Thermopylae had her messenger of defeat-the Alamo had none.
Thomas Jefferson Green
One hundred and eighty-two years ago the Alamo fell. The defenders had achieved victory in death, giving thirteen precious days in which Texan independence was declared and Sam Houston appointed by the Texas Constitutional Convention as Commander-in-Chief of the Texan Army, which at that time consisted of a few hundred raw recruits. The Alamo defenders inflicted some 600 killed and wounded on the 1800 man force of Santa Anna. Word of the Alamo spread throughout Texas, convincing each man that this was a fight to the end, and that the cry “give me liberty or give me death” were what they were facing.
The fallen of the Alamo would never be forgotten, the Texans screaming out the battle cry “Remember the Alamo!”, as they charged and crushed Santa Anna’s army at the battle of San Jacinto on April 21, 1836, achieving the dream of the defenders of the Alamo, an independent Texas.
When my late father was in the Air Force he toured the Alamo and he never forgot it and he told his sons about it, and his sons have told their children.
Of course such a major historical event is a stumbling block against those forces waging a non stop war against our heritage. Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts gives us the details:
Stop calling the Alamo defenders heroic
Pleads the Texas State Board of Education. The rationale is that words like ‘heroic’ are values charged. We wouldn’t want that. Well, except for things like gay rights, feminism, the Civil Rights Movement, Rosa Parks, MLK, and a host of others that textbooks describe with flowery, celebratory, ‘values charged’ language.*
We all know what’s happening. We can remain silent and watch our posterity face the consequences, since we can already see what this new society will be. Or we can do something about it. Those who go along with it are just putting a down-payment on a plot of land outside of the barbed wire fences. The rest should stop denying the obvious or it will be our posterity that pays the price.
*While never using terms like ‘heroic’, it’s worth noting that my oldest son’s World History textbook from high school had much high praise for Mao Zedong, Karl Marx and Michael Gorbachev and their accomplishments, with each having a full page write-up celebrating their accomplishments and influences.
Go here to comment.
Three things. The Left specializes in indoctrination and not education, and Leftists tend not to have many kids so they come for ours. Nothing gets Leftist juices flowing more than displays of American patriotism which they despise and which they will do everything to destroy root and branch from our society. Don’t let them succeed.
Hattip to Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts.
Colin Kaepernick has been hired by Nike, the seller of vastly overpriced sneakers to impoverished Black kids, to be its public face. Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts tells us about it:
Dave Griffey, a Patheos survivor, at Daffey Thoughts, describes why Patheos is the platform where rational thought goes to die:
I am done with Patheos. I will no longer go there – and that includes that train wreck of barking mad leftist tribalism built on calumny and character assassination and judgementalism, CAEI. I stopped going to CAEI on my own some time ago, but would visit when someone sent me a link, or emailed about it, or posted on FB. Given Mark’s penchant for banning anyone and everyone who doesn’t join in his political hatred of conservatism or stand within his circle of awesome buddies, I guess many saw me as a chance to speak to his blog when Mark had isolated himself from too much overt criticism.
In any event, Patheos is a den of evil and sin and hate. There are, no doubt, some fine people with fine blogs. I think of Dave Armstrong, or Father Longenecker. And I’m sure some of those fine blogs are from people outside of the Christian fold, conservative or otherwise.
But it’s too much chaff to sort through to get to the wheat. On the whole, Patheos is a left leaning, secular site that, like most on the Left, favors radical anything over the Christian Faith. Much of the action in the comboxes wavers between the adolescent ravings of a spoiled brat, to outright advocacy of heresies, blasphemies, intrinsic evils and sins that cry out to heaven for vengeance. If all of that didn’t align with the basic designs of Patheos in general, I could stomach it. Knowing that the most anti-Christian and pro-radical Leftist comments are in line with Patheos’s basic ideals made it all the worse.
I say all this after Mark Shea wrote a grand, Spirit led (his words) post calling for healing, compassion and love, he was still spewing his tribalist bilge on another post. It’s like the fundamentalist railing against the evils of alcohol between swigs of Jack Daniels. And yet, his is far more par for the course at Patheos than a glaring exception, as this fine piece demonstrates. Note the comments, those are important, too. The entire post is based on ‘we all know their wretched and evil hearts.’
We’re called to avoid the near occasion of sin. Patheos is, in many ways, the worst of the Internet. I’m already becoming convinced that my boys are right, that social media is mostly bad with a few shards of goodness. Like some of the blogs, not all of the commenters who frequent Patheos are bad either. Some, Christian, Conservative, or otherwise, are quite good, mature, thoughtful, and charitable. Even if they have strong opinions contrary to my own beliefs.
Many, however, are the worst of what social media stands produces. So why bother? At best, it does no good. At worst you can find yourself being sucked in. Thanks to Mark, who threw my name out on his blogs to be hashed and trashed by his faithful, I’ve already taken a beating there. It’s easy to want a pound of flesh, or even begin to fall into the sin of judgementalism or arrogance when you scan the many bad examples that define most of the sites and their visitors.
So from now on, if someone sends an email or posts a FB post noting the crazy, the evil, the sin, the blaspheme, the heresy, or whatever else one sees across Patheos on a regular basis (including, but not limited to, what one often sees on CAEI or other similar blogs), I’ll respond. But I will no longer follow the link. If I could ban Patheos entirely from my internet, I’d do it. For now, I’m done going there. Life is just too short.
Go here to comment. The unofficial anthem of Patheos:
And he began with the simple things that everybody’s known and felt—the freshness of a fine morning when you’re young, and the taste of food when you’re hungry, and the new day that’s every day when you’re a child. He took them up and he turned them in his hands. They were good things for any man. But without freedom, they sickened. And when he talked of those enslaved, and the sorrows of slavery, his voice got like a big bell. He talked of the early days of America and the men who had made those days. It wasn’t a spread-eagle speech, but he made you see it. He admitted all the wrong that had ever been done. But he showed how, out of the wrong and the right, the suffering and the starvations, something new had come. And everybody had played a part in it, even the traitors.
Stephen Vincent Benet, The Devil and Daniel Webster
Governor Andrew Cuomo (D.NY) has the sniggering contempt for this country that is the hallmark of the Left and is becoming the hallmark of the Democrat Party:
Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts looks at this:
Compared to what I wonder.
He doesn’t say. As is usual with the modern Left, he’s long on empty rhetoric, short on actual details. He sets up an impossible standard for greatness: when each and every American is ‘fully engaged’, then we’ll be great. Whatever he means by full engaged it beyond me.
Whatever it means, it can never happen. Where two or more are gathered, you will never have ‘everyone fully anything.’ That’s not a Christian theological standard. That’s a common sense standard.
Nonetheless, by setting up such standards Gov. Cuomo has essentially told us that the Leftist revolution will continue forever and ever and ever. Remember a few months ago when I wrote about a S. American historian who told me to always be wary of the revolution that won’t admit victory? In this case, Gov. Cuomo is setting it up so there is no need to discuss victory. It will never happen, so those who benefit from the revolution will have eternal job security.
The other disturbing thing about this, beyond the stupid dumb of his statement and the clear contempt that the Left has for our country and heritage, is the cheers that arose when he made the statement. The Left has bred generations of Americans who are sure the most evil country in history is this America that needs burned to the ground.
Hence the white racist nationalist march that didn’t happen last weekend. What did happen was a bunch of Leftist anarchists who had nothing better to do than assail police, threaten journalists and chant their desire for an end to the United States.
Which is why you haven’t heard much about the march. We’re told white racism is like a tsunami, with tens of millions jumping on board and millions of minorities in terror of pain and death on a daily basis. And yet more people belong to the pottery class at the local art museum than showed up for the nationwide white supremacy march. On the other hand, you had thousands with their hatred of police, media establishments and America taking to the streets.
