Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Today on "Kresta in the Afternoon" - December 14, 2011

Talking about the "things that matter most" on Dec. 14

4:00 – Anita Caspary: Dissenter or Pioneer for Women Religious?
Anita Caspary, the former superior of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Sisters who led 315 sisters out of religious life in 1970, died Oct. 5 at the age of 95. Caspary’s influence lives on, however, for she was the first modern sister to publicly challenge the Church hierarchy and the Vatican about the nature of religious life. Obituary writers have been lavish in praising Caspary’s accomplishments, but many of those obituaries simply repeat misinformation and propaganda and fail to probe the actual events that have had a profound and lasting impact on religious life. Ann Carey, author of Sisters in Crisis: The Tragic Unraveling of Women’s Religious Communities, is here to discuss Caspary’s legacy.

4:20 – Is the “Arab Spring” a Good Thing for Christians? How Apostasy and Blasphemy Codes are Choking Religious Freedom Worldwide.
Accusations of "blasphemy," "apostasy," or "insulting Islam" are now exploding in their use by authoritarian governments and extremist forces in the Muslim world to acquire and consolidate power. These charges, which traditionally carry a punishment of death, have proved effective in intimidating not only converts and heterodox groups, but also political and religious reformers. Paul Marshall has been fighting for religious freedom for decades and is here to describe hundreds of victims, including political dissidents, religious reformers, journalists, writers, artists, movie makers, and religious minorities throughout the Muslim world. He also addresses the move toward new blasphemy laws in the West and the increasing threat of violence to stifle commentary on Islam in the West even in the absence of law.

5:00 – Was Shakespeare a Catholic? – Vatican Weighs In
The Vatican newspaper has entered into a lively literary debate, saying that the works of William Shakespeare show that the author was a Catholic. L’Osservatore Romano reviewed a new film, Anonymous, which examines the popular theory that the works of Shakespeare were actually penned by the Earl of Oxford, Edward de Vere. An accompanying article, citing many references to Catholic thought within the plays, concludes: “His identity may be open to discussion but not his faith.” L'Osservatore notes that because of fierce anti-Catholic persecution, Shakespeare was forced to conceal his religious beliefs. Shakespeare expert Joseph Pearce weighs in.

5:40 – Human Exceptionalism Takes Center Stage
Recently the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals filed a lawsuit against Sea World for allegedly violating the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution -- which bans slavery -- by keeping orcas at parks in San Diego and Orlando, Fla. This is just the latest in a coordinated attempt to eliminate the idea of human exceptionalism. Bioethicist Wesley Smith has been on the front lines of this argument for years, and is here to share the next step in the battle.

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