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The Catholic Association
Ep. 257 Tim Carney Talks 'Family Unfriendly' & Karen Kingsbury on 'Someone Like You'
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Tim Carney traveled across the country asking families and experts the same 2 questions: why is parenting so hard now? And why are the results so bad? He discusses what he learned with the TCA team and so much more in his new book: Family Unfriendly: How Our Culture Made Raising Kids Much Harder Than It Needs to Be.

With a new movie coming to theaters April 2nd that sheds light on the dangers of IVF, author Karen Kingsbury joins with a sneak preview.

Father Roger Landry also offers an inspiring homily to prepare us for this Sunday’s Gospel.

Timothy P. Carney is an American newspaper columnist and author. He is the senior political columnist at the Washington Examiner and a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.

Karen Kingsbury is an American Christian novelist and #1 New York Times bestseller. A former sports writer for the Los Angeles Times and Los Angeles Daily News, she has authored over a dozen books, some currently under development with Hallmark Films.

Catch the show every Saturday at 7amET/5pmET on EWTN radio!

Radio Show Transcript

(Disclaimer: the show transcripts are machine-generated and have not been proofed or checked for accuracy)
 
Hello friends, and welcome to Conversations with Consequences. And we are the radio show and podcast of the Catholic Association where we aim to change the culture one conversation at a time. You can listen to conversations with consequences on the EWTN Global Catholic Radio Network Saturday mornings at 7 a.m. Eastern, or catch the encore at 5 p.m.. They are also on Sirius XM Channel 130.

00:00:31:09 – 00:00:54:11
Of course, our radio show is always podcast. Go to the Catholic Association, Dawgs podcasts, or directly to wherever you listen to your podcasts. Welcome back to Conversations with Consequences for this segment. I’m on with the entire Catholic Association team, Ashley Maguire and Maureen Ferguson and Lee Sneed. We’re all very excited to talk to our next guest. His name is Tim Carney.

00:00:54:12 – 00:01:14:15
He’s a father of six. He’s a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and a columnist at the Washington Examiner, where you may have read his work. You’re also going to want to read his new book that was just published. It’s called Family Unfriendly How Our Culture Made Raising Kids Much Harder Than It Needs to Be. He went around the country traveling many states.

00:01:14:15 – 00:01:36:19
He’s going to give us the details, asking families and experts the same two questions Why is parenting so hard now and why are the results so bad? So welcome to the show, Tim. Thank you. Thanks for having me. Well, give us like an overview of your book. I mentioned that you traveled around and made interviews. So the few phenomena that really jump out at me, one is just children are more anxious.

00:01:36:19 – 00:01:58:18
There’s pediatrician groups. All sorts of folks have said there’s actually an epidemic of childhood anxiety. Parents are definitely stressed and the birthrate is falling to record lows. And, you know, we’re we’ve had fewer babies almost every year in America for 15 years going on now. And that’s through good economic times and bad economic times. And it’s up and down the income scale.

00:01:58:18 – 00:02:16:15
So to me, that points to a problem in our culture and that that we have a culture that doesn’t adequately support families. Now, I’m a guy who thinks that the nuclear family is the most important institution we have, right? I think my job as a dad is up there. It’s in my I’m a dad and a husband. That’s my main job.

00:02:16:20 – 00:02:38:18
But I also know that a nuclear family isn’t sufficient to raising kids at a family needs support and that that comes from community institutions, that comes from the broader society to some extent, it comes from government saying family comes first and privileging family over everything else, and we no longer have that. And so that’s why young people aren’t.

00:02:38:20 – 00:03:03:17
So it goes across all aspects of culture, parenting, cultures off the rails like local little leagues get replaced by these intensive, expensive travel leagues. You’ve got dating and mating culture is is all messed up and 20 year olds aren’t getting married. The apps are getting to their brains that bad ideas about sort of against commitment. And ultimately our culture, our cultural values are not consistent with family.

00:03:03:17 – 00:03:23:21
The idea of commitment, the idea of laying down your life for other people, the idea that we’re supposed to sort of inherit or get a cultural inheritance, that we pass it down to the next generation. A lot of those things seem old fashioned. And so to have a healthy, happy family, you need to be kind of countercultural. You need to not do the all the super helicopter parenting.

00:03:23:21 – 00:03:41:04
You need to embed yourself in a tightly knit community and that’s just less and less common in the US. Tim, this is Ashley. I loved your story, talking about embedding yourself in a tightly knit community of the Friday night sports thing where you just found kids playing and then everybody else, I think, as you put it, just doing what they want.

00:03:41:06 – 00:04:03:12
And I laughed because we found a similar thing in our little neighborhood where we moved to where when I first went to our Friday Night Lights, which is also on the blacktop turf at our church, I couldn’t believe how kids were just like rolling around on the side. The parents had koozies and it was so much fun and it was almost like you could hear the pressure bells in the in the area release.

00:04:03:12 – 00:04:20:18
And when we first moved to the neighborhood, I was so used to living in D.C. that I would sort of send my kids on recon missions to when they saw kids walking alone. I was like, No, they are not. Because I was scared for my kids safety. But I was worried about parents getting the cop, you know, calling the cops.

00:04:20:18 – 00:04:43:12
Yes, leading to my question. I know people who actually had CPS called on them for letting their children, who are at least seven, eight, nine play alone, unsupervised in their front yard. So how did you achieve this community and what can parents do who just don’t have access to something like that and have to live in fear of, you know, the CPS phone call for letting their kids be kids?

00:04:43:14 – 00:05:05:21
It’s definitely a question. And so that’s why some of what I do in the book is so is kind of point towards parenting strategies and approaches. But a lot of it ultimately, I know has to be cultural. We need to have a culture that accepts more free range parenting. So one thing is that parents can absolutely lead the other kids in your neighborhood that are set to walk free, to walk around.

00:05:05:21 – 00:05:25:18
That made it easier for you to say, okay, this is what I wanted. I wanted my kids will walk around and these other kids are setting this norm that does that. And in addition, So I used to live in Silver Spring, Maryland, where free range parents would get in trouble with with the cops. But at our local playground, I actually had the opposite experience where this one mother emailed me.
00:05:25:18 – 00:05:41:14

She was like, So I keep meeting your kids at the playground. And I looked up. I found your email address on the neighborhood listserv and I just want to reach out to you. Your kids are really nice and I think it’s great that you send them there unattended. She wanted me to like, hold her hand to become more free range.

