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About That Apology

 

From the thread on the post where Mark Shea announced his apology to Ed Feser:

 

Trump remains, without any possible comparison, the worst and most dangerous crook to ever live in the White House. The issue is not how people voted. The issue is the massive scandal of Christians who still support, deny, and excuse every lie and cruelty this feckless incompetent commits at this hour.

 

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The Christian right, in huge percentages, voted for a lying sex predator who embodies the antithesis of the gospel in almost every way and has continued to defend him with silence and acclamation to this hour. They have killed my faith in their judgment and their honesty stone dead. Until I see some signs of repentance I will regard them with the same incredulity as I regard Catholics for a Free Choice. Indeed, *more* incredulity since CFFC at least have the honesty to state clearly that they are at war with the Magisterium while the Catholic Right has the gall to claim they represent the Church better than the Pope does.

And yes, I do deeply disagree with Feser about the death penalty. The one thing this world does not need is a Catholic Defense of the Death Penalty.

 

Go here to read the rest.  No commentary by me is needed.

 

 

 

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Donald R. McClarey

Cradle Catholic. Active in the pro-life movement since 1973. Father of three and happily married for 35 years. Small town lawyer and amateur historian. Former president of the board of directors of the local crisis pregnancy center for a decade.

31 Comments

  1. Shea’s issue is so obvious, even his remaining supporters have pointed out: politics! Considering that Jesus told us to cut off our arm and pluck out our eye to stop sinning, it seems like a bargain indeed that all Shea would have to do is shut up about Trump. And yet he couldn’t do it even in the main post, much less in the comments. It’s like listening to an alcoholic scream that THIS time he is definitely going to go sober… while standing in front of his favorite bar.

    In one of his replies, Edward Feser says,

    I noted that Shea’s claim that “4% of [those executed] are completely innocent” misrepresents the authors of the study from which Shea derives this claim.

    Indeed, if one reads the links Shea posts one can’t help but notice it’s not uncommon for him to misrepresent anything he has read if he read it (like the prison/gulag number comparisons he still harped on for awhile). Therefore the man has shot his own apologetics in the foot, for if he cannot read and understand that which was written for his time, and his ears, one has to wonder how well he can understand something written in a different time and context using a language not his own.

  2. “And yes, I do deeply disagree with Feser about the death penalty. The one thing this world does not need is a Catholic Defense of the Death Penalty.”
    Has Shea read the Catechism of the Catholic Church?

  3. He took a perfect description of Bill Clinton and just subbed in Trump’s name.

    While he accepts the UCCSB’s documents on the death penalty, he hasn’t bothered to acquaint himself with what the Church teaches–the Catechism paragraph 2267.

  4. At least Mark has come out and all but admitted he is now a passionate, hardcore liberal Democrat:

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/markshea/2017/03/to-win-again.html

    I don’t know if he ever will admit it in those words, since he seems to be a proud ‘non-conformer’ from his youth, plus his shtick as ‘the conservative Catholic who despises conservatism but loves liberalism’ has helped him garner quite a few followers on the left who enjoy the benefits that such a voice brings to the table.

    But at least in this post, he has more or less said that apart from abortion, he sees liberal Democrats and fealty to the Church’s teaching as pretty much one and the same.

    Perhaps that will help, because I’ve felt part of the reason for his rancor, personal attacks and at times slanderous approach to the debate has been rooted in the conflict between Mark Shea c. 2002 and Mark Shea c. 2017. Between the man who once declared Islamic aggression and liberal Democrats and their lust for government power to be serious threats to the Faith and liberty, but who now has become a vocal ally of those same forces. And all without admitting the change. By finally admitting where he stands on things, perhaps he will finally calm down.

  5. I oppose the death penalty, in all but exigent circumstances.

    I acknowlefge that I am not competent to state a matter the Church has not spoke definitely on. I know many good people who fundamentally disagree with me about the death penalty. I listened. I considered. I remain convinced that I am right.

    There I this crazy idea out there that the Church’s teachings as a sort of moral and ethical baseline of mandatory beliefs, to which one can append one’s own beliefs and, so, paint them with the same moral certainty. I know y’all know this isn’t how it works but I see this impulse in Mark Shea’s writings.

  6. Willing to make a wager on that, Dave G? 😉

    Actually you may be right. It’s a hellova thing to lie mostly to oneself. Maybe if he can finally face the truth about who he is there some hope he can find a bit of peace.

  7. Mark strikes me as a man going through a conversion to the left. I suspect that he will eventually go whole hog and jettison his pro-life stance. His celebrating the ridiculous “New” Pro-life Movement, that seems to exist in order to give cover to voting for pro-abort Democrats, is a half-way house on that course. The adamant pro-abort stance of Hillary Clinton did not stop him from launching a crusade to elect her in preference to, cue evil music, Trump. Mark gives lip service to the pro-life cause now, but that is all he gives it, except for curses and calumnies.

