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Kresta in the Afternoon – February 24th, 2015

Talking about the “Things That Matter Most” on February 24, 2015

4:00 – Kresta Comments

In this special hour-long commentary, Al gives his thoughts on a variety of questions and topics. Are secularists a societal liability? Would politicians hire a campaign manager who supported their opponent? Are Christians to blame for the war on Christianity? How does the LA Times decide the news? Is there too much prayer in politics? We’ll also look into yet another report of ISIS violence, this time concerning the kidnapping of dozens of Syrian Christians.

 5:00 – Kresta Comments: And So it Begins: The Aftereffect of 50 Shades 

We won’t say we told you so. A 19-year-old student at the University of Illinois-Chicago accused of sexually assaulting a female classmate says he was reenacting 50 Shades of Grey. According to police reports, Mohammad Hossain went to his dorm with an unnamed 19-year old woman. He removed her clothes down to her underwear, bound her hands and legs, put a cap over her eyes and stuffed a necktie into her mouth. He began to strike her with a belt and she pleaded for him to stop. The woman worked her hands free and Hossain held her arms back and sexually assaulted her. Hossain later said on Facebook that he was “finally satisfied.” Al has some comments.

5:20 – Born into a Battle: Pope Francis and Spiritual Warfare 

Pope Francis has reaffirmed the reality of spiritual warfare throughout his papacy. In order to win the battle against temptation, we must know who our enemy is and how he operates. Once this is understood we can develop tools and strategies for fighting him. Paul Thigpen, author of the Manual for Spiritual Warfare, joins us.

5:40 – Discussing Current Church Events with Archbishop Vigneron

Archbishop Allen Vigneron of Detroit is with us to discuss a variety of contemporary Church topics. We’ll talk about the ongoing plight of Christians in the Middle East, the success of the March for Life and Pope Francis’ Year for Marriage

Kresta in the Afternoon – February 19, 2015

Talking about the “Things That Matter Most” on February 19, 2015 

4:00 – Scythian: What Happens when Rock Star Charisma Meets Celtic Dervish Fiddling Meets Ukrainian Ballads

Scythian is a band like no other. Named after Ukrainian nomads, it plays immigrant rock with thunderous energy, technical prowess and storytelling songwriting. They are now celebrating more than ten years of making people dance and are looking forward to more. Band members Alex and Dan Fedoryka join us.

4:40 – Kresta Comments: Why it Matters to Say “Islamic Terrorism”

During this week’s international summit to combat violent extremism, President Obama has made it crystal clear that he does not associate ISIS and other terrorist groups with Islam. He claims that doing so would legitimize the terrorists and further their influence on potential recruits. He has said multiple times that we are not at war with Islam. Al responds that of course we aren’t at war with all of Islam and nobody says we are. But it is foolhardy to disregard any connection between Islam and ISIS. He explains why.

5:00 – 9 Things to Know and Share about Lent

Jimmy Akin is here with the most important things to know and share about the Lenten season. View the list here.

5:20 – PTSD and Veteran Suicide

The enormous success of “American Sniper” and the ongoing trial of Eddie Ray Routh, the man accused of killing Chris Kyle, has given national attention to the issue of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. Dr. Edward Tick speaks with us about the nature of PTSD and what we can do to help people suffering with it.

5:40 – Come and See Scripture Study

Laurie Manhardt invites you on a journey through the Holy Land and the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke. She draws from biblical archaeology, the writings of the early Church and other sources to construct a vivid picture of the life and world of Christ. Laurie is with us today.

“Moderate” Muslims show their true colors

This is a common Muslim point of view. I don’t especially like the headline: “Moderate Muslims show their true colors.”  After all, what is a moderate Muslim? Is it a lukewarm Muslim? A Muslim who disagrees with the Qur’an on democracy, human dignity, religious liberty? A Muslim who is moderate in the use of the penalties prescribed in the Qur’an? I don’t know. Saudi Arabia is our ally and yet there are 1 or 2 public beheadings a week as well as amputations. See the interview with a Saudi executioner below.

Al

9 things you need to know about Lent

by Jimmy Akin via JimmyAkin.com

1. What is Lent?

According to the Universal Norms for the Liturgical Year and the General Roman Calendar [.pdf]:

27. Lent [is a liturgical season that] is ordered to preparing for the celebration of Easter, since the lenten liturgy prepares for celebration of the paschal mystery both catechumens, by the various stages of Christian initiation, and the faithful, who recall their own Baptism and do penance.