This is all tied together. Where it will go, I don’t know. Many Christians play the ‘seek God’s kingdom first’ card to excuse not caring about what happens to America. The same, of course, could be said about Global Warming and caring about what happens to the planet. The point is, I fear they are playing that card because they’re tired of the fight or they don’t want to jeopardize continuing to suffer for Jesus on six figures a year.
Given that they would be the best hope for standing up to this movement dedicated to the eradication of the United States, and all of the blessings it brought the world, it doesn’t look promising.
BTW, and I’ve heard he came out and modified his statements. Fine enough. But let’s face it, which set of statements do you believe?
Our country is the greatest nation in the history of this planet if one looks at its dedication to human freedom under the rule of law. Lincoln said it best on August 17, 1858:
[C]ommunities, by their representatives in old Independence Hall, said to the whole world of men: “We hold these truths to be self evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” This was their majestic interpretation of the economy of the Universe. This was their lofty, and wise, and noble understanding of the justice of the Creator to His creatures. Yes, gentlemen, to all His creatures, to the whole great family of man. In their enlightened belief, nothing stamped with the Divine image and likeness was sent into the world to be trodden on, and degraded, and imbruted by its fellows. They grasped not only the whole race of man then living, but they reached forward and seized upon the farthest posterity. They erected a beacon to guide their children and their children’s children, and the countless myriads who should inhabit the earth in other ages. Wise statesmen as they were, they knew the tendency of prosperity to breed tyrants, and so they established these great self-evident truths, that when in the distant future some man, some faction, some interest, should set up the doctrine that none but rich men, or none but white men, were entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, their posterity might look up again to the Declaration of Independence and take courage to renew the battle which their fathers began, so that truth, and justice, and mercy, and all the humane and Christian virtues might not be extinguished.
Go here to comment. The Left, raised on and perpetuating black armband history that sees only the faults of this beautiful country, as the Chinese call her, have only contempt for this fair land of freedom. They have produced idiots like Cuomo who do not much like, let alone love, a nation they seek to rule. Cuomo, if twere only possible, might have received much enlightenment on that score from his own grandparents, if he had asked Andrea and Immacolata why they chose to cross an ocean in 1926 and 1927 to emigrate from Italy to the United States. Politicians who don’t love this country should never be entrusted with political power in it, and when the People are foolish enough to do so, they should not be surprised at the harm that such misguided fools do in office.
The core sin of American conservatives–and above all American conservative, “prolife” Christianists–is Pride. They cannot accept the fact that they were simply flat-out wrong. They have told themselves for twenty years that they are the *Real* Christians, the *Real* Americans, the *Real* Heroes. They are better than all their neighbors, better than the Pope, better, above all, than the Most Horrible Human Being in America, Hillary Clinton.
Mark Shea, July 20, 2018
Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts explains some of the reasons why he posts about Mark Shea:
One reason I end up posting on Mark Shea so often is that several readers are among that growing demographic known as ‘Banned by Mark Shea.’ Mark will allow any instinct evil or mortal sin that cries out to heaven for vengeance to be advocated on his blog, as long as you join in his attacks against Christian conservatives and the GOP.
It’s true. I’ve seen late term abortion, euthanasia, assisted suicide, state mandated termination of children, gay sex, gender fluidity, radical feminism, anti-Catholic bigotry, hatred of Jesus, Hitler’s Pope, and just about everything that a sane Christian – including Mark c.2005 – would consider grave evil and a threat to all that is good and sacred in the world. These are sometimes debated by Mark but, as often as not, are allowed to be posted with impunity. The only cost is that the individual come to trash Christian conservatives, Christian non-liberals, the GOP, Trump or anyone who dares challenge the dogmas of the political Left.
Mark’s sites are also a repository for the last few decades’ worth of Leftist propaganda and talking points. This includes the idea that pro-life Christians are hypocrites who hate children and poor people and only use the unborn as, in Mark’s words, ‘human shields.’ That last part about human shields is actually a Mark distinctive. To be honest, I don’t remember most pro-abortion activists suggesting pro-lifers don’t care about the unborn. They might say it’s about controlling women or such (ignoring women pro-lifers in the process), but they usually at least concede care for the unborn on the part of pro-lifer. But not Mark. To Mark, to the right of center is all wickedness and void of goodness.
If their actions suggest otherwise, it’s no problem for Mark. They may say they love Jesus, attend church and Mass, give to the poor, feed the hungry, donate to charity, and generally insist they care about all people. But Mark knows their wicked hearts and souls for what they are, based on the fact that they dare challenge the gospel of liberalism. That’s a benefit of liberalism today: The John Lennon principle. It’s not what you do in your life or how you act, it’s that you speak the words of the Left. That’s how he knows that, whatever they do, they are truly evil at heart. And he does this much to the glee of so many of his regular progressive followers. Especially the non-Christian ones. After all, it isn’t every day that, as a non-believer, you can get Christians to admit that [those] Christians are a wretched and evil lot.
But those who dare challenge the dogmas of the political Left? Those who still defend conservative views, or dare suggest that there could be problems among some to the left of center? Such will get you banned by Mark faster than you can say Bob’s your self-identifying aunt. As a result, there are folks here on the blog and over at Facebook that will feed me the rage, the dumb, the calumny, the Leftist propaganda and talking points that make up the bulk of Mark’s literary output today. After all, they can’t challenge Mark since he has banned them. And they are often desperate to get the word out that this source of toxicity and leftist partisanship should be warned against, however meager my little contribution might be. Especially since Mark continues to get accolades and high-fives from so many prominent Catholics, Catholic ministries and Catholic religious leaders.
So this one came across my table. It’s basic Mark 101, c 2018. He vomits all the rhetoric and stereotypes about those who don’t conform to liberalism. There’s nothing anyone who has read Mark would be surprised by. It’s just worth an explanation why, even though I avoid his blog like the plague, he is so often referenced. My blog is merely one outlet for those who have been banned by Mark since Mark has little stomach left for debating those who challenge his devotion to the Democratic party and the talking points of the Political Left. So there you go.
Fun note: It’s already been brought up that a commentator on the post compares the tactics of the right, including Evangelicals, to the Communists of Lenin and Stalin era. They’ve also been compared to fascists and Nazis on his blog. In all cases those making the claims are, at best, not called out. At worst, Mark condones the comments. Anyone remember when Mark spent months mocking Glenn Beck for his famous Communist/Nazi dig? Yep. Mark in a nutshell.
Go here to comment. Mark engages in quite a bit of projection. He always brands conservative Catholics as super Catholics who consider themselves as the yardsticks of being Catholic. Actually, this is Mark’s sin. Whatever he does is done, in his view, for the sake of Catholic teaching. Thus, when he supported Hilary Clinton in 2016, it was for the Church; when he condemns pro-lifers it is for the Church; when he engages in mendacious and vicious attacks on others, it is for the Church. That he is taken by quite a few Catholics as a legitimate Catholic apologist, helps explain the current chaos and malaise within the Church. It is this last fact that causes me to pay any attention to him at all.
Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts reminds us that the New Pro-life Movement is a sham of a sham:
Yes, it’s true. The primary job of the Christian New Prolife Movement is to run right tackle for the Left’s vaunted Culture of Death. The Left, in desperation after a series of political setbacks, has kicked its push for state mandated extermination and euthanasia, along with late term abortion, post-term abortion, and a suicide culture, into high gear. In addition to sifting through those faithful who might not be fully committed to the cause, it continues to maintain that promise that human life is only sacred when convenient for me.
The New Pro-Life Movement, which is merely a euphemism for Christians committed to the Political Left, is in a bind. New Pro-Life Christians are not liberal Christians. Liberal Christians were never hard to recognize. Doggedly devoted to following the myth of infallible progress, wherever the secular Left went, liberal Christians were sure to tag along. If it meant denying the divinity of Christ, the Holy Trinity, the Incarnation, the Resurrection, the existence of a personal God – it mattered not. Christian liberalism would jettison anything it took in order to keep up with the Jones’s latest.
