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  • “Kresta in the Afternoon”— September 3, 2014— Hour 2

    “Kresta in the Afternoon”— September 3, 2014— Hour 2

    + Segment #1 of 3

    Kresta Comments: Thoughts on America as a Christian Nation

    + Segment #2 of 3

    Kresta Comments: Feast of St. Gregory the Great

    + Segment #3 of 3

    The Perils of Polygamy

    • Description: Advocates of traditional marriage have argued for years that the gay marriage argument is a slippery slope that leads to polygamy and other forms of “marriage.” If gender doesn’t determine the definition of marriage, then why should number? A federal court recently struck down a Utah law on this very premise. Christopher Kaczor, author of the article “The Perils of Polygamy,” is with us to talk about it.
    • Segment Guests:
  • ISIS: Public Legitimacy Through the Reenactment of Islam’s Early History

    via Small Wars Journal

    by Andrew Salzmann

    The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), or the Levant (Lost in Translation), is re-enacting the early history of Islam in order to establish its legitimacy with the peoples of the Middle East. This may be a powerful tactic, and U.S. policy makers must tune their ears to what the legitimating symbolism used by ISIS says.

    In a series of essays entitled Theopolitical Imagination, William Cavanaugh reminds us of the critical role which the imagination plays in constructing political power.  “How,” he asks, “does a provincial farm boy became persuaded that he must travel as a solider to another part of the world?” By a narrative about the state, which, despite its armies and offices can only marshal these resources by inspiring “disciplined acts of the imagination,” by training people to imagine themselves as “deeply, mystically, united to a wider national community.” While the West secularized the political imagination centuries ago, evocative religious themes still forge the imaginative political bond for many in the Middle East—and not just the jihadis who do respond to the call to travel as soldiers to other parts of the world. The use of mythic narrative can resonate powerfully with the wider public which values that narrative; by reenacting such a narrative, the actors can gain legitimacy. As Roland Barthes writes, because myth “aims at causing an immediate impression,” it does not matter if one is “later allowed to see through the myth”; the first impression created by the confluence of symbols can be powerful enough to have its effect.

    Some Basic Comparisons

    I would like to list a few basic resonances between the early history of Islam and the rise of ISIS by which ISIS establishes claims to legitimacy in Islamic societies.

    Surprising success with small numbers. The Prophet Muhammad established his military dominance with a small group of companions, a trope which has indicated divine favor in the Near East for millennia. Annemarie Schimmel, in her And Muhammad Is His Messenger, notes that the battle of Badr, in which the Muslims defeated a far stronger Meccan army, “was perhaps the most important miracle for the young community, a miracle that helped them find their identity,” so much so that “the very name Badr became the cipher for the undeniable proof of Muhammad’s God-given role as leader.” While the exclusion of Sunnis from full participation in the Iraqi government by Nouri al-Maliki, and the alienation of Sunni soldiers in the Iraqi armed forces which that caused, enabled ISIS and its allies to seize control of large amounts of Iraqi territory with little effective resistance from national security forces, nonetheless the repeated refrain that a small band of warriors rapidly bested a larger force resonates closely enough with the story of the Prophet that it easily lends a sense of legitimacy.

    Triumphant Return of the Exile. The prophetic revelations of Muhammad were not well received by the people of his hometown, Mecca, and his first disciples faced such tension that he sent a group of them to Abyssinia; eventually, escalating difficulties drove the Prophet Muhammad and his followers to seek refuge in Medina, an event (the hijra) which marks “year one” in the Islamic calendar. Eight years later, Muhammad and his followers returned to Mecca triumphant, effectively ensuring their dominance in Arabia. The choice of Abu Bakr “al-Baghdadi” as a nom de guerre by ISIS leader Dr. Ibrahim does more than associating him with the historical home of the Abbasid Caliphate; it sets up a military conquest of the city which he is “from” as a re-enactment of the Prophet’s actions. Charles Allen’s history of the Wahhabi movement, God’s Terrorists, narrates how the Wahhabis’ own “re-enactment of the Prophet’s famous migration” helped to win support for their cause.