2. Where does the word “Lent” come from?

The Catholic Encyclopedia notes:

The Teutonic word Lent, which we employ to denote the forty days’ fast preceding Easter, originally meant no more than the spring season. Still it has been used from the Anglo-Saxon period to translate the more significant Latin term quadragesima (French carême, Italian quaresima, Spanish, cuaresma), meaning the “forty days”, or more literally the “fortieth day”. This in turn imitated the Greek name for Lent, tessarakoste (fortieth), a word formed on the analogy of Pentecost (pentekoste), which last was in use for the Jewish festival before New Testament times.

3. When does Lent begin and end?

The Universal Norms state:

28. The forty days of lent run from Ash Wednesday up to but excluding the Mass of the Lord’s Supper exclusive.

This mean that Lent begins at 12:01 a.m. on Ash Wednesday and runs to just before the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on the evening of Holy Thursday. As soon as the Mass of the Lord’s Supper starts, it’s a new liturgical season: Triduum.

4. Is Lent exactly forty days long as currently celebrated?

No, it’s actually a little longer than forty days. The number is approximative, for spiritual purposes.

More info on the precise number of days here.

5. Are the Sundays in Lent part of Lent?

Yes. See question 1 for the duration of Lent. It runs from Ash Wednesday to Holy Thursday. No exceptions are made for Sundays.

Furthermore:

30. The Sundays of this time of year are called the First, Second, Third, Fourth, and Fifth Sundays of Lent [emphasis added]. The Sixth Sunday, on which Holy Week begins, is called, “Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord.”

6. Why is the number forty significant?

Pope Benedict explains:

Lent recalls the forty days of our Lord’s fasting in the desert, which He undertook before entering into His public ministry. We read in the Gospel: “Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. He fasted for forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was hungry” (Mt 4,1-2). Like Moses, who fasted before receiving the tablets of the Law (cf. Ex 34,28) and Elijah’s fast before meeting the Lord on Mount Horeb (cf. 1 Kings19,8), Jesus, too, through prayer and fasting, prepared Himself for the mission that lay before Him, marked at the start by a serious battle with the tempter [Message for Lent 2009].

7. What are the rules for fasting in Lent?

Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are days of fast. The law of fast binds those who are from 18 to 59 years old, unless they are excused for a sufficient reason (e.g., a medical condition that requires more frequent food, etc.).

According to the Church’s official rules (as opposed to someone’s personal summary of them):

The law of fasting allows only one full meal a day, but does not prohibit taking some food in the morning and evening, observing—as far as quantity and quality are concerned—approved local custom [Apostolic ConstitutionPaenitemini, Norms, III:2].

The system of mitigated fasting that is required by law thus allows for “one full meal” and “some food” in the morning and evening. The Church’s official document governing the practice of fasting does not encourage scrupulous calculations about how much the two instances of “some food” add up to, though obviously each individually is less than a full meal, since only one of those is allowed.

More on the discipline of fasting here.

8. What are the rules for abstinence in Lent?

Ash Wednesday and all Fridays of Lent are days of abstinence (as well as Good Friday). An exception is if a solemnity falls on a Friday, but no solemnities fall on Fridays in 2015, so all Fridays are days of abstinence.

The law of abstinence binds those who are 14 years old or older.

According to the Church’s official rules:

The law of abstinence forbids the use of meat, but not of eggs, the products of milk or condiments made of animal fat [Paenitemini, Norms III:1].

More on the discipline of abstinence here.

9. Do you have to give up something for Lent? If you do, can you have it on Sundays?

The traditional custom of giving up something for Lent is voluntary. Consequently, if you give something up, you set the parameters. If you choose to allow yourself to have it on Sundays as to promote joy on this holy day, that is up to you.

