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Hope in Haiti RU-486 on trial A better Boy Scouts

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BRIGHT OR ROTTEN IDEA? New Common Core standards divide parents, teachers, legislators, and bureaucrats

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Contents  ,  /  ,  

     

34 Uncommon uprising A math problem sparked a statewide revolt against new public education standards in Indiana. And that revolt against Common Core has now gone national      

40 Chemical attack

Supreme Court preview: The first big abortion case in six years involves the risky RU- drug

44 Dodgy business

Lawmakers join the president in avoiding decisive moves on foreign and domestic fronts

46 Rapid response

Trail Life USA acts quickly to fill the void left by a changed Boy Scouts of America

50 Delayed and confused Obamacare goes live on Oct. . Here’s a look at some of the changes, delays, and numbers associated with the mammoth new government program

52 Bearing fruit

2013 Hope Award international finalist helps Haitians save money and looks beyond financial returns  

    

5 News 16 Quotables 18 Quick Takes



 

23 Movies & TV 26 Books 28 Q&A 30 Music 


57 Lifestyle 59 Technology 60 Science 61 Houses of God 62 Sports 63 Money 64 Religion 


3 Joel Belz 20 Janie B. Cheaney 32 Mindy Belz 67 Mailbag 71 Andrée Seu Peterson 72 Marvin Olasky

WORLD (ISSN -X) (USPS -) is published biweekly ( issues) for . per year by God’s World Publications, (no mail)  All Souls Crescent, Asheville, NC ; () -. Periodical postage paid at Asheville, NC, and additional mailing offi ces. Printed in the USA. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. ©  God’s World Publications. All rights reserved. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to WORLD, PO Box , Asheville, NC -.

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

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Joel Belz

On a mission How we view our work and what that means for readers



I I’    , in the  years since we launched WORLD magazine, I’ve heard it a hundred times: “Tell me,” folks will ask, in a great variety of contexts, “is WORLD a business enterprise—or are you on some sort of mission?” It’s an important question. The answer affects you as a reader. Do we, as WORLD’s publishers, think of you primarily as a customer/ subscriber or as a partner in a cause—a fellow expeditioner on an important and crucial mission? Lots of people want to know. The Internal Revenue Service wants to know; should WORLD pay taxes? So does the Postal Service; does WORLD qualify for the nonprofit postage rate? Our ad sales staff asks: Do we take any and all comers—or do advertisers have to comply to our mission? Our whole staff wonders: Is our wage scale more like the Wall Street Journal or the Sunday School Times? In short: Are we a business— or are we on a mission? But mostly, it’s you readers who ask. I’ll be right up front in my answer: We’re on a mission. Our CEO, Kevin Martin, says our goal is to help our readers enhance their own biblical worldview—“to be saltier salt and brighter lights in a secular culture.” And we want you always to consider yourself as a partner in that mission. In fact, the evidence we have suggests you already do think of yourself as a partner. So to that end, we’ve decided to start referring to you in the same terms we’ve always thought about each other. From now on, you’re going to be a “fellow member” of the team here at WORLD. We’re in this together. There are, to be sure, some business aspects to this switch—and we think you’ll like them very much. These business details aren’t just some kind of balance against the mission; they’re there instead to dramatize how much we’re in this together. These business changes include three important aspects: () We want to give you more content for your money. () We even hope, in most cases, to charge you a little less. () Our pricing structure— starting immediately—will be simpler. For example, if you right now have a standard subscription to the paper-and-ink version of WORLD, you’ll keep getting that. But you’ll also get, as part of that package, full access to our electronic


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versions of the magazine. You can read WORLD on your smartphone, on your iPad, or on the Web. At no extra cost, you can also download the daily radio version of WORLD. If there are children in your home, they get full access to the increasingly popular digital versions of our God’s World News for kids. That remarkable package of content comes to you as a WORLD “fellow member” for just one small charge—a charge that is actually a little less on an annual basis than WORLD’s regular subscription price for the last few years. Do you also want God’s World News in the print version for your children or grandchildren? Want to order WORLD for a relative, a neighbor, or a business associate? You get all that, and more, at special low prices unavailable to those who don’t share your WORLD “fellow member” status. Our hope in all this is that we can multiply the ways in which WORLD News Group can be a voice of wisdom for you—and in which your own voice of wisdom will be amplified in all the spheres of influence where you live and operate day by day. So what do you have to do to make all this happen? Nothing at all—at least for right now. Your existing subscription is being automatically converted to a “fellow member” basis. Down the road a bit, when your renewal would typically come due, we’ll get in touch with you to make a few simple choices for our future relationship. (If you’re reading this as a nonsubscriber, and want to become a “fellow member” now, call us at --). And just in case someone sees you reading WORLD, and asks you whether WORLD is a business or a mission, you do know now how to respond— don’t you? A


9/18/13 9:43 AM

Christ in all of Scripture. Gospel Transformation Bible Grace for all of Life.

Introducing the Gospel Transformation Bible, the first Bible of its kind


Produced with the conviction that the whole Bible is a unified message of God’s grace culminating in Jesus, the ESV Gospel Transformation Bible was created to help readers see Christ in all of Scripture, and grace for all of life. It features all-new book introductions and gospel-illuminating notes written by a team of over 50 outstanding pastors and scholars. This specially prepared material not only explains the text, but also applies it to daily living.

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Dispatches News > Quotables > Quick Takes


SHOOTING RAMPAGE: An officer guards the gate at the Washington Navy Yard the day after a gunman opened fire on office workers in the cafeteria and in the hallways, killing .


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Storytelling Two writers announced they would leave DC Comics because they can’t pursue a storyline celebrating Batwoman as a lesbian. They have already written her as gay. In fact, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) named Batwoman the outstanding comic book in . What these two writers are protesting is DC’s insistence that they can’t go too far in pursuing story lines that would highlight her homosexuality.

Pot proliferation Marijuana use among Americans continues to rise, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. According to the survey, . percent of Americans  or older admit to using marijuana regularly last year, up from  percent in  and . percent in . The report, released by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, found that the use of other illegal drugs is also growing. Admitted heroin users, for instance, numbered , in , compared to , in  and , in . Overall, the survey found that . percent of the U.S. population, or  million Americans, used illegal drugs last year.

 

T h u r s d a y, S e p t . 

Pretend pigskin The National Football League kicked off the  season (see p. ) with the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens losing to the Denver Broncos -. But it’s possible that more football fans tuned in to ESPN’s Fantasy Football draft, held the night before. Fantasy football has become a multibillion dollar industry, with a growing number of players paying fees to play in leagues that offer cash awards for winning. But it has also become a multibillion dollar distraction. One study by Challenger, Gray and Christmas Inc. estimates businesses will lose more than  billion a week during the season because of fantasy football play in the workplace.

Der kommissar’s in town More than  police officers raided two communities belonging to an unorthodox Christian sect in the German state of Bavaria because, officials said, of evidence of “significant and ongoing child abuse by the members” of the sect. The police took custody of  children and later placed them in foster homes. Officials didn’t offer details of the alleged abuse, but the Two Twelve Tribes members in Bavaria sect, known as The Twelve Tribes, advocates the spanking of disobedient children though “not in anger, nor with our hand or fist.” The sect also operates a school that had its license expire in July. Homeschooling is illegal in Germany, and police the week before had taken four children from a homeschooling family in Darmstadt.

Died Afghan authorities believe Islamic militants shot and killed Sushmita Banerjee, , an Indian woman who made a dramatic escape from the Taliban in . Banerjee, also known as Sayed Kamala, wrote a book about her life that became a bestseller in India and also a Bollywood movie. Banerjee had recently returned to Afghanistan after  years in India when several Muslim men allegedly dragged her out of her house and shot her. Police made six arrests in the case within a week of the Sept.  killing. 


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We d n e s d a y S e p t . 


Dispatches > News

A right turn down under Tony Abbott and the center-right Liberal-National Party won a convincing victory in Australia’s national elections. Abbott’s coalition won at least  seats in the -seat parliament. Though more conservative than Labor Party’s Kevin Rudd, the prime minister he will replace, Abbott would be considered moderate by American standards. He is a devout Roman Catholic and opposes gay marriage, euthanasia, and embryonic stem cell research, but said abortion should be “safe, legal, and rare” in Australia. Abbott promised to repeal Australia’s carbon tax. Two days later, Norway voted in a center-right coalition, led by the Conservative Party’s Ema Solberg, that advocated more business-friendly policies.



S a t u r d a y, S e p t . 

F r i d a y, S e p t . 

Peace prize winner Malala Yousafzai, a -year-old Pakistani activist who survived a Taliban attack last year, received the International Children’s Peace Prize from a Dutch children’s rights organization. Yousafzai survived a gunshot wound to her head and now attends school in England, where she continues to speak out against the barriers keeping girls from attending school. She said she accepted the prize in the historic Knights’ Hall in The Hague “on behalf of all of the children in the world who are trying to go to school, and all of those parents who are overcoming fear and intimidation—or cultural opposition—to give their sons and daughters the chance of an education.”

Japan rising The  Tokyo Olympics helped restore Japan’s national pride less than  years after the end of World War II. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) gave Tokyo a chance to do that again after  years of economic stagnation and ’s devastating tsunami by selecting Tokyo for the  Olympics. Tokyo promoted itself as the “safe choice” against rivals Istanbul, deemed too close to Syria, and Madrid, hard hit by Europe’s economic crisis.

Sentenced A judge issued matching -month prison sentences to Joe Wingo, , and his son, Andy, , owners of Angel Food Ministries, for money laundering. U.S. attorney Michael Moore said instead of using donor’s “generosity to fill the pantries of the people they claimed to be called to minister to, the Wingos filled their garage with a classic automobile, their hangar with a private plane, and their pockets with cash.” The judge ordered the two men to forfeit . million and sentenced Joe Wingo’s wife, Linda, to five years probation.

Download WORLD’s iPad app today; details at

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9/17/13 9:31 AM

Dispatches > News Tu e s d a y, S e p t .  

A cooler globe? This was supposed to be an above average hurricane season, in part because of rising ocean temperatures. So far, though, it hasn’t turned out that way this year. Humberto, upgraded from tropical storm to hurricane today, is the first Atlantic hurricane of the year, and that is one of the latest dates for a first hurricane on record. And about those rising temperatures: It turns out they may not be rising after all. New research suggests global warming is taking a breather, and we may have actually been in a short era of global cooling during the past  to  years.

It’s up to you, New York

M o n d a y, S e p t . 

Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum announced it has conclusively decided a painting brought in by a private collector for evaluation is in fact one of the Impressionist master’s missing pieces. Vincent Van Gogh mentioned “Sunset at Montmajour” in letters to his brother and listed it in an  inventory of his work. But the painting disappeared around the beginning of the th century. The museum declined to name the family who now owns the painting but did say members first brought it in for evaluation in . Experts spent two years verifying the painting’s authenticity using a scientific analysis of the canvas and paint pigments. They match those the artist used for other works created in the late s, including “The Sunflowers” and “The Yellow House.”

Lawmaker control Two Colorado lawmakers who favor tighter gun control measures were turned out of office in a recall vote. The Democrats had the strong support of gun control advocate Michael Bloomberg, whose gun control organization contributed about , to keep John Morse and Angela Giron in office. The National Rifle Association got involved on the other side, matching Bloomberg’s contribution. The recall election will likely shake up the Colorado legislature, as Morse was the senate’s president. He lost by just  votes in a swing district. Angela Giron lost by a bigger margin in a largely blue-collar district that normally favors Democrats.

Fired Fox Sports Southwest fired football analyst Craig James for supporting traditional marriage. James, a former running back for Southern Methodist University and the New England Patriots, said he didn’t support same-sex marriage during his unsuccessful  campaign for the U.S. Senate seat now held by U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas. James, who formerly worked for ABC, CBS, and ESPN, joined Fox Sports Southwest in August.


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Certified original

New York City Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, running an anti-Bloomberg campaign with the theme “a tale of two cities,” came from behind to win the Democratic primary for mayor of New York. Joe Lhota got the GOP nod. De Blasio promises to increase taxes to fund education and to repeal and replace the city’s controversial— but effective—“stop and frisk” policy. He came from far back in the polls and benefited from the meltdown of both Anthony Weiner and Eliot Spitzer, both of whom had hoped for political comebacks. Lhota ran the city’s Metropolitan Transit Authority under current Mayor Michael Bloomberg and was deputy mayor under Rudy Giuliani. Your online source for today’s news, Christian views

9/17/13 9:35 AM

Your just got even bigger.


Whether you enjoy reading WORLD in print, on the web, on your smartphone, or on your iPad, or like listening to us on the radio—now it’s all yours.

Introducing the all-new WORLD Fellow Member Program. Since you are a current subscriber, we’re making everything easier. As of now, you have full access to all the benefits of the WORLD Fellow Member Program for the remainder of your subscription term. You keep every benefit you now have—plus more—at no extra cost. It’s already yours. It’s that simple. Continue enjoying WORLD as you do now. Better... get more from WORLD by tapping into your preset WORLD Fellow Member account with a quick visit to With a few clicks and keystrokes, you can take advantage of everything WORLD has to offer.

Why are we doing this? Your needs are changing. You need better access to the real stories behind the news. So we’re changing, too. But rest assured there’s one thing that’s not changing: razor-sharp news reporting and analysis from a decidedly Christian worldview. We’re stubbornly sticking to that. Welcome, Fellow Member. To find out everything, go to Want a helpful person to guide you? Call 800-951-6397, Monday through Friday (except holidays), 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET.

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9/12/13 1:01 PM 9/16/13 4:18 PM

Dispatches > News F r i d a y, S e p t .  

Trouble in Tanzania An elderly Catholic priest was the victim of an acid attack on the island of Zanzibar, a part of the East African nation of Tanzania. According to the BBC, Amselmo Mwangamba received burns to his face, chest, and arms. Last month, an attack against two British women dominated U.K. headlines. Assailants attacked Mwangamba as he left an internet café in Stone Town, also the scene of the attack on the British women. According to World Watch Monitor, tensions are high between the island’s majority Muslim and Christian inhabitants.

Alliance dissolves

Tu e s d a y, S e p t .  

President Obama addressed the nation from the East Room of the White House and made two arguments with regard to attacking Syria—move forward and hold back. The president defended his call for military strikes against Syria over the Syrian government’s alleged use of chemical weapons while also asking Congress to postpone a vote on authorizing those strikes. The speech capped a chaotic two weeks in which Secretary of State John Kerry on Aug.  aggressively called for strikes, Obama on Aug.  said he would seek congressional approval that he said he didn’t need, and public support for the strikes plummeted. Russian President Vladimir Putin then proposed a deal (based on a previous Kerry hypothetical statement) in which Syria would turn over its chemical weapons and the United States wouldn’t attack. Obama’s Sept.  address embraced that option as congressional opposition to an attack on Syria grew. (For more on Syria, see p.  and p. .)

Died One of the most dangerous titles on earth may be that of the world’s oldest man: Salustiano “Shorty” Sanchez died on Friday, Sept. , in New York after only a three-month reign. He was . Sanchez, who was born in Spain but moved to the United States nearly  years ago, attributed his long life to eating a banana every day. He leaves behind two children, seven grandchildren,  great-grandchildren, and five great-great-grandchildren. Japan’s Misao Okawa, , remains the world’s oldest woman. 


Mixed message

Central African Republic President Michel Djotodia took power in an August coup staged by a group called Seleka, a loose alliance made up of five rebel organizations. However, the Seleka have become increasingly violent and lawless, including, according to the UN, engaging “in sexual violence and grave violations against children.” So Djotodia on Sept.  issued a decree dissolving the Seleka. It is not clear what impact the order will have, since Djotodia has little ability to enforce his decrees. Christian aid groups, including Wycliffe Associates, have withdrawn personnel from the country.


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Brand 20 Flagship 1 NEWSWorld 2.indd10.3.13.indd 11

8/26/13 10:40:04 9/10/13 11:49AM AM

Mormon moves Former NFL great Steve Young was one of the keynote speakers at a three-day conference in Salt Lake City exploring how The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) deals with homosexuality. The nd annual Affirmation International Conference attracted about  people. Young and his wife said in a statement they are happy to “lend their voices to the healing work of making our families, our society and our church more welcoming places for our LGBT brothers and sisters.’’ Officially the LDS church says marriage is between a man and a woman and that same-sex relationships are sinful, but the church was a quiet force behind the new Boy Scouts policy to allow into the program homosexual boys.

Colorado rains More than a week of relentless rains washed out roads and isolated residents over a large portion of north central Colorado. Through Sept. , the Colorado National Guard had rescued more than , people, but at least , more awaited rescue. Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper signed an executive order declaring  counties disaster areas. The Department of Transportation made  million available in emergency relief funds to help rebuild roads and bridges. Flooding has claimed at least eight lives.

M o n d a y, S e p t .  

Mass shooting The FBI identified the assailant in the shooting rampage at the Washington Navy Yard as Aaron Alexis, a -year-old military contractor from Texas. Authorities believe he is the gunman who shot at least  people. At least  of them died. In the immediate aftermath of the shooting, authorities were not sure if Alexis acted alone. They encouraged all D.C. residents to stay inside with their doors locked, and Washington Mayor Vincent Gray asked citizens for any information they may have about the shooter. President Barack Obama called the shooting a “cowardly act” targeting military and civilians serving their country.

A new view Former Survivor contestant and The View co-host Elizabeth Hasselbeck moved to the popular morning show Fox and Friends,, which she says “feels like home” for her. She replaces Gretchen Carlson, in part of a Fox News Channel shakeup. Carlson will anchor an afternoon program for Fox beginning sometime this fall. She fills an hour previously held by Megyn Kelly, who moves to prime time.


S a t u r d a y & S u n d a y, S e p t .   -  

Crowned Nina Davuluri, , became the first Indian-American to win the Miss America pageant when she took the honor on Sept. . Davuluri, the second straight Miss New York to win the title, thanked the organization for embracing diversity, but not everyone did: Some racist tweets sprinkled Twitter feeds after the announcement. The pageant’s runner-up was California’s Crystal Lee, a Chinese-American. 


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Dispatches > News



Sept. 30

American Amanda Knox and her former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito face a retrial today in Italy in connection with a gruesome  murder. The two were acquitted of the crime in , but Italy’s highest court ordered a retrial due to errors by a lower court. Knox is now in the United States, and Italian officials may find extradition of the -year-old difficult even if she is convicted in absentia.

Tu e s d a y, S e p t .  

Concordia upright The Costa Concordia, a cruise ship that ran aground in January , killing  people, is now upright and resting on an undersea platform off the coast of Italy. That’s the latest development in what will likely be one of the world’s most complex and expensive salvage operations in history. The Concordia is a -foot long ship that carried , passengers and crew before coming too close to shore last year. Jagged rocks tore a hole in its side. The ship will now be fitted with a series of huge “water wings” and floated to a shipyard where it can be dismantled.