  8. Eh, I’ll bet against you on that, Don. :mrgreen:

    Mark seems to have given over to intellectual laziness whole hog. He thinks far more with his gut & heart than his brain any more. This makes him a natural prey for the Left who’s arguments innately appeal to reflexive emotion (conservatives have complained about it for years). But abortion is just too grisly for him to ever really embrace it. Although in Dave’s link we can see him using the emotional “innocent girls will suffer!” argument, babies dying is still too emotional for him to embrace. Instead he’ll probably remain on his current streak indefinitely in that if we had just a bit more welfare, one more government project, we’d finally be free of abortion once and for all.

    Ironically it’s the Democrat version of what he said the GOP do: ‘So every four years they say “Vote GOP or the baby gets it…”’ (i.e. “Support this program or babies will die!”)

    Shea’s life seems full of irony in that way.

  9. Oh but he wouldn’t be embracing it. The way to fight abortion according to the “New” Pro-life Movement is to elect pro-abort Democrats and vastly expand the welfare state and the need for abortion will end. Overlooked of course is that abortion was legalized in tandem with a radical expansion of the welfare state. This is a prime example of the endless ability of humans to believe complete and utter rubbish in order to reach a desired end, which in this case is a mythical welfare state utopia.

  10. ” I suspect that he will eventually go whole hog and jettison his pro-life stance.” I hope not. That said, I realized sometime around 2010 that reading his columns was a near occasion of the sin of wrath for me. No doubt this is partly due to the Internet itself, which tends to make people who use it, certainly not excepting myself, into bigger jerks than they were before. Maybe that’s all there was to it at the time, but there seemed to be something more deeply wrong. He may still have a blog entitled “Catholic and Enjoying It”, but he doesn’t seem to have actually had any joy from Catholicism for quite some time. Where there should be the Fruit of the Spirit, there seems to be bitterness instead. If I am right in sensing that — and again, the Internet is infamous for creating false impressions of this kind — he is not only useless as an apologist (no one needs an angry, bitter apologist) but is in need of our prayers (and not the kind of condescending prayers like those of the Pharisee when he prayed with himself, which we will be tempted to offer).

  11. It’s worth noting that Shea didn’t write the passages you quoted. What he wrote was troubled but moving.

  12. Mark strikes me as a man going through a conversion to the left. I suspect that he will eventually go whole hog and jettison his pro-life stance. His celebrating the ridiculous “New” Pro-life Movement, that seems to exist in order to give cover to voting for pro-abort Democrats, is a half-way house on that course.

    Something is odd. Since about 2005, he’s been a hideously angry man re the machinations of politicians, but not in any consistent way. The years between 47 and 60 are not typically years of hideous anger and politicians of all stripes will disappoint you. In Shea’s case, the causes of disappointment seem to be magnified and reduced 100x by whatever set of trick-lenses he’s using to look at them. I expect this from partisan Democrats, who aren’t the most perspicacious people in the world. The thing is, the term ‘partisan Democrat’ might apply to one-adult in eight in this country (and, you’d think, around about 0% of the serious Catholics). I also think few people noodle around with their worldview much past the age of 35. He is one curious piece of work.

  13. Mark has, for the most part, all but pushed the whole ‘marriage’ issue to the side. About a year ago, he didn’t say he supported businesses being sued for not taking part in gay weddings, but hinted that it might be time for them to just buck up and go with the flow. And with abortion, he has embraced the progressive narrative that it’s mostly male pigs and oppressive capitalists who force most women against their will to have to have an abortion. Those are the only two areas left where Mark is remotely not in line with the modern secular left. In every other position I’m aware of, he echoes almost verbatim the narratives, policies, solutions, ideas, interpretations and priorities of modern liberalism. That he takes even the most radical, militant leftist publications as reliable sources is itself telling, especially since in the day a person who quoted Rush Limbaugh or Fox News was immediately smacked down by Mark as an automatic partisan.

    The irony is, in the early years, Mark was clearly the conservative who admitted the faults and flaws of secular conservatism, while conceding where he believed liberalism was correct. And yet he also stood firmly on the traditional values, morals and perspectives of Catholicism and Christian American and Western culture. He did this while pointing to the dangers to the faith of those who become partisan tribalists completely in line with one side and entirely condemning of the other. Now he has become everything he once condemned – almost blind to anything bad on the Left except a couple things that he almost dismisses a ‘blindness’, while finding almost no ability to find or acknowledge anything good to the right, except those who still say they are conservatives but spend most of their time trashing conservatives. All in all, a very unreliable source for almost anything at this point I’m sad to say.

  14. I have never been a fan or follower of Shea. I do know that he went ballistic over the accusations of torture allegedly committed by agents of the US Government and its allies in the war in Iraq. His smarmy description of “that thing that used to be called conservatism”, his anger at the Bush Administration and its supporters, many of whom were evangelicals, observant Catholics and pro-lifers, was the start of Shea coming unhinged. George W. Bush was a a lot of things but he was no real conservative. Since that time, most of what I have read about Shea’s rantings has been here.

