MY BLOG & RADIO SHOW NOW
HAVE A SPECIAL EMPHASIS
It’s been fascinating to watch Leftists move from championing free speech back in the ’60s, to their self-anointing as gatekeepers of acceptable opinion. The consequence of this evolution, of course, has been marginalizing views that don’t comport fully with Progressivist theories and politics.
People who seek a variety of opinions to ponder in making up their own minds have to work at finding information sources that aren’t all in leftward lockstep. Much to their surprise, a lot of these folks have discovered that Catholic Radio is one such source.
I know the term, “Catholic Radio,” can conjure up images of “Mass for Shut-Ins” or “Radio Rosary.” And certainly, those things are available. Indeed, such devotional features have played an important role in people’s faith lives during the months of COVID lockdown.
But Catholic Radio offers more than that.
A lot of listeners tuning around the radio dial or searching online have found that Catholic Radio is a crucial component in the growing array of alternative media. These are the independent-minded purveyors of information and opinion our Leftist oligarchs would like to keep you from finding out about.
There are currently over 600 Catholic broadcast outlets in the U.S., including terrestrial stations, satellite services, and networks or station chains. The total rises well above that when you throw in numerous podcasts and online audio streams.
In fact, the growth of Catholic media, from a handful of stations and purchased timeslots back in the 1990s, is one of the most noteworthy (though least recognized) phenomena in broadcasting history.
An interesting aspect of this growth has been the attraction of Catholic programming — in particular, talk shows like “Kresta in the Afternoon” — to non-Catholic listeners. Protestants, Jews, and even folks with no explicit religious attachment, but who recognize that there’s a spiritual side of life, have found that basic faith commitment provides a moral anchor too often absent from the secular worldview propagated by mainstream media.
That anchor is especially missed in news stories dealing with complex human issues, such as the impact of gender ideology on people’s real lives. Christian perspective frees Catholic commentators to explore the moral and psychological realities of the LGBTQ+ alphabet soup. Secularists, on the other hand, take it as a given that sexuality is endlessly malleable, and that those who are gender-conflicted suffer only under prejudice or religious repression.
Such assumptions are too narrow, too predictable, and not very helpful. But they’re all over mainstream media.
For the past year I’ve produced and hosted a half-hour radio show titled “Free Expression with Bill Kassel.” A production of Good Shepherd Catholic Radio, an affiliate of the EWTN Global Catholic Radio network, covering south-central Michigan, “Free Expression” was originally conceived as an author-interview feature about Catholic writing. But the show quickly broadened in scope to include all kinds of religious communication: books, online media, homiletics, evangelism, education, and more (even music).
We try to provide useful insights and interesting information for those who communicate and those who get communicated to — which is to say, for just about everybody. As the show’s title would imply, a particular focus is bringing attention to organizations and efforts aimed at defending freedom of religious expression.
The show has aired on a monthly basis, while we’ve worked out the format, tackled production issues, and developed procedures for tracking down, scheduling and interviewing guests.
We’ve spoken with a number of engaging folks who create and market books or media which listeners might want to know about, as well as those involved in interesting efforts to spread the Christian message, or fighting to defend First Amendment liberties. We want to enrich your faith life, introduce you to other information sources, and help arm you for challenges ahead.
You can listen to the episodes produced so far by checking our online download page at…
The goal now is to increase our production schedule to weekly, and I expect to announce that change sometime in the next couple of months. In support of this effort I’m reworking my blog to focus more on religious freedom and communication issues.
Pontificating on a wide range of topics has been fun. And I’m sure there’ll be times when I can’t restrain myself from commenting on some unrelated but infuriating situation. Things being as they are, however — post-Trump — I think the greatest threat we face is to freedom of speech and religion. So that’s where I’m turning my attention.
I’ve been cleaning out past essays and images in an effort to free bandwidth for audio files I expect to post. And I plan to create an essay archive that features some of my oldies-but-goodies. So I beg your patience with all the spadework.
Meanwhile, the next monthly episode of “Free Expression” will be up and running this weekend. It features a chat with EWTN personality Teresa Tomeo, host of the “Catholic Connection” morning show. Teresa has some cautionary words about free-speech concerns touching Catholic Radio, and she discusses her latest book, Listening for God: Discovering The Incredible Ways God Speaks To Us.
Also, Bishop of Lansing, Michigan, Earl Boyea talks about his innovative, multi-media Scripture-study series, “BYOB” (Bishop’s Year Of the Bible). And just to round things off, I present a song from my 2006 album, “On This Mountain.”
If you happen to live in the Good Shepherd broadcast area, you can listen on air (93.3 FM or 1510 AM) Saturday at 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., or Sunday at 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. After the weekend, you can catch the episode online anytime at…