Kresta in the Afternoon – February 18, 2015

Talking about the “Things That Matter Most” on February 18, 2015 

4:00 – What You Need to Know About the Physical and Emotional Consequences of Sex Outside of Marriage 

Teens have their whole lives ahead of them, but making poor choices can undermine their hopes for a bright future. Too many young adults look back on decisions they made in the heat of the moment and regret the path they chose—they wish someone had told them how premarital sex could negatively impact their future relationships. Pam Stenzel has written a book to help teens make the right choices, based on actual questions she has received. “Nobody Told Me” is for young men and women who want passionate, long-lasting marriages in the future but haven’t considered how the decisions they make now impact their chances for fulfillment. Pam joins us.

4:20 – Helping our Leaders to Heal

The St. Gregory Recovery Program for priests offers a comprehensive, holistic approach to treatment that combines the best-available treatments for the whole person, biological, psychological, social, and spiritual. Founder Mike Vasquez views substance abuse not as a disease that someone must carry as a life-long burden but rather as the result of choice and free will and as such a behavioral deficiency that can be overcome with the proper, expert guidance. Mike is with us today to talk about his program.

4:40 – 400 Million Lives ‘Prevented’ Through One-Child Policy

In October of last year Chinese Communist Party officials released statistics to point out how many babies have been aborted in the 34 years since the one-child per couple policy was put in place. It boasted that it has prevented 400 million lives through the one child policy. That is a greater number than the entire population of the United States and Canada combined. We talk to Reggie Littlejohn, who has dedicated her life to opposing forced abortion and sexual slavery in China as well as helping the victims.

5:00 – Special Kresta Commentary on Lent

Al kicks off Lent with a review of the origins, meanings and significance of Ash Wednesday and the preparation for Easter.

Fifty Shades of Sham

article-2516386-14E24915000005DC-385_306x423From a cheesy bit of anonymous fan fiction with vapid characters, ludicrous plot and insipid writing, 50 Shades of Grey morphed into a Harry Potter size marketing phenomenon. When the dust settles, however, we’ll discover it was little more than a self-generated, incestuous bit of media marketing foreplay without the grand socio-sexual climax promised by its boosters or prophesied by its critics. The 50 Shades franchise is a marketing windfall but a cultural dud. One can hope that in five years, it will be hard to find anyone who will admit to having read or seen it. For those imagining that 50 Shades is a rush to the barricades for a new sexual revolution, think again. Neither Alfred Kinsey nor Larry Flynt would have ever been considered a candidate for a Valentine Day’s Vermont Teddy Bear like Christian Grey. Fifty Shades is not a revolutionary moment like Stonewall, Fort Sumner, D. H. Lawrence or Vladimir Lenin. It is just business as usual in a declining America.

Mainstreaming BDSM is a crass, cynical exploitation of frustrated, impotent people who are seeking the real intimacy proper to human nature. A few more fur handcuffs and leather paddles may be sold but they will eventually lie in a bureau drawer with discarded eyeglasses, old concert tickets and unredeemed coupons. Why? Because, as with nudists, most people consider Christian Grey’s antics to be silly, pathological and not to be carried out in our house or with our daughter. Yes, more people will be hurt by this book’s example. But the objectification of women has already been achieved in the unstoppable, long established Internet porn revolution that was the precondition for the book’s success. Fifty Shades is a product of that revolution not its opening volley. It is the problem for which St. John Paul II prescribed the theology of the body.

Even the natural modesty of the young actors playing Christian and Ana asserts itself off the set. He admits he needs to take a long shower before he will touch his wife and baby. She kids about not wanting anyone to see the movie including her parents and her brother’s friends who would retch upon seeing her in the role of Ana. This 50 Shades phenomenon is a report on the poverty of American romance not a proud manifesto for sexual liberation.

50-shadesListen to the consumers of 50 Shades. They aren’t social activists or volunteers for humane causes. They aren’t leaders, revolutionaries, or trend-setters. They are often romance novel readers fantasizing about love rather than risking real intimacy. An M.S.U. study reveals that women 18-24 who have read all three of the Fifty Shades books when compared with those who haven’t read them are 75% more likely to have used diet aids in the last 24 hours, 65% more likely to binge drink, 63% more likely to have had five or more intercourse partners in their 18-24 years of life. Twenty five percent have a partner who yelled or swore at them. And 34 percent have a partner who demonstrated stalking tendencies. Crudely put, “Losers” are more likely to be drawn to read Fifty Shades of Grey. And author E.L. James admits that writing the book was little more than therapy during her two year mid-life crisis. Even in our Facebook era, some things should be kept private.

