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Today on "Kresta in the Afternoon" – October 14, 2013

Talking about the "things that matter most" on October 14

4:00 – The Bad Catholic's Guide to the Catechism: A Faithful, Fun-Loving Look at Catholic Dogmas, Doctrines, and Schmoctrines
Masquerading behind the guise of the old-fashioned Catechism that generations of Catholic school kids in plaid skirts or clip-on ties had to memorize, John Zmirak has written a candid handbook which provides a witty take on the Catechism. Objections from relativist, New Atheist, dissenting Catholic, and other points of view are featured, with intellectually sound questions and bracingly funny answers. Penned by a Yale-educated author who worked both in the mainstream, secular media as well as for Catholic outlets, the study reveals the whole range of contemporary criticisms aimed at the Church—and how to answer them in kind. John joins us.

5:00 – What Should We Expect in the Government Shutdown / Debt Ceiling Debacle?
As the government shutdown continues, the debt ceiling deadline looms and no progress in Washington apparent, Americans are worried about what the impact will be in their lives. Economic analyst George Schwartz helps us sort it out

5:20 – PBS Correspondent Prescribes Monastic Wisdom for U.S. Congress
In the face of government shutdown and unprecedented political dysfunction, PBS correspondent and Chicago Public Radio commentator Judith Valentesuggests that how we got to this place has very little to do with politics and very much to do with habits of the mind and heart.  The solution? Members of Congress should read The Rule of St. Benedict, the sixth-century classic guide to monastic living, for advice on how to extricate themselves from this mess. She is here to explain why.

Supreme Court Heads Into a New Term

Abortion, public prayer and HHS mandate cases are under review.


10/09/2013
National Catholic Register

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court is diving into a new term, with several cases threatening court precedents dealing with abortion and public prayer.

Church leaders and religious-freedom advocates are also waiting to see whether the high court will agree to hear one or more appeals in legal challenges to the Health and Human Services’ contraception mandate filed by for-profit employers who oppose the federal law on moral grounds.
While the justices are not slated to hear blockbuster cases like recent challenges to the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, or the federal Defense of Marriage Act, The Washington Post noted that the high court has increasingly become the “uneasy arbiter of America’s intractable social conflicts.”

Indeed, for John Kennedy, the Catholic CEO of Autocam, a Michigan-based manufacturing company and one of 30 for-profit employers who have sued Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius over the federal contraception mandate, the high court now offers his last hope, after the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against him.

“The 6th Circuit said I could only practice my faith within the four walls of my church. I hope the Supreme Court agrees to a review of the HHS mandate and it recognizes that the law impinges on the religious freedom of all business owners who don’t believe in birth control and abortion-inducing drugs,” Kennedy told the Register, after he wrote an op-ed for USA Today outlining his objections to the federal law.


Read more: http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/supreme-court-heads-into-a-new-term?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+NCRegisterDailyBlog+National+Catholic+Register#When:2013-10-9%2017:20:01#ixzz2hKpPgicg

Pope Francis’ Interviews and the Bigger Picture

Father John Wauck discusses the Holy Father’s ‘relentlessly personal’ approach.

10/10/2013
National Catholic Register
Courtesy Opus Dei
Opus Dei Father John Wauck
– Courtesy Opus Dei

 

Opus Dei Father John Wauck teaches in the School of Church Communications at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome. During the 2013 papal conclave, he served as a television commentator for ABC.
On Oct. 8, he spoke with the Register's senior editor, Joan Frawley Desmond, about Pope Francis’ efforts to reach alienated Catholics and the public through an unprecedented strategy of informal interviews that reportedly bypassed Vatican filters.

Two recent interviews with Pope Francis have produced inaccurate headlines attacking pro-life activism and Catholic conversions. New York Times columnist Ross Douthat worried that the Pope’s communications strategy — which Douthat described as an “almost-frantic engagement with the lapsed-Catholic, post-Catholic and non-Catholic world” — could backfire. What’s your view?

It’s important for everybody to calm down and look at the big picture.
Pope Francis, the Successor of Peter, is the most popular man on the planet. There are worse things that could happen, especially given the water under the bridge, such as the abuse scandals.
You can quibble about how he is saying things, but we are in a good place. Even the need to explain and interpret the Pope’s words is not bad, because you get to talk about things.
I lived through the whole Da Vinci Code excitement, and in the end, it was a gift. It made Opus Dei open the door and shine the light, and people found Opus Dei was okay. It wouldn’t have happened without the novel.


