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Today on "Kresta in the Afternoon" – September 12, 2013

Talking about the "things that matter most" on September 12

4:00 – Six Month Anniversary of Pope Francis Election: An Analysis
Tomorrow we celebrate the 6-month anniversary of the Papacy of Francis. Matthew Bunsonand Phil Lawler join us to look at his impact, his personality, his style, his reforms, his reception and the prospects for his future actions.    

4:40 – Healing Hurts and Solving Problems – Where We Analyze the Sins, Illnesses, and Obstacles That Keep Us From Becoming All God Created Us to Be
A Deeper Look at Predictors of Divorce
In our Healing Hurts and Solving Problems segment we look at predictors of divorce and how to avoid them. Lisa Duffy knows first-hand as a divorced woman who has reconciled with the Church and remarried. She joins us today.
5:00 – Kresta Comments
5:20 - The Last Public Teaching of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI: The Transforming Power of Faith
"Having faith in the Lord is not something that involves solely our intelligence, the area of intellectual knowledge; rather, it is a change that involves our life, our whole self: feelings, heart, intelligence, will, corporeity, emotions, and human relationships. With faith everything truly changes." So Pope Benedict XVI introduced his catecheses for the Year of Faith, a series of sixteen talks given at his weekly audience from October 2012 to the end of his papacy in February 2013. These talks explore how and why faith is relevant in the contemporary world. How can we come to certainty about things that cannot be calculated or scientifically confirmed? What does God's revelation mean for our daily lives? How can the hunger of the human heart be fulfilled? Offering the guidance of biblical exegesis, pastoral exhortation, and brotherly encouragement, Pope Benedict seeks to answer these questions and many others. His former student, Fr. Joseph Fessio, joins us to look at some of the final teachings of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.
5:40 – Improvement and Growth Segment
Yelling Makes Parenting Harder, Study Says. (+5 Things To Do Instead.)
Last week, the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Michigan released the results of a study that showed that yelling at teens actually aggravated problematic behavior rather than extinguishing it.  Likewise, teens who were consistently yelled at had higher incidences of depression, school problems, lying, stealing and fighting than kids who did not experience “harsh verbal punishment.” We look at the study and 5 things to do instead with Dr. Greg Popcak

Batwoman lesbian marriage nixed! Writers quit!

Pop culture just keeps getting uglier, sillier and gayer

Sep 10, 2013
The Christians             
Batwoman: Her wedding to the policewoman has been permanently called off.
Batwoman: Her wedding to the policewoman has been permanently called off.

Even though their audience consists mainly of aging but not maturing males, comic book superheroes have a way of reflecting cultural shifts. News broke last week that on very short notice DC Comics had cancelled Batwoman’s imminent nuptials to an NYPD policewoman – a much anticipated lesbian first in the world of publishing for the illiterate.

The two DC writers who had seen her through her engagement both quit in anger. So is DC Comics now renouncing the gay agenda? Not at all. DC says it made the call because superheroes and heroines are supposed to live tortured and lonely personal lives, not happy and contented ones. Not that lesbian relationships are a bed of roses, but most people don’t know that.

But hold on – in 1996, after half a century, didn’t DC finally let Superman marry Lois Lane? Why the hetero-normative double standard? Who knows? Both DC and its arch-nemesis Marvel comics had been broadly hinting for many years that several of their heroes were closet sodomites, and in the mid-1990s, as the gay agenda crested, they began coming out. Batwoman is the best known.

See more at: http://thechristians.com/?q=node/617&utm_source=The+Christians+Book+Buyers&utm_campaign=7d15ab88b7-TCH-Issue0110-BB&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_e2d8bf6d30-7d15ab88b7-57142977#sthash.iUuMIYaE.dpuf

Home schooled? Oh you poor, deprived thing

People have the weirdest, dumbest, most illiberal ideas about home-educated students

Sep 10, 2013
The Christians

There are other ways of socialization than high schools.
There are other ways of socialization than high schools
This commentary by home schooled New York City high school student Veronica Andreades appeared in the Wall Street Journal Sep. 9, 2013

“You’re home-schooled? That’s bad, right?”

 Another teenager started off a conversation with me that way recently. We’re both actresses, and we were waiting for a theater rehearsal to begin.“Bad? Where did you get that idea?” I replied.“Well, you don’t have any friends, right?”

