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The Patrick Coffin Show | Interviews with influencers | Commentary about culture | Tools for transformation

The Patrick Coffin Show podcast features weekly interviews with A-list influencers and outliers in the effort to recover the Judeo-Christian roots of the culture. Patrick is the Canadian-born former host of Catholic Answers Live, and he has raving fans around the world. He injects these fascinating interviews with his own distinctive blend of depth and levity. If you’re tired of politically correct mediaspeak, you want to see God back in the public square, and you’re not allergic to having a laugh, this is the place to be.
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Now displaying: 2017
Dec 26, 2017

This is episode is my first to feature two guests on the same topic, although Episode 34  included Jordan Peterson and Senator Don Plett at the same time in separate cities.

This week’s show topic is the enduring cultural impact of Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life (1947) through the eyes of two women close to its creation.

I say “Frank Capra’s” because that’s how the movie was marketed (it’s now called the vanity credit) and may help explain why the film got only a so-so reception when it was first released. Most of Mr. Capra’s pre-World War II movies were so sweet-hearted that they later earned the not-quite-complimentary moniker “Capra-corn.”

It’s a Wonderful Life is one of the most critically acclaimed films ever made. Nominated for five Academy Awards including Best Picture, recognized by the American Film Institute as one of the 100 best American films ever made, and placed number 11 on its initial 1998 greatest movie list, it also ranked number one on its list of the most inspirational American films of all time.

Think about that, in light of the hundreds of thousands of movies ever made.

By the end of the War, though, the mood of the movie-going public had shifted, as I wrote about the making of the movie in National Review a few years ago here

The next day after it was published, an appreciative email from a woman named Mary Owen arrived in my inbox. Turns out, Mary is the daughter of actress Donna Reed, who played Mary Bailey, the wife of James Stewart’s George Bailey.

I thanked her for the lovely email and we had a few back-and-forths. After my podcast was up on two feet and spreading around the world (11o countries and counting), I thought it would be fun to have her on the show to talk about her mother’s role in this now-international favorite Christmas movie and to learn some back story to her mother’s career and her commitment to writing back to the G.I’s who wrote to her from the trenches and the gun turrets of World War II.

(Oh, by the way, she was not named for the character her mother played in the Capra movie.) The interview segues nicely into the next one, a rich conversation with actress Karolyn Grimes who played Zuzu, one of the four Bailey kids. Remember Zuzu’s petals? This was a real treat for me who loves the movie so well, and I know it will be for you as well.

I learned, among other things, how much Mrs. Grimes suffered as a teen when her mother died and then the next year her father was killed and she became a ward of the state—then “rescued” by an aunt and uncle in Missouri. An unhappy home situation after an abrupt end to her budding acting career (she also played Debbie, the daughter of David Niven and Loretta Young in another Christmas favorite, The Bishop’s Wife).

For those of us who can’t gobble up enough trivia and true stories about It’s a Wonderful Life, Mrs. Grimes is a treasure trove of first hand memories and insights!

 

In this episode you will learn

  • How Donna Reed’s work represents the best of the Golden Age of television and movies
  • Why she made sure she was “just a regular mom” with Mary and her other real-life children
  • The story of how Reed’s children found a shoebox full of correspondence with American soldiers from the War in her Bel Air home 65 years later
  • Why Owens thinks the movie that made her mother a household name has such enduring appeal
  • Who is the oldest living cast member (hint: it’s not one of the child actors)
  • What it was like to be on set with Frank Capra and to appear with Jimmy Stewart
  • The ways in which It’s a Wonderful Life touched the lives of the cast and crew forever.

 

 Resources mentioned in this episode

Blu-Ray of It’s a Wonderful Life 

Blu-Ray of The Bishop’s Wife

It’s a Wonderful Life Book  edited by Jeanine Basinger

 

Additional resources

It’s a Wonderful Life: A Memory Book by Stephen Cox.

The Essential It’s a Wonderful Life: A Scene-by-Scene Guide to the Classic Film by Michael Willian

The Name Above the Title: An Autobiography by Frank Capra

  

 

 

Don't forget to subscribe, rate and review the podcast! 

Dec 19, 2017

Tony Esolen is both a sage and a survivor of the culture war. He knows there’s a war over which camp gets to determine the default setting narrative, and he knows the cost of warfare. He also knows it’s not a military war (at least not yet) but a war of ideas and moral stances.