00:05:41:14 – 00:05:57:17
So that’s going to be part of it is if it’s just a cultural aspect, you can lead a community towards being more free range. But in some places they had to pass actual laws in some places to make it legal. So Utah passed a free range parenting law and that’s what you might need in a place like Maryland.

00:05:57:17 – 00:06:22:21
But Tim, explain for our listeners what’s the connection between free range parenting and easier parenting? Because maybe that’s not so obvious. Yeah, So the story I tell in the book is at a family fish fry when back when we lived, St Andrews was our parish in Silver Spring and I was talking to the pastor and he was saying or the younger prince, actually he was saying how a lot of the things that parents used to do or have been to replace.

00:06:22:21 – 00:06:46:10
And so feeding the poor is done by the county government and thus the CIO sports get replaced by these intensive elite sports, especially in Montgomery County, Maryland, and so he says, what should we be doing? What are the unmet needs of the people in the at this fish fry in this parish? And I said, to be honest, Father Bill, what we need is a place to bring our kids and ignore them while they run around.

00:06:46:12 – 00:07:08:12
And that’s the Friday night tee ball, which is really just like an excuse for letting the families run around, but also besides an actual outing, an actual neighborhood, when kids are free to roam the neighborhood, when there are sidewalks, when they don’t get arrested by CPS for it, then the kids are healthier and happier and the parents get to relax.

00:07:08:14 – 00:07:32:09
So first, on the kids front, the American the Pediatrics Journal recently put out an op ed saying that the rise in childhood anxiety is due to the fact that kids every minute as planned, that they don’t get independent, play free from the supervision of adults. That makes their childhood less fun and makes them less able to come up with to, you know, to to deal with their own problems.

00:07:32:09 – 00:07:59:20
So they are lacking inner resources. Yes. But when I say at the end of the the preface is spending every minute supervising, planning, driving and fretting and spending every dime on training, enriching and keeping kids busy isn’t high quality parenting. It’s just following the dumb rules of a family unfriendly culture. So, dear reader, please send the kids outside, grab a drink, and don’t stop reading until someone comes back starving or bleeding.

00:07:59:22 – 00:08:21:14
You know what I’m trying to do is evoke Sunny evoke the experience that a lot of us had as kids of like getting kicked out and the door getting locked, and maybe we didn’t like it at the time, but it definitely made us better. We definitely never came home until it was getting dark in my neighborhood and Reston, Virginia, all five of us, we would wander in the woods and play kickball in the neighborhoods.

00:08:21:19 – 00:09:00:00
Never came home until it started getting dark. So, Tim, in your book, you you explore a lot of reasons for the baby bust and one of the obvious reasons is that fewer people are getting married or if they’re getting married, they’re getting married later. So of course, marriage delayed means children delayed means fewer children, of course. But you go all the way back and you mention this when you were giving us the overview of the book, the dating market, the dating culture, and amplified dating, and just how weird and distorted the dating culture has become such that young men are even afraid to ask a young woman out.

00:09:00:01 – 00:09:22:20
So tell us. Share with us more what you talk about in the book on that point. Theoretically, dating apps should have made dating easier because they clear up the questions you know that all of us wrestled with when we were teens. College kids, young adult is like, I like him, does he like me? Yada, yada. So you get the double secret consent by the swiping on the app.

00:09:22:20 – 00:09:51:09
So you’re only connecting with people where you mutually have expressed interest. One of the things that I found excuse me, one of the things I found is that having that kind of double secret consent has programed people to the point where they think nobody’s even allowed to sort of hit on me or ask me out unless I’ve given them permission to do it, which is the opposite, which would be totally illogical in a in an unamplified dating market because how are you supposed to find out if somebody likes you without talking to them, flirting with them, asking them out?

00:09:51:11 – 00:10:08:18
But so now there are multiple polls that show lots of people think it’s just inappropriate to ask somebody out. And that dating the friend of your friends, well, that’s perilous because then if it goes wrong, then it creates all sorts of problems. But of course, friends of friends is the best possible way to meet somebody, in my opinion.

00:10:09:00 – 00:10:30:07
And then there’s even this story of this guy, Simon, who played on a coed volleyball team. And he really liked this girl on his volleyball team. He was afraid to ask her out because he thought it would be inappropriate. It would somehow be abusing the volleyball team connection to ask out a girl. And I was just thinking the point of a coed volleyball team is for you to meet somebody of the opposite sex because it’s not a volume.

00:10:30:07 – 00:11:03:01
And and not to mention that any sort of office romance now is completely verboten. And of course, that used to be a very natural place to get to know someone, meet them. You know, it’s the stuff of sitcoms, but now it’s completely foreboding. Yeah. And then so that moving, dating out of normal human interactions, out of circles, of friendships, out of social life into its own thing that’s mediated through this app that’s actually led to less dating, less marriage and later marriage.

00:11:03:02 – 00:11:21:02
One of the questions I ask in the book is how can we have a sex recession given the sexual revolution? And I say, well, I think that actually the sexual the sexual revolution has led to this case where dating is scarier for women because it’s just more assumed that, you know, first date casual sex is going to happen and who knows how that’s going to go.

00:11:21:04 – 00:11:46:15
And second, it’s more terrifying for men to ask a girl out, because there, you know, one in six women said that that would be sexual harassment and then it turns young people into more perfectionists because there’s this illusion of an infinite number of people out there. And so what we’ve got is not a world where everybody’s free and happy and free of all the old fashioned rules, but we’re more people are afraid and alone.

00:11:46:17 – 00:12:09:09
Tim, do you find that this is Lee, by the way, people especially like in Catholic young adult communities and cities like D.C., are so worried about just like going out for coffee or ice cream or something completely innocuous, even if it’s not going to be a total love connection. And you’re not automatically like by the second date, discerning marriage and family.

00:12:09:14 – 00:12:29:17
I mean, I feel like there’s so many you know, I think there are people who are sort of rebelling against this anti-marriage culture, but it’s almost going a step too far where they’re missing sort of just the joys of getting to know the opposite sex by, you know, like I said, like having an ice cream, a drink, a coffee, you know, roaming through a bookstore.

