Friday, December 4, 2009

Today on Kresta - December 4, 2009

Talking about the "things that matter most" on Dec. 4
The Best of “Kresta in the Afternoon”

4:00 – Abortion in the Senate Health Care Reform Bill
Just 38% of voters now favor the health care plan proposed by President Obama and congressional Democrats. That’s the lowest level of support measured for the plan in nearly two dozen tracking polls conducted since June. Meanwhile, House Democrats are at an impasse over whether their remake of the nation’s health care system would effectively allow federal funding of abortion. At least two dozen pro-life Democrats believe it would, and while their opposition is unlikely to stall the legislation in the end, they are at odds with Democratic leaders just weeks ahead of anticipated floor action on the bill. Doug Johnson of the National Right to Life Committee keeps us up to date.

4:20 – The Manhattan Declaration
The Internet and blogsphere is buzzing this morning about the The Manhattan Declaration, which is described as “a 4,732-word statement signed by a movement of Orthodox, Catholic and evangelical Christian leaders who are collaborating around moral issues of great concern." The Assocaiated Press says about it: The Document…sounds familiar themes from political and social debates over the health care overhaul and gay marriage battles.” President Barack Obama's desire to reduce the need for abortion is "a commendable goal," but his proposals are likely to increase the number of elective abortions, the document contends. We talk with Fr. Robert Sirico, one of the documents signatories.

4:40 – A Postcard From the Volcano
Beginning in 1914 and ending on the eve of World War II, Lucy Beckett tells an epic story which follows the coming of age and early manhood of the Prussian aristocrat, Max von Hofmannswaldau. From the idyllic surroundings of his ancestral home to the streets of cosmopolitan Breslau menaced by the Nazi SS, Hofmannswaldau uncovers the truth about his own identity and confronts the modern ideologies that threaten the annihilation of millions of people. It’s an extraordinary work about the mysteries of faith and hope and love, prevailing in a time of radical fear.

5:00 – The True St. Nicholas: Why He Matters to Christmas
When most of us hear the name "Saint Nicholas," we immediately think of Santa Claus. But if asked why Santa sometimes goes by this alias, we might be at a loss for a satisfactory answer. Too bad: the real St. Nicholas, a fourth-century bishop who may have attended the famous Council of Nicaea in 325, was a fascinating if elusive figure whose name has been invoked, and selfless deeds recounted, for hundreds of years. Now, in The True St. Nicholas, the bestselling author, radio talk-show host and former Secretary of Education William Bennett brings Saint Nicholas's story to life, and shows why it is still relevant today.

5:20 – The Devil’s Delusion: Atheism and it’s Scientific Pretentions
Militant atheism is on the rise. Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett, and Christopher Hitchens have topped bestseller lists with books denigrating religious belief as dangerous foolishness. And these authors are merely the leading edge of a far larger movement–one that now includes much of the scientific community. A secular Jew, David Berlinski nonetheless delivers a biting defense of religious thought. An acclaimed author who has spent his career writing about mathematics and the sciences, he turns the scientific community’s cherished skepticism back on itself, daring to ask and answer some rather embarrassing questions. He joins us.

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