Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Today on Kresta - Sept. 2, 2009

Talking about the "things that matter most" on Sept. 2

3:00 – Kresta Comments

3:20 – J.R.R. Tolkien – Died Sept. 2, 1973

On this anniversary of the death of J.R.R. Tolkien, we look at the man and his literature. Joseph Pearce, author of multiple books on Tolkien, says he is often misunderstood. Joseph’s major study of his life, his character and his work reveals the facts and confronts the myths. It explores the background to the man and the culture in which he wrote. We look at the relationships that the master writer had with his closest literary colleagues. We explore his unique relationship with C.S. Lewis, the writer of the Narnia books, and the roots of their estrangement. Joseph enters the world created by Tolkien in the seven books published during his lifetime. He explores the significance of Middle Earth and what it represented in Tolkien's thinking. Myth, to him, was not a leap from reality but a leap into reality.

4:00 – Kresta Comments

4:20 – Attorney for teen runaway: Columbus mosque a threat

An attorney for a Columbus teenager who says she ran away from home in fear for her safety after she converted from Islam to Christianity alleged in court documents yesterday that her family's mosque in Dublin, Ohio, has terrorist ties, a charge disputed by the Islamic center's leader. Rifqa Bary, age 17, said in a sworn statement that her family regularly attended gatherings at the Noor Islamic Cultural Center, and her attorney said in a memo that the mosque hosted extremist speakers and supported a scholar with ties to the militant group Hamas. Rifqa disappeared July 19, and police tracked her to the Rev. Blake Lorenz, pastor of Global Revolution Church, based in Orlando, Fla. Authorities said the teen had met him through an online prayer group. Rifqa has been placed in a foster family and is fighting in court to stay with them. A hearing will be held this afternoon to decide whether the case should stay in Florida or return to Columbus, where the teen lived with her parents and two brothers. Tom Trento has done extensive research on this case and will be in court today. He joins us.

4:30 – Bishop Martino's departure: did he jump or was he pushed?
Did he jump or was he pushed? That's the easy question. Bishop Joseph Martino was pushed into resignation at the age of 63. No intelligent observer can credit the official explanation: that Bishop Martino retired because of health problems. The outgoing bishop openly acknowledged to reporters that he "clearly" was not suffering from any grave illness. Clearly Bishop Martino was under a great deal of pressure, and therefore it is not difficult to believe that he suffered from insomnia and fatigue: the only medical complaints that were mentioned in the press conference announcing his departure. But while those are serious problems, they are not ordinarily serious enough to compel a motivated leader to resign. And even if insomnia had risen to the level of a serious medical problem, the question remains: Why was the bishop under so much pressure-- the sort of pressure that could give rise to such serious problems? Phil Lawler is here to shed light on this bizarre retirement.

4:45 – The Catholic Burial of Ted Kennedy: A Post Mortem
Many American Catholics followed the daylong funeral and burial rites for Sen. Edward M. Kennedy this weekend looking for signs of the ongoing struggle between the traditionalist and liberal wings of their Church. The passing of the most notable U.S. Catholic politician of his generation seemed to be a perfect catalyst for such ecclesiastical drama. But what has been one of the most discussed gestures of a tightly choreographed day came at the Arlington National Cemetery evening burial service. Retired Washington Archbishop Cardinal Theodore McCarrick read excerpts from a private letter Kennedy wrote to Pope Benedict XVI — hand-delivered in July by President Obama — and portions of the Vatican response to Kennedy two weeks later. After making no public comment nor authorizing an official communique after Kennedy's death, was the Pope publicly reaching out to this controversial Catholic politician? Fr. Peter Stravinskas is here to respond.

5:00 – What Happened to Notre Dame?
When the University of Notre Dame announced that President Barack Obama would speak at its 2009 Commencement and would receive an honorary doctor of laws degree, the reaction was more than anyone expected. Students, faculty, alumni, and friends of Notre Dame denounced the honoring of Obama, who is the most relentlessly pro-abortion public official in the world. Beyond abortion, Obama has taken steps to withdraw from health-care professionals the right of conscientious objection. Among them are thousands of Notre Dame alumni who will be forced to choose between continuing their profession and participating in activities they view as immoral, including the execution of the unborn. Four decades ago, in 1967, the major “Catholic” universities declared their “autonomy” from the Catholic Church in the Land O’Lakes Declaration. The honoring of Obama reflects the replacement by those universities of the benign authority of the Church with the politically correct standards of the secular academic establishment and, especially, of the government. Legendary Notre Dame Law Professor Charles Rice is with us to look at What Happened to Notre Dame?

5:40 – District 9 and the Biblical Attitude Toward the Other
Fr. Robert Barron
just saw a remarkable film called “District 9.” It’s an exciting, science-fiction adventure movie, but it is much more than that. In fact, it explores, with great perceptiveness, a problem that has preoccupied modern philosophers from Hegel to Levinas, the puzzle of how to relate to “the other.” “District 9” sets up the question in the most dramatic way possible, for its plot centers around the relationship between human beings and aliens from outer space who have stumbled their way onto planet earth. We look at “District 9” and the biblical attitude toward the other.

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