00:12:29:18 – 00:12:49:00
If there are books left like that kind of thing, like they’re are they you know, are they jumping ahead to like, okay, is this marriage, is this marriage material or are we going to you know, we want the same things, You know, where do you fall on the spectrum of Catholicity? What about that? Well, I have this one experience.

00:12:49:02 – 00:13:13:15
This is only obliquely answering your question because I haven’t interrogated interrogator. Now I will start interrogating all the young reporters at the Examiner and research assistants at AEI about this. But I, I had this experience where I spoke at a Knights of Columbus chapter and the one guy who was about 30 came up to me afterwards, and he said, well, isn’t the problem that women are all getting educated?

00:13:13:16 – 00:13:32:03
I said, Well, I wouldn’t exactly put it. And he cut me off. And he says, Because if I marry a girl and she has a master’s degree, I then have to pay off all the debt that she incurred to do that. And that’s just not appealing. And I just thought, wow. And I just said, I think you need to rethink what you want in a life.

00:13:32:03 – 00:13:54:21
And if you have to pay off the debt, man up and do it. Okay. And I said, Well, but it would be a workplace education. You think it would be a worthless education for somebody. You want to be the mother of your child to have? Anyway, my point was that this was a guy who his rebellion against our current culture had led him into an almost misogynistic view.

00:13:54:23 – 00:14:16:07
And it was a sort of Catholic version of what I see as this problem that, you know, where Andrew Tate, who is this horrible online influence or has this appeal to young men who just what they hear from their public schools is, well, you really should be more like women. You need to be feminized. All masculinity is toxic and so you see these two extremes.

00:14:16:13 – 00:14:39:15
And I think that’s absolutely deadly. If men are being pulled, young men are being pulled towards, you know, a violent sort of misogyny as the only option to being feminized. And that’s one of the reasons I try to lay out a positive vision, which is, B, to use some Internet terms, a life guy and a proud dad of your your large adult sons.

00:14:39:17 – 00:15:04:13
These are ways that people make fun of people like me on Twitter for, you know, gushing over our wife or bragging about our kids on online is to say, well, you know, these guys are just showing off. You know, we should have more guys who base their identity on being dads. The more of that that’s out there, the more deadliness, as I put it, the more than that will be an actual positive role model.

00:15:04:13 – 00:15:28:02
That’s neither. You should be more like women or you should adopt this sort of misogynistic view. Yeah, Carter is actually my husband has actually been trolled online for referring to me as his bride, which I don’t. Why do people even care? But they were really upset that, like a bride is a one time thing and you’re done. But, you know, it’s now I’m going to use that every time.

00:15:28:04 – 00:15:47:22
That every time. Yes. That’s a he does, too. He really he makes up occasions to use it. Now, Tim, why should people care in general that that there is a baby bust, that there’s a demographic cratering going on? Because I find that a lot of people are not paying attention. And when you pointed out to them, they don’t get the point.

00:15:48:03 – 00:16:06:02
What’s the point? And when you’re when you’re a guy, when you’re a man like me, like saying, what is this, some Handmaid’s Tale stuff? This is kind of creepy. I’ve repeatedly gotten that like, this is creepy, that you’re caring about women’s issues Now. First of all, having kids is not just a woman’s issue. It takes two to tango.

00:16:06:02 – 00:16:29:01
And and and dads should be involved in raising their kids. But second of all, there’s tons of reasons. So the economic one is kind of the easiest one. We already have fewer children in America than we did ten years ago. The working age population is flatlining. And so in 20 years we could have a shrinking population of people who could possibly be working.

00:16:29:03 – 00:16:47:19
And so that will just further the spiral. And that’s what’s happening in Japan and South Korea right now. And so what that means is there’s fewer people to do productive work while there are more retirees than ever. So all your retirement savings are worth nothing. If there’s nobody who answers a call when you, you know, on your pipes brings a leak and you need a plumber.

00:16:47:21 – 00:17:13:11
But that’s the economic reason. And to me, that’s almost the least interesting. More importantly, babies and children make the world happier. And it was kind of funny. I found myself digging through all these papers, sort of establishing how people are more hopeful when children are around in the short term, In the medium term. In the long term, how happier people are more likely to have kids younger.

00:17:13:11 – 00:17:37:13
And I realized I was looking for social science to prove that babies make us happy, which is actually an obvious thing to anybody who’s experience life like that. But more importantly, I think the baby bust reflects a real cultural sickness. I think it reflects something deeper that’s wrong with us. And in the last chapter of the book, I call it civilizational sadness, a belief that we’re actually not good.

00:17:37:13 – 00:18:01:22
In the second to last chapter, I talk about a culture of sterility, a real desire to eliminate risk from your life, which then leads to this total isolation of saying, well, other people’s risk commitment is risk. Relationships are risk. I’m going to play it safe and just have transactions, just have one offs, just sort of live my life in the in the marketplace instead of in a in a thriving, life filled environment.

00:18:01:22 – 00:18:23:10
And so those are the two cultural maladies that I think underlying our baby bust and replacing children with things like dogs. Right. So I’m I’m the most pro dog guy who’s ever written a book about the baby bust. I love dogs. But yes, you’re exactly right. There is this idea that the word for baby, though, still drives me crazy.

00:18:23:12 – 00:18:47:16
People describe their dogs as like so or my babies just flesh baby or whatever. It’s physical babies. When you take your dog to the vet, the vet, they’re like, You’re your dog. Your little girl is great. She’s here. They’re like, No, that’s not my daughter. Not my girl. It’s very annoying. And, you know, there’s hey, hey, I is going to I’m sure is going to be wanting to replace children with young people.

00:18:47:16 – 00:19:06:02
You know, they fake little ones that interact with you. That’s sort of scary. Absolutely. And then one guy said to me, one bartender, when I told them what I was riding on, he said, none of my friends want a girlfriend because they say they can get from their phone anything they could get from a girlfriend. Wow. well, yak, yak, yak, well, she.

00:19:06:03 – 00:19:29:13
But the phone won’t nag you and nagging is what makes you straighten up and fly, right? Yeah. I did not sign up for this right now. Yeah. Tim, you talk about one of my favorite topics, which is another reason I think we have a baby bust, which is the way we’ve made motherhood and pregnancy so miserable and so controlled.

