Talking about the "things that matter most" on Nov. 4
The Best of Kresta in the Afternoon
4:00 – Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?
America is disintegrating. The “one Nation under God, indivisible” of the Pledge of Allegiance is passing away. In a few decades, that America will be gone forever. In its place will arise a country unrecognizable to our parents. This is the thrust of Pat Buchanan’s Suicide of a Superpower. The author of six New York Times bestsellers traces the disintegration to three historic changes: America’s loss of her cradle faith, Christianity; the moral, social, and cultural collapse that have followed from that loss; and the slow death of the people who created and ruled the nation. Pat is here to make his case.
4:40 – A House Divided: Broken Homes, Flying Houses, Divorce, and Death in Family Fantasy Films
Steven Greydanus writes in a recent column “I think it was six years ago, coming home from a screening of Zathura, that I started seriously wrestling with the problem of what I’ve come to call the Broken Family Film. On the one hand, marriage and an intact household with father and mother raising children together is and will always be the ideal, the standard, the norm. Divorce has become “normal” in the sense that it is a matter of common experience, but we don’t want it to be normalized in the sense of being accepted as something that just happens and is just an inevitable part of life, something that is nobody’s fault or is all for the best. On the other hand, given the reality of ever larger numbers of children with parents who aren’t married and don’t live together, we can’t expect every family in the movies and TV—even in children’s entertainment—to look like the ideal. Steven joins us to discuss a house divided in film.
5:00 – The Debate Over Internet Privacy
House lawmakers last week debated proposed updates to the Children’s Online Private Protection rules by the Federal Trade Commission that Web firms be required to seek greater permissions from parents to collect information about children under the age of 13. This comes amidst a large debate over privacy on the internet. We talk with Mark Bowden, author of Worm, the story of the battle between those determined to exploit the internet and those committed to protect it—the ongoing war taking place literally beneath our fingertips.
5:20 - The Desert Fathers: Saint Anthony and the Beginnings of Monasticism
In the late third century, more and more people withdrew to the radical seclusion of the desert so as to live entirely for God under the direction of a spiritual father. Among these "Desert Fathers" one figure is especially preeminent: Saint Anthony the Hermit. We go back to the hour when monasticism was born and describes the life of those revolutionary Christians who sought God in the Egyptian desert. Tony Ryan of Ignatius Press is our guide.
5:40 - Living the Call: An Introduction to the Lay Vocation
Since 1965 the number of priests in the United States has fallen by some 30,000. But over that same time period, more than 30,000 laypeople have come into the employ of parishes and other Church institutions. Laypeople have stepped up to serve in a variety of new ministries, and they are relieving their pastors of many administrative burdens, enabling them to focus on their proper priestly duties. Lay teachers now outnumber nuns, brothers, and priests in Catholic schools by at least 19 to 1. In the history of the Church, laypeople have never been asked to do so much. Bill Simon Jr. calls attention to this great shift and what it means.