    The House of Islam. Prior to this triumphant return to Mecca, the Prophet Muhammad established Medina as a dar ul-Islam, from which subsequent raids and campaigns were launched—including the campaigns against Mecca. Although dar ul-Islam can simply refer to a Muslim-majority country, in Wahhabi ideology, the establishment of a truly worthy dar ul-Islam was viewed as necessary for the expansion of the realm. Jihadists who view other Islamic countries or governments as illegitimate can stake the success of their campaign in part on the establishment of a dar ul-Islam from which to launch expansionary campaigns. This belief is one explanation for Osama bin Laden’s own settlement in the Taliban’s Afghanistan. Reports not only of the silencing of church bells—objects of particular disdain in the ahadith which constitute the texts of sharia law—in Mosul, but of Christians being driven from the city suggest that ISIS is attempted to establish a haven of only the purest practice of Islam (Church Bells Fall Silent in Mosul as Iraq’s Christians Flee).

    Cleansing of Idols. When the Prophet Muhammad did take Mecca—peacefully, as the people of Mecca realized they were outmatched and therefore surrendered—he ordered the Ka’aba divested of its 360 idols; all Muslims were directed to continue the pre-Islamic hajj pilgrimages to the Ka’aba, now the center of, and restricted to, Muslim worship. While ISIS is joined by established states, such Saudi Arabia, in destroying popular shrines or historic places (even ones connected with Muhammad’s life) in the name of fighting idolatry, the destruction of both popular Islamic shrines and pre-Islamic history in the areas which ISIS controls would represent a new intensity of cleansing from “idolatry” which brings to mind the actions which followed (and furthered) the Prophet’s Muhammad’s own consolidation of power—the more so to the extent that they extract outrage. The curators of the archeological remains at Ninevah, now within ISIS territory, have expressed their deep concern over the fate of these artifacts. (ISIS Is About to Destroy Biblical History in Iraq). The traditional tomb of the prophet Jonah was famously destroyed. (Shocking Moment ISIS Militants Take Sledgehammers to Mosul Tomb of Prophet Jonah).  There is more recent concern about the future of biblical remains (ISIS Is About to Destroy Biblical History in Iraq).

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  • “Kresta in the Afternoon”— September 3, 2014

    Talking about the “things that matter most” on September 3

     

    4:00 – Latest in Ukraine

     

    The Ukraine crisis dominated headlines this spring, but has received much less attention ever since ISIS declared its caliphate. Tetiana Stawynchy, a Greek Catholic who has witnessed the protests in Kiev, joins us with an update.

     

    4:20 – ISIS: Public Legitimacy Through the Reenactment of Islam’s Early History


    ISIS continues to commit savage acts in Iraq and Syria. How have they become so successful in such a short time? In a recent article, Andrew Salzmann highlights several similarities between ISIS and the early rise of Islam. He joins us.    

     

    4:40 – Kresta Comments: Is Scientology the Savior for Flint, Michigan? Truman and the Bomb: Revisited.

     

    Flint, Michigan is notorious for violent crime and has topped the FBI’s list of America’s most dangerous mid-sized cities for the last four years. The Church of Scientology is making an effort to reverse the city’s trends by distributing copies of L. Ron Hubbard’s “The Way to Happiness,” which details 23 principles to a happy life. The Flint chief of police supports the effort. Al discusses whether Scientology is really the answer to Flint’s problems.
    Also in this segment, Al responds to a listener email about our earlier discussion with Fr. Miscamble regarding Truman’s decision to drop the atomic bombs on Japan.

     

    5:00 – Kresta Comments: Thoughts on America as a Christian Nation.

     

    5:20 – Kresta Comments: Feast of St. Gregory the Great

     

    5:40 – The Perils of Polygamy

    Advocates of traditional marriage have argued for years that the gay marriage argument is a slippery slope that leads to polygamy and other forms of “marriage.” If gender doesn’t determine the definition of marriage, then why should number? A federal court recently struck down a Utah law on this very premise. Christopher Kaczor, author of the article “The Perils of Polygamy,” is with us to talk about it. 

