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Contents           ,     /        ,       

     

36 Remember those who are in prison

It’s a new day for China’s Communist leadership, but not for the dissidents the government imprisons. They linger in remote jails, beaten, forgotten, and cut off from work, fellowship, friends, and family. WORLD’s  Daniels of the Year are these outspoken Chinese Christians and their long-suffering loved ones      

46 Mistakes were made

Despite his election victory, President Obama and other officials face hard questions over Benghazi attack

48 Conservative insider

PAUL TELLER directs the Republican Study Committee at a pivotal post-election time

52 Standing with the brethren

A group of Nigerian-Americans organizes to support violenceplagued Christians in Nigeria

56 Back to the journalist’s lane

Exposing scandal takes perseverance and fortitude, but seeing our corruption leads to seeing God’s grace

  :        ,    ;    /

 

7 News 16 Human Race 18 Quotables 20 Quick Takes


 

25 Movies & TV 28 Books 30 Q&A (Micheal Flaherty) 32 Music 


61 Lifestyle 64 Technology 66 Science 67 Houses of God 68 Sports 69 Money 70 Religion 72 Education 




4 Joel Belz 22 Janie B. Cheaney 34 Mindy Belz 75 Mailbag 79 Andrée Seu Peterson 80 Marvin Olasky

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11/28/12 10:52 AM

“The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof; the world and those who dwell therein.” —Psalm 24:1 EDITORIAL editor in chief Marvin Olasky editor Mindy Belz managing editor Timothy Lamer news editor  Jamie Dean senior writers  Janie B. Cheaney, Susan Olasky, Andrée Seu Peterson, John Piper, Edward E. ­Plowman, Cal Thomas, Gene Edward Veith, Lynn Vincent reporters Emily Belz, Daniel James Devine, Angela Lu, Edward Lee Pitts correspondents Megan Basham, Mark Bergin, Anthony Bradley, Alicia M. Cohn, John Dawson, J.C. Derrick, Amy Henry, Meghan Keane, Thomas S. Kidd, Michael Leaser, Jill Nelson, Arsenio Orteza, Tiffany Owens, Stephanie Perrault, Emily Whitten mailbag editor Les Sillars executive assistant  June McGraw editorial assistants  Kristin Chapman, Katrina Gettman

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Joel Belz

Our culture of deceit No one likes being lied to, and yet we intentionally mislead others



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Complicated? Complicated on purpose. Did I feel snookered? You’d better believe it. I felt lied to. I’m sure the bank behind the mailing vetted all the copy with its lawyers—and that its officers would argue in court that the fine print was technically accurate. There’s a big difference, though, between accuracy and honesty. But it’s not just the big banks that worry me right now. Coming out of a presidential election campaign in which all sides repeatedly and radically distorted the truth, it’s time to assert again and again—as I stressed in my previous column in this space—that it’s more than the political process that needs cleaning up. It’s our whole culture. The political process will be saturated with dishonesty as long as the culture itself is saturated with dishonesty. So was it unusual last week when technology giant Hewlett-Packard charged that it had been duped last year—to the tune of perhaps . billion—when it purchased a software company in England? “There appears to have been willful sustained effort” by the selling company to inflate indicators of its revenue and profitability, CEO Meg Whitman told The Wall Street Journal. “This was designed to be hidden.” “Designed to be hidden.” It’s a phrase that may well have become the mantra of our age in commerce, banking, real estate, education, science, sports, journalism, government, and politics. In all those contexts, and others, our culture has learned how to play fast and loose with the truth. And we Christian believers aren’t immune to the infection that saturates the culture we live in. There is a solution. Jesus, who called Himself “The Truth,” offered the Golden Rule as a measuring device for all kinds of behavior— including the temptation to lie. So the next time you’re tempted, in your personal or corporate life, remind yourself how much you hate being lied to, and ask: “Would I want the person I’m addressing to treat me in such a manner?” I wish my bank had asked itself that question. Because they didn’t, they just lost a long-time customer. A


I ’    . It was bad enough when I had little children, and discovered now and then that they were twisting the truth to get out of a jam. (I’ll confess I did that as well, and too often when I was no longer a small child— leaving my parents in the same distressed state of mind). But it’s ever so much worse when the person doing the lying has deliberately conceived a falsehood. We’re talking about someone who, with an eye on cheating or injuring you, tries to trick you by saying something that absolutely is not true. I had something like that happen this morning— and my guess is that you’ve experienced similar efforts. The attempt to deceive me came in an envelope from a bank with whom I’ve done business for  years. “Borrow , from us,” the bank said, “and we’ll charge you no interest for the coming  months.” Or: “Transfer up to , in other balances, and we’ll let you use that money interest-free for the coming year.” To make it especially easy for me to fall into their trap, the bank sent me a blank check. All I needed to do was fill in the amount and sign my name. No interest, they promised. The fine print explained, of course, that I would be billed for a “fee” amounting to  percent of whatever amount I borrowed. If I chose, for example, to borrow ,, I would immediately owe the bank ,—and nobody bothered to explain how such a “fee” is different from “interest.” Neither did they note why such “interest” gets tacked on at the front end of the loan. And they didn’t explain why the bank lumps this  in with the rest of the loan, but doesn’t include the  in the interest free offer—feeling free instead to charge its higher interest rate (½ percent) on the  until it’s paid back. Or why all payments I make must go first to pay off the interest free part before even one penny goes to pay off the high interest !


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11/26/12 10:51 PM

Dispatches News > Human Race > Quotables > Quick Takes

Power grab


Demonstrators take to the streets—again— as signs of an Islamist-hardened Egypt emerge by jamie dean


Before violent clashes filled Cairo’s Tahrir Square after President Mohammed Morsi declared massive presidential powers on Nov. 22, a disturbing spate of less-noticed acts of aggression unfolded nearby. Two women wearing face veils cut off the hair of an unveiled Christian woman riding Cairo’s subway on Nov. 11. A week earlier, another fully veiled woman cut the hair of an unveiled 13-year-old girl riding the subway. During the same week, an Egyptian court in the southern town of Luxor sentenced an Egyptian schoolteacher to a suspended prison sentence for cutting off the hair of two unveiled 12-year-old girls. The incidents didn’t command widespread attention during Egypt’s latest political tur-

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moil, but they illustrated a dynamic that worries secularists and religious minorities: Is an Islamist-dominated government fueling an Islamist-hardening of Egyptian culture? The cruelly cut hair of a few Christian women isn’t the only sign pointing to yes. President Morsi, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, deepened those fears by declaring a sweeping set of new presidential powers: The declaration exempts Morsi’s decisions from judicial review, leaving the president with power over the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government. (Morsi had already claimed authority over the legislature after his election in June.) Thousands of demonstrators poured into Tahrir TURMOIL: Square to protest the decree Tens of that gives Morsi far more thousands of Egyptians power than President Hosni protest in Mubarak held before his Tahrir Square ouster in February 2011. against Morsi Egypt’s highest body of on Nov. 27.

D e c e m b e r 1 5 , 2 0 1 2 • W O R L D 


11/28/12 10:43 AM

Dispatches > News

LOOKING AHEAD Electoral College votes On Dec.  a majority

Hamas rally With violence flaring between Palestinians in Gaza and Israelis, Hamas’ th anniversary on Dec.  may add fuel to the fire. Prior to the November hostilities, experts expected thousands of Hamas supporters to pour into the streets of Gaza City to support the terrorist organization. With tempers now escalated, supporters of Hamas, founded on Dec. , , could become violent.

of voters in the nation’s Electoral College will select Barack Obama as the next president of the United States. Democrats and Republicans choose their own electors from a pool of party faithful. And though more than  times in the nation’s history electors have voted for someone other than their party’s nominees, rogue votes have never changed the outcome of a presidential election.

The Hobbit opens

On Dec. , fans of J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy novel, The Hobbit, will likely be lining up for the theatrical debut of a new movie series by the same name. The Hobbit: The Unexpected Journey hits U.S. theaters as director Peter Jackson’s first of a three-part film treatment of Tolkien’s  fantasy classic, as well as a prequel to the acclaimed and revered Lord of the Rings trilogy.

End of the world?

Doomsday watchers and Discovery Channel devotees alike will approach Dec.  with trepidation—the day that, according to some interpretations of an ancient Mayan calendar, the world will end. And while the day may not signal the end of the world, it probably will signal the end of the cash cow surrounding the Mayan calendar. To date, over  books are listed on for Mayan  conspiracies.


judges called the power grab an “unprecedented assault” on the judiciary. Protesters in Tahrir Square carried signs warning that Morsi had declared himself the country’s new pharaoh. Morsi said the decision was necessary to help the struggling post-revolutionary country through an unstable transition period. The president’s spokesman said the decree had some limits, though it remained unclear what (if any) decisions Morsi would allow to undergo judicial review. Protesters didn’t accept Morsi’s promise not to oppress anyone, and a growing coalition of political leaders denounced the presidential decree, including at least one former Muslim Brotherhood leader. Political turmoil has been brewing for months, as a committee drafting a new constitution began falling apart. Secular and Christian leaders complained that hardline Islamists were determined to draft a constitution heavily influenced by Sharia law. Such a document could threaten already-endangered religious liberties and freedom of speech. By early November, at least  members of the constitutional assembly had resigned. Those members included representatives from Egyptian churches. Hardline Salafi groups protested when the newly appointed pope for Egypt’s Coptic Christians called for a secular constitution. Pope Tawadros II told an Egyptian television station in early November he would encourage long-marginalized Christians to become more involved in public and political life, and he called on the constitutional assembly to draft a document that would protect all Egyptians: “Any additions or hints that make the constitution religious will not be acceptable, not only to Copts but to many sectors in society.” Less than a week later, thousands of Islamist demonstrators filled Tahrir Square calling for a constitution informed by Islamic law. Some carried signs calling for a return to punishments like cutting off the hands of thieves. The Muslim Brotherhood hasn’t advocated such a strict adherence to Sharia law in civil life in Egypt, but Christians and secularists who worry about their future under Morsi are also worried about the kinds of chants pouring from Islamists in Tahrir Square: “The Quran is our constitution.” A

Nobel Prize awarded

European Commission President José Manuel Barroso will join other European Union leaders to collect the Nobel Peace Prize from Norwegian King Harald V on Dec. . The choice to award the European Union the prestigious prize was criticized by some who note the prize usually goes to successful diplomats or human-rights activists.


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11/19/12 9:44 AM

Dispatches > News

Case closed

Israel’s new reality That scenario confronts Israel with a new reality: Increasingly sophisticated missiles from Iran are making their way to Gaza via its recently relaxed border with Egypt. Iranians reportedly provided Hamas militants in Gaza with about 100 Fajr-5 rockets—each capable of traveling nearly 50 miles, putting both Jerusalem and Tel Aviv within reach. Last month for the first time Hamas targeted Tel Aviv suburbs with missile launches, prompting Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) to launch airstrikes and threaten a ground attack on Gaza, the Palestinian area at its southern border controlled by Hamas. The IDF last month launched over 1,000 air assaults on targets in Gaza in an eightday conflict that left over 130 Palestinians and five Israelis dead. A Nov. 21 ceasefire compelled both sides to stop launching attacks, and set a 90–day timetable for a more permanent agreement.

Fiery record Safety violations that included non-working fire extinguishers and locked emergency exits contributed to a garment factory blaze in Bangladesh on Nov. 24 that killed 120 people. Bangladesh is the second-largest exporter of ready-made clothing in the world, after China. The factory has ­produced clothing for Wal-Mart, French discount chain Carrefour, and IKEA. But as the industry has exploded—from 47 ­garment factories in 1982 to more than 4,000 today—officials have ignored reports of poor conditions and low pay that make it a dangerous trade: Since 2006 more than 300 people in Bangladesh have died in garment factory fires.


WORLD • December 15, 2012

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Israel: Oded Balilty/ap • ChaudHry: Anjum Naveed/ap • fire: Hasan Raza/ap

Israel’s latest move against Gaza may have begun before it launched an airstrike on Nov. 14 that killed Hamas commander Ahmad Jabari. In October when flames destroyed an arms factory in Sudan, IMPACTS: Residential Sudanese officials building near Tel Aviv blamed it on an sustains damage from a rocket fired Israeli airstrike. by militants in the That now appears Gaza Strip. likely, as evidence suggests Sudan has been working with Iran to manufacture and supply Hamas with sophisticated rockets using the weapons factory in Khartoum. “To put it simply, it was Iranian-made Fajr-5s, imported via Sudan, that prompted this war,” Jonathan Schanzer, vice president at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, told The Washington Free Beacon. “Iran’s fingerprints are all over this.”

A Pakistani juvenile court judge on Nov. 20 dropped charges against Rimsha Masih, the 14-year-old girl accused of blasphemy last August for desecrating Islamic texts. At one time officials held Masih in a maximum security prison for weeks and scheduled her to be tried in an adult court, where punishment could be life imprisonment or death. But the ruling judge cited “fake allegations” brought against Masih, and said they “should not be leveled against any Muslim or non-Muslim.” The imam who accused Masih of blasphemy may be tried for making a false accusation, observers said. “This is the first case of its kind when a person charged under the strict blasphemy laws is exonerated from the accusation,” said Naveed Chaudhry (above), a lawyer for Masih. Your online source for today’s news, Christian views 

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For graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed the program and other important info visit (12014) 2/12

Dispatches > News    U.S. health officials say the spread of the AIDS virus is now heavily concentrated in a tiny segment of the population: young men who have sex with other males. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Nov.  released new numbers showing three-fourths of new infections in the -to- age group are from homosexual practice, with only one-quarter from injecting drugs or heterosexual sex. It also said blacks represent more than half of new infections in youths.

Fighting in Congo

Overall, new U.S. HIV infections have held steady at around , annually. About , are in teens

The three major greenhouse gases—carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide— reached record levels in the atmosphere in , the World Meteorological Organization reported. While the UN body claimed rising CO and temperatures would impact “all aspects of life on Earth,” it failed to include a proper global perspective: China, a longtime obstacle to UN emission reduction goals, was by far the largest carbon emitter in , and increased its output  percent. By contrast, emissions fell  percent to  percent in the United States and Europe.



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with HIV haven’t been tested.


Sunrise Bakery in Anchorage received its last shipment of supplies on Nov.  to turn out Hostess Twinkies, Wonder bread, and other goods ahead of an expected closure. The renowned nationwide snack food maker got an OK from a bankruptcy judge last month to shut down after failing to reach agreement to end a strike by its bakers union. The Anchorage bakery has baked, delivered, and sold dozens of Hostess products since , according to local news reports. With the end of Hostess products in sight, fans began to stock up on eBay, where a lot of  boxes of Twinkies and cupcakes were going for  and up. On Nov. , one seller started bidding on a -box lot at ,.

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11/28/12 11:32 AM


Carbon skies

and young adults, and most youth


Citizens of the Democratic Republic of Congo hunkered down as rebel forces gained ground against the government’s disorganized army in the impoverished nation’s worst fighting since July. The rebel M Movement, at war with the Congolese government since April, on Nov.  took control of Goma, a regional capital along the country’s eastern border. Some residents cheered the rebels as liberators, but others privately admitted residents fear them. VIOLENCE The M rebels, believed to be funded by neighboring Rwanda, ESCALATES: Casualties accuse Congolese leaders of breaking a March , , peace agreemount on ment and say they won’t retreat until the government agrees to all sides. negotiate with them. Near the end of November, African leaders tried to broker a peace deal while the two armies maneuvered troops in preparation for further fighting. Locals accuse both rebel and government soldiers of killing, looting, and raping during a war that has displaced half a million people this year. According to World Relief, a group that has worked in Goma since , the conflict has led to  million deaths in the last eight years.

A long way from normal

A month after Superstorm Sandy, New York and New Jersey are reeling By Emily Belz in Seaside Park, N.J.

congo: PHIL MOORE/AFP/Getty Images • male image: istock • china: Rex Features via AP Images • twinkies: istock

Seth Wenig/ap


News helicopters aren’t hovering over Superstorm Sandy– wrecked coastlines anymore, but many businesses and homes are still pumping out seawater and trying to recover power a month after the recordbreaking storm. Already the damage in New York alone is more extensive than the damage from Hurricane Katrina: Sandy destroyed 305,000 homes there, a preliminary number, while Katrina destroyed 214,700 in Louisiana.  The hardest-hit areas—the Jersey Shore; Staten Island; Red Hook, Brooklyn; and Far Rockaway, Queens, still find normalcy elusive. Buildings around Wall Street and Battery Park remain dark. Seawater ruined many electrical systems in apartment buildings there, leaving thousands of residents as indefinite evacuees. The city has declared nine buildings in lower Manhattan structurally unsafe because of the storm. JP Morgan Chase, the largest bank in the United States, has been unable to return to its Wall Street headquarters and is operating in a satellite location. And the National Park Service has no estimated date for reopening the Statue of Liberty. In New Jersey, the government had sealed off the state’s barrier islands after Sandy, and only several weeks later began allowing residents on certain parts of the islands from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. At 3 p.m., police go from house to house and tell residents to leave. Natalie Zozzaro, who lived with her mother in Seaside Park on the ­barrier islands, recently returned to her flooded home for the first time ­following the storm. For now Zozzaro is living with her brother a couple of hours south, so she drives to the island

day after day and drags out a lifetime of ruined possessions to the curb. At 3 p.m., she changes out of her contaminated clothes, leaves, and drives north to a hospital where her mother is in intensive care following heart surgery. Zozzaro doesn’t expect she’ll be able to move back for at least six months. The barrier islands still don’t have power, and the local gas company estimates that because of the extensive infrastructure damage, they won’t have gas service back until the end of December. Back on the Jersey shore, a Samaritan’s Purse team in Ocean County is still ripping out the interiors

of homes. Local program manager Brent Graybeal said the team has completed work on 227 homes so far, but still has outstanding requests for help from another 194 homes, and more requests coming in every day. On Long Island, more than 1,000 homes have been condemned, according to Pastor William Shishko of Franklin Square Orthodox Presbyterian

SANDY: Hard road ahead.

Church on Long Island. Even though his church is a few miles inland, he lists members of his church who lost homes or lost all their possessions. He sends pictures of streets filled with sand. “In other areas of our nation, things are proceeding to Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s,” Shishko wrote in an email to his denomination in late November. “Marketers are trying to get us to think like that (especially in heavily commercialized New York), but, with disaster all around us here, it is very difficult to fall into that line.” Three public hospitals in New York City remain crippled. Coney Island and Coler-Goldwater Hospitals won’t be back up and running at normal capacity until January. Bellevue Hospital won’t be back to normal capacity until February. The city had to evacuate patients from all three hospitals during the storm when floodwaters zapped the hospitals’ critical backup generators. And private hospitals, weeks after the storm, were still overwhelmed with extra patients from evacuated facilities like New York University Langone Medical Center. In New Jersey, even where hospitals were able to keep the lights on, they were overwhelmed because they couldn’t discharge patients who had no homes to return to. “It is heart wrenching to see the widespread damage from Sandy firsthand— and to contemplate the loss for each family and business in the path of the storm. I have pictures of places that I knew well, but have become eerily unfamiliar,” wrote Brian Lynch, a former member of Shishko’s Long Island church who came back to participate in the relief effort. “God is still in control, and the gospel of Jesus Christ seems more precious and real than ever to many of God’s people.” A

D e c e m b e r 1 5 , 2 0 1 2 • W O R L D 

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11/28/12 11:51 AM

Dispatches > News

Church and state

A vote to allow women to serve as bishops in the Church of England failed on Nov. 20 to win the needed two-thirds majority in the church’s General Synod. Female bishops already are allowed in the United States, Canada, and Australia, and the change was supported by both the outgoing archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, and his incoming, more conservative successor, Justin Welby. Despite the overwhelming rejection by Anglican bishops, clergy, and laity, British Prime Minister David Cameron scolded the Church to “get with the program” on female bishops and said he was made “very sad” by the vote. Cameron plans to push legalizing gay marriage in Great Britain early in 2013, NO CHANGE: A member of also over the objections of the clergy wears a pin the Church of England. supporting female bishops.

