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“It’s like NPR from a Christian worldview.”

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Trevin Wax, blogger, Kingdom People (The Gospel Coalition)

News review: Top stories of the week, in the United States and around the world

The World and Everything in It

Special features like “The Olasky Interview,” “Let the Candidates Speak,” and “The History Book” Commentary: Original reflections by Joel Belz, Andrée Seu, and Janie Cheaney, and other biblical worldview thinkers In-depth audio treatments of feature stories from the print magazine Culture: Film and television reviews by Megan Basham, books by Susan Olasky, and music by Arsenio Orteza Political roundup: Analysis of the candidates and the issues — plus key state and local initiatives Thorough coverage of life issues, education, the economy, and the law News of the church and God’s people working in the world

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2/29/12 4:23 PM


       ,     /        ,       


36 Friendly fire

COVER STORY As President Obama prepares for the fall campaign, new party rules drag out the GOP primary race and keep Republicans Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum focused on fighting each other. Will the battle dampen GOP hopes in November?

44 A rush of life

For Jeremiah Small, an American teacher killed in Iraq, six years became long enough to build a legacy

48 ‘Reckless prudence’

Fasting for  days to protest New York’s ban on churches renting worship space at public schools was right up Manhattan pastor Bill Devlin’s alley

52 Behind the scenes

DISPATCHES 7 News 16 Human Race 18 Quotables 20 Quick Takes

Hollywood has Christians, and they’re not giving up on the industry STORIES TO TELL: Ceding art and entertainment to unbelievers is a mistake

56 Saved by God’s Gollums

Reporters on an ideological warpath mercifully cut short my yearning for the Inner Ring


ON THE COVER: Romney: Gerald Herbert/AP; Santorum: Charles Dharapak/AP

48 44


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REVIEWS 25 Movies & TV 28 Books 30 Q&A 32 Music NOTEBOOK 63 Lifestyle 66 Technology 68 Science 69 Houses of God 70 Sports 71 Money VOICES 5 Joel Belz 22 Janie B. Cheaney 34 Mindy Belz 60 La Shawn Barber 79 Mailbag 83 Andrée Seu 84 Marvin Olasky

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MARCH 24, 2012

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Reprints and permissions: Contact June McGraw at .. or WORLD occasionally rents subscriber names to carefully screened, like-minded organizations. If you would prefer not to receive these promotions, please call customer service and ask to be placed on our    list.

3/5/12 3:19 PM


Warren Cole Smith

0 March 27, 2012 0 Bryan College 0 Free 0 Lunch included

To subscribe, renew, change address, give a gift, order back issues, etc.: Email: Online: Phone: .. within the U.S. or .. outside the U.S. Write: WORLD, P.O. Box , Asheville,  -

Joel Belz

Sin is sin

WORLD is not homophobic but realistic about an extreme challenge to God’s order



E,  O, is very upset with WORLD in general and me in particular. “I’ve been a reader for  years or more,” he says, “and now I get the distinct impression that you are becoming more, not less, homophobic with every issue. Does gay-bashing really give you that much satisfaction?” Well, no. But short of taking on an exhaustive, exhausting, and costly -year content analysis, through which we would review some , pages of WORLD, I’m not sure just how to settle such a challenge. We could devise a methodology, I suppose, to assign an “attitudinal” score to every single reference or allusion—and then calculate which direction we seem to be headed. But it would be a pretty massive project, and I’m not sure just what it would tell us when we were finished. Eric complains that WORLD regularly implies that homosexual practice is the worst of all possible sins. I don’t think we’ve ever suggested that—but the charge reminds us of at least two biblical cautions we’ve mentioned here before. First, we should be careful never to be frivolous about homosexuality, and we should be careful not to poke fun at the sinner. Although it has been customary even in secular society (think late night shows) to speak crudely or condescendingly about homosexuals, Christians ought never to be in such company. We’ll steer clear of the temptation to make light of what is a serious issue for a host of people, including believers. Second, although Eric is right when he claims there haven’t been many positive references to our culture’s homosexual community in our pages during the last generation, that doesn’t make homosexuality unique. Sin is sin; falling short of God’s glory means missing the mark. Period. So readers will also look in vain for positive references in WORLD to heterosexual adultery, to grand larceny on Wall Street, and to lying by public officials. But if the tone of our coverage tends to drive a reader to depression because he sees little chance for redemption, then we have failed indeed. I believe, though, that if there has been a


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change in our editorial attitude through the years, it has been reflected in a heightened sense of hope for those with such inclinations and addictions. Yet saying all that, we dare not lose sight of two other facts about the contemporary homosexual agenda. The first is that it is an extreme in-your-face challenge to God’s order. We learn that both from the Bible and from common sense. As we’ve noted here before, if heterosexual immorality is like driving  mph in a  mph zone, then homosexual immorality is like going  mph the wrong way on a one-way street. Never mind what prompts you to drive the wrong way; just doing it is dangerous. We’re no more judgmental saying that than we are when we encourage folks to avoid any behavior that is demonstrably destructive—spiritually, emotionally, or physically. The other important aspect of the current homosexual agenda is its zeal to establish itself as normal. It’s bad enough when wrongdoers work hard to keep their wrongdoing secret. When instead they flaunt what they do, and pull out all the stops to make it public, then society has problems of a different order. For decades now, we’ve witnessed an all-out effort to portray homosexual behavior as typical and mainstream. It’s pointless to worry about battles being waged in literature, the library systems, the entertainment industries, the information media, fashion, higher education, and most of the liberal churches—for the battles in those venues are long since over. When the armies of homosexual advocacy have nothing left to conquer but the kindergarten class down the street, you know you’re almost certainly too late on the scene. Homophobic ALL-OUT gay-bashers? Not EFFORT: A gay really, Eric. But pride march in realistic about what’s Bulgaria. happening all around us? Indeed, yes. And I hope we say that these days with a tear—and never anything you might mistake for a leer. A MARCH 24, 2012


3/7/12 4:19 PM

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Catastrophe in the making NEWS: Defense cutbacks will hamper U.S. ability to address Mideast upheaval

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U.S. officials appear intent on looking past warnings that now is not the time for troop withdrawals and defense spending cuts. In March 6 testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, the commander of U.S. Central Command said he was “delighted” to defend the U.S. strategy in Afghanistan, despite the recent Quranburning incident. That strategy includes a withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Afghanistan by 2014 and, as announced by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta last month, U.S. forces there stepping back from a combat role by mid-2013. In addition, President Barack Obama has announced cuts to defense spending that could total $500 billion or more over the next decade. Your online source for today’s news, Christian views

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While making the case for the cutbacks, Marine Corps Gen. James N. Mattis told lawmakers he had never seen the region so tumultuous in the 30 years he has served in the military there. He cited Iran as the first threat to regional security, and said al-Qaeda forces “are adapting in the face of U.S. pressure.” He also noted that Syria’s military capabilities—including advanced air defenses provided by Russia—would make NATO intervention such as the no-fly zone imposed on Libya difficult, if not impossible. The U.S. military’s challenge, he said, is “how we retain a sustainable presence and operational flexibility in a fiscally constrained environment.” The Obama MAJOR CUTS: afghan administration’s National army soldiers during determination a training session in Kabul. March 24, 2012



3/8/12 4:17 PM

Dispatches > News

LOOKING AHEAD Coathanger birthday

What the Golden Gate Bridge is to Americans, Australia’s Sydney Harbour Bridge is to Aussies. Nicknamed “The Coathanger” for its appearance, the -foot wide landmark bridge turns  on March . Officials in Sydney spent three weekends in January overhauling the bridge in anticipation of its birthday.

Canadian opposition choice

After becoming Canada’s official opposition by winning the second-most seats in Canada’s House of Commons in , the New Democratic Party will choose its official leader on March . But the new NDP leader will not likely become Canada’s prime minister any time soon. Conservatives hold a -seat majority.

Migron no more According to an

order of Israel’s Supreme Court, the Israeli settlement known as Migron near the West Bank city of Ramallah must be evacuated or razed by March . About  Israeli citizens have been living in Migron, but in August the nation’s high court ruled the settlement to be on land owned by Palestinians.

Obamacare arguments The U.S.

Supreme Court will hear three days of oral arguments beginning March  challenging the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Act. One contention of the  states opposing the law is that its requirement that all Americans purchase health insurance is unconstitutional. Critics say the mandate exceeds Congress’ authority to regulate interstate commerce.

Arab League meetings More than

 nations will be on hand in Iraq when it hosts an Arab League summit on March . Most expect the bloodshed and turmoil in Syria to be the meeting’s prime topic.


to shrink U.S. defense posture at a time of regional upheaval continues to meet challenges. One less noted in Afghanistan that could prove pivotal: The Pentagon also plans to cut the size of Afghan security forces by more than one-third after . The United States and its allies currently fund Afghanistan’s military and police forces, and publicly have based drawdowns of U.S. troops on the buildup of Afghan forces. But quietly U.S. and NATO officers have circulated a new proposal to cut Afghan troops from , this year to , by . Afghan Minister of Defense Gen. Abdul Rahim Wardak said the smaller Afghan force “will be a catastrophe.” In an interview last month with The Wall Street Journal, Wardak said, “Nobody at this moment, based on any type of analysis, can predict what will be the security situation in . … Going lower [in Afghan troop numbers] has to be based on realities on the ground. Otherwise it will be a disaster, it will be a catastrophe, putting at risk all that we have accomplished together with so much sacrifice in blood and treasure.” Mattis in his testimony noted that the training of Afghan troops is expected to reach the , mark next month, but he did not mention the proposed cutback. Such news to Afghan commanders comes just as they also are warning U.S. counterparts that training of senior Afghan officers is running behind schedule. That, some say, has exacerbated the fallout from the Feb.  burnings of Qurans at Bagram Air Base. Military investigators have concluded that five U.S. service members were involved in the incineration of the Qurans, which led to riots and the death of six U.S. military personnel in retaliation. Two officers were killed within the Afghan Interior Ministry, prompting U.S. commander in Afghanistan Gen. John R. Allen to immediately withdraw hundreds of U.S. military advisers from government ministries throughout Kabul. By March  many of them were returning to their training posts amid stepped up U.S. security. But no one can deny the gaps in training what should by now be a viable Afghan officer corps ready to sustain the central government once U.S. forces have gone. A

Spanish constitution bicentenary

Spaniards on March  will celebrate the th anniversary of the proclamation of the Constitución de Cádiz, the nation’s current constitution. But what Spanish politicians are really hoping for is that changes made to the Spanish Constitution in August specifying limits on budget deficits will help the beleaguered nation weather its debt crisis.

WORLD MARCH 24, 2012

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2/29/12 4:24 PM

Dispatches > News


Putin power


The National Weather Service identified at least  separate tornadoes in a deadly outbreak across the Midwest and South affecting millions of people in  states. The system killed  people:  in Kentucky,  in Indiana, three in Ohio, and one each in Alabama and Georgia. The strongest of the twisters hit Henryville, Ind., March  with maximum winds at  mph. It stayed on the ground for  miles, while another tornado that struck Kentucky and West Virginia stayed on the ground for  miles. Weather officials say  recorded tornadoes in January alone well outstrip a -year average of  for that month—and the first week of March may signal a record-setting spring tornado season as well.

A frigid wind swept through Moscow’s central square on March  as Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin proclaimed victory in the country’s presidential elections. The win extends Putin’s rule to  years: He served eight years as president then four years as prime minister before running for president again. Supporters chanted victory cheers, but the square turned colder the next day as thousands of Russians protested the results. Citing fraudulent parliamentary elections in December and years of corruption in Putin’s regime, protesters say they’re determined to contest the results. Others seemed less optimistic about challenging Putin’s power. One protester carried a sign reading: “Bye future.”

Out of Egypt The Muslim Brotherhood denounced Egyptian officials’ March  decision to lift travel bans on seven Americans facing criminal charges related to their work with NGOs. Six of the Americans left Egypt after the U.S. government posted nearly  million in bail. (One chose to stay.) U.S. officials had lobbied for their release after Egyptian authorities accused several NGOs of accepting foreign funds to conduct anti-government activities in Egypt. Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Mahmoud Ghozlan accused Egyptian officials of “answering to Washington.”

Spring break alert

Violence between competing criminal organizations in Mexico isn’t new, says a report by Stratfor, but students on spring break and other tourists ignore the threat to resorts and other hot spots at their peril. In the last five years murders related to organized crime in Mexico have gone from , to ,. “Nothing in the behavior of Mexican cartels indicates that they would consciously keep tourists out of the line of fire,” the report says. Los Zetas cartel tried to burn down the Casino Royale in Monterrey last August, sending a message to its owner that killed more than  in the blaze.

           , o,


Arrested NGOs


WORLD MARCH 24, 2012

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3/6/12 9:24 AM

Dispatches > News

MOB ATTACK A mob of about 

No compromise

Christian groups at Vanderbilt University have one more month to persuade school administrators to drop a policy change that would prevent them from picking leaders who share their beliefs. Last year, Vanderbilt removed a clause in its nondiscrimination policy that allowed religious organizations to require leaders to sign a statement of faith. Despite appeals, Chancellor Nicholas Zeppos is not backing down. All organizations must comply with the new policy by mid-April or lose their status as official student groups. The Christian organizations challenging the policy have said they will not submit new constitutions and are making plans to move off the Nashville campus.

people attacked a team of seven U.S. missionaries as well as a local pastor in rural Bangladesh Feb. , as the Christians were driving to a local church property. The mob surrounded the missionaries’ van and smashed its windows, but the Christians, who prayed together under the onslaught, sustained only minor


injuries. The mission-

As a U.S. delegation prepared a report for the UN Human Rights Council on Islamist attacks in northern Nigeria, the latest assault came on Feb.  in the Plateau state capital city of Jos. Terror group Boko Haram claimed responsibility for the Sunday attack bombing, which killed four and severely injured over  at local headquarters for the Church of Christ in the Nations. The dead included an -month-old and a woman recently displaced by similar violence further north in Yobe state. On March  the group announced it planned a “war” on Christians.

for security reasons,

aries, not identified reported that the mob eventually left to destroy some temporary structures on the church property. Bangladesh is a majority Muslim country, but missionary activities

SEVERE CONSEQUENCES: Driver/helper Sajid Masih was hit by bullets and remained in critical condition.


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Two Pakistani Christians were injured and one remains in critical condition after armed “extremists” attacked a church and the pastor’s home in Faisalabad. Pastor Altaf Khan, who was home with his wife and son at the time of the attack, is now facing police accusations that he was the assailant. According to Khan, a group of  to  armed men broke into the church, where a group of widows and orphans have been living. Khan called the police, who came but didn’t arrest any of the assailants. Instead, Khan said local police arrested the church’s security guards and demanded bribes in exchange for protection. The assailants left but returned a few hours later, after midnight, to attack the pastor’s home, throwing bricks and stones at the house. “They started to accuse me of converting people and proselytizing,” Khan wrote in an email. When church security guards sought to protect the house, the assailants opened fire, shooting one in the chest. The assailants also beat one of the church workers and threw him from the roof of the home, breaking his foot. The church guard who was shot remains in the hospital in critical condition. Police have named the pastor as the “prime suspect” in the case and accused his son as a terrorist, and listed accusations against “more than  believers of our congregation and family members,” Khan said. “This tragic event has taken us by surprise and we feel hopeless at the hands of law and local police.”


Hopeless in the hands of the law

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3/7/12 6:37 PM


are officially legal.

Truro Church



Protecting North Korean defectors The Chinese government arrested about  North Korean defectors last month, causing the South Korean government to protest to its usual ally. South Korea depends on China economically as its largest trading partner, and generally keeps quiet about Chinese oversteps. But now South Korea’s parliament has passed a resolution demanding that China not repatriate the defectors, and lawmakers have brought the issue to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. Crowds of South Koreans also have gathered at the Chinese Embassy in Seoul to speak out against China and possible repatriation. This is the first arrest of North Korean defectors in China since Kim Jong-un has been in power, and South Korean activists fear what will happen to those who are repatriated. “The new leader in North Korea has said that if people try to escape, three generations of their relatives should be killed,” Park Sun-young, a member of the South Korean parliament, told The Wall Street Journal. She and a prominent North Korean defector have been on a hunger strike across the street from China’s embassy since last month. At Day  of the strike, Park passed out but recovered in a hospital. Chinese officials stand by their decision to repatriate the defectors, saying they were in the country illegally to make money, not because they were refugees. China’s Foreign Ministry said the South Korean media was hyping the issue for “political purposes.”

Given for a purpose Virginia attorney general steps into church property cases BY TIMOTHY LAMER

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli on Feb.  jumped into a church property dispute that is roiling some of the oldest congregations in the state. The case involves seven churches that have left The Episcopal Church over its break with historic Christian doctrines and practices. In January, Fairfax County Circuit Court Judge Randy Bellows ruled that the Diocese of Virginia, not the local bodies, owns the property of the seven churches and gave the congregations until April  to vacate the buildings. The ruling also indicates that all local church funds and other items at the churches belong to the diocese. But Cuccinelli filed a brief with the court noting that since  most members of the seven churches had specified on their checks that they wanted their donations only to go to the local congregations. The churches and Cuccinelli argue that the local bodies should be able to keep those funds, which amount to several million dollars, and other items given specifically to the local churches. “There are statutory and common law duties to guarantee that charitable funds are spent for the purposes for which they were intended,” Caroline Gibson, spokesperson for the Virginia Attorney General’s office, said. “Therefore, we felt an obligation to appear and encourage the court to take donor intent into analysis when deciding how to disburse the contributions.” Two of the churches involved in the case—The Falls Church and Truro Church in Northern Virginia—date back to the th century.


SPEAKING OUT: Park (center) and protesters gather in front of the Chinese embassy in Seoul.

A Houston jury on March  found Texas billionaire R. Allen Stanford guilty of running a  billion Ponzi scheme that defrauded nearly , investors in over  countries. Those bilked by the Baylor University graduate included charity organizations like St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, amid allegations he also used some of the funds to promote evangelical outreach.

MARCH 24, 2012

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3/8/12 2:48 PM

Dispatches > News Gay marriage march Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, a staunch gay-rights advocate, on March 1 signed a bill making his state the eighth in the nation to allow same-sex couples to marry. The legislation narrowly passed the state’s House of Delegates on Feb. 17 and the Senate less than a week later. But a referendum drive by opponents is likely to put the issue to a public vote in November. Washington state lawmakers passed same-sex marriage last month, but it also faces a referendum challenge. And February passage of a law legalizing gay marriage in New Jersey was vetoed by Gov. Chris Christie.