    As for Shea’s Catholicism, he never has had much to say critical of liturgical abuses. He is a convert during the post Vatican II era. Catholics older than myself are quite aware of what the Church has lost since Vatican II and the implementation of the Novus Ordo Mass. Shea is unaware and doesn’t care anyway. Since Vatican II, the Church hierarchy has frequently and loudly supported the expansion of the welfare state and pacifism and little is said about sin during CCD or RCIA or at Mass during the homily. Well, Vatican II was not the start of the Catholic Church and everything that came before it does not belong in the landfill and if Shea can’t handle that then too bad for Shea.

  15. Why is it important that Mark Shea be given this much attention? It appears that Mark is not even a Catholic, a believer in Catholic doctrine, but rather a another Progressive Democrat who has gone mad trying to reconcile the incompatibility of those beliefs with Catholic doctrine. Maybe an exorcism is in order for Mark.

  16. I’ve come to know that the devil tempts us to despair in clever ways that allow some gap to try to pull us away from God and/or our Fellow brothers and sisters in order to pull us away from God. It can be anything, deceptively the person will not realize it. Please keep Mark in our prayers.

  17. Is Mark-who? insane in the membrane.

    To me, there’s a major problem with catholic Democrats’ and bishops’ so-called “pro-life” propaganda. They vehemently (I was going to use “violently” but the spineless squids couldn’t be) oppose several dozen (unjust?) death penalties and utterly ignore 57 million abortions. Plus, abortion is murder since the early Church. DP is prudential judgment, even after the radical re-write of the Catechism, which is the conclusion of Pope Benedict. That’s why I will not be lectured on charity or virtue by catholic Democrats like Mark-who?, who apparently believes his political opinions are ex-cathedra.

  18. I believe Shea has always been a leftist. However, like a closeted homosexual, he thought it was unwise to come out. However, when the secular and religious left started to become more strident, so did he. Also, I suspect Mark has some very serious mental problems that drive his political radicalism. His cyberstalking of one individual for seven years,and his attempts to actually get people fired from their jobs because they offended him in some way seems to indicate this. Jesus said those who are sick need a physician. I think Mark is long overdue for some psychiatric care.

  19. Michael, what Donald said. I stumbled on Mark years and years ago as I was on my journey into the Church. I was actually looking for Scott Hahn, but I found Mark’s webpage, or at least an article from it. I’m sure it still happens. Because he is published by Catholic publications, asked to speak at Catholic forums and parishes, interviewed by Catholics, referenced by Catholic leaders and clergy, and given a thumbs up by Catholics in the know, it makes it important and, IMHO, unfortunate.

  20. Mark is not the evil himself but more like an “Everyman” character in a morality play.
    Very sad, and instructional.
    There many others who are struggling between truth and lie, not knowing g what to believe, assailed by all the tricks and snares

  21. “Mark seems to have given over to intellectual laziness whole hog. He thinks far more with his gut & heart than his brain any more.”
    “I do know that he went ballistic over the accusations of torture allegedly committed by agents of the US Government and its allies in the war in Iraq.”

    Put these two statements together and you have exactly what went wrong with Mark Shea.

    Recall that the allegations of torture at the time had to do with waterboarding. Due to a fluke involving training, waterboarding was not considered to be torture under U.S. military law. Shea insisted that it WAS torture, and he had a valid point. Due to the military’s training history it was possible to say that waterboarding was ontologically torture yet not legally torture. If you accepted this then the solution was simple: change the law and define waterboarding as torture. In the end John McCain did this (though the law applied only to the military, the CIA was exempted).
    Mark Shea would have none of this. If the U.S. had painted itself into a corner on this subject, then Shea had no interest in knowing why this had happened. He maintained that waterboarding was legally torture, despite the ample legal precedent to the contrary. What was even worse was his desire to see that people who advocated this view (it’s not torture now, so let’s debate changing the law) as enablers of torture. It was the logical equivalent of calling Lincoln pro-slavery in 1860.

  22. Ex. 21:14 “you must take him even from my altar (compassion and mercy). He must be put to death.” The Church, Holy Scripture and Tradition do not contradict each other.

  23. Also, I suspect Mark has some very serious mental problems that drive his political radicalism. His cyberstalking of one individual for seven years,and his attempts to actually get people fired from their jobs because they offended him in some way seems to indicate this.

    I remember the d’Hippolito business. Who did he try to have fired?

  24. “Who did he try to have fired?”

    I vaguely remember he tracked someone’s boss done and emailed them about their internet disagreement and tried to have him fired. But that’s as detailed as my middle aged brain can muster.

  25. “Because he is taken as a solid Catholic apologist by all too many clergy and laity in this country.”

    Thanks in large part to an “orthodox” Catholic Media Complex that has enabled him for over a decade.

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