If you listen to only secular media, the Health and Human Services (HHS) Mandate sounds like solely a contraception issue for the Catholic Church.
But there’s so much more to it, and Catholic media outlets have done a great job in covering the problems with this mandate. As someone involved in Catholic radio specifically, I’ve heard many programs with knowledgeable guests interviewed to explain the various aspects of the HHS Mandate.
Catholic Connection with Teresa Tomeo offers the headlines of the day and discussions from a Catholic perspective. Teresa and the rest of the crew at Ave Maria Radio do an excellent job keeping Catholics aware of the gravity of the situation.
Johnnette Benkovic and Fr. Edmund Sylvia on EWTN Radio’s Women of Grace also discuss the impact this mandate would have on religious freedom. They explain how the issue is not so much about contraception as it is about the government trying to force Catholics to violate their conscience.
And on Calling All Catholics, produced by the Station of the Cross Catholic Radio Network, Fr. Leon Biernat from Our Lady of Pompeii Catholic Church in Lancaster, New York, discussed on a couple of occasions the HHS Mandate and how we can get involved in standing up against it. He also brought to light how the mandate not only includes coverage for contraceptives but also sterilization and abortifacients, which are not discussed as much in the secular media.
If there are people in your life whose daily fill of news comes only through secular outlets, there are countless resources you can share to help them understand the HHS Mandate more comprehensively and learn how it would affect our country’s religious freedom in the coming months and years.
The controversy rages on, year after year, as to whether businesses and individuals should wish others a Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays. The American Family Association is a large proponent of “Merry Christmas,” as they have an entire campaign based on this greeting – complete with buttons and stickers to order. Their Naughty or Nice Christmas List 2011 is helpful, categorizing stores by their use of the word “Christmas” in advertising.
As the “greeter” is wishing wellness of some sort to the “greetee,” it isn’t sensible to take offense at the religious holiday referred to in the greeting. If a Jew wished me a Happy Hanukkah, I would appreciate it. If a Muslim wished me a wonderful Ramadan, that’s great too. It’s beautiful to see others express their religion.
In years past I’ve heard both Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from cashiers. This year, I haven’t heard either.
Even though I haven’t had the greeting drama in person yet this Christmas/holiday season, I’ve noticed radio Happy Holidays greetings. And on television the Hallmark Channel has a Countdown to Christmas: Holiday Movies and Specials All Season Long. ABC Family has a 25 Days of Christmas.
So where there seems to be a problem with Christmas on radio and in stores, the same does not seem to hold true for television stations.
The majority of those buying gifts at this time of year are in fact celebrating Christmas, so it makes sense that it should be prominent in marketing and on the street. But remember that even if you hear “holiday” used, it is still derived from “holy day.”
I was introduced to the Ave Maria Radio-produced program The Doctor Is In when I started working in Catholic radio near Kansas City, Missouri. Listening throughout the day to our station, I became familiar with many of the programs, and The Doctor Is In with Dr. Ray Guarendi especially stuck out to me.
While many of the radio hosts took the straightforward teaching approach, Dr. Ray mixed comedy in with his words of wisdom. Dr. Ray is a clinical psychologist, father of 10 adopted children, author, speaker, softball player, etc. The Doctor Is In is a call-in program for listeners with questions about faith, morals, families, and more. Coleen Kelly Mast takes the Monday and Friday shifts, and Dr. Ray gets Tuesday through Thursday.
It was an smooth transition from working at the Catholic Radio Network near Kansas City to the Station of the Cross in Buffalo, New York. Much of the programming was the same, including The Doctor Is In. The only difference was the time zone time change – on at 1 pm instead of noon.
Dr. Ray’s combination of humor and helpful advice makes the hour go by all too quickly. If you don’t have an affiliate in your area, no worries. You can listen live online or through free apps for your Android and Apple mobile devices. The programs are also available on podcast.
If a non-religious person scans the dial and comes across Dr. Ray’s voice, he just might keep the channel on for a bit. At least to figure out what is up with this guy!