A new argument calls for new decisions by Marvin Olasky Pro-lifers slammed the international Journal of Medical Ethics for publishing late last month an article favoring “after-birth abortion”— previously known as infanticide—when children or adults are a burden to their families or when government pays for their care. The core of the argument isn’t new at universities like Princeton, where ethicist Peter Singer has long approved killing 1-year-olds with physical or mental disabilities (see “Blue State philosopher,” nov. 27, 2004). But authors alberto Giubilini and Francesca Minerva push the argument further by defending the killing of any humans incapable of “attributing any value to their own existence. ... Merely being human is not in itself a reason for ascribing someone a right to life.” The authors used the term “after-birth abortion” rather than “infanticide” to emphasize that countries with legal abortion operate illogically when they forbid the killing of born creatures insufficiently self-conscious to fear death. Hurt is subjective, not objective: “For a harm to occur, it is necessary that someone is in the condition of experiencing that harm.” Journal editor Julian Savulescu defended running the article: “If abortion is permissible, infanticide should be permissible. The authors proceed logically from premises which many people accept to a conclusion that many of those people would reject.” He’s right: kill once and it’s easier to kill again. Right now abortion is legal in many countries, while infanticide and involuntary euthanasia usually are not. But how long will that split remain? It’s ironic that Charles Darwin and abraham lincoln were born on the same day: Feb. 12, 1809. Darwin’s “survival of the fittest” theories underpinned various 20th-century genocides that he, an English gentleman, would not have applauded. But lincoln observed in 1858 that “a house divided against itself cannot stand. … It will become all one thing or all the other. Either the opponents of slavery will arrest the further spread of it, and place it … in the course of ultimate extinction; or its advocates will push it forward.” abortion is one huge battle in an even larger struggle about the nature of man. The Journal of Medical Ethics has put forth an argument that reminds us of the larger war. People in the middle have to decide: Which side are you on?


Authorities in Pakistan on Feb. 25 demolished the house in Abbottabad where Osama bin Laden lived for years and died last May in a raid by U.S. Navy SEALs. The destruction of the home where bin Laden lived for the previous five years kept authorities from having to manage it as a tourist site or shrine. According to The Wall Street Journal, local property dealers valued the home, which included the threestory house and garden and grazing areas, at $300,000. Polls show most Pakistanis don’t support al-Qaeda, but some locals sought to commercialize the site to bring tourist revenue into Abbottabad.

After-birth abortion

WORLD  March 24, 2012

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Dispatches > Human Race 

Three-term Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, says she will not seek reelection this fall because she is tired of the “atmosphere of polarization” paralyzing Congress. The -year-old legislator’s seat is projected to fall into Democratic hands, diminishing hopes of Republicans, who need a net gain of four seats to recapture the Senate.

 Amid mounting criticism, James Murdoch,, , son and one-time heir apparent of media mogul Rupert Murdoch, has stepped down as executive chairman of News International, the British newspaper subsidiary of News Corp embroiled in a deepening scandal over phone hacking and other corrupt practices. Murdoch will remain at the company as deputy chief operating officer.


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 James Q. Wilson (below), author and political scientist, died March  at age . The academic’s  essay, “Broken Windows,” argued that tolerating small crimes led to more criminal behavior. Mayor Rudy Giuliani put that theory to practice in the s in New York City, resulting in a dramatic decrease in crime—and one of the great public policy successes of the last half-century.

Michael and Jan Berenstain

 Berenstain Bears cocreator Jan Berenstain died Feb.  at age . Berenstain and husband Stan began publishing the beloved children’s books in  after receiving a boost from writer and editor Theodor Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss. Their son Michael, a Christian, joined the team after his father died in  and began collaborating with his mother on stories emphasizing faith-based themes.

 World War II veteran Lyn n “Buck” Compton, a first lieutenant in the st Airborne Division whose military heroics were memorialized in the  HBO miniseries Band of Brothers, died Feb.  at age . After the war, Compton became a Los Angeles deputy district attorney and successfully led a team in prosecuting Sirhan Sirhan in Robert Kennedy’s assassination.

 Conservative commentator Andrew Breitbart died March  at age . Breitbart, who family said suffered from heart problems, worked for the Drudge Report before launching other internet outlets including aimed at exposing corruption, hypocrisy, and media bias. He had gained notoriety in recent years after breaking the sexting scandal involving former Rep. Anthony Weiner and exposing improprieties within ACORN that led to Congress defunding the group. Last month Breitbart announced during a speech at the CPAC that he was poised to release tapes from President Obama’s college years that he said would reveal Obama’s radical bent on “racial division and class warfare.”



Goodspeed Musicals has announced that the new musical Amazing Grace, based on the life of John Newton, will kick off the season at the Norma Terris Theatre in Chester, Conn. Under the direction of Gabriel Barre and with music and lyrics by Christopher Smith, the musical will open May  and run through June . Your online source for today’s news WORLD

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3/2/12 4:23 PM

Dispatches > Quotables “Rush Limbaugh’s verbal assault on Sandra Fluke was no off-the-cuff blooper. It was boorish and deliberate. ... And his sullen ‘apology’ is only making things worse.”

LACEY PLACHE,, chief economist for auto analyst Edmunds, on GM’s decision to halt production for five weeks of the electric car Chevy Volt. “The price premium on the Volt,” said Plache, “just doesn’t make economic sense for the average consumer when there are so many fuel-efficient gasoline cars available, typically for thousands of dollars less.”


“We are used to it. This is a part of our lives.” Iraqi civilian ABDUL RAZAQ AL-ZAIDI on a wave of car bombings throughout Iraq on Feb. .

“I think we should embrace it.” Former President BILL CLINTON on the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada that many environmentalists oppose and that President Obama has delayed.

“Without question, ‘I complain in the strongest possible terms,’ is different from, ‘I complain in the strongest possible terms and I am loading my AK47 as I write.’” BBC director-general MARK THOMPSON, admitting that his network treats Christianity with less sensitivity than other religions, including Islam, in part due to threats.


“Consumer demand is just not that strong for these vehicles.”

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Conservative Boston Globe columnist JEFF JACOBY on the “grudging” apology talk show host Rush Limbaugh gave on March  for calling Georgetown student Sandra Fluke (above) offensive names and using explicit language after Fluke testified in favor of Obamacare’s contraception mandate.


VOLT: BiLL PugLianO/geTTy images • FLuKe: aLex WOng/geTTy images • iRaQ: Hadi mizBan/aP • CLinTOn: danny JOHnsTOn/aP • THOmPsOn: dOminiC LiPinsKi/Pa WiRe/aP CREDIT

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Dispatches > Quick Takes Ever on the alert for things that might offend the sensibilities of the French bourgeoisie, French government officials announced they would be dropping the word mademoiselle from the official lexicon. The word—which is the equivalent of “Miss” in English—will be banned from all government documents. According to French Prime Minister Francois Fillon, the term is “sexist,” requiring women to reveal their marital status on official documents. The French government will also replace its term for “maiden name” with one that translates to “family name” or “name of usage.”

 

    Islandia, Fla., never really existed in the first place, but now Miami-Dade County is making it official. County commissioners are expected to meet in March to abolish the tiny city officially—more than  years after it was incorporated. Today, most of the city, which falls on several keys south of Miami in Biscayne Bay, is vacant. Only five residents remain, and the city has no city hall, no post office, and no road. In the s, real estate developers had hoped to turn a profit by incorporating the land and selling parcels. But soon after, most of the land was turned into what’s now known as Biscayne National Park.

  The enormous lobster Robert Malone pulled out of the ocean was so large, he didn’t even consider eating it. Malone was fishing for shrimp in Rockland, Maine, on Feb.  when he pulled in a -inch-long, -pound Maine lobster with pincers the size of his forearm. Fishermen are prohibited by state law in Maine from keeping any lobsters that measure longer than five inches from eyes to tail, and Malone turned the beast over to the Maine State Aquarium. Officials there kept the -pound lobster for a few days before returning it to sea. Which is just as well, since seafood experts say the lobster dubbed “Rocky” probably wouldn’t have tasted very good. “The generally accepted wisdom on lobsters is that any time you get above, say,  pounds, bigger is certainly not better,” Los Angeles Times food editor Russ Parsons wrote. “These are old beasts and they tend to be tough. An aquarium is almost certainly its highest and best use. Preferably a very large aquarium.”


  Some little girls draw flowers and rainbows. Jesse Sansone’s -year-old daughter drew a gun— which resulted in Sansone being arrested on Feb.  and strip searched by authorities who thought the girl’s picture was evidence that her father had violated one of Canada’s gun laws. School officials reported the picture to police in Kitchener, Ontario, who subsequently arrested Sansone and informed him he would be charged with illegal possession of a firearm. But a search of Sansone’s person, as well as a search of his house, found no illegal firearms. In most cases, ownership of a handgun is illegal in Canada.


For Sandra Coast Coast, it wasn’t that she graduated from the U.S. Army Basic Combat Training school—it’s the age at which she did it. The -year-old completed basic training on Feb.  with some of the highest physical fitness marks in her company. “Everybody in the world thinks I am a total nutcase,” she told the Armed Forces Press Service. “I just want to support our troops. I love all of them.” Since she served in the U.S. Navy from  to , she was able to bypass rules that would have prevented other citizens from enlisting in the Army. And unlike other enlistees, Coast’s previous service meant she graduated as a sergeant.

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  

  



New York’s Metropolitan Transit Authority has a deal for memorabilia collectors with  to spare—as well as buckets of bleach. Officials are hoping that mass transit enthusiasts will open up their wallets to buy the iconic wooden benches that ubiquitously

 

seated passengers of the city’s subway

Though votes will be taken through April, if early results hold true, citizens in Bratislava, Slovakia, will soon be enjoying the new Chuck Norris Bridge. Government officials in the capital region of the Balkan nation said they would take suggestions for naming a new pedestrian and cycling bridge near the nation’s capital in an online poll that began in February. And so far, it seems Slovaks by an overwhelming margin are eager to grace the bridge with the name of the American action star. Days after the online poll opened, the star of Walker, Texas Ranger led with  percent of the vote. Eighteenthcentury Austro-Hungarian princess Maria Theresa is in second place with  percent. Regional Governor Pavel Freso has said he will honor the will of the people in the vote.

system for decades. The MTA has decided to replace the grime-riddled wooden benches gradually with easier-to-clean stainless steel models. Those removed from subway platforms will go on sale through the agency’s asset recovery department.

 

  Tough economic times affect everyone—including the Tooth Fairy. According to a survey conducted by an Illinois nonprofit agency, parents left an average of  cents less for a lost tooth in  than in . Delta Dental, a nonprofit dental coverage provider, asked , respondents about Tooth Fairy habits in their homes. In , the Tooth Fairy left an average of . under a child’s pillow in exchange for each lost tooth. But in , the payment dropped more than  percent to just . in . “Like many Americans, the Tooth Fairy needed to tighten her belt in ,” said Chris Pyle, spokesman for the Delta Dental Plans Association, “but she’s hopeful for a recovery this year.”

Feb.  was just another day at work at Legends Sports and Games for Lou Brown—until someone brought into his Kentwood, Mich., collectibles shop what many say is the most rare and soughtafter football card of them all. The item, found by a man who was cleaning out his central Michigan farmhouse, was a Harvard’s John Dunlop football card from . If authentic, the card was issued by the Mayo Tobacco Works of Richmond, Va., and was part of the earliest known set of football cards. Brown told Fox in Grand Rapids, Mich., that the customer who showed it to him had almost pitched it in the garbage. Brown estimated the John Dunlop card to be valued at nearly ,: “It’s the ‘Holy Grail’ of football cards.”

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  A German court in February awarded damages to artist Stefan Bohnenberger after a Munich gallery lost part of his work called “Pommes d’Or.” The gallery had exhibited the work, which consisted of two golden-leafed fries and two ordinary french fries, and failed to return the two ordinary fries to Bohnenberger. The amount of damages: ,, or , per fry.

MARCH 24, 2012



3/7/12 6:26 PM

Janie B. Cheaney

Your Jesus and mine

Nobody owns the Son of God, and He has important words for both the right and the left



WORLD MARCH 24, 2012

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I’    of bumper stickers, as well as an admirer of the brief punchy statement that “makes you think.” If it sticks in your head after making you think, so much the better. On those merits, I would rate this one fairly high:  .     . If you’re thinking, your first thought is probably, Huh? If the bumper in question is decked with other stickers, such as  spelled out in the symbols of various religions, or      , you’ve got a clue. The driver of the vehicle ahead of you is a left-wing, tree-hugging, pacifist hippie wannabe. Not to indulge in stereotypes or anything, but as the light changes you press the accelerator, longing to nudge that offensive bumper, just a little. That’ll teach her (isn’t it almost always a her?) to imply that you are a smug, self-righteous Pharisee. Or you might see this on a friend’s Facebook page: a cartoon of a pensive Christ under a heading that reads, “What would Jesus Not do?” He definitely would not Harass Single Moms, Beat Homosexuals or Picket Their Funerals, Join a Militia, Run a Network, Own A Weapon, Run for President, Hate His Enemies, Attack the Poor, Side With the Rich … OK, you get the idea. The cartoon was linked from the Facebook page of Christians Tired of Being Misrepresented (dot com), a group that believes in loving unconditionally and not taking time to get the story straight. For

example: “It is popular and politically correct in Christian circles to take a stand against homosexuality. So much so that Christianity today looks more like the world than a group of Christ followers.” That would be news to the “popular” Christians who found themselves blackballed by the world for supporting California Proposition  against samesex marriage. Or authors (like me) who know if they write a children’s novel presenting a gay character unfavorably they can kiss the American Library Association goodbye. But, before I start a group called Christians Tired of Being Misrepresented by Christians Tired of Being Misrepresented, it’s worth remembering how Jesus was misrepresented in New Testament times. Everyone knows about the hypocritical Pharisees, who accused Him of being an impious show-off (John :), a poor judge of character (Luke :), and a glutton and a drunkard (Matthew :) who hung out with undesirables (Matthew :-). However, His own disciples understood even less, touting Him as a scourge of the wicked (Luke :), a scourge of the establishment (Matthew :-), or king of a restored Israel (Acts :). One side championed holiness, the other social justice—rather like today. Which side was Jesus on? Critics are correct to remind us that Jesus’ strongest words were directed to the moralists, but they fail to distinguish between hypocritical lawyers and the law itself. Jesus upheld the law all the way to the cross, as His followers must. But we’re as guilty of breaking it as the serial single mom or the homosexual activist. Paul had some harsh words for homosexuals, but he also called himself the chief of sinners. There’s no question about where I stand, but I must continually question how I got there, and why I stay there, and what my attitude is toward the other side. Is being right more important to me than being in Christ? Everyone needs reminding: Jesus is not on a side. Jesus is a side. Nobody owns Him; He owns us, whether we’re members of His official fan club or not. To the right He says, “He who is without sin, let him cast the first stone.” And to the left? “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” To all of us, He says, “If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross.” That’s the challenge for left and right: Are we beating a drum, or dragging a cross? A Email:

3/6/12 2:15 PM










Change and Motion: Calculus Made Clear, 2nd Edition


Get a Grip on Calculus Calculus has made it possible to build bridges that span miles of river, to travel to the moon, and to predict patterns of population change. Yet for all its computational power, calculus is the exploration of just two ideas—the derivative and the integral—both of which arise from a commonsense analysis of motion. Master them and open a new world for yourself! So why didn’t you grasp calculus the first time? In school, many of us didn’t continue with mathematics, and so this great achievement remains a closed door. And for those of us who did, award-winning Professor Michael Starbird—coauthor of the acclaimed math book for nonmathematicians, The Heart of Mathematics: An invitation to effective thinking—can correct the clumsy classroom delivery that hid its beauty. In Change and Motion: Calculus Made Clear, 2nd Edition, the concepts and insights at the heart of calculus take center stage. krieg barrie

Offer expires 05/23/12


6 CHEANEY.indd 23

Taught by Professor Michael Starbird the university of texas at austin

lecture titles 1. Two Ideas, Vast Implications 2. Stop Sign Crime—The First Idea of Calculus—The Derivative 3. Another Car, Another Crime—The Second Idea of Calculus—The Integral 4. The Fundamental Theorem of Calculus 5. Visualizing the Derivative—Slopes 6. Derivatives the Easy Way— Symbol Pushing 7. Abstracting the Derivative— Circles and Belts 8. Circles, Pyramids, Cones, and Spheres 9. Archimedes and the Tractrix 10. The Integral and the Fundamental Theorem 11. Abstracting the Integral— Pyramids and Dams 12. Buffon’s Needle or π from Breadsticks 13. Achilles, Tortoises, Limits, and Continuity 14. Calculators and Approximations 15. The Best of All Possible Worlds—Optimization 16. Economics and Architecture 17. Galileo, Newton, and Baseball 18. Getting off the Line—Motion in Space 19. Mountain Slopes and Tangent Planes 20. Several Variables—Volumes Galore 21. The Fundamental Theorem Extended 22. Fields of Arrows—Differential Equations 23. Owls, Rats, Waves, and Guitars 24. Calculus Everywhere

Change and Motion: Calculus Made Clear, 2nd Edition

Course no. 177 | 24 lectures (30 minutes/lecture)

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Designed to meet the demand for lifelong learning, The Great Courses is a highly popular series of audio and video lectures led by top professors and experts. Each of our more than 350 courses is an intellectually engaging experience that will change how you think about the world. Since 1990, over 10 million courses have been sold.

2/29/12 4:26 PM


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3/8/12 11:42 AM


Branching out MOVIE: The Lorax proves to be a bonanza at the box office, and for liberal groups wanting to indoctrinate children UNIVERSAL PICTURES



O F, M , Universal Pictures released The Lorax, a movie version of the Dr. Suess book, and it promptly raked in  million. That’s the strongest opening of any film this year, more than tripling its closest competition for the weekend. Part of the reason is its family-friendly billing. Clean, family-oriented movies sell more tickets, and The Lorax—rated PG for mild language—has no vampires, no half-naked teens, and a minimum of cursing. Instead it seems to offer an upbeat moral about the value of nature with eye-popping color and endearing creatures: cuddly Brown Bar-ba-loots, Humming-fish, and the fuzzy, orange Lorax himself. As for casting, Danny DeVito’s gruff voicing of the Lorax along with Ed Helms’ (The Office) buffoonery as the Once-ler make for a

humorous, if slightly ironic, rendering. Beyond them, a new hero and a new storyline add to the original tale: Jake (Zac Efron), a -year-old boy who is twitter-pated by his tree-loving neighbor, Audry (Taylor Swift), sets out to find a real, live tree and win her heart. Which leads him to the Once-ler’s home and a quest for the last Truffala seed to bring his entire fake/plastic town of Thneedville (à la Pleasantville) back to life. Near the final scenes, the townsfolk band together and sing joyfully of their new tree, “Let it grow!” Who wouldn’t want to join right in? Apparently, big bad businessmen and the consumers who love them. At the heart of the movie is an anti-business scene in which the Once-ler, formerly friends with the Lorax, now sells him out and clear-cuts the land to “shake that bottom-line.” He’s portrayed as a sweet, happy-go-lucky guy who is corrupted by his desire for money and, as such, destroys all the natural beauty around him. While the content of Dr. Seuss’ book remains intact here—it was a product of the earth-conscious s, after all— MARCH 24, 2012

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3/8/12 10:38 AM

Reviews > Movies & TV

The NEA, however, is far more than just a reading advocacy group. It’s one of the Democratic Party’s biggest donors, was heavily involved in the labor disputes in Wisconsin and Ohio last year, and recently came out in support of Obamacare, which it claims as an “education issue.” In fact, the NEA is quite open about its desire to influence political outcomes as well as indoctrinate young people. The weekend The Lorax opened, it held a conference in Washington, D.C. that included a seminar on how teachers should use students in “organizing and activism.” With book publishers, book sellers, app makers, PBS Kids, and PBS affiliates (i.e., Cat in the Hat TV shows) all joining the rally for the Lorax’s cause, the NEA has received a boost to continue throwing its weight around in the political arena and the classroom. A





P     about the new ABC primetime soap, GCB, is how the network played coy with the name. You see, the show’s acronym is taken from the book Good Christian Bitches. But when controversy erupted at ABC’s announcement that it was making the book into a show, the producers immediately explained their incarnation would be called Good Christian Belles. Belles Outrage continued, and the title ultimately morphed into letters. Yet the first episode makes a sly wink at the original name, letting certain audiences know that ABC really has no problem with its sentiment. Whatever it’s called, we can be clear about one thing—none of the foul-mouthed, barely dressed characters on GCB are actual Christians. And after  minutes there’s no question about the intent of creator Darren Starr (Sex and the

City). He aims to paint those who profess Christ with the broadest and ugliest brush he can find. To be fair, when one character in the premiere uses a group prayer to not-so-subtly hint at some hot gossip, the moment does a decent (if entirely unoriginal) job of exaggerating an authentic foible. But that was the only amusing moment in the hour-long parody of wealthy, church-going red-staters. The rest is reserved for trotting out every lazy stereotype of hypocritical, Bible-belt Bible-thumpers the writers can think of. Kristin Chenoweth is the puppet through whom most of the Christian bashing is mouthed. Along with constantly quoting Scripture to defend her campaign to ruin another woman’s life, she quips that her exposed cleavage helps her cross hang straight and, later, that the phone is not the proper venue for discussing adultery—church is. We all get a giggle from seeing ideologies we oppose sent up, and I wouldn’t suggest in a free society Christians should be immune from satire. The problem is Starr and the team at ABC keep insisting GCB is a good-natured spoof created out of love. If a Christian producer gave a contradictory worldview—let’s say, Islam— similar treatment, media and celebrity twitter accounts would explode from the simultaneous accusations of hate speech. See all our movie reviews at

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3/8/12 11:10 AM


the context in which the movie appears today is quite different. The environmental debate has only become hotter, while the American public-school classroom has become more deeply ideological. A recent article in The New York Times relates how a group of fourth-graders apparently shamed Universal Studios (via a class-made video and a petition signed by over , people) into including action points on the website for kids to “heal the earth” from “pollution, global warming, oil spills, deforestation, and loss of animal habitat.” Universal then pulled in the environmental group Conservation International to rebuild the Lorax website and help kids take their new-found love of nature into the brave new world of environmental politics. One other political connection seems grossly out of place in this story. Since , Random House and Dr. Seuss Enterprises have worked closely with the National Education Association (NEA) for their Read Across America Day, celebrated each year on Dr. Seuss’ birthday: March . No coincidence then that the same date was chosen for the movie’s release.