Gathering data from 43 states and two cities, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found both the number and rate of abortions fell 5 percent in 2009—the largest one-year reduction during a decade of surveillance. Although the decline may be due to several factors, it challenges earlier predictions that an economic downturn could raise the abortion rate. Some researchers attributed the decline to the increased use of long-lasting contraceptives, like intrauterine devices (IUDs) and hormonal implants. Growing use of emergency ­contraceptives like the morning-after pill—which can induce an abortion within 72 hours of sex—also complicate the picture: Since nonprescription use of abortifacient drugs (Plan B can be purchased over the counter by women 17 and older) aren’t included in the CDC’s abortion statistics, the real rate of ­abortion is higher than the agency suggests. Some decline could be due to shifting attitudes and growing pro-life activism, however. The past decade has seen the rise of pro-life movements such as 40 Days for Life, and an increase in crisis pregnancy centers like the 1,100 affiliated with Care Net. This year Gallup found only two out of five Americans described

Christian retailer must provide abortifacients to employees  by emily belz


A federal district judge ruled Nov. 19 that craft retailer Hobby Lobby’s Christian owners must provide ­abortifacients to their employees, or in just a few weeks face daily fines of $1.3 million from the federal government. Hobby Lobby’s evangelical owners, the Green family, cover contraceptives for their 13,500 full-time employees, but the Greens object to covering abortifacients Plan B (the “morning after” pill) and Ella (the “week after” pill). Hobby Lobby sued the federal government because the healthcare law’s contraceptive mandate provided no exemption for religious business owners like the Greens. “The government essentially has a gun to its head,” said Kyle Duncan, the lead lawyer on the case with the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. U.S. District Judge Joe Heaton’s ruling against Hobby Lobby is in contrast with three other district-level rulings that placed emergency injunctions on the contraceptive mandate as applied to religious-owned businesses. In July, a U.S. District Court in Colorado ordered a preliminary injunction against the mandate for Hercules Industries, a Catholic-owned business. In October, a U.S. District Court in Michigan ordered a preliminary injunction against the mandate for Weingartz Supply Company, another Catholic-owned ­business. And in late November, a U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia granted a preliminary injunction to Tyndale House Publishers, a for-profit company appealing: Hobby Lobby that publishes Christian material. founder David Heaton acknowledged that his ruling Green; a Hobby wasn’t in accord with other courts, but his Lobby employee ruling found that even with religious (above) setting up Christmas ­ownership, Hobby Lobby did not count as merchandise. “religious.” “There’s no precedent for that ruling,” said Duncan. “To separate [the owners] arbitrarily from the ­company itself is a real mistake.” Hobby Lobby immediately appealed the ruling to the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, requesting an emergency ­injunction on the mandate while the case continues in the appeals courts. Duncan hopes to hear an answer from the 10th Circuit in early December.

themselves as pro-abortion—a record low for the polling group.


WORLD • December 15, 2012

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hobby lobby: LINDA STELTER/Birmingham News/Landov • green: handout • england: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

U.S. abortion rate falls

Crafting a case

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11/28/12 10:37 AM


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11/26/12 10:52 PM

Dispatches > Human Race

NABBED After a -year hunt, Mexican and U.S. authorities apprehended murder suspect Jose Luis Saenz, a member of the FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted” list since , in Guadalajara. Saenz, , is believed to have worked as a hit man for a Mexican drug cartel, and was wanted for four Los Angeles– area killings, including those of two rival gang members and Saenz’s own girlfriend. In his effort to evade capture, Saenz gained weight, removed tattoos, tried to alter his fingertips with glue, and used about two dozen aliases and 

nicknames, including “Peanut Joe Smiley” and “Zapp.”

POSTPONED According to findings released Nov. , One Goh, the former nursing student accused of killing seven people and wounding three at Oikos University in April, is mentally incompetent to stand trial. The paranoid schizophrenia finding will postpone a ruling on holding a trial until a second court-appointed psychiatrist evaluates Goh, a former student of the private Korean Christian university, who pleaded not guilty on all charges. OVERTURNED A war crimes court in The Hague overturned the  convictions of two Croatian generals

charged with atrocities against Serbs in the s. Ante Gotovina and Mladen Markac were sentenced last year to  years and  years,

respectively, as part of a criminal conspiracy in the killing of ethnic Serbs during the Balkans war. But on Nov.  the court announced it had “erred in finding that artillery attacks” ordered by Gotovina and Markac on Croatian towns in Krajina “were unlawful.”

BEHEADED Islamic extremists in Somalia killed a Christian on Nov.  in Somalia’s port city of Barawa, accusing him of being a spy and leaving Islam, Christian and Muslim witnesses said. The Al Shabaab militants beheaded -year-old Farhan Haji Mose after monitoring his movements for six months, reported Morning Star News. Mose converted to Christianity in  while studying in Kenya. He opened

a small cosmetics shop in Barawa in December .

DIED Two-term Sen. Warren B. Rudman, , died Nov.  in Washington. Rudman led a groundbreaking

effort to balance the federal budget known as the GrammRudman-Hollings Act of —and later a federal commission on national security that predicted the likelihood of a terrorist attack on U.S. soil just prior to /.

DIED Actor Larry Hagman Hagman, , died Nov.  of complications in a battle with cancer. As J.R. Ewing he epitomized the corrupt Texas business cheat and womanizer on television’s long-running Dallas, a role he reprised in a new edition of Dallas this year. Before that, he won attention for his nice-guy role in the - TV series, I Dream of Jeannie.


RESIGNED Two weeks after winning reelection, Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. left his U.S. House seat of  years amidst a federal investigation into Jackson’s alleged misuse of campaign funds. The Illinois Democrat’s resignation closed five months of speculation about his political future after he took a medical leave of absence from Congress, beginning in June, for the treatment of bipolar disorder. Illinois officials will hold a special election to fill the vacated seat. Jackson is the -year-old son of civil-rights activist Jesse Jackson Sr.


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11/28/12 9:35 AM

The Art of Spiritual War Six factors that will crash the American church . . . and how to prepare. JOHN S. DICKERSON

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Fifty reasons why the resurrection changed everything.

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11/21/12 5:00 PM 11/15/12 3:05 PM

Dispatches > Quotables

‘Mere morals have no place in law.’ German lobbyist MICHAEL KIOK, on his opposition to efforts in Germany, led by animal welfare groups, to ban bestiality.

‘I wasn’t paid for the record, but that doesn’t matter. I was singing in the church, singing for the Lord.’

‘Please stop watching it. Please stop filling your head with filth.’

DOROTHY MORRISON, , lead vocalist for the Edwin Hawkins Singers in its  hit, “Oh Happy Day.” The group began as the Northern California State Youth Choir and the song, from a year-old hymn, became a Billboard pop hit that launched the gospel-rock movement.

‘We’re OK. We’re open for business. People in Mogadishu are resilient.’ Somali café owner AHMED JAMA (right), who returned from London to Mogadishu three years ago and runs four restaurants in the capital. One of his restaurants was bombed Sept. , killing , and attacked again by suicide bombers on Nov. , but only the suicide bombers died in the explosion. Jama reopened three hours later.

ANGUS T. JONES, , on Two and a Half Men, the CBS sitcom in which he co-stars. Jones has portrayed the character Jake on the show since he was  years old. “I am under contract for another year so it is not too much of a decision on my part,” he said. “I know God has me there for a reason for another year.”



25 QUOTABLES.indd 18


Saddleback Church Pastor RICK WARREN, in a video message calling on religious leaders to stand together against the contraceptive mandate as a violation of religious freedom. Your online source for today’s news, Christian views

11/27/12 3:44 PM


‘The church has been in healthcare for 2,000 years. Longer than any government.’


CREDIT =jones: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for PCA • warren: Michael Kovac/Getty Images for The Elton John AIDS Foundation • morrison: Gilles Petard/Redferns/getty images • jama: Farah Abdi Warsameh/ap

11/27/12 3:46 PM

25 QUOTABLES.indd 19

Dispatches > Quick Takes   

   Quick thinking, and just the right spice, helped a Stoneham, Mass., convenience store owner stave off a would-be robber on Nov. . With a gun pointed at his face, Sadaat Khan at first appeared to acquiesce to the thief’s demands to hand over money. But as he went to the register to get money, Khan picked up a bowl of chili powder he’d left out, wheeled and flung the contents into the robber’s face. Blinded and agitated by the stinging powder, the suspect wasn’t prepared for a square punch from the storeowner. Police say the suspect fled on foot. Khan attempted to give chase, but gave up.

  Don’t hold your breath for this record to be broken any time soon. With a world-record time of  minutes, a Danish man can now once again proudly proclaim he can hold his breath underwater longer than anyone else. In an attempt to top his own spot in Guinness World Records, Stig Severinsen managed to hold his breath for an astonishing  minutes flat. Severinsen accomplished the feat back in May, but only recently did Guinness recognize the record. The Danish man’s breathtaking record-breaking topped his previous record of  minutes and  seconds. But, to be fair, Severinsen’s : time came as he was submerged not just in water, but in a tank full of sharks.


  Everything bounced in the favor of police when authorities in Western Australia chased a teenage robbery suspect on Nov. . Police in Geraldton were chasing a -year-old suspected of stealing a scooter when the boy crashed the bike and fled on foot. With authorities closing in, the boy scaled a fence and leapt over the top only to ricochet off a trampoline on the other side, back up and directly into the clutches of policemen who pulled him back over. “I think it was one of those situations where you probably couldn’t repeat if you tried to,” Sergeant Grant Rosman said. “It was just fortunate for the police— but not for him. Everyone was positioned correctly there and he bounced straight back into their arms.”



25 QUICK TAKES.indd 20

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11/27/12 5:02 PM


After more than a decade, congregants of a North Dakota church are finally getting the chance to pay back. Over  years ago, when the St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Grand Forks, N.D., sustained over  million in damages during a  flood, parishioners at St. Michael’s in Long Branch, N.J., raised money to help with repairs. Now, after the devastating hurricane that assaulted New Jersey’s coast, members of the North Dakota congregation have raised money to send back East to help their fellow Catholics rebuild after Hurricane Sandy. “We collected about ,, and the money is still coming in,” Gerard Braun told the Grand Forks Herald. “That spirit of generosity caught fire. … Several people mentioned to me that they thought it was a good thing we were doing, coming to the aid of the church that helped us.”



    Armstrong Baillie says he does it to help strangers, but he may just be confusing them. The -year-old Scottish man puts on a giraffe costume twice a week to perform acts of kindness and other good deeds across Scotland. Over the last six months, Baillie, who is unemployed, has been spotted handing out bananas and water to runners in an Edinburgh half marathon, cleaning dog and cat cages, and even busking for meals by playing his kazoo and djembe drum. “The reason I picked a giraffe is that I have always been interested in animals and giraffes are my favorite animal,” Baillie told the BBC. “Giraffes are like me, as my head is in the clouds but my heart is in the right place.” The Scotsman said he normally travels about the country by hitchhiking but only takes rides in convertibles because of the height of his costume.

  Having skillfully lobbied to make her child’s school a nut-free environment, one Canadian mother has turned her aim at the oak trees in Vaughan, Ontario. Donna Giustizia says the oak trees near the campus of her child’s elementary school present a danger to youngsters with nut allergies. From her position as chair of the school’s allergy committee, Giustizia pleaded with city officials on Nov.  to cut down nearby oak trees lest children with nut allergies suffer severe anaphylactic reactions from acorns. But allergy physicians interviewed by the Toronto Star say they’ve never heard of an allergic reaction to the mere handling of acorns. School officials say they’ll abide with whatever the city decides.

  Americans didn’t get the chance to prove their mettle (and stomach), but Burger King did give that opportunity to Japanese patrons of the fastfood chain. The restaurant, which shut down in Japan in  only to reopen in , offered Burger King Japan customers a chance to gorge themselves on burgers during an all-you-can-eat promotion from Nov.  until Nov. . According to the company, any customer who ordered a black burger meal deal was invited to unlimited burgers during a -minute period without leftovers or the possibility of doggy bags.

  Bluffing or not? If cosmetic surgeon Jack Berdy has his way, your face will never tell. Berdy, who operates an aesthetic medicine practice in New York, announced in November that he’s developed a series of Botox injections that will help serious poker players keep from giving away their hand with involuntary facial expressions. “Some people might get a card they like or don’t like and raise their eyebrows,” Berdy told The Huffington Post. “If that’s the common reaction, we can put Botox in certain areas to minimize them.” Berdy calls the procedure “Pokertox.”

  What do you do when all the cash registers at your grocery store simultaneously go out of order? If you’re part of the management team at a Charlotte, N.C., Harris Teeter, you simply let your customers walk away with free food. Confronting a broken register system and lines stretching into the aisles on Nov. , grocery managers first decided to appease their waiting customers by offering them free samples. But as the delay stretched on past an hour, the store manager simply let between  to  customers walk away with free groceries.


25 QUICK TAKES.indd 21


11/27/12 4:02 PM

Janie B. Cheaney

Carrying on the family business

Going into all the world as witnesses is our job even in a hostile culture




25 CHEANEY.indd 22

In Luke’s chronology, this is the last parable Jesus tells before entering Jerusalem, where He would first be idolized and then rejected. His closest followers, to whom He’d given plenty of warning, would be shocked when their kingdom hopes ended up nailed to a cross. What “business” was left, beyond picking up the pieces of their broken hearts and lying low? We know what happened, though. In a storm of wind and fire, they received the family business, handed on by the Divine Agent of Father and Son. They had a mission: “You shall be My witnesses.” They had a message: “God has made [Jesus] both Lord and Christ.” They had a mandate: “Go into all the world ...” None of that has changed. On Election Day, The Huffington Post featured a piece titled “Goodbye Christian America, Hello True Christianity,” by World Vision President Richard Stearns. Stearns expressed regret over certain First Amendment battles waged by Christians: “[T]he fight over symbolic issues is backfiring, alienating people from the truths of the gospel rather than attracting them to it.” For a better way, he pointed to Pastor Dean Curry of Tacoma, who mobilized civic groups, businesses, churches, synagogues, and individuals from the gay community to raise funds for AIDS victims in Africa. Curry’s church used to be known for its spectacular Christmas pageant, but now, he said, “we’re known as the church that is helping AIDS orphans.” I agree that the church needs to be known for what it’s for, rather than what it’s against, but the main thing we’re for is Christ. Feeding the hungry, comforting the sick, and sheltering the homeless are all kingdom business, but all in the name of an unwelcome king. As society slides, the world screams louder, “We do not want this man to reign over us!” Yet whatever the cost, whatever the circumstances, our business remains: He’s coming back. He will reign; He will judge (Luke :). Before that happens, be reconciled. A


L :-: “A nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and then return. Calling ten of his servants, he gave them ten minas and said to them, ‘Engage in business until I come,’ ...” This sounds familiar: “the parable of the talents,” wherein the servants are entrusted with the master’s money while he’s away. We settle in for an exhortation to use our gifts as we have opportunity. Not so fast. Luke adds, “But his citizens hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We do not want this man to reign over us.’” We usually skip over this part, or assume that the nobleman is off to become king of another country, whose citizens don’t want him. No, it’s this country, our country, that doesn’t want him—he’s going away to be crowned and will come back as the unwelcome king. Welcome or not, his servants’ responsibility is the same. Christians live in a hostile culture, wherever and whenever they happen to be born. Sometimes it’s more obvious than other times, but in every era, the majority will say, “We do not want this man to reign over us.” Maybe they say it out loud, in a political convention that shouts down the token mention of God in their party platform. Maybe they say it in a popular vote that approves a definition of marriage foreign to the master’s law. Or they say it in a general loosening of standards that sends illegitimacy rates up and credit ratings down. Whatever lip service they give to the notion of a higher power, their actions speak loud and clear: We do not want this man to reign over us. What’s a faithful servant to do? Stockpile groceries, check the ammo, double the locks and hunker down? Maybe save a little extra for those foolish virgins who didn’t prepare and come hammering on the door when darkness falls? The story of the minas doesn’t seem to leave us that option. Instead, “Engage in business until I come.”


11/21/12 11:42 AM


25 CHEANEY.indd 23

11/26/12 2:02 PM

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25 MOVIES & TV.indd 24

11/21/12 5:03 PM

Reviews Movies  TV > Books > QA > Music

Fall of the Guardians >> MOVIE: DreamWorks flops with edgy versions of Santa and the Easter Bunny



T     of the  holiday season, DreamWorks Animation’s Rise of the Guardians (rated PG for mildly scary action), opened to disappointing earnings over the Thanksgiving period. Though the film seemed to have all the ingredients of a hit—a huge production budget ( million), A-list voice talent (Alec Baldwin, Jude Law, and Hugh Jackman), and liberally distributed trailers that previewed some spectacular CGI—audiences gave the winter-themed movie the cold shoulder. After only five days in theaters, one Hollywood analyst was already calling it “one of the most disappointing releases in [DreamWorks] history.” Another estimated it will result in at least a  million loss to the


25 MOVIES & TV.indd 25

studio. The company’s stock price has tanked thanks to the negative headlines. The fact that Rise of the Guardians is indeed visually dazzling, garnered generally positive critical reviews ( percent positive on Rotten Tomatoes), and had little competition in its genre during a weekend that saw recordbreaking industry profits makes its failure all the more curious. It’s safe to say the problem wasn’t marketing, timing, or any of the other mechanics studio reps usually blame for flops. Rather, it seems evident that kids and their parents simply weren’t drawn to a story that turns traditional childhood icons like Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy into non-traditional superheroes. Leaving aside the argument over whether Christian parents should indulge in these



11/28/12 9:23 AM

Reviews > Movies & TV


beautiful imagery, which is due more to William Joyce who illustrated the book the movie is based on, and you are left with something very much, as actor Pine put it, like The Avengers for kids. MOVIE Except kids already have The Avengers and plenty of other superheroes to boot. What they don’t have much by Michael Leaser of are those magical symbols of wonder that are Moviegoers will be hard-pressed to find a more beloved precisely because unabashedly pro-American film this year than Red Dawn, of their simplicity. even with Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln sharing screens with this Though part of a Mother remake of the 1984 cult classic. Goose world, Shrek was an Amidst a recessed economy and looming international threats, invented character. His residents of modern-day Spokane, Wash., take time to enjoy a c­ontemporary sarcasm set Friday night high-school football game and post-game festivities against fairytale tropes before a massive electrical blackout. They wake up the next worked because he was new morning to find North Korean soldiers parachuting into their city. A to the scene. Santa and the region-wide electromagnetic pulse had disabled their infrastrucEaster Bunny, however, are, ture and defenses, allowing the North Koreans to take over much to children, otherworldly of the western part of the country, with the Russians apparently figures in the real world. To taking over much of the Eastern seaboard. alter their nature is to alter Facing an oppressive Communist occupation, Jed Eckert the fantasy. To give them (Chris Hemsworth), a young Marine on leave, rallies a group of ironic, edgy new person­ teenagers and young adults to form a guerrilla operation that will alities is to demand of disrupt North Korean operations and soften up the enemy until ­children edginess and irony free U.S. forces can regroup and take back their land. in one the few places where By grounding the story in the surprisingly complex relationship such adolescent concerns between Jed and his estranged teenage brother Matt (Josh Peck), aren’t yet foisted on them. director Dan Bradley and his team of screenwriters take what While the heroes of could have been an overly hokey and jingoistic tale and turn it into DreamWorks’ film claim to a patriotic film that rewards the viewer’s emotional investment. be the guardians of childGiven the pervasive angst and insecurities facing many hood, their t­ attooed, hoodied Americans today, Red Dawn (rated PG-13 for sequences of ­posturing intense war violence and action, and actually for some coarse language) also offers diminishes up appropriate commentary through it. Which characters who learn—some the hard For the weekend of Nov. 23-25 ­ may be why, way—the discipline and fortitude to according to Box Office Mojo though Rise overcome daunting challenges. As cautions: Quantity of sexual (S), ­violent of the Jed tells his group, “We inherited our (V), and foul-language (L) ­content on a 0-10 Guardians freedom. Now it’s up to all of us to scale, with 10 high, from offers visufight for it.” S V L ally beautiAudiences may notice that 1 Twilight Saga: Breaking ` ful, slightly some of the stars look a bit younger Dawn Part 2 PG-13.....................6 7 3 above than they should. MGM, which 2 Skyfall* PG-13..............................5 6 5 ` ­mediocre ­produced the film three years ago, 3 Lincoln* PG-13.............................. 1 6 5 ` ­storytelling, went through bankruptcy, leading 4 Rise of the Guardians* PG .... 1 3 2 ` 5 Life of Pi* PG................................2 4 3 most chilto a lengthy delay in the film’s ` 6 Wreck-It Ralph* PG..................2 4 2 dren are release. With the exception of some ` 7 Red Dawn* PG-13.......................2 6 5 staying crude language, it was worth the ` 8 Flight R........................................... 7 6 10 away. A wait. ` 9 Silver Linings Playbook R....5 4 10 ` 10 Argo* R...........................................3 6 7 `