00:19:29:13 – 00:19:48:03
And I laughed when I when you reminded me of the pregnancy rules because I’ve long since stopped paying attention to them. But I knew reminded me of when I was pregnant with my second how in one meal I managed to break three of them by having wine, raw cheese and tartar and I thought, I can do a citizen’s arrest on me.

00:19:48:05 – 00:20:25:01
But. But the truth. And then you pointed to an interesting statistic that I hadn’t read before, which is, you know, not only do we bury women, pregnant women alive with this litany of really nonsensical rules, but but then we we’ve made motherhood the expectations and burdens of motherhood greater. And you point out the fact that women today, even though men are stepping up more than ever, the women are still, despite working outside the home more than ever, spending more time, mothering and so talk to us about that and how, you know, that further sort of deters people from being parents.

00:20:25:03 – 00:20:51:17
Yeah. So this absolutely becomes this slog. And I was just actually thinking about the fact that a lot of people who say, I can never have kids, it’s it’s way too difficult. One of the things is they they somehow absorbed all of the while you’re pregnant, you can eat cold cuts, don’t touch dirt because a cat might have walked there, etc. All that stuff never, never touch you never have a single drink.

00:20:51:19 – 00:21:17:01
And so they’ve absorbed that app and then they’ve also absorbed the idea of intensive parenting. And so the stat was that men since 1975 have doubled. So what they do is they measure how much of your week are you just doing parental duties. So that should be helping your kids with a homework, getting them dress. I imagine that a lot of it is in the winter, the 10 hours it takes to put on snow boots on a three year old.

00:21:17:03 – 00:21:43:21
And so it’s men have doubled the amount of time that they spend doing just parenting. And women, of course, since 1975 have been working outside of the home a lot more. Yet today’s mothers spend 50% more time on just parenting tasks every week than their grandmother said in 1975. And so that reflects this. Again, this idea that parenting becomes this horrible, all consuming thing.

00:21:43:23 – 00:22:07:07
And I just thought of it again today because as we’re talking, new reports are coming about about the school closures during COVID and that kind of thing. And the same attacks on people like me who objected to the schools saying close is, I’m sorry that you have to spend time with your kids. you’re admitting that you spending time with your kids is harming them.

00:22:07:08 – 00:22:30:03
And it has to be from childless people, I assume, who make those obnoxious comments, because what they’re imagining parenting is, is 172 hours a week of just you helicoptering and tying the shoes of this little one. They’re not imagining that you’re hanging out with other adults in a backyard barbecue with all the kids running around. They’re not imagining that you’re letting the kids run free.

00:22:30:05 – 00:23:04:19
And so there is this myth, I assume, of people who don’t have kids that you’re supposed to do 24 seven parenting. Okay, Tim, this is Maureen again. So what? So what works? What are some of the solutions to encourage people to have more babies? And it seems like in the book you talk about sort of the cultural solutions, which maybe you could summarize by saying lighten up, lighten up, you know, enjoy kids, realize that they’re, you know, that babies bring happiness, but then there are the policy solutions.

00:23:04:19 – 00:23:29:18
So you have a very interesting discussion about feminist solutions. Work is there’s a really interesting section of the book on that. And you talk about when you subsidize a thing, you’ll get more of that thing. So there’s the idea of essentially paying people to have kids. And I found your example of what they do in France to be super interesting and you say that’s effective.

00:23:29:18 – 00:23:57:00
So I’d love to hear more about that. But then you also say that the indirect subsidies don’t seem to work. If you’re subsidizing daycare, you’re really subsidizing more work and playing into that idea of work at home. So tell us more about that. Yeah, So lots of so Europe started confronting its baby bust long before we did. I feel like it’s just in the last two years that you’ve had and The New York Times has actually led the way on this.

00:23:57:00 – 00:24:21:16
And their readers get really angry at the suggestion that we shouldn’t be depopulating the planet. But Europe has been wrestling with their falling birthrates for about a decade or more, and a lot of the countries put into place all sorts of because they’re more democratic socialist, all sorts of big government programs that are supposed to support family. What a lot of the Nordic countries did what I called they attempted.

00:24:21:18 – 00:24:53:20
Second feminism are feminist fecundity. Fecundity, of course, meaning, you know, making bigger families, having more kids. And so they thought that big, generous paid leave and lots of subsidies for daycare would make the difference. And in the very short term, it did lead to a little uptick in babies. But then in the long run, it seems to have led to a decreasing birthrate in those countries and an increase in how people there rate the importance of work or his family.

00:24:53:22 – 00:25:11:19
So a subsidy of daycare, There’s a reason. I mean, this is it’s like a gift to the Chamber of Commerce. It’s telling people, okay, don’t worry about your kids where the market’s taking care of your kids. You just worry about your job. So that is the worst possible thing if you’re trying to help people build bigger families. This is subsidized daycare.

00:25:11:21 – 00:25:30:10
What France does and France has the highest birthrate in all of Europe. And it’s not just because of immigration. Their native born have 1.8 babies. Well, Europe is 1.5. The U.S. is 1.6, 1.7. And so they throw a ton of money at parents. You have money, a baby bonus, a check. When your baby’s born, you have a monthly allowance.

00:25:30:10 – 00:26:02:16
They also pay what they call paid leave or, you know, maternity paternity leave. But it ends up being basically a stay at home mom benefit for up to the first three years before the subsidized preschool kicks in. And so they actually have had success and they what shows is that a vast majority of mothers, when they have the option to they stay at home rather than go back into the workplace, even though they would have free daycare at age is one and two.

00:26:02:18 – 00:26:36:16
But the problem is they spend a huge, huge amount of their GDP on this. And again, they take themselves up from 1.5 to 1.8 and so massive spending can work. It was directly to the parents, but it’s super expensive. And if it doesn’t change your culture, it’s only going to do so much well term. I think books like yours are what can actually change the culture by making people understand the root of of where this terrible idea that children are just burdens and they’re too difficult to have is coming from.

00:26:36:16 – 00:27:27:08
Right. So thank you for joining us. And the book is Family Unfriendly How Our Culture Made Raising Kids Much Harder Than It Needs to Be by Tim Carney. And thanks for being with us. Thank you very much for having me. Welcome back to Conversations with Consequences. Joining us next is New York Times best selling author Karen Kingsbury. Karen is America’s favorite inspirational storyteller with more than 25 million copies of her award winning books in print, her last dozen titles have topped bestseller lists and many of her novels have been developed as major motion pictures.