POLITICIZED I AM: DeVito (left) and Efron at the NEA’s Read Across America Day event.

FIsH stORY: amr Waked (left) and ewan Mcgregor.


Salmon Fishing in the Yemen by Michael leaser

DeVito & efron: Charles sykes/ap • gcb: Bill MatloCk/aBC

lionsgate/BBC filMs


Quirky, genre-defying stories appear to be something of a speciality for British screenwriter Simon Beaufoy. Writer of such idiosyncratic films as The Full Monty and the Oscar-winning Slumdog Millionaire, Beaufoy proved to be the sensible choice to adapt Paul Torday’s novel about a Yemeni sheikh willing to spend tens of millions of dollars to bring fly fishing to his native desert country. Executing such an ambitious project requires not only an exceptionally creative intellect but an extraordinary amount of faith. Sadly, some disappointingly messy personal transformations have been thrown into the mix. Dr. Fred Jones (Ewan McGregor) is the Scottish fisheries expert enlisted to help the sheikh. He lives an unexciting, undemanding life as a government worker married to ambitious businesswoman named Mary (Rachael Stirling). When Harriet Chetwode-Talbot (Emily Blunt), an agent of the firm representing Sheikh Muhammad (Amr Waked), contacts Fred for counsel on the sheikh’s desire to create a man-made river that could support salmon in Yemen, Fred dismisses the idea as a ludicrous proposition from a half-mad eccentric. Then British forces accidentally destroy a mosque in Afghanistan, and the prime minister’s press secretary (Kristin Scott Thomas) is desperate for a feel-good Anglo-Arab story. Suddenly Fred finds himself tasked to help the sheikh’s bold vision become a reality.

Such a setup is ripe for satire, and Salmon Fishing in the Yemen (rated PG-13 for some violence and sexual content, and brief language) certainly delivers. Fred initially treats his assignment as if he were a knowing participant in a snipe hunt. His pie-in-the-sky proposals, though, are continually met with approvals from the sheikh, with his deep pockets and bottomless reservoirs of faith. The sheikh not only believes that the creation of a fly-fishing river in Yemen will be successful, but he also views the enterprise as a way of curing the restless, violent souls of his people.

Box office Top 10 For the weekend oF march 2-4 according to Box Office Mojo

cautIOns: Quantity of sexual (S), violent (V), and foul-language (L) content on a 0-10 scale, with 10 high, from

1 ` 2 ` 3 ` 4 ` 5 ` 6 ` 7 ` 8 ` 9 ` 10 `

*Reviewed by woRld

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S V L 3 1 5 10 8 6 8 5

Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax* PG.... 1 Project X R..................................7 Act of Valor * R.........................2 Safe House R.............................4 Tyler Perry’s Good Deeds PG-13....................4 Journey 2: The Mysterious Island PG..........2 The Vow* PG-13..........................4 This Means War* PG-13........5 Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance PG-13................2 Wanderlust R...........................8

3 3 5 2 3 4 5 5 7 5 4 8

The sheikh’s reliance on faith turns the film on its head a bit, as Fred, very much a man of science, comes to realize he must overcome his lack of faith in the project (and in basically every aspect of his life) if he is to succeed. The script effectively explores Fred’s struggle by comparing his life to a salmon’s inborn instinct to swim upstream. For years, the humorless, anti-social Fred has been figuratively coasting downstream until one day, in a striking visual, he literally stops in the middle of a crowd, turns around, and walks against the crowd to find Harriet and help her with a challenging personal crisis. While it ‘s standard practice not to reveal too many plot developments in a review, potential viewers will likely want to pre-evaluate the course Fred takes in the discovery of his natural, so-called authentic self. The connection Fred, though married, makes with Harriet deepens from concerned colleague to interested romantic partner. In a recent interview, screenwriter Beaufoy describes romantic love as a very messy proposition, but the emotional wreckage left behind by Fred’s actions is a lot to stomach. Actor McGregor recently remarked that he enjoys portraying characters in real-life situations, and that’s apt considering that about one-third of UK marriages end in divorce. All the more poignant, McGregor and Blunt have excellent chemistry in this film, despite McGregor’s character having at least a mild case of the socially restricting Asperger’s syndrome. Kristin Scott Thomas steals every scene she appears in with her comedic turn as the public-relationsobsessed press secretary. Beaufoy has worried that people may conclude the film is a documentary about fishing by its title. Ironically, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen covers a host of genres, most of them quite effectively: romantic comedy, political satire, emotional drama, destructive self-discovery quest. A fishing documentary it most certainly is not. MarCh 24, 2012



3/8/12 10:59 AM

Reviews > Books

Views from without An Indian and a Pakistani show appreciation for the West



WORLD MARCH 24, 2012

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develop as did the West. One reason was taxes, which often took  percent of what peasants produced: “This was a huge incentive against being creative and productive.” Ibn Warraq grew up in Pakistan and, like Mangalwadi, came to admire a Western society based in the Bible; unlike Mangalwadi, he never came to profess Christ, so his Why the West Is Best (Encounter, ) underestimates the role of Christian thought in establishing the liberties we enjoy. It’s still a valuable work, though, for its demolishing of those who fall for the myth that medieval Islam had a golden age, and that modern Islam is more family-friendly than a decadent West.

WORK VS. TOIL: Buddhist monks beg for food (below); Western aid lavished on sub-Saharan Africa.

Warraq particularly criticizes the “morally dubious” thesis of Dinesh D’Souza in The Enemy at Home, which “betrays a romantic, idealized vision of Muslim domestic life” by seeing Muslim conservatives as allies of Christian conservatives. Warraq cites the frequency of wife-beating, divorce, and brutal fathering in the Middle East and notes the incidence of drug addiction, child

prostitution, and adult sex slavery in many Muslim countries. He also notes that “Arabs were engaged in the slave trade for thirteen centuries and shipped far more black slaves across the Sahara and the Red Sea than were sent across the Atlantic.” Western guilt compared with Muslim myopia is one reason why the West “has lavished more than  billion in aid on sub-Saharan Africa over the past few decades. The Arabs have done nothing similar. The Saudis have instead spent millions on spreading anti-Western propaganda and an intolerant form of Islam around the world.” Warraq argues that the United States should fight back by translating books critical of Islam into Arabic, Farsi, Urdu, Bengali, Bahasa Malaysia, and Indonesian: “The Arab world and the larger realm of Islam need an initiative similar to the Central and East European Publishing Project” that helped foster the overthrow of Communism. Warraq concludes that “an enlightenment in the Islamic world will never be achieved without introducing critical thinking about the Islamic religion and culture.” He writes that Americans have held back from such an attack because of a general respect for religion as well as fear—but “we need to provide the Islamic world with accessible works that discuss the Koran and hadith, Sharia, Islamic theology and history in an open and scholarly way, without a stultifying concern about Islamic ‘sensitivities.’” A


V M’ The Book That Made Your World: How the Bible Created the Soul of Western Civilization (Thomas Nelson, ) is a loosely framed but highly readable story with a vast cast of characters, including the author himself. Mangalwadi writes that he was impressed by the contrast between glorious folk heroes in Indian history and biblical characters who were often unheroic and sometimes villainous: The “prophetic tradition of self-criticism made the Jews a blessing to the world. Revelation was the source by which humanity could know God’s love and judgment simultaneously.” Mangalwadi also notes that the -year-gap between Joseph and Moses is evidence not of ahistorical embellishing of patriarchal stories but of veracity. Brilliant editors could have used those centuries to turn ancestors Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph into heroes like Achilles or Odysseus. They did not, because the goal was truth, not ancestral glory. Another thoughtful Mangalwadi touch: He explains why Buddhist monks begged for their food but Christians worked for theirs: “To work was to be like God, because the Bible’s God was a worker. He worked for six days to create the world and rested on the seventh. … The Bible distinguished ‘work’ from ‘toil.’ To work was to be like God, but toil was a curse on human sin. Toil was mindless, repetitive, dehumanizing labor. This distinction enabled Christian monks to realize that human beings should not have to do what wind, water, or horses can do. People must do what other species and natural forces cannot do—use creative reason to liberate human beings from the curse of toil.” Mangalwadi explains both theologically and politically why India did not


2/29/12 3:57 PM



NOTABLE BOOKS Four Christian picture books > reviewed by  

The Donkey That No One Could Ride

Anthony DeStefano Before his triumphant Palm Sunday entrance, Jesus tells His disciples to fetch a never-ridden colt. This tale, illustrated in a retro style reminiscent of the old Davy and Goliath TV show, imagines the donkey to be “young, weak, and small, so weak he could carry nothing at all.” Everyone mocks the donkey. Finally his owner sends him away, and that is when the disciples come for him. When Jesus speaks to him, the donkey protests that he is no good, but Jesus says, “My help is enough; It’s all that you need. It’s all you require in life to succeed.” And so the donkey carries Jesus into Jerusalem and remembers long after, “The King used a donkey—young, weak, and small.”

The Merchant and the Thief Ravi Zacharias Zacharias’ colorfully illustrated tale is based on an Indian folktale. It begins with a rich merchant and a poorer fruit seller, both with lovely families, who live in a crowded village. The fruit seller wishes he could do more for his family. As that desire grows, he begins to steal, a little at first, and then more and more. When he hears that the rich man is going on a trip, he plots to rob him of his jewels. The rich man sees through the fruit seller and thwarts the plot. As the story comes to an end, the rich man tells the fruit peddler how Jesus is a treasure greater than jewels and how “anyone can have this treasure ... even you.”

The Night the Angel Came Sharilyn Martin

Under the Baobab Tree Julie Stiegemeyer



After the Korean War, thousands of babies were born of Korean mothers and American GI fathers. This picture book tells the story of Mary, one of those children. “Because of my American father, I looked different. ... In Korea, people thought different was bad.” Her mother decides to save Mary from a life of rejection, sending her to America to be adopted into another family. Martin (the niece of the real-life Mary) centers the story on a nighttime vision of a bright light that Mary takes to be an angel. It reminds her that God will watch over her—even though her world has been turned upside down. “My heart seemed to hear the words, ‘Don’t be afraid. I am with you.’”

Lovely watercolor illustrations accompany this simple story about the centrality of a baobab tree to a church and an African village. Moyo and his little sister Japera wake up and begin walking to a nearby village. They see interesting things—animals around a watering hole and a giant termite mound. They hold hands as they walk. At one point Japera “sings praises to her heavenly Father” and skips alongside her brother. Illustrations depict activities that take place under the tree. The story’s refrain, “But who will gather today under the baobab tree?” gets an answer as the children reach the tree: “Here there are no windows or doors. No church bell or steeple. No organ or flowers. Just a cross and a Bible, a pastor and songs, voices and prayers.” Email:; see all our reviews at

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SPOTLIGHT Parents and teachers who want students to know about key figures in church history, especially the Reformation, will be interested in Simonetta Carr’s series of Christian Biographies for Young Readers (Reformation Heritage Books). Each well-illustrated volume is devoted to one individual— John Owen, John Calvin (above), Athanasius, Augustine. Carr conveys the challenges they faced and how God used them at particular times. Reformation Heroes by Diana Kleyn and Joel Beeke (Reformation Heritage Books, ) collects in one volume short biographies of Reformation figures. Some names are well-known— Wycliffe and Zwingli, for instance—and others, like Jan Laski and William Teellink, are not. Each short biography offers details about the subject’s life and insights into the doctrinal debates of which he was a part.

MARCH 24, 2012



2/29/12 4:01 PM

Reviews > Q&A

The abortion empire

strikes back

Karen handel and the Susan G. Komen for the cure Foundation  felt the wrath of an angry Planned Parenthood  BY MARvIn OlAsKY


Last December the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation decided to stop making grants to Planned Parenthood. On Feb. 3, after several days of media-megaphoned screaming by the nation’s leading abortion provider, Komen reversed itself. On Feb. 7, Komen senior vice president Karen Handel resigned. Here are edited excerpts of an interview with her before students at Patrick Henry College. You were the first Republican elected secretary of state in Georgia. Then you finished first in the first round of the GOP primary race for governor in 2010, but lost the run-off by 2,500 votes. One vote per precinct in the state of Georgia. One vote really does count. An issue in the runoff was whether or not I was truly pro-life. You allowed for a rape and incest exception? It’s not that I think killing a baby for any purpose is right, just, or moral, but sometimes you have to invoke the Margaret Thatcher approach to things: relentless incrementalism. Sometimes you can’t just get everything at once. There are some really common-sense things that the overwhelming majority of people in this country can get their heads around and be supportive of, like legislation around fetal pain. I’m not agreeing with you on the rape and incest exception, but it does seem inaccurate to say you’re not pro-life. The irony: not being pro-life enough in the governor’s race, now fast-forward to my depiction today as too pro-life. After the contentious gubernatorial campaign, you moved to an apparently calm job with Komen. You could promote something everyone can support, the battle against breast cancer. Exactly. Calm. Not much controversy. I do my job, keep my head down, and stay out of the press.


Could you explain a bit about Komen: size, how much money went to Planned Parenthood, and why? Komen raises a great deal of funds through Races for the Cure and makes $93 million in grants, with 75 percent staying in the local community. There are 19 Planned Parenthood grants totaling $680,000, mostly for education programs. A really important point often missed in the debate: Planned Parenthood does not give mammograms. Does not. It does mammography referrals, an entirely different thing. Given the number of dollars involved, was Planned Parenthood not hugely important to Komen, and Komen not hugely important to Planned Parenthood? The $680,000 is less than 1 percent of Komen’s grants. For Planned Parenthood, that $680,000 is even a smaller percentage of its $1 billion in revenue. The great outcry that somehow women were going to be left in the dirt? Nothing more than Planned Parenthood PR spin. Pro-life groups complained about that $680,000 and wanted Komen to stop. At a certain point were you and others at Komen saying that the grants to Planned Parenthood are tangential to Komen’s main goal, so who needs the aggravation? That’s right. Komen, long before I came, was looking at those grants in great detail: Were they having the kinds of outcome that an organization as well-respected as Komen, and its donors, would expect? At the same time, Komen staff was having to spend an increasing amount of time managing issues that had nothing whatsoever to do with Komen or the fight against breast cancer. Time to get out? All those things brought us to the place where we looked at

how to transition out, in the best interest of the mission to fight breast cancer. When did Komen tell Planned Parenthood that new grant requests would be unwelcome? The Komen president had a conversation with the Planned Parenthood president sometime around the middle of December and explained all of this—that we weren’t making a judgment on whether or not the issues involving Planned Parenthood were real or perceived, we just knew that they didn’t have anything to do with breast cancer, and we were looking to have a magnanimous break-up. We reassured Planned Parenthood that Komen would make every effort to have a smooth transition. When pro-life groups learned that Komen would stop giving to Planned Parenthood, did they shoot off fireworks and unroll victory banners? No. Those of us in the organization who had relationships with conservatives in the pro-life community specifically said, No celebrations, please. We wanted to move forward. In our desire not to give a scalp to either side—although arguably it was my scalp that was given—we probably made a mistake. Maybe we should have just let both sides have the debate. But you thought there would be peace, peace ... All of us underestimated the visceral, very political response that Planned Parenthood was going to take. In their world, $680,000 was a miniscule part of their $1 billion budget. This was about politics. Planned Parenthood had lots of time, from mid-December, to prepare. Why did it attack at the very end of January? Was it pure coincidence that the attack against Komen around abortion rights occurred in the same week that everything escalated around contraception and the White House?

WORLD  March 24, 2012

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3/7/12 4:13 PM

How well organized was the Planned Parenthood assault on Komen? It was a vicious full-on assault across multiple channels. It wasn’t just in the press. It was against Komen’s donors. Corporate contributors to Komen were seeing their Facebooks completely raided. They were being picketed. CEOs were getting phone calls and emails. Twitter exploded with some of the most vile and vicious things that you can imagine. How did some corporate funders react? The companies aren’t interested in being in the middle of the debate. They’re thinking, whoa. What Planned Parenthood in collaboration with and others could do was impressive. They had petitions teed up and ready to go within hours of the first AP story. Clearly it was premeditated. Komen was simply a breast cancer organization facing Mafia-style shakedown tactics by Planned Parenthood holding Komen hostage. Komen did not have the bandwidth to fight that. Some observers thought Komen’s statement not ruling out future grants to Planned Parenthood was a smart way of relieving the pressure, but it did not necessarily mean a change in position. No, it was capitulation. The board did what it thought was best for the survival of the organization. Did the press report accurately? I saw the truly liberal, pro-abortion bias within the press, the idea that women’s rights equals abortion rights. We had better take notice of what happened: If Planned Parenthood can do what it did to an organization like Komen, what is it willing to do next? In the short run this seems like a victory for Planned Parenthood: more money, and a message to donors that they had better not back away. What in the long run will be the result? If you’re the head of a corporation or a contributions program and you haven’t given to Planned Parenthood and you watch all of this play out ... it will probably give you pause even to engage them in the first place. This might make it very difficult for Planned Parenthood to grow its base beyond what it has today, especially with some states cutting off funding. A john bazeMore/ap

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March 24, 2012



3/7/12 4:13 PM

Reviews > Music

World weary

Leonard Cohen’s Old Ideas deserves its place on the charts BY ARSENIO ORTEZA


I’   in a music scene increasingly dominated by younger and younger-seeming youth, a -year-old man should have debuted at No.  on Billboard’s album chart in the same week that the -year-old Lana Del Rey debuted at No. . But with Old Ideas (Columbia) Leonard Cohen did just that. And stranger yet— given his advanced years and sacramental obsessions—he deserved to, if “deserved to” means having the right to reap as his aesthetic reward the fruition of seeds he first planted  years ago. Whether Old Ideas (a title representative of his dry sardonicism, as his ideas have always been old) turns out to be his last aural offering or not, it’s clear that he thinks it is. The first song is called “Going Home,” and it’s about dying. Another is called “Lullaby,” and it’s about dying too.