But New Pro-Life Christians are often doctrinally traditional, sometimes from the evaporating Christian conservatism, sometimes they are simply those who wish to avoid the Religious Right. They confess a bodily Resurrection, believe in the Trinitarian God, and if Catholic, the Real Presence. They officially reject gay marriage, abortion, assisted suicide, and of course anything that denies the belief in God as revealed by Jesus Christ.
And yet, they have aligned with a movement founded on the idea that religion is above all things inspired, not revealed. That is, religion is mostly – if not entirely – an invention of human imagination. If God exists at all, it’s nothing but an abstract concept by which we measure our pain (St. John Lennon 3:16). The majority of stories, doctrines, teachings are nothing but human constructs.
From there, that movement reduces humans to their lowest animal denominator. It dangles promises of hedonism, narcissism, debauchery and decadence in return for enslavement to those who have deemed themselves worthy of controlling our lives. It assures us that it will use the crushing gauntlet of the government to eradicate them – whoever them is – but never us. It gave us trophies when we lost and let us retake exams until we passed because we’re awesome. It will never be us. We’re awesome and we come first. And it does all this while promoting heresies, allowing blasphemies, and legalizing sins that cry out to heaven for vengeance.
This is the side that the New Prolife Movement has chosen to ally with. Because, unlike liberal Christians, they still hold against many things advocated by this partner in crime, they do the only thing they can do – and that’s ignore. Sometimes it’s deflection. Sometimes attack. Not attack those on their own team advocating the evils, but attack those who refuse to join the team. But never will they make opposition to the cherished sins of the Left their main focus. That is why abortion now barely ranks as an issue worth mentioning much, if it’s mentioned at all.
NOTE: I have no links, because I have found no proud ‘New Prolife Movement’ advocates who have mentioned the vote. I’m sure they’re out there, but the ones I’m aware of have been, as I said, awfully silent.
UPDATE: Mark Shea has jumped on board with a typical post-war liberal interpretation of the Irish Vote. The abortion vote happened because socioeconomic forces made it possible for women to have no other choice but use what little power they had to attack the weakest of those that the socioeconomic forces of Ireland had deemed unworthy. In Mark’s, as in the modern Left’s, appraisal, it is all about the Bourgeoisie vs. the Proletariat. Those can be different groups of course: native born vs. immigrants, white vs. black, gay vs. straight, religious vs. secular, right vs. left, red vs. blue, male vs. female, young vs. old, rich vs. poor and on and on. But the important thing is that it is always about one group giving another group no choice but to do what the Church calls sin. That group must then, logically, be eliminated.
Ireland’s vote, in Mark’s appraisal, has nothing to do with it abandoning the Gospel for the gospel of the Secular Left (which is has done). No, it’s the economy stupid. And in this case, Ireland did the right thing by ending laws that discriminated against women (whatever they were), while not doing the same for the children. Women being victimized by whatever Bourgeois forces were out there then did the logical, albeit sad, thing and turned to aborting those even weaker than them.
This is how Marxism, not how Christianity, appraises the sins that cry out to heaven for vengeance. In the modern Left, heavily Marxist influenced, there is no sin, only corrupt and unjust systems and oppressors who force people into unfortunate positions of breaking laws imposed upon them by the wealthy and the powerful. While the Scriptural witness was never kind to those who wielded the power and wealth, it never let those off the hook who nonetheless had nothing yet turned their backs on God.
Yes, Mark mentions that the Gospel could have helped, but it was the priest abuse scandal and corruption that made it difficult for the good people of Ireland to find the Gospel. Nonetheless, that Gospel sounds awfully dependent, not on the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and the guidance of the Church toward all Truth, as much as dependent on popular economic and political policies as enunciated by the modern Left. I’m afraid that won’t help, since it’s the purveyors of those same policies who also insist that religion is fraud, humans are animals, and only our narcissism and hedonism matter. Per my friends from Ireland, it’s a message that the good people of Ireland have been following for many years now. Long before there was a Trump or a neo-conservative movement. This is merely the same logical step that has been taken by other formerly Christian societies who have embraced the doctrine of the Left, rather than the doctrine of the Least of These.
Go here to comment. The simple truth is that the New Pro-life Movement are leftists who have zip interest in stopping abortion. Mark Shea is a good example of this. His boiling hatred of Republicans and conservatives long ago overwhelmed his desire to protect the lives of the unborn. When it comes to the great moral issue of our day, they have cast their lot with those who justify child murder with leftist cliches. May God forgive them.
Update: From the dwindling ranks of Mark’s sane commenters:
Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts explains to Mark Shea why my advice on traffic stops to clients is almost always the best procedure to follow: be polite, be business-like and do not argue with the cop. If there is something wrong with the stop we can fight it in court. Cops are like the rest of us, good, bad and indifferent, and most of them, in my experience, respond well to simple politeness. Actually politeness works well in most areas of life, and should never be confused with weakness. It costs nothing to be courteous, even in an adversarial situation, and usually pays a dividend. If 35 years of litigation has taught me anything, it has taught me that.
Yes, Mark, he was likely concerned, even if he didn’t feel threatened.
Mark Shea, in typical form, grabbed onto this story:
Here is the story. Now, I won’t get into the case itself. I have no clue what happened. I’m still old-fashioned enough to believe that we hear from all sides, and seek evidence, before rendering a verdict. If they investigate and find out he was in the wrong, he should be disciplined. I’m OK with that. If he feels he was wrongly suspended, let’s see what happens. I’m OK with that. Call me silly and stupid and a white racist Nazi sexist, but I still find comfort in a society that values presumption of innocence, due process, the need for evidence, hearing all sides of a story, and basic justice for all.
No, I’ll touch on Mark’s quips based on something I’ve learned as one of my sons trains for work as a police officer (instead of going to school to be an accountant). I didn’t know this, but according to the officers who are training him, traffic stops are the most unnerving thing you do.
Why? Because you have no clue what you’re getting into, that’s why. Unlike anything else, it is a blank slate. As the officers training him explained, when you get called to do almost anything else you have an idea what you’re getting into. Bank robbery? Domestic troubles? Guarding the stadium on game day? Entertaining a birthday party? Terrorist attack? You know what you’re up against and you prepare accordingly.
But traffic stops are the worst of all worlds. Often you are on your own, alone, and away from backup. You have no clue who is in the car or what is happening. It could be a woman in labor, a teenager with a new license, an elderly man, a drug smuggler, an arms dealer, a fugitive, a serial murderer, or someone looking for pancakes house. It could be a 65 old grandmother with diabetes. Or it could be a 65 year old grandmother with diabetes who has her 24 year old armed fugitive son in the back seat. You don’t know. And you have no way of knowing until you arrive at the side of the car. That, apparently, is the most unnerving moment of any cop’s day: That point right before you arrive at the side of the car during a traffic stop. Which is why they have exact procedures for how the cops are to approach the car, all aimed at their safety. Ultimately, you have only the driver’s cooperation and good will to hope for.
Even then you don’t know, since anything can happen. Just because a person seems normal, calm, rational, or harmless, doesn’t mean they don’t have a .45 sitting under the seat. It doesn’t mean that they’re not up to something. Criminals come in all shapes and sizes and behaviors. Sometimes they’re not criminals. Sometimes they’re just people who lose control, just as cops can lose control. You don’t know.
But guess what? A funny thing about those cops? They’re actually human beings. I realize the Left has done a bang up job with the whole ‘Sanctity of life stops dead when it no longer benefits the Left’ shtick. But a consistent life ethic means consistency. It doesn’t just mean ‘Life is beautiful … whenever the Left says so’. People should, you know, listen to the police officer, and do what he says. Duh. And that includes not assuming he’s a psychoNazi racist murderer who deserves no respect, who can be ignored in kind, and had best let Greedo shoot first before he responds.
