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

Talking about the "things that matter most" on October 18
4:00 – Writing from Left to Right: My Journey from Liberal to Conservative
Engagingly, writing as if to old friends and foes, in his memoir, Writing from Left to Right: My Journey from Liberal to Conservative, Michael Novak shows how Providence (not deliberate choice) placed him in the middle of many crucial events of his time: a month in wartime Vietnam, the student riots of the 1960s, the Reagan revolution, the collapse of the Berlin Wall, Bill Clinton's welfare reform, and the struggles for human rights in Iraq and Afghanistan. He also spent fascinating days, sometimes longer, with inspiring leaders like Sargent Shriver, Bobby Kennedy, George McGovern, Jack Kemp, Václav Havel, President Reagan, Lady Thatcher, and Pope John Paul II, who helped shape—and reshape—his political views. Yet through it all his focus on helping the poor and defending universal human rights remained constant; he gradually came to see building small businesses and envy-free democracies as the only realistic way to build free societies. Without protections for liberties of conscience and economic creativity, democracies will fail. Free societies need three liberties in one: economic liberty, political liberty, and liberty of spirit. Michael tells us his story.

5:00 - Making Sense of Mary
The world is full of nonsense when it comes to the Blessed Virgin Mary from simple confusion and ignorance to disrespect and blasphemy. Gary Michutahas done us a great service by blowing away the fog and shining the light of clarity on a matter so important to the story of God's salvation. Drawing from Scripture, Sacred Tradition, Councils and the Fathers of the Church, Gary helps scholars and beginners alike to understand the ABC's of the person and role of Mary. Gary joins us today.

Covering All the Bases With World Series Champion Jeff Suppan

The 2006 NLCS MVP discusses the MLB playoffs, family, prayer and Catholic media.

National Catholic Register
Dan Donovan/St. Louis Cardinals
Jeff Suppan delivers a pitch in the 2006
World Series against the Detroit Tigers.
– Dan Donovan/St. Louis Cardinals

With only four teams left in the playoffs, Major League Baseball is heading into the climax of its season, and Jeff Suppan knows exactly what the players are going through.

Suppan initially looked upon the playoffs with awe and trepidation, but, eventually, he gained a more accurate view of the dynamics at play. This helped to bring about a 2006 World Series Championship for him and the rest of the St. Louis Cardinals.

Now that Suppan has been away from professional baseball for over a year, he spends most of his time in southern California with his wife, Dana, and their two small children, ages 2 and 4. He makes the Sign of the Cross on their foreheads before putting them in bed, and he even gets a blessing back from his 4-year-old daughter.

Jeff Suppan, the 2006 National League Championship Series MVP, recently recounted this winsome story and many others to Register correspondent Trent Beattie.

Read more: http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/covering-all-the-bases-with-world-series-champion-jeff-suppan/#ixzz2i2Xdsln0

Mixed message: ‘If you can’t be good, be careful.’

              Public pressure forces a Catholic school system to compromise its teaching on chastity

By Steve Weatherbe
Oct 17, 2013
The Christians
Teens: Which works better, telling them not to or telling them how to?
Teens: Which works better, telling them not to or telling them how to?

The divergent religious and secular views of humanity collided recently in Alberta, Canada, where Catholic Bishop Fred Henry of Calgary is opposing mandatory Gardasil vaccinating of Catholic junior high school girls for Human Papilloma Virus, a sexually transmitted disease they can’t get if they remain chaste. Never known to duck a challenge, Bishop Henry has fought gay human rights complainants to standstill and the Canadian government right to the Supreme Court of Canada. This week he lost, or half-lost, the sex-vaccination debate in the small city of Medicine Hat. There the Catholic school board has decided to allow HPV vaccinations at school without encouraging them. Students will bring home permission forms.

Board chairman Peter Grad cautions parents not to sign these without thinking it through. “If they did that in this case,” he says, “it would be an abrogation of responsibility.” He hopes it will prompt “a meaningful parent-child talk about morality.”