Thanks to Dave Barry and others we can appreciate the plot’s inanity without having to swim through the sludge. A pretty, but dowdy virgin, Ana wants transformation into her inner goddess. Christian Grey, a powerful, wealthy, businessman, and a self-absorbed lover of perversion, wants Ana. So he stalks Ana, ties her up with rope, handcuffs, shackles, and tape. He wants to gag her, spank her, whip her, flog here, cane her, paddle her, put nipple and genital clamps on her, bite her and pour hot wax on her. Ana, showing her strength, decides to let Christian flog her on the butt. Then her great moment of epiphany. As Dave Barry puts it: “In the dramatic climax to the story, the moment we have been building up to, Anastasia comes to a shocking, life-changing realization, which nobody could have foreseen in a million years: Getting flogged on the butt hurts. Yes! It’s painful! Anastasia does not like it. So she breaks up with him. And then…. And then…. The book is over.” I’m serious, that’s the plot.

The third book closes with Ana no longer a victim of intimate partner violence and Christian purged of BDSM practices. They marry. In the Epilogue, this first family of sadomasochism is living happily ever after.

How sweet and deceptive. Christian’s “redemption” spells danger for Cinderella syndrome women and, conversely, women who fantasize divine powers to change the lost soul of a pervert. Sadly, Ana’s reckless experiment in risky behavior is vindicated and justified. In real life, prudence would have gotten a restraining order, counseling or, at least, a move to South Central LA where rappers might write songs about her bruised bottom.

Bob-Bashara-sentencingChristian’s “salvation” also dangerously defies reality. His deviant sexual tastes demand greater and growing intensity leading to brutal, uncontrollable, irresistible linkage between sex and violence. Ask jailed Grosse Pointe Park murderer Bob Bashara and his dead wife, Jane.

Some justify the perversions of the book by claiming all was consensual. But consent to bondage is no virtue. Remember the old Virginia Slims ad? “You’ve come a long way baby, you’ve got your own cigarette now baby.” Consent to bondage is as silly, and more dangerous, than congratulating women on sucking cancer sticks like a man. Women can now consent to physical, not merely psychological bondage. How enlightened.

What an opportunity for Catholics to question the operative spiritual and relational assumptions of our culture. Redemption is found in the crucifying of Jesus not the spanking of Ana. Consent does not justify all things. What behaviors should set off warning flares? Since God invented sex doesn’t he know best what makes for the most fulfilling sexual experience? Doesn’t the Catholic teaching on male/female complementarity correct Christian and Ana’s perverse relationship? Let’s get more than moral outrage out of this pop culture craze. Go to avemariaradio.net to find a resource page that will equip you to use the Fifty Shades fervor for good and not just complain of the evil.

Fifty Shades Banner

Kresta in the Afternoon – February 17, 2015

Talking about the “Things That Matter Most” on February 17, 2015

4:00 – Are Faithful Catholics “Checking Out” of the Francis Pontificate? Are Lapsed Catholics “Checking In?”

We’ve previously mentioned the idea of faithful Catholics “checking out” of Pope Francis’ pontificate. We’re also noticing an end to the “liberal honeymoon” with Francis, as progressives realize that he isn’t about to change centuries of Church teaching on marriage and the priesthood. Today we’re discussing both topics with Sam Gregg and we’re also opening up the phone lines to talk to you. Has Francis’ papacy had a positive or negative effect on the number of faithful Catholics? We’d like to hear your thoughts.

5:00 – Kresta Comments: Dare we say Obama is a Christian? 

Yesterday we spoke with historian Gary Smith about the faith of several US presidents, including Barack Obama. Gary said he believes Obama is a serious Christian. This has already generated feedback from people who, very understandably, have trouble believing that Obama is really the Christian he claims to be. Al gives some comments on the facts and the fantasies of Obama’s faith life.

5:20 – Are Americans Fed Up with Divorce?

“Rabbi Accused of Running Divorce Kidnap Team Heads to Trial” “48 Hour Divorce Offers Affordable, Less Stressful Option for Speedy Divorce” “Valentine’s Day: Perfect…for Divorce?” Those are just a few of the top results when you search the news headlines for divorce. The topic has become mainstream and is often regarded as not a huge deal because the marriage “just didn’t work out.” But what happens when divorce is not an option? We sit down with Dr. Greg Popcak to ask this and other questions.