In a sane world of morals, principles, values, truth, common sense, justice, and civility founded on the Judeo-Christian ethic, the person does what my Dad did when he was mistaken for a fugitive years ago: comply with the cops. Even though they swarmed his car, guns out, yelling for him to keep his hands visible, he decided to go crazy and … do what they said. Know what happened then? They checked, found out he was the wrong person, apologized, my Dad said they were just doing their job, he drove on to work, they continued their search, and that was it! Wow. It’s like crazy decent and sensible. Heck, it’s almost respectful! Thank goodness we’re done with that era. Can’t have any of that in a Leftist paradise.
So Mark, the answer to your question is yes. If that officer had any brains, he was worried. Perhaps he felt threatened. Perhaps he overreacted. Real people in the real world get it. I fear we’ve created a generation of armchair messiahs who can’t help but ponder how others can be so weak and flawed and imperfect.
Oh, and I get why a demographic told daily that their country hates them and wants them dead would be nervous, too. None of this is to ignore the travesty of the Left’s manipulation and exploitation of the African American community that has no doubt left many blacks in America quite shaken. It’s just a perspective from a parent who can’t help but wish accounting was in his son’s future, rather than police work in the age of:
Unsurprisingly, the fake New Pro Life Movement is missing in action in regard to Alfie Evans. Go here to read their non-statement statement. Now all of this makes sense when one understands why the fake New Pro-life Movement exists. First, it serves as a platform for Catholic Leftists to attack the real Pro Life Movement. Second, it allows them to argue that you are not really pro-life unless you sign on to their laundry list of Leftist causes. Third, it allows them to decry any legislative attempt to restrict abortion.
If they took a stand against the slow motion judicial murder of Alfie Evans, it would lose them friends and allies on the Left, and, like most Leftists, their motto may as well be no enemy on the Left. Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts brings us the news that Mark Shea, surprise!, is all on board with this farce:
John C. Wright takes up the Alfie Evans case. No wondering where Mr. Wright stands. He attacks those preventing the parents from seeking treatment. He mentions Pope Francis stepping in and pleading for the sake of the child. He also uses this issue to suggest this is indicative of the type of Socialism that so many today seem to want. He then offers a requested prayer on behalf of the child in this situation.
Mark Shea, well, doesn’t really speak of the issue. He says he knows nothing about it and doesn’t want to comment out of ignorance. He then gives us his take on a conversation he had with someone he says represents prolife individuals. There is no link, so we have to take Mark’s word that it went down exactly as he reports. Given how Mark misrepresented what I wrote over the years, that’s a tough one.
Mark then goes on to use the conversation to attack prolifers, explain why he rejects prolifers, and went further by insisting that they don’t really care about Alfie Evans at all, but merely exploit him as a club to beat up people like Mark. No further comment on the actual Alfie Evans case.
That is an interesting contrast, at least IMHO. If I were actually a person who considers myself prolife, which of these would I fall behind? Or is there another angle worth looking at.
Update: On a second reading, it’s unlikely that Mark’s appraisal of the conversation can be taken at face value. After all, do we really believe anyone would actually write:
“Reader: But don’t you think the doctors are all evil?
Perhaps the reader said just that, but I find it difficult to believe. As I said, I’ve seen how Mark framed my statements in the past, and that tends to make me skeptical at best.
Plus, Mark suddenly leans on the Pope’s lack of expertise in a particular area in order to justify not merely following the Pope’s lead, as opposed to his usual feelings relative to subjects like the economy. That’s an interesting turn of events, and one that suggests inconsistency in applied standards to say the least.
Go here to comment. Back before he became a Leftist Mark had this to say on the fifth anniversary of the judicial murder of Terri Schiavo in 2010:
God rest her soul.
Being pro-life is anathema on the Left, so those who claim to be pro-life and identify with the Left, with certain honorable exceptions, will find a way to redefine being pro-life so it is acceptable to their Leftist comrades. May God forgive them.
As a young lawyer back in the Eighties I loved the zany antics of Night Court. Harry Anderson as Judge Harry Stone reminded me of a kind-hearted Judge I appeared in front of on a regular basis, and, occasionally, real life court has resembled the chaos of Night Court. Harry Anderson has passed away, too young, at the age of 65. Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts gives us the details:
Wow, two figures from my youth, that were seemingly everywhere back in the day, have passed.
Harry Anderson, the magician who spent more than a few years acting, passed away at the age of 65.
R. Lee Ermey, old gunny and possibly the most famous on screen drill sergeant in movie history, also passed away. Donald McClarey has a fine tribute here.
Both were iconic images for my generation. Ermey, a marine vet in real life, came to embody that gruff, grizzly soldier wading into whatever problem he encountered with a club in hand and a sparkle in his eye.
Anderson was everyone’s cool conman. A magician by trade (and, some suggest, a conman to boot), he stumbled into acting and soon came to demonstrate that level of slick, sleight of hand with a warm heart that anyone might envy.
The funny thing about them both? Nether were actors by first profession. They had excelled in other arenas first. They were not necessarily actors even when they were acting, but were other types who simply played variations of themselves, to a point.
They both stepped out of those confines. For instance, Anderson played in the TV miniseries based on Stephen King’s IT, and Ermey had a wonderful turn in the movie Dead Man Walking.
But usually they were variations of themselves. In the hit and critically acclaimed series Night Court (a strange brew of a show to be sure), Anderson basically was Anderson, including his magic and his love of Mel Torme.
Because of that, you can’t help but feel you got to know them more than most actors who play a variety of parts. You feel you knew them. And because they both made such a big impact on the pop culture of the day, it’s like losing a couple of old friends.
Rest in peace friends, and my the perpetual light shine upon you both.
Go here to comment. Enjoy a well earned recess Judge Stone.
In the video below Jordan Peterson speaks on the threat to free speech in Canada. The constant attempts by Red Fascists to interrupt his speech of course underlined what he was saying.
Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts notes the quandary for Mark Shea that Jordan Peterson presents. Being a Leftist now Shea realizes he should hate Peterson. However Bishop Barron poses a problem for Mark:
Hilarity ensues. Mark’s hatred of everything to the right of center, mixed with his slavish devotion to almost every narrative and doctrine of the political Left, should have put Peterson in the cross hairs months ago. With the exception of “gay marriage”, which Mark barely mentions anymore, and abortion, which he blames almost exclusively on capitalism and sexist men, there are few significant differences between Mark and Daily Kos, or MSNBS, or Vox, or any other radical secular Left wing rag.
The problem? Bishop Robert Barron has spoken and written somewhat extensively on the positive contributions that Peterson brings to the modern table. Of course Bishop Barron points out that Peterson is not a priest expounding the complete Gospel message. And he, like most I know who value Peterson, can tell where Peterson is in line with the Christian tradition and where he isn’t.
Nonetheless, Bishop Barron, who has not bowed before the Leftist juggernaut, obviously sees much value in Peterson and in the timing of Peterson’s ascension. This makes it tough for Mark. Mark has long praised Bishop Barron as a shining light in modern Catholicism. And rightly so. Bishop Barron brings much to the modern debate. And what’s more, he says the same thing about Peterson that most Christians I know say about Peterson. So Mark does what he can. I was going to write a lengthy piece unpacking Mark’s humorous attempts to twist and turn and desperately avoid the obvious points Bishop Barron makes, but I figured I’d do what he did to Barron’s review of Peterson – post a link. Read away. Especially read the comments, since they help explain why so many see value in Peterson, given the appeal to arrogance behind many of his critics. Not just arrogance aimed at Peterson but, as usual, aimed at any who don’t fall in line behind the Left (which one reader seems to think doesn’t really exist). There are exceptions of course. (NOTE: as of now, the comment explaining identity politics/Marxist influences has been removed, though it could be a glitch since there is no note saying it was removed – having been on Patheos, I know it’s a different animal to actually erase a comment than merely deleting one.. Perhaps check back later)
If hopes were dupes, fears may be liars;
It may be, in yon smoke conceal’d,
Your comrades chase e’en now the fliers,
And, but for you, possess the field.