00:27:27:10 – 00:27:48:09
Her latest picture is called Someone Like You, and it opens on April 2nd. Welcome to the show, Karen. Thank you so much. It’s so good to be with you today. Karen, I’m fortunate enough to have already seen the film because I was sent a screener link and it was very beautiful, but I don’t want to give anything away, so I’m going to let you tell our listeners about the movie.

00:27:48:11 – 00:28:23:02
Yeah, and this movie just truly has my heart. It’s it’s based on one of my favorite books that I’ve written, and it’s about a young architect. His name is Dawson, and he is in love with his best friend. Her name is London, but it’s always just been friendship. And then something tragic happens to London. And in the grief time, you know, Dawson’s very close to London’s parents and they have these discussions and find out he comes to find out that there’s another embryo, that she was born through IVF and the parents donated the extra embryo that they couldn’t have because of health issues for the mom.

00:28:23:04 – 00:28:41:05
So they donated the embryo and it became, you know, states away. Andy Allen, he was kept in deep cryopreservation on ice, basically, and for four years and then implanted with this other couple and they have Andy Allen and so does he doesn’t know if it’s a brother or sister or what, but he just thinks one last act of love.

00:28:41:05 – 00:29:03:10
I can do for London is go and see if I can find this other embryo. If there was ever a person that came to life from that. And anyway, so it’s something he finds her rocks her world and sends her into a tailspin of feelings. She was betrayed and finding a real break in her family relationship to go and meet these biological parents.

00:29:03:10 – 00:29:28:04
And in the process, he tries to show her everything about London that he never expected to fall in love. what a complicated story. I can see why you were inspired to write about something so complicated and yet so human, right? I mean, because you have the you have the very modern technological complication of IVF. But really, it’s it’s an it’s an eternal story, right?

00:29:28:06 – 00:29:46:13
It truly is. Yeah. It’s one of those stories that, you know, it raises difficult questions for us to wrestle with. And I think, you know, science has raised questions that only God can answer. And that’s something that’s what we’re in the middle of living out. You know, every family situation is different. And this family meant to have two kids, they would have loved that.

00:29:46:13 – 00:30:07:01
But she had health issues. The mom didn’t couldn’t. And so the chance to get to meet this other embryo is she never thought she’d meet this child that came from that situation. And then while grieving the loss of her daughter that she raised and then to meet this one that looks so much like her, it’s a lot of emotion and it’s a really deep love story.

00:30:07:01 – 00:30:28:19
But there’s you know, there’s you know, there’s, of course, some humor in it. And it’s just a beautiful love story that is very deep and I think really reflects because this is the first movie from Karen Kingsbury Productions that we we actually used our savings to make the movie. And we had an incredibly incredible, talented people that we were able to bring alongside us.

00:30:28:21 – 00:30:51:01
And of course, it’s always collaborative when you make a movie, but you know, when it opens everywhere on April 2nd, people are going to get to see that. And who sees a G, you know, love story that takes you to such depths? I think it’s really going to be successful and people are going to come away changed. Why this story particularly why why take this this huge gamble and this particular story?

00:30:51:03 – 00:31:08:11
Well, you know, I felt we really had felt as a family, we work together a lot. We all of us are in the arts and we really felt like it was time that, you know, what are you going to make that big steps? Like we walk past a sign on the way into our bedroom every day, my husband and I, and it says just one life.

00:31:08:12 – 00:31:26:13
And that’s true. You have just one life. Life is not a dress rehearsal. So this is such a it was such a great time. The timing was just perfect. And it was like, if we miss it, we’re going to miss it. Let’s just do it. And this this particular story for someone like you, you know, being that it it was cinematic.

00:31:26:13 – 00:31:55:00
It had it has lakes and jet skis and, you know, just beautiful, sweeping cinematography. But then it has this high concept, the idea of, you know, what happens when you have, you know, an embryo that you’ve donated to a center for adoption purposes. And it’s something that I think people will want to wrestle with afterwards and chat about the idea that there’s some more complications to it, to the mother was, you know, was going through some kidney struggles and she needs a new kidney.

00:31:55:02 – 00:32:25:13
And you know, just the idea that sometimes the decisions you make come back to save your own life. It’s really amazing how modern technology has has put us into situations that we’re not actually prepared for. Right. Like we I feel that modern technology puts us into these these relationships with people that don’t have they don’t have we don’t have any cultural or traditional ways of understanding.

00:32:25:13 – 00:32:49:23
Right. What does it mean when somebody adopts an embryo who’s the parent? Right. The mom, the mother who gave birth, The mother who whose egg was used. It’s all very complicated. And yet again, I, I have to say, the question, the the answers, the questions are very new, but the answers are very ancient. They really are, you know, it’s love and it’s loving to love God and love people.

00:32:49:23 – 00:33:10:18
And if in the case of a child loving a child, and that’s going to look a lot of different ways. Our family adopted three boys from Haiti in 2001, and it kind of left us with is this love for adoption, which is so much what Jesus asks us to do is to lean in and care for the kids that anyone and in whichever way you can.

00:33:10:18 – 00:33:33:15
Maybe that’s prayer, maybe that’s financial support. But we opened a foundation called the One Chance Foundation based on the idea that you have one chance to live your life, write the story of your life. And we’ve been giving grants up for about 20 years now to we go with, you know, international adoptions, domestic adoptions. And we’ve also given several grants now to embryo adoptions.

00:33:33:15 – 00:33:52:10
So it’s a beautiful if you can save a life way, you can do it. my husband and I have five children, but our last one is from China. So I’m right in the I right in a beautiful space with you. And she’s I don’t know, she’s a walking, talking miracle in our lives that we get to live with and we get to love.

00:33:52:10 – 00:34:23:16
And there are lots of lots of complicated feelings about about the mother and father that I gave her life originally and that she simply doesn’t know. And we, you know, we pray for them, all of us, every night. And they’re very much in our hearts and they’re part of her and yet they’re very distant. So, yeah, this this to me, your movie, Someone like you, it rang a lot of alarm bells in my heart because it it is all very it’s all very sensitive.

00:34:23:16 – 00:34:47:09
Right. The idea that children have these biological origins and and even though those those ties are sundered, there’s still there’s still they’re under the surface and they can they can come back and and play huge roles in our lives. Yes, exactly. I had heard this said the other day that, you know, you you can have Jesus in your heart, but you still have grandpa in your bones, you know, like you still are.