Esolen suffered a bumpy and very public exit from Providence College last year, where he taught English and classics since 1990 -- their youngest full tenured professor ever. But the diversity demon took hold and Esolen fought back manfully. In the end, he stepped away from the salary, the tenure, the sabbatical, and the sundry perks and joined the faculty of Thomas More College of Liberal Arts in Merrimack, NH.

Like Ferdinand the Bull at the end of the Munro Leaf story, Esolen is happy. Our interview covered the story behind his departure from Providence not in a literary gossip way but in a What Went Wrong With Catholic Colleges way.

We talk about the new Center for the Restoration of Christian Culture  and the importance of getting in the game of reclaiming our cultural heritage.

 

In this episode you will learn:

  • Why the need to rebuild culture NOW is so urgent
  • A sample of the books we ought to read to guide us
  • The importance of beautiful and reverent liturgy
  • The reasons why parents need to take back, as best they can, the education of their children from the education establishment bureaucrats
  • The difference literacy makes in the lives of children and family life

 

 Resources mentioned in this episode:

 

Join the Conversation:

Question of the week:

What small thing can I do as a family to restore the Christian culture?

 

Comment below.

 

Don’t forget to Subscribe to the show in YouTube, as well as the podcast so you can get the weekly show updates. Check the podcast in iTunes and other podcast directories, please leave an honest review.

Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated!

 

Dec 12, 2017

It’s that time of year again when we review the notable “holiday” movies for their adherence to the real meaning of Christmas, production quality, and merits and demerits. Who better than the founder of Decent Films, Steven Greydanus?

Steve is not only the father of seven and a permanent deacon with the Archdiocese of Newark, he is a prolific movie critic and newly minted member of the elite New York Film Critics’ Circle.

Ever since the first A Christmas Carol silent film came out in 1901 (!), Christmas and movies have gone together like Bob Cracthit and Tiny Tim. Since then, there have been over 30 adaptations of the Dickens original to the big or small screen.

In this episode, here is a sample of the Christmas themed movies Steven and I talk about in this episode:

 

Elf, starring Will Farrell, produced by my friend Todd Komarnicki, who appeared in Episode 25  of the show

Die Hard  starring Bruce Willis. Is it really a Christmas movie? Discuss. And we do!

A Midnight Clear C starring Gary Sinese. Biblical allusion galore in this tragically little known war movie set at Christmas.

Joyeux Noel, a multi-country co-production about the true story of a Christmas Eve impromptu cease-fire between the Germans and the Allies.

It’s a Wonderful Life,  starring James Stewart. For my money the greatest film ever made. If you disagree, we can’t be friends. Want the story behind the story? Read this. It’s what got the attention of my upcoming guest Mary Owen, daughter of actress Donna Reed, the incandescent Mary Bailey, wife of George.

Meet John Doe  starring Gary Cooper. The other Frank Capra movie about a good man tempted to suicide on Christmas Eve. Bizarrely forgotten classic, as I point out here.

We also talked about the bad ones, like Ron Howard’s super-lousy How the Grinch Stole Christmas and a few other rancid things disguised as movies. Since this is a respectable joint—I ain’t linking to ‘em.

Dec 6, 2017

Is the threat of terrorism from the Islamic world a clear and present danger? Is there a way to broach this uncomfortable topic in a balanced and charitable way? Is it Islamophobic to even pose these questions? Author and founder of Jihad Watch, Robert Spencer has been writing and speaking about the foundational documents of Islam, the Qur’an and the Hadith, for over 15 years.

It doesn’t matter that his books, 17 in all so far, carefully distinguish between Muslims who do not follow the literal sense of the Qu’ran and those who do. He still gets repeatedly branded as a hate-monger and, the shame label du jour, “Islamophobe.”

Spencer has finally embraced that label, with key caveats, in the title of his new book, Confessions of An Islamophobe. which is part memoir, and part catalogue of real-world applications of Islamic texts and traditions.

There are few topics that are subject to more confusion and fuzzy thinking than Islam’s relationship to modern liberal democracies, the explicit teachings of its holy books, and the relationship between Christianity and Islam. For his troubles in writing about jihad-inspired attacks throughout the UK, Spencer is still banned in the UK (by then-Home Secretary now Prime Minister Theresa May) and remains a persona non grata in many circles.

One word very rarely used against him is wrong. (I believe he did make one error of fact in our interview, although of the benign variety, in saying that Israel is the only place in the Middle East where Christians are increasing in number.)