 

Then there’s the pervasive world-weariness of his gruff, oldman’s-whisper of a voice. His was never a rich instrument, but now it’s as arid as the desert, with ultimate, even eternal, concern its only oasis. At this point it’s as necessary to separate Cohen the artist from Cohen the man as it was, for instance, to separate Ingmar Bergman the man from Ingmar Bergman the filmmaker. Like Bergman, Cohen has fallen short of the glory of his religious ideals (Jewish in Cohen’s case, Lutheran in Bergman’s). Also like Bergman, Cohen has approached his work as if it and it alone might expiate his sins.

Although his “Hallelujah” has sadly outworn its welcome after being covered by everyone from John Cale and Bon Jovi to k.d. lang and the late Jeff Buckley, in its original  version—before Cohen himself besmirched it with unnecessarily randy revisions—it expresses at least a fraction of the awe that saints surely feel in the presence of the holy. And, believe it or not, on Old Ideas Cohen goes “Hallelujah” one better. And it’s neither “Amen” nor “Come Healing,” although both live up to their titles. It’s “Show Me the Place,” and it goes “Show me the place / where the Word became a man. / Show me the place where the suffering began.”


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Two recent tributes to Cohen’s body of work deserve mention. One is called The Songs of Leonard Cohen Covered, a Mojo magazine exclusive featuring  artists recreating Cohen’s  debut album and five more recreating later Cohen classics, “Bird on a Wire” (by Marc Ribot & My Brightest Diamond) and “Famous Blue Raincoat” (Diagrams) among them. There have been other Cohen tribute albums, and there will almost certainly be more. But the mostly obscure and young contributors to The Songs of Leonard Cohen Covered imbue their recordings with a sense of discovery bred of the humility they no doubt feel at arriving (through no fault of their own) late to the party. And what they’ve discovered is that, aside from some extra echo and instruments, Cohen’s songs don’t need to be “interpreted” so much as simply sung. The other Cohen tribute, Like a Man, comes courtesy of Cohen’s -year-old son Adam. It won’t be out in the States until April, but it’s been out in Canada and floating around the internet since last October. What makes it special is that, amid a career of his own during which he has assiduously avoided sounding anything like his father, he has finally embraced his birthright and run with it, eerily and affectionately recreating his father’s early sound. A more euphonious example of family values during this election year it will be hard to find.


3/6/12 9:44 AM


Four recent classical releases > reviewed by  

Interplay Classical: The World of Robert Ackerman, Box 1

Robert Ackerman The “world” of Robert Ackerman? Listened to straight through, these three CDs feel more like a universe. Composing or performing (saxophone, clarinet, flute), Ackerman is equally at home in tone experimentalism and jazz, stopping just short of making their mutual boundary seem arbitrary. He needs it, after all, to achieve the stunning effects he does while juxtaposing “South Carolina Sketches,” “Visibility Zero,” “Herb Fischer,” and “Circling” in both styles. As for the eight “free improvisations” for bass, varying reed instruments, and occasional drums, they’re exactly what they say.

Handel: Die Acht Grossen Suiten Lisa Smirnova To appreciate what Lisa Smirnova does and does not accomplish on this piano recording of Handel’s eight harpsichord suites, listeners should compare and contrast it with a harpsichord recording of the same pieces, say Glenn Gould’s. They’ll be struck not only by the obvious differences—fluidity vs. aridity—but also by the ineffability of what such differences connote. It’s more than epochs and less than worldviews, somewhat like comparing the old King James Version of the Bible (harpsichord) with the new. Something vital survives. Something almost vital doesn’t.

Mad Rush: Solo Piano Works of Philip Glass Sally Whitwell If, as reported, Beethoven once said that from Handel one could “learn how to achieve great effects by such simple means,” then perhaps from Philip Glass one can learn how to achieve small effects by elaborate means. And if it’s that very inefficiency—along with his repetitiveness, of course— that has always annoyed you about Glass, you’ll be pleased to know that, shorn of their original, elaborately cacophonous settings, his piano works have the potential to induce a pleasantly meditative state by no means incompatible with Christian prayer.

The Guitarist John Williams


The classical guitar bridges the gap between the harp and the harpsichord, blending the former’s mellifluous properties with the latter’s plucked ones. And with it John Williams has spent decades bridging the gap between classical music and people who don’t think they like it. Last year, to mark his th birthday, Sony Masterworks compiled this limited-edition anthology of  of Williams’ most representative recordings. Serious composers predominate, but their nationalities vary, as do their genres (Morricone soundtrack, Joplin ragtime). And Williams bridges the gaps between those too. See all our reviews at

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SPOTLIGHT Give the London Philharmonic Orchestra’s The Greatest Video Game Music (X Music Group) several good listenings, and you’ll be impressed by how little of it smacks of kitsch. Give it several more, however, and you’ll notice how hard it is to give it several more. Background music by definition, its primary function is to recede upon impact and create the illusion of depth, often by a manipulation of the emotions so blatant that the music doing the manipulating becomes easy to ignore. Sometimes, though, the absence of foregrounded video-game action reveals details. You can, for instance, in Garry Schyman’s “The Ocean on His Shoulders” (from Bioshock) Bioshock hear evidence of his love for the weightier EasternEuropean music of the early- to mid-th century. And on the lighter side, Koji Kondo and Mahito Yokota’s “Theme” ((Super Mario Bros.) Bros. and Ari Pulkkinen’s “Main Theme” (Angry Birds) pick up ( where the cartoon-friendly music of the late Raymond Scott left off.

MARCH 24, 2012



3/6/12 9:52 AM

Mindy Belz

Remember that you are dust A Lenten season of sacrifice should lead us not away but into the midst of men



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In its jaws we see our blindness to human need, suffering, injustice, and cruelty. Though Gospel writers Luke and Mark said Jesus’ followers will fast in the days that Jesus is taken away, the  days’ fasting that precedes Easter, known as Lent, was an alien tradition to me reared in the mostly Baptist South. Church historians have disagreed over its origins, whether it began in the apostolic age or later, but those who celebrate Lent aim to follow the example of Jesus, who prepared for ministry by fasting  days in the wilderness. In the Scriptures “fast” has two meanings: to cling to something, or to let it go. “Hold fast to the word of life,” reads Philippians :. “The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast in that day,” says Jesus in Mark :. Lent is ripe season to focus on what we cling to and what we relinquish. We cling to the Word of life, and the Word Himself. We let go of—well, just about everything else. Does this leave us called to be stylites or hilltop hermits? No. In a sermon titled “Imitating Incarnation” B.B. Warfield declared, “Christ was not led by His divine impulse out of the world, driven back into the recesses of His own soul to brood morbidly over His own needs, until to gain His own seemed worth all sacrifice to Him. He was led by His love for others into the world, to forget Himself in the needs of others, to sacrifice self once for all upon the altar of sympathy. Self-sacrifice brought Christ into the world. And self-sacrifice will lead us, His followers, not away from but into the midst of men.” The mistake we make is seeing our sacrificial choices in ascetic terms rather than exuberant ones. In Christ we live in the excess of life and joy, not the absence of them. The self-sacrifice Christ calls for, said Warfield, “means not indifference to our times and our fellows: it means absorption in them.” A


I    above on a Thursday morning after reading Lenten passages from the Book of Common Prayer: “Grant that these ashes may be to us a sign of our mortality and penitence, that we may remember that it is only by your gracious gift that we are given everlasting life, through Jesus Christ our Savior, Amen.” And this from the season’s Litany of Penitence: “Accept our repentance, Lord, for the wrongs we have done, for our blindness to human need and suffering, and our indifference to injustice and cruelty.” As the words hung on a mostly blank page I turned to email, where more signs of ashes awaited. First, a colleague sent photos from the Feb.  bomb blast in Jos, Nigeria, that killed four and injured more than . The photos—too graphic to publish but essential to our task as journalists—were taken moments after a suicide bomber exploded his car only yards from a church where  worshipped. Bloody body parts lay scattered amid car wreckage. One of the dead lay naked, stripped of his clothes from the force of the blast, his dark Nigerian skin a chalky white from the dust and debris embedded by the explosion. Then, as I was contemplating this gruesome sign of mortality, another email popped into my inbox— a short few sentences from a trustworthy reader, alerting me that our mutual friend Jeremiah Small had only hours before been shot and killed in northern Iraq. You can read more about Jeremiah in this issue (see p. ) plus a report on the latest bombing in Nigeria, prepared even as we also awaited word of the possibly imminent hanging of pastor Youcef Nadarkhani in Iran. Signs of mortality are everywhere around us, yet the reality of death, of our bodies returning to dust, is so perpetually shocking that we cannot breathe, eat, think, or sleep when it comes near.


3/8/12 11:48 AM

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3/8/12 5:29 PM


2012 r rr

As President Obama prepares for the fall campaign, new party rules drag out the GOP primary race and keep Republicans Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum focused on fighting each other. Will the battle dampen GOP hopes in November? rr r by JAMIE DEAN MARCH 24, 2012

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roMney: ethan Miller/Getty iMaGes santoruM: alex WonG/Getty iMaGes (previous spread)

f this year’s GOP contest seems prolonged, it’s by design. During a 2010 meeting in Kansas City, Mo., members of the Republican National Committee voted to change the party’s rules for awarding delegates: The new rules require all states holding presidential primaries or caucuses in March to award delegates proportionally, instead of on a winner-take-all basis. Candidates win delegates based on the districts they win in a particular state. For example, though Romney won the popular vote in Ohio, he snagged only 35 of the state’s delegates. Santorum won 21. Some Republicans have criticized the new rules, saying they prolong the nominating contest and bruise the party by keeping GOP opponents locked in heated battles for votes. But proponents of the new system say the longer process gives voters in more states an opportunity to cast meaningful primary votes by lessening the chance that a handful of states choose the nominee in just a few weeks.

The idea isn’t unprecedented. Though the Democratic Party follows its own set of rules, the party’s nominating contest was famously prolonged in 2008: Obama and current Secretary of State Hillary Clinton battled for the party’s nomination until June. Some experts say the longer contest built enthusiasm among Democrats and increased voter turnout for Obama in the general election. Even if that’s true, there’s a crucial difference between 2008 and 2012: An incumbent president wasn’t running during the last election. Candidates in both parties had more time to raise funds and prepare for a general election. The dynamic today: Obama has been preparing for reelection for four years. That reality shows up starkly in the president’s massive fundraising totals. Obama’s campaign reported that through Jan. 31, 2012, it had raised $140.2 million. By March 1, the president had attended 100 fundraisers since announcing his bid for reelection last April. Romney—the top fundraiser in the GOP—had raised $63.4 million. Texas congressman Ron Paul— who hadn’t won the popular vote in any primaries by Super Tuesday—raised $31 million in the same time period. Perhaps most interesting: The candidate posing the greatest threat to Romney’s frontrunner status raised the least amount of money. Santorum reported raising $6.7 million by the end of January. (After a string of primary wins in February, the Santorum campaign reported a surge in fundraising, saying it took in nearly $9 million in February alone.) But money isn’t the president’s only advantage. While Republican candidates have spent months appearing in televised debates and focusing on winning primaries, the Obama campaign has been re-engaging a huge grassroots network of volunteers and supporters already in its system, and out-hiring Republican campaigns in states key to winning the general election. Consider the swing states: In Ohio, the Obama campaign has opened 10 offices and hired a dozen paid staffers. In New Hampshire, Obama has at least seven offices and 20 paid staff members. (Romney, the winner of the state’s GOP primary, had one office open in January.) In Virginia—where Obama in 2008 was the first Democratic presidential candidate to win the state in 44 years—grassroots efforts are in full swing: The Saturday before Super Tuesday, the campaign listed 32 events across the state, including phone banks and door-to-door voter registration. The Virginia campaign includes a state director, five regional directors, a digital director, and a youth outreach staffer. But despite the impressive campaign machine, there’s a wildcard in this year’s presidential contest: Super PACs. The political action committees operate independently of campaigns, but can direct funds towards advertising for candidates. A 2010 Supreme Court ruling allows the groups to raise funds without limits.

WORLD  March 24, 2012

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3/8/12 5:30 PM

 toM WilliaMs/cQ roll call/ Getty iMaGes

very Monday morning for the last five weeks, David French has followed his usual routine, with one exception: He fasts from eating to focus on praying for the presidential election. The evangelical Christian—who’s also an attorney with the American Center for Law and Justice—says his weekly fast isn’t connected directly to his other focus: trying to convince evangelicals to vote for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. “It isn’t about praying for Romney to win,” said French, organizer of Evangelicals for Mitt, a pro-Romney website that invites others to join the fast. “It’s about praying for all the candidates and the future of the country.” French isn’t the only one praying. Prayer groups for other GOP candidates have sprouted up around the internet, including groups devoted to praying for specific candidates to prevail. “Intercessors for Newt” encourages supporters to pray one hour a week for Newt Gingrich. Elsewhere, “We Pick Rick” encourages prayer for Rick Santorum. Posted prayers piled up ahead of the slate of GOP primaries on March 6 dubbed Super Tuesday. A Feb. 29 prayer posted by supporter Jeremy Lippert said: “Please give us the leader that is best for our country. Please give us Rick Santorum—be it your will. In Jesus Name, Amen.” Less than a week later, it still wasn’t clear which leader would prevail. Though Romney carried six of the 10 states on Super Tuesday, his most important win rang hollow: The former Massachusetts governor won the crucial swing state of Ohio by a razor-thin margin, edging Santorum by 1 percentage point, despite outspending his opponent 4-to-1 in the state. And though Romney opened a substantial lead in the number of delegates he’s secured ahead of the Republican National Convention slated for August, he still faced the possibility of a long slog: By the end of Super Tuesday, Romney had grabbed at least 419 delegates. (Second place Santorum had at least 178.) In the tumultuous battle for the GOP nomination, dramatic lines mark the field: The top candidate battles, the underdogs plot strategy, and the incumbent president quietly mounts a reelection campaign that promises a greater war that’s just months away.

big OpeRatiOn: dorita Walker works the phones at obama’s 2012 reelection campaign office in cleveland, ohio.

In other cases, Super PACs aren’t backing a single candidate, but are promoting conservative ideas that could help Republican candidates win in the fall. In Virginia, the economically conservative Americans for Prosperity (AFP) is more active than the state’s Republican Party in hosting outreach events and Tea Party seminars, and in hiring staffers. AFP state director Audrey Jackson says the key question in Virginia and other states is whether Democrats can rekindle the enthusiasm of 2008. She’s betting no. “Barack Obama had a moment,” she said. “He promised all these things—jobs would return. People aren’t back to work.”

Romney: ethan milleR/Getty imaGes santoRum: alex WonG/Getty imaGes (pRevious spRead)

tom Williams/cQ Roll call/ Getty imaGes


So far, PACs backing GOP candidates are outpacing by huge margins a PAC that favors Obama. Priorities USA raised $59,000 in January to bolster Obama’s campaign. Meanwhile, Restore Our Future—a pro-Romney PAC—raised $6.6 million during the same month. The pro-Gingrich group Winning Our Future raised nearly $11 million in January, with nearly $10 million coming from casino mogul Sheldon Adelson. The Santorum-supporting Red, White, and Blue raised $2.1 million.

nthusiasm isn’t just a Democratic concern. It may be the single biggest issue facing Romney’s campaign. The candidate has raised and spent millions more than his nearest competitor, Rick Santorum, but continues winning many key contests by tight margins, and losing others altogether. Though Santorum would face a steep climb to match Romney’s delegate count and snag the nomination, the candidate keeps delivering surprising victories with far fewer resources. Fundraising isn’t the only challenge Santorum has faced: Election officials in the Iowa caucuses declared Romney the winner of the first primary of the year. Two weeks later, they announced they were wrong: Santorum had won the close race. But the momentum-rich moment was gone. In Michigan, Santorum and Romney won an equal number of the state’s 14 congressional districts, splitting the delegate count in half, but state officials awarded two more delegates to Romney. Santorum is contesting those results. Despite the challenges, Santorum summed up his candidacy in a speech to Ohio supporters on the night of Super Tuesday: “We keep coming back.” Exit polls in tight races may offer glimpses into Santorum’s ability to hang on: In Ohio, more than 50 percent of voters said maRch 24, 2012

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3/8/12 5:30 PM


communities to help people instead of increasing government assistance. Lockett says her husband lost his job two years ago, and though her family qualifies for food stamps, they haven’t applied. She says her congregation is committed to helping struggling members, and she believes that’s the best kind of help: “The government should not decide what’s best for me.” But despite the warm welcome, the event at Temple Baptist highlighted a challenge for Santorum: figuring out how to balance discussions of God, morality, and social issues with a convincing economic platform that reaches a broader base of voters. He’s hit rough spots: The Catholic candidate’s discussion of contraception (he called it wrong in an October media

WORLD  March 24, 2012

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KEEP COMING BACK:  Santorum visits with  students at the  Dayton christian  School on March 5 in  Miamisburg, Ohio.

Eric Gay/ap

Romney was the candidate most likely to beat Obama in November. But Romney’s support among voters who considered themselves “very conservative” fell to 30 percent. (Santorum garnered 48 percent of those votes.) Santorum also continued his success with evangelical voters: The group chose him by 17 points in Ohio. Voters in states that Santorum won underscored the importance of the candidate’s connection with religious voters. At a campaign event at Temple Baptist Church in Powell, Tenn., one week before Super Tuesday, voters lined up to meet Santorum after a nearly 60-minute speech. Dawn Lockett, 55, a member of the evangelical congregation, said she’s supported Santorum from the beginning: “He’s one of my heroes.” The candidate’s pro-life record is important to Lockett, but so is his emphasis in speeches on encouraging churches and

Buckeye Blues

Most Ohio Republicans will vote for their party’s eventual nominee, but that may be all many of them do for him r by Lee Pitts in Lebanon, Ohio

Eric Gay/ap



n the Sunday evening before Super Tuesday, 20 Christians gathered in the finished basement of Debby Dankworth’s contemporary wood home in the small town of Lebanon, Ohio. Sitting on chairs, couches, and stools clustered under a wall decorated with deer antlers, the group began with prayer, and an invitation by Dankworth: “Let’s talk about presidential candidates.” Randy Dunlavy, a local machine operator, answered with a question: “Are any worth voting for?” So began a three-hour meeting of the Christian Conservative Movement, a local grassroots group that meets twice a month to talk politics. During the 2010 midterm elections, the group distributed 40,000 voting guides in two counties. That year, Republicans defeated five incumbent Democrats in the U.S. House and swept every statewide office. The group has also helped spread information about a pro-life bill in the state legislature that would prohibit abortions if a doctor detects a fetal heartbeat. “All we are trying to do is reach the Christian masses,” said Dankworth. Her group is not alone. In August 2009 Ohio pastors began a 24/7 statewide prayer network that includes prayer for government. Nearly 500 of those Ohio pastors held a summit in February. But while enthusiasm is strong among many Christians in the swing state of Ohio, the question remains: Will evangelicals be as engaged in the presidential battle this fall if their top GOP choice doesn’t win the nomination? At the Sunday meeting in Dankworth’s home, members wondered if Mitt Romney would appoint pro-life judges, and compared Obamacare with the former Massachusetts governor’s state healthcare law. They examined Ron Paul’s reluctance to engage the international stage, Newt Gingrich’s “silver tongue,” and Rick Santorum’s lack of money. Albert Jeffers, who works for a local retail store, concluded: “Every one of these candidates has baggage. There is not a perfect one.”