Bishop Henry objects that the inoculation is self-defeating, but the province’s Catholic schools, one by one, have bowed to parental pressure, frightened by media coverage favoring a public health establishment led by Dr. John Meddings, head of the University of Calgary medical school.

Bishop Henry: ‘Safer sex’ effectively contradicts ‘no sex.’
Bishop Henry: ‘Safer sex’ effectively contradicts ‘no sex.’
Bishop Henry is ‘deplorable’?

Meddings termed Bishop Henry “deplorable…You are increasing the rate of spread of this virus in the population as a whole…Death rates, for both Catholics and non-Catholics, will increase as a consequence. I find it hard to appreciate the morality of this position.”

Henry, however, has laid out his position clearly enough. The public health “harm prevention” approach to sexual behavior is not immoral but it does fall far short of the Catholic view of sexuality, which Henry insists is supported by science: as evidence he cites the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Canada stating “Abstinence is the most efficient way to prevent HPV infection.”People of liberal inclinations seem to find it inconceivable that encouraging no sex among youth produces fewer problems than encouraging “safer sex.” In fact, Henry is up against the same disbelief that Pope Benedict XVI encountered when he declared in 2009 that condoms wouldn’t solve Africa’s AIDS epidemic. As Edward Green of the Harvard AIDS Prevention Project explained at the time, the public health industry prefers technological fixes to behavioral change, and has a visceral hostility to church groups.

See more at: http://thechristians.com/?q=node/746&utm_source=The+Christians+Book+Buyers&utm_campaign=996ac23637-TCH-Issue0136-BB&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_e2d8bf6d30-996ac23637-57142977#sthash.Irw7BHyS.dpuf

Review: Defending the Crusades with scholarship

Myth-buster Rodney Stark sets the record straight on the great endeavor of the Middle Ages

By Steve Weatherbe
Oct 17, 2013
The Christians
Jerusalem taken: Sacking and slaughter was standard practice by Muslims too.
 Jerusalem taken: Sacking and slaughter was standard practice by Muslims too.             
             Nobody debunks bad history better than Rodney Stark. In an impressive and readable series, this sociologist of religion has thoroughly exploded the treasured Enlightenment myth that the Middle Ages were a benighted period when freedom of thought, science and progress were suppressed in Europe, while flourishing in nearby Islam. Stark synthesizes recent scholarship to show Medieval Europe was a place of innovation, in science, production and health, was better off without the classics, and was already moving ahead of Islam and China thanks in large part to Christianity.

God's Battalions: The Case for the Crusades focuses on “the prevailing wisdom” displayed by U.S. presidents such as George W. Bush, Reformation leaders such as Martin Luther, and atheists such as Richard Dawkins, that “during the Crusades, an expansionist, imperialistic Christendom brutalized, looted, and colonized a tolerant and peaceful Islam.”

 The Muslims started it
 The Middle Ages prepared the West to lead the world.
Author Stark: The Middle Ages prepared
the West to lead the world.

“Not so,” writes Stark. “The Crusades were precipitated by Islamic provocations: by centuries of bloody attempts to colonize the West and by sudden new attacks on Christian pilgrims and holy places.”Was Western Christendom after power and wealth? On the contrary, the effort impoverished individual knights and lords and bankrupted Western kingdoms throughout the Crusading era. Money only flowed eastward.

What about the Crusaders’ sack of Jerusalem when they took it from the Muslims, when the streets reportedly ran ankle-deep with the blood of innocent Jewish civilians? And what of the sack of Constantinople from the Byzantine Christians? Counters Stark: Sacking cities which did not surrender was a standard of medieval warfare, and he cites plenty of examples of Islamic brutality to make his case.

As for Constantinople, The Fourth Crusaders captured it after helping a pretender to the throne, who thereupon reneged on payment, leaving the expedition starving and broke. According to some accounts, the victorious crusaders tried to slaughter all Jews In Jerusalem, but Stark presents evidence that they were treated no more brutally than its Muslims. However, he does not deny that in Europe, Crusading zeal frequently turned into murderous anti-Semitism. But the Crusades were not a papal effort to convert Muslims by the sword. Once the Holy Land was under Crusader control, Muslims were allowed to practice their faith.

