Thursday, September 22, 2011

Today on Kresta - September 22, 2011

Talking about the "things that matter most" on Sept. 22


4:00 – The Blessed Virgin Mary 360°
Two weeks ago we celebrated the feast of the Birth of Mary, one the few birthdays we celebrate as a feast day. The traditional date of the feast, September 8, falls exactly nine months after the feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary. The Feast was celebrated at least by the sixth century, when St. Romanos the Melodist, an Eastern Christian who composed many of the hymns used in the Eastern Catholic and Eastern Orthodox liturgies, composed a hymn for the feast. The feast spread to Rome in the seventh century, but it was a couple more centuries before it was celebrated throughout the West. The source for the story of the birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary is the Protoevangelium of James, an apocryphal gospel written about A.D. 150. From it, we learn the names of Mary's parents, Joachim and Anna, as well as the tradition that the couple was childless until an angel appeared to Anna and told her that she would conceive. Apologist Steve Ray is here to take us deeper into this feast day.

5:00 – Kresta Comments: Pat Robertson says Alzheimer's makes divorce OK
Religious broadcaster Pat Robertson told his "700 Club" viewers that divorcing a spouse with Alzheimer's is justifiable because the disease is "a kind of death."During the portion of the show where Robertson takes questions from viewers, he was asked what advice a man should give to a friend who began seeing another woman after his wife started suffering from the incurable neurological disorder. "I know it sounds cruel, but if he's going to do something, he should divorce her and start all over again, but make sure she has custodial care and somebody looking after her," Robertson said. Al comments.

5:20 – Stewardship of Creation vs Environmentalism as a Religion
“It is imperative that mankind renew and strengthen that covenant between human beings and the environment, which should mirror the creative love of God, from whom we come and toward whom we are journeying.” – Pope Benedict XVI
When reading that quote, many would jump to the conclusion that it was spoken by an environmentalist lefty, not the Pope. Meanwhile, we find that some activists, the environmental ideology amounts to a quasi religion, one whose central doctrine declares a moral equivalency between the value of the environment and the value of human lives. We look at stewardship of the environment vs environmentalism as a religion. Kevin Murphy is our guest.


  1. Kevin was a great guest who provided a very interesting perspective on modern food production and attitudes towards farmers.

    However, I do not think the topic "Stewardship of Creation vs Environmentalism as a Religion" was covered very well, if at all. It is hard to see how Eric Schlosser can be characterized as an environmentalist, much less an example of one whose "environmental ideology amounts to a quasi religion." Catholic natural resource stewardship is a topic that deserves better and more balanced treatment.

    I found Al's demonizing language regarding environmentalists -- even when preceded with the qualifier "some" -- both disconcerting and oddly unCatholic in its lack of charity. While one can find people who do value human life subordinate to that of the environment, these people are about as rare as the farmer who values monetary gain over human life. Is this really "talking about the things that matter most"? It almost seemed that the purpose of this topic was to equate environmentalists (who are, in Al's world, apparently all "lefties") with idolators and Al Gore and, hence, anything other than Catholic.

    Instead of a free market apologist, consider interviewing someone who could speak to mainstream environmental stewardship from a Catholic perspective. It would be more interesting to hear Fr. Joseph Classen or any Catholic outdoorsman or conservationist, rather than this attempt to pass off a wildly uncharitable mischaracterization of "environmentalists" as a legitimate Catholic position.

  2. Anonymous,

    Al is uncharitable toward environmentalists because he cannot understand how anyone can disagree with him. It stems from Christian hubris.

    He really believes that God had him in mind since minus infinity. He really believes that Providence intervenes in his life. And he believes that he has a personal relationship with the second person of the Godhead who loves him without bound and wants to share eternity with him. This is massive hubris that dwarfs the egos of Richard Dawkins or Stephen Hawking.

