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Today on "Kresta in the Afternoon" – July 18, 2013

Talking about the “things that matter most” on July 18

4:00 – Kresta Comments

4:40 – Praying For 2 Tragic Situations and Remembering a Deceased Hero
We ask for prayer in two tragic situations here in MI and in DC. We also remember a lifetime G-Man who left behind a trail of fascinating tales that merit remembrance.

5:00 – Celebrity Substance Abuse – Lessons to Learn?
Cory Monteith, who played heart throb Finn Hudson in the Fox hit “Glee,” was found dead in a Vancouver hotel room on Saturday. He was 31. He died of a drug overdose after years of substance abuse dating back to high school. We look at celebrity drug deaths, why they seem common and what lessons we can learn. Mike Vasquez of the St. Gregory Center for Drug and Alcohol Rehab joins us.

5:20 – Kresta Comments

5:40 – The Conjuring” – A Review
It’s the latest “paranormal, exorcism, supernatural” thriller and is hitting theaters tomorrow. It’s “The Conjuring” and Nick Thomm is here to discuss it with Al.

Review: Dangers to the Faith

Dangers to the Faith

| July 17, 2013  

It is holy to love our enemy, but we must recognize him. The guy who takes our parking spot, the cranky neighbor, the difficult in-law…they are not the ultimate enemy. Yes, they are personal challenges, but they are also opportunities for grace—“The measure with which you measure, will be measured back to you” (Luke 6:38).

The ultimate enemy is the darkness that siphons off Godly values and rejects Christianity as silly or even dangerous to an indulgent society. We are called to love the misguided ones who fall for the clever disguises of darkness. By knowing the truths of our faith, we can shed light on the darkness and redirect them.

In his new book, Dangers to the Faith: Recognizing Catholicism’s 21st-Century Opponents, Al Kresta shines a spotlight upon our culture. The President and CEO of Ave Maria Radio, and host of “Kresta in the Afternoon,” takes on our feel-good, self-empowerment world and challenges every Catholic not to just live their faith, but to defeat the enemy through our examples and defense of the truth.

“Baptism identifies every Catholic with the mission of Christ,” he writes. “The question isn’t whether or not we are involved in the mission of the Church. Baptism has already involved us.”

“Jesus said, we would have tribulation, but be of good cheer for he has overcome the world,” Kresta writes. “Our aim is not separation from the world, nor accommodation to the world but rather, to the degree that God gives us the grace, transformation of the world to resemble the Kingdom.”

The challenge is that much of the world presents an easier, more enlightened way that tramples on God’s truth. There lies our challenge because so many are following the Pied Piper of false enlightenment into darkness. Kresta tells us that Christ sent us into the world to imitate him so we must take our cues from a Kingdom not of this world.

The first enemy Kresta takes on in his book is “New Age,” as well as a mix-and-match spirituality. “Oprah cheerleads this individualistic, eclectic spirituality which challenges and, for many, replaces the more traditional denominations,” he writes. “Thirty-three percent of people polled say Oprah has ‘a more profound impact’ on their spirituality than their pastors.” Kresta warns that the problem is the misconceptions about the faith she promotes thinking she’s helping people.

New Age spirituality is about human potential, self-improvement, and success motivation. Kresta explains that the New Age movement has evolved into a quasi-science that rests on claims of mesmerism, spiritualism and animal magnetism. An example is the claim that the human mind receives and transmits vibrations that influences the environment so that positive thoughts can change physical reality. A popular mantra is, “What you conceive and believe, you will achieve and receive.”

The purported “Law of Attraction” also exaggerates our control over life, claiming that we are creators of our own reality. Kresta counters with God’s truth. “The Scripture presents a very different sovereign,” He writes. “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will be established.”

New Age, according to him, tells the same old lie told in the Garden of Eden, that rather than relying on God, man can discover his own divinity. Or as New Age enthusiast Shirley MacLaine puts it: “Know that you are God; know that you are the universe.”

Kresta counters with the words of St. Paul, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Phil 4:13). He writes, “For Christians, it is not me vs. Christ, but Christ in me, the hope of glory. The source of our strength comes from another. He indwells us, but doesn’t displace us.”

In the Dangers to the Faith, Kresta treads where the secular media is afraid to go including: dissecting Islam and it’s contradictions to Christianity; exposing the abusers of science and reason, because nature and scripture do not contradict; and the irrationality of relativism since we are an inescapably moral people yet the secular culture dictates which moral concerns are acceptable. He even takes on consumerism, a part of the Western lifestyle many fail to recognize arrests our development by continually weakening impulse control.

Kresta’s book shows the superiority of God’s absolute law over false teachings and temptations. Biblical principals are brought to bear to show the glory of the cross over the veneer of a make-believe world. Kresta offers us no promises or easy fixes in life but rather that of the ultimate fix: a life full of value based on Jesus in the Eucharist.

