Talking about the "things that matter most" on Dec. 22
Kresta Countdown of the top interviews of 2009
#34 - Violence Against Christians in Pakistan Rooted in Long History of Blasphemy Laws
The latest spate of violence against Christians in Pakistan vividly illustrates the difficulty that faces the religious minority in a country where blasphemy laws give Muslims a powerful weapon to use against Christian neighbors. Allegations that Christians have given offense against Islam regularly provoke violence, and create the climate of tolerance for that violence. Two bishops are now – at great risk to themselves - demanding the repeal of the blasphemy laws that encourage the persecution of the nation’s Christians. Meanwhile Church leaders are also speaking out against the imposition of the jizya, a tax on non-Muslims, in remote regions of Pakistan abutting Afghanistan, where the Taliban exercises considerable de facto power. Paul Marshall, America’s foremost expert in religious freedom joins us.
#33 – Sports and the Catholic Family
Participation in athletic activities and playing on sports teams has been viewed as contributing in positive manner to the character development of children. However, a remarkable change has occurred over the past 20 years in regard to the degree of involvement on sports teams by children. Today, many children are under extreme pressures from both coaches and parents to commit themselves to give an unprecedented amount of time and effort to participation in team sports, including those teams which travel regularly on weekends and during the summer. One coach commented that some children now play up to 80 baseball games over the course of a summer, including playing in double headers and in repeated weekend tournaments. This significant change in regard to children's and families’ relationship with sports has damaged marriages, family life and the ability of a large number of children to enjoy sports as a pleasant, relaxing childhood activity. Psychiatrist Rick Fitzgibbons is here to address a number of issues related to this important area of child development and family life.
#32 – The Economy: The Government, Thirty Years of Bad Economic Policy, or Both?
Conventional wisdom in America today holds that high levels of taxes and government spending diminish America’s prosperity. The claim strikes a deep intuitive chord, not only among those on the Right, but also among many on today’s Left. Indeed, the antitax credo has become so obvious to so many over the past thirty years, and rolls off the tongues of policymakers from both parties with such fluency, that one would think evidence needn’t even be gathered to support it. Even Clinton proudly announced that “the era of big government is over.” Michael Miller of the Acton Institute is here to look the economic meltdown: blame the government, free market principles, or both?
#31 – Hiking the Camino: 500 Miles with Jesus
You might reasonably wonder why anyone would shoulder a heavy backpack, grab a walking stick and hike across Spain. Whatever happened to planes, trains and automobiles? But Father Dave Pivonka knew that the Camino—the ancient pilgrim path to the tomb of Saint James the Apostle in Santiago—offered an opportunity to focus on God in the stripped-down environment typical of the religious journey known as a pilgrimage. Fr. Dave takes us along with him, eager to show that God wants to take care of you whether or not you can see down the road or, if tired and sore, you're tempted to quit. His Camino hike holds real lessons for our own life's journey.