00:34:47:11 – 00:35:06:15
There’s a piece of you that is still so connected to that biological place where you came from. I want to ask you about your Christian faith and the movie. How does it inform how does it inform the movie and your story? Of course, to start with? Yeah. You know, for me, it was I really came into like a deeper relationship with Jesus in my mid-twenties.

00:35:06:17 – 00:35:29:20
I had never opened the Bible before that, and that just gave me there was a time there where it was in conversations, just friendly conversations with the guy that ended up, you know, being my husband. And now he’s we’ve been married 35 years that he he just was so curious about the Bible and loved God so much. And it was it was impactful to me and changed my life and just made it to where my life is, has so much purpose.

00:35:29:20 – 00:35:48:10
And I to live my days feeling like, okay, what do you wanna do today? What are you going to between you’re going to lead me? And so when it came to doing this, I would never have been able to take the risk of making a movie with our savings. You know, if I didn’t have the eternal perspective, like you kind of said earlier, you know, you can’t take it with you.

00:35:48:10 – 00:36:06:23
And we had some investments that came to fruition or we’re likely going to buy a couple of houses or let’s do something crazy, let’s make a movie. And so, yeah, it was just it was really, you know, for me, I wanted the movie to be something that people would walk away feeling the hope that we have in our faith in God.

00:36:07:01 – 00:36:24:10
But also I didn’t want it to feel like a quote unquote kind of Christian movie, which was, I love those movies, but a lot of the people who might need that hope might not go see those movies. That’s the thing, right? That’s so true. It’s so sad. Right? Because as you say, it is it’s the ones that need it the most that.

00:36:24:10 – 00:36:40:11
Yeah. That are driven away by the thing by by thinking wrongly that it’s going to be I know they’re thinking wrongly. They don’t know. Yeah. They don’t understand how deep it would be but you know this a love story like someone like you where you can, you know, take your 12 year old daughter and you I mean, rated PG.

00:36:40:11 – 00:36:58:12
So we haven’t crossed any lines, but we give you a deep love story. That’s fun. It still has you know, it still has fun scenes and it still stirs your heart. But it’s one of those like I think one of my favorite scenes is at the end with them, you know, the biological mom. And she’s got do a lot of loss.

00:36:58:12 – 00:37:17:01
And there are people who have gone through a lot of loss and they’re hurting. And, you know, we’re tempted sometimes to blame God. And she’s sitting out there and, you know, she’s reading actually reading her Bible, though we never say that. But she’s reading and she’s looking up and then her husband comes out and they just had this little conversation that they missed their daughter so much.

00:37:17:03 – 00:37:33:10
But God was talking to her. She said, I was out here talking to God and and he reminded me of all the things I do have. And it was just like this beautiful peace had come over her and she looks at her husband and says, We’re going to be okay. We’re going to be okay. And he says, Yes, we are.

00:37:33:12 – 00:37:50:10
I mean, that doesn’t mean they won’t cry, right? They’re going to still cry. This will be sadness, but they’re going to be okay. And if that’s not the message that everyone wants today, you’re going to be okay. That’s the hope of this movie. Someone like you. But I feel like when we say, as Christians, you’re going to be okay.

00:37:50:10 – 00:38:12:11
It’s a it’s a much it’s a much more it’s a much broader statement, Right. Than like, you’re okay. And I’m okay. It has to do with finding grace in suffering is like being and being enveloped in God’s mercy. When we suffer, we turn to God and then God bathes us in grace. And and that’s. Well, I don’t know, maybe I’m putting words in your mouth, but that’s what I know.

00:38:12:11 – 00:38:37:08
That’s what I felt watching the movie, that there was a right, a good a beautifully explained connection between the those highest levels of suffering and then God’s highest level of corresponding mercy that that comes out. Beautifully said Grace. That’s so beautifully said. That’s exactly right. It’s exactly what I was going for, is that I wanted to take you to the place of the most painful situation losing your only child.

00:38:37:10 – 00:38:54:19
I that’s the most painful thing we can imagine as people as that kind of a loss. And yet still, at the end of the day, you know, knowing that you’re still going to grieve, it doesn’t make the pain part go away. It makes it possible to endure because you’re living in the mercy and the sustenance of the Lord’s protection and provision.

00:38:54:19 – 00:39:13:10
It’s peace. And you know that this is just earth. And that’s where you can say we’re going to be okay. If you get it that this is just Earth, then you know that if you’re still here, you woke up breathing this morning, then there’s something greater that God has for you to do that you haven’t done yet. And you can look at life with more purpose and passion that way.

00:39:13:15 – 00:39:30:00
And you can hold that. That heartache might still be there. You know, you’re still going to have the sadnesses in life. And Jesus promised that, right, that in this world you will have trouble, but be of good to have overcome the world. So you can still have that sadness, but that doesn’t you have hope that you are like, I’m here for a reason.

00:39:30:00 – 00:39:49:08
And today God is going to show me something that I got to do that only I can do. Tell us. Tell me about. Tell us about your career in general. How tell us about the span of your career. Yeah, you know, it’s funny. I love writing. I’ve always loved writing. I started writing when I was five. I stapled some pages together and wrote a book called The Horse.

00:39:49:10 – 00:40:08:10
I don’t know what in the world I was thinking Horse is usually, you know, back me off or bite me, you know. So that’s but I was just five and I had it all written in crayon. Every every word was spelled wrong. And my parents lovingly didn’t correct me. They just let me create. And that kind of went to, you know, a life, a childhood of writing short stories and poems.

00:40:08:12 – 00:40:29:22
I had studied journalism in college. I was a reporter for the Los Angeles Times, and I was since my first job out of college and I was doing sports, writing about things I knew how to write, but I didn’t. A sports was to really learn on the go with that. But anyway, so I did that for a couple of years and then they moved over to the front page.

00:40:29:22 – 00:40:47:18
They moved me to the feature spot and I was doing the emotional wrap up story of some big news story from the from the week before. And I did that again for a couple of years. And then my husband and I wanted to have a family. And, you know, I was looking for a way to be able to be home writing and he was praying.

00:40:47:18 – 00:41:06:06
He’s just such a faithful man, a faithful man of God. And and we were praying that I would have a way that I could my income at home. Since he was a teacher, we really needed both of our hands. And God just answered it so beautifully. I was able to get a book contract for four true crime books of All things.