WORLD • December 15, 2012

25 MOVIES & TV.indd 26

Red Dawn

Box Office Top 10

*Reviewed by world

11/28/12 9:25 AM

anna karenina: Laurie Sparham/Focus Features • hitchcock: Suzanne Tenner/Fox Searchlight Pictures


Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, Inc.

holiday illusions at all, we can at least acknowledge they are an ingrained part of celebrations in the United States. And reinventing ­conventional fables is exactly how DreamWorks Animation built its brand. Without the staggering earning power of fractured fairytale Shrek and its sequels, the studio wouldn’t deserve to have its name mentioned alongside its closest competitor, Pixar. Yet going by the Shrek ­template, Guardians should have been a blockbuster. Like Shrek, Guardians takes figures and settings children are intimately familiar with and gives them a modern, snarky spin. Rather than jolly old St. Nick, we get a glowering, sword-wielding hulk of a Santa (Baldwin) with a gravelly Slavic accent and tattooed forearms reading “Naughty” and “Nice.” Though the Tooth Fairy (Isla Fisher) and the mute Sandman receive cuddly characterizations, the Easter Bunny (Jackman) and Jack Frost (Chris Pine) become, respectively, a giant brawling Aussie with anger ­management issues and a spiky-haired skater brat. Together, they make up the Guardians of Childhood, a team sworn by the Man in the Moon to protect the children of the world from Pitch (Law), the manufacturer of fears and nightmares. What’s most surprising about this premise is that no matter how quirky director Peter Ramsey and his team apparently mean for it to be, it all plays out pretty darn pedestrian. Take away the


Anna Karenina by Emily Whitten

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, Inc.

anna karenina: Laurie Sparham/Focus Features • hitchcock: Suzanne Tenner/Fox Searchlight Pictures


Two lovers lie in blooming grass and sunlight, in the springtime of their adulterous affair. It is hours before nightfall, before the violent grasping for fig leaves. But still the twinge of conscience comes: “Someone might be watching.” And with those words, they look up to the boughs of swaying trees, ­suddenly aware of that Someone, unseen, in the rushing wind. Since its conception in the 1870s, Leo Tolstoy’s novel Anna Karenina has stood as one of the world’s foremost displays of that biblical truth: “The wages of sin is death.” Thankfully, in his interpretation, director Joe Wright (Atonement, Pride and Prejudice) maintains much of the book’s theological orientation. Set amidst the backdrop of Imperial Russia, Anna Karenina (Kiera Knightly) is the focus of the film, as she wrestles with the emptiness of her marriage to Karenin (Jude Law) and finally succumbs to the pursuits of a young ­military officer, Vronsky (Aaron Taylor-Johnson). Though stolen waters are sweet, Anna’s husband reminds her, “sin has a price,” for a husband and wife are “bound together by God, and this can only be broken by a crime against God.” Yet like the book, this is no simple morality tale. Adapted to the screen by Tom Stoppard (Rosencrantz and Gildenstern Are Dead), the film draws much of its artistry from one conceit: It plays out almost entirely from a Victorianera stage much like St. Petersburg’s Marinsky Theater. With layer upon layer of texture and color, the story unfolds like a Russian nesting doll, each scene pulled back to reveal the next in a visual feast. Eventually, however, it earns its R rating (for nudity) during a bedroom scene. From that point on, witnessing Anna’s demise is a chore. Little is left beyond artifice for her or the viewer, and more redemptive ­storylines languish in the background. There is enough of Tolstoy’s vision here to be both entertaining and instructive. But such an appetizing production, drawing on viewers’ taste for the forbidden, may in the end glorify what Tolstoy set out to decry: passion without the restraints of Love.

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by Stephanie Perrault


Even if you don’t know a thing about Alfred Hitchcock, you know his name. He was one of the greatest moviemakers of all time, and one of the most influential. His techniques still fascinate audiences and prompt directors to imitate him. Among them is Sacha Gervasi, who makes his narrative directorial debut with the much-anticipated biopic, Hitchcock. This Oscar contender boasts an array of stars, including Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren, Scarlet Johansson, Toni Collette, and Jessica Biel. It chronicles the relationship between Hitchcock (Hopkins) and his wife and collaborator, Alma Reville (Mirren), during the making and release of Psycho. Hopkins gives a masterful performance as the corpulent Brit on the hunt for his next great movie, but Hopkins’ performance is matched if not surpassed by Mirren, who brings a winsome charm to the otherwise macabre film as the genius behind Hitchcock’s work. Narrative monologues, reminiscent of the television show Alfred Hitchcock Presents, bookend the story. In the opening scene, Hitch introduces audiences to Wisconsin murderer Ed Gein, who’s killed his brother and is on his way to becoming the prototype for Psycho slayer Norman Bates. The movie seamlessly pivots back to “real time,” where the Master of Suspense, wondering if he’s past his prime, is looking for a new movie idea after North by Northwest. He happens upon a book (also called Psycho) about a transvestite mass murderer. He believes it’s his ticket to stardom. As Hitchcock reads the book and starts filming, Ed Gein becomes Hitch’s demonic muse, “visiting” him throughout the film, in a nightmare, at other times when Hitch is overtired and delirious. Scenes of violent murder are juxtaposed with Hitchcock’s film-making struggles, earning the movie its much deserved—if not underrated—PG-13. Sacha Gervasi’s interweaving of these scenes with Hitch and Alma’s collaboration on Psycho displays his directorial skill. It also displays how dark our souls become when we purposefully wander into darkness.

D e c e m b e r 1 5 , 2 0 1 2 • W O R L D 


11/28/12 9:27 AM

Reviews > Books

Debt and destruction

is, inevitably, in conspiracy with the passion of equality.” Williamson helps us to see how our rapidly increasing national debt can strangle us: “Debt has brought down many a government throughout Insights into America’s rise illuminate history, the French monarchy in the days of Louis XVI and the Weimar the causes of her unraveling government with the most spectacular BY MARVIN OLASKY results.” (Thomas Jefferson once wrote that “could he obtain a single amendment to the Constitution, it would be an article C W J.’ After removing from the federal government the Tocqueville: The Promise and Failure of power to borrow money.”) Sadly, politicians Democracy (ISI, ) opens by noting throughout history have chosen to spend the the reasons Alexis de Tocqueville, the money of others to obtain power for themselves, thoughtful French visitor to our shores in the often through the “old, old trick” of “fanning s, was optimistic about the American class resentments into class warfare.” republic: no great capital city (the dominance That could be our domestic future, but of Paris hurt the French) and abundant readers seeking action-adventure novels withChristian faith throughout the country. Now the out adultery or sadistic violence, and with sea of faith is receding and we sing about geopolitical relevance, should try Don Brown’s Washington, D.C., how great thou art. The Malacca Conspiracy (Zondervan, ) and Tocqueville, Williamson notes, “considered Fire of the Raging Dragon (Zondervan, ). the return of despotism to be a perennial Set in and near the South China Sea, they may possibility” and knew that democracy and deseven predict future confrontations on the potism are not opposites. Plato called democracy other side of the world. (China’s future—and “a state in which the poor, gaining the upper the world’s—will depend on how quickly hand, kill some and banish others,” and thChristianity spreads, despite governmental century French philosopher Bertrand de attempts to stifle it.) Jouvenel observed, “The passion for absolutism




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If you’re looking for a quick introduction to deep thought, try David Naugle’s succinct Philosophy: A Student’s Guide (Crossway, ). Naugle defines Christian philosophy as building on Augustine’s insights in North Africa: “faith seeking understanding ... unless you believe, you will not understand ... in an Augustinian order of knowing (ordo scientia), belief renovates reason, grace restores nature, and faith renews philosophy.” We don’t think clearly and thus come to belief: Unless we believe, we won’t think clearly. Naugle also notes that Christian scholarship should be “primarily Hebraic rather than Hellenic or something else.” The Hebrew mind-set emphasizes the concrete while Hellenic thought veers toward abstraction, and Naugle rightly asks: “Wouldn’t neglecting the influential principles and patterns of a Hebrew mind deposited in the Bible seriously weaken a proper Christian scholarly understanding of God, the world, and ourselves? Shall we think and live, primarily, with Greek or Hebrew lenses and hearts?” Naugle answers those questions affirmatively and concludes, “Christianity is Jewish. ... Yet most Western philosophy is derived from ‘Athens’ rather than ‘Jerusalem.’” NYU professor Thomas Nagel’s Mind & Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature is Almost Certainly False (Oxford, ) is a gutsy book given today’s prejudices. Nagel challenges Darwinian evolution “not based on religious belief” but his belief that “the available scientific evidence” does not justify “the consensus of scientific opinion.” Why, then, does that consensus exist? “Because almost everyone in our secular culture has been browbeaten.” Nagel confesses, “I lack the sensus divinitatis that enables—indeed compels—so many people to see in the world the expression of divine purpose as naturally as they see in a smiling face the expression of human feeling. … Nevertheless, I believe the defenders of intelligent design deserve our gratitude.” Unlike other secularists, he respects brains and guts: “Even though writers like Michael Behe and Stephen Meyer are motivated at least in part by their religious beliefs, the empirical arguments they offer against the likelihood that the origin of life and its evolutionary history can be fully explained by physics and chemistry are of great interest in themselves.” —M.O.


11/21/12 5:19 PM


Food for noggins: Naugle & Nagel


New Bible-related books for children > reviewed by  . 

Jesus Calling Bible Storybook Sarah Young The core of this storybook is Christ, Scripture’s Alpha and Omega. Like Sally Lloyd-Jones in The Jesus Storybook Bible, Young finds echoes of Christ throughout the Old Testament. For example, she says about the story of Abraham and Isaac: “One day God would sacrifice His own son.” The illustrations are stylized but reverent, and much of the writing is beautiful. But as in her popular Jesus Calling devotional guide, Young has Jesus speaking directly to the reader. This will confuse some children and make some parents uncomfortable, as it seems to mediate the voice of Jesus through the author rather than Scripture itself. The Action Bible Devotional: 52 Weeks of God-Inspired Adventure Jeremy V. Jones The phenomenally successful Action Bible, published in , inspired this devotional guide for ages  and up. Each of the  chapters features a story from The Action Bible and encourages personal application through four steps: “X-Ray Vision” (connecting the story to your life), “Your Mission” (three application ideas and activities), “Your Debrief” (three questions to ask yourself), and “Mission Accomplished” (space to write your own thoughts). It’s a great layout, and should appeal to fidgety and reluctant readers. However, the takeaways from some of the stories lean a little too heavily on character building and less on the character of Christ.

SPOTLIGHT Anglophiles and C.S. Lewis fans are probably familiar with The Wind in Willows, by Kenneth Grahame, the Willows originally published in . A lyrical, colloquial, mystical collection of vignettes strung together with a wandering plot thread, Wind set a standard for “animal fantasy” that was often imitated but never sequeled—until now by Jacqueline Kelly, a native New Zealander living in Texas.

The Book of God: How We Got the Bible

continues the adventures of Mole, Ratty, Badger, and Toad in a way that comes near to capturing the rhythm and style of the original. The book is physically beautiful, with a gold-stamped, faux-leather cover and breathtaking, full-color illustrations by Clint Young. One complaint might be the inclusion of footnotes to clarify the



Ben Avery “This is the story of how the Bible came to be: who wrote it, when, and why. How it was collected and translated.” That’s a lot of ground to cover in a single volume, especially a volume in graphic-novel format. Yet The Book of God summarizes every book of Scripture, explains how manuscripts were copied and preserved, explores the process of textual criticism and canonization, tracks the early English translations, and finally marshals the evidence for the Bible’s reliability. Too much to absorb in a sitting, but a valuable go-to resource for kids (and grown-ups) who love comics.

In Return to the Willows (Holt), Newbery honor winner Kelly

Jonah’s Whale Eileen Spinelli

frequent Anglicisms. The footnotes

This popular children’s author imagines the story of Jonah from the whale’s point of view, picturing a carefree mammal who enjoys God’s blessings, including a tall, strong tail for slapping the water and “soaking fishermen and their lunches.” One day God has a job for Whale, and the creature obeys—unlike the man he swallows. Three days is a long time to swim with a man in your belly, and the word to spit him out can’t come too soon. The large format captures the bright colors of God’s vast and varied ocean and communicates an exuberant creation.

adopt an overly familiar tone that

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25 BOOKS.indd 29

strikes some as condescending, but they can be easily skipped. Return to the Willows won’t inspire the same fervent love and loyalty of the original, but it’s a fun readaloud and a handsome addition to the family bookshelf. —J.C.



11/21/12 3:59 PM

Reviews > Q&A

Keep running the race

Filmmaker Micheal Flaherty listens to his focus group—parents and their kids—and doesn’t give up By Marvin Olasky



its way back, and all the different obstacles. The Warriors got me interested in books like The Odyssey, that I never would have learned about otherwise. How did you learn about God? It started when we tried to get school vouchers in Massachusetts and failed. I started to realize the injustice that because of the ZIP code some kids were born into, their chances of succeeding were greatly diminished. I wrote a curriculum for the Stepping Stone Foundation, because the one way out in Boston at the time for poor kids, before charter schools, was the exam schools.

These who score well on exams get in ... We had good success. I thought that’s where I would spend my time, until on April 20, 1999, two students walked into their high school in Littleton, Colo., and murdered 12 of their classmates and one of their teachers. When I read about that, I was shocked and depressed. I read about Rachel Scott, the first person murdered, who wanted to go on to become a missionary. I read about Cassie Bernall, who a year earlier was into the occult and was even considering murdering her parents—and she became a Christian. I read all this stuff about a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and I had

never heard that expression before, so I did what all the great theologians did: I googled “personal relationship with Jesus.” Then I went to the Christian bookstore, bought a fish, and put it on the back of my car. That felt great and I did what all obnoxious born-again Christians do: I learned one passage of Scripture and I put it on everything. Your verse was ... Philippians 4:4-Whatever is good, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is praiseworthy, concentrate on these things. Anybody who has a powerful conversion experience, the Holy Spirit just makes you completely fearless. I was trying to figure out what

David Kamerman

Micheal Flaherty is best known as cofounder and president of Walden Media, which created the Narnia movies and others like Amazing Grace, but he’s an education reformer at heart. Before founding Walden in 2001, Flaherty developed innovative curricula in the Boston Public School System that helped some poor ­students succeed. What were your favorite movies when you were growing up? I loved It’s a Wonderful Life. Another movie, The Warriors, was banned in theaters for inciting violence, but it was a modernday retelling of The Odyssey about a gang trying to make

WORLD • December 15, 2012

25 Q&A.indd 30

11/26/12 8:45 AM

David Kamerman

to do with the rest of my life and said, I’ve always liked movies, why don’t I start a movie company? You associated Philippians 4:4 with movies? At Columbine, the students watched Natural Born Killers over and over again before they went in. They even declared that day Natural Born Killers day. They also watched a movie called The Basketball Diaries with a scene where Leonardo DiCaprio had a trench coat on, went in with a shotgun, and fantasized about ­murdering his classmates. Those movies had an impact on the way these kids viewed the world. So you wanted to make other types of movies? More


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movies like Braveheart, movies that celebrate heroism against impossible odds. I don’t think censorship is ever the answer—shake your finger and say, you shouldn’t have made these movies. We should present alternatives that are just as entertaining with just as great a cast. The problem was I didn’t know anything about making movies and I flunked macroeconomics and microeconomics, which is the reason why I was an English and History major. But my roommate at Tufts College, Cary Granat … Cary Granat, not Cary Grant ... Cary Granat, who to this day is one of my greatest friends, was president of

Dimension Films, which was making the spiritual and educational classics Scream, Scary Movie, Children of the Corn 8, 9 , and 10. A perfect alliance for the kind of company we were trying to make. But history and Scripture show it takes these kinds of odd couples to do interesting things. John Newton and William Wilberforce. Yes. Cary and I wrote a business plan. We got laughed out of every venture capital and private equity firm from Boston to San Francisco. Finally, the last meeting we could afford, after throwing in our 401(k)s and everything else, was with Phil Anschutz in Denver. Fifteen minutes into the meeting he said, “I understand what you guys are trying to do and I want to support it.” I said, “You’re kidding.” I still have the black-and-blue on my shin from when Cary kicked me under the table. Did you have to propose specific films? Phil Anschutz asked me, “What movies do you want to make?” I said, “We have an extensive list, we’ve done focus groups, why don’t we talk about that after lunch?” I called my wife and said, “I haven’t thought it out this far: What movies should we make?” My wife, a teacher, said, “Hold on, let me take out my reading list. She says, “Here are the books my kids love: Charlotte’s Web; The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe; Holes; Bridge to Terabithia.” I went back and said, “These are the books our focus group is showing us.” Those films have become our biggest successes. How do you decide on projects? After our initial ­success we got super cocky

and made Around the World in 80 Days: Jackie Chan, Arnold Schwarzenegger in a hot tub, you can’t miss. It was a disaster. We learned to outsource decisions to librarians, teachers, pastors, and parents, ­people who know best. When we rely on our own understanding, that was Around the World in 80 Days and other disasters. We’ve been humbled plenty. What should these Patrick Henry students take away from how you started Walden Media? Back to Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” If I didn’t have that strong belief in providence I never would have gone out and thought to do this. When I speak to students, they’ll say, “It’s amazing you were able to start this company and you’re so down-to-earth.” I express a little false modesty and they say, “No, you’re really unimpressive. It makes no sense that you would be able to start this company. It gives me hope.” I say, “I’m glad I can inspire you with my inadequacies.” So, these students should work hard and think big? When in doubt, get in the ring. Get in there and learn. Don’t doubt your own potential, but also don’t be too proud and figure you deserve success or you’re entitled to it. Through trial and error you have to ­discover what the Lord’s plan is for you. Each thing is just a step in a larger part of God’s plan. As Paul said, keep running the race until it’s over. A —For more from Micheal Flaherty, go to beginning the week of Dec. 4 and see interview segments concerning Walden Media, the Narnia movies, and ­homeschooling.

D e c e m b e r 1 5 , 2 0 1 2 • W O R L D 


11/26/12 8:46 AM

Reviews > Music

MEAT LOAF and KID ROCK are Republicans of a sort BY ARSENIO ORTEZA




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Kid Rock


M L’  hard-rock opus, Hell in a Handbasket (Sony Legacy), would’ve made a fun soundtrack with which to celebrate a Barack Obama defeat. The theatrical rocker—whose three Bat Out of Hell albums (released in , , and , respectively) have sold a combined  million copies worldwide—made headlines in October by appearing at a Republican rally in Ohio. “[T]here is one man who will stand tall in this country and fight the storm and bring the United States back to what it should be,” the man affectionately known as “Meat”

If we are, the short list of Meat’s running mates would have to include Kid Rock, a genre-mashing rock ’n’ roller whose well-chronicled moral turpitude has not kept him from openly and enthusiastically supporting the party of family values. Rebel Soul (Atlantic) is the title of his new album, and the term refers both to him and to the style of music into which he’s currently throwing himself. It refers to him because he is a rebel (against being sold a “one-world nation” by “Uncle Sam,” against rockers who sell out, against “fads and fashion”) and to his music because the best of his latest  songs cut a swaggeringly soulful swath through jukebox-friendly American musical styles, gospel included (“Midnight Ferry”), making them as hard to pigeonhole as they are to resist. Most irresistible is “Detroit, Michigan,” which name-checks and celebrates such musical heroes of Rock’s home state as Marvin Gaye, the Supremes, Bob Seger, Aretha Franklin, and George Clinton, each of whose spirits Rock taps (Seger’s especially) for inspiration. But the song also mentions Eminem, and it’s Rock’s tapping of Marshall Mathers’ linguistic and sexual latitude that simultaneously earns Rebel Soul a parental-warning-explicit-lyrics sticker and identifies Rock as a rebel against good taste. Then again, a distasteful U.S. vice president is not exactly unprecedented. A


11/21/12 4:28 PM


Grand old rebels

proclaimed. “Gov. Mitt Romney!” Obviously, the endorsement wasn’t enough, but it could have been. At , Meat has clout with the AARP crowd. And he might’ve peeled off a few youth and black votes too. Hell in a Handbasket includes cameos by Sugar Ray’s Mark McGrath, Trace Adkins, and the rappers Lil Jon and Chuck D. Meat Loaf, obviously, is a uniter, not a divider. Unfortunately, Handbasket barely made Billboard’s Top . And even if it had been a hit, its March U.S. release may have proved too little too early in the same way Meat’s October Romney support proved too little too late. As a soundtrack to which conservatives can lick their wounds, however, Handbasket isn’t bad. “I cannot believe this stuff,” Meat sings in “Mad Mad World.” “Getting madder every day. / Get involved, and they’ll blow you away.” On the one hand, it’s an admission of defeat. But on the other, it could be interpreted as a declaration of intent to run for office. When he sings, “Somebody got to stand in the storm,” he’s all but reporting for civic duty. And there’s a spiritual undertow to Handbasket that suggests Meat could appeal to the religiously inclined. The song in which he sings “Some say it’s politicians playing both sides, / some say it’s greed, some say it’s change, / some say it’s all just the price we’ll have to pay” is the apocalyptically titled “ Days.” And in “Our Love and Our Souls” he claims to want nothing so much as to “pray every morning, / as I make up the bed, ‘Lord, all I need today is my daily bread.’” Could the United States be ready for a “President Loaf” in ?