  • “Kresta in the Afternoon”— September 2, 2014— Hour 1

    “Kresta in the Afternoon”— September 2, 2014— Hour 1

    + Segment #1 of 3

    Direct to My Desk: What are people saying about ISIS?

    • Description: Today ISIS released a video showing the beheading of a man believed to be American journalist Steven Sotloff. What are your friends, neighbors and coworkers saying about ISIS? What do they think the US should do? How should Catholics respond? Call in with your comments at 877-573-7825.

    + Segment #2 of 3

    Direct to My Desk: What are people saying about ISIS? (continued)

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    Direct to My Desk: What are people saying about ISIS? (continued)

  • “Kresta in the Afternoon”— September 2, 2014— Hour 2

    “Kresta in the Afternoon”— September 2, 2014— Hour 2

    + Segment #1 of 3

    Kresta Comments: After Tiller

    • Description: Al discusses the new PBS documentary "After Tiller," which examines the lives the the remaining late-term abortionists in the US.

    + Segment #2 of 3

    Kresta Comments: Are we a Christian Nation? Distortions

    • Description: Al asks whether we are still a Christian nation and examines misleading claims about the state of religion in America.

    + Segment #3 of 3

    National Day of Remembrance for Aborted Children

    • Description: Fr. Frank Pavone and Dr. Monica Miller join us as we prepare for the September 13 National Day of Remembrance for Aborted Children.
    • Segment Guests:
      • Dr. Monica Miller
        Dr. Miller is the director and founder of Citizens for a Pro-life Society. She is also an Associate Professor of Sacred Theology at Madonna University. She is the author of several books including Sexuality and Authority in the Catholic Church, The Theology of the Passion of the Christ and Abandoned: The Untold Story of the Abortion Wars.
      • Resources:
  • “Kresta in the Afternoon”— September 2, 2014

    Talking about the “things that matter most” on September 2

    4:00 – Direct to My Desk: What are people saying about ISIS?

     

    Today ISIS released a video showing the beheading of a man believed to be American journalist Steven Sotloff. What are your friends, neighbors and coworkers saying about ISIS? What do they think the US should do? How should Catholics respond? Call in with your comments at 877-573-7825.

     

    5:20 – Kresta Comments: Are we a Christian Nation? Distortions

     

    5:40 – National Day of Remembrance for Aborted Children

     

    Fr. Frank Pavone and Dr. Monica Miller join us as we prepare for the September 13 National Day of Remembrance for Aborted Children.

     

  • “Kresta in the Afternoon” — September 1, 2014 — Hour 1

    “Kresta in the Afternoon” — September 1, 2014 — Hour 1

    + Segment #1 of 3

    Race in America: A wide-ranging discussion

    • Description: Tensions in Ferguson, Missouri continue in the wake of Michael Brown’s death. The situation once again raises questions about the state of race relations in America. Pastor Levon Yuille, National Director of the National Black Pro-Life Congress, has been a community activist in Ypsilanti, Michigan for more than thirty years. Pastor Levon joins us with his take on the state of race in America.
    • Segment Guests:
      • Dr. Levon Yuille
        Dr. Yuille is the pastor of the Bible Church in Ypsilanti, Michigan, National Director of the National Black Pro-Life Congress and the host of Joshua’s Trail radio program on WDTK in Detroit.
      • Resources:

    + Segment #2 of 3

    Race in America: A wide-ranging discussion (continued)

    + Segment #3 of 3

    Race in America: A wide-ranging discussion (continued)