Still, most in the group backed Santorum. In the primary two days later, 47 percent of Ohio voters who described themselves as evangelical or born-again Christians supported Santorum, while 30 percent backed Romney. But the Sunday group agreed on something else: In the face of threats to religious liberty, more Christians should become involved in politics. That’s not what Dankworth, 64, learned as a child. “I was told politics were so corrupt that you just couldn’t go there,” she said. But during the 2008 elections, the interior designer couldn’t find information on candidates running for office, so she made her own list and shared it with neighbors. In the spring of 2009, Dankworth began holding the meetings. But such conservatives groups face tough competition from Team Obama. The Democratbacked Organizing for America reopened operations in Ohio in March 2009. Obama has visited the state 18 times as president, and his campaign has contacted about 650,000 Ohio voters. Counteracting that outreach is one reason why Lonnie Vestal, a Baptist-trained Pentecostal pastor, spent the day before Super Tuesday knocking on doors in support of Santorum at a neighborhood in Mason, Ohio. Vestal, 36, is a first-time political volunteer. He is worried that Obamacare will ruin the nation’s economy, and he calls refreshing Santorum’s candid support of pro-family beliefs in the face of hostile media scrutiny. This is the fourth time he has knocked on doors in the last three weeks. But it hasn’t gotten any easier. “I don’t think you’ll get a good reception here,” said a lady at the first door Vestal tried. “There is a no solicitation sign.” Vestal shrugged it off with a chuckle.

Carrying a stack of two-sided Santorum handouts, Vestal walked around the neighborhood with a herringbone fedora pulled low to protect his head from a cold wind. But he wore no winter coat and removed his tie to appear more casual. He avoided walking on the grass and knocked on doors first before pressing doorbells. During Vestal’s visit to about a dozen homes in this neighborhood 20 miles north of Cincinnati, he encountered a handful of undecided voters. But Romney supporters edged out Santorum supporters. “I want someone with business background,” said one man. “I’ve had enough of Washington stuff.” Another man told Vestal that he thinks Romney “will pick up more votes from everybody.” Vestal gently prodded the Romney supporters, but didn’t linger long at any door. The next day Romney beat Santorum 41 percent to 34 percent in the surrounding county.

pRimaRy caRe: Bill heiser (right) and harvey Gillard cast their votes at Saint Luke Lutheran church in Zanesville, Ohio, on March 6.

While just 9 percent of Ohio primary voters said they would only vote Republican if their candidate wins the nomination, it is unclear how many evangelical and Tea Party Republicans will continue with their grassroots legwork if that happens. That’s a critical question for the Romney campaign since 47 percent of voters in the Ohio primary described themselves as evangelical or born-again Christians. “If Santorum wins I’m in it for the duration,” Vestal said about his volunteering. “If it winds up being Romney … I honestly don’t know if I can go out and knock on doors for Romney. I simply don’t believe him. What would I say?” March 24, 2012

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3/8/12 5:31 PM

Obama $140.2 M $76 M

NO TRUCE: them, but he acknowledged: “We may have Romney and his worn people out with them.” wife Ann greet Richard Land of the Ethics and Religious supporters as Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist they arrive for a Super Tuesday Convention, says tone has been the problem. event in Boston. “It isn’t that he’s talked too much about these issues, but it’s the way he’s talked about it,” he said. “He’s giving the media a stick to hit him with.” At the Tennessee event—where supporters toted Bibles and a

Romney $63.4 M $7.7 M


Presidential campaign finance through Jan. ,  Paul $31 M $1.6 M

Gingrich $18.3 M $1.8 M



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Cash raised

Cash on hand

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interview), and his comment that John F. Kennedy’s speech on religion and government made him want to “throw up,” have kept the focus on Santorum’s religious beliefs. Tim Echols, a Southern Baptist minister and chairman of the Georgia public service commission, campaigned for Santorum in his home state, but admitted: “We may have gone to the well one too many times with social issues.” Echols said Santorum often discussed social issues because reporters asked him more than other candidates about

choir sang Christian songs— Santorum used biblical language to discuss people created in the image of God, and man taking dominion over the earth. But outside, his campaign literature outlined economic and national security concerns, without mentioning social issues. Santorum supporter and former presidential candidate Gary Bauer said social issues shouldn’t be the No.  concern in the campaign since most voters are worried about the economy, but he also disagrees with calls from Republicans like Mitch Daniels to call a truce on issues like abortion and gay marriage: “We don’t get to call a truce.”

—with reporting by Emily Belz in Virginia



Utah New Mexico Montana South Dakota New Jersey California Texas Arkansas Kentucky Oregon Nebraska West Virginia Indiana North Carolina Delaware Rhode Island Connecticut Pennsylvania New York D.C. Maryland Wisconsin Louisiana Illinois Puerto Rico Missouri Samoa Hawaii Mississippi Alabama Guam Virgin Islands N. Marianas Kansas Vermont Alaska North Dakota Wyoming Idaho Massachusetts Oklahoma Virginia Tennessee Ohio Georgia Washington Arizona Michigan Colorado Minnesota Maine Nevada Florida South Carolina New Hampshire Iowa

Jun  Jun  Jun  Jun  Jun  Jun  May  May  May  May  May  May  May  May  Apr  Apr  Apr  Apr  Apr  Apr  Apr  Apr  Mar  Mar  Mar  Mar  Mar  Mar  Mar  Mar  Mar  Mar  Mar  Mar  Mar  Mar  Mar  Mar  Mar  Mar  Mar  Mar  Mar  Mar  Mar  Mar  Feb  Feb  Feb  Feb  Feb  Feb  Jan  Jan  Jan  Jan 

total number of delegates

                                              * *     * * * 

To secure the GOP nomination, a candidate needs to win , delegates ahead of the party’s national convention in August. (The convention is slated to take place at the Tampa Bay Times Forum arena in Tampa, Fla.)


 

Santorum  


 


 

                     


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                     

                      MARCH 24, 2012

                     





 ’ called a truce on social issues, but he hasn’t emphasized them. The candidate running on a pro-life and promarriage platform discusses the issues when asked, but sometimes avoids the topic. Instead, he’s emphasized his business expertise, and a streamlined economic message that mixes tax reform with cutting government spending. That platform—and a desire to defeat Obama— may be enough to convince most conservatives, including evangelicals, to vote for Romney if he becomes the nominee. Many voters at Santorum’s Tennessee event said they don’t prefer Romney, but would support whoever wins the nomination. Bauer said he would “work my heart out” for the eventual GOP nominee. But whether that same enthusiasm would spread to other activists remains a key question (see sidebar). French—of Evangelicals for Mitt—has supported Romney since , and says he believes the candidate has the most conservative platform in the race. He’s also convinced that Romney would advocate for social issues if he wins the nomination. (He’s even co-authored a book with his wife, Nancy, called Why Evangelicals Should Support Mitt Romney and Feel Good About It.) In the meantime, French says he and his family will continue fasting on Mondays and praying for the nation’s future. He says the spiritual discipline helps cut the intensity of a roller-coaster campaign that has grown ever longer, and that it reminds him of the one truth that gives him peace: “God is in control.” A




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ARUSHOFLIFE all-nighters with his students. He chaperoned highschoolers on camping trips and joined in Kurdish folk dances with third- and fourth-graders. And although he came to teach English among northern Iraqis, he spoke the local Kurdish dialect well enough to barter in the street markets, where he found a tailor who could fashion the traditional Kurdish men’s baggy trousers and sash to fit his nontraditional trim waist and lanky frame. In six years teaching at Classical School of the Medes (CSM) in Sulaymaniyah, a city of  million in northern Iraq, Jeremiah Small brought to his classroom lessons steeped in Shakespeare, John Bunyan, Joseph Conrad, C.S. Lewis, and American-made movies. All the while, the sandy-haired American himself was becoming more a Kurd. “He knew the mountains surrounding the city better than we did,” observed Amed Omar, a  graduate of CSM. “He was very Kurdish, very hospitable, very connected to all our lives.” “He became not only the ablest and favorite teacher of the school but also one of the community’s friendliest faces,” wrote former student Meer Ako Ali, now studying in Lebanon. That connection deepened the shock and trauma for students and colleagues when on March  an Iraqi student shot and killed Small as he bent his head to pray at the start of a morning class. The -year-old teacher from Washington state took bullets to the head and chest and died at the scene. Eighteen-year-old Bayar Sarwar, an th-grader, then shot himself. He survived for several hours but died at Sulaymaniyah Emergency Hospital. The assailant was a grand-nephew of Jalal


Talabani, the president of Iraq and head of the region’s most powerful party, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan. Small’s death was a powerful blow not only to his own community but to other schools in the CSM network across northern Iraq, and to the region’s tiny contingent of nongovernmental aid workers: Many survived the despotic years of Saddam Hussein and the following eight years of U.S. occupation and radical Islamic insurgency. They have worked to keep a low profile amid the region’s ethnic and religious tensions, and the changing winds of U.S. policy. And now, two months after the departure of the last U.S. troop unit from Iraq, that perseverance suddenly appeared threatened by a lone teenage gunman whose motive for the shooting might never be known. Remarkably, in the days following the incident, family and friends looked past ethnic and religious identity for healing. A funeral for Sarwar in a downtown mosque the day after the shooting turned into a joint service to honor Small also.

CSM TEACHERS WHO SHARED A HOUSE with Small opened it in the afternoons so that students and others could come to mourn his death together. “There we sang worship songs and celebrated Jer’s homegoing,” one  graduate told me in an email. “Everyone was surrounded by loved ones, to support, and be supported by. We all entered the house with tears on our eyes and left with a smile.” Small’s family chose to bury him in Iraq. The March  service at the Art Hall in Sulaymaniyah, besides family and students, included leaders of Servant Group International (SGI), the U.S. organization that helps to support the schools, the Kurdish regional minister of education, and members of

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the killer’s family. Fellow teachers led the singing of hymns and read from the psalms and New Testament. Students gave tributes to Small and family members also spoke. But most remarkable was the reconciliation evident between Small’s family, who are Christians, and Sarwar’s, who are Muslims. The shooter’s father, Rashid Sarwar, apologized to the Smalls for the killing. The teacher’s father, Dan Small, said, “We do not have any hatred for the family of the student who killed our son.” At one point both men embraced.




curriculum got started in a Nashville bagel shop, says author, pastor, and educator George Grant. The s was a tense period for northern Iraq: Saddam Hussein had ravaged the Kurdish population with chemical weapons and mass slaughters. A U.S.-led no-fly zone offered general protection from Baghdad but put the normally hard-working Kurds at the mercy of an international aid bureaucracy that rationed food, supplies, and medical care. An Arab Christian pastor from Kirkuk named Yousif Matty decided he wanted to help the Kurds, and he linked up with SGI in Nashville, a relief group created originally to assist earthquake victims in neighboring Turkey. But nothing in the region really was working. “The Kurds were harassed by [Arab] Muslims on every side,” recalled Grant. “The idea of starting a school where their children could earn American high school diplomas would be like gold for them.” Matty agreed to run the first school, and the next logical step was to borrow from the AT HOME: Small making Franklin Classical School—the school founded himself part by Grant in  that became a trailblazer in of the local the Classical Christian education movement. community. With its curriculum as a foundation, students from downtrodden Kurdish families could receive English language instruction and perhaps Americanmade opportunities. Matty recruited Iraqis to help run the school and to teach, while Servant Group and Grant began to recruit and train teachers from the United States. The mostly Muslim Kurds, predisposed to like Americans for the protection and help they received during the first Gulf War, seized on an education taught in a language other than Arabic, which under Saddam had become the language of oppression. In  Classical School of the Medes was born—first in Sulaymaniyah, then the far northern city of Dohuk, and in  in Erbil, the regional capital. “Those schools have grown faster than any Classical Christian school in the United States,” notes Grant, who has used the same model to help start Classical schools in Indonesia. The three Iraqi schools this year have over , students—nearly all Muslim— with  American teachers supplementing the Iraqi faculty. Matty serves as senior director of all three schools. From the beginning the schools have been an anomaly, with Christian faculty from the United States teaching in classrooms that are  percent or more Muslim. The Classical formula puts emphasis on critical thinking, asking questions, and developing a worldview—in a culture where classroom activity centered on rote memory and repetition at all ages. Bible verses are woven into portions of the curriculum, yet for the most part Muslim Kurds don’t mind. When I visited the Sulaymaniyah school in , it had  students; today it has over . MARCH 24, 2012




3/8/12 3:52 PM


Matty remains the on-the-ground visionary holding it together, and without playing down his Christian beliefs. Over the years he has successfully licensed each school with the Ministry of Education and demanded that the schools be given equal footing in their communities, and judged by their product. More than once he has left a rigorous meeting with government officials only to discover that some of them have just registered their own children to attend his schools. “What we tell the Kurdish officials is we want to work hand in hand with Kurdish Muslims, we want to live with you but not at the edge of life. We want to be at the heart of Kurdistan, and we want to work hard for the good of the community,” Matty told me in . In the classroom, Small operated much the same way, never hiding his own Christian beliefs but unafraid to explore the Quran and other religious texts with his students, along with the book of Romans and works of Western literature. “Inside and outside the classroom, Jeremiah made clear that he loved Jesus Christ,” said his former student Amed Omar, “but he never demanded that we read the Bible or become Christians. You did not have to be a Christian to be a part of what he was doing, but Jesus Christ was ubiquitous everywhere in his life.” That may have led to tension with Sarwar, who several students said described himself as an atheist. A week before the shooting Small told an Iraqi friend, “I have a student who wants to kill me.” When the friend asked him about it several days later, Small said he thought the issue had been resolved.

around the country, including Alaska, until his parents, Dan and Rebecca Small, settled in southwest Washington to run a Bible camp. He graduated from Central Washington University and worked as a substitute teacher before attending an SGI presentation about the schools in Iraq. “I think I am supposed to go there,” he told an SGI staff member. In late  Small arrived in Sulaymaniyah to teach English and history and, according to a statement released by Servant


Servant Group International has set up a memorial fund in honor of Jeremiah Small:



Group after his death, “continued to return to Iraq to teach year after year because of the great changes and hope he saw in the lives of his students.” G.K. Chesterton, in a quote Small liked to repeat for his students, said, “It might be true that the sun rises regularly because he never gets tired of rising. His routine might be due, not to a lifelessness, but to a rush of life.” It was the theme defining Small’s time in Iraq as he filled after-school hours, taught students rock climbing and organized trips to Europe over summer break. He helped to launch a student-run newspaper called Median Ink, and graduates Omar and Ali went on to launch a monthly newspaper in the region called Awat. At one point Small and a fellow teacher helped to train and recruit first responders after he learned of a critical shortage of firemen and ambulance crews in the city. When he discovered the city had no real library, he encouraged students to launch a drive to create one. The students now say they will name the library after him. Small returned to the United States twice a year, during summer break and at Christmas. “Every time he went through the airport scanner, we knew we were having to let go, not knowing if we would ever see him again,” Dan Small told The Daily World of Aberdeen, Wash. “He was doing what he loved doing, and his students are testifying to that.” His last trip through the scanners, in January, turned into a nightmare of canceled flights and lost luggage that delayed his return to Iraq by almost a week. It gave him extra time with his family in Washington. Recounting the story, he concluded in an email to friends: “Even the things that don’t feel good are good, because He has purposed them and will work—all— things for good.” A NO HATRED: The burial of Small in Sulaymaniyah on March .

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‘reckless prudence’ Fasting for 42 days to protest New York’s ban on churches renting worship space at public schools was right up Manhattan pastor Bill Devlin’s alley by Tiffany OWens in New York City  |  photograph by elbert chu


t first glance, it was hard to believe that Bill Devlin hadn’t eaten for 41 days. On a crisp Tuesday morning he was sporting trendy black glasses, bouncing back and forth in a room full of students, teaching them about forgiveness. “Forgiveness is not being a hater!” he exclaimed. Devlin had been fasting and praying on behalf of New York City churches fighting a ban on renting unused public school space for worship, even though the churches have been actively serving their communities for decades. Devlin had lost 50 pounds in that time. Up close, you could tell that his shirt was fitting loosely. But along the short walk from the school to his office, he stopped almost every two steps to greet a student or staffer with a vigorous handshake or hug. Settled in his office with its view of the Harlem River, Devlin answered a question about the many pictures of his wife of 32 years, Nancy: “I still romance and stalk her every day,” he boasted. Devlin pastors Manhattan Bible, located in Inwood, an upper Manhattan neighborhood. The church boasts a membership of more than 500 and the accompanying school, Manhattan Christian Academy, serves students from kindergarten through eighth grade with a 100 percent graduation rate. During the past two months, as Devlin has worked with other pastors to overturn the worship ban, he’s held press conferences, participated in protests and court hearings, and been arrested for disturbing the peace. On Jan. 18 he


started his fast, picking up the baton from Dimas Salaberrios, pastor of Infinity Church, who fasted for two weeks until health complications forced him to stop. Devlin said he took on the fast “to raise awareness about the poor and low-income congregations. I knew the forces we were up against ... [that] there had to be some kind of supernatural spiritual power that we had to tap into.” The arrest was nothing new for Devlin. During 40 years of ministry he has been arrested 26 times and criticized often for his pro-life and pro-marriage positions. As he recalls his stories—most involving risky situations—Devlin’s face lights up and he waves his hands in enthusiastic gestures. Some call him “Indiana Jones for Jesus.” Devlin dabbled in atheism and a little in Eastern religions before hearing the gospel as a sailor in the U.S. Navy. During leave one summer and hitchhiking in California, a man wearing bell-bottoms and tie-dye gave him a tract and told him about Jesus. That same week, he slipped into a Christian ministry hoping to grab free food without notice, but didn’t get away before an older man also told him about Jesus and led him in prayer. Since becoming a Christian in 1971, Devlin has lived with what he calls reckless prudence. In 1985, he and Nancy traded their suburban lifestyle for residence in one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in Philadelphia. Many people thought the young parents were crazy, especially when they started taking in single, pregnant, HIV-positive women in need of shelter. But they didn’t leave, not even when an assailant took a butcher’s knife to Devlin’s head one night after a church