LOOKING AHEAD Oct. 1 The most

powerful part of the president’s healthcare law goes into effect today. Under the  law, Americans can begin shopping for healthcare through state-run healthcare insurance exchanges. But the rollout of the insurance exchanges has been fraught with difficulty. Anecdotal stories about customers’ compromised private information and technical glitches with the exchange websites abound.

Oct. 1 A Maryland gun control law passed

in the wake of the Newtown, Conn., school shooting goes into effect today. The law adds  more guns to the state’s banned weapons list and also prohibits handgun magazines that carry more than  rounds.

    . Read daily dispatches on everything from America’s Got Talent to the Washington Navy Yard shooting—plus columns by Mindy Belz, Marvin Olasky, Andrée Seu Peterson, Cal Thomas, and others. Worldmag. com’s got talent—and cartoons.

Oct. 8

The stately  bill,, redesigned once again in the government’s campaign to stymie counterfeiters, debuts today. It features a disappearing Liberty Bell in an inkwell and a new D security ribbon. But in keeping with tradition, Benjamin Franklin’s face still graces the bill.

Oct. 7 The

Olympic Torch Relay begins today ahead of the  Winter Olympics in Russia. The lighting ceremony will take place in the ancient Greek village of Olympia. From there, the -pound, aluminum torch will begin its ,-mile journey to Sochi, a Russian resort town on the Black Sea.

Sentenced An Indian court sentenced four men to death for carrying out a gang rape of a -year-old nursing student in New Delhi last year. The fatal attack sparked outrage, demonstrations, demands for stronger rape laws in India, and calls for the four men, ages  to , to receive the death penalty. Judge Yogesh Khanna found the men guilty of murder, rape, and kidnapping, saying the crime “shocked the collective conscience” of the country. A fifth suspect committed suicide in his jail cell in March.

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9/18/13 11:44 AM

Dispatches > News COSTLY CONFLICT: Patients at Rehabilitation Centre of Juba, South Sudan.

Wages of war

Mr. President, remember victims of other dire conflicts, pleads Sudanese bishop By Jamie Dean



W O R L D • Oc t o b er 5 , 2 0 1 3

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He’s also spent months asking others to notice: Elnail has testified about the attacks before U.S. congressional committees and the UN. In early September, he sent an open letter to President Barack Obama, pleading for “prompt action to save those still alive.” He added: “Our people feel as though the world has forgotten them.” As U.S. attention remains fixed on a chemical weapons attack in Syria, world leaders have turned a blind eye to ongoing terror Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has wreaked on his country for decades. When South Sudan declared its independence from northern Sudan in 2011, the separation deepened ­hostilities: The Sudanese government viewed many of its own citizens in the Nuba Mountains—including thousands of Christians—as loyal to South Sudan. By mid-2011, Sudanese military planes dropped bombs on homes, churches, and crops. Militias raided

South Sudan: CAMILLE LEPAGE/AFP/Getty Images • Elnail: JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images

When a group of Sudanese children discovered an unexploded grenade in the South Kordofan region of Sudan earlier this summer, they made a tragic mistake: They picked it up. The grenade exploded, killing nine children and wounding five. The dead ranged from 3 years old to 14 years old. The blast was an awful byproduct of an ongoing reality: The government of Sudan continues a bombing campaign against its own people that’s killed scores of citizens and displaced at least 200,000 people along the border between Sudan and South Sudan. For Andudu Adam Elnail, the violence is personal. The Anglican bishop leads a war-torn ­diocese in the Nuba Mountains of South Kordofan. He’s watched bombs fall on local villages, and crouched in foxholes with other Christians.

villages, looting and burning the homes of unarmed citizens. Elnail traveled to the United States in early 2011 for medical treatment. By June, Sudanese planes and militia had attacked his village in Kadugli. In his letter to Obama, the bishop said the militia “hit my house with heavy guns, and all valuables were taken or destroyed. They proceeded to burn the Diocesan offices and Diocesan Guest House in the same hour.” The bishop said the attack scattered local church leaders and Christians to more than five countries as refugees: “It pains me to remember many of the young men in my town who were killed in cold blood during the same week.” After returning to Sudan, the bishop said the attacks persisted: “We continue to be bombed from the air daily. Bombs land on farms and schools, churches and mosques, clinics and markets. Innocent civilians, women and children, are killed carrying on their daily lives.” Some who remain live in mountainous caves, scrounging whatever ­nourishment they can find. Famine warnings have hit emergency levels, and the Sudanese government doesn’t allow outside aid to the region. Others walk dozens of miles to the Yida refugee camp in South Sudan—now home to more than 70,000 ­refugees. When I visited Yida last year, widows grieved murdered husbands, and infants and children suffering from malnourishment filled a rustic medical tent. Elnail pleaded with Obama to address publicly the violence and misery. Though Obama called the genocide in Sudan’s Darfur region “a stain on our souls” during his presidential campaign, he’s spoken little of the renewed violence since his election. Despite the crush of other international crises, Elnail told the president he hoped he wouldn’t forget Sudan: “We remember your promises to the people of Sudan suffering these genocides and try not to lose hope.” A

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9/18/13 11:34 AM

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9/10/13 11:55 AM

Dispatches > Quotables

‘To those students struggling every day and—most importantly— to those who are looking for a second chance, I have a message for you: Never give up.’ Actor Mark Wahlberg, who left school in the 9th grade, on receiving his high-school diploma after finishing an online study program. Wahlberg’s charity and a Taco Bell charity have teamed up to help adults finish their education over the internet.

‘I hope Putin has taken adequate protections. Now that he is a Russian journalist his life may be in grave danger!’ Russian chess master and political activist Garry Kasparov, in a tweet after The New York Times published an op-ed article by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

‘Players from every team danced, boys off the streets danced, balding men danced, I danced.’ American Nick Pugliese, on Afghanistan’s national soccer team winning its first international title. Pugliese, a recent college graduate, quit his telecommunications job in Kabul to play professional soccer for the team last year.


WORLD • October 5, 2013

20 QUOTABLES.indd 16 Your online source for today’s news, Christian views 

9/18/13 11:58 AM


Seaside Heights, N.J., police chief Thomas Boyd, after a Sept. 12 fire destroyed the city’s boardwalk and about 80 businesses less than a year after Hurricane Sandy also destroyed much of the boardwalk area. Residents had rebuilt the area after Sandy.

Pope Francis, in a letter to the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, responding to an editorial that asked whether “the Christian God forgives those who do not believe and do not seek faith.” Francis wrote: “The question for those who do not believe in God is to follow their own conscience. Sin, even for a non-believer, is when one goes against one’s conscience.”

Seaside Heights: Robert Stolarik/Polaris/Newscom • Francis: FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images • Wahlberg: Charles Sykes/Invision/AP• Kasparov: Misha Japaridze/ap • Afghan soccer: SHAH MARAI/AFP/Getty Images

‘I’m just waiting for the frogs and the locusts to come.’

‘God forgives those who obey their conscience.’



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9/17/13 2:42 PM

Dispatches > Quick Takes    

  Having nothing else to call it, school officials in Amherst, Mass., announced they were temporarily closing six schools for “weatherrelated building issues” on Sept. . The actual reason: slippery floors. After hearing about  falls across the district the day before, officials with the Amherst Regional School District staged a shutdown. According to the school district, the floors became slippery when high temperatures melted the floor wax, creating a slippery film up and down school hallways.

 

Cast away and lost at sea for more than a century, a message in a bottle has found its way into another human’s hands. The message, found by Steve Thurber on Sept.  as he was walking along a beach on Canada’s Pacific Coast, dates back to . Thurber refrained from opening the mystery bottle for fear of damaging the letter. But he was able to read enough of it through the glass bottle to learn that the note was composed by Earl Willard and tossed into the Pacific Ocean during a sea passage from San Francisco to Bellingham, Wash., in September .


 

A glitch in United Airlines’ computer system had the carrier on Sept.  offering round-trip tickets for truly rock-bottom prices. Houston resident Maura Leahy managed to be shopping for a ticket to Washington during the glitch. “It was  round-trip, no fees, nothing,” she said. “This is nuts.” Some customers even reported  round-trip offers. The day after the error, a United spokesman said the company was considering honoring the cheap fares. Your online source for today’s news, Christian views

20 QUICK TAKES.indd 18

9/17/13 4:42 PM


Tired of taking off your shoes, ziplocking your liquids, and checking your dignity at the head of every airport security line? Transportation Security Administration officials say that getting that dignity back is possible—but it will cost you . On Sept. , the TSA announced it was expanding the PreCheck system, a voluntary program where airline travelers may consent to fingerprinting, background checks, and an  charge in exchange for the luxury of bypassing long security checkpoints at airports. Previously available only to frequent fliers, PreCheck’s expanded rollout is getting mixed reviews. For one, the expedited lanes are in only  airports across the country. But even in those airports, the speed lanes are only available in select terminals.

  ,  Police officers in Gresham, Ore., received a stern warning when they arrived at a home on Aug.  to remove a goat from the rooftop. “That goat will charge you,” a neighbor told police. “That goat only respects one man.” Heeding the warning, police waited for that man—the goat’s owner—to return home and fetch his -pound animal off the rooftop. Officers suspect the goat got on the roof by climbing a ramp in the backyard of the house.

  Pittsburgh City Councilwoman Theresa Kail-Smith told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that  of her constituents have been ticketed up to , each for parking violations. Their crime: They parked on their own driveways. According to Councilman Corey O’Conner,



the city’s Bureau of Building Inspection is in charge of enforcing an ordinance that requires all would-be front driveway parkers to obtain a variance and permit from the city at a cost of . A BBI

  ,  What’s the most you would pay for a goat? If your answer is less than . million, then you would have been out of a recent bidding war in Saudi Arabia. According to local press accounts in the Okaz newspaper, a Saudi businessman plunked down  million Saudi riyals (or . million) for one unique goat. The account, which includes a picture of the check, indicated the goat was part of a rare breed and enjoyed unique features.

spokesman said its code enforcement officers do not

  For a cool ,, Marc Helie of The

enforce the ordinance unless they receive a complaint, and they first issue a warning. But a spate of complaints has a few city council representatives pushing for a change in the law. “It’s ridiculous,” Pittsburgher Eileen Freedman told the Tribune-Review, “and it doesn’t make our city look very smart.”

Hamptons in Long Island picked up a nice piece of beachfront property last May. But he may have a hard time building on it. According to county records, the property is nearly , feet long but only  foot wide. Details of the transaction were released on Sept. . The sale arose from a bidding war when Suffolk County put the strip of land up for auction last spring. The land runs from a beachside highway all the way to the Atlantic Ocean, and the county offered it for  to each of the six people whose land adjoined the strip. When two landowners responded, the county set up the auction. No one in the county’s property office expected much money for the land. “But you know what water’s worth,” county property manager Wayne R. Thompson told Newsday. “You can say, ‘Oh, yes, I have a right of way to the water.’”

  If Yasuo Hazaki has his way, some athletes will be darting behind obstacles and others will be listening to the promising cues of “hotter” or “colder.” That’s because Hazaki, a -year-old Japanese professor, is lobbying the International Olympic Committee to accept Hide and Seek as an official Olympic sport in time for the  Summer Games in Tokyo. Hazaki has proposed a team Hide and Seek game for the Olympics that would be played on a -foot-by-foot “pitch” with two minutes for hiding and three minutes for seeking. The IOC has made no comment regarding Hazaki’s request.


20 QUICK TAKES.indd 19


9/17/13 4:43 PM

Janie B. Cheaney

Certain about uncertainty

The unguided pilgrimage of today’s emergent church will not have a pleasant destination


W  A P found himself in Athens, he was distressed by the multiplicity of idols on display. The Athenians were eager to recognize all possible deities—even an “unknown god”—while offering sincere devotion to none of them. They liked nothing better, Luke says, than to pick over trendy ideas on Mars Hill without coming to firm conclusions. The Wild Goose Festival is an echo of Mars Hill tucked away in the st century, a gathering of gentle spirits in the hills of North Carolina for four days of music and spontaneous dancing, talks, and panel discussions. Attended by “recovering fundamentalists, mainliners, evangelicals, agnostics, neo-pagan-



20 CHEANEY.indd 20

*For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.


Christians, ‘nones,’ spiritual-but-not-religious, and everything in between” (according to blogger Brandon Robertson), the guiding lights are mostly from the emergent church movement. At this year’s Wild Goose—supposedly the old Celtic term for Holy Spirit— a good time was had by all. What better fun than grooving “on the forefront of a radical re-imagining of Christianity”? It’s actually radical reimagining number , (more or less), for Christianity is always being reimagined by dreamers as diverse as Arius in ..  and Joseph Smith in . It is always “emerging” to meet the peculiar challenges of each new age. In our age, recovering fundies, mainliners, neo-pagans, etc. have been examining traditional Christianity and believe it needs to stop being so darn sure of itself. “Thus says the Lord” is unnecessary baggage that the church had better drop if it wants to survive for another century. “Certainty is the enemy of truth,” says Frank Schaeffer, currently demonstrating

Newton’s third law of motion* against his venerated father. “If people were certain, there’d be no science because people would say, ‘Well, we know everything’. … Same in marriage—nothing to learn, nothing to explore. Same in parenthood, and of course for our idea of God. ...” And of course, for our idea of truth, which has emerged to mean something other than objective principles drawn from the way things really are. Emergent Christians celebrate a god whose dimensions are too vast to pack into a rigid set of doctrines. At the same time they are pretty sure that God would approve same-sex marriage and deplore this summer’s Supreme Court decision on voting rights. One might even say they are certain of it. Human reason always builds on a platform of presuppositions: ideas or principles that reason accepts as self-evidently true. Accordingly, Frank Schaeffer, after knocking down a simplistic paradigm of Christian certainty, offers a simplistic paradigm of his own: “Create beauty, give love, find peace.” But while we occupy ourselves with these gentle abstractions, what’s to stop someone motivated by rock-solid certainty about their own power to stomp in and smash it all to bits? Ask Friedrich Nietzsche. “Convictions are a more dangerous enemy of truth than lies,” he wrote, in a collection of aphorisms titled Human, All Too Human. Truth, for him, was not a positive statement but an evaluation of what might be left of humanity once the “God-hypothesis” had been sifted out of it: a naked “will to power” that could, with any luck, be directed toward creative and positive endeavors. Today’s enemies of certainty add God back into the equation while hoping for a similar evolutionary leap. But all unguided pilgrimage and process seems to lead in a circular path right back to the heart, where lurks, God tells us, only deception. Most spiritual pilgrims may be people of good will who want everybody to be happy. But a lack of certainty can also be a lack of determination, grit, and moral courage, turning wild geese into sitting ducks when tyrants arise who are too sure of themselves. “What is truth?” asked Pilate, unaware that he was looking right at it. Our confidence must be grounded in Christ, built on what we know of him from his own word. This kind of certainty is no enemy of truth—but remember, that truth will always make enemies. A


9/16/13 4:04 PM


The apostles called believers to a mindset and lifestyle distinctively set apart from the world. Today’s church by contrast increasingly reflects the entertainment-saturated, consumer-driven values of the godless world system around it. The “salt” is at serious risk of losing its saltiness (Matt. 5:13).

Join the seminary faculty of BJU for this crucial conference as it presents how believers, by rightly interpreting and applying the Scriptures, can embrace the appeals and ideals of Christ and reject the appeals and the ideals of “this present evil world” (Gal. 1:4).

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9/12/13 10:35 AM

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20 MOVIES & TV.indd 22

9/11/13 2:53 PM



• • • • • •

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

A focus on


MOVIE: Grace Unplugged raises the bar for Christian moviemaking BY STEPHANIE PERRAULT



“H ” is not a phrase commonly associated with Christian movies and for good reason. Many Christian filmmakers in recent years have relied on wholesome messages rather than overall excellence, creating a plethora of schmaltzy movies that buckle under the weight of artistic scrutiny. That may be changing thanks to Christian director Brad Silverman. With experience in the entertainment industry as a jazz drummer, stand-up comedian, actor, and now director, Silverman knows firsthand what it takes to produce top-notch entertainment,

skills he’s put to use in writing and directing Grace Unplugged, an inspirational film hitting theaters Oct. . Silverman, backed by Coram Deo Studios, didn’t have a large budget to work with on Grace Unplugged—it was  percent less than the budget for the  Alex Kendrick film Courageous— so he had to home in on a few things and do them well. By writing a tight, focused script, assembling a strong cast of accomplished and talented actors, and selecting good accompanying music, Silverman did just that. “I didn’t want a lack of quality to get in the way of people’s enjoyment of

the film,” he said of his story about a Christian musician who defies her father’s wishes to make a name for herself in the pop music industry (see review, next page). Silverman based the story on the experience of friend and producer Russ Rice, whose eldest daughter ran away from home several years ago, abandoned her faith, and broke off communication with her parents and siblings. Silverman and his wife Hayley saw the Rice family’s suffering first hand. That insight informs the film, manifesting SCHMALTZ FREE: itself in the AJ Michalka as Grace.


20 MOVIES & TV.indd 23


9/18/13 9:25 AM

Reviews > Movies & TV

Prodigal tale


WORLD • O cto b er 5 , 2 0 1 3

20 MOVIES & TV.indd 24

When Grace’s dad refuses a request from his old manager, Frank “Mossy” Mostin (Kevin Pollack), to go on tour, Grace decides it’s time to step out on her own and sends an audition tape to Mossy. He’s blown away and flies her to Hollywood to ink a deal with a record company. Angry with her father and hungry to find her own way, Grace leaves without a word to her parents. Mossy helps her get established in Hollywood and looks

church for writing non-Christian music wrote it. Silverman contacted him so he could adapt the song to ­better fit the film’s themes. When AJ Michalka performs the song in the movie, the artistic storytelling comes full circle. Although the movie isn’t perfect and has low-budget moments at times, Silverman’s overall focus on quality and excellence raises the bar for Christian moviemakers. “I hope this is a step in the right direction,” Silverman said. “I pray this opens doors for more people to make films that don’t compromise their faith … and express the gifts God has given them creatively.” A

out for her as she begins her career in pop music. Meanwhile, Grace is faced with a host of difficult decisions and must decide whether to follow a life of faith or pursue fame at all costs. While Silverman’s story is a standard prodigal tale and has some trite moments, overall it avoids the obvious stereotypes, allowing life’s real tensions to come into play. These tensions are brought to life by a ­talented cast of actors, led by musician and professing Christian AJ Michalka (of the sisterband 78Violet) in the title role. Her skills are augmented by the ­talents of veteran actor James Denton, also a professing Christian, who gained fame for his long-time role as Mike Delfino on Desperate Housewives.