 

#ShowUsYourList

We were recently called out for complaining about Fifty Shades of Grey and encouraged to share alternative books and movies. This idea started here: erinmccolecupp.com/2015/02/16/are-you-in-showusyourlist/

First, let’s clear something up. Here at Ave Maria Radio we are not simply complaining about Fifty Shades of Grey. We are providing resources to aid faithful Christians in talking intelligently about it. Please see yesterday’s blog post, where I go into greater detail: https://avemariaradio.net/?p=43720

That being said, providing alternatives to Fifty Shades of Grey is an excellent idea. Please see my recommendations below.

Gran_Torino_posterClint Eastwood’s Gran Torino because it is a feature film that deserves more attention from Catholics than it got.  Unlike Fifty Shades, it has plot, characters and wholesome, if unlikely, relationships. I loved Eastwood portrayal of a man’s late in life ability to renew his approach to relationships. The chasteness of his relationship with a young Hmong woman and her family is fetching. His mentoring of her brother is redemptive. A young priest shows courage but also learns from Eastwood’s character’s actions. Probably best for 12 years old and above.

Another movie is the documentary Unreal Dreams: The Michael Morton Story about a false murder conviction, 25 years in prison and a divine private revelation that leads to the crime’s real perpetrator and Morton’s release. One thing you get out of this story is that God exists, he is wise and he loves you. Surprisingly, I believe this is an HBO production which I first saw on CNN. Will wonders ever cease?

For a book let me suggest Bryan Stevenson’s Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption. This memoir will do more to open our eyes to the current problems in our criminal justice and penal institutions. Some of these books leave one without hope. Not this one. It is filled with faith and hope, and for a book dealing with lawyers, love. Stephenson is to my left politically but the story isn’t left or right, it’s just disturbingly true. He’s also an outstanding communicator which helps transcend partisan categories. Novelist John Grisham wrote that “Not since Atticus Finch has a fearless and committed lawyer made such a difference in the American South.” Atticus Finch and To Kill a Mockingbird was fiction. Just Mercy is all too factual.

Obama’s Faith

FaithOn President’s Day I interviewed Dr. Gary Scott Smith of Grove City College whose book, Faith and the Presidency from George Washington to George W. Bush looks at eleven U.S. presidents and their attitude towards God, Christ, Scripture, Church, etc. It is considered the best survey of presidential attitudes on faith and public life in English.  Smith wasn’t testing for orthodoxy or spiritual depth. He was examining each presidents’ own self-designation based on their writings, speeches, letters, range of concerns, etc.   Smith tried to apply his criteria evenhandedly and, according to that criteria, both President Obama and President Kennedy qualify as Christians.

This flies in the face of many Christians’ judgments of the men.  Kennedy seems to many to be a secular humanist rather than a Catholic. He had many extra-marital dalliances and showed little interest in spiritual growth. On the other hand, he was regular in Mass attendance and his bishop, Cardinal Cushing, went to bat for him and even published a book of Kennedy’s favorite prayers and Scripture passages.

Obama seems to many to be a secular liberal who is a champion of abortion and even supported forms of infanticide.  He changed his position on same sex so-called marriage and David Axelrod, a former advisor, is clear that Obama lied during the 2008 campaign when he said he thought marriage was strictly between a man and a woman.  

 On the other hand, when Obama was questioned about his faith by Christianity Today magazine in 2008, he confessed that he held to traditional Christian beliefs like the divinity of Jesus, the resurrection, etc.  His former pastor, Jeremiah Wright, in a lengthy interview, said he didn’t think Michelle had much interest in the faith and he wasn’t willing to vouch for Barak’s Christian faith. This was after Obama had thrown him under the bus for his “God damn America” remarks. ‘ President Obama has spoken at the National Prayer Breakfast. While I adamantly disagree with his feeble, clumsy effort to draw a moral equivalence between ISIS and the Crusades, he did speak clearly a common “sinful tendency.”  “There is a tendency in us, a sinful tendency that can pervert and distort our faith… and so as people of faith we are summoned to push back against those who try to distort our religion, any religion for their own nihilistic ends.” Who can disagree with this message even if we don’t care for the messenger.