Five Christmas albums > reviewed by  

Good Ol’ Christmas The Baseballs How is it that a German pop trio has recorded one of the most joyous, diverse, and American-sounding Christmas albums of the year? Seriously, there are performances herein to which Elvis Presley would’ve gladly laid claim, and the opening strings of “Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow!” could’ve been sampled from It’s a Wonderful Life. There is a dark side: The album is not available on iTunes or being released in the United States. So those who’d love it best have to pay import prices. Frosty Christmas Mike Frost Jazz Residents of Aiken, S.C., can catch this quartet every Thursday night at the Red Pepper Café in the Centre South Shopping Center. And while such a homey gig suggests the combo might comprise not-ready-forprime-time players, there’s nothing parochial about the way Mike Frost (bass), Lauren Meccia (saxophone, vocals), Mike West (drums), and David Brown (keyboards) accentuate everything that’s positive about the intersection of sentiment, devotion, and playfulness without which Christmas in America would just be one more reason not to receive one’s mail. A Charlie Brown Christmas (Re-Mastered & Expanded Edition) Vince Guaraldi Trio This album has been re-issued before—a th-anniversary edition in , a “deluxe” edition with DVD in . But if any Christmas collection deserves to be exploited, it’s this one. Besides being musically excellent, it evokes memories of the days when diversity (Franklin), feminism (Lucy), and even Beethoven (Schroeder) took a back seat to the Gospel According to St. Luke (Linus). As for the tracks that make this th-anniversary edition “expanded” (“Great Pumpkin Waltz,” “Thanksgiving Theme”), they’ve been available on Charlie Brown’s Holiday Hits since .

SPOTLIGHT In  Sufjan Stevens released Songs for Christmas, a collection of four Christmas EPs and one disc that at  minutes was an LP by any reasonable standard. He has now followed it up with Silver & Gold (Asthmatic Kitty), a similarly configured, -track collection of standards and originals (some touchingly devout, others experimentally bizarre, all of it fascinating) that captures much of what makes him one of indie-music’s most beloved and most exasperating characters. And a character is what Stevens is. When he sings “Oh, I’m getting old” on “Justice Delivers Its Death,” he’s clearly projecting beyond his  years. Often, though, he’s many characters simultaneously—and never more so than on Silver & Gold’s culminating opus, the Gold -minute, -second “Christmas Unicorn.” “I make no full apology for the category I reside [sic],” he sings. “I’m a mythical mess, with a treasury chest. I’m a construct of your mind.” He’s a lot like Santa Claus that way.



XO For the Holidays Vol. V Various Performers One of st-century America’s less heralded holiday traditions is the annual compilation of Christmas recordings by clients of the indie-music PR firm XO, each offered free of charge to anyone able to locate the download links via web search. Like the others, Vol. V is not without gravitas. Magnuson’s grungy “What Child” comes off un-ironically anthemic, Robert Burnham’s acoustic “White Christmas” sweetly heartfelt. It’s an original, however—the Caravan of Thieves’ gypsy-jazzy, anti-materialistic “I Don’t Want Anything for Christmas”—that steals the show.

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11/21/12 4:41 PM

Mindy Belz

Technical difficulties Are you running the worldwide web, or is it running you?




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As we reported last month (“Feeding the hungry,” Nov. ), one lower Manhattan pastor, Guy Wasko, discovered he was running out of gas while delivering supplies to storm-struck families. He tweeted his need, and a stranger in Philadelphia responded, delivering  gallons of fuel. A glaring example of technology gone bad came out of the FBI investigation of David Petraeus, forced to resign after email accounts exposed his infidelity. Four-star generals and CIA directors reportedly have betrayed their wives before, but technology exposed Petraeus—and others—in ways both historically swift and deeply tragic. The creation mandate in Genesis  gives God’s people responsibility over technological changes as well as freedom from enslavement to them. Those advances have reshaped our world, but they shouldn’t rule our lives. I’ve come to believe that my children in their s in many ways have better relationships, partly because contact with their peers is more steady via social media. That doesn’t mean I like their devices at the dinner table. We know the blessing that Skype is for a family with a husband deployed in Afghanistan. But it can’t compete with a dad on the premises. And we’d all likely welcome touch-embedded remote controls to manage lights and warmth in our homes— but not at the expense of crawling under a blanket together on a cold night to read a story. The dangers are seemingly contradictory: To become disembodied from the world we inhabit—and its norms of conduct, as did Petraeus. Or to become over-enamored by life lived too much on the worldwide web: “The immediate feedback of likes, retweets, and hits,” says technology writer John Dyer, “leaves the distinct impression that hitting certain numbers determines the value of not only what we do online, but who we are.” So I conclude with fail-safe advice: Sometimes, just turn it off. As French Huguenot HenriFrédéric Amiel observed, “Life is short and we have never too much time for gladdening the hearts of those who are traveling the dark journey with us.” A


I        set in my own hand—Balfour Declaration, San Juan Islands, and more—recalling a long lost habit. Back before high-speed internet search engines, I kept such lists for a day when I had spare time (and a babysitter) for oddball research at the city library—time to comb the card catalog and the microfiche indexes. That kind of expedition today, of course, has become a gesture, something like brushing my teeth. Google “Balfour”—all you have to type is “b-a-l-f”—and there’s a one-paragraph synopsis of the  communique calling for establishing a Jewish state in Palestine. In half a minute I can pull up maps and photos of the San Juan Islands. As Andy Crouch points out in his book, Culture Making, there were a handful of lasers in the entire world in ; today, you are probably sitting no more than  feet from one. The speed and extent to which the digital age has transformed our everyday lives leads us, again and again, to contemplate whether so much personal technology is a good thing. That’s looking at the question all wrong: The dilemma is not about how technology has transformed our lives, but whether we are choosing to use it in transformative ways. As with any cultural goods, are we thoughtful stewards of the digital tools we have? “Cultural goods have a life of their own,” writes Crouch. “They reshape the world in unpredictable ways. … The interstate highway system was not just the result of a worldview, it was the source of a new way of viewing the world.” Recent headlines illustrate the highs and lows of internet-era transformation. As Superstorm Sandy barreled into New York, one FDNY dispatcher did more than man the phones: Emily Rahimi manned the Fire Department’s official Twitter feed, responding to pleas for help as disaster demands overwhelmed the city’s  system. When New York Times reporter Michael Luo tweeted, “My friends’ parents who are trapped on #StatenIsland are at  Weed Ave. Water almost up to nd flr.,” in minutes Rahimi tweeted back: “I have contacted dispatch. They will try to send help as soon as they can.”


11/27/12 11:04 AM

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Remember those

who are


11/26/12 2:08 PM

are in prison It’s a new day for China’s Communist leadership, but not for the dissidents the government imprisons. They linger in remote jails, beaten, forgotten, and cut off from work, fellowship, friends, and family. WORLD’s 2012 Daniels of the Year are these outspoken Chinese Christians and their long-suffering loved ones

Geng He, wife of Gao Zhisheng; Bridgette Chen, daughter of Liu Xianbin; Li Jing, wife of Guo Quan (from left to right)


by jamie dean in San Fr ancisco, Calif.

D e c e m b e r 1 5 , 2 0 1 2 • W O R L D 


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F 


  wasn’t always Gao Zhisheng’s calling. Born into a poor family in a rural village in Shaanxi Province in , he remembers his father lamenting: “When will we ever have enough to eat?” His father died when Gao was , and the boy’s mother struggled to care for her seven children. In his memoir, A China More Just, Gao writes: “From then on, our family had nothing.” Gao spent his childhood working in coal mines and begging for food, but he found a way out in : Gao enlisted in the People’s Liberation Army. During his service, Gao discovered the outside world and a new future: He met his wife, Geng He. During our interview in California, Geng’s furrowed brow softened when she remembered meeting Gao in the military. She was in a training program for new soldiers. Gao was the head cook for the base. Her supplies were limited, but Gao gave her apples, cookies, and sunflower seeds. “He was very kind,” she says. “Very thoughtful.”


LONG TREK: The journey from Shaanxi Province to Shaya Prison—about the same distance as Chicago to Los Angeles.

The dejected men tried the trek again in March. This time officials allowed a visit, but gave strict orders: Don’t talk about Gao’s case. Don’t mention his lawyers. Discuss only family and health. Finally, after the days-long trip, and the hour-long orientation, prison guards allowed the men to visit Gao for  minutes. Nearly , miles away, Gao’s wife, Geng He, can recount that story openly near her home in northern California. Geng fled to the United States with her two children in  after Chinese authorities harassed her family for years. Here she’s free to bring attention to her husband’s plight, but she’s deeply lonely without him. And she struggles to explain the ordeal to their -year-old son: “It’s very hard for him to understand why daddy disappeared.” Gao’s disappearance into the Chinese prison system is a mysterious saga. But at least one thing seems clear: Chinese officials remain determined to silence the Christian attorney who challenged an oppressive system. Like other dissidents in Communist China, Gao, , has contended publicly for freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and justice for the oppressed. And like others, he’s paid a steep price: prison sentences, abuse, and separation from family.

Millions more Chinese Christians aren’t activists, but some suffer for embracing a faith outside government control. During the past  months, harassment against Christians—including hundreds of arbitrary detentions—has risen sharply in some regions. Though a growing number of Chinese have decried government abuses—including forced abortions and the country’s one-child policy—a November change in Communist Party leadership hasn’t held out substantial hope of fundamental reforms in the near future. But despite a year of intensified crackdowns, increasing arrests, and a renewed government call to exert control over Christians, scores of believers have refused to retreat from the mouth of the lion’s den. Indeed, many remain firmly planted inside it. Christians like Gao Zhisheng and others profiled here are examples of believers showing courage under painful oppression and lifethreatening circumstances. For pressing on—and speaking up—while suffering abuse and escalating threats, WORLD honors China’s persecuted Christians as our  Daniels of the Year.



11/26/12 2:09 PM


 G Z’ , visiting the imprisoned Christian at his remote exile in western China takes days. Gao’s father-in-law and older brother made the trek in January: The pair rode a train nearly , miles from Shaanxi Province into the craggy mountains of the desert region of Xinjiang after obtaining clearance from prison officials to visit Gao. Then they took a public bus to its last stop, where they hired a motorcycle driver to travel the lone road to Shaya Prison, where the dissident has been jailed. When the father and son reached the first security checkpoint, a guard delivered cruel news: Despite official assurance to the family, no one could see Gao.

Miranda Mimi Kuo/The New York Times/redux

previous spread: Craig Lee/Genesis (geng he); Craig Lee/Genesis (bridgette chen); Andrew Silk/Genesis (li jing)

The couple married in 1990, and Gao sold ­ egetables in a local stand. A year later, he read a v small ad in a newspaper wrapped around his ­produce: China needed lawyers. Gao began taking classes, and by 1995 he passed the bar exam. It was time for Gao to begin speaking up. He initially handled medical malpractice suits and economic law. He was a Communist Party member, and the Chinese government lauded his work. But Gao’s interests soon broadened: The attorney began taking human-rights cases and defending property owners harassed by ­government officials. A local pastor offered spiritual support to some of Gao’s oppressed clients. He offered the same gospel message to Gao, and eventually the young attorney embraced Christianity. Gao began defending pastors against ­government harassment, including a minister sentenced to three years in prison for printing and distributing Bibles. He joined a legal defense team for a house-church network in Beijing, but he also advocated religious freedom for others, including the Falun Gong—an outlawed and

­ eavily persecuted sect in China whose members h have faced torture and imprisonment. “As a Christian attorney he represented the weak,” his wife says. “He represented freedom.” Gao also represented a threat to the Chinese government. Officials directed him to stop taking Falun Gong cases, and security agents began ­following him and his family. Instead of ­retreating, Gao wrote an open letter to China’s prime minister and called for greater religious freedom. Chinese officials suspended his law license in 2005. Later that year, Gao formally broke from the Communist Party. In a letter dated Dec. 13, 2005, he said the Party tries to “torture people out of their conscience,” and he declared: “Today, I, Gao Zhisheng, a Party ‘member’… formally withdraw from this inhumane, unjust, and evil Party.” He concluded: “This is the proudest day of my life.” Less than a year later, Gao would disappear. But first he continued to offer legal advice in human-rights cases, and to publish a firsthand report on the persecution of Christians in Xianjiang province. He attempted to visit Chen

speaking up: Gao worked in an undisclosed location in northern China prior to being sent to prison.

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11/26/12 2:09 PM

—geng he

Gary Fong/Genesis


Guangcheng, the blind human-rights activist who exposed forced abortions and endured brutal house arrest. Chen brought headline attention to those injustices when he escaped Chinese ­incarceration earlier this year and took refuge in the U.S. embassy. Chen and his family now reside in the United States. Gao also wrote an open letter about the urgency to inform Christians around the world that “… our house church members are suffering persecution under the Chinese regime, and all on account of a willingness to love the Lord ‘with all our heart, mind, and strength’ instead of loving the Chinese Communist Party.” Government surveillance of Gao grew as his campaigns became more public. Dozens of security agents trailed Gao, his wife, and his young ­daughter. His case drew so much international attention that members of Congress in 2006 passed a resolution calling on the Chinese government to cease harassing Gao and other activists. Geng says her husband knew his work was dangerous: “He always said if you represent cases for human rights, you will become the next victim.”

WORLD • December 15, 2012


11/26/12 2:10 PM

The New York Times/Redux

“As a Christian attorney [GAO] represented the weak. … He represented freedom.”

Gao became the next victim on Aug. 15, 2006. Authorities arrested the activist during a visit with his sister. Gao remained in custody four months. In December 2006, officials tried Gao and sentenced him to three years in prison for “inciting ­subversion of state power.” Officials suspended Gao’s sentence and imposed five years probation (perhaps because of international attention to his case), but the harassment grew worse. In September 2007, Gao disappeared again. When he emerged 50 days later, he wrote a harrowing account of interrogation and mental torture by secret police, and said agents severely beat his naked body with electrified batons. By early 2009, Gao believed his family should flee. Sympathetic contacts helped the activist initiate an escape plan. His wife and two children fled China via train rides across the mountainous border. When they crossed the border, Bob Fu—a former dissident himself, fellow Christian, and founder of the U.S.-based group ChinaAid—met Geng and her ­children. In a final cell phone conversation with Gao, Fu says he asked the ­activist if he was willing to flee too. “I could sense that he was torn,” said Fu in a recent phone interview. “But he said no. He felt his calling was to stay in China and ­continue the fight. … It was so hard to hear. But it was his choice.” Geng and her children arrived in the United States in January 2009. A month later, Gao ­disappeared. Over the next year, Amnesty International reported that Chinese officials denied knowledge of Gao’s detention. The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention reported that the Chinese government didn’t respond to petitions regarding Gao’s treatment. Gao reappeared briefly in March 2010 and granted an interview to The Associated Press. The news agency reported he was “weary-looking” as he described ]14 months of mental and physical torture by Chinese authorities. Two weeks later, Gao disappeared again. Nearly 20 months passed with no word on his status. In December 2011, Chinese authorities announced they were holding Gao in the remote Shaya Prison. They said the attorney ­violated his parole. He would have to serve three more years. Back in California, Gao’s wife dabs tears with the short belt of her blue dress as she talks about

the ordeal. Geng is grateful for her home in America, but she agonizes over the separation from her ­husband. She’s slowly learning English, but speaks through a translator. Friends and aid groups have helped with some expenses, but money is tight, and Geng works part-time as a helper to an elderly Taiwanese woman. Her children have adjusted well: Her daughter enrolled in college, and her son is enjoying elementary school. But Geng struggles with loneliness. She rarely talks with her family in China, since authorities likely listen to their phone calls. And she worries about Gao. It’s impossible to know about his physical and spiritual well-being, but she believes his Christian faith sustains him. It helps sustain her too. Before arriving in the United States, Geng wasn’t a Christian, and says it troubled her husband: “He would say, ‘I hope you can have the same faith, and our whole family can go to heaven. We can’t leave you behind.’” After her arrival, Geng read her husband’s articles and letters, and began to embrace Christianity. She attends a local church with her son, and finds spiritual unity has brought her closer to her husband, though geographically they remain far separated. During Sunday ­worship services, she says: “I feel like my whole family is standing before God. It’s the only moment we are all together.” And though Geng battles fatigue and pressure, she remains determined to speak up for her ­husband: “They want people to forget about Gao, but I want people to remember him.”

Gary Fong/Genesis

The New York Times/Redux


ost Christians in China don’t suffer like Gao. Indeed, experiences vary widely for the country’s Christian population. Though estimates also vary, OMF International (formerly China Inland Mission) estimates the number of Protestant Christians at 70 million. That’s a small percentage in a country of 1.3 billion people, but Christianity has exploded over the last three decades. OMF reports Protestant Christians in China numbered around 1 million in 1949. Most churches belong to a burgeoning ­house-church movement: Leaders reject ­government requirements to register their churches, since oversight can extend to control of church leadership, teaching, and finances. Other

churches belong to the government-monitored Three-Self Patriotic Movement. For both groups, freedoms vary depending on location. Some report few problems, but all must be careful: Chinese law prohibits ­most ­evangelism, and regulates Christian publishing. (Chinese law regulates religious practices of other groups as well, and persecution extends to other religious minorities.) The Midland, Texas-based group ChinaAid reports Christian persecution in China worsened significantly over the last 18 months. The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom reports that Chinese attempts to suppress ­house-church growth are “systematic and intense.” Suppression includes church raids, arrests, and arbitrary detentions. Members of Shouwang Church—the largest house church in Beijing—began meeting outdoors in April 2011, after authorities blocked access to their meeting space. Officials have detained and released scores of church members, and the ­pastor and elders remain under house arrest. Still, church members continue attempting to meet outside each Sunday. House-church leaders report increasing ­pressure to register their congregations, as the Chinese government increases its attempts to shape church life and thought. The country’s State Administration for Religious Affairs (SARA) reports its aim is to “guide religions to fit into socialist society.” According to the U.S. Congressional-Executive Commission on China, SARA’s 2012 goals include plans to “guide the Christian community,” “deepen the construction of theological thought,” and “use theological thought propaganda teams.” SARA director Wang Zuo’an wrote in a December 2011 People’s Daily article: “We cannot snuff out religious culture, but instead must guide

signs of suppression: Police officers try to stop members of the Shouwang church as they sing hymns at an elementary school where police detained them in Beijing, April 2011.

Gao Zhisheng Age: 48 Incarcerated: Shaya Prison in Xinjiang Province Case file: Gao is serving at least three years in a remote prison in western China. (Authorities have detained him for months in the past.) The outspoken Christian attorney has defended religious minorities, including a network of house-church pastors in Beijing.

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LIU XIANBIN AGE: 44 INCARCERATED: Chuanzhong Prison in Sichuan Province





CASE FILE: Liu is serving a -year prison sentence for his democracy and humanrights activism, including calls for religious freedom. The Christian dissident was one of the original signers of Charter —a pro-democracy document condemned by Chinese authorities.

