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Kresta in the Afternoon – January 2nd, 2015 – COUNTDOWN OF THE TOP 40 INTERVIEWS OF 2014

Talking about the “Things That Matter Most” on January 2nd, 2015

4:00 – #3. The Book of Matt: Hidden Truths about the Murder of Matthew Shepard (original air 10/10)

 What role did crystal meth and other previously under reported factors play in the brutal murder of gay college student Matthew Shepard? The Book of Matt is a page-turning cautionary tale that humanizes and de-mythologizes Matthew while following the evidence where it leads, without regard to the politics that have long attended this American tragedy. Late on the night of October 6, 1998, twenty-one-year-old Matthew Shepard left a bar in Laramie, Wyoming with two alleged “strangers,” Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson. Eighteen hours later, Matthew was found tied to a log fence on the outskirts of town, unconscious and barely alive. He had been pistol-whipped so severely that the mountain biker who discovered his battered frame mistook him for a Halloween scarecrow. Overnight, a politically expedient myth took the place of important facts. By the time Matthew died a few days later, his name was synonymous with anti-gay hate. Stephen Jimenez went to Laramie to research the story of Matthew Shepard’s murder in 2000, after the two men convicted of killing him had gone to prison, and after the national media had moved on. His aim was to write a screenplay on what he, and the rest of the nation, believed to be an open-and-shut case of bigoted violence. As a gay man, he felt an added moral imperative to tell Matthew’s story. But what Jimenez eventually found in Wyoming was a tangled web of secrets. His exhaustive investigation also plunged him deep into the deadly underworld of drug trafficking. Over the course of a thirteen-year investigation, Jimenez traveled to twenty states and Washington DC, and interviewed more than a hundred named sources. Stephen joins us.

5:00 – #2. Remembering Fr. Benedict Groeschel (original air 10/6)

Fr. Benedict Groeschel passed away Friday. He cofounded the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, hosted a weekly show on EWTN and was a professor at St. Joseph’s Seminary in New York. Doug Keck joins us to remember the life and legacy of this remarkable priest. 

5:20 – #1. Hatred: Islam’s War on Christianity

Christians are the most persecuted identifiable group on earth. This is not the opinion of some but the informed view of most — including the United Nations. What is seldom admitted, however, is that the vast majority of the nations that carry out the oppression, intolerance, violence, rape, and murder are Islamic. While Christians suffer in North Korea and parts of India, it is in Pakistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Egypt, Turkey, and even Indonesia and Malaysia where the situation is dark and becoming worse. The statistics and stories are truly terrifying in proportion and degree and as Islam expands and becomes increasingly aggressive, fundamentalist, and confident, Christian minorities live in fear and face a bleak future. In “Hatred,”
Michael Coren outlines the history of the relationship between Islam and Christianity, explains what Islam actually teaches about the Christian faith, and gives numerous examples of the experience of Christians throughout the Islamic world. It explains not only what happens, but why it happens, and deliberately challenges the comforting but false idea that all of this is somehow an aberration and contrary to Islamic thought. Michael joins us.

Kresta in the Afternoon-December 31st, 2014 – COUNTDOWN OF THE TOP 40 INTERVIEWS OF 2014

Talking about the “Things That Matter Most” on December 31, 2014

4:00 – #8. Making Gay Okay: How Rationalizing Homosexual Behavior Is Changing Everything (original air 5/23)

Why are Americans being forced to consider homosexual acts as morally acceptable? Why has the US Supreme Court accepted the validity of same-sex “marriage”, which, until a decade ago, was unheard of in the history of Western or any other civilization? Where has the “gay rights” movement come from, and how has it so easily conquered America? The answers are in the dynamics of the rationalization of sexual misbehavior. The homosexual cause moved naturally from a plea for tolerance to cultural conquest because the security of its rationalization requires universal acceptance. In other words, we all must say that the bad is good. We talk to Robert Reilly, author of Making Gay Okay.

4:40 – #7. Suicide Pact: The Radical Expansion of Presidential Powers and the Lethal Threat to American Liberty (original air 12/15)

Judge, scholar, bestselling author, and Fox News Senior Judicial Analyst
Andrew P. Napolitano is back with a shocking chronicle of America’s descent from a free society to a frightening surveillance state. In Suicide Pact, Napolitano details a long, sordid history of governmental—and especially presidential—encroachments on liberty, enacted in the name of protecting America but which serve instead to undermine national security and erode the nation’s founding freedoms. Blending fascinating history with fresh reporting and analysis on contemporary issues such as drone warfare and executions, NSA surveillance, and secret federal courts, Suicide Pact casts a vision beyond hollow rhetoric to common-sense solutions for returning sanity to our shores. Judge Napolitano joins us.

