, but it’s also the new ethos that we’re seeing our corporate America buy into as well.
EICHER: Well, Katie, I want to talk to you about a story we reported in WORLD and on our program yesterday, so called trans refuge states, specifically the states of Minnesota, and Washington state. And I want to match that against what’s happening here in the state where I live the state of Missouri, where our state attorney general is considering trying to regulate transgender medical procedures under consumer protection law.
Now taken together on this and other issues, I think we’re seeing a sort of culture war between the states where you have some states protecting unborn children, some states not, some states protecting children from puberty blockers and opposite sex hormone injections or pills or surgeries. And some states again, such as Minnesota, going so far as to promote such things.
Minnesota is a very different place today than when I was growing up there decades ago. How do you begin to analyze this?
McCOY: Yeah, now one thing I noticed with both of the laws in Missouri and then also Minnesota, how different they are. So when I take a look at both of these laws, there’s two factors that stand out to me. The first is, is there any precedent for restricting access to certain products, prerogatives, and procedures? Do we have that in our society? Well, we’ve got products like tobacco and alcohol, there’s age restriction there. We’ve got prerogatives like voting, driving a car, by a certain age, so there’s age restriction there. And then procedures. So for instance, joining the military, there’s an age restriction there, as well. By the way, in Minnesota, the now trans refuge state, minors can’t get their ears pierced without a parent or guardian’s consent and physical presence, and no one under the age of 18 can get a tattoo. So just in this one state, in Minnesota, there’s loads of precedent for age restrictions on procedures that alter one’s body in even very less consequential ways. So we’ve got that question of precedent. But then there’s also the question of, does the policy institute verifiably helpful and necessary treatments, and now we get into the debate over whether so called gender affirming care is really beneficial. Our own FDA said that puberty blockers are linked to brain swelling and greater risk of stroke in adolescence. There are studies where the data is misrepresented to say that transgender affirming care is beneficial for children on puberty blockers. And those studies are found very flawed when peer review starts picking away at them. In fact, there was one out of the University of Washington, we wouldn’t have known that the data was misrepresented and there were all these flaws in the study, were it not for a leaked internal email showing they were trying to cover up the real findings of that study. And then, of course, there’s a study in Sweden, and that study found that among post-operative transsexuals, there was a considerably higher risk of suicidal behavior. Now, what we’re hearing also from the detransitioner community is that there are often underlying psychiatric issues that go unaddressed by health care providers and counselors. So this question of precedent, we’ve settled that, and then the question of can we actually say that so-called gender affirming care is beneficial. And we can’t say that. So we have a generation of children being ushered into therapies and procedures, that we don’t even know what the effect of them is going to be. And not only that, but we’re starting to see a lot more research to verify that it is not only unhelpful, but it is adding to their personal and psychological harm.
EICHER: At WORLD we’ve done some reporting, and I know we’re planning to report more on what Missouri’s trying to do here. But given the research you’ve done, talk a little bit about the hurdles and safeguards the A-G is wanting to set up, and whether that compassionately gets at some of the problems you’re familiar with, especially as young girls are concerned.
McCOY: Yeah, the Missouri law is fascinating, because what they have essentially done is instituted the approach called watchful waiting in in Missouri for all gender dysphoric, teens and children. And when I read about the law, I’m no lawyer, but it reminded me of how they got Al Capone on the basis of his tax evasion. It was a little bit like that, like they took a really roundabout approach, and made this about consumer protection, which typically protects Missouri citizens from scams, and said, we’re going to categorize some of this so-called gender affirming care as a scam, and impose these restrictions or limitations. But here are a few things that that Missouri law does.
First, it requires the child to be screened for autism or other mental health issues. Well, right there, if you had adolescents screened for those things, and treated and helped for those things, we’re hearing from even the detransitioner community that that’s what they needed to begin with. They didn’t have a gender dysphoria issue. They had anxiety and depression, they had, they had social complications related to autism, and they needed long term solutions for that, not to be put on cross sex hormones, or amputating healthy organs.