For while the tired waves, vainly breaking,
Seem here no painful inch to gain,
Far back, through creeks and inlets making,
Comes silent, flooding in, the main.
And not by eastern windows only,
When daylight comes, comes in the light;
In front the sun climbs slow, how slowly!
But westward, look, the land is bright!
Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts gives us the latest installment of the ongoing debate between Mark Shea and Mark Shea:
Declaring criticisms of Soros by conservatives the stuff of lies and evil which, to Mark, the captain of the Calumny for Christ brigade, is all that exists to the right of the political center. I was going to go into some detail, trying to express my continued shock at the depth to which Mark is sinking into those things he once declared an affront to goodness, truth and the Gospel, but why bother? Here is Mark, 2010, pinning Soros for what Soros is, not praising him, as Mark now does:
Speaking of the Soros payroll, you got your Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good disappearing without a trace now that their only real mission—snookering suckers into thinking that supporting a guy who favors sticking scissors in a baby’s brain is some glorious expression of Catholic social teaching—is accomplished. Being a wholly-owned subsidiary of George Soros, they were, in fact, as real a Catholic social teaching apostolate as a Potemkin Village is a real city. Mark Shea, 2010.
Compare to yesterday:
Yeah, Soros is wrong about abortion like every other lefty. But then, he’s Jewish, not Catholic, and his tradition has never taught him to believe what the Church teaches. But with regard to the rest, he seems to be doing a reasonable job with his wealth, which is more than you can say for many billionaires. Mark Shea, 2018.
Yeah, abortion and all. You know. Stuff and things. That’s it. So abortion is now just one of those things, especially if you’re not Catholic. Wrong maybe, but no big deal unless you’re Catholic? The New Prolife Movement in action.
Go here to comment. The crazy thing about Shea is that he very rarely acknowledges having written something that he wrote yesterday which completely contradicts what he wrote today. Unfortunately for him, the internet is forever, at least until Soros and his ideological think-a-likes get their mitts on it. That Shea has a strange new respect for Soros under the current pontificate is no surprise. Go here and here to understand why. When it comes to Soros, Mark is simply in the useful idiot category. There are darker forces however working ceaselessly during this pontificate to transform the Bride of Christ into the Whore of the Left.
Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts gives us an on-target warning from 2008:
By Mark Shea, c. 2008. Tell me what has changed for Mark to have become one of the Democratic Party’s loudest cheerleaders within Catholicism today. Interesting what a difference 10 years make.
Go here to comment. A debate between Shea 2008 and Shea 2018 would be amusing if not edifying. Ah, Mark Shea today February 20, 2018:
If your first impulse upon hearing that 17 kids have been murdered is to seek to make political capital of it, you are a ghoul. Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts gives us the details:
Note to Mark Shea: Thoughts and prayers are not garbage because one disagrees with your politics. God is bigger than that. And your politics and the Gospel of Jesus Christ are not one and the same. Jesus Christ is bigger than that. And the policies of the Democratic Party are not the way, the truth, and the life and the only potential path to salvation through Jesus. The working of the Holy Spirit is bigger than one party.
In short, one can be a good Christian, can love Jesus, can be obedient to God, can sincerely pray and conclude that perhaps the policies of the Democrats would not help in stopping this or similar tragedies. It’s what liberal Christians used to say to the Religious Right. It’s now what New Prolife Christians need to hear.
|From Mark’s post on the shooting: his appraisal of prayer’s efficacy if not linked to Mark’s political opinions|
It’s bad enough that our political leaders and others in our nation have decided to blaspheme God by subverting prayer for the sake of politics. But that Christian leaders or apologists do the same in fealty to a political agenda makes me sick. I will not address this blasphemy again. I only did it to warn those who seek to petition God through prayers and charity not to be misled into such heresy. What should be done with a professional representative of the Faith who advocates such things I’ll leave to others to work out.
Now it’s back to what Christians and all people of goodwill should be doing, and that’s weeping with the dead and those who are suffering, and lifting up our hearts and minds to God, through Jesus Christ if believers we are. There will be time to look for solutions, and possibly even look at the heart and soul of a nation that has come this far. But not now.
An interesting feature of the Francis pontificate is the attempt by some Catholics to play games of good guys and bad guys, with the good guys on the left and the bad guys on the right. Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts gives us an archetypal example:
About the growing and expanding Culture of Death. Mark writes a post that more or less says the American Right is hellborn Satanic racist Nazi to the core – but we’re still called to love their miserable, evil, racist, deplorable souls.
Fair enough. The Right, like anything involving people, has its bad elements and, being a human invention, its errors. There is a radical Right, a racist Right, an alt-Right, and all manner of evil to be found on the Right. Smart people with more than two brain cells know it. Likewise there is also a radical Left, an alt-Left, a movement filled with all the same loathing, hate, demonic, slaughter, racism and hellborn evil as the radical Right.
That’s where Mark swings and misses by a mile.
Part of Mark’s justification for his move toward the Left is that liberals are, in the end, just fine and swell people. They’re nice, kind, caring, witty, compassionate, loving. Oh sure, they have their rough edges. Sometimes, for reasons not quite clear, they embrace bad things like abortion rights. But on the whole, they’re good to the core. Not like non-repentant conservatives who aren’t really Christians and who are rotten and evil to the core.
This is a major rationale for Mark’s current ministry. This is how he explains assuming the best interpretations of what American liberalism has to offer while assuming the worst of conservatives. This is how he assumes that liberals would never do anything like use the poor or the immigrant as human shields for their agendas, while he knows full well conservatives do nothing else but use the unborn as human shields.
This is a major confession of faith for Mark. But it’s obviously wrong. It’s so wrong that it boggles the mind. You just can’t get more wrong than that. It’s so wrong that Mark himself once mocked the notion. When the Tuscon shooting happened, Mark openly mocked the liberal media narrative that somehow conservatives, being conservatives, were simply a bunch of brainless murdering zombies waiting for someone to drop the Queen of Diamonds so they could go on killing sprees. Mark rightly saw that this notion, that righteousness and sin are based on what color state people live in, is not just heretical from a Christian viewpoint, but idiotic.
So this very thing Mark once called out as stupid at best, is now his justification for running to the left of center. The problem is, it requires either a deliberate misrepresentation of the truth, or a dangerously ignorant level of denial. Take, for instance, this statement from his post:
I have never encountered a single abortion apologist–not one–who speaks with glee over the death of an aborted child.
Sorry, but I posted on this growing trend in 2012. It has only grown since. The idea to bring abortion out of the shadows and into the light, with pride and glee and encouragement, has been one of the most frightful developments in the long, sad history of abortion in America. And it is spilling over into the proud and open push for assisted suicide, euthanasia, and even questioning the justification of violence in the name of shutting down free speech for those who don’t conform. There are connections there not difficult to miss.
As for the fact that they don’t say the word ‘baby’, or believe it is a baby? Who the hell cares? Slave owners were convinced that Africans weren’t real people, worthy of the same rights as actual (Read: White) people. The Nazis were absolutely convinced that Jews and other minorities didn’t warrant being called truly human. That people bent on slaughter will use euphemism rather than the truth to justify evil (something Mark used to point out, BTW), is irrelevant. The fact that the growing ‘proud to have abortions’ movement might avoid the term Baby because they’ve convinced themselves there is no human in the womb is not a damn bit different than the fact that Nazis, in their minds, weren’t sending real human beings to their deaths.
If Mark lived in Nazi Germany in the 40s, would he excuse the Nazis just because they had convinced themselves Jews weren’t really people? I have a feeling not. When a Catholic apologist, speaking in the name of Catholic teaching, must embrace such flawed justifications for his political positions, red flags must be waved.