5:00 – #6. Senator Rick Santorum Discusses Faith, Family, Politics and Culture (original air 2/11)

A native of Pennsylvania, Rick Santorum was a candidate for the Republican nomination for President of the United States in 2012 and became known as a voice for conservatives who didn’t feel their voice was being represented. His grassroots approach to campaigning – including visiting every one of Iowa’s 99 counties and his stunning victory in the Iowa caucuses – catapulted him to frontrunner status where he ultimately won 11 states and 3 million votes during the Republican primary process. Rick and his wife of 22 years, Karen, are the parents of seven wonderful children: Elizabeth, John, Daniel, Sarah Maria, Peter, Patrick and Isabella. And during his run for president, Rick spoke passionately about his belief that strong families help produce a strong economy. He shared his views that we must expand opportunities for all Americans by encouraging incentives for marriage, children, and free enterprise.

Kresta in the Afternoon-December 30th, 2014 – COUNTDOWN OF THE TOP 40 INTERVIEWS OF 2014

Talking about the “Things That Matter Most” on December 30, 2014

4:00 – #10. From the Plantation to the Pulpit: A Former Sharecropper Reflects on the Ferguson Riots and the New York Chokehold Case (original air 12/4)

Deacon Larry Oney grew up the son of a sharecropper in Louisiana, where he experienced firsthand the horrors of racism in the midst of the Civil Rights movement. He recalls being afraid to travel through Mississippi because of the lynch mobs. He worked backbreaking hours in the fields to harvest cotton at a rate of two cents per pound-with crooked scales. Deacon Larry overcame these enormous challenges and is now a Catholic deacon, speaker, evangelist and the CEO of the HGI Global management firm. The state of race relations in the US is being debated more contentiously than ever after the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, and the subsequent Grand Jury decisions not to indict the police officers involved. Deacon Larry joins us to give his view on these cases and the issue of race in America.

5:00 – #9. Something Other Than God: How I Passionately Sought Happiness and Accidentally Found It (original air 5/14)

Jennifer Fulwiler told herself she was happy. Why wouldn’t she be? She made good money as a programmer at a hot tech start-up, had just married a guy with a stack of Ivy League degrees, and lived in a twenty-first-floor condo where she could sip sauvignon blanc while watching the sun set behind the hills of Austin. Raised in a happy, atheist home, Jennifer had the freedom to think for herself and play by her own rules. Yet a creeping darkness followed her all of her life. Finally, one winter night, it drove her to the edge of her balcony, making her ask once and for all why anything mattered. At that moment everything she knew and believed was shattered. Jennifer joins us to talk to us about life and death, good and evil, atheism and Catholicism

Kresta in the Afternoon-December 29th, 2014 – COUNTDOWN OF THE TOP 40 INTERVIEWS OF 2014

Talking about the “Things That Matter Most” on December 29, 2014

4:00 – #13. Abuse of Discretion: The Inside Story of Roe v. Wade (original air 1/22)

Based on 20 years of research, including an examination of the papers of eight of the nine Justices who voted in Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, Abuse of Discretion is a critical review of the behind-the-scenes deliberations that went into the Supreme Court’s abortion decisions and how the mistakes made by the Justices in 1971-1973 have led to the turmoil we see today in legislation, politics, and public health. Why do the abortion decisions remain so controversial after 40 years, despite more than 50,000,000 abortions, numerous presidential elections, and a complete turnover in the Justices? Why did such a sweeping decision—with such important consequences for public health, producing such prolonged political turmoil—come from the Supreme Court in 1973?
Clarke Forsythe, author of the aforementioned book, joins us.