There is an Advent tie-in here, straight from Archbishop Fulton Sheen’s 1951 classic The World’s First Love.The chapter, “Mary and the Moslems,” is worth the book price. Prophetic insights into how our Lady of Fatima has a role to play in the conversion of Muslims to Christ.

In his latest book, Spencer meticulously outlines the various groups who are under special threat today by the Sharia-minded ethos, from women and homosexuals, to Jews and Christians.

In this candid interview, you will discover:

  • How to respond when people claim that the Catholic Church officially teaches that Islam is a religion of peace
  • The rationale the jihadis give for their violence
  • How the far Left and militant Islam are strange bedfellows
  • How to talk about Islamic-inspired evil while respecting and speaking with ordinary Muslims who also abhor that evil
  • Why the West needs a serious, loud, and urgent wake-up call to what’s coming next.

Question of the Week:  How much has political correctness undermined our willingness to talk candidly about Islamic terrorism?

 

Nov 28, 2017

“Dr. J” to her tribe, this influencer as a PhD and teaching experience at Yale, and George Brown University. An economist by training, she has invaluable insights into the wreckage we see around us caused by the failed Sexual Revolution. The organization she founded, The Ruth Institute, exists to help survivors of this very public shipwreck.

With the Obergefel v Hodges (2015) decision redefining marriage at the federal level, we have reached a legal tipping point. Most Americans support marriage as it’s been defined for millennia, as the lifelong union of one man and one woman with openness to children. Culture is one thing, laws are another.

If you want practical insights into how to talk about this and other challenges such as our collective no-fault divorce attitude (yes, it has infected “good Catholic” circles), and the forgotten players known as children, this is the interview for you.

You will learn:

  • Proven strategies for framing the arguments
  • How to avoid taking the bait offered by anti-marriage activists
  • The importance of keeping the conversation where it needs to be: on the linking of children to their parents.
  • How to articulate reasons for supporting marriage without reference to either homosexual behavior on the one hand, or religious tenets on the other.

Question of the week (for the married): When people look at your marriage, how likely are they to say, “I want a marriage like that”?

(For the unmarried): What is a good question to ask your boyfriend or girlfriend that would either qualify or disqualify them as a good candidate for marriage?

 

Resources recommended in this episode:

101 Tips for a Happier Marriage: Simple Ways for Couples to Grow Closer to God and to Each Other by Jennifer Roback-Morse and Betsy Kerekes

Sex Au Naturel: What It Is and Why It’s Good For Your Marriage, by Patrick Coffin

Additional resources:

Go to ruthinstitute.org for more from Dr. J.

Truth Overruled: The Future of Marriage and Religious Freedom by Ryan Anderson

Getting the Marriage Conversation Right: A Guide for Effective Dialogue by William May

 

Don’t forget to Subscribe to the show in YouTube, as well as the podcast so you can get the weekly show updates. Check the podcast in iTunes and other podcast directories, please leave an honest review.

Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated!

 

 

Nov 21, 2017

Get your C.S. Lewis on! Lovers of the works of Clive Staples Lewis (+1963), especially The Chronicles of Narnia septet will not want to miss this interview with Lewis scholar and Catholic convert, Dr. Michael Ward of Oxford and Houston Baptist University.

The Narnia series has been one of the most critically analyzed book series in history since it was penned over 60 years ago. My guest in this episode has discovered a interpretative framework to the seven books that eluded the Lewisphere for decades and now has them abuzz.

It’s all about the seven planets of the medieval cosmos. Even if you’ve re-read the books many times, Dr. Ward’s insights will bring you a whole new depth and wonder to C.S. Lewis’s best known work.

And because he is English (I say, the inventors of the language you’re now reading) his prose will expand your vocabulary as well!

I should note one thing. At the end of the interview, I jokingly asked him about his work for Q under Her Majesty the Queen. This is because he had a walk-on part in the James Bond film The World Is Never Enough. (He’s the bespectacled, white lab-coated assistant to Q in this funny scene, handing 007 his X-ray glasses at 1:20: )

In this episode you will learn:

  • What subtle, overarching symbolic framework governs the seven-fold story of the Narnia books (hint: think planets, not sacraments)
  • That John Williams’s Star Wars theme, shall we say, borrowed promiscuously from Gustav Holst’s “Mars: Bringer of War”
  • The meaning of the words etiolated, valitudinarian, and aestival—handy for use at cocktail parties...
  • Some important background on what inspired Lewis
  • The importance of atmosphere or “tone” in great works of literature and why it resembles the mystery in music.