See more at: http://thechristians.com/?q=node/747&utm_source=The+Christians+Book+Buyers&utm_campaign=996ac23637-TCH-Issue0136-BB&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_e2d8bf6d30-996ac23637-57142977#sthash.tOy7yWqu.dpuf

The Common Core: Education Radically Transformed


Look at today’s newspapers and you will see that Americans are poised to fundamentally reform two huge sectors of our lives. The headlines on page one will tell you about the healthcare sector. Our government is even “closed” due to the fight over implementing “Obamacare.” That’s one. Look at one of the inside pages and you will likely read about the other wholesale reform, the one of K-12 education. This reform is more important than the healthcare changeover, even though it is less prominently reported.
I am speaking of the “Common Core.” It is a set of K-12 academic standards in math and “English Language Arts & Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects,” complete with suggested texts. Conceived by private foundations and political associations and vigorously promoted by the Obama Administration, Common Core has been adopted by 45 states and over 100 Catholic school systems since 2010. Through grant competitions and offers to “waive” federal rules, the Administration tied federally-developed testing, teacher evaluations and ultimately achievement standards to the Common Core. Together, this will drive the curriculum and shape the teaching in our nation’s schools for, well, a long time to come.

Why do I say that this reform is more important than Obamacare? For two reasons. One is that education has more to do with who we are and what we aspire to become than does the scope, affordability and accessibility of healthcare—although those are all very important matters.
The other reason is that the healthcare debate is about means, not ends or philosophy. Almost every American agrees that affordable healthcare should be available to everyone. But there is a heated disagreement about how that goal should be achieved. Many people agree with the President and those who supported Obamacare that the government must take an extraordinarily large hand in healthcare, if this aim is to be realized. Many other people who are dedicated to universal healthcare maintain that government is likely to be neither effective nor efficient in this arena, and that the market must play the predominant role in any realistic plan to achieve universal healthcare.

It is true that people in this debate often disagree too about the proper role of freedom of choice (for patients to choose providers, for example) in any program for universal care. Even so, this argument is secondary, and subordinate: People who agree that the desired end is affordable care for everyone disagree here about how, and how much, freedom of choice fits into the picture. But that picture (of healthcare for all) is still common ground.

Read the rest here: http://www.crisismagazine.com/2013/the-common-core-education-radically-transformed?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+CrisisMagazine+%28Crisis+Magazine%29

Today on "Kresta in the Afternoon" – October 17

Talking about the "things that matter most" on October 17

4:00 – Kresta Comments

4:20 - Francis: The Pope From the New World
A new documentary delves into the life story and thinking of Pope Francis, the man who has fascinated Catholics and non-Catholics alike since stepping onto the world stage earlier this year. It will air on the FOX Business Network on Sunday, Oct. 20, at 5 p.m. Eastern Time. Francis: The Pope From the New World traces the remarkable rise of Jorge Mario Bergoglio who has become the first pope from the Americas, the first pope who is a Jesuit, and the first to take the name Francis. The hour-long program features interviews from around the world, with close friends, fellow priests, co-workers, his biographer, and the poor of Buenos Aires. Most of the interviews and much of the film were shot on location in Argentina. Producer Andrew Walther joins us.

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 Barone illuminates 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 – The Urgency of the New Evangelization: Answering the Call
"No believer in Christ, no institution of the Church can avoid this supreme duty: to proclaim Christ to all peoples."-- Blessed John Paul II. With the encouragement of Blessed John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI, discover a renewed urgency and growing enthusiasm for sharing the Gospel with those in your life, both non-believers and those who are no longer practicing their faith. In The Urgency of the New Evangelization: Answering the Call, Ralph Martin explains: It's not just a churchy buzzword, It's not just for priests and missionaries to carry out, YOU and every individual Catholic play a role, it is literally a matter of life or death for everyone in your life, And… it's not as hard as you think. Ralph joins us.
5:40 – Captain Phillips / Gravity / Twelve Years A Slave
Catholic film critic Steven Greydanus says after a year of yawns in movie theaters the last few months of the year are redeeming that trend. We talk about Captain Phillips, Gravity, and Twelve Years A Slave

Is Anger Always a Sin?

