Talking about the "things that matter most" on April 28
4:00 – The 2011 Budget and the Looming Battle Over the Debt Ceiling
Yesterday President Obama laid out his vision for deficit reduction, albeit very light on specifics. The GOP also has a framework to go on – the Ryan plan, which is heavy on specifics – some quite unpopular. We talk to economist Jerry Mueller, author of Redeeming Economics about the 2011 budget battle, the upcoming battle over the debt ceiling, and what issues will drive the debate.
4:40 – Christian Charity and the Welfare State
There is near universal agreement among Christians of all political stripes that one of our great privileges and duties is to do charitable deeds. Where we disagree is on the question of whether the secular authority of the state should be an agent of Christian charity. To some, such an alliance seems logical; to others, it is a non sequitur to conclude that, because we are expected to perform acts of charity, we should enlist the state to help us. We discuss the issue of Christian charity and the welfare state with Dr. Mark Hendrickson.
5:00 – April 12: 150th Anniversary of Start of Civil War / The Civil War As A Theological Crisis
On April 12, we commemorated the 150th Anniversary of the start of the Civil War. Today Mark Noll argues that the War was a major turning point in American religious thought. Although Christian believers agreed with one another that the Bible was authoritative and that it should be interpreted through commonsense principles, there was rampant disagreement about what Scripture taught about slavery. Furthermore, most Americans continued to believe that God ruled over the affairs of people and nations, but they were radically divided in their interpretations of what God was doing in and through the war. Catholics in Europe and Canada saw clearly that no matter how much the voluntary reliance on scriptural authority had contributed to the construction of national civilization, if there were no higher religious authority than personal interpretation regarding an issue as contentious as slavery, the resulting public deadlock would amount to a full-blown theological crisis. Mark is here to talk about the Civil War as a theological crisis.
5:40 – Abuse allegations: true, false and truthy
It was one of the more searing allegations in the recent Philadelphia grand jury report on clergy sex abuse: A Bristol Township man killed himself after the Archdiocese of Philadelphia refused to believe that a priest had molested him when he was an altar boy. Reeling from criminal and civil allegations of sexual misconduct by priests and church officials, the Archdiocese said a month ago that it would reopen 37 cases of possible child sexual abuse cited by a local grand jury. But Dr. Rick Fitzgibbons says a number of important questions need to be addressed in regard to the allegations of inappropriate sexual behaviors against minors by 21 priests from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia who were placed on administrative leave on Ash Wednesday. This would include the process of further evaluation of priests previously evaluated and found to be innocent. Fitzgibbons is here to make his case.