The other thing that that law does as well, is it provides this stipulation where children need 15 therapy sessions over the course of 18 months. And one thing that I hear from medical doctor named Andrè Van Mol, who’s done considerable work on this and represented this issue even in federal courts. He’s described how not only do children need counseling, but families typically need therapy as well. There are behaviors and attitudes that go back years that are often being expressed, especially in the case of sudden gender dysphoria. All of this harmonizes with what we’re learning about especially teen girls who, seemingly overnight, develop gender dysphoria and adopt a trans identity. There are any number of factors that are influencing them, and they are fixating or centering the causes of their distress on this issue of gender identity, in part because they’re looking for a way to express what is wrong in their lives or to cope with it. And so the Missouri law is really fascinating. It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out, and how teens and children in Missouri respond as they start getting some
psychological and more comprehensive care.
BROWN: Katie McCoy has a PhD in theology and is author of the new book “To Be A Woman.” Thank you, Katie.
McCOY: Great to be with you, as always.
NICK EICHER, HOST: If you fly often enough, you know all kinds of things can keep a plane from taking off on time. But this one has gotta be a first.
Last week, Anjali Enjeti was waiting to board her plane out of Houston when the Delta boarding agents made an unusual announcement that there was something wrong: namely, a swarm of bees had covered the winglet on tip of the plane’s wing.
Business as usual? Not even close. Anjali posted updates to Twitter for the better part of three hours as the ground crew tried to figure out how to remove the bees.
Turns out, beekeepers aren’t allowed to touch airplanes, so that’s a problem. Pest control can’t spray them. Strike two. So …
ANJALI ENJETI: They’ve lit the exhaust to smoke them. They’re going to try and smoke them off.
Right, they fired up the Tug. That’s the diesel generator that supplies power to parked planes. Didn’t work.
What did work was firing up the jet engines. They had to take that as a threat.
MYRNA BROWN, HOST: That’s what I call buzzing off.
It’s The World and Everything in It.
MYRNA BROWN, HOST: Today is Friday, May 5th. Thank you for turning to WORLD Radio to help start your day. Good morning. I’m Myrna Brown.
NICK EICHER, HOST: And I’m Nick Eicher. Coming next on The World and Everything in It: the end of an era.
This weekend, fans head to theaters for one of the year’s most anticipated movies, Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3. Here’s WORLD arts and culture editor Collin Garbarino to talk about the finale of one of Marvel Studios’ most popular sagas.
COLLIN GARBARINO: Ten years ago, director James Gunn took some of Marvel’s most obscure comic book characters and turned them into a box office phenomenon with Guardians of the Galaxy. These roguish space cowboys became one of the most popular franchises within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Gunn recently took a job at Marvel’s rival DC Studios, so Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.3 will be his last movie for Marvel. But with it, he gives his heroic group of rag-tag misfits an emotionally satisfying send off.
The whole gang’s back for the trilogy’s finale. Peter Quill, once again played by Chris Pratt, pines after Gamora, once again played by Zoe Saldana.
PETER: And maybe. Maybe if you open yourself up to it, there’s a possibility—
GAMORA: I don’t think so, Quinn.
Karen Gillan, Dave Bautista, Pom Klementieff, and Vin Diesel are also back as Nebula, Drax, Mantis, and an adolescent Groot.
PETER: But what I’m trying to say —
MANTIS: Peter, you know this is an open line, right?
MANTIS: We’re listening to everything you’re saying.
DRAX: And it is painful.
PETER: And you’re just telling me now?
NEBULA: We were hoping it would stop on its own.
All the characters get their moments—but this movie is all about the galaxy’s favorite raccoon, Rocket, again voiced by Bradley Cooper.
ROCKET: Someday, I’m going to make great machines that fly. And me and my friends are going to go flying together. Into the forever and beautiful sky.
In the first Guardians movie, the team came together to save a planet. Then in the second, they had to save the universe. This time the stakes are a little lower, but more personal. The Guardians of the Galaxy fight to save one of their own.
NEBULA: You left out some important information, but that is the gist of it.
Their enemy is The High Evolutionary, an immoral eugenicist who plays god by tinkering with living beings.
THE HIGH EVOLUTIONARY: I’m not trying to conquer the universe. I’m perfecting it.
The earlier films were silly romps, and like them Vol. 3 has plenty of swagger and quippy jokes.