Ultimately though, it’s Kevin Pollak (A Few Good Men and The Wedding Planner) whose nuanced performance as the manager Mossy brings it all together, adding just the right touch of unaffected ­sincerity to the film. —S.P.

Box Office Top 10 For the weekend of Sept. 13-15 ­ 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



` Insidious Chapter 2 PG-13... 1 6 4 2 The Family R...............................6 7 8 ` 3 Riddick R......................................6 7 10 ` 4 Lee Daniels’ ` The Butler* PG-13.....................5 6 5 5 We’re the Millers R................. 7 6 10 ` 6 Instructions Not ` Included PG-13 ..................... not rated 7 Planes* G..................................... 1 3 2 ` 8 One Direction: ` This Is Us PG...............................3 2 3 9 Elysium* R................................... 2 8 10 ` 10 ` Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters PG............... 1 5 3


Grace Unplugged (rated PG) tells the story of a talented young musician named Grace Trey (AJ Michalka) who ­inherited her musical skills from her father (James Denton), a former ’80s-rockstar-turned-Alabama-musicpastor. Grace loves her parents but chafes under her father’s strict rules about “proper” and “improper” ways to play ­worship music.

advice he once heard at a seminar from director Richard Donner— “Surround yourself with really talented people and they’ll make you look good”— and recruited Silverman: experienced and gifted “I just tried to individuals. make a movie Silverman also that I wanted needed the right to watch.” music. He listened to hundreds of songs to find the ones that added the final dimension to the film. Interestingly, Silverman discovered “Misunderstood”—the song Grace uses as a springboard to success—in a secular publishing company’s back catalog; a man who felt condemned by his

*Reviewed by world

9/18/13 9:28 AM

rush: Jaap Buitendijk/Universal Pictures • sleepy hollow: Kent Smith/FOX

realistic dialogue and the emotional tension between father and daughter. But what really sets Silverman’s work apart is his refusal to rely on clichés. Silverman said when the movie’s trajectory became clear, he wrote on a whiteboard the potential “deathblows” for the film—stereotyping music industry professionals as “bad” and Southern Christians as “good” or placing all the blame for the father-daughter schism on one person. “Once that was out of the way,” he said, “I just tried to make a movie that I wanted to watch.” The first step in doing so was selecting actors who could take the script and create three-dimensional, believable characters. “If you take the same script and put it in the hands of someone less talented and nuanced it comes off as cheesy,” Silverman said. So instead of relying on amateurs, he followed the



by Megan Basham


rush: Jaap Buitendijk/Universal Pictures • sleepy hollow: Kent Smith/FOX


Rush is an apt title for director Ron Howard’s latest film about a pair of race car drivers in the 1970s, as that is exactly what viewers will experience—a serious shot of adrenaline. Based on the real-life rivalry between world champs James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Niki Lauda (Daniel Bruhl), every scene at a variety of European tracks captures the energy, excitement, and raw power of Formula One racing. The problem is what happens when the story moves off the asphalt. Despite an electrifying performance from Hemsworth (better known as Thor), who backs up his megawatt smile with bucketsful of charm, the film devotes far too much time to Hunt, presenting him as a character we’ve seen countless times before. Howard spares no screen time emphasizing the British playboy’s predilection for booze, drugs, and sex (especially sex—Hunt’s multiple explicit dalliances would easily earn the film an R even without the addition of bad language and one particularly bloody car crash). Worse, the film seems to suggest there’s something admirable about Hunt’s self-destructive lifestyle. Far more interesting is Lauda. Though a disciplined, serious-minded son of wealthy Austrian industrialists, he nonetheless pursues a career he calculates carries a 20 percent chance of killing him every time he gets behind the wheel. What drives Lauda to take such risks? In the beginning, it seems to be his desire to push the machines he loves to maximum performance. But as the story progresses, it’s his desire to beat Hunt—to prove that precision and perseverance will ultimately triumph over raw talent and nerve. In fact, when Lauda does lose, it’s only because he places a higher value on life than his opponent and makes a responsible, adult choice. Had Howard focused more on Lauda or given us something more than a skin-deep analysis of Hunt, his film might have had something insightful to offer about the nature of competition. As it is, Rush merely takes the audience on a thrilling but forgettable high-speed ride.

See all our movie reviews at

20 MOVIES & TV.indd 25


Sleepy Hollow by Megan Basham


Arguably Hollywood’s most time-honored tactic for injecting a sense of the mystical and mysterious into a production is borrowing from the Bible. Sometimes the gambit scores (Raiders of the Lost Ark, Lost), sometimes it doesn’t (End of Days). Whether it will work for Fox’s new Monday-night fantasy, Sleepy Hollow, remains to be seen, but the early numbers look promising—the show’s first outing on Sept. 16 gave the network its highest-rated drama premiere in six years. Turning Washington’s Irving classic tale on its, ahem, head, Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison) becomes a dashing ­revolutionary war hero who travels 250 years into the future. The last thing he remembers is lopping off the head of an enormous horseman with an arrow mark burned into his hand. Unfortunately for Ichabod, the horseman has also found his way to 21st century New England and is resuming his bloody work. From there, Hollow weaves a lot of plot threads together in too short a time. Ichabod’s wife, Katrina, was part of a coven of “good witches” working to prevent the events foretold in Revelation, a plan George Washington may or may not have been in on. The only person who believes Ichabod’s tale is local police officer Abbie (Nicole Beharie), who has her own supernatural past.  Beyond a refreshingly positive take on the founding fathers, Hollow’s saving grace is its willingness to embrace the inherent campiness of its premise with frequent fishout-of-water jokes. Ichabod wonders if the government mandates a certain number of Starbucks per town and whether Abbie, who is African-American, has been emancipated. While certainly not a show for younger viewers, for all the head-lopping, the blood in the premiere is kept to a relative minimum. Unfortunately, common primetimelevel swearing is not. More troubling is a witchcraft element combined with the notion that the final judgment is something humans can prevent. For all the allusions to the apostle John’s prophecies, God isn’t mentioned in the first episode and it seems to be solely occult forces driving the action. Even for a lighthearted fantasy series, that’s a pretty dark worldview.

O cto b er 5 , 2 0 1 3 • WORLD 


9/18/13 9:29 AM

Reviews > Books

Tips and data for addressing religious skeptics and redistributionist cheerleaders BY MARVIN OLASKY


W’  : The Religions Book (DK, ) is pretty but dumb, with oversimplifying throughout. It has sections on a variety of beliefs, but flattens everything so those who turn the pages will be reinforced in the illusion that they are walking down worldview supermarket aisles and picking bottles and boxes off the shelves, rather than walking on paths that will lead them to heaven or hell. What is helpful: Donald Johnson’s How to Talk to a Skeptic, published this month by Bethany House. Johnson rightfully criticizes the idea of Christianity as a consumer product that we sell by suggesting that it will meet needs and desires. Instead, he understands that the important question regarding Christianity (or other religions) is not “Do I like it?” or “What can it do for me?”—the vital question is, “Is it true?” Johnson explains that instead of reacting to specific assaults, we should “talk about which story of the universe is more reasonable to believe: Christianity or something else.” We should show that “Christianity is the

worldview that best accounts for the evidence. Compared to any other worldview an unbeliever cares to offer, Christianity most adequately and comprehensively makes sense of life as we experience it every day.” Instead of focusing on only one or two pieces of data, Johnson proposes that we defend the reliability of Scripture and the historicity of the resurrection of Christ, but also note claims of personal experience of God, providential and miracle claims, explanations for the existence of evil and good in the world, our experience of being conscious and having a conscience, the overarching unfolding of history, the way the world and the universe seem designed, and more. Turning to a different kind of skepticism, we have good reason to laugh (and cry) when Obama administration

Watching enemies



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Erick Stakelbeck’s The Brotherhood: America’s Next Great Enemy (Regnery, ) would be better if it followed a WORLD adage, “sensational facts, understated prose.” Despite the realities of today’s crowded media marketplace, I hope that writers don’t have to scream to be heard: Stakelbeck screams, but he does provide useful information about the Muslim Brotherhood. Stakelbeck is wrong, though, about the identity of America’s greatest enemies. Sure, radical Muslims aspire to proclaim their own brotherhood by bathing in everyone else’s blood, but smiling Muslims like Reza Aslan, author of Zealot (Random House, ), skillfully undermine the faith in Christ that makes millions of people willing to stand up against overt terrorists.

I wrote about Zealot three times on worldmag. com (“Fawning over falsehood  and ,” July  and July , and “Press zealotry for Zealot,” Aug. ) when its No.  bestseller reception was a hot news item. I’m mentioning it on this page because the book will probably be a library staple for years, despite its false assertion after false assertion: The Jesus/Pilate exchange “never happened,” New Testament writers didn’t care what actually happened, Jesus was a failure, etc., etc. Ignorance of the Bible is so widespread among journalists that Aslan, promoting his book in hundreds of interviews, was almost never challenged. —M.O.


9/13/13 10:47 AM


Skeptical reads

officials say their programs have helped the U.S. economically, and particularly the poor. Casey Mulligan’s The Redistribution Recession (Oxford, ) provides economic evidence (sometimes technical) that shows how federal programs have kept the United States in a low-growth mode for five years. Expanded social safety net programs have lured many people away from work: Mulligan concludes, “One hundred percent marginal tax rates—when the safety net gets so generous that a number of program beneficiaries receive zero reward for enhancing their incomes.” If you read Mulligan’s economics book you deserve dessert: Mark Leibovich’s This Town: Two Parties and a Funeral—Plus Plenty of Valet Parking!—in America’s Gilded Capital (Blue Rider Press, ). The book is a New York Times reporter’s sneer at the D.C. culture that the Times helps to perpetuate, but it’s amusing and will help non-Washington readers discern the town’s stylized rituals.


Four new memoirs by Christian Southerners > reviewed by  

Kentucky Traveler Ricky Skaggs with Eddie Dean Fourteen-time Grammy winner Ricky Skaggs displayed a gift for music early in his life, leading to a Grand Ole Opry debut at age  and a place in Ralph Stanley’s band as a teen. Though Skaggs avoided common stumbling blocks like alcoholism, he did suffer hardship and temptation while playing the road, and his first marriage unraveled. Skaggs’ autobiography features famous musicians such as Johnny Cash, Emmylou Harris, Keith Richards, and his father figure, Bill Monroe. His maturity as a Christian and a musician is clear in his return to the Christ-centered bluegrass of his childhood. While this narrows his fan base, he says, “God called us to be faithful, not famous.”

A Little Salty to Cut the Sweet Sophie Hudson



“God designed each one of us for community … and I’m going to go out on a limb and say that cannot adequately meet that need.” Instead, author and blogger Sophie Hudson embraces her admittedly imperfect family and friends as the God-ordained community of her life. Hudson didn’t always treasure her heritage: In college, she questioned “everything she ever believed in” and too often embraced the trivial (like making a careful study of Faith Hill’s hairstyles). But by God’s grace, she found the humility to appreciate those closest to her, and using her natural writing ability, she now turns everyday small-town Mississippi life—like a trip to “the Outbacks” or attempts to style her -year-old grandmother’s hair—into stories humorous and heartwarming.

SPOTLIGHT In A Dream So Big: Our Unlikely Journey to End the Tears of Hunger, Steve Peifer describes how his family planned to be missionaries for one year at a Kenyan prep school, but found the needs there so compelling that they couldn’t feel right about leaving. Peifer writes about building a program that feeds , African schoolchildren each day and provides computer classes that will help some to leave poverty. In The FastDiet (Atria Books, ) Michael Mosley and Mimi Spencer argue that “intermittent

Si-cology 1 Si Robertson and Mark Schlabach Just weeks after Duck Dynasty set new cable viewership records, Uncle Si’s autobiography attempts to bottle in book form the show’s off-kilter humor. Si’s personality seems edited here and his quirkiness muted, but his book does evoke belly laughs over scrapes from his younger days, as well as alcohol-influenced recollections from his time in Vietnam. Since Si’s wife and children are noticeably absent from the show, his transformation from wild man to faithful husband and father is intriguing. Some Christians may balk at the smack talk and tall tales, but his honesty about personal failings and his clear witness to the gospel are laudable “icing on the tip of the iceberg.” Little Black Sheep Ashley Cleveland Ashley Cleveland, three-time Grammy and two-time Dove Award songwriter, grew up as the black sheep of her Tennessee family. While her older sister responded with grace to their parents’ shortcomings and eventual divorce, Cleveland became violent, addicted, and hopeless. One bright spot was a gift for songwriting, and she carved out a living and identity based on her talent—yet when that idol inevitably failed her, Cleveland had all but given up on life. It took an unplanned pregnancy to begin the healing process, and after many years of AA, counseling, and rededication to Christ, her memoir sings: “… nothin’ sounds so sweet / as the voice of the Shepherd to a little black sheep.” To see more book news and reviews, go to

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fasting” combats high blood sugar and heart disease. For the spiritual benefits some derive from fasting, see the re-release of John Piper’s A Hunger for God (Crossway, ).



9/13/13 10:48 AM

Reviews > Q&A

A right kind

of busy

Work, exhaustion, and rest are parts of a healthy life, says author and pastor Kevin DeYoung, as long as that life has a rhythm By Marvin Olasky



discipline and teach my children, and love my wife as Christ loves the church. If I don’t do that, I’m being unfaithful and sinful. You put in those big rocks and then you take into account the gifts that you have and where God has put you. Sometimes Christians live in a terror of universal ­obligation: AIDS over here, people to be saved over here, a crushing sense of low-level guilt every day of our lives. Question to ask: Where has God put me right now? I need to say no to a whole bunch of other things because if I don’t say no I can’t say yes to others. You write about childobsessed parenting, noting that parents who are crazy busy concerning their kids should realize that “it’s harder to ruin our kids than we think and harder to stamp them for success than we’d like.” Many of us think in terms in parental determinism: If I push all the right buttons my kids are going to turn out OK. I want to instill in myself and my people a wonderful dose not of carelessness, but of God’s sovereignty. He knows the hairs on your kids’ heads.

Can we fight our tendencies to worry by understanding God’s promise that His grace is sufficient? Yes. God will give new mercies on a new day when there are new troubles. Parents specialize in borrowing tomorrow’s trouble: What if they don’t get into this school? What if somebody gets pregnant? What if they get sick? What if they aren’t going to church? Every parent will have one or more of those concerns—that’s the world that we live in and we need to trust that God will have grace for us when we get there. We don’t have to be anxious now. That’s a good thing about worry. If worry is just a personality quirk, well, sorry. But if it’s a sin, which I think Matthew 6 says it is, then there’s hope that God can ­forgive it and can actually help us change. You write, “If you have creativity in addition to love you will be busy. We are supposed to disciple the nations. We are supposed to work with our hands. We are supposed to love God with our minds. We are supposed to have babies and take care of them. It is not a sin to be busy.” Do you get the sense that sometimes in Christian

culture it’s considered sinful to be busy? Sometimes feeling overwhelmed is part of what it means to be a Christian. You can’t bear somebody else’s burden unless you are taking something of their load and it’s weighing you down a little bit. I hope in addition to freeing people from unhealthy expectations, we also can be freed from the unhealthy expectation that we never ought to feel busy or frazzled in life— because that just makes it even worse. Feeling frazzled can be useful in that sense? If you

Stephen McGee/Genesis

Kevin DeYoung is a pastor in East Lansing, Mich., and the author or co-author of excellent books including The Hole in Our Holiness, Why We’re Not Emergent, and What Is the Mission of the Church? In a book due out on Sept. 30, Crazy Busy, DeYoung shows how trusting in God’s providence helps us work hard without going crazy. He also points out that many parents live in a kindergarchy, overprogramming their children. Why did you write Crazy Busy? Because I know I have a problem. You could talk to anyone in my congregation: When I would tell them I was writing a book on busyness, they’d say, “You? Don’t you think you need to figure this out before you write a book on it?” You say the busyness that’s bad is not the busyness of work, but the ­busyness that works hard at the wrong things: trying to please people, trying to control others, trying to do things we haven’t been called to do. How does the Bible help us to sort out ­priorities? God tells me that I need to provide for my family,

WORLD • October 5, 2013

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9/13/13 10:51 AM

‘Sometimes feeling overwhelmed is part of what it means to be a Christian. You can’t bear somebody else’s burden unless you are taking something of their load and it’s weighing you down a little bit.’


have five small kids at home you’re going to be worn out at times. That’s how we should feel. The big question is: Does your life have any rhythm, or are you just overwhelmed? God made us for work, exhaustion, rest. It’s the lack of rhythm that is unhealthy. Good example, because you do have five children— how old are they? Nine, , , , and —stair steps. This year we can say we have very odd children. Do you hope they’ll become even-tempered? In the next few months.


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Let me ask about your next big project: While remaining a pastor, you want to get a doctorate by writing a dissertation about Reese Witherspoon’s ancestor? Yes, on John Witherspoon, the only clergyman to sign the Declaration of Independence. Reese Witherspoon claims to be a direct descendant. It’s impressive that she knows to claim that. It is. Good for her, that she’s happy to claim a Presbyterian pastor. What do you have to say about Pastor Witherspoon? He hasn’t received enough

credit as a consistent Reformed thinker and the product of late Reformed orthodoxy more than the Scottish Enlightenment. I see you’re already deep into your research: You write that children can also be crazy busy at times as parents take them from one activity to another activity, but you quote Witherspoon saying, “The best exercise in the world for children is to let them romp and jump about as soon as they are able according to their fancy.” Parents have this idea

that their kids have to be in another play group, on a travel soccer team when he’s , and then he’s got to go to gymnastics. I’m giving you a list of things we actually do, but as our kids get older we have already said we’re going to guard our weekends and not become taxi drivers as much as we can help it. In middle class America we can’t fathom an opportunity that we wouldn’t be able to take advantage of. Everyone plays lacrosse ... So I ought to try lacrosse. No, you know what? Play lacrosse in heaven. A



9/13/13 10:51 AM

Reviews > Music

SEAN MICHEL goes for broke with the ferocious Electric Delta BY ARSENIO ORTEZA


T    dropped on Sean Michel’s latest album, Electric Delta— — besides the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, that is—is Hosea. But one look at the long-haired, ZZ Top–bearded gospel-blues rocker suggests that the Old Testament hero with whom he most identifies is Samson. “I was super clean cut when I was younger,” says the -year-old New Orleans native. Then, during his junior year in college, he saw Jared Leto in the film Girl Interrupted. “He had a sweet-looking beard. And I was like, ‘Man, that dude looks good with a beard. I’m going to try that.’”