Archdiocese of Washington
Some one wrote in the following question:
How would you respond to a someone who (in Zen like fashion) states that anger is always counterproductive? Is anger always a sin?
The simple answer is “No, anger is not always a sin.” In fact, in some situations anger is the appropriate response. If anger were always a sin, the Jesus never got the memo since he displays quite a lot of anger in the Gospels. We’ll look at that in a moment.
To being with, some distinctions are in order.
  1. We ought first to distinguish between the internal experience or feeling of anger and the external manifestation of it.The internal expereince of anger as a passionate response to some external stimulus is not sinful since we cannot usually and immediately control the arising of feelings or passions. Anger usually arises out of some sense of threat. It signals us that something is wrong, threatening or inappropriate as we understand or interpret the data. Sometimes our perceptions are incorrect but often they are not. Anger, in this sense, is not only sinless, but necessary as it alerts us to the need to respond to something that is a threat or unjust and it gives us the energy to address it. In this sense, it is not sinful. It is a passion and an energy to set things right or to address a threatening situation.
  2. Now it is possible that our anger can arise from less than holy reasons. Some of the things we fear, we should not fear. Some of our fears are rooted in pride, and an inordinate need for status and affirmation. Some of our fears come from misplaced priorities. For example we may be excessively concerned with money, property, popularity or material things. And this concern triggers inordinate fears about things that should not matter so much. And this fear gives rise to feeling easily threatened at loss or diminishment. This in turn triggers anger, since we sense that something is wrong or threatening. But we ought not be so concerned with such things since they are rooted in pride, vanity and materialism. In this case the anger may have a sinful dimension but the sin is more rooted in the inordinate and sinful drives than merely the anger itself. This is because, even when anger arises from poor motives or objects, it is still not something all that voluntary.
  3. Now external manifestations of anger can and do sometimes have a sinful dimension when they are beyond what is reasonable. If I am experiencing anger there may be little or no sin in that. However if I express that anger by hurling insults, or physically attacking someone I may well have sinned by a sinful expression of my anger. Even here there can be exceptions. It may be appropriate at times to physically defend myself. I can think of no exception to the rule against hurling insults and personal attacks. However, it remains true that we live in thin-skinned times and people often take personal offense when they should not. We will see in a moment that Jesus did not often hesitate to describe his opponents’ in rather vivid ways.
  4. Hence, of itself, anger is not a sin.The Scriptures say, Be angry but sin not (Ps 4:4) So anger is not the sin. However, the expression of anger may become sinful. Further, it is possible that some of our anger springs from less than holy sources.

Read the rest here: http://blog.adw.org/2013/10/is-anger-always-a-sin-2/

    Robert Spencer in PJ Lifestyle: Child Marriage Comes to Australia

    Jihad Watch

    Posted by Robert on October 15, 2013 2:07 PM

    In my latest at PJ Lifestyle, I discuss yet another aspect of the Islamization of the West, and wonder if Western authorities are ultimately going to stand up to the elements of Sharia that contradict basic principles of human rights, or capitulate to them.
    The girl’s Muslim parents forced her into the marriage when she was fourteen. Her mother tried to put a good face on a bad situation, enticing the girl with a picture of marriage as a never-ending party: her husband, she said, would treat the girl to ice cream and lollipops and take her to movies and amusement parks. Reality turned out to be a bit different: her husband imprisoned her inside their home and forced her to watch violent videos featuring jihad attacks against soldiers from Western countries. He also raped her and beat her frequently.

    The girl went to her father for help. But her father, as she recounted later, was completely unsympathetic, telling her: “So what if he raped you? So what if he bashed you? The only way you can come back to me is in a coffin.”

    This didn’t happen in Pakistan, or Egypt, or Indonesia. This girl suffered in comfortable suburban Australia, where Western society failed her as thoroughly as did Islamic society: she went to a teacher and explained what was happening, but despite laws requiring teachers to report such incidents, nothing was done.

