Kresta in the Afternoon – July 31, 2020 – Hour 1

+  Lessons from JPII and Cuba

  • Description: Historians already acknowledge John Paul II as one of the 20th century's leaders in the fight against Communism, and it was something he dealt with for years in Poland even before he became pope. As he prepared to visit Communist Cuba in 1997, Vatican aides found a hidden microphone in the house where he would be staying - the regime was clearly planning to spy on him. We're seeing something similar today with the new report that China has been spying on the Vatican. We'll talk about it with Paul Kengor.
  • Segment Guests:
    • Dr. Paul Kengor
      Paul Kengor is professor of political science at Grove City College in Grove City, Pa., and senior academic fellow at the Center for Vision & Values. Dr. Kengor is author of over a dozen books, including A Pope and a President: John Paul II, Ronald Reagan, and the Extraordinary Untold Story of the 20th Century, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Communism, and Dupes: How America’s Adversaries Have Manipulated Progressives for a Century. Look for his newest book, The Devil and Karl Marx, later this summer.
  • + Articles Mentioned:

  • + Resources Mentioned Available in Our Store:

    • Takedown: From Communists to Progressives, How the Left Has Sabotaged Family and Marriage

      We are witnessing a watershed moment in American cultural history: the sabotaging of family and marriage. Extreme-left radicals have made their arguments and tried different tactics, from the early nineteenth century to the sexual revolution of the 1960s, but at long last they have the vehicle to make it happen: gay marriage. Now, as the legal definition of marriage rapidly changes, the floodgates are open, and the fundamental transformation of the American family will take on new speed and new dimensions. Efforts to redefine the family structure have been long at work, and there have been some influential forces on the far left and communist left that cannot and should not be ignored in that process. In Takedown Paul Kengor exposes these origins, starting with Karl Marx, and traces them through the sordid history of people like Margaret Sanger, Wilhelm Reich, Herbert Marcuse, and assorted '60s radicals. What were once fringe concepts have become accepted by mainstream thought and are today welcomed by many legislators and judges. Kengor notes how in the not-so-distant past, today's leftists who are attacking traditional marriage would have loudly raised their voices but not caused any real damage. They would have been dismissed with no serious concern as left-wing cranks, crackpot German and Austrian atheistic philosophers and campus agitators. But now, with formal legalization of same-sex marriage afoot, they are getting what they’ve wanted for generations: the literal redefinition of the family. Takedown exposes how gay marriage is serving as a Trojan horse for the far left to secure the final takedown of marriage that it has long wanted, and countless everyday Americans are oblivious to the deeper forces at work. Takedown takes no prisoners and bluntly shows the reader that even Karl Marx and his more anti-marriage comrade Engels would be dumbfounded at the mere thought that modern Americans would gladly join them in their rejection of God's design for natural marriage and the family. (learn more)

    • A Pope and a President: John Paul II, Ronald Reagan, and the Extraordinary Untold Story of the 20th Century

      A Singular Bond That Changed History Even as historians credit ­Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II with hastening the end of the Cold War, they have failed to recognize the depth or significance of the bond that developed between the two leaders. Acclaimed scholar and bestselling author Paul Kengor changes that. In this fascinating book, he reveals a singular bond—which included a spiritual connection between the Catholic pope and the Protestant president—that drove the two men to confront what they knew to be the great evil of the twentieth century: Soviet communism. Reagan and John Paul II almost didn’t have the opportunity to forge this relationship: just six weeks apart in the spring of 1981, they took bullets from would-be assassins. But their strikingly similar near-death experiences brought them close together—to Moscow’s dismay. A Pope and a President is the product of years of research. Based on Kengor’s tireless archival digging and his unique access to Reagan insiders, the book reveals:

      • The inside story on the 1982 meeting where the president and the pope confided their conviction that God had spared their lives for the purpose of defeating communism
      • Captivating new information on the attempt on John Paul II’s life, including a ­previously unreported secret CIA investigation—was Moscow behind the plot?
      • The many similarities and the spiritual bond between the pope and the president—and how Reagan privately spoke of the “DP”: the Divine Plan to take down communism
      • New details about how the Protestant Reagan became intensely interested in the “secrets of Fátima,” which date to the reported apparitions of the Virgin Mary at Fátima, Portugal, starting on May 13, 1917—­sixty-four years to the day before John Paul II was shot
      • A startling insider account of how the USSR may have been set to invade the pope’s native Poland in March 1981—only to pull back when news broke that Reagan had been shot
      Nancy Reagan called John Paul II her husband’s “closest friend”; Reagan himself told Polish visitors that the pope was his “best friend.” When you read this book, you will understand why. As kindred spirits, Ronald Reagan and John Paul II united in pursuit of a supreme objective—and in doing so they changed history. (learn more)

+  Where do I Start with…God? (2 segments)

  • Description: Who is God? If we want to love God and make him the center of our lives, we would do well to settle this question at least in some small way. Elizabeth Klein helps us get started.
  • Segment Guests:
    • Elizabeth Klein
      Elizabeth Klein is the author most recently of God: What Every Catholic Should Know. She's an Assistant Professor of Theology at the Augustine Institute in Denver and is also the author of Augustine's Theology of Angels. She is originally from Ontario, Canada, and now lives in Denver with her husband and two sons.
  • + Resources Mentioned Available in Our Store:

    • God: What Every Catholic Should Know

      Who is God? If we want to love God and make him the center of our lives, we would do well to settle this question at least in some small way. This book serves as a starting point for understanding what Christians mean when they say ''God,'' and to whom they are referring when they use this name. Part of the What Every Catholic Should Know series, God: What Every Catholic Should Know is born out of the recognition that God is central to the Faith, but we encounter misconceptions about God all the time. In an effort to clear up these misconceptions, this book addresses three major concepts - the nature of God, the Trinity, and the Incarnation - so that we may strengthen our faith and our ability to communicate it to other people. Some of us might protest that we are not smart enough to do theology and that less is more when it comes to contemplating the divine. But if God is perfect, wonderful, all goodness, love itself - as the Bible tells us in 1 John 4:8 - it would be strange indeed if we did not want to give our whole selves to God, including our minds. After all, the Lord himself tells us: ''you shall love the Lord with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength'' (Mark 12:30). (learn more)

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