As I already said, I’ve long ceased to listen to Mark. All his credibility left the building long ago. I comment on him because friends still like pestering me by sending links to his blog by email or Facebook. I would no more care to read his blog than I would visit some radical atheist or anti-Catholic blog. But this is dangerous. The post looks like a contrite ‘I need to love these wretched sinners’ confession. But it is wrong. Demonstrably wrong. Dangerously wrong. So wrong that it risks being complicit in the move to broaden the very Culture of Death that the New Prolife Christian movement claims to oppose. And it rests its downplaying of the manifold sins of liberalism on stupidity and falsehood. Stupidity and falsehoods that Mark, ironically, taught me to notice in suspect arguments all those years ago.
Go here to comment. That Shea has allowed his boiling hatred of conservatives to cause him to take leave of his senses is an old story. However, in this pontificate he has plenty of company. A prime example of this appeared in the headlines this week:
Back in the 1920s and 1930s, it was fashionable for Progressive and left-wing intellectuals to travel to the Soviet Union to find out what was “really” going on in the world’s first great experiment in communism. “The entire British intelligentsia,” the editor of the left-leaning New Statesman Kingsley Martin breathlessly exclaimed in 1932, “has been to Russia.”
The vast majority came back wide-eyed and deeply impressed by what they had seen. Following his visit to Russia in 1919, for example, the American progressive journalist Lincoln Steffens famously wrote, “I have seen the future, and it works.”
There were, however, realities about Soviet communism which few such individuals ever got around to mentioning. They rarely referred to, for instance, the Bolsheviks’ destruction of freedom; the cults of personality surrounding Lenin and then Stalin; the regime’s use of systematic terrorism against real but mostly imaginary opponents; the dynamiting of churches; the herding of peasants into collective farms; the murder of thousands of Orthodox and other Christian clergy; the Great Famine that killed millions in the Ukraine; the show-trials, purges and executions; the labor camps; and the relentless propaganda which assured everyone that everything was fine and that any problems were the work of saboteurs, kulaks, class-traitors, Czarist reactionaries, evil Western capitalists, and British Intelligence.
I was reminded of all this recently when reading a strange interview of Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo. He is the Argentine-born and Vatican-based longtime Chancellor of what are called the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences. Having recently visited China, the bishop described the one-party communist state as “extraordinary.”
Why extraordinary, you might ask? Well, according to Bishop Sanchez, China has “no shantytowns” and “young people don’t take drugs.” Moreover, he said, China takes climate change so much more seriously than most other nations. That’s hard to square with China’s relentless emphasis on economic growth. But, above all, the bishop exclaimed, “those who are best implementing the social doctrine of the Church are the Chinese.”
At this point, I started to wonder how the Argentine bishop reconciled some well-known facts about the Chinese communist regime—its policy of forced-abortions in the name of population-control; its use of mass labor camps; its ongoing problems with rampant corruption; the growing cult of personality surrounding President Xi Jinping; its absence of democracy; its bellicose and militaristic stance in the South China Sea; the surveillance and censoring of anyone deemed a threat to the Communist Party’s monopoly of power by the Ministry of State Security; its appalling treatment of the Nobel Peace Prize activist, the late Liu Xiaobo; its oppression of the people of Tibet and other ethnic minorities; its demolition of Evangelical and Catholic churches; and its relentless harassment of Catholic clergy and laypeople who won’t support regime-puppets like the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association—with Catholic social teaching.
Incidentally, there are plenty of shanty-towns in mainland China, including in Beijing. And if Bishop Sanchez seriously believes that no young people use drugs in China, I can only (very charitably) conclude that he was given a very sheltered tour of China—perhaps something akin to Catherine the Great’s expeditions to the provinces in Russia during which her advisors made sure that she saw only what came to be called “Potemkin villages”: temporary edifices designed to shelter the sovereign’s eyes from unpleasant truths.
A disconnectedness from reality, however, seems to have become the norm throughout parts of the Holy See lately—or at least a tendency to view the world through a distinctly leftist lens.
Go here to read the rest. In his desire to bash conservatives and to French kiss the Left, Mark Shea has powerful think-a-likes in the current Vatican.
Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts recalls the SJW trolls who swarmed over his blog, alarmed at this conservative intruder into their happy hunting ground, when it was at Patheos:
This time, a post-battle review. He nails Ms. Newman of Channel 4 for what she is. She is a Marxist inspired post-modern leftist. To that end, there is no truth, there’s merely the assumption of my measure of righteousness, anyone who disagrees must be a stereotype. And it isn’t just Ms. Newman. That’s the biggest problem. Peterson also calls out the fact that Ms. Newman’s tactics are all too common. While not unique to any time or place, her approach is pretty much the go-to approach in our millennial age; the post-Truth age where the point is to be affirmed in your awesomeness and contempt for non-conformers, rather than care a lick about getting to the truth.
As I listened to this, I thought of a glaring mistake I made at Patheos. Early on, I assumed commentators commented in good faith. Not sure why, since I’ve visited blogs for years. But I did assume this, I suppose because it was my blog and I thought I could direct the spirit of the comments. No. I was wrong. Some did in good faith. Many did not. The best Troll of the bunch incarnated the postmodern leftist millennial age and all its problems that we see with Ms. Newman.
Early on I missed that and tried to engage in the spirit of mature discourse. Which led to endless comments of nothing, strings of pointlessness that ended up chasing readers away (by the end, some told me exactly who it was that they dreaded seeing on a comments thread). The wag would use any tactic imaginable – deflection, inconsistency, arrogance, subtle insult, pointless rabbit chasing, insinuation, you name a method of obfuscation – to do nothing other than win, and feel intellectually superior. Any attempts to correct the situation? More accusations, name calling or insults.
Which is why his approach reminded me of Ms. Newman, and much of the postmodern, millennial approach to debate. There was no attempt to get to the point, discover the truth, find an answer, or discover a solution. There was no real desire to understand my point – something I missed for too long. The point was keeping the individual tripped up as long as possible to feel validated and superior. Truth, and reality were completely irrelevant.
When engaging with the Marxist inspired postmodern millennial Left, it might be worth remembering this sad and ugly fact. We don’t engage with people seeking Truth. We engage with people who have one agenda and one agenda only – the eradication of anything that challenges their own superior view of themselves and their latest convenient values.
The fact that mainline outlets are taking notice and making with the slick ‘he’s obviously evil, he’s not liberal’ headlines, is all I need to know to understand how dangerously on the edge we are. Dangerous because it’s not just people who need validation on blogs, but actual jouranlism and even our very educational institutions that are in on the act. Here, the Chronicle of Higher Education takes on Peterson. It’s more subtle than Ms. Newman, but the obvious suggestions and hints are there. Slate, of course, cuts right to the chase and in typical *Yawn* form, labels Peterson an Alt-Right hero. Alt-Right is quickly becoming ‘excuse to root for the extermination of those who don’t conform’, rather than a descriptive label.
All of which reminded me of the Patheos Trolls, Ms. Newman, progressive millennials, and why we must stop fooling ourselves about compromising with a movement of tyranny, oppression, violence and wickedness resting on lies and calumny and rejection of Truth as its primary tactic. It’s not just on Patheos or Channel 4. Increasingly, it is the millennial Left in a nutshell.
Go here to comment. One of my favorite scenes from the movie Becket:
I have always been struck by the words after the mitre is placed on Becket that: “he may appear fearsome to the enemies of Truth.” With most Leftists we are dealing with people who do not believe there is such a thing as truth, which explains a lot when you think about it.
Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts takes a look at Lefty Catholics who are useful idiots, or worse, for the pro-aborts:
Over at Steel Magnificat, a liberal feminist Catholic blog at Patheos, we’re reminded that what pro-abortion forces say is likely true: abortion is often opposed because of anything but care for life and the unborn. Mostly a bunch of sexist and misogynists hating on pure and beautifully innocent women.
I’m just stunned at the growing attacks on the Catholic moral tradition by Catholics in the age of Pope Francis. It’s as if he opened the floodgates. Whether he meant to or not, I don’t know. But clearly many Catholics see the age of Francis as the time in which we can finally throw off the shackles of Christianity’s first 2000 years and join with the only magisterium that matters: the modern Left and its dogmas.
