Here’s the latest from the crossroads of faith, media & culture: 06/24/22 I interrupt my blogging break (I’ll be back Monday, July 21) for this comment on today’s historic Supreme Court abortion decision. For what it’s worth, I think it’s the right decision. The question now is where do we go from here. Below is […]
Here’s the latest from the crossroads of faith, media & culture: 03/25/22
The runaway success of Shannon Bream’s first book Women of the Bible Speak begets The Mothers And Daughters Of The Bible Speak. The parent book notched 15 weeks in a row on the New York Times Bestseller List, five of them in the number one spot. It was the 10th best-selling book for adult nonfiction in 2021 according to Nielsen BookScan. With the sequel officially due out on Tuesday, the Fox News @ Night anchor offers more insights on how God often used imperfect women to bring about His divine plans and how their stories relate to challenges women, the nation and the world at large are facing today.
JWK: I’d like to talk with you about some of the stuff you’ve been covering Fox News @ Night but, first , congratulations on the success of your previous book – and on the new book. Tell me about The Mothers And Daughters Of The Bible Speak.
Shannon Bream: We look at a lot of women in The Bible again. Of course, they’re the focus – but we look for the special relationship lenses. Some of them have mother-daughter (relationships) but we also (look at) mothers who have sons (and) women who are daughters and look at their different perspectives. We also have spiritual mothers and daughters – people who aren’t related by blood but come together and kind of this idea of chosen family.
I think of Naomi and Ruth as a mother-in-law and daughter-in-law who went through horrible tragedies together – how that bonded their relationship and (how) their faith was at the center of the relationship. God took them through some really difficult things. So, a lot of different perspectives. Some of these are really positive relationships (but) sometimes relationships are included in The Bible to show us an example of what not to do. So, we include the flawed and the less flawed – because we all have some (flaws). I became very encouraged through (studying) these relationships. We can learn a lot (from them).
JWK: The subtitle of the book is Lessons on Faith from Nine Biblical Families. So, I guess the concept of family plays a big part in it.
SB: Absolutely. We start out with Jochebed and Miriam …and the story at the very beginning where Moses‘ life is completely in danger because he’s supposed to be thrown in the Nile River and killed (as) any baby that was born as a boy baby to the Hebrews. Instead, his mom says “No! I’m going to have this baby and protect him!” She’s very courageous in doing that and when she can’t hide him anymore she sends him off with Miriam in a little baby sort of ark that is made to put him out into the water. Miriam stands by as a kind of guardian watching and seeing. When Pharaoh’s daughter shows up she hears this baby crying. She has great compassion on him and Miriam steps up and says “Hey! I can help you with this if you want to have a Hebrew woman to nurse this baby until he comes to live with you in the palace” – and that’s what happened.
So, Jochebed and Miriam both make these bold decisions. They work together as a mother-daughter team to protect Moses who, obviously, goes on to be the one who leads the Israelites on their amazing exodus out of Egypt and to their freedom.
JWK: The world seemed pretty messed up back then. Do you see any parallels between what has happening in biblical times and what’s happening in our world today?
SB: For sure. (With) so many of these stories that we look at centuries ago it doesn’t take too much work to see how they apply to our lives today. These are women – centuries ago – who were dealing with widowhood, infertility, running from famine, from danger, financial trouble, physical health (and) worries about their kids – all the things that women in 2022 are still experiencing.
But I’m really struck by a lot of the parallels with what’s happening in Ukraine because we see these courageous mothers bundling up their children, taking whatever have, leaving their lives behind and trying to get their children to safety. I was struck by the story about Mary when Jesus was just a little baby. I write about this in the book – where she goes on the run with him because she’s told that Herod is going to be trying to kill her son. So, she and Joseph pack up and they’re refugees on the run into a strange land with a little baby – and God was aware of their struggle, of their suffering and everything that they went through in that process. It reminds me of these brave moms doing the same thing right now. God is aware of their suffering, He’s guiding them, He’s with them and providing for them along the way.
JWK: Of course, the other big story going on right now are the Senate hearings on the nomination of Judge Ketanji Brown to the Supreme Court. You’re a lawyer and you cover the Supreme Court for Fox News. What are your thoughts on how things are going?
SB: It’s such a historic moment for her to be the first black female nominated to the Court. I think that she will sail through. The Democrats have the votes that they need but I think she’ll probably get some Republican votes too…She seems like the kind of candidate who has lived a perfect life for this moment. I mean she’s been at the top of her class…She’s clerked at the Supreme Court for the very man she hopes to replace, Justice Breyer. She has been described by people – whether they support her or not ideologically, whether they agree with her on things or not – (as) totally qualified. She is very collegial. A big part of what happens at the Court is being able to build coalitions and have good relationships and sway people to your side of the argument. It seems like she has all of those tools and we’re seeing that on display in these confirmation hearings where she doesn’t seem to get flustered and seems to be very sure of her credentials, her philosophy and where she is going next – which she hopes will be the Supreme Court.