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and discuss life choices. meeting. The assailant Oestreich likens Devlin to stabbed him once in the John the Baptist: a man arm and once in the head, called to preach repentance where he left the knife, all while adopting extreme because Devlin didn’t have measures. any money. He fell into a Devlin finds joy in his ditch and stumbled home, calling, but there are lying at his door in a pool of challenges. It’s been hard his own blood. for his family at times to Bill and Nancy Devlin understand his ministry— didn’t turn back when their he recalled one time when 2-year-old son Luke was his children’s classmates diagnosed with leukemia came to school waving and they struggled finanphotos of him arrested. It’s cially. They stayed in that also been hard for him to neighborhood and raised all foster unity among church five of their children there. leaders. During the two (Luke, now 25, beat the months Devlin worked to disease and remains overturn the ban, many of cancer-free.) the larger and wealthier It took Devlin seven churches didn’t get pubyears to finish at licly involved, opting to Westminster Seminary pray behind the scenes while Luke went through rather than attend a protest chemotherapy. He then or rally. The movement has launched Urban Family, a been powered largely by pro-life, pro-marriage, low-income, multi-ethnic character development churches that had much to program for inner-city lose. communities. In New York During the fast, Devlin City he has worked supported legislative efforts alongside Councilman to overturn the ban. One bill Fernando Cabrera on hot passed the state Senate, but issues, including the “SALT AND LIGHT TO A LOST WORLD”: peaceful protesters  state Assembly Speaker defense of pro-life crisis march in Manhattan (top); Devlin breaks his fast. Sheldon Silver has bottled up pregnancy centers, the legislation in his chamber. defense of traditional Those in favor of the ban claimed that allowing churches marriage and, most recently, for the right to worship freely. to use public schools violated the separation of church and When city officials last year threatened to evict more state. They said it would confuse students into thinking than 60 churches from the public schools they used for that the state endorsed the religious views presented worship, Devlin on Dec. 30 at Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s during worship services. inter-faith breakfast publicly pleaded with the mayor. Devlin’s fast ended the morning of Feb. 29 after 42 days; Bloomberg remained silent, but Devlin and Cabrera continhe ended it with Corn Flakes and apple sauce. ued to spearhead efforts to overturn the ban. They staged Later that day, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied two public arrests, protests, and public marches. the city’s appeal, allowing Circuit Judge Loretta Preska’s most recent injunction—that churches can continue to ive years ago Devlin fasted for 40 days on behalf meet in schools—to remain in effect. Preska has until June of Philadelphia, when the city was faced with to make a final decision. In the meantime, churches can extremely high violence and murders. But fasting resume meeting in public schools like every other comfor Devlin is more than a tactic. He’s fasted at least one munity organization. Some had found new locations, but day a week for almost all of his Christian life. He says it others—like Abounding Grace Ministries on the Lower East challenges him to grow deeper in his relationship with Side—will stay in schools. Jesus. It isn’t his only extreme practice: Three nights a Devlin is overjoyed. He will continue pushing for the bill week, he sleeps on the floor of his office to identify with to go to the Assembly, and in the meantime will continue the poor, to remember the thousands throughout the city serving Manhattan Bible Church and giving Tuesday who are doing the same. morning pep talks to students. When it comes to living for “God has equipped him to be out there preaching, Jesus, he recalls a piece of advice he heard about raising teaching, trying to be salt and light to a lost world,” said teens as a Christian parent: “Just be weirder in your walk Jim Oestreich, Devlin’s accountability partner. The two of with Jesus than they are!” A them get together for coffee at least twice a month to pray


top: tiffany owens • bottoM: elbert chu


WORLD  March 24, 2012

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WM0312_BestDocs_VisionVideo 3/7/12 10:49 AM Page 1

More Than Dreams For decades, a phenomenon has been recurring in the Muslim world. Men and women, without any knowledge of the Gospel and without any contact with Christians, have been forever transformed after experiencing dreams and visions of Jesus Christ. Here are five stories of former Muslims who now know Jesus as their Savior, recreated in docu-drama format and produced in their original languages with English subtitles. Meet Khalil, a radical Egyptian terrorist who was transformed when Jesus appeared to him; Mohammed, a herdsman in Nigeria who found the deep love of Christ; Dini, an Indonesian teenager who became a Christian on a night that Muslims individualize their prayers to Allah; Khosrow, a young Iranian man who was depressed and without hope; and Ali, a Turkish man in bondage to alcohol. 187 minutes total. DVD - #501117D, $19.99

The Fanny Crosby Story

Robber of the Cruel Streets: George Müller

C.H. Spurgeon: The People’s Preacher

George Müller (18051898) was a German playboy who found Christ and gave his life to serve Christ unreservedly. His mission was to rescue orphans from the wretched street life that enslaved so many children in England during the time of Charles Dickens and Oliver Twist. Müller did rescue, care for, feed, and educate such children by the thousands. The costs were enormous for such a great work. Yet, amazingly, he never asked anyone for money. Instead he prayed, and his children never missed a meal. This docu-drama presents his life story and shows how God answered prayer and met their needs. It is a story that raises foundational questions regarding faith and finances. Also included are two special documentaries on Müller and some of the lives affected by his work. 59 minutes plus 30-minute documentary. DVD - #500939D, $19.99

Here is the intimate story of one of the greatest preachers in the history of the church. We follow him from his youth where, as a young preacher, he is surprisingly called to minister in London and soon captures the love and respect of the nation. He goes on to become one of its most influential figures. This powerful, inspirational docu-drama faithfully recreates the times of C.H. Spurgeon and brings the “people’s preacher” to life as it follows his trials and triumphs with historical accuracy. Made by the award-winning Christian Television Association and filmed on location in England, Scotland, France and Germany, this film vividly captures the spirit and message of a man whose eventful — and sometimes controversial — life is highly relevant to the twenty-first century. 70 minutes. DVD - #501345D, $19.99

The Reckoning

top: tiffany owens • bottom: elbert chu

This is the amazing biography of the blind hymn writer, Fanny Crosby. As the writer of more than 10,000 hymns, all penned after the age of 40, she is credited with authoring more verse than any human in history. The tragic mistreatment by a charlatan masquerading as a doctor blinded Fanny shortly after birth. Nevertheless, she learned to function as a sighted person except for her inability to read. Fulfilling the roles of wife, mother, friend, teacher, nurse to the sick during the cholera epidemic, humanitarian to the poor and disenfranchised, and friend of presidents — Fanny Crosby was an exceptional woman by any standard. Her legacy lives on through the thousands of hymns that are still sung today. 46 minutes. DVD - #4733D, $14.99

In September 1939, war erupted in Europe as Germany invaded Poland. Eight months later, Hitler publicly broadcasted that he would not invade Holland due to their neutrality during World War I. Within hours, this promise became a treacherous lie that engulfed the small country in World War II. Prejudice and persecution spread. The preservation of human life became a life-and-death mission for a small minority of ordinary Dutch citizens. The Reckoning: Remembering the Dutch Resistance is the international award-winning documentary that captures the compelling story and eyewitness account of six survivors in wartorn Netherlands during World War II. With the revelation of Hitler’s “Final Solution” and the uncertainty of liberation, it reveals the intensely human aspect of the Dutch struggle against Nazi tyranny. 96 minutes plus extras. DVD - #501177D, $19.99

Buy any three DVDs on this page for only $29.97! Use promo code “WMDOC7” for this special offer. — OR — Buy all five DVDs on this page at the special, low price of only $39.99! Save $55! Use item #97997D for the set. SPECIAL PRICES ARE GOOD UNTIL MAY 25, 2012



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3/7/12 4:02 PM

WALKING THE TALK: Karen Covell in Hollywood.

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Hollywood has Christians, and they’re not giving up on the film industry   

   /

     down the red carpet for the Academy Awards show on Feb. , few knew that Christina Lee Storm and  others from the Hollywood Prayer Network had walked around the Kodak theater three evenings before to pray over the event. Storm, who worked as the production supervisor of Best Picture winner The Artist, said the prayer walk was “better than the actual awards night.” “Going through the award season I realized that what we see on the screen, the red carpet, it’s all a façade,” Storm said. “If [the awards are] your end all be all, it’s empty, it’s not satisfying.” Karen Covell, the Network’s founder, said the annual walk, now a decade old, helps Christians look at the show differently: Instead of fixating on a small gold idol, they grasp the brokenness in the lives of seemingly successful actors and directors. Covell, a documentary producer, described the movie industry’s makeup: “Only  percent of people go to church, many have never read a Bible, and are not at all aware of what faith in Christ is. ... [Hollywood] does not relate to the rest of America. It has its own culture, gods, language; we are ministering to a tribe of people who are not the same.” For Christians living within that culture, the challenges are great. Larissa Lam, a singer, actress, and composer, says she struggles with whether to take certain roles she believes conflicts with her beliefs. “Someone said, ‘If you would dress sexier, you would be more famous; if you didn’t mention God, you would be more famous.’ Well, I have freedom of speech, and if others can condemn God, why can’t I say something positive about God?” Lam also said that other Christians can make life harder by judging those working in the “sinful” entertainment industry and asking why they don’t produce more overtly Christian content. For some, this leads to a lack of Christian community and an unhealthy isolation from the church.

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The Hollywood Prayer Network holds prayer meetings, sends out media-related prayer requests, and pairs Christians in the industry with prayer partners outside Hollywood. “We’ve seen prayer do many things, heal addictions, reconcile relationships,” Covell said, noting that members of the Network are praying for about , Christians in Hollywood. More than  ministries have popped up to serve an estimated , Christians in the Los Angeles entertainment industry, and non-Christians

as well. It’s a swirling population: Every year up to , aspiring actors move to Hollywood with stars in their eyes, only to encounter the reality of hardto-secure jobs, a high cost of living, and a pervading sense of loneliness in a new city. The environment is tough for anyone coming in, says Shun Lee, an actor, writer, and producer from Omaha, who moved to Los Angeles nearly  years ago. Young, impressionable people looking for their big breaks are easily entrapped by cults, the porn industry, sex trafficking,

and prostitution. In a career filled with rejection, Lee sees a common danger: “Feeling discouraged, despair, loneliness,” and going down the wrong track. To fight those problems Lee founded a group, Greenhouse, that meets once a month to cultivate an attitude of collaboration and service between creative professionals. He also leads Hollywood Connect, which helps newcomers to Hollywood get adjusted and plugged in. Christian directors, producers, actors, and screenwriters come together

Ceding art and entertainment to unbelievers is a mistake


This is the challenge Christians face in today’s media-drenched world. We preach. We present well-reasoned arguments and back them up with Scripture. We organize boycotts and sign petitions. And in the arena of popular culture, we’re getting creamed, because we have allowed someone else to tell our stories. In her powerful study of art and media, Nancy Pearcey notes, “Ideas penetrate our minds most deeply when communicated through the imaginative language of image, story, and symbol” (Saving Leonardo, p. ). Pearcey urges Christians to stop complaining about rotten art and entertainment, and to start offering an alternative that is better. Christians often regard entertainment as a second-rate profession, inferior to preaching or missionary work, but storytelling satisfies a deep human need, and we should feel comfortable in the story business. The Old Testament is a collection of stories, and Jesus used parables to reach people of all ages and levels of sophistication. In the history of our church, storytelling came first. Theology, doctrine, and scholarship came later. Ours is an age of electronic parables. Every movie and TV show presents a worldview, a set of beliefs that tell us who we are, where we came from, and how we’re supposed to behave in this life. If Christians don’t present our own version of reality—with a high level of professionalism, and in the media of the times— who will do it?


In  CBS Television made a -minute animated cartoon out of my first Hank the Cowdog book. I was thrilled to get the exposure offered by a Saturday morning cartoon, aired on national television. At least half the population of my Perryton, Texas, hometown watched it. Everyone was proud that a local book had made it to the Big Time. CBS did a first-class, professional job with the animation, the character voices, and the music—but made subtle changes to my story. In my books, Hank’s ranch is a family cattle operation, involving a husband (Loper), a wife (Sally May), and a hired hand (Slim). Loper and Sally May have two children, two dogs, and a cat. Their ranch is typical of cattle operations in Texas and the Southwest. The CBS version turned the cattle ranch into a chicken farm, and Sally May had become the boss. Loper and Slim were her hired hands, and there was no suggestion of marriage or a biblical family unit. The children had disappeared from the story, and one assumed that Sally May and the men lived together in the ranch house—one big, happy, postmodern family. CBS used my teacher-trusted, family-tested story as a carrier for its feminist, beef-hating agenda. On a typical Sunday morning, my pastor preaches a Christian message to  people. The CBS cartoon probably entered  million to  million living rooms, where unsuspecting children absorbed it along with their chips and soda pop.

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  . 



each year for the  Film Project, which assigns each group a Bible verse, then gives them  hours—or one week—to produce an -minute film based on the verse. Often both Christians and non-Christians work together on the project, and John David Ware, the founder of the event, has seen people come to Christ through working with Christians and studying the verse. The films are then shown at the  Film Festivals and given awards in the typical categories—best film, actress, editing, etc.— and on how well they incorporate the verse. Ware says film submissions have been in many genres: zombies, vampires, Westerns, comedy, animation, period pieces, and contemporary films. Ware hopes the project helps filmmakers tell the gospel in a creative way: “Film schools don’t encourage [evangelizing through film] and film school students are scared to death to be labeled a Christian filmmaker. They think it’s the kiss of death, so we just wanted to encourage better films than the genre most recognize as Christian.” Other Hollywood Christian groups include Actors Co-op, an award-winning theater company completely made up of

CINEMA VERITAS: Writer-director-producer Joshua Weigel (left), producer Aaron Moore (center), and Jenn Gotzon on set of Stained (above), “Best Film” winner at the  Film Festival in ; Larissa Lam with her husband Only Won (right).

Christian actors; Act One, which trains Christian screenwriters and studio executives for working in mainstream media; and Premise, a Christian fellowship for professionals in film and television. Often the circles between different groups overlap, as the Christian community in Hollywood is still small. Small things can make a difference. When Larissa Lam was on set for a music video for her husband, rapper Only Won, she took the time to learn the names of the extras: They “are usually treated as discardable, they’re seen as props, so we made a direct effort to give people a chance to shine.” After the shoot she performed a Christian song and prayed for them. Lam noted that one extra emailed her afterward and wrote that she wanted to get back to church. A MARCH 24, 2012

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Saved by God’s Gollums Reporters on an ideological warpath mercifully cut short my yearning for the Inner Ring by Marvin Olasky illustration by Krieg Barrie



n June 1995, the Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse (TCADA) decided to yank the license of a Christian group, Teen Challenge of South Texas. TCADA wanted the alcohol and drug rehab center to use state-licensed counselors. Teen Challenge said no, because it relied on former drug addicts whose lives had changed through the gospel, and who wanted to help other addicts. I learned about the threat while teaching at the University of Texas at Austin and editing WORLD. I headed to San Antonio to report on a protest by 300 Teen Challenge supporters in front of the Alamo, that potent symbol of Texas freedom. After my articles appeared in WORLD and later in The Wall Street Journal, readers deluged the office of new Governor George W. Bush with mail protesting TCADA’s actions. Soon a call came: Could I meet with the governor and explain what’s going on? Of course—and quickly Bush came out in support of accommodating religious groups like Teen Challenge so they could continue their good work. The experience was exciting: I began to see that even a small magazine could have outsized influence. Other invitations came: A lunch with the governor. A dinner. I liked Bush and was flattered that he wanted to run with my concept of compassionate conservatism. He took me onto the balcony of the governor’s mansion, overlooking the lit-up state Capitol building, and talked about sitting out there in the evening listening on the radio to Texas Rangers games. When he started running for president in 1999, I agreed to chair a campaign task force about the role of “faith-based” groups. At this point the issue was not so much government dollars but the need for equal Twelfth in a series; treatment. Why should government place for previous episodes, go to obstacles in the paths of religious groups?

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Why, for example, should a secular homeless shelter be able to get access to surplus food when a religious shelter could not? Our group came up with a plan to set up an office in the White House that would help religious charities get a fair shake. When Bush’s stump speech outlining compassionate conservatism included my ideas about charity tax credits, all the better: Taxpayers would regain some authority, and Bush emphasized that “their support won’t be filtered through layers of government officials.” Maybe, just maybe, compassionate conservatism could shrink government and restore the once-prime role of charities and ministries. Much as I loved WORLD, vocation-adulterous thoughts came to mind: Maybe I’ll go to Washington and run that White House office. The thought was foolish: God has given me some talent as an editor but no talent as a politician. But the excitement of being in a campaign, of being valued by a presidential candidate and seen as a guru, grew on me.



hardly a word they rode off, disappearing almost as quickly as they had appeared. Daniel and I walked back to our car, thoughtful and grateful. In 61 years I have never thought myself in the presence of angels—except this one time.

RING OF POWER: Bush speaking at the  dedication of Oak cliff Bible Fellowship’s  youth Education center in Dallas.


eanwhile, throughout 1999 and the initial months of 2000 the Bush campaign for some reason made me a go-to guy when Washington reporters came to town wanting to learn more about Bush’s thinking. When I explained truthfully that my role was highly informal and my contact with Bush rare, Washington reporters accustomed to hearing bragging about access—an office inches closer to the president’s, an extra minute of face time—were surprised. One later told me his thinking: Olasky downplays his access, thus he must have huge access. The more I demurred, the more my stock rose, with movement in press accounts from the accurate “informal Bush advisor” to “the revered intellectual guru of Governor Bush.” The legend grew when a New York Times profile of me included a paragraph quoting Bush’s nice comments about me, and then


uring this period one important lesson about what’s most important came on a beach in Florida. To protect their privacy I’m leaving my four sons out of these accounts, but one story is too amazing to hide under a bushel. (And the son who’s involved, Daniel, has approved this message.) Over the years I took all four, one by one, to spring training: They would see players and garner autographs, and I would interview players. It was drizzling in Ft. Lauderdale when Daniel and I visited the camp of the Baltimore Orioles, and for an hour it wasn’t clear whether the scheduled game would be played. During that time I sat on a dugout bench next to Cal Ripken Jr. and enjoyed hearing him talk about youth baseball leagues (he was starting his own) and Bill Clinton (he was scathing). The Orioles finally called off the game. Daniel had been stuck in the stands during the rain. We drove up the coast. The rain let up. Since it had been a dull day for him, I thought we could redeem it by going into the ocean. The stretch of beach we stopped at was deserted. A lifeguard stand was a distant, tiny spot. Daniel, almost 15, swam out, while I watched from shore. When he ventured out beyond my comfort zone, I waved at him and yelled that he should come back in. Then he started waving and hollering that he could not, which turned into cries for help. A rip tide had caught Daniel and was pushing him further out. I desperately looked around: No one in sight. I yelled for help but heard no response. I started out, but my poor swimming offered little prospect of success. Suddenly, a dune buggy with two lifeguards came out of nowhere. One of them ran into the water and instantly outpaced me. Then a figure on a surfboard also appeared out of nowhere. He reached Daniel first, then transferred him to the lifeguard, who helped my tired son get back to shore. Back on the beach I looked out to where the surfer had been: He was gone. I profusely thanked the lifeguards, but with

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the reporter’s summary: “Indeed, when I ask one of Bush’s top aides to explain what a compassionate conservative administration might look like, he says simply, ‘Talk to Marvin.’” Dream on. Like each 2012 GOP presidential candidate in turn, a surge merely made me the object of incoming fire. Counting books, articles, and interviews of me, I had probably produced about 3 million words from 1983 to 2000, and some of them—about abortion, public schools, and a variety of social issues—could readily be taken out of context. Why didn’t I remember that journalists shouldn’t be politicians, and that separation of press and state was important? In part, hope: Maybe in Washington I really could help to get government out of the way of ministries and charities. In part, pride: Like Frodo with his ring at the Cracks of Doom, I didn’t have the strength of will to say no to the prospect of power, even though I would have handled it no better than many in Middle Earth or our earth. Happily, God sent some liberal journalists to serve as Gollums. They made me miserable for a little while, and I still feel a twinge—maybe if I had gone to Washington compassionate conservatism would have stayed on track (as if that were in my power). Still, knowing my weakness, I can see that the appearance of Gollums was a great, although hard, mercy.