  • Kresta in the Afternoon – September 1, 2014 – Hour 2

    Kresta in the Afternoon – September 1, 2014 – Hour 2

    + Segment #1 of 3

    Kresta Comments - Race in America

    + Segment #2 of 3

    Kresta Comments - Race in America

    + Segment #3 of 3

    The LCWR Doubles Down on Dissent

    • Description: For the third year in a row, the question of how the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) would respond to a Vatican mandate to reform the organization spiked high interest in the group’s annual assembly Aug. 12-15.And for the third year in a row, the assembly ended not with a bang, but a whimper. Some fireworks did ignite as the main speakers spent most of their energy defending positions taken by the LCWR, even openly criticizing the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), which had ordered the reform in April of 2012 after a three-year doctrinal assessment. Executive sessions that excluded non-members of LCWR also reportedly focused on the mandate. In the end, however, the LCWR National Board issued a two-paragraph statement similar to those of 2012 and 2013: LCWR would stay in the “conversation” with the CDF delegate, Archbishop J. Peter Sartain of Seattle, as long as LCWR’s “mission” and “integrity” were not compromised. We talk to Ann Carey, author of Sisters in Crisis.
    • Segment Guests:
  • “Kresta in the Afternoon”—August 29, 2014— Hour 1

    “Kresta in the Afternoon”—August 29, 2014— Hour 1

    + Segment #1 of 3

    Correcting Catholic Blindness: What Catholic Social Teaching Doesn’t Know

    • Description: Modern Catholic Social Teaching tells us to approach political and economic challenges by seeing, judging, and acting. We are to look at the situation through the eyes of Christ, free from our own ideologies. However, this approach entails choices regarding what we look at and how deep we examine it, thus limiting our field of vision. Dr. Sam Gregg of the Acton Institute argues that the imperatives of Catholic social doctrine still apply because they are grounded in integral human development. He believes that it’s possible to adhere to these principles and also widen the scope of our views on economic life. Sam joins us.
    • Segment Guests:

    + Segment #2 of 3

    Correcting Catholic Blindness: What Catholic Social Teaching doesn’t know

    + Segment #3 of 3

    Cant Pass as Legislation? Then I'll Issue and Executive Order. President Obama Signs ENDA Executive Order – No Religious Exemption

    • Description: For 20 years, Congress failed to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), suggesting that the legislation must be burdened with more than just a few controversial features. President Clinton and President Bush respected the right of the legislature not to pass the bill, but President Obama is different: he said he signed it because the bill had stalled in the Congress. Why we need the Congress at all he did not explain. The president not only issued an Executive Order imposing ENDA, he chose to sign that version of the bill which fails to grant a religious exemption. We talk about it with Erik Stanley of Alliance Defending Freedom.
    • Segment Guests:
      • Eric Stanley
        Serves as senior legal counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom at its Kansas City Regional Service Center in Kansas, where he heads the Alliance Defending Freedom Pulpit Initiative to empower pastors across the nation to speak freely from their pulpits on all matters of life, including how Scripture and church teaching have application to candidates and elections
      • Resources:
  • “Kresta in the Afternoon”— August 29, 2014— Hour 2

    “Kresta in the Afternoon”— August 29, 2014— Hour 2

    + Segment #1 of 3

    A Voice Undefeated

    • Description: When 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, 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. Many who love Collin Raye, the successful country music artist, don't know much about Collin Raye, the man, and the many trials he has endured with faith and courage. Most recently his beloved nine-year-old granddaughter, Haley, died in 2010 from an undiagnosed neurological disease. Since Haley's death, Collin has become an advocate for the sick and disabled and has established the Haley Bell Blessed Chair Foundation to provide wheelchairs to families with special needs children. This is a remarkable, inspirational story told by the man who lived it. It is a story of faith, of struggle, of suffering, of profound love, and ultimately of triumph in the midst of tragedy.
    • Segment Guests:
      • Colin Raye
        Collin Raye is one of America's best-loved country singers. He produced twenty-four Top Ten singles, of which sixteen were Number One hits, and a total of five straight platinum and two gold albums, which is a record for the Epic label to this day. He is an advocate for sick and disabled persons and continues to perform live throughout the country.
      • Resources:

    + Segment #2 of 3

    A Voice Undefeated (continued)

    + Segment #3 of 3

    A Voice Undefeated (continued)

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