Kresta in the Afternoon – June 10, 2020 – Hour 1

+  Would America Be Better Off Without Religion?

  • Description: A recent Washington Post Op-Ed asserts that too much religion is bad for a country. Citing indicators such as GDP, poverty rates, education, and life expectancy, the author points to less religious countries such as the UK and Japan and asserts they are models to follow going forward. Is he right? What narratives is he missing? We talk with Casey Chalk.
  • Segment Guests:
    • Casey Chalk
      Casey Chalk is a student at the Notre Dame Graduate School of Theology at Christendom College, and a regular contributor at The American Conservative and New Oxford Review. He received a B.A. in history and a masters in teaching from the University of Virginia.
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+  Whatever happened to the 'free speech kid' from the early '90s and why is he now Catholic? (2 segments)

  • Description: Ian Murphy’s faith journey began in high school, when his principal tried to ban him from mentioning Jesus in his valedictorian speech. The years after that included doubt and despair after a close friend was murdered, leadership in the Baptist Bible belt and, eventually, the Catholic Church. He joins us with his story
  • Segment Guests:
    • Ian Murphy
      Ian Murphy is the author of Dying to Live: From Agnostic to Baptist to Catholic. He received his doctorate in Systematic Theology from Duquesne University. He has most recently served as an instructor for Divine Mercy University in Arlington, VA., and currently works as a full-time Catholic writer and speaker. Visit him at
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    • Dying to Live: From Agnostic to Baptist to Catholic

      When high school valedictorian Ian Murphy was writing his graduation address, a teacher told him that he could not mention Jesus in his speech. She even threatened to pull the plug on the microphone if he tried to do so. Murphy’s defiance, in the name of his constitutional rights, made national news, and his zeal to spread the Gospel, no matter the cost, became the defining passion of his life. Murphy's public battle for his freedom of speech is where this conversion story begins, but then it retraces the other important experiences of his youth. He describes his free-spirited Christian parents, his early doubts, the influence of faith-filled relatives and friends, and the spiritual encounter that made him a believer. At a young age, Murphy went from strength to strength as he sought after truth, grew in prayer, and shared his faith with others. But his doubts resurfaced when his friend and mentor, the leader of a Protestant college group, was murdered. After his trust in God was restored, Murphy became a Baptist minister in the Bible Belt, and from there his spiritual journey led him into the Catholic Church. The unexpected twists and turns in Murphy's extraordinary story show that when a man gives his life to Christ, the Lord never lets him go. (learn more)

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