Read more: http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/pope-francis-interviews-and-the-bigger-picture?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+NCRegisterDailyBlog+National+Catholic+Register#When:2013-10-10%2008:10:01#ixzz2hKowyISE

Today on "Kresta in the Afternoon" – October 11, 2013

Talking about the "things that matter most" on October 11

Live from the EWTN / Catholic Radio Association Conference in Birmingham, AL

4:00 – “Grace Unplugged” - #1 Fan Favorite on Opening Weekend
From Facebook to Fandango, from Rotten Tomatoes to Twitter, from Yahoo to your emails, “Grace Unplugged” fans are speaking up and speaking up loudly. This faith-filled family film is Fandango's No. 1 viewer-rated movie in theaters! We talk to director Brad Silverman about this story about a prodigal daughter and the strained relationship with her father.

4:20 – Spiritual Disciplines Segment:The Devil’s War on Silence
There are key strategies of indirect attack that the enemy of our souls uses to significantly disrupt our spiritual progress. One is the corruption of human sexuality. As the analogy of holy spousal love is one of the most effective in understanding divine intimacy, the enemy desires to corrupt human sexuality in order to further obscure what it means to understand the possibilities of union with God. Similarly, there is another indirect attack that wreaks havoc on the soul’s ability grow in intimacy with God — noise. In our culture, noise is everywhere. Dan Burke, author of Navigating the Interior Life, is here to discuss these attacks.

4:40 – Shaping Our Nation: How Surges of Migration Transformed America and Its Politics
It is often said that America has become culturally diverse only in the past quarter century. But from the country’s beginning, cultural variety and conflict have been a centrifugal force in American politics and a crucial reason for our rise to power. The peopling of the United States is one of the most important stories of the last five hundred years, and in Shaping our Nation, bestselling author and demographics expert Michael Baroneilluminates a new angle on America’s rise, using a vast array of political and social data to show America is the product of a series large, unexpected mass movements—both internal and external—which typically lasted only one or two generations but in that time reshaped the nation,  and created lasting tensions that were difficult to resolve. He joins us today.

5:00 – Bambinelli Sunday: A Christmas Blessing
Alessandro is staying with his grandparents, who run a small shop that sells figures for the presepe (Nativity scene), while his parents look for work in another country. To help with the boy’s loneliness, his grandfather encourages Alessandro to make his own figure of the baby Jesus. They will bring that figure to Rome in two weeks to have it blessed by the Holy Father on Bambinelli Sunday. Through the events that occur in the time leading up to receiving the blessing in St. Peter's Square, Alessandro comes to see his world in a new way, and receives the best surprise of all in the end. It’s the latest children’s book by Amy Welborn and she is here with us. 

5:40 – A Catholic Look at the Government Shutdown and Debt Ceiling Debate
To hear liberals and the mainstream media tell it, it would be something verging on Armageddon. Whole government agencies would cease to function. Tens of thousands -- make that hundreds of thousands -- of government bureaucrats would be furloughed. Regulations could not be enforced. Taxes could not be collected. Welfare checks could not be distributed. And the sausage factory that is the United States Congress would stop. To which millions of Americans are increasingly inclined to respond: So what’s the bad news? But seriously, says Sam Gregg, there is much to be gained from the federal government shutdown. He is with us to explain.

Debt Limit – a Guide to American Federal Debt Made Easy

An old one but made relevant for today by recent government actions. Undoubtedly the numbers are worse than they were when this video was originally made:
 
Uploaded on Nov 4, 2011
The United States debt limit explained. A satirical short film taking a look at the national debt and how it applies to just one family. Watch the guy from the Sprint Ads, Ferris Bueller Superbowl Spot and plays Arwin! (also in the upcoming film PAIN AND GAIN) Produced by Seth William Meier, DP/Edited by Craig Evans, 1st AC Brian Andrews, Sound Mixer Gus Salazar, Written and Directed by Brian Stepanek. Help us spread the word by clicking ads or at www.debtlimitusa.org.
 
 


The New Narcotic

Public Discourse

New neurological research reveals that porn is as potently addictive as heroin or cocaine.
 
But what if I told you that the internet “is the greatest drug dealer in the United States?”

A growing body of research supports such an assertion as it relates to a new “narcotic”: internet pornography. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health estimated that in 2008 there were 1.9 million cocaine users. According to the Central Intelligence Agency, there are an estimated 2 million heroin users in the United States, with some 600,000 to 800,000 considered hardcore addicts.

Compare these numbers to the 40 million regular users of online pornography in America.