5:00 – 12. The Glory of the Crusades (original air 11/24)

How can the Crusades be called glorious? Our modern mindset says they were ugly wars of greed and religious intolerance. Historian Steve Weidenkopf challenges this received narrative with The Glory of the Crusades. Drawing on the latest and most authentic medieval scholarship, he presents a compelling case for understanding the Crusades as they were when they happened: armed pilgrimages driven by a holy zeal to recover conquered Christian lands. Without whitewashing their failures and even crimes, he debunks the numerous myths about the Crusades that our secular culture uses as clubs to attack the Church. In place of these myths he offers men and women of faith and valor who pledged their lives for the honor of Christ’s holy places. With a storyteller’s gift, he relates the Crusades’ many dramas: their heroes and villains, battles and sieges, intrigues and coincidences. Steve joins us with an engrossing account of events that, though centuries old, have profoundly affected the course of our world to the present day.

5:40 – #11: Kresta Comments: Reactions to the CIA Torture Report (original air 12/15 in 2nd Hour)


Kresta in the Afternoon-December 26th, 2014 – COUNTDOWN OF THE TOP 40 INTERVIEWS OF 2014

Talking about the “Things That Matter Most” on December 26, 2014

4:00 – #16. Natural Law, My Jewish Conversion and Changes in Academics (original air 11/14) 

Hadley Arkes joins us for a wide-ranging discussion, including how Catholicism is the logical fulfillment to his Jewish faith.

5:00 – #15. What’s Really Going on at the Synod? (original air 10/15)

The mainstream media would have us believe that the Synod represents a dramatic shift in Church teaching; among other things, many media outlets have claimed that statements from the Synod indicate the Church is on the verge of recognizing same-sex marriage. Others are saying the Church will be changing policy on divorce. Matthew Bunson, editor of Catholic Answer magazine, joins us to debunk these claims and clarify the latest decisions from Rome.

5:40 – #14.
Son of “Unbroken” Hero Recalls his Father’s Faith (original air 12/16)

In theaters Christmas Day, Unbroken is the incredible true story of Louis Zamperini, a former track star whose bomber went down in the Pacific Ocean during World War II. Zamperini survived 47 harrowing days adrift before being picked up by the Japanese and send to a POW camp, where he endured two and a half years of unimaginable psychological and physical torture. Louis’ son Luke Zamperini joins us to talk about the film and his father’s amazing story of faith and perseverance.

Kresta in the Afternoon-December 24th, 2014 – COUNTDOWN OF THE TOP 40 INTERVIEWS OF 2014

Talking about the “Things That Matter Most” on December 24, 2014

4:00 – #23. St. Francis Used Words (re-record of earlier interview)

St. Francis of Assisi is perhaps the most well-known and best-loved saint in the history of the Church. Regrettably, there is a common misperception that he rarely used words to preach the Gospel. Too often this leads people conclude that it is better not to use words. In this booklet, Peter Herbeck uses firsthand accounts to refute this myth and paint a true picture of Francis’ powerful preaching. Following the example of Jesus and the apostles, Francis used words. Peter concludes this important message with additional lessons we can learn from St. Francis for preaching the Gospel in our times. Peter joins us.

4:40 – #22. Earth Day 2014: The Papal Edition (original air 4/22)

Pope Francis offered a homily at his inaugural Mass which centered on the need for the Church and its members to take up the vocation of “protector,” inspired by the example of St. Joseph, for all of humanity and for creation. It means protecting all creation, the beauty of the created world, as the Book of Genesis tells us and as Saint Francis of Assisi showed us. It means respecting each of God’s creatures and respecting the environment in which we live. The new Pontiff sees no conflict between protecting creation and the protection of each person. This Monday was Earth Day and today we talk to G. Tracy Mehan about Earth Day – The Papal Edition.

5:00 – #21. Regensburg Vindicated: Is Benedict XVI a Prophet? (original air 9/18)

It has been eight years since Pope Emeritus Benedict’s lecture in Regensburg, Germany. During the lecture, the pope quoted a 14th-century scholar who said,  “Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.” The speech was widely condemned throughout the Muslim world. The mainstream media criticized Benedict for his “gaffe.” As ISIS ravages Syria and Iraq, is it safe to say Benedict has been vindicated? Robert Reilly offers his take.