It’s a good thing he did. It would be hard to imagine a super-clean-cut musician convincingly plying music as loud and wild as Michel’s. Deeply rooted in Mississippi blues, Electric Delta heads straight to the crossroads, goes toe-totoe with the devil, and comes out on top. Michel has visited the Delta before. In , he set up shop at a church in Rolling Fork, Miss.—Muddy Waters’ hometown—to make Back to the Delta, an album of acoustic gospel blues recorded under the influence of Mississippi Fred McDowell’s  gospel-blues classic, Amazing Grace. Pleased with the results, Michel decided that for Electric Delta he would


Choosing sides At , Eric Burdon is old enough to be Sean Michel’s father. But for several songs on Burdon’s latest album, the blues-soaked ’Til Your River Runs Dry (ABKCO), he and Michel could almost be brothers. “Be careful, my friend, which side you feed,” recites the former Animals lead singer atop the loping beat of “Devil and Jesus.” “The monster inside soon will be revealed. / Now don’t be a fool and say it’s not true. / Either the devil or Jesus will tell you what to do.” Burdon spends the other  songs choosing sides. Whether praying for the Lord to “ease [him] up to the middle of the air” (“In the Ground”) or quoting Genesis and wishing to be transported to “another world” (“River Is Rising”), the sense that he’s gotta serve somebody never abates. —A.O.



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9/16/13 4:16 PM


Mississippi haymaker

simply take five Back to the Delta songs (“The Curse Is Broken,” “Hosea Blues,” “He Is the One,” “Death Knockin’,” “Everything I Had”), add six others (a cover of Blind Willie Johnson’s “Nobody’s Fault but Mine” among them), crank the electricity, record everything to two-inch tape, and go for broke. And, to make sure his engineer got the point, Michel played him a vinyl copy of Nirvana’s sonically relentless In Utero. “I said, ‘I want [Electric Delta] to be in people’s faces. I want it to be like we were in a boxing ring—a jab to the face, an uppercut, a hit in the gut in the middle, and then finishing out with a haymaker.” Michel got what he wanted. His vocals and guitars roar and wail, Seth Atchley’s bass lines slither, and the appropriately surnamed Bradley Batterton drums up a leveebreaking storm. So ferocious is Electric Delta that it might even supersede Michel’s heretofore highest-profile accomplishment: a brief run on American Idol in . “When I was in India, my manager walked into this Buddhist-run bar and was talking through things with the owner, who was kind of reluctant. Then, all of a sudden, my manager said, ‘He was on American Idol in Season Six.’ And the owner said, ‘What?” He went and checked on YouTube, then said, ‘Oh, please come tomorrow!’ And they treated us like kings. “I ended up getting to play there most of the night, sharing the gospel.”


New or recent pop-rock releases > reviewed by  

Made in California The Beach Boys Packaging aside, similarities abound between this new six-disc box and the  five-disc box it supplants. Both contain all the hits and many of the same album cuts, and a good chunk of the new box’s “ previously unreleased tracks” are just stereo mixes of hoary mono-only recordings. An even better chunk, however, are special. “Soul Searchin’,” “California Feelin’,” “You’re Still a Mystery,”  live cuts spanning  to —why, even “Rock and Roll Music” has gained an extra verse and heretofore unheard harmonies.

Motown Suite Cooper This natural-born belter suffers from backup-singer syndrome. I.e., despite the catchiness of the retro-soul in which she traffics on this album’s first seven songs, she sounds as if she’d be more at home helping the Rolling Stones put across “Gimme Shelter.” Then, suddenly, on Track Eight (“Leave Me Too”), she switches gears, easing into a sleek pop worthy of Fleetwood Mac. Were it the A-side of a single, the Bob Seger– Light My Fuse” that immediately follows would worthy “Light make a nifty flip side.

Inland Jars of Clay Having long ago mastered the art of fitting irresistible hooks to masterly production, Jars of Clay now live and die by their lyrics. And this batch, if not their best, may be their wisest. “Don’t know enough about love, so we make it up,” they sing repeatedly on “Age of Immature Mistakes,” succinctly summing up everything anyone needs to know about an era in which people say “homosexual marriage” with a straight face and headlines announcing the contracting of HIV by porn stars are the new “Man Bites Dog.”



Fight For My Soul Johnny Lang “Soul,” “R&B,” “funk,” “jazz”—such descriptive terms have their place. But on this album by mainstream blues-rock’s most high-profile convert to the Christian faith, all that such terms describe are the ingredients in an explosively infectious stew. Meanwhile, anyone confused by the lack of explicitly gospel lyrics is directed to the liner notes, which name the producer (the CCM-crossover jack-of-alltrades Tommy Simms) and contain a shout-out to Jesus that goes, “I realize my need for you now more than ever.”

To see more music news and reviews, go to

20 MUSIC.indd 31

SPOTLIGHT A personal note: I interviewed Lydia Tomkiw (pronounced Tom-Q) in . The verbal half of the poetry-rock duo Algebra Suicide, she was promoting her band’s swan song, Tongue Wrestling, although she and Don Hedeker, Algebra Suicide’s musical half, had just called their professional and marital partnerships quits. What was her favorite poem? After some thought, she said it was probably Gerard Manley Hopkins’ “Spring and Fall.” It was a curious choice coming from someone known for spare, cleverly sardonic verse that had little if anything in common with Hopkins’ Catholic, th-century sprung rhythms. For those still interested in finding the connection, Dark Entries Records has released Feminine Squared, an -track compilation Squared of Algebra Suicide’s s work. (The vinyl edition comes with a  concert DVD.) Tomkiw immersed herself in dark subjects, but she remained playful throughout, never countenancing melodrama or self-pity. Her death in  at  deprived the world of a uniquely fascinating voice. —A.O.



9/16/13 4:15 PM

Mindy Belz

Who stands with Syria’s Christians? Thousands called to halt U.S. military action but few mobilize to protect their brethren




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erate rebel elements. Had the United States acted militarily in Syria just Funeral for Christians killed in Maaloula ahead of this attack, it would have acted in concert with this crossbreed of terrorists and so-called freedom fighters. And it would likely have suppressed the kind of air cover that allowed Syrian forces to come to Maaloula’s rescue. It’s no surprise, then, that Suzan Johnson Cook, the State Department’s ambassador for international religious freedom, said she had no comment on Sept.  when asked at a UN briefing what the United States is doing to protect religious minorities in Syria. “Right now we will refer that to the White House and we respect our marching orders from the White House to comment on that.” With that silence the Obama administration dismisses Syria’s  million-plus Christians (as the Bush administration did in Iraq, and has happened in Egypt and elsewhere). Beyond the pathos in the current decimation of Christianity in the land of Jesus’ birth, here’s why the destruction of the church in the Middle East should mobilize us: I God calls Christians to be everywhere. I The long-suffering in His church have much to teach the rest of us. I It should be in the strategic interest of the United States to stand with groups in the Middle East that have refused, with cost, to embrace terrorism. I Muslims need Christians to be their neighbors. When it looked as though the United States would go to war with Syria, members of Congress received thousands of calls from their constituents. The calls ran  to  against action, and higher. Could any of those thousands be mobilized to call on behalf of Syria’s Christians? Or to join already organized petition drives (a detailed list is at and aid campaigns on their behalf? Apart from the political and diplomatic theatrics, won’t Christians stand up for Christians? A


S     from Syria and the Middle East to debt ceiling debates and budget resolutions. Are you really going to be led around by your nose from one story with no legs to another? When the White House goes to war in Syria, it’s like another weekend of fantasy football. In Syria war is a durable commodity. Just because America blinked doesn’t mean the conflict went away. Even as Secretary of State John Kerry explained his “unbelievably small” war plan—and President Barack Obama polished his speech derailing that small plan— a new and menacing front opened in Syria’s two-anda-half-year war. Rebels blasted through a government checkpoint Sept.  outside Maaloula, a town of about , people  miles northeast of Damascus. Maaloula is one of the oldest continually inhabited Christian villages in the world yet retains a vibrant connection to its past. In  I spent a memorable morning there, listening to locals recite the Lord’s Prayer in Aramaic inside the stone-walled chancel of Mar Sarkis monastery. The town sits in the cleft of a cliff beneath the Qalamoun Mountains, and rebel fighters first stormed a hotel atop the cliff at about  a.m. As shelling began to rain down, residents who could fled by car to Damascus. Dozens more took refuge in nearby churches, including a convent where nuns hid  orphans in their care inside a cave. The Syrian army sent in warplanes to bomb rebel posts, reportedly forcing them to abandon control of Maaloula after several days. Rima Tüzün of the Syriac Union told me that days after the attack  Christians were missing, and at least six had been killed. Mar Sarkis was bombed but the extent of damage wasn’t known. Christians in Syria are increasingly targeted. What’s significant about the September confrontation in Maaloula is the rebels hit a protected Christian village, and Mar Sarkis—one of the oldest surviving monasteries and continuously used churches in the world—is a national landmark long treasured by Christian and Muslim Syrians alike. What’s also significant is the attack began with a jihadist from the al Nusra Front blowing himself up at a government checkpoint, but the rebel onslaught included Free Syrian Army units, the so-called mod-


9/17/13 9:39 AM





Anniversary Edition Revised & Updated “Must reading for all Christians, and all reporters, editors, journalism professors and students.” —CLIFFORD KELLY, Professor, Liberty University

“A call to redeem journalism from the bias, spin, and propaganda.” —JEFF MYERS, President, Summit Ministries

“This updated edition adds new examples, addresses contemporary issues, and takes up the new information technology.” —GENE EDWARD VEITH, Professor, Patrick Henry College


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1 (800)631-0094

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In the nineteenth century, leading newspapers reported from a Christian perspective. Today, however, print and TV journalists increasingly take an anti-Christian stance while claiming to be neutral. Prodigal Press uncovers the shift to secular humanism that has radically altered what the media cover and how they report it.

Paperback | 978-1-59638-597-9 | $17.99


“The media’s discrimination against people with a Christian worldview is a form of professional suicide. [Prodigal Press] gives new examples of anti-Christian bias, which ought to motivate more Christian young people to consider careers in journalism.” —CAL THOMAS, America’s #1 nationally syndicated columnist

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9/10/13 4:32 PM


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9/17/13 8:51 PM

ommon uprising A math problem sparked a statewide revolt against new public education standards in Indiana. And that revolt against Common Core has now gone national BY Dan i e l Jam es Devi n e


p h o t o b y P e r r y R e i c h a n a d t e r / G ENE S I S

wo years ago in September, Heather Crossin’s 8-year-old daughter Lucy came home from her Catholic school in Indianapolis with a math problem that seemed unusual. “Bridge A is 407 feet long. Bridge B is 448 feet long,” the problem read. “Which bridge is longer? How do you know?” “Bridge B is longer,” Crossin’s daughter had written. “I found this out by just ­looking at the number and seeing that 448 is greater than 407.” The youngster’s answer was mostly wrong: According to her new textbook, enVisionMATH Common Core, she was supposed to compare the hundreds column, the tens column, and the ones column individually. The teacher gave her one point out of three. “To me that was a reasonable answer for a third-grader,” says Crossin, 47, who complained to the school principal, along with other parents, about unfamiliar teaching techniques in the new math books. The principal said the school had no choice but to use them— the books were aligned with Common Core, a new set of mathematics and UNUSUAL: Lucy Crossin English language arts standards Indiana shows old homework as mom Heather looks on. O c t o b e r 5 , 2 0 1 3 • W O R L D 

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‘There’s a huge difference between getting kids to memorize a formula and getting them to understand a formula. ... Students don’t all think alike, so they need to hear different ways of solving the same problem.’ —MATH TEACHER LANE WALKER High-school students should “prove theorems about trianhad recently adopted. The new standards would be reflected gles” and “demonstrate knowledge of ... foundational works in state assessment tests many private-school students had to of American literature,” among numerous other requirements take. for geometry, algebra, literature, reading comprehension, That marked Crossin’s introduction to the Common Core and writing. (Common Core does not cover science or State Standards, a uniform set of K-12 education standards 45 history.) states have adopted. Ever since, Crossin and another mom from Parents like Heather Crossin say the standards teach her school have led a grassroots fight against the standards in “fuzzy math” and conceptual techniques that confuse their Indiana. This year they achieved a temporary victory when children. One prominent mathematician has complained the the state decided to pause Common Core adoption. Across standards don’t require students to learn algebra by eighth the country, activists like Crossin have sparked state-by-state grade. Another, James Milgram, a member of the Core’s math revolts against Common Core, threatening to cripple a broad validation committee, refused to sign off on the standards, movement toward universal education standards advocates saying they “reflect very low expectations.” say will improve American classrooms. Others say the Core’s new emphasis on “informational Although an August PDK-Gallup poll found two out of texts,” or nonfiction works, means teachers must assign fewer three Americans have never heard of Common Core, the classics like Treasure Island. They warn Common Core’s sugdebate has grown hot: Proponents and opponents accuse one gested reading list for high-school students includes The Bluest another of misinformation or lying. Because Common Core is Eye, an arguably pornographic 1970 novel by Toni Morrison. poised to transform statewide and nationwide assessment tests, public schools, private schools, and even homeschoolers will feel the impact. ommon Core criticism isn’t universal, though. The problem: American students lag internationally in Top proponents include the Thomas B. Fordham math and reading skills, ranking 25th and 14th, respectively. Institute, a conservative education think tank, The 2011 National Assessment of Educational Progress found and former Florida governor Jeb Bush. Both that only 35 percent of eighth-graders performed at grade ­support school-choice reforms like charter level or higher in math, and 34 percent did so in English. schools and vouchers for low-income students. The new standards are supposed to boost K-12 academics “They’re not perfect, but they’re miles better than what and produce college-ready graduates. Common Core stanmost states had,” Michael Petrilli, the executive vice president dards are not curriculum: They don’t dictate what textbooks of Fordham, says of the new standards. “We have studied or resources teachers must use. Instead, they outline what state standards for 15 years. ... Over time they weren’t getting students should know at any better.” When Fordham each grade level. analyzed Common Core, it For example, the Common determined the standards Core math standards say were superior to those in third-grade students should three-quarters of the states. 45 states have adopted the Common Core standards be able to “fluently add and “Even the opponents of the 3 Adopted 3 Not adopted subtract within 1,000 using Common Core will admit SOURCE: Common Core State Standards Initiative strategies and algorithms that.” based on place value, propIn spite of the concerns erties of operations, and/or some parents and experts the relationship between have with Common Core addition and subtraction.” addition and algebra, 15 The English standards say member societies of the they should “recount Washington, D.C.–based ­stories, including fables, Conference Board of the folktales, and myths from Mathematical Sciences have diverse cultures; determine endorsed the new math the central message, lesson, standards. or moral and explain how it And the English stanis conveyed through key dard’s “informational texts” details in the text.” include important writings



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Mark A. Large/The Daily Times/AP

State by state

Mark A. Large/The Daily Times/AP

like the Declaration of Independence and Abraham Lincoln’s second inaugural address. Alongside Morrison and Ernest Hemingway, the suggested reading list still includes classical authors like Jane Austen and Shakespeare, in addition to newer works like David McCullough’s 1776. Andrew Jones, an English teacher at a Christian school in Valparaiso, Ind., says there are good and bad elements in Common Core English (he’d edit the reading list). But, he said by email, “In a world that is telling kids that they make their own meaning, it’s encouraging to see Core standards encouraging methods like, ‘Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says.’” Lane Walker, an evangelical who teaches math at a suburban public high school near St. Louis, thinks Common Core’s focus on conceptual thinking is urgently needed. “There’s a huge difference between getting kids to memorize a formula and getting them to understand a formula,” she said. If kids learn a formula—such as cross multiplication—without intuitively understanding why it works, they’ll misuse it later and struggle to apply it to real job situations, she said. Students don’t all think alike, so they need to hear different ways of solving the same problem. Two private associations began writing the Core standards in 2009. (They were the National Governors Association,

NEW THINKING: Terri McCarter teaches Common Core mathematics to third-grade teachers during training at William Blount High School in Blount County, Tenn.

r­ epresenting governors from across the United States, and the Council of Chief State School Officers, representing state education chiefs.) The effort involved dozens of teachers and experts in math, English, and international testing. Feedback during the drafting involved comments from over 10,000 stakeholders, including teachers and parents. It would seem state education officials thought the drafts were looking good: While experts wrote the Core standards in 2009, 48 states and the District of Columbia signed on, agreeing to adopt them. The final standards were released in June 2010. Critics say the state enthusiasm wasn’t about education: President Obama’s 2009 stimulus package contained $4.35 billion in funding through his Race to the Top education ­program for states that adopted common standards. Since only Common Core standards met the guidelines, states had the choice of adopting them or forfeiting millions of dollars. As many conservatives see it, the financial carrot allowed the federal government to hijack Common Core. “The federal government took those standards that were written by these two private organizations and imposed them

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‘We care about our children’s education and their futures. ... We feel like parents have been left out of the decision-making process entirely.’ on the states through the power of the purse,” says Jane Robbins, a senior fellow at the American Principles Project, a conservative policy group. Federal involvement in education violates the Constitution because it shifts control away from states and local districts, she says. “If a parent or a teacher in Georgia doesn’t like what they’re doing with geometry … there will be no one to call in the state of Georgia to complain about it … because no one in Georgia will have the power to change it.” The Obama administration’s involvement has so tainted Common Core for many conservatives that in April the Republican National Committee passed a resolution condemning Common Core as “an inappropriate overreach to standardize and control the education of our children.” In addition, critics allege Core advocates are motivated by money from the co-founder of Microsoft. According to its website, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has contributed $5.8 million in grants to the Fordham Institute since 2003, including an October 2009 grant “to review the common core standards and develop supportive materials.” The Gates Foundation is also a financial contributor to Jeb Bush’s Florida organization, the Foundation for Excellence in Education, another Common Core advocate. In all, the Gates Foundation has invested about $150 million in grants promoting Common Core, according to a tally by a Washington Post reporter. A spokeswoman for the Gates Foundation, Deborah Veney Robinson, said she couldn’t confirm the $150 million figure since the foundation doesn’t track grants by specific topics. She said the foundation supports Common Core because it wants a more level playing field across the states, so kids from disadvantaged backgrounds have high expectations to aim for, and so kids who move from one state to another during a school year don’t encounter vastly different standards.


daniels: Darron Cummings/ap • bennett: Chris O’Meara/AP


ndiana’s former governor and former education chief, Republicans Mitch Daniels and Tony Bennett, Daniels were school-choice heroes. Under their watch, Indiana limited collective bargaining for teachers, expanded charters, revamped teacher and school evaluations, and gave away private-school vouchers to low-income students. Daniels and Bennett liked Common Bennett Core, too. Indiana joined the effort to create the Core standards in mid-2009, and the State Board of Education voted a year later to begin adopting them. The state counts itself the first in the nation to align its

teacher preparation standards with Common Core. Heather Crossin didn’t hear about the new standards until her daughter brought home the math problem in 2011. She contacted state Sen. Scott Schneider, a Republican on the Senate education committee, but he also knew little about them. Today Schneider says, “Out of 150 legislators … in the statehouse in Indiana, there were very few that actually knew what Common Core was.” Exercising its legal authority, the education board had ushered in the new standards alone and begun implementation. “Nobody was talking about it,” says Crossin. Appalled, she and another parent, Erin Tuttle, went to work, spreading information to friends and Tea Party leaders, and appearing on an Indianapolis radio show. Meanwhile, Schneider introduced a bill to the 2012 legislative session that would have banned Common Core. With Daniels and Bennett opposing it, the measure died. But it was an election year. As Bennett campaigned, he found himself awkwardly defending his advocacy of Common Core at Indiana Tea Party meetings, while his challenger, Democrat Glenda Ritz, told parents she wanted to pause Core adoption. When voters went to the polls that November, they sent Bennett packing in a widely watched upset. Schneider and others say Bennett’s position on Common Core was a key ­factor in his loss. This year, when Schneider introduced a bill to pause adoption of Common Core, the Indiana General Assembly gave its approval. The state’s new governor, Republican Mike Pence, signed the bill in May. The bill’s passage came even after the pro-Core (and Gates-funded) education group Stand for Children reportedly paid around $90,000 on Indiana TV and radio ads to oppose the bill.