Dr. Jeffrey Satinover
Neurological research has revealed that the effect of internet pornography on the human brain is just as potent—if not more so—than addictive chemical substances such as cocaine or heroin. In a statement before Congress, Dr. Jeffrey Satinover, a psychiatrist, psychoanalyst, physicist, and former Fellow in Psychiatry at Yale, cautioned:

With the advent of the computer, the delivery system for this addictive stimulus [internet pornography] has become nearly resistance-free. It is as though we have devised a form of heroin 100 times more powerful than before, usable in the privacy of one’s own home and injected directly to the brain through the eyes. It’s now available in unlimited supply via a self-replicating distribution network, glorified as art and protected by the Constitution.
 
Though pornography, in one form or another, has been around for most of human history, its content and the way people access and consume it have drastically changed in the past few decades with the advent of the internet and related technologies.

Read the rest here: http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2013/10/10846/

California Expands Availability of Abortions

Gov. Jerry Brown
New York Times
LOS ANGELES — Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday expanded access to abortion in California, signing a bill to allow nurse practitioners, midwives and physician assistants to perform a common type of the procedure, an aspiration abortion, during the first trimester.

Washington, Montana, Vermont and New Hampshire allow nurse practitioners to perform such abortions, which use a tube and suction, while several other states, including California, permit nonphysicians to provide drugs to terminate pregnancy.
      
But the new California law goes further, allowing a wider range of nonphysician practitioners to perform surgical abortions. While other states have passed a tide of laws restricting abortion access, California has gone against the political tide.
      
“We are trending in a different direction, and we’re very proud of it,” said Toni Atkins, the state assemblywoman who wrote the bill. “California has a strong history of support for reproductive health care for women.” She said women in rural parts of the state had trouble finding an abortion provider.
      
“This is an issue of accessibility,” Ms. Atkins said. “California is a very large state, and more than half the counties don’t have an abortion provider.”

Read the rest here: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/10/us/california-expands-availability-of-abortions.html?ref=us&_r=1&

Not All Marriages Are Created Equal

The Weekly Standard

Iowa Agency Tries to Force Mennonite Couple to Host Controversial Religious Ceremony

Des Moines, IA – Yesterday The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty filed a lawsuit in Iowa state court, seeking protection for Betty and Richard Odgaard (see video), a Mennonite couple, from being forced to facilitate a religious ceremony against their religious convictions. Betty and Richard personally own and operate the Görtz Haus Gallery, a 77-year-old-church-building-turned-art gallery. After declining a request to plan, facilitate, and host a ceremony that ran counter to their beliefs, they faced punitive action before the Iowa Civil Rights Commission.
 
“Iowa is a great champion of individual freedom,” said Emily Hardman with The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. “Every Iowan should be concerned that bureaucrats are forcing Betty and Richard to personally host a religious ceremony against their religious convictions.”

Betty Odgaard was born and raised a Mennonite—her father was a Mennonite minister and she played music for her church growing up. When she and her husband founded the Görtz Haus Gallery (Görtz is Betty’s maiden name), they made sure to keep the old church elements, such as the stained glass windows depicting Biblical images. With its religious decorations and architectural elements, the Gallery has served as a place to express the Odgaards’ faith for over a decade. One of their favorite ways to do that is hosting wedding ceremonies in the old church’s sanctuary. They personally help plan and host every wedding, and are both at the Gallery from morning until night for each wedding ceremony.

Read the rest here: http://www.becketfund.org/iowa-agency-tries-to-force-mennonite-couple-to-host-controversial-religious-ceremony/

Governor Jerry Brown signs bill allowing nurses and midwives to perform abortions in California

Wed Oct 09, 2013 16:12 EST

SACRAMENTO, CA October 9, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – California Governor Jerry Brown has signed two bills allowing non-physicians to perform abortions and reducing health standards for abortion facilities, saying the new laws “support the health and well-being of women.”
California is the fifth state to allow or not explicitly ban the practice of non-physician abortion, joining Montana, New York, Oregon, and Vermont.
 
California Governor Jerry Brown ran for the  Democratic pres
California Governor Jerry Brown ran for the
  Democratic presidential nomination
 in 1976, 1980, and 1992.
The bill, A.B. 154, introduced by San Diego Democrat Toni Atkins, would authorize midwives, nurse practitioners, and physicians’ assistants to perform first-trimester suction aspiration abortions.

A study conducted by Tracy Weitz, director of UC-San Francisco’s Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health, found that abortions performed by non-physicians had twice the rate of complications as those performed by doctors. However, Dr. Weitz called the difference “clinically equivalent.

The new law, which originally passed the General Assembly in May, cleared the State Senate last month by a near-party line vote of 25-11. Lou Correa of Anaheim was the only Senate Democrat to vote against the bill.

“The growing shortage of abortion providers creates a significant barrier for women,” said State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara.

Read the rest here: http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/governor-jerry-brown-signs-bill-allowing-nurses-and-midwives-to-perform-abo
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