Resources recommended in this episode:

Planet Narnia: The Seven Heavens in the Imagination of C.S. Lewis by Michael Ward

Gustav Holst, The Planets (music CD)

S. Lewis: A Complete Guide to His Life & Works by Walter Hooper

The Cambridge Companion to C. S. Lewis ed. By Michael Ward and Robert MacSwain

The World Is Not Enough, James Bond film DVD starring Pierce Brosnan, co-starring….Michael Ward.

 

Don’t forget to Subscribe to the show in YouTube, as well as the podcast so you can get the weekly show updates. Check the podcast in iTunes and other podcast directories, please leave an honest review.

Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated!

 

Nov 14, 2017

The last couple of shows have been on the intellectual-nerd side. Here’s another one! Father Thomas J. White, OP, of the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, DC, has distilled the essential of Catholicism into a single volume, The Light of Christ: An Introduction to Catholicism. I devoured the book (insofar as you can devour a work that relies on Thomas Aquinas’s methods and language) in a few days despite being a slow reader. His style is accessible and his prose elegant with a whiff of humor here and there.

All of that comes through in this interview, as Father White gets down to basics of foundations of Catholicism.

After listening, you will know:

  • What the gospel really is
  • The philosophical and biblical basis for the Catholic Church’s main claim to be founded by Christ
  • What Scripture is and why we can trust the New Testament as an historical document
  • A simple way to explain the Trinity

 

Question of the week: How would you finish the sentence, “I”m Catholic because…..” Or, “I’m not Catholic because….”

 

Resources recommended in this episode:

The Light of Christ: An Introduction to Catholicism by Father White, OP

Theology and Sanity by Frank Sheed

Ignatius Study Bible, RSV Second Catholic Edition by the Holy Spirit and the sacred authors.

 

Don't forget to subscribe, rate and review!

Nov 7, 2017

Arguments for God’s existence are all the rage, as Ed Feser exemplified well in the last two episodes. But what about us? What’s our nature as humans? Do we have a soul? How can we know that the soul is immortal and not just a few pounds of electric meat between our ears that produces cool experiences like a mythical God?

Very few modern thinkers are devoting a lot of time to the question of the soul and whether it’s immortal. Plato thought so, as it most Greek philosophers. Certainly the Bible affirms it. Dr. Michael Augros has written a new book called The Immortal In You. How Human Nature Is More Than Science Can Say. We talked about the finer points in my interview with him. You’ll learn a ton, as I did, about:

 

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • Your own body-soul nature, made by God, destined for heaven, in peril of hell.
  • How to distinguish between what God reveals about the soul and what reason does
  • The difference between the body and the soul
  • How to argue with someone who thinks science is a magical truth-dispensing religion

Resources mentioned in this episode:

 

Don’t forget to Subscribe to the show in YouTube, as well as the podcast so you can get the weekly show updates. Check the podcast in iTunes and other podcast directories, please leave an honest review.

Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated!

Oct 31, 2017

This episode continues the energetic exchange of last week’s live interview with philosopher Ed Feser. After the show proper, we turned the mikes over to the audience. This week’s special Part II show is the result!

Remember, Dr. Feser is the man that professor emeritus of Oxford, Dr. Richard Dawkins, does not want to debate. You can see why in this lively Q&A session, held at St. John the Baptist in Costa Mesa, CA. Feser is sharp, clear, funny, and engages the issues in a way that resonates with young people especially.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • How to answer basic (and more complex) questions about theism
  • Effective ways to listen before giving answers even true and accurate answers
  • Additional sources of information and formation for Christians looking to improve their communication skills with atheists
  • The importance of patience and humility in the process

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Other recommended resources:

Join the Conversation

Question of the week:

  • What is your biggest take away from this episode?
Oct 24, 2017

A recent Pew Research Center poll found that the number of atheists has doubled in the United States. Atheism is definitely in the rise.

Is God’s existence a matter of faith only? Is there a way we can come to a certain knowledge of God apart from the Bible or the Church’s teaching?