“Catholic teaching best corresponds to life as we experience it,” Kresta writes. “It best explains human aspirations for love, life, significance, and meaning, the appearance of design in the cosmos, the function of conscience, the rise of modern science, the persistence of the Jews and the papacy, the rise of the Christian Church and a God who reveals himself as Love, is Infinite and Personal, who is both one and many and who we are called upon to image.”

About the Author:

Patti Maguire Armstrong and her husband have ten children. She is an award-winning author and was managing editor and co-author of Ascension Press’s Amazing Grace Series. She has just released 2 new books. Big Hearted: Inspiring Stories from Everyday Families is a collection of stories on love and life. Dear God, I Don’t Get It is children’s fiction that presents faith through a fun and exciting story. Read more at Catholic News and Inspiration and follow her at Twitter. Please “Like” her Facebook pages: DearGodBooks, BigHeartedFamilies, and A GPS Guide to Heaven and Earth.

After SCOTUS setback, Prop. 8 supporters ask California Supreme Court to uphold the law

Wed Jul 17, 2013 16:03 EST

SACRAMENTO, CA, July 17, 2013 (LifeSiteNews) – In the wake of a June 26 U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding a homosexual district court judge’s injunction against Proposition 8, California’s voter-passed constitutional amendment banning same-sex ‘marriage,’ Alliance Defending Freedom petitioned the California Supreme Court Friday to order the state’s county clerks to uphold the law.

ADF’s attorneys argued that because the U.S. Court did not rule on the amendment’s constitutionality, and the original district court ruling didn’t apply to the entire state, county clerks should honor the state constitution and continue to refuse marriage permits to same-sex couples.
But on June 28, just two days after the U.S. Court’s ruling, California State Registrar Tony Agurto ordered all county clerks to begin issuing marriage licenses to homosexual couples, which ADF says violates the state’s constitution.

Technically, the registrar doesn’t have the authority to issue such orders to county clerks. However, California Attorney General Kamala Harris publicly stated that she will take legal action against any clerk who declines to follow the registrar’s directive.

ADF’s petition asks the California Supreme Court to put Harris and Agurto in check, reminding the Court, “This Court’s case law requires executive officials charged with ministerial duties to execute those duties regardless of their or others’ views about the constitutionality of the laws imposing those duties.”


Baby declared dead ‘comes back to life’ after being placed on chapel altar

Wed Jul 17, 2013 17:52 EST

July 17, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Family members and medical personnel at a hospital in Lindrina, Brazil, say they are stunned after a baby declared dead apparently came back to life after being placed on the altar in the hospital’s chapel.

The altar where the little girl lay for three hours,
before being discovered to be alive.

According to local news sources, Yasmin Gomes was born premature earlier this month, and almost immediately stopped breathing. Doctors attempted for nearly an hour to revive the girl, who weighed only 2.6 pounds, but after their attempts failed they declared the baby dead and issued a death certificate.


Yasmin’s mother, Jenifer Gomes da Silva, 22, told Brazil’s Tanosite that when she was told her daughter had died, “My world crashed down right then. It was the most desperate moment when all my dreams were snatched away.”
However, Nurse Ana Claudia Oliveira asked that instead of being sent to the morgue, the body of the child be placed in a box and put on the altar in the chapel.
“She’s a little angel, a child. I just couldn’t face the thought of her being sent down to the morgue,” she told Globo G1.

The nurse testified that in every possible way, the baby appeared to be dead.

“I can assure you, the child was dead. Her pupils didn’t respond to light. All her signs pointed to the complete absence of life,” she said.

“I saw it with my own eyes. She was blue all over, completely dead,” she added.

Three hours later, the baby’s grandmother went to fetch the baby with a mortician. But what they saw left them weeping tears of joy, instead of sadness.

When they went to pick up the baby, she kicked.

Read more HERE.

Prayers for Critically Injured Thomas Peters – UPDATED

Friends, please whisper up a prayer for Thomas Peters of Catholic Vote:
Thomas was involved in an accident yesterday evening and has sustained major injuries. He is awake, responsive, and in stable but critical condition. Family and friends are with him.

Pray for his family, too, including his father, Edward Peters, and Thomas’ wife.

The first time I met Thomas was in Rome in 2011 at the Vatican/Blogger meet-up, which is pictured above. I complimented him on looking so handsome in his white suit and he blushed and said, “it’s the only suit I own.” He was very sweet, and very self-effacing.

Prayer has power. Let us pray. I’ll keep you posted as more news comes down.

From Edward Peter’s Facebook page:

Thom can move his arms, docs are discussing the best treatment for his neck injury. Immediate concern is for the considerable water in his lungs. We are astounded at the expressions of prayers and support. Thom & Nat know about it. Please keep them up. Love from us all, EdP.