    Quebec’s strategy to legalize euthanasia – ‘just do it’

    Ottawa lacks both the legal power and probably the political will to stop it

    By Link Byfield
    Oct 16, 2013
    Palliative care: Quebec will have ‘terminal palliative sedation’ instead.
    Palliative care: Quebec will have
    ‘terminal palliative sedation’ instead.
    The Christians

    Pro-life Christians probably heaved a breath of relief last week when British Columbia’s highest court, in a two-to-one ruling, reversed a lower court decision and upheld a federal law criminalizing assisted suicide and euthanasia. It will go next to the Supreme Court of Canada. Before it gets there, however, the Province of Quebec may render the issue moot by legalizing the practice – not by declaring it legal but by refusing to prosecute it.

    Unlike in the United States, the enactment of criminal law (principally the Criminal Code) in Canada is exclusively federal; however, the ten provinces have the exclusive constitutional right to prosecute it. Criminal Code section 241 makes it a crime punishable by up to 14 years to “counsel,” “aid” or “abet” a suicide, and the Conservative federal government of Stephen Harper has stated repeatedly it does not intend to change this. Quebec’s devious dodge Bill 52, now before the Quebec legislature, is the “Act Respecting End-of-Life Care.” If passed (as looks almost certain) it does not explicitly allow a doctor to kill a patient, or help a patient kill himself. Instead it allows the doctor to allow “terminal palliative sedation” and “medical aid in dying” without defining either one.

    Quebec is arguing that these are aspects of health care, an exclusively provincial field of jurisdiction. Quebec says that because the words “euthanasia” and “assisted suicide” do not appear in its new Act, therefore the federal Criminal Code is not being breached. Fatuous? Yes, but that doesn’t mean Quebec won’t get away with it.

     - See more at: http://thechristians.com/?q=node/743&utm_source=The+Christians+Book+Buyers&utm_campaign=84b06ae517-TCH-Issue0135-BB&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_e2d8bf6d30-84b06ae517-57142977#sthash.BM2nuztU.dpuf

    Today on "Kresta in the Afternoon" – October 16, 2013

    Talking about the "things that matter most" on October 16
    4:00 – The Global War on Christians: Dispatches from the Front Lines of Anti-Christian Persecution
    From Iraq and Egypt to Sudan and Nigeria, from Indonesia to the Indian subcontinent, Christians in the early 21st century are the world's most persecuted religious group. According to the secular International Society for Human Rights, 80 percent of violations of religious freedom in the world today are directed against Christians. In effect, our era is witnessing the rise of a new generation of martyrs. Underlying the global war on Christians is the demographic reality that more than two-thirds of the world's 2.3 billion Christians now live outside the West, often as a beleaguered minority up against a hostile majority-- whether it's Islamic fundamentalism in the Middle East and parts of Africa and Asia, Hindu radicalism in India, or state-imposed atheism in China and North Korea. In Europe and North America, Christians face political and legal challenges to religious freedom. Long-time Vatican analyst John Allen exposes the deadly threats and offers investigative insight into what is and can be done to stop these atrocities. Christians today indisputably form the most persecuted religious body on the planet, and too often its new martyrs suffer in silence. John is here to try and shatter that silence.
    5:00 – Walking with Mary: A Biblical Journey from Nazareth to the Cross
    Mary appears only a few times in the Bible, but those few passages come at crucial moments. Catholics believe that Mary is the ever-virgin Mother of God, the Queen of Heaven and Earth. But she also was a human being--a woman who made a journey of faith through various trials and uncertainties and endured her share of suffering. Even with her unique graces and vocation, Mary remains a woman we can relate to and from whom we have much to learn. In his most recent book, Walking with Mary, Edward Srilooks at the crucial passages in the Bible concerning Mary and offers insight about the Blessed Mother's faith and devotion that we can apply in our daily lives. He joins us to follow her step-by-step through the New Testament account of her life, reflecting on what the Scriptures tell us about how she responded to the dramatic events unfolding around her.
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