Saturday, March 25, 2006

Catholic Radio

Well, I had lunch with Orville the other day, and he observed that it's nearly fund-raising time again for the local Catholic radio station, KEXS. He pointed out that there are about 85 Catholic radio stations in the country, and 15,000 Prot ones. The heretics have the numbers now, but only a few years ago, there were only a handful of Catholic radio stations, so we're gaining on them.

The local radio station has a fairly broad base of support, including lots of folks from the two canonically-regular traditional communities in town. Now, I may have said this before, but it bears repeating. You don't have to like every single thing the Catholic radio station folks program in order to think that the Catholic radio station is a worthwhile endeavor. I certainly don't like every single thing KEXS puts on the air. I think I've said enough about Jimmy Akin in this blog for folks to fairly draw the conclusion that I'm not a big Catholic Answers fan. There's lots of other stuff I don't like as well--no need to get into the list. However, Mrs. Curmudgeon likes Ray Guarendi's show, and there are other interesting things they program as well. Every once in a while, they rerun Dale Alquist's series on Chesterton, which is delightful, for instance. Opus Dei Fr. Jim McCloskey's series on Catholic authors, and the current one they're running on St. Thomas More, are quite informative (even if they come across as dry--they'd be much more enjoyable if we were sitting in front of a fire with Fr. McCloskey and his guests, sipping port, listening to the same conversation). Except for some things I've heard Fr. Groeschel say on one show (which may have been heard out of context), I've never heard anything that was blatantly heretical on the station.

Yes, I know there's an argument to be made to the contrary. Most of the programming comes from EWTN, and there are issues with EWTN in some areas, as Chris Ferrara has pointed out. But the fact of the matter is that the local radio station isn't the same thing as EWTN, or the Monahagn-funded Ave Maria Radio, or Catholic Answers. It's a local apostolate that's bringing the area the best that Catholic progamming it can find, and that's the best programming that it can find right now. If we think it could use better programming in some instances, well, . . . . I'd guess that there are others connected with the station who would agree. How do they get get better programming? They raise more money, so they can produce it themselves or support others who will do so.

And so my point is that it's good to have Catholic Radio at all, and it should be supported, even if it ain't precisely what we wish it was. Remember, there ain't nuthin that's exactly what it should be on earth--if there were, there would be nuthin to look forward to in heaven.

The generous couple who initially initially backed the Kansas City station, KEXS, are to be commended, as are the other families that are doing so much to help them keep it growing. The rest of us ought to help them out, too, and honor their efforts. They're doing more than some cantankerous blow-hard blogger like me is doing to evangelize the city. They're a powerful voice that runs counter to much of what gets put in the Catholic Key and the National Catholic Distorter (I really love the 20-second spot, recorded by the original station manager, in which he calls on the audience to pray for the staff of the Catholic Key, National Catholic Distorter, and the Leaven).

Anyone disagree?


CS said...

I didn't care a lot for that last effort, 'Catholic Family Radio.'

It seemed like the shows constantly changed and it seemed sometimes like just another conservative talk station or something.

I've not listened to the new thing.

Anonymous said...

How could you forget to mention Archbishop Fulton Sheen? His is certainly my favorite program on KEXS. Amazing how his talks are still running and relevant today.

Curmudgeon said...

CS, the only thing that I've heard really comes across as just "another conservative talk show" is Al Cresta's program (or perhaps it's Al "Kresta" you tell me). But then I spend a lot of the broadcast day at work; maybe there's something else you're thinking about, too.

And yeah, I think they make monthly adjustments in the programming. Some of that is necessary--they don't have serieses that can run forever and a day. I don't know why other bits change.

And this isn't an "effort." I'm never try vary hard.

Anon, How could I forget Archbishop Fulton Sheen? Easy. I never get to hear him. He must be on while I'm at the office. Can't do anyting like talk radio at the office--I'm too easily distracted.

CS said...

I was talking about that other Catholic station they used to have several years that apparently went under. They had Alan Keyes, Dan Lungren, Pat Campbell and a bunch of other guys.

It didn't all fit under that category, but it seemed too heavily focused on this current events/news stuff.

CS said...

'Several years AGO,' I mean; sorry.

Curmudgeon said...

cs, now that you mention it, I seem to remember something about it. Alan Keyes did have a show on it. I was a big Alan Keyes fan back then, and I had a job where I could actually listen to the radio some during the day.

I had completely forgotten about that until you mentioned it again. Hmm. I guess it's gone. Alan Keyes really is a great speaker, but I didn't think he was much of a radio host. As far as conservative black guys go, I think Walter Williams does a better job (although he has a heretical worldview). Alan Keyes had the only political bumper sticker I ever put on my car. I'm not a big Alan Keyes fan because he did such a crappy job in the Illinois thing, and he dwelt too much on the "Lincoln" issue during the campaign. I hate Lincoln. If anybody's in hell, he is there, playing mixed doubles brimstone ping-pong with Margaret Sanger against Martin Luther and Queen Elizabeth I.