    You can learn more about Al if you go to the Journey Home archives at EWTN. You can hear Al tell his story to Marcus Grodi: as a troubled youth in high school he served two years probation for possession of heroin; he had pseudo-mystical experiences with LSD; he searched for a higher state of consciousness in the New Age movement; he eventually found the true Jesus "through a series of striking Providential encounters." This guy is full of himself.

    Here are links to his Journey Home appearances:
    Program 435. 9/09/2002
    Program 334. 12/06/2004
    Program 217. 6/18/2007
    Program 202. 10/01/2007

    Al reminds me of Father Donald Calloway. These guys have the least convincing conversion stories -- they find Christ only after their narcissism caused them to hit rock bottom.

    I do disagree with Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins on one point. Hitchens and Dawkins believe that Al and Father Calloway would be better off discarding their Christian beliefs. I disagree. I think Christianity provides a safer way for them to channel their narcissism.

    Here is an interesting part of the interview with Kevin Murphy:

    Kevin: "It's funny. People can complain about companies like, let's say McDonald's or Walmart, but you see that their parking lots are full."

    Al: "Right. Right, Yeah. Yeah. They're obviously serving some public need here."

    Kevin: "That's right."

    OK. What about a full parking lot at a strip joint? Or an abortion clinic? Al, would you say, "Right. Right, Yeah. Yeah. They're obviously serving some public need here?"

    And, Al, the answer to your question "Should people be concerned at how chickens are raised?" is YES.

  3. Wow, Mauman: I think I am ready to canonize you. Better yet, maybe you should try out for Al's job. But first: can we get a rundown of your life history? Can we get you to disclose the entire naked truth about you so we can all decide whether you are worthy of our time? From the hostility and hot air you displayed in your post, I'd say we would all be better off without your exquisite vitriol, and your self-aggrandizing posts. If Al is so full of it, why do you waste so much of your precious time listening to his show?

    Al: in my mind, the post Mauman is commenting on is an example of a legitimate, substance-based criticism of the show's content. However, Mauman's post crosses the line into a personal attack which is irrelevant. It proves nothing to allow such posts, except that there are people who apparently dislike you a great deal but can't find it within themselves to move on to something else.


  4. Wow, the folks who comment talk about charity, of which it appears they have none. Hey folks, turn your radio dial. Now, onto more constructive opininion. As one who lives in farm country, in the middle of bean and corn fields, I do wonder how this round up resistant seed is effecting us. No one has really done any studies. This year, we had loads of volunteer corn growing in the field 20 feet from our house, it's a bean field. They came and sprayed and only the corn died. I asked if they could do that to beans too and he said yes, they have sprays that kill off certain plants and in this case, they sprayed to kill corn, and the beans were fine. It was mentioned tongue and cheak about Monsanto, not buy name, but they are genetically engineering these seeds so that A- they can't reproduce and B - maybe so they can control the market? I don't know and won't claim to know the inns and outs. But to say that you know a few people at a company and they are good and then extrapolate this onto the entire company, the long term business strategy, etc, I'm not sure that is valid. It's likely Al knows little about some of the inns and outs of farming. For those of us living in farming USA, we hear things like, these seeds are causing lower birth rates in humans, the techniques used to sterilize plants and seeds work on humans too. Sounds a little wild to me, but hey, there is a huge push on to sterlize the planet from humans. See Margaret Sanger for that and the Planned Parenthood push to abort out our african friends. Is it possible these folks have their hands in all sorts of areas and are attacking our eggs and sperm in ways we aren't even aware. These are the things being tossed around in Farm USA. This is not a shot on farmers. I live and know many and they are buying seed, trying to feed the world. The are some of the most salt of the earth folks I've every met, but who knows what is really going on at the Monsanto's of the world. Do we really know for sure? The interview was interesting but I think it was very Krest light. But then again, it was also a stretch outside of what is typcial. Probably aren't going to find official church teaching on this sort of thing so it gets a little squirrely, but I would say, if the practices of these companies are found to harm the dignity of the human person or the ability to procreate, we have a problem. God Bless and keep up the good work Al. - Nino