 C , Liu Xianbin is part of the chaff. The jailed Christian dissident began his political activism in  during the Tiananmen Square demonstrations. Liu’s participation in the democracy movement led to a two-year prison sentence in . By , he had co-founded a local branch of the China Democracy Party, and established a branch of China Human Rights Watch. He advocated for greater liberties, including religious freedom. A year later, Chinese authorities convicted Liu of subversion of state power, and sentenced the activist to  years in prison. Officials released Liu after nine years, and the activist immediately returned to his advocacy: Liu was one of the first signers of Charter , a document by Chinese activists calling for sweeping democratic reforms. The charter includes a call for freedom of religious practice, and abolishing laws that require churches to register with the government. Liu continued to write articles for international media criticizing the Chinese government and human-rights abuses. In May , he spoke with Radio Free Asia about a government raid on a house church in Sichuan province: Authorities had detained eight church members, including a -year-old child. A month later, authorities detained Liu. By February , Chinese officials convicted Liu of subverting state power, and they levied a crushing sentence: Another  years in prison. Bridgette Chen remembers the day police took her father. The -year-old high-school student recounted Liu’s capture during an interview near San Francisco this summer. Chen came to the United States in September  after a local pastor and his family offered to provide a home and education. It was difficult to leave her mother, but Chen says her parents wanted her to escape the pressures and harassment her family had endured for most of her life.

The harassment culminated when Chen was  years old. Police summoned her from her school classroom and interrogated her about her father. What did he do in his free time? What did he write on the computer? What did they talk about? After a bevy of questions, police fingerprinted the girl and sent her back to class. By the time she returned home, they had sent her father to prison. She hasn’t seen Liu, , since. Chen is sorry for her father’s plight, but admits she doesn’t know him well: The pair spent  months together after his release from prison in . But she fights tears when she speaks about her mother. “I realized they really loved each other. And now they have to wait another  years,” she says. “I feel really sorry for them … I want them to be together. Not just for me, but for them.” For now, Chen is adjusting quickly to life in America. She speaks good English with a touch of American slang, and posts pictures on Facebook. She relishes school after overcoming a difficult first semester that included low grades as she learned English. “It took me two or three times as long to do my homework at first,” she says. “But this year, whoa, every subject was A’s or B’s.” When I ask about the best part of the past year, she doesn’t hesitate: “I became a Christian.” Indeed, that morning Chen played the flute in a worship service at a local Chinese-speaking church. The pastor, John Zhang, is head of the U.S. family hosting Chen. After learning about the gospel, Chen embraced her father’s faith, and found relief: “I was raised to be independent, but after I became a Christian, I realized it’s all dependent on God.” On Nov. , Pastor Zhang baptized Chen. Chen hopes her mother will be able to join her, but Chinese authorities haven’t approved her mother’s visa. In the meantime, pastor Zhang says his family is committed to caring for Chen. After participating in the Tiananmen Square demonstrations, the pastor sees it as part of his own legacy. Zhang converted to Christianity  years after his harrowing experience at Tiananmen, and became a house-church pastor. After years of harassment by local authorities, he came to the United States to study theology. He tries to help dissidents

Liu holding Bridgette in 

11/26/12 2:10 PM


it.” Another government official, Du Qinglin, wrote in April: “We must dig deeply into the essence of religious culture and remove the chaff.”

adjusting: Chen is baptized by Zhang (above); Chen and her flute at church.


baptism: handout • chen: Gary Fong/Genesis

and their families: “This is God’s ­calling for me. To bring a Chinese child—especially the second generation after Tiananmen Square—to America.” (Chen says she never knew the details about the Tiananmen massacre until she came to the United States.) Zhang hopes a good education and Christian discipleship will prepare children like Chen to return to China someday: “I will see when these students graduate from college how God will call them back to China to help their country.” He believes the growing house-church movement will help spur changes in the country: “This is what I hope. That just like in East Berlin the wall will come down.” Until then, Chen is thankful for opportunities to bring attention to her father’s case, and she brims with hope: “I don’t know what will happen in the future, but I know God has the plan. I have confidence for my future life.”


early 400 miles south, Li Jing wonders about her future. The wife of imprisoned Christian ­dissident Guo Quan, 44, sits at the kitchen table in a friend’s house outside Los Angeles ­scrolling through pictures on a laptop of her ­husband in China. Li arrived here in January with their 12-yearold son, five years after her husband began speaking out for greater freedoms in China. Guo’s advocacy began in 2007 when he was a professor at Nanjing Normal University. He ­published an open letter to China’s president

­ alling for multi-party elections. His letter to the c Chinese premier defended the rights of 590,000 workers laid off by the China National Petroleum Corporation, and called for abolishing China’s ­re-education through labor system for political offenders. Li says her husband also wrote articles about Christian thinking, and discussed Christian ­principles in class. Students began complaining about his lectures and outspoken advocacy. In December 2007, Communist officials fired Guo from his job at the university. The activist continued his work, and published a “China New Democracy Party Charter” online. A year later, he had published hundreds of articles via the internet criticizing one-party dictatorship and corruption in government, and condemning human-rights abuses. Li says the backlash was immediate: Authorities raided their home several times in the middle of the night. They smashed locks on the doors. They confiscated computers. They installed surveillance cameras at the apartment complex, and monitored the family’s phone, internet use, and mail. Li says Guo’s Christian conscience compelled him to continue: “He’s a Christian and professor. He thinks he has some responsibility for the ­society, so he never stopped writing.” On Nov. 13, 2008, ­authorities stopped Guo by arresting him for subversion of state power. Nine months later, Li was stunned when she learned her husband’s ­sentence: 10 years in prison.

“I was raised to be independent, but after I became a Christian, I realized it’s all dependent on God.” —bridgette chen

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GUO QUAN AGE: 44 INCARCERATED: Pukou Prison in Nanjing (Jiangsu Province)



CASE FILE: Guo is serving a -year sentence for his writings on democracy and human rights. Guo’s wife says his Christian conscience compels him to defend political, religious, and personal freedoms.

One of Li’s few solaces was the opportunity to visit her husband in a prison not far from their home. Guo asked her to bring a Bible, and when officials wouldn’t allow it, Guo told her to ask the guards what law allowed them to issue such a denial. She says the guards relented, and she delivered the Bible. Local authorities didn’t relent. They continued to monitor Li’s movements, and pressured her employer to reduce her hours. Guo Slowly, Li began losing her means of providing for her son. As the surveillance and harassment peaked, Li made a difficult decision: She would try to flee to the United States. She believed moving to America would offer her only chance to publicize her husband’s case, and advocate for his cause. But first, Li wanted her husband’s approval. Before she entered the prison’s visitation room, she wrote in tiny letters on her thumbprint: “I take our son and go to the U.S.” As they talked, Li pressed her hand to the glass separating the pair. When Guo saw her message, he slowly nodded. Li knew he approved. The months ahead involved painstaking arrangements and a high-risk plan. Li obtained

permission to visit a neighboring country with friends for a short vacation. (She even discussed the vacation on the phone so eavesdropping authorities would hear.) When she arrived across the border, Li and her son defected from the group. U.S. contacts helped arrange her passage to Los Angeles, and representatives from ChinaAid met her at the airport. Li is still surprised the plan worked: “I think God arranged it. It’s amazing.” A month after she arrived, Li appeared on Capitol Hill with Geng He. The pair testified about their husbands’ plights to the Congressional-Executive Commission on China. They requested meetings with White House officials, but never received a reply. On the same day, President Barack Obama met Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping in the Oval Office. A -man honor guard greeted the Chinese official with a -gun salute at the Pentagon. Li remains determined to press her husband’s case. In the meantime, she’s polishing her quickly learned English, and helping her son adjust to life in the United States. She attends a local church and relies on prayers from believers. And after years of constant harassment, she’s learning to relax: “For the first time in so many years.” Li hopes conditions will change in China. Despite an increase in political arrests, more Chinese have conducted public protests and expressed anger at government abuses online. “The world is more open,” she says. “It cannot be stopped.” Until then, she shares a letter her husband wrote to her son expressing his hopes for the boy who will be a man by the time his father’s prison sentence is complete: “Many people want their children to be rich, preeminent, powerful or great. … Only a righteous person could be preeminent. My son, please remember what God taught us: It is meaningless for me to be rich and powerful if I am not righteous.” A



11/26/12 2:12 PM



In In the the beginning beginning they they wanted wanted to to arrest arrest us us all all .. .. .. the the children children cried cried .. .. .. officials officials were were confiscating confiscating Bibles, Bibles, song song books, books, and and computers computers .. .. .. We We were were hiding hiding the the children children in in storage storage rooms rooms and and toilets toilets .. .. .. The The circumstances circumstances were were tense tense .. .. .. The The note note above above could could have have been been written written in in 1934, 1934, when when young young Peter Peter Deyneka Deyneka founded founded Slavic Slavic Gospel Gospel Association Association in in the the era era of of oppressive oppressive Soviet Soviet communism. communism. But But faithful faithful believers believers in in aa former formerSoviet Soviet republic republic sent sent itit to to us us THIS THIS YEAR—IN YEAR—IN September September 2012! 2012! They They sent sent itit requesting requesting our ourprayers prayers and and our our help. help. And And that that is is why why we we need need you. you. During During the the communist communist years, years, SGA SGA partners partners sent sent the the light light of of God’s God’s Word Word over over the the Iron Iron Curtain Curtain via via radio. radio. Look Look what what God God has has done done since since He He brought brought the the Curtain Curtain crashing crashing down: down:

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11/27/12 10:51 AM

WERE MADE Despite his election victory, President Obama and other officials face hard questions over Benghazi attack by MINDY BELZ and EDWARD LEE PITTS in Washington, D.C.

SEPT. 13 Secretary of State Hillary Clinton: “The United States government had absolutely nothing to do with this video. … We have the greatest respect for people of faith. … [T]his video is disgusting and reprehensible.”

SEPT. 12 1:40 A.M. The first wave of U.S. personnel in Benghazi evacuates for Tripoli, the Libyan capital. SEPT. 11, 2012


4 A.M. The second wave evacuates for Tripoli, including the bodies of four Americans.

3:42 P.M. Washington, D.C., time (10:42 P.M. in Benghazi): U.S. consulate in Benghazi, where U.S. ambassador Christopher Stevens was staying overnight, comes under attack.

8:15 A.M. C- departs Germany for Tripoli, where it picks up the remains of Stevens and three other Americans.

4:30 P.M. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is alerted that the attack is underway.

President Obama departs White House for campaign event in Las Vegas, Nev.

6 P.M. Panetta authorizes the deployment of Marine Corps anti-terrorism teams to Benghazi and Tripoli from Rota, Spain, as well as a Europe-based special operations team. 6:30 P.M. A six-member security team from the U.S. embassy in Tripoli, the Libyan capital, departs for Benghazi and arrives about an hour later—almost four hours after the attack began. 11:15 P.M. The adjoining U.S. safe house in Benghazi comes under mortar and rocket fire.


Clinton (left) and Nuland

1:17 P.M. C- departs Tripoli.

3 P.M. Troops dispatched the previous evening by Panetta arrive, long after the attack has ended and  hours after Pentagon authorization. Evening (in Las Vegas): President Obama tells his audience, “No act of terror will dim the light of the values that we proudly shine on the rest of the world, and no act of violence will shake the resolve of the United States of America.”

1:30 P.M. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland tells reporters the U.S. security detail in Benghazi was “not able to locate Ambassador Stevens for many, many hours” and “we don’t have any definitive information of our own” on when or how he died. (To date, no autopsy results have been released.) Unnamed U.S. official tells CNN the Benghazi violence was a “clearly planned attack,” not an innocent mob. “The video or / made a handy excuse and could be fortuitous from their perspective, but this was a clearly planned military-type attack.”


  :  



11/28/12 10:00 AM



F  A the Sept.  attack that led to the death of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other members of the U.S. diplomatic mission faded into the background as September moved toward the November elections. Now that President Barack Obama has secured a second term, the administration’s storyline has started to unravel. In mid-November, former CIA Director David Petraeus testified to congressional lawmakers that the CIA’s original talking points written in the immediate aftermath of the incident labeled the raid a terrorist attack, though those references did not show up in official pronouncements at the time. Petraeus told members of the House and Senate intelligence communities before the Thanksgiving recess that he wasn’t sure which federal agency deleted the terrorist references.




The testimony stoked concerns among Republican lawmakers that the public statements regarding the attack had been politicized by an Obama administration not wanting doubts to surface over its handling of foreign policy as voters went to the polls. Officials in the days after the attack asserted that it was sparked by a U.S.-made anti-Muslim film, Innocence of Muslims. Yet the only available portion of that film, a -minute clip, already had been on YouTube for months. “The video was a political smokescreen,” Sen. Lindsey Graham, R- S.C., said Nov. . “I don’t believe it was ever the reason for this.” Political implications surrounding the attack deepened with the sudden resignation of Petraeus last month, and with the likely nomination of U.S. ambassador to the UN Susan Rice to become the next secretary

of state. Republicans in the Senate are pressing her on the forceful—and now clearly inaccurate—accounts she gave in the event’s immediate aftermath. Lawmakers are likely to continue to press to know why they were misled, and whether U.S. officials committed perjury before Congress in the process of reporting on the attacks. “Let’s not stonewall the issue and cover up mistakes, which is what seems to be going on today,” said Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Ca., during a November House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing. It may be difficult for Republicans to hold Rice and others accountable for the revised narrative. While Republicans still control the House, it is the Senate where Obama’s

top cabinet officials receive confirmation. Larger questions remain over the inadequate security measures in place in Benghazi. In mid-August, a month before the attacks, intelligence reports said there were as many as  al Qaeda–affiliated groups operating in Benghazi. Stevens sent a cable to Washington on the day he was killed warning of the disintegrating situation among militants. (The cable made no mention of the U.S.-made video or planned protests at the consulate.) The area was dangerous enough for the British to close their consulate and for the Red Cross to leave. Yet, according to Petraeus, the consulate security was so light that the attackers could walk in and set it on fire. Said Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga.: “We know mistakes were made, and we’ve got to learn from that.” A

SEPT. 14

SEPT. 16

State Department puts out Warden Messages (warnings to Americans living abroad) via  U.S. embassies warning of protests and unrest related to the film, Innocence of Muslims, and condemning the film. White House spokesman Jay Carney: “We were not aware of any actionable intelligence indicating that an attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi was planned or imminent.”

U.S. Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice appears on four Sunday morning talk shows with essentially the same message: “What sparked the violence was a very hateful video on the internet,” Rice said. “It was a reaction to a video that had nothing to do with the United States.” She called the attacks, which started in Egypt and spread to more than  U.S. posts in the region, “spontaneous,” not planned or timed for the th anniversary of the / terror attacks: “The best information and the best assessment we have today is that this was not a pre-planned, premeditated attack.”

SEPT. 20 Obama: “What we do know is that the natural protests that arose because of the outrage over the video were used as an excuse by extremists to see if they can also directly harm U.S. interests.”

Obama and Clinton at the Transfer of Remains Ceremony

OCT. 10

OCT. 26

NOV. 16

Eric Nordstrom, the State Department’s former regional security officer for Libya, tells lawmakers he had asked for  additional agents for the U.S. mission in Benghazi prior to the attack. “For me, the Taliban is on the inside of the building,” he told officials who he says rejected his request.

Petraeus biographer Paula Broadwell speaks at University of Denver, saying Libyan militants attacked the Benghazi post because the CIA “had taken a couple of Libyan militia members prisoner” and that Petraeus “is not allowed to communicate with the press.”

Petraeus tells Congress in closeddoor sessions he has maintained from the earliest days that there was “significant terrorist involvement” in the Sept.  attack.

NOV. 9 Petraeus resigns as CIA director.




11/28/12 10:01 AM

Paul Teller directs the Republican Study Committee at a pivotal post-election time by J.C. Derrick in Washing ton, D.C . |

p h oto s b y l e e lov e /g e n e s i s

Conservative i House Republicans will be down eight seats

when the 113th Congress swears in lawmakers on Jan. 7. The staunch conservatives missing in action will include Florida’s Allen West and Illinois’ Joe Walsh, two vocal freshmen whom Democrats successfully targeted for elimination. Yet even as overall GOP numbers took a hit on Election Day, some would argue the conservative voice in Congress has never been stronger. The Republican Study Committee (RSC), the party’s conservative arm, will seat more members in the 113th Congress than it had at the end of the 112th, and that number is expected to inch upward. Once the new members get settled in, they’ll meet Paul Teller. Teller is the executive director of the RSC and the linchpin to the largest, most influential caucus in Washington. That makes him one of the most influential staffers on Capitol Hill, playing a critical role for the conservative movement, even though the average voter has probably never heard Teller’s name. Voters will be familiar with his work: Pick almost any ­conservative policy issue and Teller is in the middle of it, ranging from pro-Israel policy to a conservative healthcare solution to last year’s “Cut, Cap, and Balance” legislation. Teller, 41, has been at the RSC for nearly 12 years—an ­eternity for a Capitol Hill staffer—and during that time the caucus has more than tripled in size to 167 members. “I love the RSC,” he told me. “Cut my arm and you’ll see little R’s, ­little S’s, and little C’s come out.” Despite his affection for the caucus, Teller has shown he’s more committed to principles than politics—and it’s gotten him in trouble more than once.

Teller was raised on Long Island by mostly liberal Jewish parents. Teller’s mother, whom he calls a “Jesse Jackson liberal,” helped shape his beliefs, but not always the way she planned: When she taught him all races should be treated equally, he concluded affirmative action was wrong. When she taught him to consider how policies hurt the ­average person, he concluded the welfare state was hurting the poor and needed reform. “Some of her stuff, put through a new filter, came out conservative,” he said. 48 

When Teller was in the seventh grade, his teacher gave s­ tudents a list of political issues and had them write down their views. Based on the results, the teacher divided students into five groups: radical, liberal, moderate, conservative, and reactionary. Teller was one of six labeled reactionary. “I was fringe from the beginning,” he says, laughing. Teller, who describes himself as a mildly practicing Jew, attributes his conservatism to Ronald Reagan and “lots of ­reasoning by a young man concerned by the liberal views on such issues as crime, education, and foreign policy” in the 1980s. He earned his bachelor’s degree at Duke University and a doctorate at American University in the 1990s. During that time he says he quashed his only remaining liberalism, saying he was pro-abortion out of a “warped view of­­­conservatism” (“If welfare moms want to abort their kids, let them”). He became pro-life after hearing an American Life League speaker talk about “miniature babies” discarded behind abortion mills.

Teller arrived on Capitol Hill in 1999 and moved to the RSC in 2001. Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., the RSC chairman in 2009-10, said it was a “no-brainer” in 2009 to move Teller into the RSC’s top job, overseeing its 10-person staff. “He has huge respect in the conservative movement,” Price told me. “He’s working to move things ­forward, no matter who gets credit or who does the work.” When President Barack Obama pushed the Affordable Care Act in 2009, Price, a physician, said the president often promised to listen to anyone with a good healthcare idea. So Teller drafted a letter on Price’s behalf to Obama accepting a seat at the negotiating table. He sent it to Obama every week (or every time the president repeated his mantra) for more than a year. Teller was the point man for creating the “Empowering Patients First Act,” conservatives’ comprehensive alternative to Obamacare, but the president never considered it. Last year, as the federal government’s borrowing power reached its limit, Teller surveyed RSC members to see what they might negotiate in exchange for raising the debt ceiling. Three themes emerged: Cut spending, cap spending, and pass a

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e insider

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­ alanced budget amendment to avoid a b Greece-like debt crisis. Teller took the lead in crafting “Cut, Cap, and Balance” legislation, which the House passed and made a major part of the debt-ceiling negotiations, even though the Democrat-controlled Senate immediately tabled the bill. That’s OK, said Teller: “If everybody expected 100 percent total victory every day and based their mood on that, we’d all be in mental institutions,” he said. “You have to look at the bright side and use that bright side to strengthen yourself for the next battle.” The coming battles include the ­so-called “fiscal cliff”—mandatory spending cuts and tax increases set to

... but by and large the members that lost were a little less conservative.” Teller’s allegiance to conservative standards—he said President George W. Bush didn’t meet the standard —has won him plenty of friends but made some enemies, too. Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Kan., who met Teller when the two were working on doctorates at American University, told me Teller is a man of integrity, but some people still don’t like him: “They don’t dislike him personally, they dislike how effective he is,” he said. Huelskamp said Teller’s role is ­critical: Most conservative issues ­considered in the House come out of the RSC, and getting those into law is difficult with a Democrat-controlled

take effect Jan. 1—which could include discussions on entitlement reform, and another debt ceiling skirmish that has been largely overshadowed. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner says the federal government can keep afloat into early 2013, but it may bump into its borrowing limit before the fiscal cliff arrives, and House Speaker John Boehner has promised another ­showdown. “There’s a lot left to do,” Teller said. “Liberty is eroding in this country.” Meanwhile Teller, whose cheerful optimism earns him the nickname “happy warrior,” is trying to talk other conservatives off the ledge: “There are some legitimate positives,” he said. “We lost some very important conservatives

Senate. The RSC is largely responsible for framing the debate and keeping issues in the public eye. During the debt ceiling debate last year, the RSC worked against the Budget Control Act of 2011 negotiated by Boehner—because Teller, RSC Chairman Jim Jordan, and other ­conservatives felt it didn’t go far enough to balance the budget and trim the national debt. “We just didn’t like this particular legislative proposal,” said Teller, and the RSC wasn’t afraid to oppose its own party. After an RSC staffer lobbied outside groups against its own members, and someone leaked a Teller email assessing the mood in a closed-door meeting, a dozen members ended up leaving the caucus.