“I have lots of friends,” I said, laughing to hide my annoyance.

Welcome to the life of a Manhattan home-schooler surrounded by supposedly open-minded liberals. This was hardly the first time I’ve confronted unsolicited comments about going to school at home. Not long ago, after a ballet class (yes, home-schoolers sometimes sign up to study elsewhere), I mentioned in the locker room that I was being educated by my mother. One of the other dancers said: “No offense, but don’t your parents care about you being socialized?”When I asked my mom why she chose to teach me, she said: “I did not want to be at the mercy of my ZIP Code.”

When you’re from a middle-class family supported by a father who is a minister, chances are you aren’t going to live in a wealthy area and therefore in a good school district. I’ve gotten used to seeing pained or perplexed reactions when I talk about going to school in my apartment, as if I’m this nerdy, introverted alien. The truth is that my parents wanted to give me the freedom to pursue my passions so I’d be better prepared for college and career.

 - See more at: http://thechristians.com/?q=node/614&utm_source=The+Christians+Book+Buyers&utm_campaign=7d15ab88b7-TCH-Issue0110-BB&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_e2d8bf6d30-7d15ab88b7-57142977#sthash.SbJ8VKw0.dpuf

Syrian war makes sudden appearance at convent in historic Christian town

SANA/Via EPA - A undated handout picture shows a church in the Maaloula village, northeast of Damascus, Syria.
Fighters from Free Syrian Army units briefly gained control of ancient Christian Maaloula village,
accounting to reports.

Washington Post
BEIRUT — High in the mountains above Damascus lies a town so remote that Syria’s war had passed it by, so untouched by time that its inhabitants still speak the language of Jesus.
The violence ravaging the rest of Syria has finally caught up with Maaloula, renowned as the oldest Christian community in the world — and the last in which the same version of Aramaic that prevailed 2,000 years ago is the native tongue.
On Sunday, Syrian rebels, including some affiliated with al-Qaeda, swept through Maaloula for the second time in four days, after an assault a few days earlier in which the last of its few thousand residents fled and the specter of unchecked violence threatened to convulse the iconic town.
Only a couple of dozen nuns remained, cowering in fear as warplanes screeched overhead, shells exploded and al-Qaeda-linked fighters overran their convent, turning them into witnesses to what may be one of the more extraordinary encounters of the Syrian war.

The monks had fled from their nearby monastery months ago, and even the last two priests who oversaw the affairs of Maaloula’s ancient Mar Takla nunnery took buses out of town last week, leaving the nuns of Maaloula to fend for themselves as the fighters closed in.

With Congress poised to debate President Obama’s proposed military intervention in Syria, the arrival of war in Maaloula illuminates the complexity of a conflict that has defied all attempts at resolution for 21/2 years. The future of Christianity in the region of its birth is just one of the smaller issues at stake in the discussions expected to unfold.

Today on "Kresta in the Afternoon" – September 11, 2013

Talking about the "things that matter most" on September 11

4:00 – 9/11: What Was Said About The “Clash of Civilations” In The Days After 9/11
In the days after the horror of Sept. 11, 2001 “Kresta in the Afternoon” has a number of guests on the air to analyze the events, Islam, Bin Laden, and what was known as the “clash of civilizations.” In this hour we talk about those very topics and hear clips of some of those interviews with Scott Hahn, Jehan Sadat (wife of the assassinated President of Egypt Anwar Sadat), Geoffrey Wawro (Professor of Military History), Norman Geisler (Islam Scholar), Dr. George Braswell (Professor of World Religions), and the now deceased Fr. Richard John Neuhaus.

5:00 – Kresta Comments: President Obama’s Speech to the Nation on Syria and What Constitutes Just War Theory.

5:40 – National Day of Remembrance for Aborted Babies
In September of 1988, over 1,200 children, victims of legal abortion, were laid to rest at Holy Cross Cemetery in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. On September 14, twenty-five years after that burial, their memory—and the memory of all the 55 million children killed by abortion under Roe v. Wade—will be honored at more than 85 gravesites and memorial sites nationwide on the National Day of Remembrance for Aborted Children. You can find a memorial service near you at AbortionMemorials.com. National Sponsors Monica Millerand Eric Scheidler join us.