For a tradition that prides itself on withstanding the winds and waves of the latest fads, I’m just not seeing the evidence.
Then none was for a party—
Then all were for the state;
Then the great man helped the poor,
And the poor man loved the great;
Then lands were fairly portioned!
Then spoils were fairly sold:
The Romans were like brothers
In the brave days of old.
Now Roman is to Roman
More hateful than a foe,
And the tribunes beard the high,
And the fathers grind the low.
As we wax hot in faction,
In battle we wax cold;
Wherefore men fight not as they fought
In the brave days of old.
Horatius at the Bridge, Thomas Babington, Lord Macaulay
Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts has an interesting post on Ezra Klein, a man upon whom Mark Shea bestows the title of patriot:
LaBeouf: The force of law? This man is a notorious thumper. He rode by the light of the moon with Quantrill. – Bloody Bill Anderson.
Cogburn:- Them men were patriots, Texas trash.
LaBeouf: They murdered women and children in Lawrence, Kansas.
Cogburn: That’s a God damn lie!
Politics have often been heated in the US. The trouble is that on two occasions in our history heated politics led to outright war: the American Revolution, which might also be rightfully called the First American Civil War, and the Civil War. Great issues were involved in both those conflicts and perhaps they were unavoidable. But when politics reaches a stage where we bestow the title of patriot upon those who agree with us politically, and condemn those who oppose us traitors, we would do well to remind ourselves that such talk has before led this country down the path to open war. Something that Mark Shea, and all of us, might wish to consider,
So said Pope Francis:
“In our times, especially in Europe, we’re seeing a ‘distortion’ of Christmas,” the pope said in his final General Audience of 2017.
“In the name of a false respect for non-Christians, which often hides a desire to marginalize the faith, every reference to the birth of Christ is being eliminated from the holiday,” Francis said. “But in reality, this event is the one true Christmas!”
“Without Jesus, there is no Christmas,” the pope said, drawing strong applause from a crowd gathered Wednesday morning in the Vatican’s Paul VI Audience Hall.
“If he’s at the center, then everything around him, that is, the lights, the songs, the various local traditions, including the characteristic foods, all comes together to create the atmosphere of a real festival,” he said.
“But if we take [Christ] away, the lights go off and everything becomes fake, mere appearances,” the pope said.
Go here to read the rest. Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts gives us the American context for these remarks:
Yep. You heard that right. For years, post-Conservatives have proudly joined the secular, non-Christian Left in mocking the whole ‘war on Christmas’ and ‘culture wars.’ This laughable notion that we should care that our society demanded the Christian element of the Christmas holiday be eliminated from public acknowledgement was condemned by those wishing to separate themselves from those defending the traditions of the Christian West.
From Mark Shea to Southern Baptist ethics leader Russel Moore, open contempt for those bothered by this push to silence the Christian elements of Christmas has become almost a confession of the post-traditional Faith. It was a way to say “we’re not like those non-liberal types over there.”
And now, suddenly, Pope Francis has jumped in an echoed – what those bemoaning the secularization and elimination of Christ from Christmas have been lamenting. He’s not alone. I’ve met several over the years from other countries who were shocked that American Christians seem to easily accept being pushed around and out the door of public discourse and celebration.
Will this become a wake up call for the Christians who have been fighting the Long Retreat over the years? Those who figure the Left has won, the West is dead, and it’s best to cozy up to the new power as best we can, and that might include avoiding the C-Word in Christmas settings on the off chance we offend someone who matters? We’ll see. I’ve noticed that for a pope who is adored and loved by the majority, there seems to be about 1/2 of what he says that drops through the storm drains.
Go here to comment. Societies sometimes become one-trick ponies and find themselves in a dead end. China with its exam system eventually produced government officials who were mainly good at passing exams and nothing else. Assyria was hell on wheels for military conquest until it aroused endless domestic civil wars, with its matchless army turned upon itself, and foreign coalitions that eventually made Assyria a half forgotten memory. The deep South depended so entirely on slavery that it would destroy the Union to protect it, and ended up destroying its economic system as a result. Secularization in the West is in a similar blind end. Christ reminded Satan that man does not live by bread alone, and the pursuit of materialism solely produces societies with an inherent death wish, as man needs some better reason to exist than to satisfy physical needs and desires that have ever been a means and not an end in themselves. We all have a God-sized hole in our souls, and attempts to ignore that fundamental fact of human existence are either bleakly humorous or bleakly tragic depending upon the mood of the observer.
The history of the Catholic Church is dominated by the struggle of the Faith against competing faiths. Currently the Church is engaged in a struggle with a relatively new religion that has managed to infect the highest reaches of the Church: Leftism. Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts gives us the details:
So it should be no surprise that a gay nativity scene is making the rounds at the same time Christmas messages themselves are banned for being offensive. Go ahead all progressive believers, non-conservatives, post-conservatives, non-traditionalists, hipster faithful and all who are trying to find ways to compromises between the Faith and the modern Left. Go ahead and try, and measure how far you have pulled the Left back to the Faith, and how far the Left has pulled you from it.
It’s tempting to think that if you throw a clean washcloth into a mud puddle, the mud puddle will become cleaner. Chances are, however, that the puddle will stay muddy, and your washcloth will become dirty.
Unlike ancient Rome, the Left doesn’t seek to round us up and drag us off to the arena. Nor does it seek to do what previous leftists regimes did in gulags and killing fields. Like trying to corrupt an upstanding citizen, it seeks to destroy all the faith believes, to corrupt its dogmas, erode its foundation. It seeks to encourage believers and their leaders to reject the universe as Christ revealed.
After all, if it can get the Church and its leaders to admit error in such things as human nature, which is visible and able to be seen and studied, where will people find cause to believe the Church where the invisible God is concerned?
The Faith is under an assault unlike anything it has experienced in its multiple centuries of existence. To miss this fact, or to see the progressive developments as just some normal course of action in the evolution of human society, is to make one of the most grievous mistakes in the long history of making mistakes.
Howso’ great their clamour, whatsoe’er their claim,
Suffer not the old King under any name!
Here is naught unproven—here is naught to learn.
It is written what shall fall if the King return.
He shall mark our goings, question whence we came,
Set his guards about us, as in Freedom’s name.
He shall take a tribute, toll of all our ware;
He shall change our gold for arms—arms we may not bear.
He shall break his judges if they cross his word;
He shall rule above the Law calling on the Lord.
He shall peep and mutter; and the night shall bring
Watchers ’neath our window, lest we mock the King—
Hate and all division; hosts of hurrying spies;
Money poured in secret, carrion breeding flies.
Strangers of his counsel, hirelings of his pay,
These shall deal our Justice: sell—deny—delay.
We shall drink dishonour, we shall eat abuse
For the Land we look to—for the Tongue we use.
We shall take our station, dirt beneath his feet,
While his hired captains jeer us in the street.
Cruel in the shadow, crafty in the sun,
Far beyond his borders shall his teachings run.
Sloven, sullen, savage, secret, uncontrolled,
Laying on a new land evil of the old—
Long-forgotten bondage, dwarfing heart and brain—
All our fathers died to loose he shall bind again.
Here is naught at venture, random nor untrue—
Swings the wheel full-circle, brims the cup anew.
Here is naught unproven, here is nothing hid:
Step for step and word for word—so the old Kings did!
Step by step, and word by word: who is ruled may read.
Suffer not the old Kings: for we know the breed—
All the right they promise—all the wrong they bring.
Stewards of the Judgment, suffer not this King!
Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts takes a look at Mark Shea’s response to the sexual harassment avalanche:
Over at Catholic and Enjoying It. Like many, Mark jumped on the Roy Moore accusations, not just to demand Moore’s head, but to use the scandal to attack Trump, Trump supporters, conservatives and American conservative Christians. Like many, Mark said it was time to put aside the need for evidence, proof or due process. When those icky types are accused, it’s enough that they’re icky types, and it’s time to hie to the gallows.