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Perry Reichanadter/GENESIS


Perry Reichanadter/GENESIS

daniels: Darron Cummings/ap • bennett: Chris O’Meara/AP

Crossin and Tuttle, on the other hand, didn’t solicit funds and paid for their own gas when they traveled. “We’re just citizen activists,” Crossin says. “We care about our children’s education and their futures. … We feel like parents have been left out of the decision-making process entirely.” Indiana’s new law puts Core implementation on hold while a legislative study committee compares Core standards with the state’s existing ones. (Incidentally, Indiana was one of just two states with English standards Fordham found to be ­superior to Common Core.) The law also requires an analysis of the cost to implement the new standards. The 11-member education board (with a few fresh Pence appointments) must make a final decision on the standards by next July. The law marks a pause, not a ban, and some think Indiana will ultimately keep the Core standards. Dena Cushenberry, the superintendent of the Metropolitan School District of Warren Township on the east side of Indianapolis, believes it’s too late to turn around now, after districts like hers have already purchased new curriculum. “The work has already started, and so a pause is very concerning to us,” she says. “We’ve already started providing professional development to our teachers to teach differently.”


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The grassroots uproar in Indiana is paralleled elsewhere. Activists are pushing back against Common Core in Iowa, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Florida, Alabama, Kansas, Utah, Colorado, and other states. Groups like the American Principles Project (APP) have provided them with some national coordination and assistance, keeping in touch through a private email list. (Other policy organizations opposing Common Core include The Heritage Foundation and The Heartland Institute.) For now, state involvement in two groups developing K-12 Core-aligned assessment tests is a good gauge of how deep Common Core skepticism is flowing. In July, Pence announced Indiana would withdraw from an assessment consortium known as PARCC. Georgia and Pennsylvania have also withdrawn, and Florida has signaled it may do so. (Alabama and Utah have withdrawn from the second consortium, known as Smarter Balanced.) As of mid-September, just 17 states, plus the District of Columbia, remained committed to PARCC. If the number drops below 15, the consortium will lose federal funding, dealing a major blow to the effort to develop uniform assessment tests. Robbins of the APP says proponents of Common Core “did not anticipate there would ever be this pushback.” A

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L 40 

In December 2012, the Oklahoma Supreme Court struck down the RU-486 law, and the state appealed, saying the ruling conflicted with Supreme Court precedent allowing state regulation of abortion. The Supreme Court took up the case, while also asking the Oklahoma court to elaborate on its decision, which was only three paragraphs long. Once the high court receives answers from the state court, it will either move forward with scheduling arguments or it could respond to the state court without hearing arguments. This is the first time the court has taken a case on chemical abortions. The major Supreme Court decisions on abortion post-Roe have allowed states to craft their own restrictions on abortion with an exception for the life or health of the mother. Those regulations must not pose an “undue burden” on a woman’s ability to obtain an abortion before a baby is viable. In the last few years, state legislatures have passed stronger restrictions on surgical abortion, and abortion providers see chemical abortions as an alternative. “Clearly the case involves chemical abortion ... but what is at stake here is also the state’s ability to regulate an abortion procedure,” said Mailee Smith, counsel for Americans United for Life who is also counsel for Oklahoma’s legislators before the Supreme Court. AUL provided the model legislation that became Oklahoma’s


eslie Wolbert has firsthand experience with the abortion drug RU-486. She took the drug in 2006 and experienced “the worst pain I’ve ever felt in my life.” She was vomiting and “bleeding like I never knew possible.” Three days after taking the second pill in the drug regimen, in the midst of her pain, she decided to take a hot shower: she began losing blood again and noticed the drain was clogged. Then she realized: “It was my baby that was clogging the drain of the shower. … I flushed it down the toilet. … It was even more horrifying than it sounds.” Wolbert recounts her story in an affidavit to the Supreme Court concerning Cline v. Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, a major case that has so far garnered little attention. The case involves an Oklahoma law that regulates medical abortions through the RU-486 drug regimen, and it’s the first major abortion case to reach the Supreme Court since the 2007 decision in Gonzalez v. Carhart upheld a federal ban on ­partial-birth abortion. It’s also only the second case, after Gonzalez, since Catholic Justice Samuel Alito replaced Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, who sided with a number of opinions upholding and reinforcing Roe v. Wade.

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Charlie Neibergall/ap

Supreme Court preview: The first big abortion case in six years involves the risky RU-486 drug // by Emily Belz

Charlie Neibergall/ap


­medical abortion law. “What we’ll see is: Did Justice [Anthony] Kennedy mean it?” she said. Kennedy, who supports Roe, also wrote the ­ decision upholding the ban on partial-birth abortion. RU-486 is a two-part abortion drug, and the only FDA-approved medical abortion technique. Pregnant women first swallow a Mifeprex pill to abort the baby, and then the next day take another pill, misoprostol, to simulate labor and expel the baby. The FDA approved Mifeprex as an abortifacient in 2000 with a number of warnings and restrictions for its use. But the FDA doesn’t enforce drug restrictions, so doctors who go “off-label” aren’t breaking laws. With this law, the state of Oklahoma becomes the FDA’s enforcer, prohibiting doctors from “offlabel” uses of RU-486. It’s illegal now, for ­example, to prescribe the drug past seven weeks of pregnancy, and the mother must return to the

pill provider’s office for follow-ups after the abortion. Linda Greenhouse, Supreme Court commentator for The New York Times, called medical abortion “the ultimate in women’s reproductive empowerment,” because women can administer the two-part drug on their own. Some parents of women who have died from RU-486 might disagree, because in the isolation of taking the drug women don’t know how to address complications that arise. The FDA has documented eight women who died from bacterial infections after taking the drug without following its regimen. A brief submitted to the Supreme Court records stories from women who have taken RU-486, such as Wolbert, as well as their parents who have seen the effects. Monty Patterson’s daughter Holly died at age 18 after taking the RU-486 regimen in 2003. Patterson has since found other parents whose daughters also died

‘Clearly the case involves chemical abortion ...  but what is at stake here is also the state’s ability to regulate an abortion procedure.’ Bottles of the abortion-inducing drug RU-486.

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‘I DO NOT WANT TO SEE ANY OTHER FAMILY GO THROUGH WHAT WE HAVE.’ Monty Patterson holds a photo of his daughter Holly.

after taking the drug, and started a website to highlight its dangers. “I do not want to see any other family go through what we have,” Patterson said in an affidavit submitted to the Supreme Court. Patterson has not taken a side in the abortion debate: he says he has no position on whether abortion should be legal, but he thinks RU- is dangerous and should be taken off the market. The FDA, in approving Mifeprex, refused to allow the drug company to include instructions for using the drug at home. Still, Planned Parenthood affiliates often allow women to administer the drugs at home. Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood worker and now a pro-life activist, submitted an affidavit to the court about taking the RU- regimen herself. She was in severe pain and vomited and bled

profusely for  hours. She said she continued to lose large amounts of blood for eight weeks. Planned Parenthood had not informed her of the side effects ahead of time, saying the drugs would give her a “heavy period.” When she called Planned Parenthood to explain her side effects, a nurse told her, “That is not abnormal.” When she went back to work at Planned Parenthood, she discouraged women from doing medical abortions. “I hated that we were pushing it at all of our clinics,” she said. She noted that when she got her tonsils out, her doctor informed her of all the risks, however far-fetched, ahead of time, which never happened ahead of her medical abortion. When a woman goes through a medical abortion, “the psychological problems are greater because of her active involvement in it and being more likely to see the expelled baby,” said Linda Boston Schlueter, who wrote the brief for this case that included the affidavits from women who had used RU-. Schlueter has a long history with abortion cases before the Supreme Court: She filed the brief the court cited in its  partial-birth abortion decision, and others before that. She said the heart of this case is whether the court will accept “reasonable regulations” of abortion and ensure that women have “full and accurate information” before aborting. “It’s hard to believe [the FDA guidelines are] an undue burden,” Schlueter said. “You’ll potentially have more people going through this process and they need the protection.” A




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Christians often led opening prayers at public meetings, although any religious leader could offer a prayer. A local resident said the prayers amounted to establishment of religion, and a federal appeals court agreed. The court will hear the case Nov. . National Labor Relations Board v. Noel Canning: This case will clarify the president’s recess appointment power, which President Barack Obama has used regularly because the Senate has been slow or unwilling to confirm appointees.


McCullen v. Coakley: The court will hear a case on a Massachusetts law that establishes a buffer zone around abortion centers, only allowing staff, patients, and emergency personnel within a radius of the building. Pro-life counselors have said the law violates their free speech rights. The court has not yet set a date for arguments for this case. Town of Greece v. Galloway: This is a case on whether public officials can open public meetings with prayer. Greece, N.Y., is a mostly Christian town, so

At issue in particular are Obama’s recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board, which the D.C. Circuit Court ruled unconstitutional at the beginning of the year. The Supreme Court will decide under what circumstances the president can make recess appointments. Also: The New Mexico couple whom the state supreme court said had discriminated in refusing to photograph a gay commitment ceremony has appealed the decision to the Supreme Court. The court is also likely to hear one of the contraceptive mandate cases sometime this term.


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WM1013_Reformers_VV 9/10/13 11:42 AM Page 1

God’s Outlaw: The Story of William Tyndale

John Wycliffe: The Morning Star Wesley: A Heart Transformed Can Change John Wycliffe is a dramatic biography of the life of the the World

A true story, God’s Outlaw is about international politics, church intrigue, cold-blooded betrayal, and false justice ending in a criminal’s death. But it’s also about victorious faith and spiritual triumph over some of the greatest political and religious forces known in the 16th century. A simple God-seeking man, William Tyndale somehow became one of the most wanted men in England and all of Europe. Pursued by King Henry VIII and Sir Thomas More, Tyndale darted across Europe to avoid capture, always pushing to complete the task that obsessed him — to translate the Bible into English and publish it for his fellow countrymen. Starring Roger Rees. Drama, 93 minutes.

14th-century scholar and cleric who translated the Bible into English for the first time. Wycliffe found himself in the middle of religious, political and social conflicts. An Oxford scholar, one of Europe’s most renowned philosophers, he was a defender of English nationalism against the power of the pope and a champion of the poor against the injustices of the rich. John Wycliffe taught that God’s forgiveness cannot be bought with indulgences. He preached that the only true authority is the Word of God, and the Word could only be understood by all if the people could read it in their native tongue. John Wycliffe captures the trials and heroic struggles of this significant man of faith — the “Morning Star” of the Reformation. Drama, 75 minutes.

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Step into eighteenthcentury England and experience the transformation of one man, whose heartwrenching search for peace haunts him even as he pours himself into a life of service and evangelism. This feature film, based on the personal diaries of John Wesley, is a story that reads like a Hollywood screenplay—house fire, near shipwreck on the high seas, adventure in a new world, and ill-fated romance! Uncover Wesley’s spiritual struggle and renewal as never before. Directed by the Reverend John Jackman, this feature-length film stars Burgess Jenkins, June Lockhart, Kevin McCarthy, R. Keith Harris, and Carrie Anne Hunt. Drama, 117 minutes.

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The Radicals

Martin Luther

John Hus

The year is 1525. Michael and Margaretha Sattler have fled their religious orders. Their quest: to restore the church to the purity of its early days when communities of believers practiced peace, compassion and sacrificial love. The Sattlers join a group called the Anabaptists and together challenge the 1,000 year control of the Church by the State. They call for baptism to once again become, not a mark of citizenship, but an adult and voluntary decision to follow Christ. As their movement grows, so does the determination of their enemies to stop any means necessary. In 1527, Michael is burned at the stake and Margaretha drowned. But their movement survives and today is carried on by the Mennonites, Mennonite Brethren, Brethren in Christ, the Hutterites, and the Amish. Viewer discretion advised. Drama, 99 minutes.

Here is the dramatic black and white classic film of Martin Luther’s life made in the 1950’s. This film was originally released in theaters worldwide and nominated for an Academy Award. It is a magnificent depiction of Luther and the forces at work in the surrounding society that resulted in his historic reforming efforts. The film traces Martin Luther’s life from a guilt-burdened monk to his eventual break with the Roman Church. In spite of its age, this film continues to be a popular resource to introduce Martin Luther’s life. This special 50th anniversary edition includes “The making of,” biographies of the actors, and a full-color tour of Luther sites. Drama, 105 minutes.

Here is an important chapter in the steps leading up to the Reformation. The history books make little mention of this Bohemian priest and scholar who lived 100 years before Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation. Yet, John Hus was convinced and taught openly that the Bible should be presented in the language of the people, that salvation comes by faith in Jesus Christ, and the Word of God is the final authority. Intrigue and false promises weave a powerful story of this man’s commitment to faith in Jesus Christ. He was summoned to the Council of Constance and promised safety, but he was betrayed. In the end, Hus was accused, imprisoned, and charged with heresy. Ultimately, he was condemned and burned at the stake as a heretic. Drama, 55 minutes.

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Dodgy business Lawmakers join the president in avoiding decisive moves on foreign and domestic fronts by edwa rd lee pitts in Washington photo by NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images


oping to end the whiplash induced by the series of Obama administration shifts on Syria, lawmakers are ­pivoting to a topic that used to make them cringe more than foreign policy: the now annual tradition of fiscal fights. A new federal budget is needed by Oct. 1 to avoid a government shutdown, and the government will hit its debt ceiling again sometime in October. The showdowns feature the familiar script of Democrats insisting on the nation spending its way out of its persistent economic crisis through more taxes and increased


government programs while Republicans push for smaller government. “You can’t talk about increasing the debt limit unless you’re willing to make changes and reforms that begin to solve the spending problem,” said House Speaker John Boehner. But lawmakers may find that the debacle over Syria has changed the internal political calculus at home. Boehner and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., face escalating pressure from conservatives over supporting Obama’s call for a resolution supporting Syrian strikes. A recent Pew Research Center survey said that more than 70 percent of tea party Republicans disapprove of the job being done by GOP leaders. They also face intraparty division over Obamacare, which takes effect Oct. 1. Conservatives are blaming Republican

WORLD • October 5, 2013

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DISARRAY: Demonstrators protest against U.S. intervention in Syria in front of the White House.

leadership for making empty promises to stop the new healthcare program. “I’d like for them to stop thinking about their own reelections for five minutes,” Brent Bozell with ForAmerica said at a recent Atlanta rally. In early September, conservatives succeeded in thwarting a plan by House Republican leaders to pass a temporary spending bill that kept the government operating until mid-December at current levels. At one point it included a companion bill defunding Obamacare. But the bill allowed lawmakers in the Senate to detach the Obamacare element and pass just the spending bill, and many conservatives felt tricked. “House Republican leaders have chickened out,” read an email sent by the Senate Conservative Fund. With that bill shelved, a group of more than  House Republicans introduced legislation to fund the government for a year and delay Obamacare for a year, using the Obamacare savings to increase military spending. Democrats highlight the Republican infighting to distract attention from their own disarray. But they face their own friendly fire over Obamacare. The AFL-CIO passed a resolution during its September convention calling Obamacare “highly disruptive.” It warned the law the largest federation of labor unions once lobbied for will have a “devastating impact” on the cost and availability of healthcare as well as lead to the hiring of fewer union workers. “We don’t want it repealed, we want it fixed,” said Terry O’Sullivan, president of the Laborers International Union of North America. “But if (Obamacare) is not fixed … then I believe it needs to be repealed.” Such opposition from two fronts is why support for Obamacare has plummeted to  percent from  percent in January. These numbers embolden conservatives to keep up the fight to delay or defund Obamacare—even though Democrats in the Senate promise it’s a waste of time. All of this fiscal bargaining will occur as the crisis over Syria—and confused U.S. policy—continues. On Sept.  more than  million Americans heard from two Obamas in one speech. One Obama argued for a military strike against Syria in the aftermath of an Aug.  chemical weapons attack. The other argued for a postponement of a congressional vote


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authorizing those strikes in deference to a Russian-led effort to get the Syrian government to surrender its weapons cache. One Obama said, “I believe we should act,” while the other said, “America is not the world’s policeman.” The president warned last year of “enormous consequences” if Syrians used chemical weapons during their ongoing strife. But Secretary of State John Kerry on Sept.  promised “unbelievably small” strikes. A day later the contradictions continued when Obama said the “United States military doesn’t do pinpricks.” When asked, during the administration’s initial furious push for strikes, if Syrian President Bashar al-Assad could do anything to avoid American missiles, Kerry said, “turn over every single bit of his chemical weapons.” But, Kerry continued, Assad “isn’t about to do that, and it can’t be done, obviously.” Twenty-four hours later—after the White House’s outreach to more than  congressional lawmakers yielded just  firm strike supporters—came more reversals. What was deemed impossible and unlikely suddenly became “a potential significant breakthrough,” according to the president. Russia orchestrated an agreement to get Syria to surrender its chemical weapons by the middle of next year. It was a deal that Obama was relieved to be able to backpedal into, but one that Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., called an “act of provocative weakness.” The domestic wars may now overshadow the Syrian war, but that strife will not take a pause. The Syrian escape hatch that the White House and lawmakers jumped through after a fit of indecisiveness does not mask how Obama’s Syrian policy meandered from calling for Assad’s removal to working with him and Russia on a weapons deal. But getting Assad to relinquish the country’s chemical weapons stock is no slam dunk. Reports already suggest the Syrian military has scattered the chemical weapons stockpile to as many as  sites. While diplomacy at the UN level slogs on, Obama insists that American action is still on the table, but he also agreed to withdraw the threat of military action in a UN resolution after the Russians balked. “Absent the threat of force, it’s unclear to me how Syrian compliance will be possible,” said Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., the highest-ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee. Congressional lawmakers across the political spectrum have been more than happy to go along with Obama’s retreat from military action. Many are staring at reelection in less than  months, and received an earful from war-weary constituents that in some offices went nearly  to  against Syrian strikes. In just days Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid went from “without question this brutality needs a response” to “I’m not a blood and thunder guy.” He cancelled another Syria briefing, and the Senate began considering an energy efficiency bill. In the House Boehner and Cantor, who went against rankand-file Republicans to back Obama’s call for strikes, said Obama had not made the sale to the American people. The House passed another bill to gut Obamacare and adjourned for the week—only four days after returning from a five-week recess. Whether it’s a budget crisis or world crisis, on Capitol Hill this passes for getting the nation’s business done. A



9/17/13 10:03 PM

RAPID RESPONSE   ,    sang the rousing hymn “In Christ Alone” to kick off the first meeting on Sept.  of Trail Life USA, a new group that hopes to be a Christian alternative to the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). Organizers of the event intentionally chose that “modern hymn,” written by contemporary Christian artists Keith Getty and Stuart Townend, but reflecting ancient Christian theology, to symbolize the differences between Trail Life USA and the Boy Scouts. “We’re here to honor the legacy of the Boy Scouts of America,” radio personality Bill Buckner, master of ceremonies for the event, told the crowd after the singing was done. “But now, quite frankly, we are called in a new direction.” The crowd at the Music City Sheraton came from  states to form what organizers say TRAIL HEAD: will be an Commemorative outdoor patch for kickoff scouting-like event.

