In this edition of DR Radio, the team looks at the ObamaCare repeal debacle, musical chairs in the White House, and the temptation to compromise our faith for a seat at the table or power. Also, Jay also takes the reins in the latest installment of DR Recommends.
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- Jay’s Amazon Prime Doc! – Today’s the special day! Today, and today only you can watch a brand new Jay Friesen film on Amazon Prime. [Jay, give details]
- Hadley’s Healthcare Update – Since most people have lives to live, they don’t pay close attention to the nitty-gritty world of the United States Senate. Most will just read headlines, which basically say that the GOP attempt to repeal Obamacare has been a disaster. So, Hadley, bring people up to speed on what happened? And why? And what next?
- Charlie Gard, RIP – On our last show we talked at length about the plight of UK infant Charlie Gard, essentially held hostage by the government-run hospital and not allowed to receive experimental treatment. The months of dithering resulted in a deterioration of Charlie’s condition, and his parents ceased their efforts. Charlie passed away. RIP
- Russell Brand Takes Religion Seriously? – This is an off-beat one! Russell Brand is a British comedian best known for making outrageous statements and once being married to Katy Perry for something like 20 minutes. He has a new podcast, and in a recent episode carried on an astonishingly intelligent one-hour conversation with Christian theologian Alastair McGrath. The topics range from science, atheism, God, and how we know things. We’ll post the link, and it’s worth a listen. [https://relevantmagazine.com/slice/russell-brand-sat-down-with-theologian-alister-mcgrath-for-a-fascinating-conversation-about-faith/]
- Declining Marriage Rates – Bloomberg reports that the marriage rate in the US continues to plummet as the median age for marriage continues to climb. America continues to outpace the rest of the developed world, but the gap is narrowing in the wrong direction. Guys, this is an interesting cultural indicator; what could it mean?
- Russia Sanctions – Lots happening on the Eastern front! The US Senate has approved new sanctions against Russia, which are almost certain to be signed by the President. In response, this weekend Vladimir Putin removed 755 US Embassy employees from Russia. Meanwhile, NATO Commander James Stavridis says that “US credibility as a global force for good is deteriorating by the moment.” This doesn’t seem encouraging. Are things going to escalate? President Trump has styled himself as a “hit back ten times harder” kind of President, and it is unclear what that means when it comes to Russia. Are we going to find out?
[Sponsor]: ADF: Building Freedom’s Future 5:51
[Game]: NvN: “Verbal Handcuffs” – When someone won’t stop talking (usually about a subject you have no interest in). The talker has verbally forced you to stand there and listen, even though you have given many clues that you have checked out. Examples: vacant stares, looking at your watch, checking your phone, answering in short one word phrases.
Segment One: Musical Chairs, White House Edition!
Staffing changes in President Trump’s White House have been difficult to keep track of. Just in the last week, Communications Director Sean Spicer resigned and was replaced by Anthony Scaramucci. “Mooch’s” career should end up as a Trivial Pursuit question: in one week he got a job at the White House; his wife had a baby, left him, and filed for divorce; he gave an extremely unhinged interview with a reporter and was then promptly fired. Reince Priebus resigned. Finally, General John Kelly was hired as a new Chief of Staff in the hopes that he might bring some stability to the internal operations of this Administration. And we shouldn’t neglect to mention that for the entire week preceding all of this, President Trump was throwing his own Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, under the bus on social media trying to get him to resign. Ironic, since the President partly built his brand by saying, “You’re Fired.” I suppose it’s a bit more difficult in real life?
Now, one could, we suppose, (if you squint your eyes and tilt your head just so) see some kind of mastermind genius at work here. But the ordinary person, and ordinary nation, and ordinary adversary, sees C-H-A-O-S. What do you guys think? Some people shrug their shoulders, some people see this as Trump going to war with the “Establishment” foes constantly undermining him (“leakers”), and yet others think all this is juvenile and downright dangerous.
Some things to talk about:
The Politics Problem. Does this help/hurt the Republican brand? Will buyer’s remorse set in?
The Governance Problem. Does the 24/7/365 drama impede actual governance and getting things done?
The Global Context Problem. Is this dramatic “House of Cards” style Administration creating a context for other nations to flex their muscle? If you give the impression your hands are full internally, is it beyond imagination that, say, Iran might expand its influence in the Middle East? Russia to the south? China in the Pacific Rim? North Korea is already making noise….
[Sponsor] ADF: Frances Jimenez’s Story: 2:21
[Game]: Fill in the Blank Wedding Edition!
. At last my love has come along. My lonely days are over and life is like a [song.] – Etta James, At Last
- It’s a beautiful night. We’re looking for something dumb to do. Hey baby, I think I want to [marry] you. – Bruno Mars, Marry You
- Oo baby, here I am, signed, [sealed], delivered, I’m yours. – Stevie Wonder, Signed, Sealed, Delivered
- Have I told you [lately] that I love you? Have I told you there’s no one else above you? – Rod Stewart, Have I told you lately
- I hope you don’t mind, I hope you don’t mind That I put down in words How [wonderful] life is while you’re in the world. – Elton John, Your Song
- Some day, when I’m awfully low,
When the world is cold,
I will feel a glow just thinking of you
And the way you [look tonight]. – Frank Sinatra, The Way You Look Tonight
- Take my hand, Take my whole life, too, For I can’t help falling in [love] with you. – Can’t Help Falling in Love, Elvis Presley
- Got me looking so [crazy] right now
Your love’s got me looking so [crazy} right now
Got me looking so [crazy] right now
Your touch got me looking so [crazy] right now – Beyonce, Jay-Z, Crazy in Love
9. I can be your [hero] baby
I can kiss away the pain
I will stand by you forever
You can take my breath away – Enrique Iglesias, Hero
10. What can make me feel this way?
Talkin’ ’bout my [girl] – The Temptations, My Girl
Segment Two: Evangelicals & Trump
We all got extremely weary of talking about the evangelical embrace of Donald Trump during the election season. It might be worth revisiting now that we are talking about President Donald Trump. We bring this up on the heels of a report from the Christian Post that the White House has been holding a lot of “listening sessions” for evangelical faith leaders, making them feel a part of the process and giving them opportunity voice concerns.
In another CP article, evangelical leaders gush about how the President’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner is their “key liaison” with the President. In the article, many of these leaders make openly partisan defenses of Kushner’s involvement with the Russia investigation.
This raises a lot of questions and there are a lot of different ways to interpret all this. It can look like Christians are just another political constituency “rent seeking.” It can look like outright sycophancy. Or is it just concerned Christians doing what they can to have their concerns addressed?
What do you guys think about evangelical involvement with the Trump Administration so far? And do you have thoughts about how Christians should approach such involvement?
Segment Three: Dead Reckoning Recommends (Jay)
- My movie
- Michael Daves – Orchids and Violence
An international organisation of evil (as it is repeatedly called) bent on world domination. KAOS was founded in 1904 in Bucharest but is a Delaware corporation for tax purposes “KAOS” is a play on the word “chaos”, but is not an acronym.
Their leader is known as Mr. Big, although this appears to be a descriptive term rather than an actual title.