Talking about the "things that matter most" on Dec. 11
4:00 – How Goes the Christmas War?
Earlier this month in the New York Times, there was an article about White House social secretary Desirée Rogers. In it, reporter Sheryl Gay Stolberg wrote: “When former social secretaries gave a luncheon to welcome Ms. Rogers earlier this year, one participant said, she surprised them by suggesting the Obamas were planning a ‘non-religious Christmas….’” This same participant said that “the Obamas did not intend to put the manger scene on display” (this was confirmed by the White House). Indeed, as Stolberg wrote, “there had been internal discussions about making Christmas more inclusive and whether to display the crèche.” In addition to this disappointment, the regular Christmas shenanigans are well underway. We talk with Bill Donohue about the “Christmas Wars.”
4:20 – Sisters: Catholic Nuns and the Making of America
When Wall Street Journal reporter John Fialka set out to tell the story of America's Catholic nuns, he knew he faced a daunting challenge. Church histories contained little about the women he calls "America's first feminists," though they built 800 hospitals and more than 10,000 private schools. We hear a well-told history of these remarkable women from the time of their arrival in America in 1790 to the present, when their numbers have dwindled considerably. Against the backdrop of the Apostolic Visitation of Women’s Religious in America, currently underway, nuns will appreciate his treatment of their lives, as will Catholics pondering a church with diminishing numbers of the women who helped shape it.
4:40 – Sisters Supporting the Apostolic Visitation
Women religious, upset their orders are not cooperating with a Vatican study of their religious congregations, are using the Internet to bring together like-minded souls. They have formed a Yahoo group and are working with author Anne Carey who is to moderate contributions. The Vatican announced last January an Apostolic Visitation of some 340 U.S. women religious congregations, saying its purpose is to assess the quality of life in the communities. The study has stirred controversy with some women religious vocally opposed to the effort and others supportive. Ann Carey came up with an idea for a Yahoo group - first of all because it was free. Also, since some sisters fear retribution from their superiors for their support of the visitation. The site allows sisters to exchange information and ideas while still protecting their identity if they so choose. We talk to Ann about the Visitation and the Website.
5:00 – Kresta Comments
5:20 – How Goes the Christmas War?
The United States justifiably celebrates its pluralism. The mandate to find unity in diversity—e pluribus unum—is predicated not on the premise that all peculiarities of creed or color must be washed away; instead, it insists that all such cultural and social differences must be respected. Part and parcel of this freedom is the right of parents to educate their children as they see fit. Like all rights, this one carries with it a duty: to prepare the child adequately for participation in society by being attentive to technical and life skills as well as moral formation. Kevin Schmeising of the Acton Institute is here to look at “School Choice and the Common Good of All Children.”
5:40 – The Princess and the Frog
The Princess and the Frog is – according to Steven Greydanus - the first real classic Disney of the 21st century. To say this is not to elevate The Princess and the Frog above the near-brilliance of Lilo & Stitch or The Emperor’s New Groove (technically a 20th-century film), neither of which suffers for comparison to the new film. Rather, the kind of brilliance in those films could almost as easily have come from rival DreamWorks, or from somewhere else. He says none of the studio’s cartoons of the last fifteen years or so has had both feet firmly in the tradition represented by golden-age masterpieces like Sleeping Beauty and Snow White as well as “silver age” classics like Beauty and the Beast. The Princess and the Frog may not be in the same league as those gems, but it’s the first Disney film since The Lion King that feels like a real heir to this tradition. We talk about The Princess and the Frog.