Further updates will be found at The Anchoress’ blog.


A shining – and rare – public example of courage

Irish cabinet minister Lucinda Creighton sacrifices her career in defence of innocent life

Resigned minister Creighton: Defending unborn people.
Resigned minister Creighton: Defending unborn people

Wednesday 17th of July 2013 
The Christians

It’s rare in any country to see someone publicly commit career suicide in service of someone else, but it happened July 1 in the Irish Parliament. Cabinet minister Lucinda Creighton, age 33, spoke for 27 minutes about why she would vote against her own government’s ironically named Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill. It would clarify the circumstances under which a pregnancy in Ireland may be medically terminated. Though under threat of expulsion from her own leader, Prime Minister Enda Kenny, Creighton delivered a sturdy, principled analysis worthy of William Wilberforce of why the proposed law is fundamentally immoral. She confirmed this week she will resign as European Affairs minister. Indeed her political career, hitherto promising, is effectively finished.

Opening a floodgate

Ireland is still a remarkably pro-life country, certainly by European standards; most people still oppose abortion on demand, and women who want them – some 4,000 a year – must still go to Britain. The new bill (which is expected soon to become law) will provide more precise definitions of life-saving medical necessity. Creighton applauded that. She objected, however, to including a threat of suicide as a permitted medical ground. This, she argued, was unnecessary, bad psychiatry and a likely floodgate – a point on which she said 113 Irish psychiatrists had agreed.

Polls this past winter showed that most Irish citizens, though opposed to abortion for convenience, approve of abortion for medical necessity. Just how elastic that term can be was shown in Canada, where a Catholic prime minister and a Catholic justice minister assured Parliament in 1969 that hospital medical committees would ensure that abortion would remain rare, and within four years there was virtual abortion on demand. Today Canada has legal abortion for any reason up to the moment of completed birth – a fact of which most Canadians (as well as MP Creighton in Ireland) are unaware. 

Progressive group think

The irony of what Creighton calls “progressive group think” is that it is unthinking and illiberal. “The sad reality, as we look around the globe at how women’s rights are advocated, promoted and defended,” she told the assembly, “is that abortion is in fact, often a tool for the oppression of women. Look at China, India, Korea and indeed some parts of Europe and the United States. The societal preference for boys over girls has led to the obliteration of tens of millions of baby girls who were simply never born.“It would be bizarre if we as legislators did not ask the obvious question: What is the net difference between such screening followed by intentional gender-based abortion, and the intentional killing of that baby after delivery? The answer is of course none.“The net effect is exactly the same, which is to say that an innocent baby is simply wiped out.”

To read/watch Creighton’s address to the Irish Parliament

See more at: The Christians

Today on "Kresta in the Afternoon" – July 17, 2013

Talking about the “things that matter most” on July 17

4:00 – Direct To My Desk

5:00 – Good News, Bad News: Evangelization, Conversion and the Crisis of Faith
Six years ago our friends Fr. John McCloskey and Russell Shaw wrote Good News, Bad News: Evangelization, Conversion and the Crisis of Faith. Based on the great success and influence that Father McCloskey has had in helping instruct many converts to Catholicism, especially numerous high profile DC figures, this book is a powerful combination of the methods, theology, and theories that McCloskey uses in his evangelization efforts. In addition to his compelling insights on how to teach or share the faith in a winning, inspiring way, this work includes the contributions of several dozen converts of Fr. McCloskey who give their own moving testimonies of why they converted to Catholicism, and how that life-changing journey happened for each of them. We revisit this inspirational book today with Fr. McCloskey.

One more distinction for Madonna: she’s under study for diabolism

              Church exorcism body to analyze her work as a case of concerted evil in entertainment

A still taken from the video for Madonna's hit ‘Like A Prayer’
A still taken from the video for Madonna’s hit ‘Like A Prayer’

Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone, best known as Madonna, has been named by Time magazine as one of the 15 most powerful women in the 20th Century and by CNN as “arguably the most influential female recording artist of all time.” Sales of her records have topped 300 million, and her last tour made an unsurpassed $305 million, raising her net worth to over a billion. Her biography in Wikipedia takes up 31 pages, only nine short of Dwight Eisenhower’s, eight short of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s and nine more than Bill Clinton’s.

To all of which may be added one new distinction. Madonna will come under study by a panel of the Catholic Church later this month for demonic possession. This is not altogether a new idea. Various exploitations of sexual activity, often perverse, have long been a powerful additive to an undoubted and extraordinary musical talent. Her 1990 “Blond Ambition World Tour,” for instance, described by Rolling Stone as “an elaborately choreographed, sexually provocative extravaganza,” was denounced by both the Catholic and Anglican Church. Her “Confessions Tour” in 2006 caused the Russian Orthodox Church and the Federation of Jewish Communities to urge all their members to boycott her concerts. But submitting her as a case for exorcism is new.