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Trail Life USA acts quickly to fill the void left by a changed Boy Scouts of America by WA RREN COLE SMITH in Nashville, Tenn.    +  

program designed for boys ages -. The group will focus on “adventure, character and leadership.” The Boy Scout Motto of “Be Prepared” is replaced with the biblical admonition to “Walk Worthy.” Boys of all faiths are welcome, but adults must sign a statement of faith. This meeting was a rapid response to what founder John Stemberger called the “rapid deterioration” of the Boy Scouts of America from one of America’s most trusted institutions to one to which “we no longer feel safe sending our boys and young men.” That deterioration in trust reached a tipping point in May, when about , delegates to the BSA’s annual meeting near Dallas voted to allow openly homosexual boys as members. More than  percent of the delegates voted for the proposal. In fact, it was the overwhelming majority that contributed to Stemberger’s sense that the Boy Scouts could no longer be trusted. Just months earlier, a survey of BSA’s membership found that nearly  percent believed the current policy, which prohibited homosexual members, was the best policy for the Boy Scouts.

“It’s stunning to me that in less than six months they would completely reverse their position on what’s in the best interest of boys,” Stemberger said. Stemberger said the change would not have happened if the Boy Scouts had not intentionally withheld information about the negative consequences of the policy change. However it happened, the policy changed, and Stemberger and others swung immediately into action. Even before leaving Dallas, Stemberger announced he would convene a group on June  in Louisville, Ky., to “discuss the creation of a new character development organization for boys.” Stemberger said the meeting would be a “national coalition meeting of former BSA parents and other youth leaders who wish to return to truly timeless values that once made the BSA great.” Between that meeting in Louisville and the inaugural meeting of Trail Life USA in Nashville, barely two months elapsed. In that time, the group created a constitution and bylaws, logo, and other organizing documents and procedures. According to Mark Hancock,

vice chairman of the board and the convention host, “For this to happen in  days, that doesn’t happen by the power of men.” While Trail Life USA was a-birthing, the Boy Scouts of America continued to show signs of deterioration. Immediately following the May vote, conservative Scout leaders and the churches that sponsor, or “charter,” Scout units, started to defect. The Scouts won’t say how many, and it likely won’t know until units recharter for the new year, but before the May vote, its own estimates were that around , members would leave because of the decision. In June, delegates to the Southern Baptist Convention passed a resolution expressing “opposition to and disappointment in” the Boy Scouts, though the resolution stopped short of encouraging churches to withdraw. It did say, though, that the actions of the BSA could be a “first step in a process that will fundamentally change the BSA,” putting “the Scouts at odds with a consistent biblical worldview on matters of human sexuality.” Among the high-profile Southern Baptist churches who have quit Scouting is Roswell Street Baptist Church, a megachurch in Marietta, Ga. Birmingham’s Briarwood Presbyterian Church, considered by some the “mother church” of the Presbyterian Church in America, has also severed ties with the BSA. Staff members for BSA also are defecting. A notable example: Richard Mathews, former general counsel for the Boy Scouts, is now a legal consultant for Trail Life USA. Another sign of Scouting’s decline came in July when the Scouts held their National Jamboree at the new


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9/17/13 11:27 AM

,-acre Summit Bechtel Reserve in West Virginia. Attendance (including staff) was about ,, down nearly  percent from the last Jamboree in . Membership declines will no doubt increase financial pressures. Massive cost overruns at Summit Bechtel Reserve have turned a project originally budgeted for around  million into one that will likely exceed  million by the end of . These pressures forced Chief Scout Executive Wayne Brock, the highest ranking professional Scouter, to announce in August the Scouts would raise dues  percent beginning Jan. , . Currently, annual dues are  per Scout. The dues will rise to  next year. Brock also said this was the first dues increase since . BSA spokesman Deron Smith said “technology” and “insurance” had also increased the “cost of doing business.” Reporting by WORLD and other news organizations indicates that salaries of senior executives also played a role in the increased costs. According to the Reuters news service, spending on salaries, insurance, and programs by the national headquarters nearly doubled between  and . By , the average compensation of the top five BSA employees had ballooned to ,. Whatever the causes, the timing of this dues increase could hardly be worse for the Boy Scouts. The dues increase is also sure to hurt the BSA’s back-to-school recruiting efforts, called the “Fall Round-Up,” which takes place in most cities around the country in September. Brock asserted in his announcement that, despite the dues increase, “the Boy Scouts of America maintains a strong financial position.”



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It’s hard to say, though, how long that will last given current trends. Some local councils are barely solvent. The Los Angeles Council, for example, ran a deficit of

LAUNCH EVENT: Gov. Mike Huckabee; delegates review material; John Stemberger, chairman of the board (top to bottom).

. million in , and since  has lost more than  million, according to a Reuters investigation. The question many inside and outside the Scouting movement have is this: What’s next for the Boy Scouts? Will it eventually allow homosexual leaders? How far down the slippery slope will it go? “Frankly, we feel like the membership decision is a first step,” said Steve Lemke, provost at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary who chaired the Resolutions Committee. “Our concern is about the direction and the orientation, the trajectory of the Boy Scouts. They seem to be going in a way that politicizes the whole membership question. It also brings a sexual dimension that wasn’t there before.” While conservative Christians are leaving Scouting, liberal voices are becoming bolder. In June, Caterpillar Corporation announced it would stop giving money to the Scouts because the new policy had not gone far enough. The incoming president of the BSA, the top volunteer leader in Scouting, is Randall Stephenson, CEO of telecommuni-

cations giant AT&T. He has long been on the record as being in favor of homosexual leadership for the BSA. In , he told the Dallas Voice, a gay newspaper, that he was committed to changing the policy. Despite these developments, or perhaps because of them, Stemberger insisted that Trail Life USA is “not an anti-BSA organization. We’re not an anti-anything organization. We honor the legacy of the Boy Scouts of America and the contributions it has made to us and our families. The men and boys we have left behind are not our opponents. They are our brothers and our friends. I encourage you to interact with them with charity and good faith.” But, he added, “many of us feel anger and betrayal.” He said charity requires him to “continue to expose the real dangers and risks that the new membership policy poses to boys. Real men value integrity over institutions.” A


9/17/13 5:49 PM

Oct. 31–Nov. 2, 2013 • Asheville, NC


e were created to worship God. There is no more lofty endeavor nor a more important subject for the Christian. Join us to go back to Scripture for how God desires to be worshiped and how to practice that in our homes and churches.

Featured Speakers Include: Scott Brown

Doug Phillips

Joel Beeke


Also, Watch FREE Series Online: “The Family that Worships Together”

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Kevin Swanson

Sam Waldron 9/11/13 3:55 PM

Delayed and confused

A     , Obamacare goes live on Oct. . That’s when the law’s health insurance exchanges can begin enrolling people for coverage starting in January. President Obama and other leading Democrats say the law is “working the way it’s supposed to.” But numerous delays and changes already have hit Obamacare, and evidence continues to mount that the law will increase insurance costs and change the nation’s workforce as employers add part-time jobs instead of full-time jobs to avoid Obamacare’s mandate. Here is a look at some of the changes, delays, and numbers associated with the mammoth new government program that contains more than , pages of regulations and more than , pages of proposed rules.

by EDWARD LEE PITTS in Washington

DELAYS q The employer mandate, which requires all

CHANGES Republicans—with the help of some Democrats—have made the following changes to Obamacare, signed into law by the president:

firms with  or more full-time employees to offer government-certified health coverage or face fines as high as , per employee, delayed until .

q After concerns over an avalanche of paperwork, lawmakers repealed

q Enforcement of a number of eligibility

q Congress cut . billion in funding for Obamacare’s Consumer Operated

requirements for taxpayer-funded subsidies. The government will rely on an honor system instead of verifying whether persons qualify for tax credits of , per person a year. The credits have an estimated cost of  billion next year, but that could balloon with the government not ready to implement its eligibility check system.

and Oriented Plan (CO-OP) and blocked increased IRS funding for the purpose of hiring new agents to enforce the health law’s individual mandate.

q Caps on some insurers and employers for out-of-pocket insurance costs are delayed for a year. These caps would have limited individual costs at , a year. Now some plans in  could have higher limits or no limits on out-of-pocket costs.

q Provisions helping small businesses provide a choice of health plans to workers is delayed until  at the earliest in most states. Small businesses will be limited to a single plan because most states aren’t ready to create the Small Business Health Options Program.


                        

the small-business paperwork mandate that required all businesses to issue  tax forms to any individual or corporation from which they purchase more than  in goods or services in a given tax year.

q Lawmakers adjusted eligibility requirements for certain Obamacare programs in a tweak that aims to reduce taxpayer funding by  billion.

q Congress rescinded  million earmarked for Obamacare’s Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) and tightened restrictions on the use of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention grant money for lobbying purposes.

q Congress cut approximately . billion from various Obamacare funds and programs.

q Lawmakers cut  million from Obamacare by removing a provision that gives extra Medicaid funding to states where every county has been declared a disaster area. (Due to hurricanes Katrina and Rita, Louisiana is one of possibly two states that meet this requirement.) It was known derisively as the “Louisiana Purchase” because it was designed to gain the vote of Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., for Obamacare.

q Congress repealed the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) Act for about . billion in savings. The act created a new government entitlement program for longterm healthcare that would have required massive taxpayer bailouts to stay afloat. Sen. Kent Conrad, the Democratic chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, called CLASS “a Ponzi scheme of the first order.”


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9/17/13 10:14 AM


$1 trillion

New taxes to be collected under Obamacare during the next decade.

41% The average premium

increase for individuals buying insurance on Obamacare’s exchange in Ohio. Florida officials expect a  percent average premium increase, while South Carolina officials estimate rates for individuals could rise as much as  percent. State regulators in Maryland approved rates for individuals that jump as much as  percent, but major insurance carrier Aetna withdrew from the Maryland exchange because that rate increase was too low.

$95 The penalty in  per adult for

$684 million

The estimated cost to taxpayers for Obamacare publicity, marketing, and advertising, including a  million PR budget for the Department of Health and Human Services and an estimated  million in grants to  groups, including Planned Parenthood, to enroll individuals into Obamacare.

not complying with the mandate to purchase insurance. Fines also include . per child up to  per family, or  percent of taxable household income, whichever is greater. In  it goes up to  per person for up to  people (or , per household) or . percent of taxable income.

$100 million

Delta Air Lines’ prediction for its increase in insurance costs next year due to Obamacare.


The rough share of jobs created in the six months through July that have been parttime. Employers will not have to cover part-time workers under Obamacare.

30 million

The predicted number of nonelderly Americans still uninsured in  despite Obamacare, according to a recent Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report. The CBO says approximately  million people, including illegal immigrants, are uninsured in the United States today.


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9/17/13 10:16 AM

Hope Award for Ef fective Com passion

Bearing fruıt I

international winner

HOPE International’s effort to help Haitians learn to save money looks beyond financial returns

by JAMIE DEAN in Belladere, Haiti

MONEY TALK: The Belladere savings group.


WORLD • October 5, 2013


n a remote town in central Haiti, a set of concrete steps leads off a dirt road, down a steep hillside, and into a one-room church furnished with low, wooden benches and a ­single light bulb. Descend the church’s broken steps on a Tuesday evening and you’ll find 21 residents of Belladere sitting in a semicircle and talking about money—a limited resource in the impoverished border town. The group members meet once a week to save money and occasionally lend their pooled resources to fellow members. It’s a simple process, but it offers profound results: Haitians with scant resources learn biblical principles about meeting their own needs—and helping others—apart from foreign handouts. As a heavy downpour pounds on the tin roofs of small homes outside

photos by jamie dean

9/17/13 10:44 AM

the church, group members discuss what they’ve learned from a Bible-based curriculum. “Discipline means you have to respect your commitment before God and man,” says a local bean farmer. “It might be hard to have discipline, but by the grace of God we are not alone.” That’s a core message of HOPE Inter­ national, the U.S.-based organization coordinating savings groups in churches in Belladere. The Christian organization serves thousands of ­clients in a network of savings groups and microfinance institutions in 16 countries around the world. (The organization began its work in Ukraine, and participating countries now include Russia, China, India, Peru, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Zimbabwe and Burundi.) In northern Haiti, the group helps coordinate microfinance projects, making small loans to help Haitians with small businesses. In southern Haiti—and here in central Haiti—the group focuses on programs that help Haitians save money they’ve already earned and lend to each other. For more impoverished communities like this one, the savings model is a more realistic option than the burden of repaying a loan from an outside source, and it reduces the danger of dependency on outside aid. Charities around the world ­promote savings groups among millions of clients. But HOPE’s approach is distinct: The group emphasizes saving money in a Christian context to bolster local churches and address the spiritual roots of poverty. In the Tuesday night savings group, as rain still poured from a dark sky, a Haitian facilitator prayed and read a passage from Ecclesiastes 4: “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil.” Though WORLD usually chooses small, indigenous organizations as international finalists in our annual Hope Awards contest, this year we recognize a large organization helping Haitians and others implement biblical teaching for themselves.

GROUP MEMBERS: Marie Pierre, Jezula Jaques, and Benita Bien-aime (from left) outside the church they attend.

O c t o b e r 5 , 2 0 1 3 • W O R L D 



9/17/13 10:44 AM

rack neau

rt to art SCA tion, nter e of the

developed by the Chalmers Center at Covenant College. The material emphasizes physical poverty has spiritual roots, and it encourages Haitians to pursue healthy relationships with God and others. “We don’t only focus on saving money,” says Mervilus. “We focus on glorifying God through the process.” Mervilus says the teaching is critical for some Haitians who have valued aid from outside groups but “never believe they have their own potential. That they can do many things.”


enita Bien-aime aims to do many things in Belladere. The 30-year-old pastor’s daughter lives with her parents in a modest home next to the church she attends with her family. On a warm afternoon on her front porch, Bien-aime arranges a collection of

items on a small table with a blue cloth to sell to passers-by: Small bags of pasta sit next to tiny stacks of canned foods, while a handful of magazines and packaged salami hang from a line across the porch. Like many in town, Bien-aime is a self-employed merchant, but she’s also the president of a savings group for young people at her church. She says she joined the group because “I knew I needed accountability and discipline.” The group offers both. Members say they find that meeting and praying with people they know—especially fellow church members—encourages them to continue to participate and motivates them to pay back loans. (Most members do pay back loans, and groups work with those who need more time.) Though most members have little money, Bien-aime says she’s saved about $75 in six months. She’s used some of her savings to buy a goat and a pig to sell in the market—a common practice among members who use savings to increase inventory to earn more profits. Bien-aime has used her savings to help her family, and she’d also like to save money to help start a family of her own. But when she talks about personal goals, Bien-aime mostly talks about other people. “They say young people are the future

hope international


SUCCESS STORY: Widmy Mervilus (orange shirt) stands next to peanut farmer Simon Joseph, whose business has grown thanks to loans from a savings club, enabling him to support not only his family but also his parents and the family of his brother who died. Kneeling in front are HOPE’s Belladere facilitators Sadrack (left) and Marineau.

