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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

Why must we suffer?



October 6, 2013 | By Deacon Mike Bickerstaff
Into the Deep

DiscipleshipOne of the things with which we so often struggle is to understand our condition in a fallen world. Each of us, in our own way, has experienced the pain and suffering so often encountered as one journeys through this world on our road to heaven. The road to heaven is a way of suffering and sacrifice; and it leads directly through the cross of Christ.

If we are to find and stay on this path, this is a truth that we must come to embrace. In a passage from Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus explains to His apostles that He must go to Jerusalem and suffer at the hands of the authorities… that He will need to lay down His life. Peter, so like many in the world – maybe like you and like me – has a different view. Peter objects to what he hears and the Gospel tells us that he takes Jesus aside and actually rebukes Him!

And so, Jesus who had just previously called Peter Rock now addresses him as Satan. Jesus accuses Peter of thinking like human beings and not as God. He speaks of the necessity of the Cross… in His life and in ours. Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer greatly from the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised.

Then Peter took Jesus aside and began to rebuke him, “God forbid, Lord! No such thing shall ever happen to you.” He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle to me. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.”

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life? Or what can one give in exchange for his life? For the Son of Man will come with his angels in his Father’s glory, and then he will repay all according to his conduct.” (Matthew 16:21-27) Who among us would not wish to run from suffering and pain? Surely we can relate, even to the words of Peter to Christ! Why? Because we do not think as the Father does.

- See more at: http://www.integratedcatholiclife.org/2013/10/deacon-bickerstaff-why-must-we-suffer/

Kidnapped Fr. Paolo Dall’Oglio Reported to Be Alive

More than two months after he was snatched in Syria, the peace advocating Jesuit priest is supposedly being treated well by his abductors.

09.10.2013       
Carly Andrews
Aletiea
 
© KENZO TRIBOUILLARD / AFP
 
Journalist Khalaf Ali Khalaf told Aki-Adnkronos International news agency that Fr. Paolo Dall’Oglio is alive and well.

Khalaf, a Syrian anti-regime journalist and activist who is based in the North of Syria, has refused to reveal the names of his sources for “fear of reprisals.”

“Fr. Paolo Dall’Oglio is alive and is being treated well by his kidnappers” says Khalaf.

He claims that the men who abducted the priest over two months ago “are members of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) extremist group.” Khalaf was informed by sources with al-Qaeda affiliations who are closely tied to the extremist ISIS militants.

Apparently Fr. Oglio was seen by the unnamed sources entering into an ISIS area of North Syria. However Khalaf did not reveal the exact location.

Fr. Paolo Dall'Oglio is a 58 year old Roman-born Jesuit who had been restoring the Catholic monastery ‘Mar Musa’ (Monastery of St Moses the Abyssinian) in Northern Syria for 31 years. The monastery was also a centre for Islamic-Christian dialogue. Then in 2012 Fr. Oglio was expelled from Syria due to his open criticisms of president Bashar al-Assad and his regime. However this did not stop the Jesuit from returning regularly to rebel controlled areas of the country.
Read the rest here: http://www.aleteia.org/en/world/news/kidnapped-fr-paolo-dalloglio-reported-to-be-alive-4767002

Remember Obama’s 2006 thoughts on raising the Debt Ceiling?


Obama Congressional Record
Image: Zero Hedge
As debates in D.C. continue to rage over the debt ceiling, and the continuing resolution to fund the government…we are reminded of the words of one Democratic Senator when a similar argument was taking place back in 2006.
 
The President has since tried to distance himself from those remarks. In April of 2011, Mr. Obama appeared on ABC’s Good Morning America to explain his change of heart. “I think that it’s important to understand the vantage point of a Senator versus the vantage point of a…President. When you’re a Senator, traditionally what’s happened is this is always a lousy vote. Nobody likes to be tagged as having increased the debt limit for the United States by a trillion dollars… As President, you start realizing, ‘You know what? We– we can’t play around with this stuff. This is the full faith in credit of the United States.’ And so that was just a example of a new Senator, you know, making what is a political vote as opposed to doing what was important for the country. And I’m the first one to acknowledge it.”
 
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