If you have friends or family who say they stopped believing in God, this is the interview to share with them. Philosopher and writer Dr. Edward Feser is the author of The Last Superstition, Aquinas, and other books of philosophy. This special episode of The Patrick Coffin Show, taped before a live audience at St.John the Baptist church in Costa Mesa, CA.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • The right questions to ask atheists
  • That there are strong reasons for believing in God apart from divine revelation
  • Science itself cannot disprove God
  • How to really listen to the atheist objection and provide a great answer in reply

Dr. Feser is the man that professor emeritus of Oxford, Dr. Richard Dawkins, does not want to debate. You can see why in this lively exchange. Feser is sharp, clear, funny, and engages the issues in a way that resonates with young people especially.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Other recommended resources:

 

Don't miss next week's episode: Part II of this event -- the robust Q&A session afterward!

 Join the Conversation

Question of the week:

  • What tone should we adopt when talking to an atheist?

 

Don’t forget to Subscribe to the show in YouTube, as well as the podcast so you can get the weekly show updates. Check the podcast in iTunes and other podcast directories, please leave an honest review.

Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated!

 

Oct 17, 2017

As a long time reader of GetReligion.org, I know you’ll understand why I know you’ll appreciate this interview with journalist Terry Mattingly, the “GetReligionista in Chief.” Terry is a Russian Orthodox Christian with great sympathy for the worldview of Catholics and other Christians of the small-o orthodox stripe. We can’t seem to get a fair hearing in the media, and Terry is the best commentator on this sorry state of affairs.

Yet, as you’ll learn in this interview, he is neither a doom-and-gloomer nor a paranoid conspiracy theorist. He knows well that some Christians will always do scandalous things worthy of negative press coverage.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • The scandalous ignorance of so many religion reporters.
  • The apathy of so many MSM editors regarding getting the facts right about religious faith (as compared with, say, the high standards of accuracy in matters of science, sports, or politics)
  • How to spot biases when it comes to religion reportage (how about the “bad” Christianity of Tim Tebow and the “good” Christianity of Colin Kaepernick?

Rather than succumb to the temptation of throwing a nerf brick at your TV set (or laptop screen), do what I do and learn from Terry Mattingly.  Enjoy and share!

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Join the Conversation

Question of the week:

  • Why do you think religion reporting is so poor in quality?
Oct 10, 2017

This interview with counter-terrorism expert and former international FBI Special Agent Tim Clemente provides unique insights into the mass murder perpetrated by Stephen Paddock last Sunday.

Clemente has been a SWAT team sniper, a firearms expert, and was one of the first FBI agents on the scene after American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon. He is now a Hollywood writer and producer (The Unit, Criminal Minds, NCIS: Los Angeles).

As a serious Catholic, Clemente’s analysis of the Vegas massacre brings a supernatural perspective to this kind of pure evil. Where other pundits opine about gun laws and conspiracy theories, in this interview you will hear a balanced understanding that doesn’t exclude the reality of faith.

Busy father of nine that he is, the interview was conducted from his pick-up truck during a break in some construction work for his mother-in-law. 

Enjoy and share!

Don’t forget to Subscribe to the show here in YouTube, as well as the podcast so you can get the weekly show updates. Please leave an honest review of the show in iTunes or Stitcher. Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated!

www.patrickcoffin.media/itunes

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Twitter: @Patrick_Coffin

Oct 3, 2017

The news media invariably give a skewed version of Islam as a world of tolerance and open-minded toward the differently-minded. Derya Little can tell you otherwise from growing up in Turkey in a 99% Muslim milieux.

Her dramatic, at times, harrowing story is told in her spiritual autobiography From Islam to Christ: One Woman’s Path Through the Riddles of God

As you’ll learn from the interview, Derya discovered that Christianity is essentially a loving relationship with a divine Person as opposed to the Islamic idea of Allah as master and the reality of Islamic government as theocracy.

And what a story: divorced parents; atheist worldview; living la vida loca at university; an abortion; another abortion.

Then an encounter with Christ as an evangelical -- huge. Discovery of sacred Tradition and the sacraments, especially of Confession -- even more huge -- with a denouement of finding lasting love in the Sacrament of Matrimony and the bosom of holy Mother Church.

Derya vulnerably tells her tale of transformation with interesting asides in this very personal interview. Kindly share with friends.

Sep 26, 2017

There’s a new high priestly caste in the cultural worship space whose function is to spout a new ideology, replacing what was once called “science.” The new ideology is a form of propaganda and political control, and you deviate from it at your peril.