W ORLD • O c t o b e r 5 , 2 0 1 3


9/17/13 10:48 AM

jamie dean

he t name). he funds he ore e life of o care


aining a good reward for toil eludes most Haitians. With more than 80 percent of Haitians living below the ­poverty line—and 54 percent living in abject poverty—Haiti remains the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Between 1998 and 2008, donor countries sent Haiti nearly $5 billion in aid—more than double the world average, per capita. Many aid groups have done admirable work in a country plagued by a complicated history, ­government corruption, and natural disasters. But even the country’s former president René Préval acknowledged a perplexing reality before the earthquake: “Charity has never helped any country escape underdevelopment.” Underdevelopment extends to areas outside the capital city of Port-au-Prince. A hundred miles north in Belladere— one of three main border towns with the Dominican Republic—poverty is high and services are few. In this context, it’s difficult for many Haitians to imagine saving any of the little money they earn. That’s why Widmy Mervilus climbs into a black Nissan Pathfinder and rumbles across the rutted roads of central Haiti at least twice a week. Mervilus—a Haitian-born pastor of a Reformed Baptist church in the Domini­ can Republic—lives less than an hour away from the Haitian border. He works for HOPE International as an overseer of 167 savings groups in Belladere and the nearby town of Mirebalais. (HOPE coordinates 293 savings groups across Haiti, with more than 6,000 members.) After HOPE identifies local churches interested in savings groups, Haitian pastors recommend church members to work as local facilitators. Four facilitators in central Haiti have attended HOPE-led training and worked with local churches to develop savings groups of 18 to 25 members. Each group elects officers and meets once a week to track the money they save. Some groups simply save money. Other groups accumulate savings and make small loans to members. The groups pray and sing hymns, and they study a Bible-based curriculum

of the church,” she says. “So if the church has a need, we should have the maturity and the economic ability to meet it.” She says her group has learned: “Once you have faith and you apply biblical principles to goals, you can achieve them.” Pastor Delmond Rondo says his congregation has learned the same lesson. Rondo serves a church nearby and grows animated when he talks about how savings groups have helped members learn to trust and support each other. “Everybody has a little something in their hands, and we’re doing something,” he says. “We’re moving.” Like most pastors in Belladere, Rondo works outside jobs to support his family. He sells beans and builds steel doors and bed frames. He smiles widely when I ask if he’s in a savings group: “Of course. … If I’m telling people to move forward, I have to be in front.” The next morning, Dieula Arince is near the front of Belladere’s packed local market. As the hot sun rises, streets fill with merchants selling pigs, goats, soap, toothbrushes, T-shirts, and flip-flops. Arince is just arriving at 9 a.m., but she’s been awake since 4:30. A member of the Tuesday night savings group, she’s joined her husband in the dark morning hours to harvest bananas from a tree at their home. She strapped the

hope international

jamie dean

Delmond Rondo



sacks of ripening fruit to a mule and made the hour-long walk into town down the winding, rocky roads. The mother of three also sells clothes, and she’s used the money she’s saved to purchase more merchandise, allowing her to earn more profit. She says she uses the extra earnings to buy food for her family and pay school fees for her children. (Mervilus—the Haitian overseer— says many Haitian families say their savings enable their families to eat more than one meal a day.) Arince says she’s learned more about prayer and trusting God during the meetings, and she’s also learned to trust her fellow church members. “We learn how to put our heads together,” she says. “When I am weak, they help me to be stronger.” Marie Pierre—a member of another savings group in town—sells cold drinks a few stalls away. It’s a smart business in a crowded outdoor market with high temperatures and little shade. Pierre has used her savings to increase her inventory as well, and her son now runs a second stand on the other end of the market. “I’ve learned about the importance of transparency and doing things honestly,” she says. “And I’ve grown deeper in understanding the Bible even more.”


hough the savings projects operate in a collection of small groups in Haiti, HOPE maintains a big budget to run other savings group and microfinancing ­projects all over the world. From his office in Pennsylvania, HOPE president Peter Greer says he realizes the group’s rapid growth demands close oversight to maintain quality on local levels. (The organization posts audited financial statements online and Charity Navigator has given the group a four-star rating.) HOPE also partners with ministries in other countries to tap into wellestablished networks of local churches. (In Haiti, HOPE works with the Dominican Republic–based Esperanza.) Still, Greer says it’s sometimes challenging to help U.S. churches understand the group’s work, especially when it doesn’t involve popular forms of outside

MONEY BOX 3 2012 support and revenue: $13,752,432 3 2012 expenses and program investments: $12,009,072 3 Net assets at the end of 2012: $14,363,938 3 Executive director’s salary: $139,050 3 Staff: 75 in the United States, nearly 250 worldwide

involvement like short-term mission trips. “This model has the local church and the local community in the center stage,” says Greer. “We’re the stagehands helping them to do it.” He says focusing on local leadership and local churches allows the group to maintain a focus on both physical and spiritual needs: “If you’re not having the opportunity to change worldviews and hearts, you’re never going to see lasting change.”


s the sun sets back in Belladere, a few homes and buildings use generators for electricity, but most grow dark. Osene Exumat—another local pastor—leans forward in a plastic chair on a dirt patch in the darkening twilight outside his home. As chickens peck nearby and baby goats wander into the house, Exumat ignores the darkness and talks about how he hopes savings groups will help his church serve the whole town. The pastor of 30 years says he’s glad the groups’ good results draw outside interest, and he hopes the material gains will point to spiritual realities: “All those different people have souls that need to be reconciled and to know that Jesus exists and that He has a plan for their lives.” Exumat also hopes his church eventually can help meet material needs for others in town. He knows their modest savings will only address “a small part of the problems,” but he adds: “It’s still a part.” A

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

krieg barrie

Connect the dots In the battle against sex trafficking, some are shining light on what has led to the demand: porn by Angela Lu


Sex trafficking is the issue du jour on college campuses. Students attend documentaries, hold charity walks, and put on bake sales to raise money for safe houses and victim restoration. Special speakers spread awareness about girls trapped in the sex industry against their will. While most anti-trafficking work focuses on helping victims, few students talk about

Download WORLD’s iPad app today; details at

20 LIFESTYLE and TECH.indd 57

what propels women into the trade: the continued demand by men to buy women and the role internet pornography plays in that demand. Lisa Thompson, The Salvation Army’s Liaison for the Abolition of Sexual Trafficking, notes the glamour attached to “saying you’re doing anti-trafficking work,” adding, “It would be nice to see people take on small and unheralded and humble bits of work with the prevention side of trafficking.” Effectively dealing with demand means taking on internet pornography. Mary

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9/11/13 2:55 PM



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At the Indiana University (IU) medical school in Indianapolis, Steve Jay wins national honors for his technical research and work on lung cancer. At a Gennesaret clinic for the homeless in another section of town, though, he’s an old-fashioned doctor helping homeless and poor individuals with ordinary problems like hypertension or the flu. Jay is now past official retirement age, but the house calls he made decades ago with his physician dad, and a biography he read of humanitarian/missionary Albert Schweitzer, planted the seeds from which grew his desire to volunteer. Now he meets with patients in the basement of the aging Westminster Presbyterian Church in a low-income neighborhood. His pharmacy is a movable aluminum closet, stocked with basic medicines and drugs. The clinic is clean but bare, a contrast to both the state-of-the-art IU facility and the medical school “production model” with “less time for each patient”: He likes the “human” touch at Gennesaret and the thankfulness patients express. Jay Gennesaret’s name comes from the healing by Jesus at Gennesaret on the Sea of Galilee (Mark :). Dr. James Trippi founded Gennesaret after he served food in a soup kitchen for the homeless, kept noticing the medical problems of the people he was serving, and thought he could put his skills to better use by treating the symptoms he kept seeing. Other Gennesaret clinics are in homeless shelters, and some doctors work out of a traveling van. The organization also offers a short-term residential facility for homeless men coming out of hospitals with no other place to go. Trippi doesn’t see Obamacare resolving the problems the clinics tackle: “If everything works as projected, in  there will be still  million uninsured people.” He also doesn’t claim to have a cure for multigenerational poverty: “We’ve seen a young woman who grew up in the shelters, and how she’s  and giving birth to a child. … I don’t know how to cure that. I’m not changing society. I’m trying to help someone get better.” Gennesaret is celebrating its th year of ministry. With a budget under  million, not counting volunteer hours, the nonprofit likely saves the city about  million a year. Doctors see about , poor and homeless people each year at several clinic sites. Some come for several visits, saving on expensive MEETING emergency room trips. IU Medical President Dan Evans NEEDS: thinks it is hard to put an exact price tag on the value of A patient Gennesaret, but he salutes the volunteer doctors for receives making “house calls in the hood.” dental services. Some of the  volunteer doctors and nurses are motivated by Christian faith and the commands in the Bible to help those in need. Dr. Jim Noland of St. Vincent Center for Women’s Health has been an OB-GYN specialist but finds that Gennesaret service takes him back to the basics he learned in medical school. It’s similar to the medical care he provides on mission trips to Haiti and other Third World countries: “You get to serve people here. It energizes you instead of draining you.” —Russ Pulliam


Layden, co-director of the Sexual Trauma and Psychopathology Program at the University of Pennsylvania, argues that porn’s accessibility sets up entitlement: “I hear men say sex is a need, I have a right to it.” And as the sense of entitlement increases, men feel no qualms with paying women for sex in order to fulfill their “need.” She found that men who went to prostitutes were twice as likely as other men to watch porn. Taking on porn means challenging the culture’s libertarian attitudes about sex, which basically says anything goes between consenting adults, and those who don’t like porn can change the channel. Those attitudes are prevalent on college campuses where  percent of males and  percent of females admit to watching porn, according to a  Brigham Young University study. At Weber University in Utah, one small college group is trying to educate other students about the harms of pornography. Junior Chandler Copenhaver, president of Fight the New Drug, engages students as they walk by the organization’s booth, explaining how pornography can be as addictive and dangerous to the brain as hard drugs: “We’re trying to change the understanding and conversation of pornography.” Copenhaver, stresses that Fight the New Drug is nonpolitical and nonreligious: “This is a health issue, a social issue, and it negatively affects society.” Copenhaver’s organization is a chapter of the national Fight the New Drug, which aims to educate middle-school, high-school, and college students about porn. Through assemblies and flashy video productions, members teach how watching porn overexposes the brain to pleasure chemicals. Users build up a tolerance and dependency to those chemicals, making them want even more. “It’s naturally an awkward topic, kind of a taboo issue that’s emotionally charged,” said Cam Lee, who co-founded the group in . “We try to stay away from morals and values, instead focus on the science and facts.” Copenhaver says students at Weber University may not like his group’s message, but they often respect what he has to say “because of our stance on free speech. We support the First Amendment, we are not there for censorship, just trying to educate.” Oklahoma State University professor John Foubert says college students are much more likely to fight sex trafficking than porn because many students don’t see the connection between the two. With so many students using porn, he says, “they have to confront the issue that being an activist, they may be hypocritical.” A

‘House calls in the hood’


9/17/13 10:54 AM


Notebook > Lifestyle

Notebook > Technology

Emergency reel

Firefighter helmet cameras ignite a privacy debate BY DANIEL JAMES DEVINE




O   latest optional gadgets in a firefighter’s arsenal: a miniature camera. Clipped to a helmet, the camera allows a firefighter to record an emergency response, as when he enters a burning house, and later evaluate his performance. The recordings can be especially useful for follow-up investigations. But now the cameras are under scrutiny in San Francisco as officials raise privacy concerns. One helmet camera played a key role during the July  crash of Asiana

Airlines Flight  at San Francisco International Airport. After the Boeing  jet struck a sea wall short of the runway during landing, skidded to a stop, and caught fire, firefighters cleared the plane of passengers but somehow left -yearold Chinese student Ye Meng Yuan lying on the ground (apparently unconscious) near the plane’s left wing. Battalion chief Mark Johnson later arrived at the scene to take charge of FOR THE RECORD: Camera records video and audio.

the emergency effort that was already in progress. A camera on his helmet, recording video and audio, showed that although a fire captain informed Johnson all passengers were off the plane, no one told him about Ye, whose body became hidden beneath flame-retardant foam. The camera showed a foam-spraying truck drive over where the girl lay, killing her. She was one of just three passengers who died. Afterward, Johnson turned in his helmet footage to fire department officials investigating the matter. They subsequently accused him of breaking department policy, which bans video cameras “in any department facility.” City fire chief Joanne Hayes-White clarified the policy also included helmet cameras used on emergency scenes. “There comes a time that privacy of the individual is paramount, of greater importance than having a video,” she said. But some questioned whether the department was concerned about privacy or about preventing the publicity of unflattering situations. “What’s wrong with knowing what happened? What’s wrong with keeping people honest?” asked a lawyer for Ye’s family, defending the camera, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. After the paper published photos from the helmet recording and reported the department’s chilly response, fire officials backtracked and said they would review their policy.

Bribe report Bribespot Thailand, a new Web portal, is out to shine a light on petty corruption in Asia. Within a few weeks of its launch in August, users reported  bribe demands in Thailand through the website or Android and iPhone apps. Many came from police officers demanding money on the spot for alleged traffic violations, such as driving a motorcycle without a Thai license. In one case a man with a broken thumb claimed a hospital wouldn’t let him see a doctor unless he paid , baht (about ,) up front, even though he had insurance. The reporting service is part of, a website launched in  and run by volunteers. It allows citizens of Russia, Thailand, India, and European nations, among others, to report anonymously local bribe demands on a Google map. A Bangkok Post editorial criticized the new Thailand portal as useless because it can neither prove bribery allegations nor force the government to take action. But the Bribespot team says that by spotlighting bribery attempts, it can help build popular sentiment against corruption. —D.J.D.


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9/17/13 10:52 AM

Notebook > Science

Milky Way compass

Planetary nebulae surprise by aligning themselves along the galaxy’s plane By daniel james devine

rather than pointing at random angles. They are more likely to be aligned if they are located near the ­galaxy’s central bulge. The surprising ­pattern occurs even though individual nebulae lie light-years apart and were thought to have unique histories. The astronomers, who wrote about the phenomenon in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, believe an extinct ­magnetic field in the Milky Way arranged the butterfly nebulae in their current configurations. Other types of planetary nebulae, which have an ­elliptical shape, do not exhibit the same alignment. All visible planetary nebulae are thought to be no more than 10,000 years old.

beautiful: A cloud of dust and gas ejected from the Boomerang Nebula.

Submersed giant

The Earth’s largest known volcano is hiding where you can’t see it—underwater. Researchers studying a 400-mile-wide seamount in the Pacific Ocean, once thought to have been formed by several magma vents, say the feature is actually a single, gigantic volcano. Spreading out over 100,000 square miles, the extinct volcano, named Tamu Massif, rivals Nevada in size. It is much larger than the previous volcano record holder, Mauna Loa in Hawaii—although Mauna Loa is taller. Tamu Massif is part of a plateau called the Shatsky Rise, about 1,000 miles east of Japan. The scientists reported their discovery in Nature Geoscience. —D.J.D.


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baby: Ron Jenkins/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT/Getty Images • Boomerang Nebula: NASA/ap • Tamu Massif: Illustration courtesy IODP


“The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork,” Psalm 19 asserts. The latest mystery from the heavens involves the arrangement of beautiful gas clouds emitted by collapsing stars. Discovered in the 18th century, these ­stellar displays were misnamed “planetary nebulae” because of how they looked in early telescopes. Some planetary nebulae are known as butterfly nebulae because their gas clouds flare out only at the poles of the host stars, giving them an appearance like a butterfly or hourglass. Now, astronomers studying our galaxy, the Milky Way, have discovered that butterfly nebulae tend to be unexpectedly aligned with the plane of the galaxy. Viewing our flying saucer–shaped galaxy on edge, many of these nebulae would look like hourglasses lying on their sides,

A four-year drop in the American birth rate has finally leveled, according to preliminary data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The agency says the 2012 fertility rate stood at exactly 63 births for every 1,000 women ages 15 to 44, just slightly lower than the year before. It follows a sharp 9 percent decline in the birthrate between 2007 and 2011, which demographers attribute to the recession. The American fertility rate may be at its lowest in history (reliable recordkeeping only began in the 1920s). The rate dipped drastically during the Great Depression and peaked in the ’50s, at about double the present rate. U.S. women today expect to have 1.9 children over their lifetime. That figure is slightly below the population’s replacement rate, absent immigration. The CDC said births among teens and women in their 20s also fell to record lows, while births rose among women in their 30s and early 40s. The preterm birthrate declined, but the rate of babies born to unmarried women—about 2 of every 5—was unchanged. —D.J.D.

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9/17/13 11:00 AM

Philip Lee Harvey/Cultura/Newscom

Baby rate



Notebook > Houses of God

The Wai’oli Hui’ia Church on the island of Kaua’i in Hawaii traces its roots back to the Wai’oli Mission, which American missionaries established in . The current building dates to , and the Wai’oli Hui’ia congregation has been affiliated with the United Church of Christ since . Prior to , Wai’oli Hui’ia was a Congregational church.


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9/17/13 11:02 AM

League trauma

Head injuries and moral failures take their toll on pro football’s popularity BY ZACHARY ABATE




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viewing is down. According to Nielsen live-plus-same-day data, an average of . million viewers watched nationally televised, regular season NFL games in —down five percent from the previous year. This downward trend carried into the  preseason, where games received the lowest ratings in six years. Initial sales for Madden NFL , the latest installment in the Madden NFL video game series, were  percent lower than sales of last year’s edition. Why is the top rung of football losing ground? Could be the economy, or the increasing popularity of soccer, or maybe the concussion controversy


M NFL  so far this fall has emphasized good and poor performances by wellknown quarterbacks. Old Peyton Manning throwing for seven touchdowns in the first game of the year and out-passing his little brother, two-time Super Bowl–champion Eli, in the second. Young Robert Griffin III off to a bad start, with his Washington Redskins losing two games. Yet, the most remarkable (and almost unnoticed) football event is this: The NFL is slowly losing popularity. NFL ticket sales have dropped every year since their peak in . Television

surrounding the sport: The NFL agreed to a  million settlement with former players in August, after the players accused the league of ignoring the dangers of concussions. While the NFL vehemently denies any wrongdoing, the link between football and severe head injuries is obvious to the public. Many DOWNWARD former players suffer TREND: Fans from amyotrophic at First Energy Stadium in lateral sclerosis Cleveland, Ohio, (ALS), Parkinson’s during a game disease, and between the St. Alzheimer’s disease. Louis Rams and the Cleveland Suicides by highBrowns. profile players suffering from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) brought the issue of football-related concussions into the public light. These health concerns have led to fewer children playing tackle football. According to USA Football, participation in youth (rd-th grade) football dropped from  million to . million in . In the short run that won’t make much difference in NFL fandom, but headlined failures of NFL players to be proper role models for youth might. Among the  off-season arrests: the New York Giants’ Michael Boley (child abuse), the Chicago Bears’ J’Marcus Webb (marijuana possession), the Detroit Lions’ Amari Spievey (assault), the Cleveland Browns’ Armonty Bryant (DUI), and the New England Patriots’ Aaron Hernandez (murder). Talk of “rampant” HGH-use by players further adds to the ethical concerns surrounding the game. The NFL in response is trying to up its defense, but it’s also going on offense: Commissioner Roger Goodell wants to bring American football to Europe, with an NFL team potentially installed in England within the next decade. In September a Russian football team, the Moscow Black Storm, offered former Denver Broncos and New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow  million to play two games in a Russian league. If the NFL finds further trouble in the United States, international fans may sustain league revenue. A

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9/18/13 9:15 AM


Notebook > Sports

Notebook > Money

Where are the jobs? Despite some positive

A dog with two tails

signs in the economy, the employment picture doesn’t seem to be get-

Speculation over Fed action, crisis in Syria, highlight a strange season in the stock markets By warren cole smith

ting better. Weekly initial


of the summer. That’s a

The summer ended not with a bang but with a whimper, at least on the stock market. The Dow was down more than 5 percent during August. For the three months between Memorial Day and Labor Day, the markets were essentially flat. Of course, all three major indexes are still way up for the year, and they’ve more than doubled in the past four years. The question is: Was this summer a breather, or the beginning of a breakdown? It’s too early to tell, but there’s little question that concern over the actions of the Federal Reserve, and not economic fundamentals, caused the downward drift in the markets. For most of the summer, when the economic news was good, the markets would go down, as speculators did what speculators do: They speculated. They bet that the stronger the economy, the quicker the Fed would taper and end its $85 billion a month bond-buying scheme.

jobless claims have been below 350,000 for most

Then came Syria, and the market became the dog with two tails. Normally, when an international crisis breaks out, stocks retreat and gold and oil advance. And that happened for a day or two, but the rise in oil prices actually helped some energy companies. Wall Street traders, now back to full strength following summer vacation, flooded into the markets, turning the crisis into little more than a buying opportunity. And if an economic dog with two tails isn’t enough, consider this: Congress is now back in session. The national debt now exceeds the nation’s gross domestic product, and—according to the Heritage Foundation— federal government spending is now 21.5 percent of GDP. That means K Street lobbyists now affect the economy as much as Wall Street traders, creating a mutt only Dr. Frankenstein could love.