00:41:06:06 – 00:41:28:10
Again, coming out of my days as a journalist, and I did that for those. I got to quit my job and be home with our firstborn. Never had to not be at home with her, which is another miracle. Miracle. And yeah, well, it’s such a miracle. And just build a work from home and. Right. And so I did that for for those four books.

00:41:28:10 – 00:41:48:06
And then I wrote my first book, what I call life Changing fiction. And my first novel was like 26 years ago now. But it was I had I’d come home myself. This is what I knew I was born to do. And I’ve been writing those books, books like that, ever since. And then I was hearing from all of these readers.

00:41:48:06 – 00:42:06:13
They would write and say, You know, my sister and I hadn’t spoken in four years, and I read your book after reading your book. After reading your book, someone like you, I knew I had to call my sister and make things right. And I did. And we’re going to dinner next week and like, that changed my life. That’s what they kept saying over and over and I thought I might find them will be life changing fiction.

00:42:06:13 – 00:42:21:18
That’s what that’s what God gave me to write. that’s such a beautiful way to see your work. It’s a ministry. It’s a carrier for the Holy Spirit. Absolutely. It’s exactly what it is. I truly. I don’t even feel like I’m making it up. I mean, seriously, it’s like when I. When I get a story, he puts it.

00:42:21:18 – 00:42:51:10
God puts it on my heart like a movie. And then I just get to be like the first reader. I’m just like downloading it for the readers, you know? So I just feel like a middle person there. And so when I get to where I get to make my own movie, to be able to make someone like you, what I see on the screen and what people will see in theaters starting April 2nd is the exact movie that God put on my heart, Lord yourself, faithful to give me the same movie that you get to start the whole process with someone like you.

00:42:51:12 – 00:43:10:19
And so I still put that off like three years, you know, because we just it’s hard to make those kinds of decisions. But I knew he wanted me to. And so, yeah, so now we’re full circle. Well, I feel like you’ve been very blessed to have very, very much and you have this beautiful, creative part of you working so closely with our Lord and with His inspiration.

00:43:10:19 – 00:43:29:14
And I’m sure that you’ve you’ve changed many lives with your life changing fiction. So thank you so much, Karen Kingsbury and your movie Someone Like You opens on April 2nd and I’ve seen it already so I can vouch for it. It’s a beautiful movie and there is something in it for everybody and any age can can watch. So thank you.

00:43:29:18 – 00:43:47:03
Thank you so much. Gracey will too. We’ll have to do this again. This was fun. And now Father Roger Landry offers a short and inspiring homily for this Sunday’s gospel. There’s his father, Roger, later. It’s a privilege for me to be with you. So we prepare for Holy Week, focusing on the life changing dialog the Lord wants to have with us throughout the week.

00:43:47:05 – 00:44:07:07
So we retrace with Him the most important events in the history of the world. Holy Week begins, as you know, with Palm Sunday, the only master in the year in which we have two gospel passages, one at the start of the mass in which we ponder Jesus triumphal entry in the Jerusalem when the crowds hail him with palm branches and shouts of Hosanna, Blessed is who comes in the name of the Lord.

00:44:07:09 – 00:44:26:14
The second is a solemn reading of the Lord’s passion in which we enter into Jesus self-giving in the Last Supper and retrace his suffering as the fickle crowd shout, Crucify him. It’s normal on Palm Sunday for preachers to focus on the passion the longest gospel passage right throughout the year with the passages on the resurrection, the real heart of the Gospel.

00:44:26:16 – 00:44:55:13
Today, however, to orient us for Holy Week, I’d like to preach in the first Gospel the Gospel of Palm Sunday Proper, because it shows us how to welcome Jesus in journey with Him, not only through these Holy days, but throughout our life. The details are few, but highly significant. Let’s begin with Jesus transportation. The Lord sent two of His disciples to the village opposite them, where they’d find a tethered ton, which no one had ever sat to untie it and to bring it to Jesus.

00:44:55:15 – 00:45:17:20
When the owner asked, Why are you untying tying this cold? They replied, as Jesus instructed them, The master has need of it. She’s then rode that coal tin to Jerusalem. She could have easily walked into the city, after all, except for the occasional boat ride across the Sea of Galilee. He walked everywhere, but he wanted to ride the fall of a donkey in which no one had ever sat.

00:45:17:22 – 00:45:39:09
He had need of it to fulfill the messianic prophecy announced by Zachariah, who wrote Rejoice Heartily. Daughter Zion, Shout for joy your daughter Jerusalem Sea, your king shall come to you Adjust Savior Is he humble in riding on an ass on a cold? The foal of a beast of burden. Just as Solomon had written a mule. So Jesus was riding a consecrated colt.

00:45:39:10 – 00:46:00:18
No one had ever used an indication that he was indeed son of David and rightful successor, whereas riding a horse would have been a sign of war. To ride a donkey was an indication that the one riding was coming in peace. Zakaria’s prophecy continues. He shall come in peace to the nations. His dominion shall be from sea to see, and from the river to the ends of the earth.

00:46:00:20 – 00:46:21:01
Because of the blood of my covenant with you, I will set your captives free from the waterless pit. This king of peace riding on the fall of a donkey would be a universal king from CDC, would set people free, not from political enemies, but from the waterless pit, in other words, from death. So we prepare for the most holy of weeks.

00:46:21:01 – 00:46:53:17
We can learn a lot from this cold the masters need of us to the ancient Gregorian chant for the hymn Christian Sing on Palm Sunday. All glory, Lord and honor. There is a verse in Latin that reads Cease pierces censor to us. It knows seamless to sell us take on those copy tut herbs veteran today can be translated as may you be the holy rider and we your little colt so that the venerated City of God may grasp us together with you just wants us to enter the Holy city with Him.

00:46:53:19 – 00:47:14:21
He wants us to collaborate with in the work of salvation. So awesome we ask over the 20th century apostle of the sanctification of laity sought to imitate and help others emulate this donkey in welcoming Jesus and assisting his work. There are hundreds of animals more beautiful, deft and strong, he wrote. But it was a donkey. Christ chose when he presented himself to the people as King.