One listener wrote complaining that Smith “conveniently failed to recall the ’John McCain has not raised my Muslim faith’ statement by Obama to George Stephanopoulos. George had to attempt to hide that statement – with ‘my Christian faith.’”  I’m not sure why the listener thought it was a convenient omission. Nothing in Smith’s overall work at Grove City College or his Center for Vision and Values suggests a desire to whitewash President Obama’s record. The listener also added that “Obama’s pastor’s statements: ‘Not God Bless America, but God damn America’ does not sound Christian to me.”

First, most observers regard the “my Muslim faith” statement as a slip of the tongue. He was dealing with the suspicion that he was a Muslim and I think it likely he just made a mistake.

Second, his pastor’s “God damn America” statement was blown way out of proportion because the critics were clueless as to its context. It is an example of a common preaching style in black liberal churches. Preachers of this sort adopt a prophetic tone toward America similar to that of the Old Testament prophets towards Israel or the nations, in particular Babylon. Materialistic, world dominant America is seen as a type of Babylon trusting in its riches and military might. By its injustice to the weak and poor, it is under the curse of God, justly deserving the damnation of God. These preachers don’t feel obligated to protect our patriotic feelings any more than Amos or Malachi. Patriotism and Christian faith shouldn’t be confused. We may not like it but that’s the way they see it. It may be bad preaching, bad theology, and bad politics but it doesn’t demonstrate that they aren’t Christians. If anything, their preoccupation with justice to the poor and God’s judgment on America show a commitment to some type of Christianity.

US President Barack Obama bows his headAny conscientious pastor, in fact any fellow Christian, should have confronted both Kennedy and Obama for their striking inconsistencies as Christians. Perhaps Cardinal Cushing and Jeremiah Wright did challenge them. Ultimately, however, we must be content to let God judge.  When I returned to the Catholic Church, I stopped trying to judge whether people had been really, really, really “born again” or not.  If they had been baptized and professed faith in Christ, I would receive them as brothers or sisters. Baptism and profession of faith are objective indicators that don’t require me to try and weigh the sincerity of their faith. As a brother in Christ then, I have an obligation to love them, encourage them, pray for them, bear their burdens and admonish, exhort or confront them.  If I think they are not walking in the light as Christ is in the light, I am obligated to lovingly confront them and do what I can, not to punish them, but to restore them to full fellowship with Christ.  As St. Paul writes: “Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Look to yourself, lest you too be tempted” (Gal 6:1).

 Gary Smith applied the same criteria to Obama as he did to Kennedy or Reagan or Lincoln.  He wasn’t arguing for Obama’s Christian consistency or depth of faith. The two incidents that you present don’t go very far towards disproving Smith’s contention.

Fraternally,

Al

Kresta in the Afternoon – 2/16/15

Talking about the “Things That Matter Most” on February 16, 2015

4:00 – Kresta Comments: 50 Shades of Sham

Fifty Shades of Grey premiered this weekend and grossed more than $85 million, the fourth-highest premiere for an R-rated movie in history. Despite the financial success, the film has received negative reviews from most critics. The review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes calculates that only 26% of critics have given the film a positive review. Al recaps several critics’ reviews and has some thoughts on why the film has received such a low score.

4:20 – Are You Ready for Lent?

We’re talking again with Sr. John Dominic of the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist about using a Lenten journal to track spiritual progress and enrich the Lenten experience. We also hear from Matthew Kelly about Dynamic Catholic’s Best Lent Ever program. Both our guests are here with advice on how to get the most out of this Lent.

4:40 – ISIS Beheads 21 Coptic Christians

It’s almost too horrific to believe. ISIS has released yet another execution video and is killing and torturing faster than we can respond. Western leaders have responded according to the script: condemn the actions, call the killers evil, vow to bring justice…and completely disregard any underlying religious motivations or connotations. ISIS claims their latest round of executions were retaliation for Christian violence against Muslims. Raymond Ibrahim joins us with his analysis.

5:00 – Faith and the Presidency 

In honor of Presidents’ Day, Gary Scott Smith joins us to discuss the faiths of presidents throughout history. Gary, who has written extensively on the faiths of the presidents dating back to Washington, focuses on several presidents from distinct periods of US history and discusses their specific faith and how it shaped their presidency.

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