Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Today on Kresta - March 3, 2010

Talking about the Things That Matter Most on Mar. 3

4:00 – Good Game: Christianity and the Culture of Sports
In recent years the United States has seen an influx of Christian athletes and coaches into big-time sports, as well as a heightened importance placed on sports in church programs and enormous platforms for intercollegiate sports at Christian schools and colleges. However, as Shirl Hoffman critiques, a Christian vision of sport remains merely superficial, replete with prayers before free throws and praises after touchdowns but offering little if any alternative vision from the secular sports culture. Far from being the kind of life-affirming, faith-affirming events that they could be, games played in Christian college gymnasiums, for example, too often end up as mockeries of the faith statements given prominence in their mission statements. Here, in this thoughtful, narrative-driven exploration, Hoffman retells numerous fascinating stories from the world of ancient and contemporary sports and draws on the history of the Christian tradition as he seeks to answer the question What would it mean to think Christianly about sport?

4:40 – Supreme Court Weighs Chicago's Strict Gun Ban
Otis McDonald, 76, is afraid for his life in his crime-saturated Chicago neighborhood and he is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn his city's strict ban on handguns in the home. "In my home, this is the only time I worry," McDonald said. "There's more guns coming into this city than the police can take away from them. So if I've got a gun, and if others have guns in their homes to protect themselves, then that's one thing that police would have to worry about less." For nearly 30 years, Chicago has banned possession of handguns and automatic weapons inside city limits, one of the most stringent gun laws in the country. McDonald's appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court comes a year and a half after the Court stunned gun-control advocates in another case declaring for the first time that the Constitution protects an individual's right to own a gun in his or her home. Second Amendment expert John Lott is here to discuss it.

5:00 – Kresta Comments

5:20 – China debt threatens national security
In response to the recent $6.4 billion dollar U.S. arms agreement with Taiwan, the Chinese military suggested economic retaliation by selling $800 billion in U.S. treasury debt. The $800 billion owed China has put the U. S. in a position where the Chinese military believes it can dictate U.S policy. The Chinese economic warfare threat is the most recent development in deteriorating bilateral relations with China over the last year. Since January 2009, President Obama has taken what the Chinese consider a number of provocative steps by sending Guantanamo prisoners to Palau, insisting China stop censoring the Internet, the Copenhagen climate confrontation, intervening in the Google dispute, agreeing to meet the Dalai Lama, and selling a $6.4 billion arms package to Taiwan. Judge Dan Ryan is here to argue that the debt to China needs to be eliminated and in the interim, the Obama administration needs to employ coherent policies regarding China that do not unnecessarily strain established diplomatic relations or threaten U.S. national security.

5:40 – The Original Meaning of Lent
Lent is a time of introspection. We read Exodus, and watch the Israelites grumbling, even after the amazing things God had done for them (Ex 17:3-7). In them, we recognize ourselves. For many of us, then, Lent is time for the spiritual equivalent of New Year’s resolutions. We set aside work on ourselves for forty days so we don’t end up wandering around in the wilderness for 40 years. We do things to burn off the excess fat that’s weighing us down, try to improve our spiritual diet, and do some meaningful spiritual exercises to strengthen the muscles we call “virtues.” But in the early days of the Church, Lent was not so much a time to focus inward. It was time for Catholics to focus outward. It is a time not just for personal growth, but for growth of the Church. We look at the original meaning of Lent with Marcellino D’Ambrosio.

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