From the statistics relating to the proportion of homosexuals in society, to the “facts” about global warming (rebranded as “climate change” when the oligarchs saw that too few were buying the old brand), to the realities of abortion, population control, genetically modified food -- for starters!

Austin Ruse has compiled an impressively researched array of counter facts to push back against the purveyors of quasi-scientific fakery in his new book, Fake Science: Exposing the Left's Skewed Statistics, Fuzzy Facts, and Dodgy Data

If you want a comprehensive summary of the major fiefdoms of fake science and how fake news aids and abets it, this interview is the place to start.

Enjoy and share!

 

Don’t forget to Subscribe to the show in YouTube, as well as the podcast so you can get the weekly show updates. Please leave an honest review of the show in iTunes or Stitcher. 

Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated!

Sep 19, 2017

 Venerable Pope Pius XII was the pope from 1939 to his death in 1958, straddling an extremely dangerous and unstable time in modern history. He was universally lauded as a hero after World War II for his brave and often risky strategy to counter the reckless Reich machine controlled by Adolph Hitler. Many Jews in particular wrote glowing tributes to this Pope, born Eugenio Pacelli.

But a funny thing happened in 1963. A mediocre communist playwright named Rolf Hochhuth came out with an off-off-off Broadway play called The Deputy in which the Holy Father was portrayed as the Fuhrer’s lackie.

That was the beginning of a PR campaign to smear the late great pope’s person and legacy. Professor of Law at Ole Miss, Ron Rychlak has specialized in telling the truth and countering the bold lies about Pope Pius XII. Rychlak’s work has been praised by an eclectic array of scholars and leaders, including the Jewish Gary Krupp and Rabbi Eric Silver.

If you’ve ever been tongue-tied when you hear solemn nonsense about “Hitler’s Pope,” this is the interview for you. Professor Rychlak has written or edited books that make good use of his legal mind with lots of meticulous research, including the very readable, Hitler, the War, and the Pope 

No one has a better grasp of the facts, and your grasp will get stronger after hearing this.

Enjoy and share!

Sep 12, 2017

Joseph Sciambra says porn made him gay. At least, it was a major causal factor in his dark journey from shy Catholic kid to appearing in amateur gay porn and doing degrading things in leather bars. Joseph has told his story to anyone, any media outlet, willing to listen. Including Howard Stern, on whose raunchy show Joseph appeared as a guest in 2013.

But Catholic media? Not so much. Perhaps that his backstory is so dark and raw, that the redemption part of the story takes longer to land. Perhaps it’s that Sciambra is committed to focusing laser-like on the astonishing inroads made by LGTB activists in parishes and dioceses across the country.

Few writers provide as much brutally candid insights into the homosexualist movement, the bodily, psychic, and spiritual wounds that attend homosexual acts, and the widespread failure of Catholic leaders to acknowledge the room’s neon elephant.

In this interview, you’ll learn a new way to approach the “gay topic” from someone who is committed to reaching those still in the lifetstyle through his street ministry, “Jesus Loves Gay Men.”

Three questions for you to ponder and comment below,

-Why do you think he’s found it hard to get invited to Catholic conferences when evangelicals are willing to collaborate with his ministry?

-What are you thoughts on how the “LGBT” agenda has been so successful in embedding itself at the diocesan level in places like Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, and Newark, NJ?

-Have you ever thought you faced a seemingly insurmountable obstacle to success — yet somehow found a way?

 

Find out more at his blog/website, www.josephsciambra.com.

Sep 5, 2017

You would never know it from listening to him lecture or watch him on EWTN, by literary scholar and biographer Joseph Pearce did two stints in the British prison system for his involvement in a violent Aryan-nation style group called the National Front.

The news footage of the recent violent riots at Charlottesville, VA, gave Pearce a serious case of deja vu, and i this remarkable interview, he tells what it’s like to BE one of those activists -- angry (mostly young) men with chaos and anarchy on their minds.

His racism and deep-seated hatred of all non-whites, Jews, and Catholics (“I hated all of the above,” he says) was finally overcome after he discovered the writings of G.K. Chesterton, Thomas Aquinas, and J.R.R. Tolkien. The darkness of his prison cell led into the light of Christ and His commandment to love God and neighbor -- and to forgive one’s enemies.

His unlikely story is filled to the brim with providential interventions, ironies, and a cast of characters you normally only see in movies. To find out the full tale, his spiritual autobiography is Race With the Devil: My Journey From Racial Hatred to Rational Love. 

