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December 27, 2017

December 27, 2017

Talking about the “Things That Matter Most” on December 27, 2017

2017 Countdown Day 5

4:00 – #14: Healing: Bringing the Gift of Mercy to the World

When we, or a family member or friend, are faced with an injury or illness, physical or emotional, our thoughts turn to God in prayer for healing. We want to believe, as the Centurion did, that God will grant healing, but we wonder. And if we as Catholics have doubts, what does this mean to a hurting world, also in need of healing? We’ll talk with Mary Healy.

5:00 – #13: A Mother’s Story of Love, Faith and Crystal Meth

Barbara Coefer-Stoefen’s daughter Annie was bright and beautiful, the last person you’d expect to be addicted to crystal meth. Barbara never imagined such a scenario would destroy her dreams for her family. But it did. Annie committed crimes against herself and community that knocked her parents to their knees. Barbara’s drive to save her daughter and her rage against God gave way to new insights about herself. She joins us with her story of a faith challenged, examined and redefined.

Previously on the Countdown 

#15: The Reformation – What Really Happened?

As we’ve discussed before, this year marks the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s Ninety-Five Theses. It marked the beginning of the Reformations and the end of unified Christianity. The story has been retold and reshaped in the centuries since then, according to the teller’s own biases. What really happened with Luther? Ben Wiker joins us with a straight-forward account.

#16: The Forgotten Persecution of Colonial Catholics

Most mainstream studies of American history neglect to tell the story of Catholics in the early days of America, especially the persecution they faced from other Americans. Catholics first came to Maryland in 1634 in search of religious freedom and their story continues through the post-Revolutionary period and the beginning of the new nation, when the constitutions of nine of the 13 states contained harsh anti-Catholic provisions. Fr Charles Connor joins us with a look at the story of these Catholics and the contributions they made in the pre- and post- Revolutionary period.

#17: Why I Don’t Call Myself Gay

Daniel Mattson once believed he was gay. Raised in a Christian family and aware of attractions to other boys at age six, his life was marked by constant turmoil between his faith in God and his sexual attractions. Finding the conflict between his sexual desires and the teachings of his church too great, he assumed he was gay, turned his back on God, and began a relationship with another man. Yet freedom and happiness remained elusive until he discovered Christ and his true identity. Dan joins us.

 #18: An Olympic Track Star Reflects on God and Life

Four-time Olympic gold medalist Sanya Richards-Ross recently penned a memoir in which she revealed that she had an abortion right before the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. The experience left her feeling loss and grief, but she went on to experience God for herself during the Games and began the healing process. She joins us to discuss how God restores and works in her life.

#19: What Death with Dignity Means for Someone Like Me

The latest “death with dignity” horror story comes out of the Netherlands, where an elderly woman diagnosed with dementia was sedated and restrained so she could be given a lethal drug administration and “die with dignity.” This story is especially horrific to Zak Schmoll, who has a physical disability and lives in Vermont where physician-assisted suicide is legal. Zak joins us to share his perspective on this tragic story.

#20: Gosnell: The Untold Story of a Killer

 In 2013 Dr Kermit Gosnell was convicted of killing four people, including three babies. He’s thought to have killed hundreds, if not thousands, more in his 30 years in the abortion industry. He’s currently serving three life sentences in prison for the crimes uncovered at his House of Horrors abortion clinic. Ann McElhinney joins us with a look at the investigation that brought him to justice and how compliant politicians allowed him to carry out his grisly trade because they didn’t want to “attack abortion.”

#21: The Scopes Monkey Trial and America’s Debate on Science and Religion

On July 10, 1925, a dramatic trial began in the sleepy town of Dayton, Tennessee. Known as the Scopes Monkey Trial, it pit William Jennings Bryan and anti-Darwinists against a science teacher named John Scopes in a debate over science, religion and their place in public education – a debate that continues to this day. We’ll look back and the trial and the current state of the debate with Ed Larson.

#22: Rearview Mirror: Star Wars turns 40

The first Star Wars film hit theaters on May 25, 1977, and immediately became a cultural phenomenon. Forty years later, it still matters. Even the most passionate fans have to admit the films are artistically flawed, but the franchise’s impact on Hollywood and American pop culture has been incalculable. We’ll talk with Steven Greydanus about this American mythology and why Star Wars still matters.

#23: Lessons from Eisenhower’s Farewell

President Eisenhower delivered his farewell address on January 17, 1961, three days before the inauguration of John F. Kennedy. His farewell was the closing act of one of modern America’s great leaders, a man who offered a model of principled, effective and understated leadership. As the nation faces another transition of power, Bret Baier joins us to look at Eisenhower’s final days, days that are full of parallels to and lessons for our own historical moment.

#24: The Economics of Pope Francis

With the possible exception of Amoris Laetitia, none of Pope Francis’ viewpoints have sparked the same level of debate as his statements on the economy. His South American background is different from previous popes and is unfamiliar to most Westerners. He has invited those concerned about the economy to join in a dialogue. What does economic dialogue with the Pope look like? We’ll discuss it with Dr Robert Whaples.

#25: If You Don’t Get Religion, You Can’t Get America

The secular media’s coverage of Donald Trump and his supporters has made it abundantly clear that most reporters don’t understand religion, and an executive editor from the New York Times admitted to it late last year. As David French points out, if you don’t get religion you don’t get America. What are the “original sins” of religious reporting that the media frequently commits? How does it affect the way they understand and present the news? We’ll talk with David.

#26: The Founding Fathers and the Bible

In Colonial times, no book was more accessible or familiar than the Bible. It was by far the most alluded to and quoted source during political discourse and was well-known to the Founding Fathers. How did they use the Bible when they were founding the new nation? We’ll look at their diverse use of scripture and theology with Daniel Dreisbach.

#27: Ronald Reagan’s “Fatima Connection” to JPII

For Catholics, the Easter Season falls between two extraordinary dates on the Church calendar – Divine Mercy Sunday and the anniversary of the Fatima apparitions. In May of this year, Pope Francis traveled to Fatima to commemorate the centenary of Mary’s first appearance. Paul Kengor joined us to look back at another pope, John Paul II, and the extraordinary Fatima connection he shared with Ronald Reagan.