DRAX: And we’ll kill anyone who gets in our way!
PETER: We will not kill anyone.
DRAX: Kill a few people.
PETER: Kill no people.
DRAX: Kill one guy. One stupid guy who nobody loves.
PETER: Now you’re just making it sad.
But a sense of finality looms over the film, and from the beginning, it evokes a melancholic tone. It’s not necessarily a darker movie, just sadder, and some fans won’t be prepared for the goofy Guardians franchise turning into a bit of a tear-jerker.
Speaking of preparation, with the Marvel Cinematic Universe sprawling across 30 movies and eight TV shows, moviegoers increasingly need to know how much background is necessary to enjoy the show. Thankfully, this film manages to ignore the last four years of Marvel movies, so all that’s needed is to have seen the previous two Guardians movies and be familiar with the events of Avengers: Endgame.
PETER: She was my girlfriend. Only she doesn’t remember it because it wasn’t her, because her dad threw her off a magic cliff and she died and I lost my temper and nearly destroyed half the universe.
The movie is rated PG-13 for sci-fi violence and some strong language on par with the previous installments. But the movie scores points with me by sticking to its own story rather than setting up future installments of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. There’s a real sense of closure.
ROCKET: I’m done running.
James Gunn’s Catholic upbringing haunts Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. He incorporates some religious visuals, though it’s not always easy to know what’s intended by them. Christian themes also show up in the script: We see love, sacrifice, and forgiveness, as well as the value and dignity of life.
The movie has its faults though. It’s a little too long and thematically doesn’t break much new ground. Each of the three films features a bad father figure and explores the consequences of broken families. But we also see the joys of adoptive families and close community.
PETER: Drax, stay here with Rocket. Watch him. That’s who they’re coming for.
DRAX: I want to come.
PETER: No. Mantis, watch Drax.
Those looking for the fast-paced nostalgia-driven humor of earlier movies might not enjoy this one. Despite plenty of old-school needle drops, Vol. 3 suggests our obsession with the past isn’t healthy. Peter tries to recapture an idealized version of the past, and Rocket tries to forget it. Neither can become whole until they’ve moved on.
But there’s a sadness to moving on, and the audience will be left with a bitter-sweet ache as James Gunn says goodbye to these old friends.
I’m Collin Garbarino
MYRNA BROWN, HOST: Today is Friday, May 5th. Good morning! 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. A quick comment about yesterday’s interview with Erin Hawley—senior counsel at Alliance Defending Freedom and WORLD Opinions contributor.
During our interview she referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee. In the spirit of full disclosure, we missed an opportunity to let the listener know that Hawley’s husband—Senator Josh Hawley—serves on that committee. We should have mentioned that. We didn’t. So we are now.
BROWN: All right, time now for Ask the Editor. Today, we answer a recent listener question about how we occasionally identify a particular political ideology—and those who hold it. Here’s WORLD Radio Executive Producer Paul Butler.
PAUL BUTLER: Before I get to today’s question, I want to start by playing a soundbite of Al Sharpton from April 13th. It provides some necessary context to today’s question. Sharpton was speaking at the National Action Network conference:
SHARPTON: We gotta stop using progressive as a noun and use it as an adjective. Your label is progressive but your action is regressive.
I hadn’t heard this clip until a couple weeks ago, when I read this note from listener Michael Mosley:
“Even Al Sharpton has figured out that so-called ‘progressives’ are not progressive. So when is WORLD … going to stop calling them progressive? They’re more like regressive.”
I’ll admit I was a little defensive when I first read the note…you see, our WORLD Radio style guide includes this encouragement for us as reporters and editors:
The term “progressive” should be “avoided, except when it’s part of the proper name of an organization. The term suggests that one faction supports progress and its opponents are against progress.”