Read more here.

Ireland: The Victim of Orwellian Deceit

Irish Parliament
Ireland is currently the victim of an astounding deceit, the Orwellian “Protection of Life during Pregnancy Bill.” It passed the Irish lower house or Dáil Éireann, and now goes on to their senate, which lacks the power to reject the measure, and on for signature from the, largely honorific, president who is in any case favorable. For the first time in its history direct abortion will be legal in Ireland under certain circumstances.

How did Catholic Ireland, the isle of saints and scholars, come to this pass? Two words suffice: Modernity & Europe. Islands can resist cultural corrosion better than most, but Ireland and Malta join Poland as a small pro-life minority in the European Union. The Old continent generally embraces legal abortion, with the notable exceptions above, and the micro-states of San Marino and the principalities of Andorra, Liechtenstein and Monaco as well as the Vatican City State.
Ireland is particularly targeted because of a remarkable public health achievement, one of the lowest maternal mortality rates in the world—about half the rate of maternal deaths as England and Wales where abortion-on-demand rules. Abortion promoters cannot stand this blatant contradiction to their propaganda that women need abortion as “Reproductive Health Care.” When in 2012 a pregnant Indian woman died in Ireland and her husband charged that she was refused a “life-saving” abortion, the international media pounced on this opportunity. The medical facts, however, revealed that Savita Halappanavar’s infection would not have been cured and her life saved by killing her child. References to the Halappanavar case are nonetheless standard fare in media coverage of Ireland continuing a long tradition of “don’t confuse me with the facts” journalistic reporting on the abortion issue.
The Emerald Isle passing pro-abortion legislation is emblematic of the cultural shift there.

PA Attorney General Refuses to Defend Marriage Law – An Insider’s View



July 16, 2013 | by

Editor’s note: Last week, the ACLU filed a federal lawsuit to overturn Pennsylvania’s marriage law. In response, in a stunning move, Pennsylvania’s attorney general refused to defend the law. The Center for Vision & Values contacted Pennsylvania Family Institute President Michael Geer for a battlefront view.

V&V: You had a busy week last week on the legal front. What happened?

Geer: The week began with a phone call from a major national newspaper reporter, from whom I learned that the ACLU was about to file a federal lawsuit seeking to overturn Pennsylvania’s marriage law, and redefine this ageless institution. The week ended with Pennsylvania’s attorney general announcing that she would refuse to fulfill the obligation of her office and defend our state law in court. In between were numerous national, state, and local media interviews, followed by time spent at the capitol organizing a response and crafting legal and cultural strategies to protect and strengthen marriage.

V&V: You’ve been running PFI in Harrisburg for more than 20 years now. Are you surprised by the AG’s refusal to defend Pennsylvania’s marriage law? Do you recall anything similar happening?

Geer: There really is no precedent that matches the blatantly political move by Attorney General [Kathleen] Kane. Even the lead counsel in the ACLU’s lawsuit against our marriage law called her decision “an earthquake moment.” In a television interview during last year’s primary campaign for attorney general, then-candidate Kane stated, “The attorney general does not have the right to pick and choose which laws he or she enforces.” She said doing so injects politics into the job and, “That’s a dangerous proposition.” Even so, I was not surprised at Kane’s action – she is following precedents set by AG’s and other top elected officials in California, Illinois, and elsewhere, and by those in the U.S. Department of Justice on this issue. It really is a dangerous proposition, one that’s very damaging to our political system and the rule of law. I hoped for better from Kathleen Kane, but was not surprised when she did not deliver on her promise

V&V: Is this issue pertinent to people in other states around the nation?

Geer: It is in many ways – most notably because ultimately the ACLU is seeking to not only overturn marriage laws in Pennsylvania, but to impose a redefinition of marriage on the entire country. Such a Roe v.Wade-type sweeping decision would certainly not end the debate on the issue, but would usher in significant restrictions on religious liberty and free speech, not to mention the impact on marriage itself and the well-being of children.

V&V: Is the ACLU filing similar suits in other states. If so, why? Do you detect a political agenda beyond the legal implications of these cases?



Michael Geer

Michael Geer is president of the Pennsylvania Family Institute, a research and education organization that concentrates on family policies and cultural trends that impact families. He holds master’s degree in public policy from the University of Maryland and has worked in television news in Pittsburgh as well as Washington, D.C. as a senior news producer for ABC news.

Donate to The Center for Vision and Values – See more at: http://www.visionandvalues.org/2013/07/pa-attorney-general-refuses-to-defend-marriage-law-an-insiders-view/#sthash.ApzCyw3b.dpuf

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