00:47:14:23 – 00:47:42:15
In response to the proclamation. Jesus wants us like a donkey to be docile, diligent and a steady companion. That’s the type of cooperation he wants in all of us this Holy Week and beyond. The second thing we can mention are the palm branches which the priest blesses At the beginning of Palm Sunday. Sid Mark tells us many people spread their cloaks in the road and others spread leafy branches that they had cut from the fields throughout the Middle East at Jesus time.

00:47:42:15 – 00:48:10:02
And still today the palm branch is a symbol of victory, joy, peace, goodness and because of the nourishing dates that palm trees produce life, even eternal life, God instructed the Jews use palm branches. During the Feast of Tabernacles. David was welcomed with palm branches. The day was enthroned. Solomon had palm branches carved into the walls and doors of the temple, the maccabee, and used them after the defeated the Greeks in battle and Old Testament times.

00:48:10:04 – 00:48:30:05
The Book of Revelation describes the redeemed is wearing white robes and holding palm branches in their hands as they stand before the throne of God and of Jesus. The LAMB. The Beginning of Holy Week. We Christians take up palm branches. We could say to roll out the red carpet to welcome the Lord Jesus. He enters. This week we proclaim with joy His victory, His goodness is peace.

00:48:30:07 – 00:48:58:04
Now he leads us to eternal life. The priest prays as he blesses the branches. Almighty ever living God sanctify these branches with your blessing that we who follow Christ the King and exaltation may reach the eternal Jerusalem through Him, renewing ourselves in the white robes of our baptism and holding palm branches in our hands. We stand before the Lord as lamb, as He takes away our sins by what He accomplished on Good Friday.

00:48:58:06 – 00:49:19:12
And then we seek to join him, the LAMB, looking as if he has been slain as we enter with him into the eternal Jerusalem. The third element we can mention is what those with palm branches Jubilee jubilantly shout as Jesus centers Jerusalem on the gold Hosanna. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Blessed is the kingdom of our Father David, that is to come Hosanna!

00:49:19:12 – 00:49:45:14
In the highest Hosanna is a Jewish expression. That means save now or deliver us promptly to recognition that Jesus is coming as the Son of David as the King, to save. What the people were shouting were excerpts from Psalm one, which the Jews used to sing on the Feast of Tabernacles open to me the gates of righteousness that I may enter through them and give thanks to the Lord, the stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.

00:49:45:19 – 00:50:08:14
Save us. In other words, Hosanna, we beseech you allured give us success. Blessed be he who enters in the name of the Lord Vine, the festival procession with branches up to the horns of the altar. You are my God and I will give you thanks. Jesus, they were proclaiming was coming in the Lord’s name to deliver them and lead them ultimately to the altar, to the sacrifice.

00:50:08:20 – 00:50:31:21
With thanks to God, little did they know what the fulfillment would entail. But we know every mass we make our own. The words of Psalm 118 and the joyful shouts of the people. We focus on God as holy, holy, holy. And however heaven and earth are full of His glory. Before we say blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord and cry out Hosanna or deliver or save us.

00:50:31:23 – 00:50:51:22
This is what we do as well. At the beginning of Holy Week, we recognize that it is in this week that Jesus comes in the name of God, the Father, to bring us salvation, comes to lead us to the upper room in Calvary, where he offers himself to the Father for that Deliverance wants to help us offer ourselves together with him, like Moses and the Israelites, Jesus comes to lead us on an exodus, a journey, a procession.

00:50:51:23 – 00:51:19:11
That’s what happens during Holy week. Jesus wants us to do more than wait branches, lay cloaks inside the song. He wants us to journey with him, to follow him even more like the cold he has need of us, the church. His journey through time can be likened to the continuation of the procession begun on Good Sunday. The church is, as the Second Vatican Council emphasized in Eucharistic prayer three, proclaims, a Pilgrim Church on Earth.

00:51:19:13 – 00:51:46:04
We journey with Jesus toward the Heavenly Jerusalem. This year, however, during the ongoing Eucharistic revival taking place in the church in our country, we’ll have the opportunity to focus on how our earthly pilgrimage is ultimately Eucharistic. In preparation for the Eucharistic Congress taking place in Indianapolis July 17th to the 21st, there will be 465 day nationwide. Eucharistic pilgrimages Walking with the Eucharistic Jesus to Indianapolis.

00:51:46:06 – 00:52:04:12
One from the West will leave from San Francisco. Another from the north will start at the birthplace of the Mississippi B near the Canadian border. Third from the south will begin in Brownsville, Texas, near the Mexican border. The last from the east will begin at the Tomb of Blessed. Michael Mcgivney, founder of the Knights of Columbus in New Haven, Connecticut.

00:52:04:14 – 00:52:26:02
I have the privilege to be the priest on this eastern route. Like the donkey on Palm Sunday. I’ll be able to carry the Lord, not into Jerusalem, but into New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, DC. Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Indianapolis. Many other cities and towns along our journey. Starting on May 18th, Priest and the other pilgrimage will be doing the same in cities all across our land.

00:52:26:03 – 00:52:55:08
I’d urge you to visit Eucharistic Pilgrimage dot org to find out the closest place this Eucharistic pilgrimage will be coming to you. Go out to meet Jesus like the crowds in Jerusalem and if you can come celebrate in July in Indianapolis with Catholics from across the country. What Jesus did for us during this week through giving His body and blood for us and our salvation, the Eucharistic pilgrimage, just like the procession on Palm Sunday, it’s meant to lead us into these mysteries and help us follow Jesus up close.

00:52:55:10 – 00:53:17:09
At the beginning of Mass this Sunday, the priest will pray. Today we gather together to herald with the whole church the beginning of the celebration of our Lord’s pastoral mystery that is of his passion, resurrection, for wish to accomplish this mystery that he entered his own city of Jerusalem. Therefore, with all faith and devotion, let us commemorate the Lord’s entry into the city for our salvation, following his footsteps.

00:53:17:14 – 00:53:35:21
So that being made by His grace partakers of the cross, we may have a share in His resurrection and in his life. The Church calls us to follow in Jesus footsteps as He seeks to lead us here at Holy Week to a truly holy life. And let us ask for the grace to continue walking with him each day through Eucharistic life.

00:53:35:23 – 00:53:56:18
So we seek to receive fully all that he accomplished for us during these Mosaic good days. God bless you all. With that, I leave you and thank you again for being our listeners and we continue to pray for you on this.