The RSC pressure helped convince Huelskamp and 65 other Republicans to vote against the bill, but the ­maneuvering among Republicans also highlighted a divided party. And it strengthened Teller’s position with ­conservatives: Seven months later, he was named Capitol Hill Staffer of the Year at the 2012 Weyrich Awards Dinner. Following the GOP’s Nov. 6 losses, change is in the Washington air as Republicans evaluate the direction of the party. Price lost his bid to attain the GOP’s No. 4 leadership position, and Steve Scalise, R-La., won the Nov. 15 RSC leadership election. The 47-yearold pro-life Catholic and Tea Party member will face a divide between those who believe the caucus has grown too large with too many ­moderates, and those who don’t like the push toward more conservative ­policies. Teller told me he believes conservatives need to keep doing most of what they’ve been doing, but with improved ­messaging to groups that didn’t vote Republican— such as Hispanics. “We need to go to the people where they are. We need to meet people, build coalitions, go where they work, go where they pray, and connect with human beings.” Decisions to retain RSC BLEEDS RSC: Teller staff should happen before in his Capitol year’s end, but regardless Hill office. of the outcome, Teller says, “Our ideas are bigger than any election. They live on regardless of who wins whatever office.” Some speculate on Teller’s future as a political candidate, but he told me a run for office is unlikely. He placed the odds “around 3” on a 1-to-10 scale, noting he lives in a liberal area of Maryland with his wife and two kids, and he’s not enticed by the “grueling” job of a lawmaker. For now, he has no plans to quit trying to “throw a ­monkey wrench into the gears of liberalism,” because “the gears are still churning really, really hard.” A

WORLD • December 15, 2012

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This Emmy Award-winning production, starring Anthony Hopkins and Robert Foxworth, captures the vitality, intensity, and humanity of two who were entrusted by Christ to carry the Gospel into all the world. It follows the pair, together and separately, through three epochal decades. The drama concludes in Rome in approximately A.D. 64 with the beheading of Paul and the crucifixion of Peter under Emperor Nero. 194 minutes (includes Spanish, optional English subtitles, actors’ bios).

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TERROR: The inside of St. Rita’s Catholic Church in Kaduna, Nigeria, following a suicide bombing on Oct. .



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Standing with the brethren

A group of Nigerian-Americans organizes to support violence-plagued Christians in northern Nigeria


BY J.C. DERRICK in Washing ton, D.C .                   /   /           

 N   , C crowded into St. Rita’s Catholic Church in Kaduna on the last Sunday in October. The small one-room structure offered bare walls and a tin roof as protection from the elements, while three-blade ceiling fans kept the warm air circulating. Father Mike Bonni was offering communion prayers when a black Mercedes SUV arrived at the front gate around : a.m. Guards—youths equivalent to Boy Scouts—got into a brief argument with the driver, then watched helplessly as he rammed through the barricade and careened into the church. The suicide bomber and his ensuing explosion tore a gaping hole in the -inch concrete wall, damaged nearby buildings, and sent projectiles flying into the congregation. Ten Christians died and  were injured. No one took credit for the suicide bombing, but it bore the markings of Boko Haram, an Islamic terrorist group responsible for killing more than  people in Nigeria this year. The group’s standing list of demands includes implementing Sharia law in all of Nigeria, freeing all Boko Haram prisoners, and toppling the country’s Christian president, Goodluck Jonathan. Muslim gangs destroyed more than  churches in a -hour period when Jonathan took office in April  (see “Nowhere to run,” March , )—and the violence isn’t stopping.


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capable” of stopping Boko Haram without “drastic international help.” Mark Lipdo, director of Stefanos Foundation (based in Nigeria), told WORLD Christians have engaged in retaliation (such as killing the man who led the Oct.  suicide bomber to the church in Kaduna), but he believes reports of Christian reprisals are exaggerated. Stories often cite anonymous “officials” or “authorities” who feed media faulty information that portrays Christians as doing an equal amount of killing, although most Muslim deaths have come at the hands of fellow Muslims. The tepid State Department response can be traced to the first Bush administration when, after the fall of Soviet Russia, U.S. diplomacy shifted toward collective engagement in the Muslim world. Secretary of State Edward Djerejian articulated that view in a  policy speech: “The U.S. Government does not view Islam as the next “ism” confronting the West or threatening world peace,” he said. “The Cold War is not being replaced with a new competition between Islam and the West.” That philosophy is still winning the day three administrations later, as the State Department’s

thoroughly postmodern worldview that suggests all religions are created equal. Carson says the United States wants to help “level the playing field” between northern and southern Nigeria, which includes reopening a consulate in the mostly Muslim north. He said Secretary of State Hillary Clinton feels “very, very strongly” about establishing a U.S. presence in the north, and the State Department has a “pot of money” set aside to do it. That doesn’t make sense in an area where U.S. officials can’t even monitor the use of USAID money because of the violence,


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FIGHTING BACK: CANAN chairman James Fadele at the Oct.  press conference; a victim of the St. Rita’s bombing receives medical attention at Garkuwan hospital in Kaduna (top right); members of Boko Haram photographed near Kano (bottom right).


In the United States, Nigerian Christians have decided to come alongside their brethren in Nigeria, fighting back with the creation of the Christian Association of Nigerian Americans (CANAN)—an organization committed to raising awareness about what its members call “pre-genocide” conditions in their homeland. CANAN leaders also are pressuring the U.S. State Department to add Boko Haram to its list of foreign terrorist organizations (FTOs), which they say would send a serious message to political leaders and financial backers. Some inside the FBI agree, and the Department of Justice has joined several lawmakers in pressuring the State Department to label Boko Haram an FTO, giving law enforcement more flexibility to combat the group. The State Department in June did name its top three leaders terrorists. But lacking an overall U.S. terrorism designation, Boko Haram can operate without threat of sanctions or tracking. That not only makes it easier for Boko Haram to advance its operations, but also for sympathizers to arm and finance the group, which has been linked to al-Qaeda. The State Department has been reluctant to label violence against the churches as terrorism, instead using the term “sectarian violence,” indicating Christians are participants in the violence—and that it’s fueled by economic rather than religious tension. Nigeria, Africa’s largest oil-producing country, has roughly the same amount of Christians and Muslims in its  million population. Christians are predominant in the south, and Muslims dominate the north, where many states have enacted Sharia law, even though millions of Christians live there. “Religion is not driving extremist violence in either Jos or northern Nigeria,” said Johnnie Carson, Assistant Secretary of African Affairs at the State Department, to a gathering in Washington, D.C., earlier this year. Yet, Jos, a central Nigerian city of about ,, was the site of  Muslim attacks on Christians in , according to Stefanos Foundation. Boko Haram also killed nearly  in attacks in Kano last January. Yet after those attacks Carson cited poor health, education, and poverty in the north and said they are the reasons violent extremism is flourishing. Though they aren’t saying so publicly, some at the State Department are worried about legitimizing Boko Haram and possibly helping the group’s recruitment efforts if it is labeled an FTO. They believe FTO designations for groups, such as al-Shabaab in Somalia, may have emboldened them to more violence and expansion of terrorism. There’s also concern the designation would give the moderately corrupt Nigerian government license to abuse and kill people at will, using Boko Haram as an excuse. In October, three days before CANAN held a Washington press conference to speak out on the attacks against Christians, a senior member of Boko Haram was arrested at the home of a Nigerian senator, suggesting the terrorists may have support with some in the government. Amnesty International released a report in November accusing both the government and Boko Haram of serious human-rights violations. CANAN chairman James Fadele said the Nigerian government is “no longer



said Emmanuel Ogebe, a Nigerian-American attorney working with CANAN (Officials with the U.S. embassy in the capital, Abuja, have been under travel restrictions keeping them out of the north for most of this year). Ogebe told me President Jonathan has not significantly helped Christians, taking federal funds to build Muslim schools but not rebuilding destroyed churches. “If the U.S. would exert as much pressure on him to care for the Christians as they’re pressuring him to care for the Muslims, maybe he would respond,” Ogebe said.

CANAN is pushing for more help from U.S. Christians, too, many of whom are tied to their Nigerian brethren by more than faith in Christ. Over  Episcopal churches in  U.S. states and  military and civilian chaplains in recent years have come under the oversight of the Anglican Church in Nigeria, which has about  million members. Bishop Julian Dobbs, who oversees the Convocation of Anglicans in North America, told me stateside Christians have an obligation to care for fellow believers and logical reasons to do so: “There is a growing Islamic ideology in the U.S. that clearly wants to see Sharia law applied here in the United States.” Dobbs has surveyed the carnage firsthand in Nigeria, and he refuted the suggestion of sectarian violence, noting that “Islamic terrorists are bent on destroying any sign of the gospel.” Ninety-five percent of Anglicans in the northern Maiduguri Diocese, where Boko Haram is headquartered, have fled into exile, including its bishop. The Anglican bishop in Bauchi, another northern state, described the violence as “butchering on a daily basis.” CANAN leaders have pointed to the Christian missionaries leaving Nigeria as an indication of the country’s grim reality because “they’re always the last to go.” Missions organizations need to be more engaged in advocacy, or they risk losing the ability to go into unreached areas, warns Katharine Gorka, executive director of the Westminster Institute: “Persecution is so on the rise that it’s going to become increasingly difficult for missionaries to go on the field, and it’s increasingly difficult on the converts, who end up being killed. More Christian agencies must get involved in pressuring the U.S. government to crack down on religious persecution.” The persecution continued Nov.  when suicide bombers killed  at St. Andrews Military Protestant Church in the northern town of Jaji. Advocates for Christians predict that a likely day for another attack is Dec. , since Boko Haram has carried out Christmas Day attacks the last two years. Almost two weeks after the attack in Kaduna, St. Rita’s congregants returned to the damaged church to remember the victims. Several were laid to rest side by side in a group burial, symbolic of the collective loss. “We were grieved, but leave vengeance for God,” Archbishop Matthew Ndagoso said. “Let’s all intensify our prayers for those who were persecuting the church.” A


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Backto the



Exposing scandal takes perseverance and fortitude, but seeing our corruption leads to seeing God’s grace by marvin olasky i l l u s t r at i o n b y k r i e g b a r r i e

14th in a series; for previous episodes, go to



t’s been more than six months since my last installment, but we’ve had a busy political year in which, happily, I could just be a journalist. This year’s campaign reminded me of the time I strayed from my lane in 2000 and became involved with George W. Bush’s presidential campaign—but, as I noted in our June 2 issue, by the end of 2001 compassionate conservatism seemed dead in the water, and I could get back to the WORLD lane again. Let me explain about lanes. “Callings” may be a better name, but the football season is still going and some fans remember how Jacoby Jones of the Baltimore Ravens on Oct. 14 tied a National Football League record with a 108-yard kickoff return. Jones took the kick in the end zone and initially went up the middle of the field. One member of the kickoff team saw an opportunity to tackle Jones early, so he headed to intercept Jones near the 10-yard line—but Jones veered to his right and ran into that vacated hole. Had the ambitious tackler stayed in his lane, no touchdown. Kickoff team players learn they must be disciplined. Paul

WORLD • December 15, 2012

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­similarly instructed Corinthians, Ephesians, and others to stay true to their God-given lane assignments (1 Corinthians 12, Ephesians 4). What was WORLD’s lane? As part of my refocus on WORLD early in 2002, l went back to basics, looking at what our journalistic predecessors had concluded when they read the Bible and sought their lanes. They started with Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” They believed that “all” means “all,” and that put them crossways with the reigning job description of a journalist during the 16th and 17th centuries: Make the king and royal officials look good. A brave New York editor, John Peter Zenger, pioneered a new approach for journalists in 1735 when he criticized a corrupt royal governor who stole from Indians and from other colonists. Zenger did it because he was a Christian whose first allegiance was to the objective truth of the Bible—and he did not back down even when jailed. When a jury refused to declare him guilty, he returned to editing. The year after the Zenger case, Virginia Gazette editor William Parks also exposed corruption, including the stealing of sheep by a member of Virginia’s House of Burgesses. Threatened with prosecution, Parks used the Zenger defense of truth-telling: When he produced court records showing the accusation to be accurate, prosecutors dropped the case against him. Christian journalists increasingly saw exposing corruption as part of their calling. As residents of the 13 colonies began to view themselves as Americans, Samuel Adams wrote in the Boston Gazette, “There is nothing so fretting and vexatious, nothing so justly TERRIBLE to tyrants, and their tools and abettors, as a FREE PRESS.” Isaiah Thomas, editor of the Massachusetts Spy, wrote that, without a free press, Americans would have “padlocks on our lips, fetters on our legs, and only our hands left at liberty to slave for our worse than Egyptian task masters.” George Wisner, editor of America’s circulation-leading New York Sun during the 1830s, was a Christian who understood, “The abundance of news is generally an evidence of astounding misery, and even the disinterested deeds of benevolence and philanthropy which we occasionally hear of owe their existence to the wants or sorrows or sufferings of some of our fellow beings.” Wisner ran moral tales concerning the consequences of seduction, adultery, and abandonment, and wrote that he had received “much complaint” from some readers—but he thought naming names of moral offenders was an important deterrent. All these Christian editors understood that we need to become aware of our own corruption to see God’s grace, and if we make readers aware of sin we do them a service. They were aware of Matthew 18’s injunction concerning personal offenses—“If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault …”—but emphasized that those were private offenses (“sins against you”) rather than instances of ­community-affecting corruption such as stealing from the temple treasury. This distinction was even evident in the title of the first American newspaper, Publick Occurrences Both Foreign and


Domestick. A news publication, Christian editor Benjamin Harris pointed out, should emphasize public occurrences, not private affairs, unless those affairs have public ramifications. A minister’s adultery, for example, affects a congre­gation much more than the waywardness of a regular congregant member. For people in public positions who are supposed to model ­virtue and elicit trust, every offense has public ramifications.


aving done my Bible and ­history homework, I gave our star reporter Lynn Vincent (she has since gone on to ghostwrite and co-write three best-selling books, including Sarah Palin’s autobiography) the green light to proceed with a story that would hit our cover in March 2002 as “Clergy Sexual Abuse: The Protestant Problem.” The inside subhead was, “As sexual scandal rocks the Roman Catholic church, Protestants face a lurking sex scandal as well. Will churches and national organizations take biblical steps to prevent further shame?” The story began, “Sometimes the truth is unpleasant. No one enjoys discussing the lives shattered when shepherds turn out to be wolves. But Paul told the Ephesians: Do not merely shun the ‘unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.’ Though the apostle concedes it is disgraceful even to speak of wicked things done in secret, he adds that exposure drags dark deeds into the light, waking ‘sleeping’ believers that they in turn might walk wisely.” Lynn continued, “A disturbing pattern of sexual exploitation is afoot in some churches, including churches that ­generally teach biblical truth. As God told Cain, sin is always crouching at the door, making it essential for both church leaders and members to understand the problem and its warning signs, if they are not to fall into nightmares like these. …” Lynn then named names and provided detail about three Protestant leaders, including one pastor who quoted Scripture to assure one woman that God approved of their sexual contact. I knew upon reading her story draft that trouble loomed, so it was also time for a quick review of what we had done during the decade since 1992, when I first became involved in editing WORLD. We had critically investigated plans to nationalize healthcare and pass out needles to drug addicts while harassing Christian anti-addiction programs. We had exposed Fidel Castro’s license to kill and Chinese Communist use of U.S. technology to force women into aborting their children. We had opposed the Clinton administration when it booted Christian homeless missions from the federal surplus food program, but we had also criticized corporate welfare and crony capitalism. Such efforts had rarely brought “cancel my subscription” notes. It was different, though, when we exposed evangelical leaders who used ghostwriters without acknowledging

WORLD • December 15, 2012

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them, pastors who were silent about abortion, ministries that refused to disclose their finances, Christian counselors who preferred psychobabble to the Bible, and popular Christian musicians who dished out sugar rather than sprinkling salt. We covered the breakdown of Promise Keepers and the attempts to make the New International Version conform to some aspects of feminist ideology. Each time we absorbed some subscription cancellations, but each time we received support from old readers and some new ones as well. Twice we thought it necessary to explain ourselves. When we exposed a popular Christian radio personality, we ran a print cover: “It’s easy to be critical of people outside our own family. We do that often at WORLD. Our week-toweek news coverage leads us regularly to report less than favorable things about people who make no bones about being unbiblical in their lifestyles, in their theology, and in their politics. But what happens when that same reporting leads us to negative information about someone known as an evangelical?” Later in the decade, we criticized a hugely popular pastor, Charles Stanley, when he moved toward divorce while continuing to preach. WORLD publisher and founder Joel Belz acknowledged, “A number of readers have argued that we had no business mentioning the story at all.” Joel, though, stood by the decision to publish: “It is a clear biblical principle that to whom much is given, much is required. ... Such people are to be ‘above reproach.’” Keeping those precedents in mind, I published Lynn’s story of clergy sexual abuse and wrote a column explaining why: “Reporting on evil is always difficult, because we’re well aware of Paul’s injunction to the Philippians: ‘Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure … think about these things’ (Philippians :). That’s our goal. We also know, though, that Paul thought and wrote about sexual immorality in Corinth, idol-worship in Athens, legalism in Galatia, hypocrisy in Jerusalem, and many other false, dishonorable, unjust, and impure practices.” I went on, “Was he breaking his own rule? No. Imagine a family going to the beach on Saturday, or to church on Sunday, and driving by garbage heaps on the way. Should parents and children be depressed? No, they should concen-

trate on what is lovely. That’s the goal, so as not to drown in the sewage of the world. But the world will be a better place if a newspaper columnist on Monday describes that garbage dump and insists that it be cleaned up. Paul was called to look at and write about some rotten stuff at times, and so are journalists.” My conclusion: “As we wondered at times whether we should take the easy out and drop this story on clergy sexual abuse, we were also heartened by what Paul wrote to the Ephesians: ‘Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them’ (Ephesians :). … Actions exposed by the light become visible, and that’s how evildoers are pushed to change lives.” Keeping that in mind, in  we kept criticizing the left in stories like “Sex, lies, and audiotape: Undercover tapes reveal that Planned Parenthood may be aiding and abetting statutory rapists.” But that year we also criticized the Bush administration for its inertia in fighting sex trafficking. In  we published a cover story headlined “It’s not about hate, it’s about debate: A U.S.-based Muslim public-relations group works hard to silence critics of Islam.” But we also knocked the Bush administration for hassling Teen Challenge groups and ineffectively emphasizing bednets rather than insecticides in fighting African malaria. I also began covering examples of Christian compassion abroad: first in Chile, Japan, Cambodia, and India, then in Communist China and Cuba, then at  African sites. We expanded and started ways of recognizing exceptional effort through our Daniel of the Year, Book of the Year, and Effective Compassion awards. Mindy Belz reported from hot spots such as Sudan and Iraq, and we also were at the worldview front lines reporting on Darwinism’s slow meltdown. Coverage of those flash points was worthwhile, and it also gave us credibility when we reported critically about popular evangelical figures Pat Robertson, Alabama Judge Roy Moore, Ralph Reed, and others. As always, our exposure of some Christian problems led to some canceled subscriptions, but we thought it important to have cover stories like the one late in  that grilled “Our pork: How Christian groups are joining the Washington feeding frenzy.” By that time, though, I was embarked on a mission that could win a “least likely to succeed” award. A

Paul was called to look at and write about some rotten stuff at times, and so are journalists.