5:40 – #20. Tensions in Hong Kong: Is another Tiananmen Square on the Horizon? (original air 9/30)

Demonstrations have recently arisen in Hong Kong against the Chinese government. When the region shifted from British to Chinese rule in 1997, government leaders agreed that Hong Kong residents could begin electing their own leader in 2017. Last month, China announced that it would only allow Beijing-vetted candidates to run in the election. The decision has sparked protests throughout Hong Kong, which have been denounced by Chinese officials and dispersed with tear gas. Many political analysts doubt the Chinese Communist Party, hardly known for its acceptance of democracy, can reach a compromise with the protestors. Others say the situation is eerily similar to the Tiananmen Square massacre of 1989. We talk to David Aikman, the former Beijing   bureau chief for Time Magazine, about the rising tensions.

Kresta in the Afternoon-December 23nd, 2014 – COUNTDOWN OF THE TOP 40 INTERVIEWS OF 2014

Talking about the “Things That Matter Most” on December 23, 2014

4:00 – #26. Lone Survivor: The Man Behind the Movie (original air 1/23)

Four US Navy SEALS departed one clear night in early July 2005 for the mountainous Afghanistan-Pakistan border for a reconnaissance mission. Their task was to document the activity of an al Qaeda leader rumored to be very close to Bin Laden with a small army in a Taliban stronghold. Five days later, only one of those Navy SEALS made it out alive. This is the story of the only survivor of Operation Redwing, SEAL fire team leader Marcus Luttrell, and the extraordinary firefight that led to the largest loss of life in American Navy SEAL history. Marcus joins us.

4:20 – #25. Prodigal Press: Confronting the Anti-Christian Bias of the American News Media (original air 2/27)

In the nineteenth century, leading newspapers reported from a Christian perspective. Today, however, print and TV journalists increasingly take an anti-Christian stance while claiming to be neutral. Prodigal Press uncovers the shift to secular humanism that has radically altered what the media cover and how they report it. Issuing a clarion call for Christians to reclaim American journalism, Warren Smith is here to examine the influence of worldviews on reporting, objectivity, sensationalism, and crusading; the impact of legal, ethical, and technological changes; and the changes brought about by the 24/7 news cycle, the Internet, and social media.

5:00 – #24. Is There A “Catholic” Way to Overcome Depression? (original air 1/10)

Countless Christians — including scores of saints — have suffered profound, pervasive sorrow that modern psychiatrists call “depression.” Then, as now, great faith and even fervent spiritual practices have generally failed to ease this wearying desolation of soul. Catholic psychiatrist Dr. Aaron Kheriaty is here to review the effective ways that have recently been devised to deal with this grave and sometimes deadly affliction — ways that are not only consistent with the teachings of the Church, but even rooted in many of those teachings. We’ll come to know how to identify the various types of depression and come to understand the interplay of their often manifold causes, biological, psychological, behavioral, cultural, and, yes, moral.

Kresta in the Afternoon-December 22nd, 2014 – COUNTDOWN OF THE TOP 40 INTERVIEWS OF 2014

Talking about the “Things That Matter Most” on December 22, 2014

4:00 – #29: Live From Rome: What You Need to Know About Popes John XXIII and John Paul II (original air 4/25)

The canonizations of Popes St. John XXIII and St. John Paul II mark not only the raising to the altars of arguably the two most beloved pontiffs of the 20th century but the opportunity to reflect on the remarkable writings of these two holy popes. Both served during periods of great political, social and intellectual upheaval, and both called on the human family to embrace peace amidst the threat of nuclear annihilation. Above all, the two new saints were united by their abiding concern for the dignity of the human person in the modern world. Matthew Bunson and his encyclopedic knowledge of all things Catholic are in Rome for the canonizations and he joins us to go over the legacies of these two great Popes.

4:40 – #28. Kresta Comments: Saying Good Things about Sinners (original air 8/13)

Robin Williams, one of the most beloved actors of the era, committed suicide on August 11. Amongst the dozens of heartfelt tributes, Al has noticed many people struggling to say good things about a man who had many public problems. Al comments on how we are all sinners and must recognize the good in all.

5:00 – #27.  A Voice Undefeated (original air 5/2)

Collin Raye’s powerful, golden voice dazzled the country music scene in 1991 with his Number One hit single “Love, Me”, country music listeners fell in love with one of the great voices of our time. A new star was rising, and Collin’s success continued throughout the nineties with over eight million records sold. Raye’s autobiography, A Voice Undefeated, gives readers a down-to-earth account of the author’s personal and professional life. From his childhood in Arkansas and Texas through his days with the Wray Brothers Band in Oregon and Reno to his rise to international stardom, to his journey into the Catholic Church, this book is both a journey to the top of the music world and an intimate diary of a soul that has suffered great professional and personal losses.

