Kresta in the Afternoon – April 16, 2018 – Hour 2

+  Caring for Words in a Culture of Lies (2 segments)

  • Description: In the words of Marilyn McEntyre, the industrialized language in contemporary America causes words to “come to us processed like cheese, depleted of nutrients, flattened and packaged, artificially colored and mass marketed.” Anyone who pays attention to mainstream news coverage, advertising, entertainment and most public debate knows just how true that assessment is. Can we redeem words? We'll talk about it with Marilyn.
  • Segment Guests:
    • Marilyn McEntyre
      Marilyn McEntyre is a writer and professor of medical humanities at the UC Berkeley-UCSF Joint Medical Program and the author of several books, including Caring for Words in a Culture of Lies. Her writing has appeared in The Christian Century, Weavings, Sojourners, Prism, Conversations, Christianity Today, Academic Medicine, Medical Humanities, Literature and Medicine, and a variety of other academic and trade publications.
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    • Caring for Words in a Culture of Lies

      “Like any other life-sustaining resource,” says Marilyn McEntyre, “language can be depleted, polluted, contaminated, eroded, and filled with artificial stimulants.” Today more than ever, language needs to be rescued and restored. Drawing on a wide range of sources, both critical and literary, Caring for Words in a Culture of Lies is an engaging address to everyone concerned with preserving the vitality and precision of the spoken and written word. “If every literate person in the United States read this book, the result could dramatically transform our society. . . . Written with modesty, keen insight, and grace, Marilyn McEntyre’s Caring for Words in a Culture of Lies proposes a revolution of human expression that would bring precision, honesty, and felicity to the spoken and written discourse of contemporary culture. (learn more)

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    • The Once and Future Liberal: After Identity Politics

      From one of the country’s most admired political thinkers, an urgent wake-up call to American liberals to turn from the divisive politics of identity and develop a vision of our future that can persuade all citizens that they share a common destiny. In The Once and Future Liberal, Mark Lilla offers an impassioned, tough-minded, and stinging look at the failure of American liberalism over the past two generations. Although there have been Democrats in the White House, and some notable policy achievements, for nearly 40 years the vision that Ronald Reagan offered—small government, lower taxes, and self-reliant individualism—has remained the country’s dominant political ideology. And the Democratic Party has offered no convincing competing vision in response. Instead, as Lilla argues, American liberalism fell under the spell of identity politics, with disastrous consequences. Driven originally by a sincere desire to protect the most vulnerable Americans, the left has now unwittingly balkanized the electorate, encouraged self-absorption rather than solidarity, and invested its energies in social movements rather than in party politics. With dire consequences. Lilla goes on to show how the left’s identity-focused individualism insidiously conspired with the amoral economic individualism of the Reaganite right to shape an electorate with little sense of a shared future and near-contempt for the idea of the common good. In the contest for the American imagination, liberals have abdicated. Now they have an opportunity to reset. The left is motivated, and the Republican Party, led by an unpredictable demagogue, is in ideological disarray. To seize this opportunity, Lilla insists, liberals must concentrate their efforts on recapturing our institutions by winning elections. The time for hectoring is over. It is time to reach out and start persuading people from every walk of life and in every region of the country that liberals will stand up for them. We must appeal to – but also help to rebuild –  a sense of common feeling among Americans, and a sense of duty to each other. A fiercely-argued, no-nonsense book, enlivened by Lilla’s acerbic wit and erudition, The Once and Future Liberal is essential reading for our momentous times. (learn more)

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+  Super Bowl Champion becomes Champion of God

  • Description: The Super Bowl may be over, but for a lot of football fans the season never really ends. The winter months are merely the lull before the draft and spring camp. Elvis Grbac spent eight seasons in the NFL, winning a Super Bowl his rookie year as the backup to the legendary Steve Young and later being selected to a Pro Bowl. Yet he knows there are more important things. He's a lifelong Catholic who is studying for a Master's in theology and plans to become a deacon. He joins us.
  • Segment Guests:
    • Elvis Grbac
      Elvis Grbac is a former quarterback who played at the University of Michigan under Bo Schembechler. He spent eight years in the NFL with the San Francisco 49ers, Kansas City Chiefs and Baltimore Ravens. Since leaving football he has served on the pastoral council at the Church of the Holy Angels and is involved in teaching Youth Catechesis. Elvis is also currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Theology at St. Mary’s Seminary.
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