Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Today on Kresta - May 4, 2010

Talking about the "things that matter most" on May 4

4:00 – Times Square bomb plot suspect arrested “at last second” after boarding a plane to Dubai
Authorities hunting for the suspect in the botched Times Square bombing dramatically beat the clock overnight, seizing a Pakistani-American citizen moments before he was set to begin a long trip to his strife-torn homeland. Faisal Shahzad, 30, was arrested around 11:45 p.m. ET Monday at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport. In what sounds more like an episode of “24,” Shahzad was on board a flight to Dubai, and the jetway had been pulled back when the plane was called to return to the gate. Shahzad was booked through to Islamabad, Pakistan, via Dubai. We look at the rapidly-developing events with Robert Spencer of jihadwatch.com.

4:20 – US Bishops Decry AZ Immigration Law: What to do About the Southern Border?
The U.S. bishops have joined their voices to those of Arizona prelates in denouncing the highly controversial immigration law passed last month in Arizona. Bishop John Wester of Salt Lake City, chairman of the bishops' Committee on Migration, called the law "draconian." He went on to say "[The measure] gives law enforcement officials powers to detain and arrest individuals based on a very low legal standard, possibly leading to the profiling of individuals based upon their appearance, manner of speaking, or ethnicity.” Many supporters of the bill would object to Wester’s characterization, as the bill makes clear that a previous legal violation must take place before anyone can be questioned about their citizenship. Bishop Wester went on to remind people that the bishops have been calling for reform for years. But, he said, too many elected officials "still view the issue through a political lens, using it to gain political or partisan advantage. This gamesmanship must stop." That will get little argument from anyone except politicians. We talk with Kevin Appleby of the USCCB Office of Migration and Refugee Services.

5:00 – Pastoral Theology: What is it and why does it matter?
Pastoral Theology is the branch of theology concerned with the practical application of theology in the pastoral context. This approach to theology seeks to give practical expression to theology. Normally viewed as an 'equipping' of ministers, practical theology is often considered to be more pragmatic than speculative, indeed, essentially a practical science. Hence its main interests are in those areas of theology which will aid the clergyman in ministry. Topics tend to include homiletics, pastoral care, sacramental theology, and ethics. All branches of theology, whether theoretical or practical, purpose in one way or another to make priests, pastors, and others in a pastoral role "the ministers of Christ, and the dispensers of the mysteries of God" (1 Corinthians 4:1). Pastoral theology presupposes other various branches, accepts the apologetic, dogmatic, exegetic, moral, juridical, ascetical, liturgical, and other conclusions reached by the ecclesiastical student, and scientifically applies these various conclusions to the priestly ministry. We talk with Doug Bushman about “pastoral theology.”

5:40 – An Introduction to Transhumanism: Attempting to Make a New Type of Person
The ideas of the young international movement known as "transhumanism" are beginning to characterize the thinking of an increasing number of clinicians and bioethicists. Transhumanism is really a set of ideas that has developed in response to the rapid advance of biotechnology in the past 20 years (that is, technology capable of and aimed at manipulating the physical, mental and emotional condition of human beings). Conventional medicine has traditionally aimed at overcoming disorders that afflict the human condition; it has prescribed leeching, cauterizing, amputating, medicating, operating and relocating to dryer climates, all in order to facilitate health and militate against disease and degeneration; in other words, the purpose has been to heal. Technology is now making possible interventions that in addition to a therapeutic aim are intended to augment healthy human capacities. There is a gradual but steady enlargement taking place in medical ideals from simply healing to healing and enhancement. We are all too familiar with "performance enhancing drugs" in professional sports. But biotechnology promises to make possible forms of enhancement that go far beyond muscle augmentation. We explore this “brave new world” with E. Christian Brugger of the Culture of Life Foundation.


  1. Your AZ Immigration Law coverage was way below par. Kevin and Al both were misinformed. The law only allows intrusion once someone has been stopped by police for a valid reason. The actual purpose of the law is to get ICE to pick up these detainees, to that purpose it puts Obamas enforcement 'in the spotlight'. Will he or will he not have ICE support AZ and to what degree. That all being said the media has misinformed everyone about the extent of this law and you both seem to not have gotten past the headlines.
    Shame, shame, shame.

  2. Notice the liberal code words this lefty Mr. Appleby uses. He uses the term "undocumented" instead of illegal aliens. Those people in Arizona are dealing with this like we in Texas are and this guy Appleby would love to legalize all of the people who are criminals for crossing our border illegally and make them all democrat voters. The States are having to find ways to protect themselves, we pay for all the services these illegal people get. If the Feds would enforce the laws on the books we wouldn't have this problem.

  3. Yes, I question the purpose of the USCCB Office of Migration and Refugee Services. What envelope gets passed around in church once a year to support these many and varied offices?

  4. What? Slow-pitch softball to yet another superfluous USCCB bureaucrat? Say it ain't so, Al!

  5. I think Al wasnt prepared for this interview and was hoping the USCCB guy would carry the water.
    Dissapointing! But as I pointed out above in the first post, the people in AZ are seeking relief from their immigration problems and the law will provide a political wedge to the Obama administration vis a vi ICE cooperation.