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11/21/12 5:12 PM


Lifestyle > Technology > Science > Houses of God > Sports > Money > Religion > Education

The potter’s broken pieces >>

Rebecca Gault

Through lumps of clay, RACHEL NORRIS testifies to God’s grace and mercy by Rebecca Gault

Rachel Norris works with clay. Her potter’s house sits on Texas acreage that has been in her family for generations. The shards of failure lie on the ground off the back porch. Her story of redemption works itself out on the wheel. Born to missionary parents in Hong Kong, Norris first came to the United States in 1979: Her parents sent her to their home state of Texas for college, but the Fort Worth culture struck her senses as exotic and sent her reeling off her Christian foundation. Norris waitressed downtown, near the stockyards. She met a young man and became pregnant. She knew how women in Hong Kong took care of these matters, but what did they do in this foreign land? “Oh, that’s easy. All you need is $200,” said a waitress accomplice who drove her to the Planned Parenthood clinic. Norris began art classes at the University of North Texas (UNT). Her gift grew and professors took notice of this talented, young girl. Another young man—handsome, charming, theatrical—professed undying love. His ­charisma attracted her but she repeatedly turned down his marriage proposals. The rebuffs sent him into a rage. She married him, and they moved to upstate New York. Soon oppression eclipsed the honeymoon. Norris shrunk under the weight of physical, mental, and emotional abuse. She smoked marijuana daily and refused to bathe, eat, or get out of bed. “God if You’re real ...” was her weak prayer. Billy Graham’s Peace With God sat on her bookshelf, given to her but never read. Now she read it, and the abundant Scripture within made Norris recall her childhood memory drills. She began to read

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Notebook > Lifestyle her Bible and pull strength from God’s promises. Norris pleaded with her husband to seek counseling with her, to go to church, to turn to God. He refused. In desperation she called her UNT art professor, who recommended her for a pottery job in Sedona, Ariz. She fled the tiny trailer house that had been her prison, and flourished in Sedona’s creative climate. The God of her youth slowly reclaimed her heart and mind. In the desert, she studied the Bible and knew her problem was simple. It was sin. But understanding sin in relationship transformed her life. She read in chapter  of Isaiah that sin separated her from God, but she also read in Paul’s second letter to Timothy that she could be cleansed, redeemed, and set apart for useful purpose: If she laid down the shame that burdened her, Jesus would pick it up and carry it. Norris’ parents retired from the mission field after  years and returned to the family homestead in Bryan, Texas. Her mother, overwhelmed from years of battling depression, suffered a nervous breakdown. At the same time, Norris accepted a job near Bryan that ended abruptly. Divorced and unemployed, she moved into her parents’ home. There she began to explore the prophets’ word picture of God as the Potter and His people as clay. She

reflected on her own life: How God formed her as clay, and how it was His prerogative to smash and reform her, creating a useful vessel. At her wheel, she formed a pitcher, smashed it and rewedged the lump. She centered the new lump on the potter’s wheel and formed a new vessel, observing that centering the clay is as much about knowing when to apply pressure as it is knowing when to release. Even lumps go to church, thought Norris. After drying came the fire. This changed the clay’s character. The fire made it strong and fit for use. As creator-potter, Norris monitored her creation’s time in the flame closely, careful not to remove the red, glowing vessel too soon. She chose this clay to become an ornamental fruit bowl and dug her design tools into its flesh. God chose her to display the fruits of the Spirit as a potter. These principles became the basis for her first public testimony, coached by her brother-in-law. Word spread. Local churches and women’s groups




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—Rebecca Gault is a Texas writer

Natural selections Advertising Age reported recently on America’s changing food preferences. In  a typical grocery store carried , products. Today the typical store carries ,—and still has difficulty appealing to every consumer type. Grab-and-go foods—things you don’t have to heat—appeal to millennials, if the items are natural or ethnic. Baby boomers want small sizes. Store brand yogurt appeals to “realists,” the  percent of the population that cares most about value, while Greek yogurt appeals to “elites.” Increasingly, companies emphasize “natural”—rather than “organic,” which connotes expensive—and simplify ingredient lists. The article notes, “Lay’s potato chips promote ‘three simple ingredients’ (potatoes, oil, salt),” and concludes with a reminder of how things used to be: “Sixty years ago when the specialty food trade organization launched, Swiss chocolate was considered exotic and the standard ethnic food options were Italian pasta and chop suey.” —Susan Olasky


Fans of Star Wars action figures or plastic Papa Smurfs might soon have something better (but expensive) to put in the toy box. A D copying machine at the Eye of Gyre exhibit in Japan, which runs until Jan. , allows people by appointment to pose for a photo and be rewarded with a small D replica of themselves. The little action figures come in three sizes starting at  centimeters (. inches) and costing , yen (). —S.O.

called her to speak frequently. Resolved to gulp down her fear of public speaking, she readied herself to bring God glory through her life. Today, Norris is remarried with two children and owns Joy Pottery, where she creates functional and decorative clay products. She travels with her wheel, giving personal testimony of brokenness and redemption. “Don’t rest in a place of potential and comfort,” she tells her audiences. The broken pieces off her back porch are memorials of God’s grace.

Download WORLD’s new iPad app today; details at

11/20/12 1:53 PM


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top: Rebecca Gault • bottom: handout photos

Most “experts” like doctors, personal trainers and other such people that would be expected to know everything about exercise are ignorant of some important facts relating to health and fitness and they firmly believe that the 4 minute exercise, we introduced in 1990 as the first and only fast interval trainer, is impossible. All we got 22 years ago was ridicule and laughter from the “experts”. Then finally, a few years ago it was "discovered" that HIT and HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training), is the most effective exercise to improve health and fitness, and the media finally started to pay attention to the 4 minute per day high intensity interval training what we had introduced many years ago in 1990 as the most time efficient and most effective and despite its very high price, the least expensive and most successful method of exercise. We now slowly get less ridicule, less laughter and gradually more respect from some of the “experts” that still ridiculed our ROM360 machine just a few years ago. Those few experts that finally tested the ROM360 for 4 minutes have become instant converts and are now declaring our ROM360 the best and most effective form of exercise they have ever done. Don't let the "HIGH INTENSITY" scare you because it can be done by 100 year old people and totally de-conditioned, even unhealthy and handicapped people. On the other end of the spectrum, the most fit and most highly trained individuals such as Navy Seals and martial arts competitors are using our ROM360 machines to get their bodies into top fighting condition. Too fit for health?

Most people believe that Fitness is the same as Health. It is not. Fitness is the ability to produce energy with muscles, win Gold medals, create good looking bodies with a flat stomach and muscular limbs. Health is the absence of illness and does not produce the impressive good looking bodies that Fitness does. Health requires a generous increase of through all the cell tissues of the body for just a couple of minutes per day. Cardiovascular exercise will create this 25 LIFESTYLE.indd 63

extra Plasma Circulation that promotes health and a stronger immune system and slows the ageing process. Extreme Fitness will harm health and weakens the immune system by decreasing Plasma Circulation. Fitness results in very impressive looking bodies but will increase flow of blood through muscles and that diverts blood flow away from all the rest of the cell tissues in the body. A high degree of fitness is harmful to health by decreasing Plasma Circulation to the vital organs and the brain and it makes for a less strong immune system and faster ageing. This is the reason why many extremely fit people develop serious health problems and do not live very long. On a regular basis the news media report on very fit people that died and we don’t understand why, because they were known to be so fit. Yes, they were too fit for health and longevity and a strong immune system. For everything in life there is a “Too little” a “Too much” and a “Just right” also referred to as “Moderation". Our ROM360 4 minute machine gives you a fitness score at the end of the 4 minute exercise that shows your progress in fitness and also shows you when your fitness is getting too high for health and when you should decrease your effort and do the 4 minutes in more moderation. Remember that fitness to a certain level is desirable, but beyond such level will create illness. Read startling new insights at The importance of

Vigorous blood circulation to all the parts of the body is needed to maintain health, to slow the ageing process and to prevent and cure illness. Many farmers and people that had physical occupations a few generations ago used to live to 95 and even over 100 years old because they did the kind of physical work that gave them the right type of “exercise” that creates generous blood circulation through all the capillaries in the body. There are also wrong types of exercise that increase the blood circulation in muscles resulting in a decrease of blood circulation to all other cell tissues in the body. Steel workers and dock workers got the wrong type of exercise that increased blood circulation on a permanent basis in their muscles at the expense of plasma circulation to vital organs and all other cell tissues in their body, resulting in more illness and faster ageing.

11/21/12 5:14 PM

Notebook > Technology

Drone surge

Use of unmanned aircraft over central Asia is on the rise as the war there ‘ends’ BY DANIEL JAMES DEVINE


October , an average of about one strike per day. Drones are responsible for only a portion of total U.S. air strikes in Afghanistan, which are decreasing overall. But the robotic aircraft are playing a more prominent role, carrying out  percent of all air attacks this year, up from  percent last year. Drones are a favorite counterterror weapon of the Obama administration, although the president rarely discusses the topic. Critics—both conservatives and liberals—say the administration should be more transparent about its drone strikes and the thousands of foreigners they kill, including not just terrorists but some civilians. Drone attacks in Pakistan, Yemen,

and Somalia, though less frequent than in Afghanistan, are executed covertly by the CIA and the military’s Joint Special Operations Command, which draw from on-theground intelligence to target leading al-Qaeda and Taliban operatives. The drone strategy for the global war on terror began under President George W. Bush and came of age under Obama, who has overseen about  strikes in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia during the past four years, according to estimates published on Foreign Policy magazine’s website. Bush, by comparison, oversaw about  drone strikes in the region. DRONE: U.S. Air Force Predator at unnamed location.


In November the U.S. Department of Defense began requiring its electronic parts suppliers to mark certain microcircuits with a special ink made of plant DNA. The ink glows under laser light and is difficult to replicate, making it an ideal tool to prevent unscrupulous suppliers from selling fake electronic components to the government. Counterfeit electronics—flawed, sometimes recycled parts passed off as top-grade components and deeply discounted—are a growing problem for the military, aerospace, and healthcare sectors. In October the research firm IHS reported the number of “high risk” suppliers the U.S. government flagged as unsafe for contracts because of questionable business practices (including counterfeiting) increased about  percent over the past decade, to , in . Earlier this year the company noted the number of global incidents involving counterfeit electronics reached a record high in . The estimated value of such parts in the U.S. supply chain is  billion. Counterfeit parts are dangerous because a flawed component could cause a medical device or an aircraft to malfunction. It’s also possible that foreign powers could purposely introduce flawed parts into the U.S. military supply chain, sabotaging jets or missiles. In  the Missile Defense Agency found suspected counterfeit components inside the computers controlling its portable, high-altitude missile-defense system. The agency did fix the problem, but it cost taxpayers . million. —D.J.D.



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P B O has spoken of ending the war in Afghanistan in order to “do some nation-building here at home.” He has reduced the number of American troops in Afghanistan to ,, down from the height of , last year. His plan is to end combat operations there by . But as troops withdraw, other U.S. firepower has increased. Drones are now making more strikes against Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan than at any point during the -year conflict. Newly released figures from the U.S. Air Force for the first time chart the number of annual “weapon releases” from U.S. drones in Afghanistan— from January to


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11/21/12 3:45 PM 11/9/12 9:25 AM

Into red space

By daniel james devine


While the United States ­converts its space shuttle fleet into museum showpieces in New York City, Los Angeles, and elsewhere, China is busy launching astronauts into low Earth orbit. As the third nation to establish its own human spaceflight program—after the United States and Russia—China is pursuing an ambitious plan to establish itself as a space power, scientifically and perhaps militarily. The 30-year plan, approved in 1992 and known as “Project 921,” has the goal of building a Chinese space station by 2020. (That’s the same year the International Space Station, a $100

FITTING THE CRIME  Oil giant BP agreed to pay the largest criminal fine

in U.S. history—$1.256 billion—as part of a $4.5 billion settlement with the Justice Department over the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010. The London-based company admitted to negligence in the case of 11 workers who died when the oil rig exploded, and to withholding information from Congress about the oil spill rate. Three former BP employees still face criminal charges, and the company must settle environmental fines of up to $20 billion for releasing almost 5 million barrels of oil in the Gulf of Mexico. —D.J.D.


WORLD • December 15, 2012

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Astronauts: STR/AFP/GettyImages • spacecraft: Beijing Aerospace Control Center via Xinhua /ap • oil spill: Deepwater Horizon/ap

China’s ambitious space program may serve both national pride and military

­ illion lab the United States helped b build, may be decommissioned.) Space ambitions are often larger on blueprint than in real life, but China appears on course to meet its goals. In June three Chinese astronauts docked for the first time with an experimental space lab, Tiangong 1, the country launched last year. Chinese space officials intend to launch two more space labs containing scientific instruments, such as a gamma ray burst detector. They intend to launch an X-ray telescope in 2015. They’re building their own satellite navigation system, a rival to GPS. Earlier this year they tested a liquid oxygen and kerosene engine for a new rocket, the Long March 5, capable of launching 27-ton payloads. The heavy-lift rocket will enable China to build a space station, and perhaps fulfill another Chinese dream: reaching the moon. The space aspirations of the People’s Republic of China come decades after NASA astronauts planted an American flag on lunar dust. According to Dean Cheng, an Asian studies expert at The

SPACE Heritage Foundation, EXPLOITS: China is in a space Astronauts competition not wave to the against the United crowd prior to space mission; States but against China's Japan and India. Shenzhou-9 Still, it’s a little manned embarrassing to see spacecraft docks with the China launching Tiangong-1 humans at a time space lab. when American astronauts are forced to rent seats on Russian rockets. (NASA’s next rocket, the Space Launch System, isn’t expected to carry astronauts until 2021.) What’s worrisome about China’s space exploits, though, is not their boost to the country’s ego, but their boost to its military prowess. In 2007 China shot down one of its own aging weather satellites in a missile test ­censured by U.S. officials. Currently, it’s testing a robotic space plane called the Shenlong, less than 20 feet in length and rocketlike, whose purpose is undisclosed. Analysts believe it to be a small-scale answer to the U.S. Air Force’s experimental X-37B space plane, a robotic craft that returned from its own classified mission this summer, perhaps conducting Middle East ­surveillance. With such spacecraft in the works, Chinese and American officials will be eyeing each other closely. Your online source for today’s news, Christian views 

11/26/12 2:38 PM

Lam Yik Fei/Getty Images

Notebook > Science


Lam Yik Fei/Getty Images

Notebook > Houses of God

A female resident passes a church in Guryong slum on Oct. 30, 2012, in Seoul, South Korea. Located near South Korea’s wealthy Gangnam district, Guryong is now the largest slum settlement in Seoul, and most of its residents are elderly and living in poverty.

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11/20/12 1:58 PM

Notebook > Sports Here’s a look at some of the other highest singlegame scoring outbursts in the history of the game: FEBRUARY 2, 1954 Clarence “Bevo” Francis needed just  shots to pile up  points in Rio Grande College’s - victory over Hillsdale College. FEBRUARY 13, 1954 Less than two weeks after Francis set his mark, Furman University guard Frank Selvy became the first Division I college player to reach triple digits when he dropped  points in a - victory over Newberry College. Selvy made  of his  shots.

Grinnell sophomore JACK TAYLOR scored  points, but why did he need  shots to do it? BY MARK BERGIN




25 SPORTS and MONEY.indd 68

FEBRUARY 7, 1990 Before going on to win four Olympic gold medals and two WNBA titles, Lisa Leslie turned in what may be the most dominant performance ever in an organized basketball game. As a junior at Morningside High School in Inglewood, Calif., she scored  points in the first half against South High School. She was well on her way to eclipsing Cheryl Miller’s national record of  points in a girls’ high-school game, but the South High School team refused to return to the floor after halftime, leaving the final score -. APRIL 5, 2006 Anat Draigor, a mother who was then  years old, scored  points in a Division III game in Israel, recognized by Guinness World Records as the highest single-game total ever in women’s professional basketball. She led Hapoel Mate Yehuda to a - victory over Elitzur Givat Shmuel.


J T  on his first four shots of the night. And doubts crept into the sophomore guard’s mind. Would the cold shooting that had plagued him during a weekend tournament now carry over into the Nov.  game against Faith Baptist Bible College? Was it time to pass first, shoot second? But Taylor found his shooting stroke—and then some—scoring  points to lead Grinnell College to a - victory. The offensive eruption set a single-game collegiate record—shattering the old mark of  points by Clarence “Bevo” Francis of Rio Grande College of Ohio in . Taylor’s eye-popping total, which included  made -pointers, sparked an international media frenzy at the small Iowa college, but not all the press was positive: Some wondered whether a performance that required  shot attempts was truly worth celebrating. Taylor finished the game without a single assist, not one pass to provide teammates a scoring opportunity. Of the major team sports, only basketball mires its greatest single-player performances in questions about selfishness. Rarely is a home run slugger or quarterback dubbed a ball hog for lighting up the scoreboard. But on the hardwood, just who will take the shot on any given possession is a delicate decision that weighs talent, rhythm, and opportunity. That balance is admittedly upset in Grinnell coach David Arseneault’s high-speed offense, which relies on a shoot-first culture and features substitution patterns akin to hockey line changes. Players become somewhat interchangeable and feeding the hot hand becomes paramount. In , Grinnell’s Griffin Lentsch set an NCAA Division III single-game scoring record with  points. He scored just seven points on Taylor’s record-setting night. Still, debates loom over whether an outlandish point total for a single player constitutes good basketball.


11/27/12 3:58 PM


Trigger happy

MARCH 2, 1962 Wilt Chamberlain became the only NBA player to score  points in a single game. He needed only  shots to do it but also went to the foul line  times and grabbed  rebounds. Chamberlain’s Philadelphia Warriors beat the New York Knicks that night -, and the center averaged more than  points per game that year.

Notebook > Money

Cared to death

The costs of Obamacare add up as employers lay off workers and cut back hours BY WARREN COLE SMITH




Steakhouse, and other W M M, CEO of chains—said it will Cincinnati’s Jancoa Janitorial experiment with “limServices, testified July  before iting the hours of some the House of its workers to avoid Committee on health care requireOversight and ments under the Government Affordable Care Act.” Reform, her mesJohn Schnatter, founder sage was clear: and CEO of Papa John’s The federal Pizza, said the new law healthcare law would cost Papa John’s would force her between  million and and her husband  million annually. “to choose Customers and employbetween several impossible options in ees will bear most of order to remain in business.” The these costs, he said. options: either increase premiums for Obamacare doesn’t just hit lowher  full-time employees, cease wage retail and fast-food employees. coverage and pay a more than Medical device manufacturers, who , penalty, or downgrade worktypically hire highers to part-time status. wage, technically So far, the company trained workers, also hasn’t had layoffs and Layoffs so far take a hit from the can operate until  attributed to Obamacare mandated medical without incurring device tax. Welch Allyn, penalties. But other Smith & Nephew  Abbot Labs  a New York manufaccompanies, especially Covidien  turer of medical diaglarger companies, are Kinetic Concepts  nostic equipment, taking preemptive steps St. Jude Medical  announced in to avoid the impact of Hill Rom  September it would lay the healthcare law. Stryker , off  employees, or The law requires Murray Energy  roughly  percent of its employers to provide workforce, over the health insurance for Companies that next three years. The employees working will reduce worker conservative group more than  hours a hours below Obamacare’s FreedomWorks said at week. So grocery retailer 30-hour threshold least  medical device Kroger, with more than companies have Darden Restaurants , employees, , employees announced more than said it will limit partKroger , , job cuts since time employees to  employees passage of the hours per week. Darden Papa John’s , Affordable Care Act. Restaurants—which employees Boston Scientific plans employs , people Sources: FreedomWorks , to , job cuts, at Red Lobster, Olive and media accounts but spokesman Steven Garden, Longhorn


25 SPORTS and MONEY.indd 69

Campanini told WORLD the job cuts are “not related to Obamacare. We are going through a restructuring plan. We’re aligning our business to the markets we serve.” Campanini acknowledged, though, that Boston Scientific has worked to repeal the medical device tax, which he called an “innovation tax.” And that may be the most significant long-term cost of Obamacare: that it stifles innovation and entrepreneurship. Jancoa’s Mary Miller said her company started a “Dream Manager” program that allowed her mostly low-wage employees to achieve long-term goals such as purchasing a home and starting a business. “Our mantra has been to take the ‘dead-end’ out of ‘dead-end jobs’ and let our employees grow.” Federal healthcare, she said, will likely force her to “put an end to our very successful Dream Manager program. Regrettably, for me and my employees, the new health care law is a ‘dream killer.’” A BEARING THE COST: Employees at Kroger (top) and Papa John’s.