JWK: What do you think of the way she’s being treated by the Republicans? Democrats and some commentators seem to think its pretty rough but those on the other side say it’s nothing compared to what Democrats put Justice Kavanaugh and other Republican nominees through.
SB: That Kavanaugh hearing was exceptionally contentious, I think, for so many different reasons. From the very beginning it was filled with interruptions and objections. This was pre-Covid so we had the general public able to come in and people would protest, stand up and shout. So, it was very unnerving and very different.
This time around I think that, of course, the senators are going to be tough on the nominee. They’re gonna press her on her positions as a judge (and) sentencing decisions that she’s made. So, there’s definitely some tough back and forth but I think you see that in every confirmation hearing. I think the difference this time (is) it seems a little bit more civilized in that you don’t have the public element sort of protesting and jumping up and screaming during actual questions – but I would say she’s definitely gotten tough questioning from a number of the Republican senators who say they’re just doing their job.
JWK: Clarence Thomas also received some pretty rough treatment during his hearing which I believe were chaired by Joe Biden. As we speak Justice Thomas is in the hospital with an apparent infection. We all hope and pray he gets better (Note: He as since been released.) but if there was to be any kind need to replace a conservative justice at this time – for whatever reason – that would be politically explosive, wouldn’t it?
SB: I don’t know that there was ever two confirmation processes that happened so quickly (together). Justices Roberts and Alito were pretty close together. If something happened at this point – if a seat opened up on the bench – I would never have experienced something like that before. I don’t know that that (ever) happened so close in history.
JWK: Plus add in the approaching Midterms and kaboom.
SB: Yeah, and the Midterms coming too. I feel like we all feel like the political environment in D.C. and beyond has felt very heated the last few years. I think that everybody is trying to find places where you can see some bipartisanship. It’s been nice to see that when it comes to trying to help out Ukraine and equip them and help the people (there) with their crisis. There’s not a lot of bipartisanship though. Even just a couple of decades ago…Supreme Court confirmation votes were like 90 to 10 or 85 to 15. It’s hard to imagine that. I feel like those days are over and I’m not sure we’ll ever get back there.
JWK: As a person of faith – and, really, just a person – whether it be abortion or whatever, I’m sure you have some strong opinions about the issues that would come before the Court and how you would like to see them decided. How do you maintain your discipline and objectivity when trying to cover these issues fairly?
SB: I think all of us as human beings definitely have strong opinions on things that are going on in the world. For me, my duty and my obligation and responsibility to the viewer is just to give them the facts and keep my personal emotions or opinions out of it. I feel like that is my job each day. I owe them that so that they can get the information unfiltered and make their own decisions about how they feel about all of these difficult things that we cover. Our opinion hosts are super entertaining and I love to hear from them about how they’re thinking and feeling about all the different issues. I think our viewers love that too but I know, as part of the News Division, that our audience expects me to give them the unvarnished truth and let them make their own decisions.
Note: This is my second interview with Shannon Bream. You can find our first conversation in which she talked about her earlier book and shared details her personal life journey here.
Where to find Duck Family Treasure. Fox Nation President Jason Klarman (yes, Fox Nation has a president) has announced the platform will debut the new series starring the Robertson family that first gained fame on A&E‘s breakthrough hit Duck Dynasty (2012-2017) in June. The ten initial episodes will drop weekly.
In making the announcement, Klarman noted that “Since adding the coveted Duck Dynasty series to our platform in 2020, the response from our subscribers proved they were in the market for more. We’re proud to offer this original one-of-a-kind show in addition to our already extensive library of lifestyle and entertainment content.”
Duck Family Treasure will spotlight the brother duo of Jase and Jep Robertson as they pursue a hunt for buried treasure alongside their Uncle Si and history expert/treasure hunter Murry Crowe. Each episode will feature the Robertson family as they search for precious treasures, rare artifacts and hidden gems. Throughout their journey, the Robertsons will also showcase the people, places, and lessons they encounter along the way. Missy and Jessica Robertson, Jase and Jep’s wives and other members of the Robertson family will also be featured on the show.
Warm Springs Productions is producing alongside the Robertson’s Tread Lively Entertainment.
Encourage one another and build each other up – 1 Thessalonians 5:11