Scott Boehm/ap

autos: Scott Olson/getty images • syria: Local Committee of Arbeen/ap

Aug. 21

9,200 9,000

June -2.04%

July +4.90%

August -3.01%


new jobs. But if that’s true, where are they? The Labor Department’s August report, released Sept. 6, said the economy had created an underwhelming 170,000 new jobs. The same report revised downward—­ dramatically—both the June and July numbers, so we don’t know how much confidence we can have in the August number. The bottom line is that the unemployment rate was essentially unchanged. however, show plainly

9,600 Gas attack

mists say will generate

The latest report does,

NYSE Composite Index responds to crisis with Syria NYSE Composite Index

number that most econo-

that—despite some ­punditry to the ­contrary— education ­matters. The unemployment rate for college-educated adults over the age of 25 is a miniscule 3.5 percent. —W.C.S.

Showroom traffic

There’s a boom in the auto industry. Ford posted August sales 12 percent above a year ago for its best month since August 2006. GM did even better, reporting a sales jump of almost 15 percent. Nissan sales were up 22 percent, for that company’s best August ever. Toyota beat them all, surging nearly 23 percent. LMC Automotive, an industry consulting firm, said total U.S. sales last month were close to 1.5 million, about 12 percent higher than a year ago. It’s not unusual for August sales to be strong. Dealerships cut prices to clear their lots for next year’s models, and construction companies and their employees, flush with summer cash, boost the truck market. Adding to the boom this year: The Great Recession motivated many of us to hold on to our cars longer than normal. The average age of a vehicle on the road today is now about 11 years, a record high, but many of these cars need replacing. And interest rates are historically low, but creeping upward, causing some to think that the time to buy is now. Given these special circumstances, will this showroom traffic jam last? Analysts think so, ­predicting total U.S. sales this year to top 16 million. —W.C.S.


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O c t o b e r 5 , 2 0 1 3 • W ORL D  


9/17/13 5:50 PM

Notebook > Religion

A church divided

Gay agenda continues to roil worldwide Anglican Communion BY THOMAS KIDD




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Pastor Makeda Pennycooke of the nondenominational Freedom House Church in Charlotte, N.C., recently sent an email to the congregation asking for volunteer greeters to help welcome visitors. This seemingly innocuous request generated a firestorm, however, because it did not call for just any church members to serve, but “only white people.” “First impressions matter,” she said, so the church wants “the best of the best on the front doors.” This shocking statement was more complicated than it first appears: Pennycooke is African-American, and the multiracial church’s senior co-pastors, Troy and Penny Maxwell, are white. The pastors were concerned that the welcoming team did not have enough whites, and that white visitors might not see “people like themselves” when they came to church. Pennycooke quickly apologized for the email, and the church explained that she meant only to “intentionally reach out to all races.” Freedom House stated that she had gone “overboard in placing emphasis on any one race over another in trying to highlight diversity.” —T.K.


T    in Britain’s Anglican Church focused recently on a quite practical question: Can gay and lesbian civil partners both register as parents on a baptismal certificate? When Aimi and Victoria Leggett approached the Rev. George Gebauer of Warsash, England, to have their infant baptized, they requested that Gebauer list them both as the child’s mothers. He refused, saying that doing so was illegal and that no child could possibly have two parents of the same sex. Church officials reversed the decision of the retired minister, however. Archdeacon Gavin Collins said “we would be thrilled to carry out this baptism” and to record both parents as mothers. This baptismal dispute reflects larger fractures over sexuality which threaten to break apart the Church of England globally. The archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has sought to balance the liberal stance of many The Anglican practice Anglicans in Britain, Canada, and the United of ordaining and States with the conservative views of newer, marrying gays has torn thriving Anglican churches in places like sub-Saharan Africa. Welby, who opposed the the denomination ‘to legalization of gay marriage as a member of the deepest the British House of Lords, recently told a level.’ group of evangelical Anglicans that they should “repent” over the history of anti-gay —Stanley Ntagali discrimination, and acknowledge that the church was fundamentally out of step with the “revolution” that has transpired in acceptance of homosexuality. He hinted that he had not settled his own opinion about legalizing same-sex marriage. Parliament approved gay marriage earlier this year, but it allowed dissenting churches to opt out of performing same-sex weddings. That exemption irritates activists and civil partners like Barrie and Tony Drewitt-Barlow, who are suing the Church of England to force all ministers to conduct gay weddings. Barrie Drewitt-Barlow explained that “it upsets me because I want it so much—a big lavish ceremony, the whole works. … I am still not getting what I want.” The marriage controversies, along with the denomination’s ordination of openly gay priests and bishops, have alarmed traditional Anglicans and made global schism more likely. Conservatives led by African archbishops plan to meet in Kenya for a second Global NOT GETTING Anglican Future Conference the WHAT THEY WANT: Tony and Barrie week of Oct. . Ugandan Drewitt-Barlow. Archbishop Stanley Ntagali recently registered his continuing opposition to Anglicans ordaining and marrying gays, saying that these practices had torn the denomination “to the deepest level.” Kenyan Archbishop Eliud Wabukala likewise contends that gay activists’ “overthrow” of the created order of male and female was just one symptom of the church’s spiritual disease.

 


9/16/13 4:54 PM

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9/16/13 4:27 PM

Mailbag ‘Be less than you can be’

Aug.  I am blind and currently on SSDI, a much better program than SSI. I started a PR firm with five partners and hope to earn enough to get off government assistance. I can make roughly , a month and not lose benefits. A blind friend on SSI says she loses benefits any time she makes money. That encourages fraud because it penalizes work and saving money. —A T, Chicago, Ill. Thanks for raising the alarm about the federal government’s disastrous disability programs. As with so many well-intentioned government programs, something good turned into something entirely different.

You say that sex is “the most broadly volatile” of God’s gifts, but of course God does not cause us to sin. God’s gift of sex is pure, holy, and to be enjoyed within marriage. —J S, Gladwin, Mich.

—K W, Huntington, W.Va.

I know a man who lived in a house with no utilities and operated a tiny business in his living room. In the late s a county social worker offered to cover his rent if he moved to a better apartment, but he would have had to give up the business to qualify. He refused, and now his business has several employees. The government should not pay people not to do what they should be doing. —P S, New York, N.Y.

‘The great temptation’ Aug.  Joel Belz’s comments about sexual compulsion are very instructive. It seems more and more people are unable to manage their sexual instincts. Like the Israelites, we are far from God and it will take catastrophe to turn us from our wicked ways. —D H, Arcadia, Mo.

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and reunions and parties hardly ever make my calendar. For many years I’ve kept the niggling inner protest safely locked away—until now. —J M, Meridian, Idaho

Last year I spent nine painful months at home after back surgery and a serious infection. Church friends, neighbors, and family gave me strength and joy each day with calls, prayers, cards, and visits with food. Thanks for noting how “something is better than nothing.” —J M, Marietta, Ga.

‘God strong’ Aug.  John Piper’s answers were scriptural, insightful, and uplifting. —C L, Rochester, Minn.

I agree that compulsive sexual behavior has cost us all greatly, but compulsive behaviors related to alcoholism and drug addiction are not very far behind. Society pays a horrendous price for these behaviors in terms of healthcare and the many victims of automobile accidents, for example. —G J, Fort Mill, S.C.

‘It’s the small things’ Aug.  There is so much wisdom in the saying, “Pick up a shovel.” I don’t get many opportunities to do big things, but how many opportunities for doing small things do I let pass because I don’t pick up a shovel? —E M, Townsend, Mass.

This column pierced a calloused spot in my heart. I’ve been a missionary for almost  years. Important work fills my time. I rarely send birthday cards,

It just touches me deep down that there are still people like Piper who are passionate and willing to talk about God still being on the throne. —J P, Dinuba, Calif.

‘Hand-to-hand combat’ Aug.  I too like to grow a variety of plants. I enjoy the smell and feel of soil while also dealing with the challenges of the curse upon creation. Although you did not capitalize the genus name of the harlequin bug, that did not distract from this excellent musing. —G A. D, Farmers Branch, Texas

Next year Mindy Belz should find out what the harlequin bug eggs look like and look for them early. Just like sin, if we kill them in the egg stage then the adults cannot do their damage. —D B, Greenville, S.C.



9/16/13 4:44 PM



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‘Miraculous ways’ Aug.  Thanks for the obituary of Chinese pastor Samuel Lamb. I once heard him tell how he was taken off hard labor and became the prison barber. For the next several years every prisoner came to him every month. Each one sat in his chair and heard his witness for Christ. Isn’t that just like God? —M B, Winter Garden, Fla.

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‘Chains of history’ Aug.  Racism can go away, but it will take a spirit of forgiveness for each other and a commitment not to teach prejudice. It would also be very helpful if the media would state the news without speculating about motive. Their handling of the Zimmerman/Martin case brought back a lot of very bad memories of my own prejudice that I have been trying to overcome for  years, and the president didn’t help. —R T, Bettles, Alaska

Dispatches Aug.  Thank you for the story about Daniel and Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler and their daughter Abigail. I smiled and prayed for baby Abigail

through my tears, both in joy for her survival and in the pain of losing my baby girl to Potter’s Syndrome  years ago. —W L, Russellville, Ark.

‘From politics to education’ Aug.  Regarding the comment that WORLD should “get off the politics thing,” I love the magazine. Let the ostriches go somewhere else. —K M, Chantilly, Va.

‘Cut it off’ Aug.  This column enabled me to tear up the many notes I’d scratched on scraps of paper trying to express some truths for someone in our lives. You said it all and backed it up with solid truth from Scripture. —D M, Hellertown, Pa.

Many American Christians seem to need a reminder of the price Christ paid, giving up His life to give us life, and that we need to give up our lives for Him. —B O, Orwigsburg, Pa.

‘Turkey’s inside man’ July  Thank you for your excellent coverage of Turkey. My wife and I

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have become very close to a Muslim Turkish family living in the United States. They are hospitable, kind, and quite proud of the secular democracy under which they grew up. They stand with the protesters back home. —D D, Carbondale, Ill.

‘Occupied territory’ July  I was almost in tears at the end of this column. Many Christians are so insular they are of no use in helping to reach the current generation. We are called to be salt and light, not a cozy spiritual cabin in the middle of nowhere, and if we are obedient we will get our hands dirty. Not only should we back up people like Doug TenNapel, many of us need to be more like him. —J S, Berea, Ky.

‘Remember the signs’ July  Thanks to Andrée Seu Peterson for the forthright reminders of those, from the apostle Peter to more recent pathfinders of the faith, who have clearly marked the shipwreck shoals.


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‘Where are they now?’ June  This column on marriage moved me to tears. I will be dwelling for a long while on Jeanne Damoff’s advice to young couples: “God really is sovereign, loving, and good … nothing you would choose for yourself could ever surpass the beauty and wonder of the gifts He has prepared for you.” —H C, Salem, Ore.

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Crimes against the party In our brave new world, scorched earth warfare has become socially acceptable



“I    and disgusted with myself. I want to apologize. I have been offensive. I have apologized to my coach … and to my teammates. I owe an apology to the fans and to this community. I am so ashamed, but there are no excuses. What I did was wrong and I will accept the consequences” (Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Riley Cooper, after his use of the N-word at a concert went viral). I don’t know, this apology doesn’t do it for me. Where is the offer of his first-born child? I mean, Todd Akin lost his future in politics—which is only fair: He shouldn’t have said “legitimate” when he meant “actual.” The noble media hath told us Akin was insensitive to women. If it were so, it was a grievous fault, and grievously hath Akin answered it. We can be comforted that Southern cooking maven Paula Deen at least had her terror-stricken, mascarastreaked face plastered on every tabloid, with . million in endorsements and  million in TV and restaurant deals publicly stripped from her. “Gotcha” existed when I was a kid, and probably long before the satraps of Persia set Daniel up and then reported him to King Darius (Daniel :-). But generally speaking, if someone made an ignorant remark, we used to say, “That was an ignorant remark,” and move on. What is different today is that gotcha is institutionalized, ravenous, and insatiable: Scorched earth warfare is socially acceptable. My daughter told me that if you want to get someone in trouble in high school, drop the R-word (“racist”) in a circle of onlookers and walk away. The poison starts acting immediately. The other notable aspect of the modern gotcha is its expanded application. We no longer reserve it for murder, larceny, and graft, but employ it for careless word slippage. Even in the case of more serious transgressions, Jesus evinced a distinct distaste for gotcha, and sent an adulterous woman on her way when the Pharisees were too gleeful in reporting


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her (John :-). My earliest moral teaching was dispensed by Aunt Pris the day a cadre of us cousins came to elicit her righteous wrath upon another cousin for some minor infraction, and she instead turned her ire on us for our treacherous motives. The miserable Cooper, Deen, and Akin apologies sounded so oddly familiar. Nikita Khrushchev said, in his  speech to the th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, “Stalin originated the concept ‘enemy of the people.’ This term automatically rendered it unnecessary that the ideological errors of a man or men engaged in a controversy be proven. This term made possible the usage of the cruel repression … against … those who were only suspected of hostile intent. … This concept ‘enemy of the people’ actually eliminated the possibility of … making one’s views known on this or that issue, even those of a practical character. In the main … the only proof of guilt used … was the confession of the accused himself, and, as subsequent probing proved, confessions were acquired through physical pressures against the accused.” One Russian example from many: On Feb. , , Comrade Eike, arrested in  for slander, had had enough, and told the court how he made “the so-called confessions of mine … under pressure from the investigative judge. … After that I began to write all this nonsense.” Contemporary American culture doesn’t yet use the “physical pressures” Khrushchev cited—unless you call career loss physical. One American example: The Missouri State Fair Commission last month banned a rodeo clown who wore an Obama mask “from ever participating” again in the state fair, and a second clown who called Obama a clown profusely apologized. Before the state fair does anything with the Missouri Rodeo Cowboy Association again, it must receive “proof that all officials and subcontractors of the MRCA have successfully participated in sensitivity training.” (Perhaps they will share a cellblock with football player Cooper at the rehabilitation center.) The NAACP, outraged, has demanded a Justice Department investigation into the clowns’ hate crime. I surely wouldn’t want to be the one who speaks out urging moderation on that one. No siree, I say we draw and quarter the guy. “O brave new world, That has such people in’t” (William Shakespeare, The Tempest). A



9/11/13 3:39 PM

Marvin Olasky

Head games

All that glitters within museum display cases is not the whole gold story




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the most popular motifs of ancient American cultures, which revered serpents as supernatural beings.” I’ve seen snake motifs so often in countries ranging from Cambodia to Greece to Zambia that the possibility of cultural memory of the satanic serpent—Genesis, chapter —seems more like a probability. (See “Snakes on the brain,” Aug. , .) But we don’t hear much about snake worship or the bloodthirstiness of ancient societies, do we? Hollywood often romanticizes exotic people living in societies without Christian influence: See Avatar, Dances with Wolves, Pocahontas, and many more movies that recycle the sentimentalism kicked off by the s writing of François Fénelon, whose primitive hero orates, “We abhor that brutality which, under the gaudy names of ambition and glory … sheds the blood of men who are all brothers.” Abhor? The idea that pre-Christians were peaceful was common among th-century “Age of Reason” French philosophers and their devotees, like Benjamin Franklin. Charles Dickens in  decapitated that theory, noting with only slight exaggeration that the life of “the noble savage … is passed chin deep in a lake of blood. … All the noble savage’s wars with his fellowsavages (and he takes no pleasure in anything else) are wars of extermination.” The MFAH golden exhibit is beautiful, regardless of the bloody uses to which the items were put, so the artisans probably took pleasure in their creativity— but would a pre-Columbian ever write, and perhaps even think, what the apostle Paul famously wrote in chapter  of his first letter to the Corinthians: “Love is patient and kind”? Yes, the th century included mass murders by Communists and Nazis who put into practice their atheistic and Darwin-derived beliefs. Yes, previous centuries included brutality by representatives of the Roman Catholic Church and other ecclesiastical bodies. But Christ’s grace has changed hundreds of millions of lives and multiplied compassion: “In Christ God was reconciling the world to himself” ( Corinthians ). Sadly, few students and museumgoers learn that, so we kick away the ladder of Christ that has saved individuals and also served cultures. A


P  so dominates most reference works that it’s hard to find accurate reporting of even nonpolitical subjects such as pre-Columbian art. For example, Wikipedia’s article on the creations of native Americans before  is all sweetness and light, noting only that some works showed human shapes “but with animal features such as bird feet, reptilian eyes, or feline fangs.” Hmm … at what were those reptilian eyes staring, and what were those feline fangs biting? While living in the Lone Star state for two decades I enjoyed the frank way many Texans talk: That tendency even carries over to the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston (MFAH), which describes one of its treasures this way: “Cup depicting the Decapitator Deity, the head of a feline. It holds an axe and bound captives, ready for sacrifice.” Glory to the god who wants heads cut off! That’s a repeated motif in MFAH’s Glassell Collection of Pre-Columbian Gold, which exhibits dozens of items “depicting a Decapitator owl deity grasping a human victim and a knife. … Ornament depicting a decapitated enemy’s head sprouting plants. Trophy heads were believed to nourish the earth. … Nose ornaments that transformed the wearer’s face into that of a feline. The whiskers are depicted as serpents.” For several thousand years uncivil civilizations waxed and waned in the Americas as inhabitants warred on each other and executed captives or other victims. Art served rulers and shamans, who wore gold coverings that made the wearers’ skin appear like that of a shining one (halal in Hebrew, Lucifer in Latin). Kings and priests also wore over their noses gold ornaments depicting the face of the sun god, with golden serpents extended outward to represent the sun’s rays. The ornament pictured on this page, according to its MFAH description, “depicts a fanged earth god. Streams of blood flow from its mouth, and coiled snakes slither along the top of its head.” It comes from the Chavin people (- ..) of present-day Peru, who depicted felines and serpents and “believed that gold was the substance of the sun and that it possessed spiritual power.” An MFAH description of a ceramic vessel showing a serpent deity even notes that “Snakes were one of


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WORLD Magazine Oct. 5, 2013 Vol. 28 No. 20  

Today’s news, Christian views

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