11/27/12 4:57 PM

Notebook > Religion

Campus ministry conflict Cru finds itself in debate over women’s roles in ministry BY THOMAS KIDD




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“men and women leading together.” They gave Harman three weeks to reconsider his position, and said that if he remained “dogmatic” about the issue, he could no longer serve as Missional Team Leader. Harman decided that he would not change the practice, and Cru demoted him. As campus director at Louisville, Harman has permitted female staff to speak in front of mixedgender audiences on a number of ministryrelated topics, and to assume numerous leadership roles relative to both female and male students. But Harman contends that Scripture prohibits women teaching the Bible to adult men (including those of college age), based on passages such as  Timothy :-, in which Paul says, “Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet.” Mark DeMoss, a spokesman representing Cru, argues that the personnel issue is essentially about policy, not theology: “A local campus leader for Cru in Kentucky was asked to relinquish his current leadership position, not because of a theological disagreement, but rather, because of a failure to abide by the terms for holding a position of leadership within Cru,” he told me. DeMoss confirmed Harman’s contention that he was not advised of Cru’s policy until after coming to Louisville, but he notes that regardless of the timing, Harman knows what the policy is now. Cru staff, DeMoss said, do not have to agree with their leadership on every

“Cru has chosen not to allow secondary issues to become primary passions and divert us from proclaiming Christ to the world.” theological issue, but they do have to abide by Cru’s standard ministry practices. Among these practices is women and men sharing leadership, including both women and men exercising “gifts of Bible teaching,” DeMoss told me. A Cru written statement from DeMoss commented further, “Cru is passionate about connecting men and women to Jesus Christ. … While believers understandably have different beliefs on a wide variety of theological issues, Cru has chosen not to allow secondary issues to become primary passions and divert us from proclaiming Christ to the world.” Harman says that although he still deeply respects Cru, he does not see a long-term future for himself in their ministry (he currently remains on Cru staff, in spite of the demotion). He may pursue a church-based pastoral position, as he is currently studying for a Master of Divinity degree at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. A


C  ’ roles in ministry have rocked churches in recent decades. But at the University of Louisville’s chapter of Cru, the conflict has entered the world of campus ministry. Cru officials recently demoted Louisville’s Missional Team Leader, Daniel Harman, over his refusal to allow female staff to teach Bible studies to mixed-gender audiences. Harman is an -year veteran of Cru (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ), having served as a missionary in Eastern Europe for eight years prior to becoming the director at Louisville in . Harman became concerned about Cru’s policy on women in ministry at a staff training meeting in spring , when Cru officials noted that they required male and female campus staff to share leadership duties. Harman asserts that he tried repeatedly to understand the implications of the policy. He encountered other Missional Team Leaders who did not agree with Cru’s stance on fully shared leadership and teaching between women and men. But these dissenters told him, in effect, “Stay focused on evangelism and discipleship and they [Cru officials] will leave you alone.” This fall, however, one of Louisville’s female Cru staff members asked Harman for clarification about whether women could teach the Bible in mixed-gender Cru meetings, and Harman said they could not. The exchange came to the attention of regional Cru officials, who met with Harman and reiterated Cru’s policy of


11/28/12 8:41 AM

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11/19/12 1:16 PM

   

Notebook > Education

School’s out Two major cities battle over saving their school systems by closing schools BY JOY PULLMANN


former Chancellor Michelle Rhee’s boss for a union-backed mayor. But new Chancellor Kaya Henderson insists the capital wastes money on halfempty schools. In a hearing, city council members objected to closing schools in their wards but agreed closure savings should go toward improving academics. Both cities desperately need that. Half of Chicago and  percent of D.C. students drop out. Four in five fourthgraders in both districts can barely read, and students have flocked to charter schools—but school districts rarely let charters use their buildings. —Joy Pullmann is the editor of School Reform News

Musical chairs After a half day of math training, Beaverton, Ore., high-school history teacher Jessica Keskitalo is teaching seventh-grade math this year. She is one of  teachers shifted by seniority to fill in for laid-off teachers cut by the Beaverton district. Oregon requires districts to lay off teachers with the least experience first, instead of assessing expertise and classroom needs. Beaverton has moved teachers from social studies to science, singing to math, French to science, and so on. Beaverton estimates that it placed about  teachers in “significantly different positions.” Keskitalo, , has never taught math, and has taught middle school during only one month of student teaching. Teachers and principals had no say over the transfers. Beaverton transferred district librarian Jenny Takeda into a third-grade classroom one week before the Oregon Association of School Libraries named her Librarian of the Year. She chose to substitute teach while rethinking her career. According to the National Council on Teacher Quality, “the overwhelming majority of school districts use seniority as the only determinant of teacher layoff decisions.” —J.P.



25 EDUCATION.indd 72



program, teacher evaluations tied to student test scores, and new grade-by-grade tests and curriculum requirements shared by  states. Although Ritz can’t change the laws, she can change how the state implements them. Indiana’s school grades, for example, depend partly on student test scores—but Ritz dislikes evaluating schools. Outgoing Governor Mitch Daniels, though, noted that Ritz will report to a “proreform” board of education that Daniels appointed. Bennett lost, some say, because Ritz’s union targeted Bennett with cheap, effective Facebook and Twitter posts. Others blame Bennett’s aggressive style, perfected as a high-school basketball coach. Tea Party activists opposed Bennett’s unwavering support of the Common Core—K- standards and tests that nearly every state has adopted since the Obama administration required them in return for federal grants and legal waivers. —J.P.


C  W, D.C., officials are attempting to prepare parents and teachers for school closings. Both have lost thousands of students in the past decade, a national trend for urban districts: Chicago is down about  percent (, students) and the District of Columbia  percent (, students). Unions are fighting school closings, even when districts face astonishing budget deficits: “If you close our schools, there will be no peace in the city,” promised Chicago Teachers Union vice president Jesse Sharkey. Closures will also be difficult in Washington: After she closed  mostly low-performing schools, voters ousted

An opponent of school vouchers and public charter schools will now manage Indiana’s expanding portfolio of both. Last month Indiana voters kicked out nationally recognized school reformer Tony Bennett and put in his place, as Indiana’s state superintendent of education, union official Glenda Ritz. In the past two years, Indiana has instituted the biggest statewide voucher

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11/21/12 5:24 PM

Mailbag ‘An electric atmosphere’

Nov.  On election night, my husband and I joined our local rescue mission in their nightly worship service. When we left, we turned on the car radio and didn’t like what we heard, but our hearts were still ringing with Scripture and praise. The perfect way to spend election night was to focus not on the president of the United States but on the King of the universe. —S H. A, Las Vegas, Nev.

‘King’s crisis’ Nov.  I commend WORLD for exposing what Dinesh D’Souza was doing regarding his personal life. And thank you for the prayer from your board of directors, published on your website, expressing your heart and concern for the integrity of our Christian witness. Your handling of this situation speaks volumes and glorifies our Lord. —T W. J, Colorado Springs, Colo.

I suspect a hidden, liberal motive in running this article about D’Souza. I suspect this is retaliation for the movie . Please cancel my subscription. —L B, Camden, Ohio

am more concerned than ever about the state of the church. The allegations that WORLD has some sort of vendetta against D’Souza are unproven and have nothing to do with the facts of his behavior. I admire WORLD for reporting this and think you did it very professionally. —J  G, Dayton, Ohio

You’ve done a great job in the past but this piece on D’Souza looks like terrible judgment. —J  J H, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

Please cancel my subscription. You ought to be ashamed for your actions! —D H, Cumming, Ga.

D’Souza suffers from the same nonsense that other male Christian leaders suffer from: unaccountability. It is an epidemic in Christian leadership circles. —B D, New York, N.Y.

Both D’Souza and WORLD taint the image Christians are supposed to present to the world. —R B, Ebensburg, Pa.

After reading online many negative comments about the D’Souza story, I

Send photos and letters to:

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direction to those who requested such. This care was sought confidentially. Asking judges and juries to decide how pastors should provide care could hinder, not help, families dealing with trauma related to sin including child sexual abuse. We grieve deeply for any child who has been a victim of abuse. We want to minister the love, grace, and healing of God to any who have suffered this horrific act. SGM is committed to integrity and faithfulness in pastoral care, and it encourages the pastors of its associated local congregations to do likewise. —T H, Director of Administration, Sovereign Grace Ministries, Louisville, Ky.

‘Electronic delusion’ Nov.  Electronic media can indeed be a distraction. Before long, priorities start to fall out of place, identities become more abstract and vague, and truth harder to find. Social media are not only a delusion, they turn people away from the things that matter in life in favor of a world that steals time, thoughts, and opportunities. —S R  J G,

D’Souza should consider how God’s grace can restore a broken relationship. It is ironic that a great apologetic, the idea that our marriages represent Christ’s love for the church to the watching world, is missing in this great apologist’s arsenal. He is certainly in our prayers. —W C, Denton, Texas

‘Troubled ministry’ Nov.  Sovereign Grace Ministry leaders provided biblical guidance and spiritual

Chicago, Ill.

‘Cheer fear’ Nov.  Wow—public-school cheerleaders displaying Bible-verse-filled banners at high-school football games! So often I read of Texans pushing back at our anti-Christian culture. I’d pack up my family into our Honda “Mayflower” and sail to Texas if there weren’t a dire need for Christian pro-lifers in the Northeast. —B B, Bel Air, Md.



11/20/12 11:59 AM




OMAHA BEACH, NORMANDY, FRANCE submitted by Mark Heredia

‘Not forsaken’ Nov.  I was impressed that resourceful churches in Syria, Egypt, and Iran continued teaching their members through satellite television after their Bibles were confiscated. Knowing that Christians in Syria prayed for strong faith, rather than freedom from persecution, humbled me and encouraged me to pray for a stronger faith. —A W, Newport Beach, Calif.

Nov.  Certainly we disagree with certain candidates, but the man caricatured as a clown in that cartoon is not merely a political candidate but our president. We are called to pray for our leaders, not ridicule them. —K A, Clover, S.C.

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Oct.  WORLD continues to help me maintain some hope in the middle of all this political muddle. Neither candidate fully was fit to serve us well. Now we believers must confront the reality that our image is not great. Perhaps our own rhetoric can be more thoughtful now so we are not labeled as backward, archaic, judgmental, and bigoted. —R S, Kingston, Tenn.


Verses are in King James Version

‘Not having what it takes’

Oct.  Having come to Jesus at a Friends Sunday school, I disagree that Friends are “outside the pale of orthodox Christianity.” Almost all the Friends I have known would say “Jesus is Lord” and they have salvation through Him because of Godgenerated faith. Richard Nixon may not be the best example of Quaker faith. —L M, Colton, Ore.

It’s too bad those  people Joel Belz interviewed, and too many others, weren’t aware of what the stakes were in this election. Far too many Christians think, like the world, that what you see is all there is, but what’s unseen is also real. —K L, Indianapolis, Ind.

‘Blocking the shots’ Oct.  I cannot rule out that immunizing children might be the best approach. However, as a physician I take the position that there are equally scientifically sound reasons to say that the risks equal or are greater than the benefits. Other effective treatments exist including, for example, vitamins A and C for measles.

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And I don’t buy, in most situations, the idea that Christians should support immunization simply to help protect others. If vaccines work as well as some say, then for the people who get them it does not matter whether others have gotten them.

A 2013 Statewide Prayer Conference

Old Town Baptist Church, Winston-Salem, NC March 15-16, 2013 | Acts 3:19

—M A. S, Monterey, Tenn.

I was disappointed with your treatment of vaccines. Sometimes experts are wrong or change their minds. As for being considerate neighbors and citizens, sure, we should consider the societal impact of not taking vaccines but we should not treat the risk of autism lightly. —B S, Portland, Ore.

‘Psychology today’ Sept.  Thank you for reminding us to pray for graduate students at secular universities. They truly need our prayers and God’s guidance. WORLD does a great service by reminding us about the good happening in education in addition to the difficult, problematic elements. Teaching at a community college in a fairly rural, economically depressed area has helped me to see some of the joys and sorrows of our current educational system.

Darryl Craft

Temple Baptist Church

John Franklin

John Franklin Ministries

R. Logan Carson Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

Baptist State Convention of North Carolina • Milton A. Hollifield, Jr., Executive Director-Treasurer 205 Convention Drive • Cary, NC 27511 • (919) 467-5100 • (800) 395-5102 • The missions and ministries of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina are made possible by your gifts through the Cooperative Program and the North Carolina Missions Offering.

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In a statement Sovereign Grace Ministries noted, “The lawsuit does not allege any act of child abuse by a pastor or staff member of SGM or of an associated church” (“Troubled ministry,” Nov. , p. ).

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—M H, Trenton, Mo.

In the movie Argo, the Iranian protesters who stormed the U.S. Embassy chanted in Farsi (“Spy game,” Nov. , p. ).

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11/26/12 2:01 PM

Andrée Seu Peterson

Good gifts

God’s word is a gift that is meant to be used



W   , my brother’s friend, Andre Senecal, got so many gifts at Christmas that some were still unopened in late January. The Bible is your best gift this Christmas. Ask the Kimyals of Papua, Indonesia. On March , , a Mission Aviation Fellowship GA Airvan sliced through a mountain range in the Eastern Highlands with a cargo of Bibles. The villagers in tribal finery turned out with awe and dancing. Five men walking abreast approached the strange white bird with Old Testament solemnity. Then the chieftain lifted his voice: “O God, O God, the plan which You had from the beginning, regarding Your Kimyals, which already existed in Your Spirit—the month that You set, the day that You had set—has come to pass today. O my Father, Father, the promise that You gave Simeon that he would see Jesus Christ, and hold Him in his arms before he died, I also have been waiting under that same promise, O God.” He continued: “You looked at all the different languages and chose which ones You will put Your Word into. You thought that we should see Your Word in our language. Today, the day you had chosen for this to be fulfilled, has come to pass. O God, today You have placed Your Word into my hands, just like You promised. You have placed it here in our land. And for all this, O God, I give you praise.” An ancient woman in the crowd spoke: “We have taken God’s word, and have accepted it. We have put it into our hearts and now we are going to give it to you young people who need to also take it and accept it and obey it.” Then came joyful sobbing, and men carried boxes on their shoulders. A cart not unlike the one that transported the Ark from Philistia trundled its precious wares amid great procession. The radiant village teacher said: “Before, when I taught God’s Word, I used the Indonesian Scriptures, I used the Dani Scriptures, and I used the Yali Scriptures. I used the Nalca Bible to teach the Word. I’ve been doing that how many years? On March , when God’s Word came to Korupun in the Kimyal language, it fell down to us into our hands. So that was like a weapon in my hand. I don’t have to translate it. It’s ready to use.” Around  .., long overdue repairs on the Temple unearthed a fearful finding that made its way


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up the chain of command. Hilkiah the high priest passed it off to Shaphan the secretary, who brought the dangerous cache to the king—and “when the king heard the words of the Law, he tore his robes” ( Chronicles :). Two centuries later, Governor Nehemiah called together the exile returnees rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem, because they needed to hear what Ezra the priest handed him: “He read from it facing the square before the Water Gate from early morning until midday. … And the ears of all the people were attentive to the Book of the Law. And Ezra the scribe stood on a wooden platform that they had made for the purpose” (Nehemiah ). The next step after opening your gift is using it. Where the Lord says to bless those who curse you (Luke :), make today the first day you actually do that. Where he says, “be perfect” (Matthew :), start being ruthless with sin in your life. Where he says, “Do not be anxious” (Matthew :), catch those pebble-in-the-shoe anxieties and rebuke them in the name of the One who gives your daily bread. When your open Bible says, “You are of more value than many sparrows” (Matthew :), let it change your chronically poor self-image. When it says, “Unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew :), understand and don’t be enamored with the inner circle of intellectuals. When it says that to the one who has, more will be given, and he will have an abundance (Matthew :), determine to use the faith you have, and go for the abundance. You will not run out of gifts before the Son of Man returns. A



11/26/12 10:32 AM

Marvin Olasky

Leading with our chin

With lessons learned from past and present, an opportunity to partner in the future




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taking money directly from a leading enabler of sex outside of marriage, and indirectly from a proabortion foundation. The most prominent religious left organization was indeed on a radical atheist’s payroll. The high-profile president of a Christian college was indeed married to one woman and traveling—to give speeches about Christian values—with another he introduced as his fiancée. In each case, the subject of our story responded with outrage. For example, Jim Wallis said I was a liar, until his staff told him, Ah, Jim, we did take money from Soros. In each case, documentable events vindicated us: The NAE announced it was saying no to a second grant from those promoting contraception for the unmarried. Jim Wallis manfully apologized. The King’s College board accepted its president’s resignation. No one has ever sued WORLD for libel: It could happen, but we’ve been careful to get the facts right. In each case we had a remarkable impact, as hundreds of publications and websites picked up what we had reported. That’s providential technology at work at a time when many news organizations prefer orating to original reporting. So here’s a thought: If we can have that big an impact while using the little finger of one hand as we cover swirling political, economic, and cultural news, what could we do with additional resources? What if we employed the hands of an experienced investigative journalist and two hard-charging young reporters in a special unit devoted to exposing corruption in government and elsewhere? We cannot ignore stories about evangelical problems that fall into our lap, but we’d much rather focus our attention outward—and there’s lots to see. Now that we’re unpopular in some evangelical circles, will you help to make us appropriately unpopular in Washington? We’re providing a few other giving opportunities as well: You could focus on training more Christian journalists, advancing WORLD Radio, or reaching more young people. Please use the envelope in this issue to send us a gift, or go to and click “Donate” to learn about your options. With your gift, you might even want to suggest some investigative assignment you think we should pursue! A


M R  J R wrote recently, “I’m incredibly grateful for WORLD magazine. It plays a vital watchdog role in the evangelical world. If it weren’t for WORLD, the National Association of Evangelicals would probably still be taking money from the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy; no one would know that Sojourners took money from George Soros; and D’Souza would still be president of King’s.” You might be wondering why I would lead this column with items that made WORLD (and me) painfully unpopular in some circles. Some folks wrote: “Cancel my subscription”—and a few of them weren’t even subscribers! It would make more sense to lead with this reminder to the many pregnancy resource directors and counselors who read WORLD: “By Dec. , please email Rob Patete ( photos of babies born to moms helped by your center. We want to publish them in our annual Roe v. Wade issue, and we’ll need a signed release ( docs/PhotoRelease.pdf) from the baby’s parent or guardian.” Everyone loves babies, right? And we love accentuating the positive with a contest like that, or with our annual Hope Award for Effective Compassion, our Daniel of the Year and Book of the Year awards, or our stories about marriages that have lasted for at least  years. But the reason we also include occasional investigative stories is that we have a calling: See “Back to the journalist’s lane” on p.  for a summary of what we learned to do from  to . And we’ve learned more from those three recent stories for which Julie Roys is grateful. None was a cover story. None was a huge investigative project. Whistleblowers who weren’t on our staff brought problems to the attention of our seasoned editorial team. We analyzed what we learned, because when an offense is personal (“when your brother sins against you”), we suggest a Matthew  process. When it is public, though, we do excruciating checking, then lay out the facts without using exclamation marks. These three were all public. The organization representing American evangelicals was indeed


11/21/12 4:45 PM

A boy’s education without Christian Worldview and Consistent Structure

krieg barrie

Because biblical education never spoils Be Informed | Be Selective | Apply Now

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