Monday, June 29, 2009

Today on Kresta - June 29, 2009

Talking about the "things that matter most" on June 29

3:00 – Health Care Reform and the Concerns of Right to Life
The National Right to Life Committee has long argued that the cost of health care does not require rationing life-saving treatment. With so much momentum building for enactment of some sort of measure to provide coverage for the uninsured, it is not enough for NRLC simply to oppose ways of doing so that entail health care rationing. It is necessary to demonstrate that it is in fact possible to achieve this goal without having to accept rationing as a tradeoff. Since its inception, the pro-life movement has been as concerned with protecting older people and people with disabilities from euthanasia as with protecting unborn children from abortion. It has recognized that denial of lifesaving medical treatment, food and fluids against the will of a patient is a form of involuntary euthanasia. When the government prohibits Americans from obtaining health care necessary to preserve their lives, or limits their ability to obtain it, this health care rationing is a form of such involuntary euthanasia. We talk with Burke Balch of the National Right to Life Committee.

3:20 – Movies: The Good, the Bad, and the Really, Really Bad
Movies, like parables, can teach and uplift as well as entertain. Sad to say, that doesn't seem to be the goal of major film studios. So, should we even go to movies? Is a job as a film reviewer even valid? But movies are here to stay, and Christians are going to them - just like everybody else. So, how do Christians make peace with Hollywood? Or should they? And can a movie critic light the way? Phil Boatwright is here to point out Hollywood agendas, explore ways we can resist the secular world's tug of war against God's directives, and take a lighter look at the positives of motion pictures, including examples of men and women who are using the movie medium to amuse man and glorify God. Also, we'll showcase some films (both old and new) that entertain, enrich, enlighten and edify. With any luck, we'll experience a couple of chuckles along the way.

4:00 – “The Stoning of Soraya M”
As the movie industry prepares to roll out its summer blockbusters, a sobering, controversial film explores the gripping story of an Iranian woman who is victimized by her husband. The movie is based on real events and is adapted from the book of the same name by the French-Iranian journalist Freidoune Sahebjam, played by Jim Caviezel. In the aftermath of the Iranian revolution, a husband grows tired of his young wife, who has borne him two sons and two daughters. Under Islamic law, a man may have up to four wives – but he’s also obligated to care and provide for each of them properly. Interested in a potential child bride and unable to afford the added expense of a second wife, the husband maneuvers his wife into tending house for a recent widower. Then he falsely accuses her of infidelity, after blackmailing other male village elders, including the mullah – the town’s religious leader - into colluding in his lie. Iranian Director Cyrus Nowrasteh is with us.

4:20 – Natural Law as Fact, Theory, and Sign of Contradiction
Natural law is a fact about human beings, and a theory that humbles itself before this fact. Yet it is something else as well-a sign of contradiction, something that exasperates, offends, and enrages. The transient cause of such rage is the suicidal proclivity of our time to deny the obvious, but a more enduring cause is the Fall of Man. Our hearts are riddled with desires that oppose their deepest longings, and we demand to have happiness on terms that make happiness impossible. Philosopher J. Budziszewski threads a path between these various abysses. Among his questions are how the knowledge of good is related to the knowledge of God, how things that seem to run against the grain of human nature can become 'second nature,' and whether natural law can be reconciled with Darwinian evolution. Turning to politics, he takes up such topics as who counts as a human person, whether human dignity is compatible with capital punishment, what courts have made of the United States Constitution, and how an ersatz state religion can be built in the name of toleration. We look at natural law and its implications for both scholars and the general public.

5:00 – Supreme Court rules for white firefighters over promotions
The Supreme Court ruled today that white firefighters in New Haven, Conn., were unfairly denied promotions because of their race, reversing a decision that high court nominee Sonia Sotomayor endorsed as an appeals court judge. New Haven was wrong to scrap a promotion exam because no African-Americans and only two Hispanic firefighters were likely to be made lieutenants or captains based on the results, the court said this morning in a 5-4 decision. We talk with affirmative action expert John McWhorter.

5:20 – Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul
With today’s feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, we take a unique look at the two giants of the faith. Because Peter plays such a prominent role in the New Testament and the tradition of the church, he has been the focus of much scholarship over the centuries. One wonders whether there can be anything more to say about Peter. Indeed, there is. Fr. Richard Cassidy takes a look at Peter in the story of each gospel individually, rather than studying Peter via a side-by-side analysis of the gospels. We look at Four Times Peter.

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