  6. Whats really interesting about the AZ law and alot of this was covered in BOR Oreillys show Monday is that there is a clause allowing the people to sue any municipality or county govt in AZ for not complying with and enforcing the law. If you can get your hands on yesterdays episode 5/3/2010. It will serve as a quick and insightful primer on this topic.

  7. Office of Migration and ReFugee Services procuring abortions

  8. Thanks. These are some good and helpful comments. Kevin was brought on to explain the USCCB opposition to the Arizona law especially in light of the recent remarks of Bishop Wester and Cardinal Mahoney.

    See my post above on 10 Dumb Things & 8 Smart Things...

    For those who think that the AZ bill isn't problematic, just look at its legislative history.

    Questions about this law abound. So much so that SB 1070 had to be almost immediately revised to become HB 2162.

    I’ve read SB 1070 and the most natural reading of it led me to believe that the criterion for lawful contact could be reasonable suspicion of immigration status. HB 2162 seems designed to avoid that reading.

    Normally 'lawful contact' would mean contact between a law enforcement officer and a person during the course of a situations where a law has been broken.

    But because 1070 makes it a state crime to be an illegal alien, wouldn't any effort to determine the immigration status of someone suspected of being an illegal alien constitute proper and legitimate "lawful contact."

    HB 2162 seems to clear that up. But half the law is made in the courts, a quarter in the enforcement and only a quarter of it in the legislative chambers.

    According to the Arizona Capital Times, H2162 prescribes a few key changes to the new immigration law

    1. As I said above, clarifying the definition of lawful contact.

    2. Clarifying guidelines for municipalities, as well as lowering the minimum — not the maximum —fine that can be assessed to cities that have so-called “sanctuary city” policies.

    3. It also restructured some of the punitive actions that a court would apply to those charged under the new law.

    4. One of the changes to S1070 removes the word “solely” from the description of the new law’s lawful contact, when it comes to race. So, now race, color or ethnicity simply cannot be used as part of reasonable suspicion. This is bound to turn law enforcement officials into liars.

    Refusal to admit that people of Mexican ancestry or appearance are more likely than Asians to be illegal immigrants in Arizona is childish.

    This will result in all kinds of concocted stories when law enforcement grunts are asked to justify why they questioned the immigration status of a disproportionate number of people with Mexican ancestory.
    Part 1

  9. Part 2

    As the Maverick Philosopher blogged: "But how could race, color, or national origin have nothing to do with the justifiability of an inquiry into immigration status in a state in which there is an estimated one half million illegal aliens, the vast majority of them Hispanic?

    How could that not justifiably be a factor in a decision whether to inquire into immigration status? A factor, not the only one of course. Compare the German and the Hispanic. Which is more likely to be an illegal alien? Will you hesitate over that question? Do have common sense?

    "Here is another example to test your level of common sense. You are walking down the street in a somewhat rough neighborhood. Strutting toward you like they own the place are five strapping black youths in gansta apparel.

    On the other side of the street, an 8o year old Jewish gentleman approaches, yarmulke on his head, chess set under one arm, Moses Maimonides' Guide for the Perplexed under the other. He's headed for the Insufficient Grounds coffee house to talk and play chess with his crony, Shlomo.

    "Which side of the street do you want to be on? Will you perhaps cross over? If you are packing heat, will you consider how you would engage the old man should he pull an Uzi from behind his long beard? Or will you worry about the Glock 9mms that could be hidden in the capacious pockets of those baggy pants? Suppose a rape has occurred.

    Would you consider the 80year old Jewish chessplayer to be as likely a suspect as one of the 20 year old black youths?
    Do you have common sense?"

    The value of the Arizona controversy is that it might heighten the contradiction between claiming we want to resolve the problem of illegal immigration and our federal government's inability to do so.

    Arizona might just force us to either enforce our immigration laws or open our borders libertarian style.

    This would also force a showdown between libertarians and conservatives which would be as tragic for biblical people as the showdown between the new left and the Democratic party between 1968 and 1972 was comic. (With the election of President Obama, the left has tried to reassert itself as the base of the Democratic party. What goes round, comes round.)

    I've never bought the left's claim that conservative alarm over illegal immigration was a form of disguised racism. However, this isn't an accusation that should gain any plausibility among Catholics who exist, among many other reasons, to remind us of our universal falleness in Adam and the potential redemption of every nation, kindred and tongue in Christ.

    So a biblical people should be known for hospitality. This isn't merely private entertaining in the home; it's a mark of the Church that welcomes the stranger and the displaced. This doesn't resolve the illegal immigration crisis but it should guide Christians as they discuss it.

    While the Church doesn't control the state, it can lead by example. We don't impose, we propose. And we do that by the way we conduct ourselves, including our conversation.

  10. Yes,annonymous,let's get it straight.let's remember these poor people are not undocumented.let's be real good catholics,and call it like it is.They are illegal aliens.You,and many american catholics need a crash course on catholic mercy and compassion...rob