Jesus”) with John McCain’s stoical stress on the classical virtues of courage, duty, and strength (“the religion of Zeus”). It was dumb of me to call McCain a Zeus follower, even playfully, in a way that could readily be taken out of context. Toward the end of the column I waxed even dumber by citing three East Coast journalists who praised McCain’s classical virtues: Bill Kristol, David Brooks, and Frank Rich. I knew Bill is Jewish, but the thought never occurred to me—it should have— that if Brooks and Rich are also Jewish my comment could be taken as anti-Semitic. They are. It was. One New York reporter researching my sudden rise ran the headline, “Bush Crony Blames ‘Zeus Worshipers.’ Three Jewish Journalists Scorned.” My playful column turned into the farce that launched 1,000 quips. Publications did not note the Tom Wolfe context, so it seemed I equated Judaism with Zeus worship. A typical lead read, “GEORGE W. BUSH has a new religious flap on his hands—his adviser Marvin Olasky has claimed three reporters, all Jews, who have criticized Bush, follow the ‘religion of Zeus.’” Trifecta time: Slammed in The Washington Post, The New York Post, and The Jerusalem Post. Some who researched my background salted their stories with suggestions that I was a Jewish anti-Semite.

Like Frodo with his ring at the cracks of Doom, I didn’t have the strength of will to say no to the prospect of power, even though I would have handled it no better than many in middle Earth or our earth.


he first hard mercy came through the aftermath of our Stealth Bible controversy (see “More unmerited mercy,” Feb. 11). In 1998 the editor of a newsletter published by the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood had asked me about male and female roles in the light of the Bible. For Sunday school teaching I had just been studying chapter 4 of the book of Judges, where Israelite leader Barak balks at God’s command to lead an army against the Canaanites and says he won’t go unless the prophetess Deborah goes with him. Her response was that the Israelites would win but Barak would not gain honor in the process. I offered the editor my exegesis and practical application: that women often led when men didn’t step up, and that I’d vote for a woman for president but would think it shameful that men had abdicated. Gasp! I had mouthed off thoughtlessly to a small newsletter, but by 2000 the internet age was far enough along for anti-Bush researchers to find what this “top Bush advisor” had said. My words were suddenly a sexist quotable in dozens of liberal publications. Soon a second set of attacks arose. At the end of 1998 I had written a positive review of Tom Wolfe’s novel, A Man in Full, within which a main character converts to stoicism, which Wolfe called “the religion of Zeus.” A little over a year later, with Bush and John McCain the top contenders for the GOP presidential nomination, I picked up that riff and compared Bush’s emphasis on Christian compassion (“the religion of


tried to write or call each journalist who wrote such things. Jewish journalists tended to be sympathetic, but with others it was like playing an arcade Whack-a-Mole game and trying to hit each head with a mallet before it retreats back to its hole. The reporters kept popping up to play Whack-a-Molasky faster and faster, sometimes simultaneously, until there was no way to knock them all down. Many were unapologetic: A Washington Post reporter told me his reporting was fair because “Jews rhymes with Zeus.” The scorn was rightly mine because I had carelessly offered an opening. And yet, God’s Gollums brought misery but help, because small step by small step I had fallen into a yearning for what C.S. Lewis in 1944 called the “inner ring,” the group (often behind the scenes) that seems to run things. He said this desire becomes paramount “in all men’s lives at certain periods, and in many men’s lives at all periods between infancy and extreme old age.” I had thought myself immune, but inner ring yearning is like a malaria-bearing mosquito that will squeeze through even a small hole in a bednet. My small hole was the desire to see a concept I had developed put into presidential practice. The national press coverage early in 2000 destroyed my inner ring prospects: That was a hard mercy, because I would not have relinquished them freely. C.S. Lewis in 1944 said, “The quest of the Inner Ring will break your heart unless you break it.” But many people are weak and, like me, need to have God break it. A

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La Shawn Barber

Sobriety, Year 15 Without christ, giving up alcohol left me thirsty



urge to drink. Sobriety didn’t live up to the hype. Figuratively speaking, I was still thirsty, and I needed Christ to quench the thirst. Two years later, I became a Christian. For years I was proud to tell people I wasn’t tempted to go back to drinking. I missed chilled wine and cold beer and vodka martinis, but not enough to drink them. However, I’ve thought about alcohol more often in recent months. The situations in which I think about drinking usually are related to work. Freelancing is inherently unstable, and losing big clients means losing big money. A major client recently ended our professional relationship. Under federal investigation and accused of mishandling donor funds, the client cut me loose. Oddly enough, I can sit inches from someone knocking back the booze and not be tempted. But when things are not going well professionally, I just want to forget my troubles … for a while. And that’s dangerous. For me, drinking is moving backward, and for the sake of my physical, mental, and spiritual well-being, it’s not worth the risk. So I endure the discomfort and uncertainty, pray, and keep busy. Writing something, even if it doesn’t sell, almost always helps. As I reflect on this March 18, the 15th anniversary of the day I gave up a sad and destructive habit, I pray for those still caught in the web. A —The author writes a well-read blog, La Shawn Barber’s Corner

krieg barrie

Last March 18 I forgot it was the 14th anniversary of my sobriety. I usually talk about it and mention it on my blog. But I didn’t think about it until two months later. I never imagined I’d ever overlook such an important date. For over a decade, I consumed alcohol in large quantities whenever I could, and alcohol ended up consuming me. I lived a quarter of my life in search of the mind-altering liquid, trying to drown out God knows what. I wish I could say becoming a Christian sobered me up, but I stopped drinking before I was saved. I became a Christian in part because sobriety had left me just as empty as alcoholism. A month before my 18th birthday, right after my senior prom, I took the first drink. And I blacked out. Fortunately, I was with people who cared about me, because I lost hours. I remember taking the first few sips and feeling that first buzz. Afterward, I don’t remember leaving the car or going into the club. I remember snippets of dancing. Everything else was a blank. I drank so much the first time I imbibed that I experienced alcohol-related amnesia. Why didn’t I heed the warning? The pleasures of drinking—not the pain—were my obsession. For the next decade, I drank as often as possible. Yet, I never felt that “first buzz” again. Drinking to excess wasn’t as pleasurable anymore. My relationships suffered. But I didn’t stop. I thought I’d die if I stopped. I exaggerate only a little. I thought life wouldn’t be worth living, that I’d see the world in drab colors or boring black and white. So I kept drinking. I hid how much I drank, but people knew. Depressed, defensive, and embarrassed, I continued the vicious cycle. In early 1997, approaching my 30th birthday, I read a memoir called Drinking: A Love Story, by the late Caroline Knapp. She said her love of alcohol ruined her relationships. Alcohol became the great love of her life. Through Knapp’s story, I saw a way out of the chaos I’d created. She’d survived without alcohol and had laid herself bare to help others. Shortly afterward, I decided I no longer wanted to be a drunk. On March 18, 1997, I gave it up. I didn’t attend Alcoholics Anonymous. I didn’t ask people to pray for me. I didn’t plead with God for help. I wasn’t a Christian. I just flipped the “off” button. I drank herbal tea—lots of it—to satisfy the

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Animals as idols

LIFESTYLE: Veterinarian Wendell cantrell says a healthy affection for pets has become an unhealthy “petcentrism” by susAn olAsky


Stacey Schumacher

When Texas veterinarian Wendell Cantrell attends veterinary conferences, he likes to pull fellow vets aside and ask a question. His “informal survey” goes like this: Let’s say you’re in a city and standing on a street corner. Across the street is a burning apartment building. You look in a window and see one of your pets and a stranger. Which one would you save? “You’d be surprised,” he says, “how many would save their pet.” Last year 62 percent of Americans owned pets, according to a survey by the American Pet Products Association. The group estimates that Americans spent almost $51 billion on everything from routine and surgical veterinary visits to gourmet dog foods made from organic ingredients and pet products from Old Navy and Omaha Steaks. There’s even a doggy Skype—PetChatz—that allows owners to talk to their dogs when apart from them. Some Americans are so enamored of their pets that they don’t want to let them go. New Yorker Danielle Tarantola paid a Korean cloning company $50,000 to clone her dog Trouble. She says the puppy, named Double Trouble, has the same mannerisms and behaviors as the original dog. That statement underscores a transformation in American attitudes toward pets. Cantrell calls the new attitude petcentrism. He summarizes your online source for today’s news, Christian views

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Notebook > Lifestyle the shift: Dogs went from the backyard, to the back porch, to the bedroom, to the bed. It’s a change that’s happened so gradually, he says, people don’t think twice about it. Cantrell, , grew up on a farm in the Texas panhandle. He became a vet because it combined his interests in animals and medicine. In  he started a practice in Katy, west of Houston, where he cared for pets and farm animals. As Houston expanded westward, transforming farms into housing developments, Cantrell and his partner opened a small animal practice. Two decades ago Cantrell went on several short-term mission trips with Christian Veterinarian Outreach. Those experiences changed his life. As he explained to his wife, “It is hard to focus on the money side of veterinary practice and taking care of pets, when I could be taking care of some Masai goats.” So in  he sold his practice, joined Christian Veterinary Mission (CVM) full time, and moved to Nairobi, Kenya. Cantrell spent his years of CVM service in Uganda, Kenya, South Sudan, Rwanda, Tanzania, and South Africa. He was in Rwanda days after the genocide, helping widows who might be taking care of  children get the help they needed to raise hens. He retired last year. Veterinarians who serve with CVM come alongside partners on the ground, typically NGOs and churches. They seek out local people with a bit of livestock background and teach them to identify and treat animal diseases. In Uganda, vets have

been cataloguing and disseminating local knowledge about herbs and plants that tribal leaders have used in animal care. When veterinarians are “faithful on the ground,” Cantrell has found, “all kinds of doors open up.” After his first four-year term, Cantrell returned from Kenya and realized his heart had changed. He’d come to believe that “life isn’t about the life of these pets.” Although he still acknowledges that pets serve a purpose in a family, he saw that Americans had become petcentric. Too many were like the client who came in with a -year-old cat in kidney failure. He talked to her about palliative care, but she wasn’t interested. She went home and printed out  pages of treatment options she’d found online and said, “I could go to UC Davis and we could get a kidney transplant.” Cantrell says in a west Texas twang, “I was blown away.” The recession has been hard on vets. Cantrell says their success depends on promoting the human/animal bond. It is to the veterinarian’s benefit, he says, if they treat dogs as hairy people because people will spend more money on them. Cantrell doesn’t get invited very often to speak on the topic of petcentrism. He wants people to be good stewards of their pets but not petcentric. He wants them to think about the cost of treatment and balance it with other priorities. He asks hard questions: Add up your pet costs and the amount you give to animal causes. How does that compare to your missions giving? Is it good stewardship to treat your pet like a human? A

DOG BLOGS Some Americans have found that the road to fame is paved with photographs of their dogs doing strange things. A man named Andrew has gained internet renown and a mention on CNN by balancing food on the head of his dog Tiger, a Staffordshire terrier/ bulldog mix. He posts his photos— Tiger with a can of Spam, or three Twinkies, or a sandwich on her head—on his Food on my Dog blog ( Another blog, Maddie On Things (, features photographs of Maddie the coonhound standing atop objects like a skateboard or two shopping carts in locations across the United States. —S.O.

Pets Inc., a no-kill shelter in Columbia, S.C., relies on nearly  volunteers to feed, groom, and entertain dogs and cats ready for adoption. Like director Amanda Carlson, who has a master’s in social work, the volunteers share a devotion to animals. “I’m more of an animal lover than a people lover,” said Stacy Culbreath, who volunteers weekly at the shelter. She and her husband have no children and have adopted two dogs from Pets Inc. “Our dogs are part of our family. It’s a shame when people don’t treat them that way.” Volunteer Patti O’Rourke works to save dogs from kill shelters: “When you can’t save one, it’s pretty tough.” Moffatt Steele, who has volunteered for eight months, says animals are defenseless creatures with no say in their futures. Jeanie Frazier, volunteer coordinator for Pawmetto Lifeline, another Columbia no-kill shelter, also has a degree in social work: “Our volunteers want to know they can make a difference in the lives of animals. … So we go the extra mile—even if there is a health or behavior issue.” —Deena C. Bouknight


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Notebook > Technology

Eyewitness India

Citizen reporters with mobile phones remake journalism on the subcontinent BY DANIEL JAMES DEVINE


J’  is expanding in India, but squeezed budgets and cultural barriers hamper its role as public watchdog: News outlets often regurgitate government reports without checking facts on the ground, and  million people from tribal communities (often poor and illiterate) are underrepresented in news coverage. Former BBC journalist Shubhranshu Choudhary wants to change all that. The news service he founded two years ago, CGNet Swara, is taking a novel approach. Choudhary’s idea is to allow citizens to file their own news reports using technology even  in  rural Indian villagers has access to: mobile phones. Anyone, including lower caste citizens, can call CGNet Swara’s automated system and record a report in his own language, or listen to reports others have filed. A journalist at Swara moderates the reports and vets them for accuracy, publishing  to  a day on the organization’s website (, out of roughly a dozen submissions. Most contributors phone in reports about local government, although topics range from education to women’s rights to traditional poetry. Some February headlines: “Health center serves  villages but has no doctor!” “Fasting in Panna to protest inaction on silicosis.” “Police beats up people protesting coal mine in public hearing.” These citizen journalists have reported indiscriminate village burnings and killings by police in the Indian state of

Chhattisgarh, where the government has been trying to squelch a Maoist rebellion since . Swara boasts its reports have sparked national news coverage of police brutality, villager opposition to a coal mine, and a governmental rural job program that left workers unpaid. The scrutiny is making some authorities uneasy: One citizen reporter said police told him not to report on villages they were searching—or “it might be the end” of him. “There are people in power who would be very happy to shut us down,” Choudhary said recently. Threats don’t seem to be working. Swara has received over , submissions from more than  individuals since its inception, and gains about  new contributors a month. Meanwhile, minorities are gaining a voice: Roughly one-tenth of published reports are submitted in the tribal language of Kurukh, apparently making Swara the first news site to represent its nearly  million speakers.

PHONING IT IN: A young man on a cell phone at the Rafiq Nagar slum in Mumbai, India.

You can expect to see more eyes in the skies in a few years, thanks to a provision in air transportation legislation President Obama signed in February. The law repeals a virtual ban that kept commercial companies from using unmanned aircraft in civilian airspace, and gives the Federal Aviation Administration until September  to set rules allowing businesses, farmers, and other private operators to use drones to monitor property, survey crops and cattle, or take aerial photographs. Local law enforcement will also have more flexibility to use drones to find suspects or missing persons. Some privacy advocates worry the new policy will be a step toward a Big Brother society. A group of organizations that included the American Civil Liberties Union warned that without strict governance, future drones could shadow celebrities or identify pedestrians using facial recognition technology. The flight industry predicts around , drones will be set to sail U.S. skies by . —D.J.D.


WORLD MARCH 24, 2012

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Notebook > Science

Falling clouds

Drugged out

Scientists from the University of Auckland

The number of drugs facing shortages is  suddenly on the rise  By Daniel james Devine


WORLD  March 24, 2012

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the problem for at least 15 deaths since 2010. Most shortages involve generic drugs and are due to production and market constraints, not a lack of raw materials. The Food and Drug Administration supports legislation that would strengthen its authority to require drugmakers to report an expected shortage. Those favoring broader oversight would like to increase federal regulators’ power to prevent “price gouging” or drug stockpiling when shortages occur. But that approach invalidates a basic economic principle: When supplies fall, prices rise. Ezekiel J. Emanuel, a former health advisor to the Obama administration, pointed out in an op-ed in The New York Times last August that price controls in the drug market keep the laws of supply and demand from working properly. A federal law from 2003 that was meant to keep Medicare costs low had the unintended effect of keeping manufacturers of inexpensive generic drugs from charging extra during a shortage. Legalizing those higher prices would give drugmakers a financial incentive to anticipate and prevent shortages by increasing their production capacity. Last year John Goodman, president of the National Center for Policy Analysis, blamed shortages partially on two additional problems: The FDA runs a “rigid, inflexible and unforgiving” quality control regime, and forces drugmakers to apply for approval before changing production timetables or quantities. Also, a federal program created in 1992 forces drugmakers to provide rebates that artificially lower prices. The program, intended to aid hospitals and clinics serving low-income patients, is expanding under Obamacare.

clouds dropped by 1 percent around the globe between 2000 and 2010—a distance of about 100 to 130 feet. The lower cloud cover means extra heat will dissipate into space, acting as a negative feedback to global warming. The researchers, who got their data from NASA’s Earth-observing Terra spacecraft, weren’t exactly sure what caused the cloud drop. A decade is too short a time frame to “draw Methotrexate: handout • eManuel: adrIan SancheZ-GonZaleZ/PI/landov • cloudS: tIoloco/IStock

EMANUEL: Price  ing quality control controls keep the  problems. A supplier late laws of supply and  in February promised to demand from  flood the market with working properly. over 100,000 vials of methotrexate, but a larger, life-threatening problem remains: There are currently shortages of over 250 drugs in the United States, up from only 74 in 2005. Healthcare workers sometimes resort to rationing medicine or delaying surgeries when drug stocks run low, and they blame

reported that the average height of

hard conclusions” about the phenomenon’s relationship to climate change, they said. —D.J.D.

Download WORlD’s iPad app today; details at

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huI Yao/GettY IMaGeS


Hospitals had to get creative when the U.S. supply of methotrexate, a key drug for treating childhood leukemia and several other cancers, dipped alarmingly low early this year. At Kravis Children’s Hospital at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City, doctors asked multiple patients needing methotrexate injections to come in on the same day, so several children could be treated with each adult-sized vial of the medicine the hospital had on hand. There is no replacement drug for methotrexate, and without regular doses, children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia—the most common childhood cancer— harm their chances of being cured. The methotrexate shortage began after one of four U.S. makers of the drug temporarily halted production last November, cit-

in New Zealand

Notebook > Houses of God

of Scotland. The church was founded in 1688 and remains the parish church of Edinburgh Castle, as well as the Scottish parliament.

HuI YaO/GettY ImaGeS

emanuel: aDRIan SanCHeZ-GOnZaleZ/PI/lanDOv • ClOuDS: IStOCk

Canongate Kirk in Edinburgh is a congregation of the Church

maRCH 24, 2012

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3/5/12 10:49 PM

Notebook > Sports

Taking a pass


The boys’ basketball team at Beren Academy, an Orthodox Jewish school in Houston, faced potential forfeit of a semifinal game in the state playoffs because it was scheduled after sundown on Friday, March . The school observes the Sabbath from sundown Friday until sundown Saturday. But a lawsuit filed by Beren Academy parents and students pressured the tournament’s organizing body into a schedule change. The Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools moved Friday’s game to earlier in the afternoon. And when Beren Academy won that contest, TAPPS pushed Saturday’s final past sundown to  p.m. Beren Academy lost the title game - to Abilene Christian, but celebrated the victory for religious accommodation. Such flexibility may become the unwritten rule for Texas private schools. A year ago, the Texas Christian Athletic Association bumped its A state championship game to Saturday night to accommodate the Texas Torah Institute of Dallas. —M.B.