If you want an inside look into the mindset of Antifa and its doppelganger the violent alt-right from a convert to the Faith, this interview is the place to be.

 

Don’t forget to Subscribe to the show in YouTube, as well as the podcast so you can get the weekly show updates. Please leave an honest review of the show in iTunes or Stitcher. 

Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated!

Aug 29, 2017

Ever see a bully and want to stand up to him, but couldn’t quite do it? Maybe fear got in the way, or you figured the net result wouldn’t be worth it. Obianuju (“Uju” for short) Ekeocha has mastered the art of standing up to bullies in the form of those who push the culture of death onto her beloved Africa.

In 2012, Uju had had enough of well-meaning First World leaders injecting contraception and abortion requirements into foreign policy to “help the poor Africans” and she wrote an Open Letter to Melinda Gates, wife of Bill.

That Letter went viral and the foundress of Culture of Life Africa (www.cultureoflifeafrica.com) soon found herself debating pro-abortion advocates on the BBC, advising African Members of Parliament, and speaking at conferences around the world. In our interview, she shares insights into best practices for effectively and persuasively arguing on behalf of the culture of life.

Uju is working on a major book by Ignatius Press, titled Target Africa, and is crowdfunding a documentary. Inspiring!

 

Don’t forget to Subscribe to the show in YouTube, as well as the podcast so you can get the weekly show updates. Please leave an honest review of the show in iTunes or Stitcher. 

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Aug 22, 2017

His 15-year-old hands were shaky on the steering wheel of the family van. Not old enough to legally drive, he stepped on the gas and gained speed. He heart raced, too, but more from dread than excitement, his eyes narrowed with dark zeal. He felt part zombie, part ghost, as though watching from outside himself as the nearest object loomed ahead, rushing toward him – an oncoming car. He yanked the wheel sharply into it, at 60 miles an hour.

It was the day Luke Maxwell tried to commit suicide.

From that terrible crash came a remarkable “upward bounce” to recovery and restoration. Luke spoke to me about the traits and feelings that indicate clinical depression, including the MMD (major depressive disorder) with which he was diagnosed in the hospital, almost on the spot.

Today, at 20, he talks to teens, parent groups, and various conferences about saying no to shame and yes to accepting the help you need if you suffer the scalding effects of depression. Do you know someone who might be depressed? Want to find out how to spot the signs? Listen on…

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Aug 15, 2017

Most people are unaware of the mutual admiration and friendship John Paul the Great had with President Reagan. With differing on Christian teachings, they were acutely aware they had the same Teacher. Both survived close-up attempts at assassination, both immediately forgave their attackers, and both were passionate about bringing down the godless Soviet Communist leviathan that Reagan tagged, “the evil empire.”

Their partnership, based on moral authority and transcendent truth, did bring down the Soviet Union and all its pomps and works. Yes, there were other players in that drama, and one of them is Ven. Fulton Sheen. Another is Our Lady of Fatima.

That’s right. Fatima. As you’ll find out, not only did President Reagan learn about Fatima and its prophetic message about the spread of Russia’s errors from his dear friend the Polish Pope, he (Reagan) identified his life work in some way as being involved in a divine plan, which he nicknamed “DP.”

The fascinating details are found in Kengor’s definitive double biography, A Pope and President: John Paul II, Ronald Reagan, and the Extraordinary Untold Story of the 20the Century.

This is a really interesting conversation with a natural born story teller and historian, Paul Kengor, complete with plenty of sidebar excursions into Things Sheen.

 

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Aug 8, 2017

Fog of confusion has settled over the Catholic Church on a number of fundamental teachings in the last 50 years. This is the certainly the case with capital punishment. Countless Catholics have been led to believe that “the death penalty” is morally equivalent to abortion, and many documents from the episcopal level have appeared urging Catholics to vote against laws supporting it.

The late Joseph Cardinal Bernardin of Chicago tried to square the circle with his “seamless garment” approach. While Catholic moral teaching does belong to a whole tradition and thus can’t be segmented into separate silos, the net result of the Bernardin proposal has been further confusion.

Did the Catholic Church change her teaching on capital punishment under Pope Saint John Paul II? What about the informal remarks by Pope Francis? What does the Bible say about it? Are there conditions under which a Catholic can still support capital punishment in good conscience?

