Kresta in the Afternoon – March 25, 2010 – Hour 2

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    First Topic – Rift Remains for U.S. and Israel

    The U.S. and Israel failed to heal their deepest dispute in decades as a two-day visit by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ended Wednesday without resolving a rift over Israeli housing planned in E. Jerusalem. Before departing the U.S., Netanyahu said he thought some progress had been made. "I think we have found the golden path between Israel's traditional policies and our desire to move forward toward peace," the Israeli leader said. U.S. officials said last-minute talks between Netanyahu and U.S. Middle East peace envoy George Mitchell had not ended tensions over Israeli construction in the part of Jerusalem that Palestinians want to be a capital of a separate state. We talk with James Paharik, author of “The Long Journey: In search of Justice and Peace in Jerusalem.”

    Second Topic – Direct to my Desk - Is your political hangover keeping you from or driving you to Christ?

    As a Catholic, a believer in the Resurrection, what I do know is that my work, in season and out of season, in good times and in bad, is to stay focused on Christ and his Church turning neither to the right or the left. How well any of us do this is for God to decide but that we should do it and encourage and exhort each other to so do is undeniable. There will be a lot of discussion for some time to come over what this health care bill means in the long run for Americans and their relationship to their government. Catholics are especially endowed by historical altar/throne or church/world or Christ/Caesar debates to make vital contributions to these discussions as long as we don't fold or opt out of the game. Those Catholics who understand that to be a good American citizen is to first be a faithful citizen of the Kingdom of God will remember in the words of the prophet Isaiah that, ultimately, "the government shall be upon Christ's shoulders."  We shouldn't let Sunday's shameful disregard for the unborn as an excuse to abandon faithful citizenship. We should see it as one more open door to bear witness to the priorities of the Kingdom of God. Despair, hysteria, blameshifting, demonizing are rarely helpful in such a witness. We look at whether your political despondence is keeping you from or driving you toward Christ.

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