Kresta in the Afternoon-December 19th, 2014 – COUNTDOWN OF THE TOP 40 INTERVIEWS OF 2014

Talking about the “Things That Matter Most” on December 19, 2014

4:00 – #32. The War on Humans (original air 2/11)

A leading bioethicist declares that pigs have more right to live than human infants. A Harvard Law professor advocates giving cows and whales legal “standing” to sue. In support of radical depopulation measures, a famous maker of nature documentaries lambastes humans as a “plague on the Earth”. Examples like these aren’t the stuff of satire or science-fiction — they’re happening today. And as Wesley Smith reveals in the provocative new documentary The War Against Humans, they are part of an environmentalism that has become profoundly misanthropic. Wes joins us to talk about the impact of this war.

4:40 – 31. “Mother Teresa” – The Movie (original air 5/7)

The film is “Mother Teresa.” In a powerful portrayal, Golden Globe winner Olivia Hussey illuminates the life story of Mother Teresa, the selfless missionary who brought hope, love and salvation to the poorest of the poor. A shrewd diplomat and an indomitable force, Mother Teresa is unwilling to accept what others deem impossible, fearlessly fighting for the unloved and the forgotten. Her good works transcend hardships and ultimately earn her international acclaim, including the Nobel Peace prize. The small miracles and humble triumphs of Mother Teresa will inspire you in this poignant tale of a modern-day saint. We talk to Olivia Hussey.

5:00 – #30. Evangelizing Catholics: A Mission Manual for the New Evangelization (original air 6/2)

You can’t keep the faith unless you give it away. That’s a fact. To be a Christian is to be an evangelizer. When the Catholic Church calls us to a “New Evangelization,” that’s simply a reminder to us of what has always been true. The good news is: you can do it – you can evangelize – and Dr. Scott Hahn is here to show you how. You don’t need esoteric knowledge. You don’t need to master a new set of skills. Evangelization, for Catholics, is simply friendship raised up to the highest level. Enter a deeper friendship with Christ, and you’ll want to share his companionship more and more with a wider circle of friends. Scott joins us. Buy his book here.

Kresta in the Afternoon-December 18th, 2014 – COUNTDOWN OF THE TOP 40 INTERVIEWS OF 2014

Talking about the “Things That Matter Most” on December 18, 2014

4:00 – #35 – Creating the Optimal Embryo: It’s Not a Thing of the Future (original air 2/26)

A near and present danger looms for the Catholic Church. This danger manifests itself in a new form of biotechnology entitled Pre-Implantation Genetic Screening and Selection (PIGSS). Members of the National Catholic Bioethics Center regard this among the greatest dangers to the Church’s moral teaching, legal independence of its institutions (hospitals, school, and churches, clergy) and economic viability. (PIGSS) is the screening and pre-selection of embryos before implantation in the uterus through in vitro fertilization technology, so that the optimal embryo might be selected or genetically enhanced. It is anticipated that it will be combined with Eugenics. It’s real and it’s here. We talk to 
Dr. Vincent Fortanasce who is leading the charge to educate people on this danger.

4:40 – #34 – Kresta Comments: The New Divorce Phrase “Conscious Uncoupling” Dangerous, Ignorant and Untrue (original air 4/4)

Last week, celebrity couple Gwtneth Paltro and Chris Martin announced their separation. In that statement they introduced the world to a new phrase: “Conscious Uncoupling.”  It didn’t take long for the news of a celebrity divorce to be quickly eclipsed by that substitute term for the D word, one virtually no one had ever heard before. The person who coined the phrase, Katherine Woodward Thomas, a New Age 56-year-old psychotherapist, had this to say: “It’s a kinder term for divorce. It is essentially a no-drama approach to separation, one that protects the children and encourages both sides to avoid pointing fingers.” Al discusses this term and its dangers.

5:00 – #33 – Hope for the Inner City (original air 6/20)

As Founder of the Freedom & Virtue Institute, Ismael Hernandez has been working to raise those in inner-city poverty out of their trap. Ismael is here to examine strategies to improve the socio-economic conditions of inner cities in North America. Fragile urban infrastructures are often vulnerable to patterns that impede human flourishing. He presents an alternate vision for personal and communal uplift based on local entrepreneurial initiative.

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