Enter Dr. Ed Feser, co-author with Joseph Bessette of a substantial guide to these questions and more. It’s titled By Man Shall His Blood Be Shed: A Catholic Defense of Capital Punishment, and you owe it to yourself to become familiar with what was once unexceptional and ultimately unquestionable.

In this interview, Feser tackles the main objections I threw at him based on the many denunciations of capital punishment I have heard in my life. Finally, a voice of clarity and reason speaking to an issue so prone to emotion and sentimentalism.

 

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Aug 1, 2017

The question mark is facetious. More and more men of good will around the world are waking up to what happened on June 2017. That was the day Bill C-16 got Royal assent and became law in Canada. It adds “gender expression” and “gender identity” as a protected ground to the Canadian Human Rights Act and to the Criminal Code provisions dealing with hate propaganda, incitement to genocide, and aggravating factors in sentencing.

Trans-lation? Misgendering someone (say, a “non-binary” or “trans person”) in Canada is now against the law, alongside hate propaganda, and incitement to genocide. Its defenders are playing a game called antics with semantics as to whether it compels speech. We’ll see what the real world punishments are soon enough.

I sat down with the highest profile critic of Bill C-16, University of Toronto psychology professor Jordan Peterson, and Sen. Don Plett of Manitoba, one of the few Canadian Senators who opposed the bill’s passage. Was this bill adequately debated? How does it manifest Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s mandate to institutionalize what is essentially a totalitarian impulse? What’s really going on here?

In this two-guest conversation, Dr. Peterson and Sen. Plett tell us what might constitute the next right step in abolishing and rolling back the effects of the law that imposes an extremist agenda on 9.75% of Canadians. America, you may be next.

Elections matter, almost as much as culture.

 

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Jul 25, 2017

British historian, journalist, and broadcaster Tim Stanley sees connections among ideas and movements. Take the modern conservative movement, for instance. He produced a documentary for the BBC titled How Marx Made the Right  in which he credits Karl Marx as a major causal factor in the rise of the Right in the 20th century.

In this interview, you’ll gain insight into life as a Catholic convert working in the public maw of secular Great Britain (or the “U.K.” as the more nondescript nomenclature goes) and into the importance of participating in the process of public story telling, which is another way of describing the media’s “news coverage” function: facts + value = story.

Tim earned his PhD in history at Trinity College, Cambridge, and has taught US history at Sussex, London and Oxford. Reticent to be called conservative, he says,  “I prefer traditionalist - the Amish seem to know what they're doing.” Either way, he speaks clearly about the need to preserve the foundations of the great thing called western civilization.

 

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Jul 18, 2017

It’s the moral law written in your heart. It’s thing you can’t not know. And it underpins civil law and morality. It’s the natural law. Starting with the Greeks, and “baptized” by St. Thomas Aquinas, natural law is the fundamental way that we operate morally. Rooted in God’s eternal law, natural law has to do with what rational beings must do, and avoid doing, to perfect themselves.

This can get pretty nerdy fast. Fortunately, this episode’s guest (a former atheist who became a Catholic in 2009) is gifted at breaking natural law down into bite-sized morsels.

 John Lawrence Hill teaches constitutional law at Indiana University, and has a new book titled After the Natural Law: How the Classical Worldview Supports Our Modern Moral and Political Values

 

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Jul 11, 2017

It’s the third rail of both the world and the Church. Anyone who touches it risks social electrocution in the form of the argument-stopping (?) accusation of bigotry and hatred.

It’s homosexuality. Regarding homosexual behavior, the teaching of the Catholic Church, following the Bible, is abundantly clear. Implementing it in a human and pastoral way, however, can be a challenge.

Dan Mattson’s up for it.

Drawn into the gay lifestyle for many years and rescued by the bracing message of chastity, Mattson’s story is living proof of a number of things: that one’s deepest identity is as a son or daughter of God the Father, not as a “gay person;” that no one is exempt from the call to chastity, which frees us from the slavery of impurity; and that the Church is very close to those with same-sex attraction.

Dan, a professional musician, tells his riveting, powerfully honest story in Why I Don’t Call Myself Gay: How I Reclaimed My Sexual Reality and Found Peace  and in this interview, he expounds on the important details. Dan Mattson subverts all the stereotypes, with his joie de vivre and earthy sense of humor. I recommend that you share this one with friends, family members, and pastors who are looking for a winsome presentation of an authentic Catholic anthropology regarding homosexuality.

 

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