So I was ready to fire off that response when I thought: “perhaps I should do a quick search of our recent transcripts first.” I didn’t expect to get many returns, but was surprised to find out that the term’s been used quite a few times recently. Here are four examples:
STEVE WEST: But the larger issue is whether Disney knows its audience well enough, it needs to hear from shareholders concerned about its foray into progressive gender ideology and its films …
JULIANNA ERICKSON: And so Somerville is a fairly progressive liberal city…
CAL THOMAS: …with the goal being a good education, not fulfilling some secular progression, objective of diversity…
KATIE MCCOY: The UK, Sweden, and Finland are all countries that have been very progressive about transgender therapies for minors. They are reversing course in our own cultural psyche. We tend to believe that all change is progress and all progress is good…
I think it’s clear in all four clips that we’re not using the term positively—in fact, I like what Katie McCoy said—not all change is actually progress. So I think most of you understand exactly what we’re saying when we use the term: “progressive.”
But that doesn’t change the fact that our style guide discourages us from using the term. So I decided to bring the topic up during this week’s Editorial Council meeting.
Here’s a few highlights of that conversation:
MICKEY: It’s kind of a euphemism to me. To me it’s just kind of a namby-pamby way of calling a liberal a liberal.
TIM: But they’re not liberal.
MICKEY: Not in the classic sense, no.
NICK: And that’s the problem.
TIM: I prefer progressive to liberal because they’re not liberal. And I do think that progress is how they think of their ideology. Just as a conservative belief in conserving something that, that sort of seems like the opposite of conserving is, is moving forward…
NICK: It’s sort of the bad politics version of being reformed, you know, always reforming, they’re always progressing, but progressivism, there’s no limit to it.
LYNDE: I’ve told my writers instead of saying progressive, let’s reference what belief is relevant to the story…
Albert Mohler doesn’t sit on the editorial council, but as the executive editor of WORLD Opinions, I wanted to hear what he had to say as well:
ALBERT MOHLER: Writing is about communication and communication requires accurate but reductive language. For the WORLD Opinions side I simply have to say that if we avoid using the language currently employed in the larger culture, we would make no sense to ourselves or to others.
I will say that there is no way to write editorial content without using words like “conservative,” “liberal,” “progressive/progressivist,” and, occasionally, “reactionary.” The same holds for “left,” “right,” and “center.” Again, each contains a thousand arguments.
The listener makes a moral point but, if adopted, his proposal would mean that no reader will be able to understand our eccentric vocabulary.
Now you should know that we are in the process of updating our WORLD Policy Handbook and style guide for the first time since 2019, so this is an ongoing discussion that we’re addressing for the upcoming edition. But the growing consensus within our current editorial leadership is that we must avoid using the term “progressive” if it’s merely covering for sloppy reporting…that’s true of any label.
But as Albert Mohler rightly points out there are times when the term “progressive” is appropriate—shorthand for identifying those who desire—as Tim Lamer said—to “move beyond” Biblical truth and traditional values. Or as Nick Eicher pointed out, for those who only wish to progress to the next restraint in order to cast it off. And that brings us back to what Mickey Mclean suggested, that sometimes we need the courage to use more accurate terms—calling a spade a spade…
Finally we acknowledge that the term “progressive” is abstract. So, as Lynde Langdon said, if we can identify the specific belief in question instead … it will make our stories more concrete … more clear … and frankly better.
So Michael, thanks for the question…it’s provided a great opportunity for our editors to discuss it, and bear with us as we make progress toward a unified answer.
I’m Paul Butler.
NICK EICHER, HOST: Well, it’s time to say thanks to the team members who helped put the program together this week: Mary Reichard, David Bahnsen, Addie Offereins, Emily Whitten, Steve West, Jenny Rough, Ryan Bomberger, Travis Kircher, Cal Thomas, Collin Garbarino, Anna Johansen Brown, and Katie McCoy.
Thanks also to our breaking news team: Kent Covington, Lynde Langdon, Steve Kloosterman, Mary Muncy, Lauren Canterberry, and Josh Schumacher.
And our guys who stay up late to get the program to you early … Johnny Franklin and Carl Peetz.
MYRNA BROWN, HOST: Our producer is Harrison Watters with production assistance from Benj Eicher, Lillian Hamman, and Bekah McCallum.
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 says: “And the man Micah had a shrine, and he made an ephod and household gods, and ordained one of his sons, who became his priest. In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” Judges 17:5-6
Remember to worship the Lord this weekend with your brothers and sisters in Christ! Lord willing, we’ll meet you right back here on Monday.
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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