Braun’s brawn Did Ryan Braun cheat? The public may never know for sure. But that hardly matters. Fans at opposing ballparks have made up their minds, castigating the Brewers’ left fielder with chants of “urine sample” during spring training. The cat calls are in reference to a test Braun underwent late last year that revealed significantly elevated levels of testosterone. The NL MVP appealed the test’s findings and its attending -game suspension and won on a technicality. But a sentence of national disrepute hardly seems like victory. And if Braun’s brawn at the plate dips from the  home runs and . slugging percentage he posted last year, the chants could become decidedly more vicious. —M.B.


I G     Eastern Conference Finals, LeBron James flashed to the top of the circle, collected an in-bounds pass, and rattled in a game-winning -pointer as the final buzzer sounded. In clutch moments since, the most talented basketball player in the world has proven far less impressive. James wilted in the decisive Game  of the  series as his team was eliminated. In Game  of last year’s NBA Finals, he touched the ball on only nine of  fourth-quarter possessions as his new team the Miami Heat fell short of a championship. And then this year, the bizarre events of February’s All-Star Game, when James repeatedly passed on opportunities to take big shots despite the taunts and dares of Kobe Bryant, raised again what has become a recurring question: Is LeBron James afraid of late-game pressure? In Miami’s second game after the all-star break, he seemed to answer, passing the ball to teammate Udonis Haslem for a lastsecond shot rather than take the shot himself. Haslem missed. Miami lost. And criticism raged. Is such criticism warranted? James had  points,  rebounds, six assists, three blocks, and no turnovers in the loss, the kind of numbers he has posted routinely in what many assume will be an MVP season. He led his team back from an -point deficit to provide the opportunity for a game-winning shot. Yet James knew the moment Haslem missed that he would face fire. “I was just trying to make the right play,” he told reporters afterward. For any merely good player, the decision to pass would have been right. Trouble is, James being merely good will never be good enough. Great players don’t make right plays. They make winning ones. They take shots that violate every principle of prudence, and sometimes even miss them. But they keep shooting, without fear. They know who they are. They know their role. They know they are great. James doesn’t know that yet.



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LEBRON JAMES has no choice but to be measured in final moments BY MARK BERGIN

Notebook > Money


Santa Monica, Calif.

Pumped up

Rapidly rising gas prices could mean trouble for a nascent recovery BY WARREN COLE SMITH




T   for regular unleaded gasoline is now more than . a gallon, up  cents since Jan. . Some parts of the country are over , a level economists say affects consumer behavior. Prices could reach a record . a gallon by late April. Why the sudden jump? Many analysts blame the Federal Reserve Board’s cheapening of the dollar. John Felmy, chief economist for the American Petroleum Institute, blames nervousness about oilproducing Iran, drops in Libyan production, and—most importantly—

increased demand as the global economy recovers. The irony here is that the recoverydriven rise in gas prices will likely slow the recovery itself. Every -cent jump in gasoline prices, if sustained over a year, costs the U.S. economy about  billion. That’s only . percent of the total U.S. gross domestic product (GDP), but  GDP growth projections are less than  percent, which is barely above inflation plus normal productivity gains. So a . percent difference could have a significant impact on unemployment rates in the coming months.

Dirt rich For the past four years, economic news has focused on housing, debt, and jobs. That’s made it easy to overlook the segment of the economy that keeps us all from going hungry: agriculture. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s annual Agricultural Outlook Forum took place in late February. It traditionally kicks off the new year for the agriculture sector. Forecasters there said the upward trajectory of everything from crop prices to farmer income is about to end. The price of Sign up to receive email updates at

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Europe is still a mess. Greece finally got a debt swap deal in late February, but Fitch ratings agency downgraded Greece further into junk status, from “CCC” to “C,” when details became public. The agency said even with the deal, default is “highly likely” in the near term. And that’s after the bond swap forced private creditors to write off  billion of Greece’s debt—a bitter pill for banks and other creditors. Yet the global stock markets act like what happens in Europe will stay in Europe. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up more than , points since October. Japan’s Nikkei and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng exchanges are at sixmonth highs. So has “Old Europe,” as the EU is sometimes derisively called, become irrelevant? Not completely, of course. Germany, France, and England remain global economic powers. To borrow from the old Monty Python skit, Europe is “not dead yet.” But it is now far from dominant. In fact, the real historical significance of the current European crisis—especially the debt problems of Greece and Italy—could be that it’s making plain just how little influence the cradle of Western civilization now has on the rest of the world. —W.C.S.

corn, the No.  U.S. crop, could fall  percent this year. Because of expanding production globally, corn stockpiles would likely double. But don’t cry for farmers. Demand for corn has been so strong that farm and ranch land prices are at all-time highs in parts of the country, making many farmers millionaires. They’re also flush with cash after a multi-year run-up in crop prices: U.S. farm income topped  billion for the first time ever in . —W.C.S. MARCH 24, 2012



3/5/12 10:13 AM

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“Inside outsider”

“Citizen first”

(Feb. ) I am in a quandary over who to vote for. We have Mitt Romney, who gives his full tithe to the Mormon Church; Newt Gingrich, who has a history of infidelities and a temper; Ron Paul, who is out in left field on foreign policy; and Rick Santorum, who would make a wonderful neighbor. All are flawed to a degree, so for me the choice will come down to who has the guts to make the real changes that our country so desperately needs. Only God knows, and may He grant us the wisdom to discern.

(Feb. ) I know nothing about the Boston Bruins but was pleased with the story on goalie Tim Thomas. Let the liberal media say what they want; this man has courage and lots of it for declining the invitation to visit the White House to shake hands with the president. . 

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I disagree with Thomas’ decision to skip the Boston Bruins’ visit to the White House. Thomas not only snubbed the president but also his teammates. This event is a harmless, decades-old tradition. It wasn’t the right venue to display his displeasure with the president.   Hinckley, Ill.

 , Boise, Idaho “More unmerited mercy” (Feb. ) Marvin Olasky reminds all of us that we are called to walk a fine line: being in the world, but not of the world. I appreciate his honesty and candor.

EPA honored investigative reporting by Cornerstone magazine that exposed Christian speaker Mike Warnke. EPA does not discourage its members from critical reporting about Christians.  

  Monroe, N.C.

Olasky’s warning in  regarding proposed changes to the original NIV concerned me greatly. How sad that a Christian publisher would decide to make changes in Scripture merely to please our constantly degrading culture. How I appreciate WORLD for sticking with this battle for scriptural accuracy.

Executive Director Evangelical Press Association

I agree completely with Thomas. And why has it become necessary for every president to invite all these professional and college sports teams to shake hands with him? If the president wants to honor someone, there are plenty of people who deserve recognition for regularly making a real difference in the lives of others.   Vicksburg, Mich.

GLENDALOUGH, IRELAND / submitted by Molly Anderson around the world

  Rockford, Ill.

“More unmerited mercy” states that the former Evangelical Press Association code of ethics “insisted that members … not do or say anything that could hurt the brands of other members.” That is incorrect. The code said, “Whenever substantive mistakes are made, whatever their origin, they [members] should be conscious of their duty to protect the good name and reputation of others.” Only a few years before the “Stealth Bible” controversy, Send photos and letters to:

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MARCH 24, 2012



2/29/12 3:53 PM

Mailbag “Be specific”

When Jesus tells us to become like a child, what is he asking of us?

(Feb. 11) As a high school English teacher, I have tried teaching writing without the five-paragraph formula and it is a disaster. Many students have no idea how to put together sentences to make a paragraph, much less put together paragraphs to make a coherent paper. I do require rewrites and the grading is onerous, yet students don’t read the corrections or change their writing. Unless students want to learn to write, all of my corrections and instructions are in vain. Jennifer Wright Hardin, Mo.

I am a homeschooling mom and regularly require third and fourth drafts. Thank you for affirming that great writing requires so much work. Debbie Slingo

New Smyrna Beach, Fla.

“The cross in the stone” (Feb. 11) Amen to Andrée Seu’s comments about the nudgings in our hearts, “coincidental” timings of songs, and images in rocks. How wonderful it is that such a God, in whose hands are the affairs of nations, bends to interact lovingly with individual sinners using that “still, small voice.” linDa Maphet Canton, Ga.

Discover today in The Call to Wonder how you can recapture a childlike spirit. God is calling you back to what you’ve lost.


Seu writes that “even Christians who say signs and wonders have ceased deny their own position whenever they ask for the healing of Uncle Bob’s cancer.” However, many cessationists, such as myself, believe the gifts of miracles and wonders ceased with the apostles, but they also believe that God is still performing miracles and wonders on the earth. Jon hueni Bremen, Ind.

“A weight of hopelessness” (Feb. 11) Thank you so much for the column on the growing unrest in Uganda. I was there in January and last summer. My Ugandan friends have come to accept corrupt government leaders as normal, a fact of life that cannot be changed. I don’t want to be simplistic, but the best hope for Africa is the gospel. Steve WalterS West Point, Neb.

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Mindy Belz’s column brought to mind a powerful quote from Susan Wise Bauer’s The Story of the World: “The history of the twentieth century is, again and again, the story of men who fight against tyrants, win the battle, and then are overwhelmed by the unconquered tyranny in their own souls.” Jane bentley Mobile, Ala.

“Climbing out of the cradle” (Feb. 11) I appreciated your excellent articles related to Black History Month, but I must take issue with your assertion that white Southerners turned to segregation in a backlash against the Populist Movement’s courting of the black vote. Immediately after the Civil War most white Southern Democrats were already attempting to continue to subjugate former slaves. After forcing an end to Reconstruction, they intensified gradual and systematic efforts to enact horrible laws to deny black people their basic constitutional rights. Kent KarMeier Kansas City, Mo.

“Darwin: founder, destroyer” (Feb. 11) I’m sad to see a fresh effort to apply Darwinian thought to the field of economics. The push for economic change today is based partly on the theory that we are a product of evolution competing for finite resources in a zero-sum world. I’m thankful to be created by and rely upon the resources of an infinite God. vance WenDelburg Stafford, Kan.

“Mystic chords” (Feb. 11) Thank you for Janie Cheaney’s column on the Eisenhower Memorial. The proposed memorial would indeed be a travesty for the memory of Dwight Eisenhower, for our nation’s capital, and for our nation. eric WinD

Washington, D.C.

“Singles’ stories” (Feb. 11) It is sad to see what Christians believe about singleness. As Paul said in 1 Corinthians, it is good to remain single. As a 22-year-old in a sea of college relationships, God has used me in far

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greater ways than He could have if I were in a relationship.   Bangor, Maine

“A family sacrifices” (Feb. ) I was chaplain to Ben Wise, the second son of Jean and Mary Wise to die in combat in Afghanistan, when he was with the - Infantry from - in Iraq. Ben was a good man with a tremendous sense of humor, and a brother in Christ. I also met his brother Jeremy [who died in a terrorist attack in Afghanistan in ]. I am honored to have known them both.

Health care

for people of faith

 ()  . ’ 4BCT Brigade Chaplain 82nd Airborne Division

“Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” (Feb. ) I believe your reviewer and many others may have missed an important point, namely, that the boy Oskar tested positive (although inconclusively) for autism. That sheds a whole new light on Oskar’s character and behavior. Having some insight into mental disorders, I see the uniqueness and value of such a mind and the film as a serious and positive commentary on mental illness.   Missoula, Mont.

Corrections More American youth say they are pro-life than pro-choice for the first time since the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision (“Life down under,” Jan. 28, p. 56). One casualty of Europe’s record snowfalls died in Belgrade, Serbia, from a falling icicle (Dispatches, Feb. 25, p. 8).

LETTERS AND PHOTOS Email: Write: WORLD Mailbag, P.O. Box , Asheville,  - Please include full name and address. Letters may be edited to yield brevity and clarity.

If you are a committed Christian, you do not have to violate your faith by purchasing health insurance from a company that pays for abortions and treatments of conditions resulting from other immoral practices. You can live consistently with your beliefs by sharing medical needs directly with fellow believers through Samaritan Ministries’ non-insurance approach. This approach even satisfies the individual mandate in the recent Federal health care law (Sec. 1501 (b) of HR 3590 at pg. 327, 328). Every month the more than 19,500* households of Samaritan Ministries share more than $4.5 million* in medical needs directly—one household to another. They also pray for one another and send notes of encouragement. The monthly share for a family of any size has never exceeded $320*, and is even less for singles, couples, and single-parent families. Also, there are reduced share amounts for members aged 25 and under, and 65 and over.

For more information call us toll-free at 1-888-268-4377, or visit us online at: Follow us on Twitter (@samaritanmin) and Facebook (SamaritanMinistries). * As of January 2012

Biblical faith applied to health care

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Andrée Seu

With fear and trembling Take courage, for God is working in you as you work out your salvation



O   I felt prompted to give a woman who dislikes me . I thought she could use it, and when I asked the Lord if the idea was from Him, the verse immediately leapt to mind: “Love your enemies and do good to those who hate you.” Do I, even now, have  percent certainty that it was God and not my imagination? No. I did the thing “with fear and trembling” (Philippians :). That’s nothing. About three years ago, a Texan whom I had never met phoned to say the Lord had put it on his heart to buy me a car. At the time I had just gotten a new (used) car, so I declined. He sent me a check for ,. How he knew it was of the Lord, I do not know. He never said. And we have not had further contact. There are too many parables here to cover in a single page—like how our largesse seems like a big deal until we put it into the perspective of God’s largesse, or how His liberality enables us to be liberal (Matthew :-). But today I want to talk about the command to “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” Here is what Paul’s exhortation doesn’t mean: It doesn’t mean that we are to go out and earn our salvation. It doesn’t mean that we can never be free of Nietzschian angst regarding the existence of God. It doesn’t mean we must cower before the wrath of God


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throughout our pilgrimage because He is arbitrary and mercurial and may find fault with anything we try. The “fear and trembling” is not about whether God is going to show up. (He does and will.) The “fear and trembling” is over whether we heard God right. That’s very different. The former is operating on the unbelief side of the line; the latter, on the faith side. “Fear and trembling” means we have uncomfortable and inconvenient choices all day long—and we may get it wrong. “Fear and trembling” also means we are living in a visible world but serving an invisible God, and it can be scary basing a costly decision on something as intangible to our physical senses as a single word of God. Or an impression that the Holy Spirit wants me to write on a certain topic for WORLD. Søren Kierkegaard (-) kept thinking about Abraham going off to sacrifice his son Isaac just because of a voice he believed was God’s, and the Danish philosopher wrote a book about it. The title of the book: Fear and Trembling. “Let us keep in step with the Spirit” (Galatians :). “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit” (Ephesians :). “Do not quench the Spirit” ( Thessalonians :). “Do you not know that you are God’s temple, and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?” ( Corinthians :). This brings us to the second half of the Philippians verse: “for it is God who works in you” (v. ). This part gives both the mandate and the courage for the first part. It is as if Paul, knowing he has just unloaded a fearful mandate, hastens to its consolation: You will not be alone as you work out your salvation with fear and trembling; God is in you and with you all the way. It’s true that faith is not for the fainthearted, and that total and constant engagement of your whole self is required. But do not fear to go out on a limb and exercise creativity. Keep yourself in the Word and in prayer—and then trust His voice. Do not shun actions that generate fear and trembling. For God will “equip you with everything good that you may do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen” (Hebrews :). But He will do it as we “work out our own salvation with fear and trembling,” not as we are couch potatoes. And the remains of the day will be the only time in all eternity that we will have the privilege of serving the Lord without seeing Him, in the fear and trembling of this mortal coil. All of which makes of life an adventure well worth a few losses, or even the loss of every earthly thing. A MARCH 24, 2012



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Marvin Olasky

Titanic futility Without cultural renewal, social service programs are doomed to sink



WORLD MARCH 24, 2012

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those aged and needy. The change liberated elderly folks who were free to move away from their children, and often did. Florida or Arizona grew, but intergenerational contact tragically decreased. Another unanticipated effect: With Social Security, children became financially optional. That change does not alter the goals of Christians and others who know the true value of children. Bible-believers give up some liberty—children restrict mobility and require responsibility— because we trust God when He says children are a blessing. Our chief purpose in life is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever (which begins right now), and children help us do both: Gifts from God, they bring parents joy. That change does affect materialists. Some who could have children do not. Others stop at one. This has economic consequences: Yes, children are temporarily a money pit, but they are also a great incentive to work. Without that incentive many people work less and depend on the state to bail them out. Children are also an economic blessing to society as they grow and become creators. A good novelist would show the psychological consequences of the change: Without an emphasis on work and family, many lack purpose. Some fill up the creeping days and weeks with experiences of different kinds, such as seeing new places and sexually seeking new people. Those who lose sight of eternity define a good life by consumption on earth—whoever gets the most toys wins—rather than preparation for heaven and the training of a new generation. The novelist would show social consequences: We replace the virtuous cycle with a downward spiral. Fewer children means fewer workers to support the elderly. When some societies bring in more immigrants to do the work that the never-born members of the next generation would otherwise have done, additional tensions arise. Politicians unveil plans to save Social Security, Medicare, and other programs. We need such plans, but without cultural renewal we can stamp all those plans: Futility. A


O A , , the Titanic sank. The following year a constitutional amendment made possible the graduated income tax, and Congress set a top rate of  percent on incomes above  million (in  dollars). At first taxes were due in March, but in  the due date moved to April —apparently for bureaucratic convenience, and not to equate the ship of state with another vessel once thought unsinkable. Titanic arrogance caused , deaths in . A century later the Obama administration is taking us full speed ahead toward an iceberg of debt. One strange aspect of the Titanic’s sinking: Morgan Robertson,  years before the great disaster, wrote Futility, a novel about the sinking of another enormous Atlantic liner. Robertson’s fictional ship had almost the same length and tonnage as the Titanic, with a high-society first-class passenger list and an insufficient number of lifeboats. Robertson had his ship striking an iceberg on a cold April night and sinking. The name of his fictional ship: the Titan. No one, to my knowledge, has written a novel so prescient concerning our current, slow-motion economic disaster. Some say Ayn Rand did that with Atlas Shrugged, but she missed the connection between a biblical worldview and American economic success, and had her hero at book’s close making not the sign of the cross but (literally) the sign of the dollar. Her new economic order would have been built on sand. Nor have the analyses I’ve seen of the crash of  gotten causality right. Sure, politicians pressured bureaucrats who pressured bankers to loan money to people unlikely to pay it back. Sure, greed in high places and low played a big role. But I think the novel to describe how we’ve come to our present pass should have a historic title: Futility. Here’s the plot of a new Futility: We used to have a virtuous cycle in Western culture. Parents worked hard to provide for their children. When the parents could no longer work, the children provided for them. That was social security through the centuries. Given the vagaries of life it wasn’t always secure, but in general it worked—and when it did not, extended families, churches, and charitable ministries came alongside widows and orphans. A new Futility would show th-century government replacing children as the primary provider for


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