Today on "Kresta in the Afternoon" – September 10, 2013

Talking about the "things that matter most" on September 10
4:00 - “Mater Eucharistiae”
The Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist amazed the recording industry with their #1 debut album, Mater Eucharistiae, on both the Classical Overall and Classical Traditional Charts. Heads turned as many labels vied for the top spot and are scrambling to find out the secret behind these sisters' success. We talk about the album with Sr. Mary David and Sr. Maria Suso.
5:00 - The Global Public Square: Religious Freedom and the Making of a World Safe for Diversity
How do we live with our deepest differences? In a world torn by religious conflict, the threats to human dignity are terrifyingly real. Some societies face harsh government repression and brutal sectarian violence, while others are divided by bitter conflicts over religion's place in public life. Is there any hope for living together peacefully? Os Guinness argues that the way forward for the world lies in promoting freedom of religion and belief for people of all faiths and none. He sets out a vision of a civil and cosmopolitan global public square, and how it can be established by championing the freedom of the soul—the inviolable freedom of thought, conscience and religion. In particular he calls for leadership that has the courage to act on behalf of the common good. Far from utopian, this constructive vision charts a course for the future of the world. Soul freedom is not only a shining ideal but a dire necessity and an eminently practical solution to the predicaments of our time. We can indeed maximize freedom and justice and learn to negotiate deep differences in public life. For a world desperate for hope at a critical juncture of human history, here is a way forward, for the good of all. Os joins us.

"Has Anyone Wept?": Pope Francis and the Cry for Peace

6th Sep 2013         
by Kathryn Jean Lopez
Catholic Pulse

Pope Francis has called on Catholics around the world and “other Christian brethren,” “brethren of other religions,” and “men and women of good will” to join him in fasting and prayer this weekend. As the United States debates military strikes against Syria, the Holy Father pleads for peace.

As he did when going to the Sicilian island of Lampedusa in July, where refugees from the “Arab Spring” have been pouring in as they flee the violence and turmoil of their native lands, Pope Francis is speaking from the depths of his heart, expressing the pain of the Divine Heart, at what we are doing here. Those horrific images of children, women, and men suffering and dying from the effects of chemical weapons used in Syria have provoked a lively debate about what we can do to stop the horror. We can’t look away. And yet, what is the justice served by a military strike against Syria?
Continue Reading

"Your Young Men Will See Visions"

This is a YouTube copy of a CBN video from February 6, 2013 reporting how vast numbers in the Muslim world, from Morocco to Indonesia, are seeing visions of Jesus and quietly converting to Christianity – in countries where for centuries the penalty for renouncing Islam has been death. More information on TheChristians.com April 9, 2013.
- See more at: http://thechristians.com/?q=node/612&utm_source=The+Christians+Book+Buyers&utm_campaign=85ba655277-TCH-Issue0109-BB&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_e2d8bf6d30-85ba655277-57142977#sthash.3hR4ne2J.dpuf

Whither the Idea of God?

Pieter Brueghel the Elder-tower-of-babel 1563

The trouble with atheists, some wag once wrote, is that they are always talking about God. How endlessly they obsess about him! And what strikes one straightaway about the sheer mind-numbing attention they pay to God, including especially the problems posed by us benighted folk who persist in believing in him, is that it so oddly testifies to the fact that he really does exist.
They are in very good company, by the way, since lots of non-atheists feel the same way. Of course, some of them are actually talking to God. It is, after all, the single most fateful human question we all face, taking us, as Pascal liked to say, by the throat. The esteemed Jesuit theologian John Courtney Murray, for example, in a seminal series of lectures delivered at Yale University in 1962 called The Problem of God, reminds us that nothing and no one can claim exemption from the God Question. “The whole man,” he tells us, “—as intelligent and free, as a body, a psychic apparatus, and a soul—is profoundly engaged both in the position of the problem and its solution. In fact, he is in a real sense a datum of the problem itself, and his solution of it has personal consequences that touch every aspect of his conduct, character, and consciousness.”

So there is no escaping the business, it being the net in which all of us are caught. Yet for all that the atheists lay claim to having seized the intellectual high ground in the debate, what finally drives them is not an argument about God at all. What is fundamentally determinative of their position, in other words, is not the result of an abstract intelligence in cool and clinical possession of its faculties, looking straight on at a problem solely in light of the evidence presented. It really hasn’t got anything to do with what’s under the hood. But rather an act of the will that is already and ferociously directed against God. Only after having decided to kill God, as it were, do they then set about finding reasons to justify his non-existence. “There are indeed philosophies that are atheist,” explains Fr. Murray, “in the sense that they are incompatible with faith in God. But they are reached only by a will to atheism. This will, and the affirmation into which it is translated (‘There is no God’), are the inspiration of these philosophies, not a conclusion from them.”

So one first decides that there is no God. Then one constructs the discourse needed in order to defend the decision. A bit like despising the neighbor next door whom you hadn’t even met, then going on to announce that, in addition to being despicable, he also doesn’t exist. People who steal a base like that, it seems to me, need to be called out on the matter.

Read the rest here: http://www.crisismagazine.com/2013/whither-the-idea-of-god?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+CrisisMagazine+%28Crisis+Magazine%29

Reassessing Recent USCCB Statements on Public Policy

USCCB Building

Many faithful Catholics know that for decades the U.S. bishops conference and its bureaucratic arm have often been criticized for their statements about public questions and issues. The statements have at times seemed to line up too readily with politically liberal positions, been overly specific, too focused on public policy solutions, and unduly restrictive of lay options. The problem was documented thirty years ago by J. Brian Benestad’s Pursuit of a Just Social Order: Policy Statements of the U.S. Catholic Bishops, 1966-80. To be sure, the bishops have taken a much more restrained stance since the 1980s, when the whole matter came to a head with the controversial statements on war and peace (The Challenge of Peace) and the economy (Economic Justice for All). It had been argued that the conference was too much influenced and deferential to its left-leaning staffers. There have in the last few years been encouraging changes in the USCCB’s staff, however.
Still, the positions taken by the USCCB on some leading current public questions show a need to examine more the complexity of some issues and to give sufficient emphasis to all the leading principles of Catholic social teaching and not over-embellish just certain ones.

For example, during the health care debate of 2009-10, the conference seemed to focus most of its attention on the abortion coverage issue. On one hand, this is understandable since the human life issues remain the crucial moral question of our time and the bishops no doubt remembered the strong Clinton push to include abortion in his 1993 national health insurance proposal. In a statement early in 2011 after the passage of the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”), the USCCB clearly indicated that it supported the law in general but opposed its final passage because of its failure to prohibit the use of public funds for abortion and its providing of subsidies for health care plans that cover elective abortion. It also lamented the lack of conscience protections and the fact that immigrant families would not be able to purchase plans in the new health care exchanges. The bishops’ support for access to decent health care for everyone in the U.S. was commendable—after all, Pope John XXIII had listed medical care as one of the components of the right to life in his encyclical Pacem in Terris (#11)—but their readiness to embrace a federal government solution was problematical.

Their moral analysis needed to go further. What about subsidiarity, one of the central principles of Catholic social teaching? In his classic formulation of that principle in Quadragesimo Anno (#79), Pope Pius XI stated that, “to transfer to the larger and higher collectivity functions which can be performed and provided for by lesser and subordinate bodies” is “a grave evil and a disturbance of right order.” Adherence to subsidiarity, then, is a moral question. While there are certainly serious problems with American health care, especially concerning costs, it can hardly be said that our relatively decentralized health care arrangements have been a failure and vast numbers are denied needed medical care. John J. Schrems of Villanova University, a leading scholarly authority on subsidiarity, says that before taking on a task, the higher or more distant unit—in health care it’s the federal government—must prove that the lower levels cannot perform it satisfactorily and that it can do better. Clearly, such a showing has not been made, and absent that the morality of the entire matter of a larger federal health care role must be called into question. It would also have been helpful to emphasize the proper relationship between subsidiarity and the principle of solidarity. Left-of-center Catholics frequently mention solidarity to defend big welfare-statist initiatives. Solidarity involves brotherhood and insuring justice for all. It does not justify the subversion of subsidiarity; these principles must both be upheld and work together. Pope John Paul II specifically criticized the welfare state in Centesimus Annus (#48-49); the principle of solidarity cannot be used to justify it.

Read the rest here: http://www.crisismagazine.com/2013/reassessing-recent-usccb-statements-on-public-policy?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+CrisisMagazine+%28Crisis+Magazine%29
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