Like the overwhelming majority of modern punditry, both right and left, Mark has also been stunningly silent about the myriad accusations against liberal pundits, politicians, activists, entertainers, and high profile personnel. Like so many who were quick to link Moore to entire swaths of American conservative culture, Mark has said nothing about these accusations against liberals and what it means about American liberalism. The most Mark did was link to a rather nondescript article that talked of the rock era tendency to sex after teenage girls. But nothing about rock and liberalism, liberal culture or the ideological similarities in the laundry list of recent accusations.
And that’s fine. I’m OK with this. I think this says something about our culture as a whole. Both the accusations, and the fact that we have no clear understanding of what is right or wrong behavior on any given day, or a desire to even sort it out before we destroy lives. All of those, to me, are symptomatic of a nation that long ago put punditry over principle. So I have no problem if people aren’t saying the list of liberals accused proves X about liberalism.
My problem is that they did just that against conservatives and evangelicals. Conservatives and liberals alike, never-Trumpers and left wing activists, all were happy to draw a straight line from Roy Moore to anyone and everything Right of center, guilty as accused.
Mark demonstrates this partisanship and, quite frankly, lunacy in spades. Not only has he avoided anything at all about the multiple accusations post-Moore, including his own folk hero Garrison Keillor, but he has continued to funnel all wrath and hatred at Moore, Trump, Trump supporters, conservatives and American conservative Christians, as if nobody else has been accused.
Pre-posting update: Jonah Goldberg, hardly sympathetic to Trump and the gang, nonetheless noticed the same trend.
A few weeks ago, the Federalist ran an incredible piece by the Lutheran Satire guy which was, alas, not satire. In it, he tried to argue that the slaughter in Sutherland was an awesome answer to the prayers of the victims and that anybody appalled and outraged by that slaughter loved government and not God.
One could hardly have asked for a more chemically pure expression of Christianism: the false gospel that cloaks the right wing culture of death in Christian imagery to battle for such things as (in that case) arms industry profits over human life.
Yet, not to be outdone, the Federalist again publishes an article oozing great slimy lies to the effect that you should support a child molester (excuse me, “morally questionable” person) like Roy Moore because God can use such people.
What is the urgent thing that Christianists need him for? Well, given that Planned Parenthood is already fully funded, the Party of Trump can’t really sell the “We’ll be magicking abortion away Real Soon Now” lie, so we have to just face the fact that Moore is important to help fund the Tax Budget Only a Child Molester Could Love.
It is, in essence, the greatest act of theft in American history, robbing the poor and the middle class to engorge the rich, according to the communists at Fortune.
Go here to read the rest. Besides telling us that Shea has apparently lost the ability to read, judging from his misinterpretations of the two Federalist articles that he references, his use of the term Christianist is deeply revealing. It is a term of abuse for Christians that Leftists hurl at Christians who have the temerity to disagree with them. Once upon a time, long, long ago, Mark Shea was a Catholic apologist. Now he is simply an apologist, and a very angry one, for an increasingly deranged Left. He has chosen poorly.
Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts joins Mark Shea’s noble anti-lying crusade:
It’s time the Church take a bold stand against illegal immigration. After all, what is one major way people here illegally are able to carry on in life, have jobs, send their kids to Harvard, and make a living for them and their relatives back home? Fraudulent documentation. That is, in other words, fake or false documents – lies you might say.
Mark Shea builds a strong case for why the Church should say enough is enough. Not that we shouldn’t reform our immigration system. Something like that should always be reformed, since situations and conditions always change. But the idea that just because the system is broken, people are free to be fraudulent, lie, present false documentation and any other form of deception.
Lying is a sin, as Mark boldly proclaims. It’s time for the Church and faithful Catholics to stop justifying, excusing and tolerating a culture of lies that justifies law breaking and fraud, even if it’s one celebrated and advocated by the modern Left.
Go here to comment. Gander, here is some of that goose sauce you have been eyeing.
In case some of you suspect, gasp, that perhaps Mark might be mangling Church teaching a wee bit, here is Blessed Cardinal Newman on lying and equivocation:
This is from Note G of Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman’s Apologia Pro Vita Sua. It is a typical tour de force by Newman where he demonstrates his knowledge of the history, reasoning and practical application of a Church teaching on morality. Here is the note:
ALMOST all authors, Catholic and Protestant, admit, that when a just cause is present, there is some kind or other of verbal misleading, which is not sin. Even silence is in certain cases virtually such a misleading, according to the Proverb, “Silence gives consent.” Again, silence is absolutely forbidden to a Catholic, as a mortal sin, under certain circumstances, e.g. to keep silence, when it is a duty to make a profession of faith.
Another mode of verbal misleading, and the most direct, is actually saying the thing that is not; and it is defended on the principle that such words are not a lie, when there is a “justa causa,” as killing is not murder in the case of an executioner.
Another ground of certain authors for saying that an untruth is not a lie where there is a just cause, is, that veracity is a kind of justice, and therefore, when we have no duty of justice to tell truth to another, it is no sin not to do so. Hence we may say the thing that is not, to children, to madmen, to men who ask impertinent questions, to those whom we hope to benefit by misleading.
Another ground, taken in defending certain untruths, ex justâ causâ, as if not lies, is, that veracity is for the sake of society, and that, if in no case whatever we might lawfully mislead others, we should actually be doing society great harm.
Another mode of verbal misleading is equivocation or a play upon words; and it is defended on the theory that to lie is to use words in a sense which they will not bear. But an equivocator uses them in a received sense, though there is another received sense, and therefore, according to this definition, he does not lie.
Others say that all equivocations are, after all, a kind of lying,—faint lies or awkward lies, but still lies; and some of these disputants infer, that therefore we must not equivocate, and others that equivocation is but a half-measure, and that it is better to say at once that in certain cases untruths are not lies.
Others will try to distinguish between evasions and equivocations; but though there are evasions which are clearly not equivocations, yet it is very difficult scientifically to draw the line between the one and the other.
To these must be added the unscientific way of dealing with lies,—viz. that on a great or cruel occasion a man cannot help telling a lie, and he would not be a man, did he not tell it, but still it is very wrong, and he ought not to do it, and he must trust that the sin will be forgiven him, though he goes about to commit it ever so deliberately, and is sure to commit it again under similar circumstances. It is a necessary frailty, and had better not be thought about before it is incurred, and not thought of again, after it is well over. This view cannot for a moment be defended, but, I suppose, it is very common.
I think the historical course of thought upon the matter has been this: the Greek Fathers thought that, when there was a justa causa, an untruth need not be a lie. St. Augustine took another view, though with great misgiving; and, whether he is rightly interpreted or not, is the doctor of the great and common view that all untruths are lies, and that there can be no just cause of untruth. In these later times, this doctrine has been found difficult to work, and it has been largely taught that, though all untruths are lies, yet that certain equivocations, when there is a just cause, are not untruths. Continue Reading
But they always caught up with our progress, and presently word would come
That a tribe had been wiped off its icefield, or the lights had gone out in Rome.
Rudyard Kipling, The Gods of the Copybook Headings
Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts responds to the attack by the ghouls of ISIS on a Sufi Mosque in the northern Sinai that left 305 worshipers murdered:
Horrible. Animals and savages to be sure. God grant peace and strength to those impacted by this, whose lives were lost, who remain behind and are left with the hurt and the pain. God also soften the hearts of those who embrace this senseless slaughter as a means of righteousness. Help the nations of the world find a way to eliminate this and no longer tolerate an apathy based on accepting this as some new normal.
Go here to comment. My fear is that our elites want us to accept this as the new normal. Tut tutting about it by all the usual suspects and then nothing effective is done. Repeat for the next one, ad infinitum. Neo pacifism is strong among elites, our Pope being a typical example. The murderers of ISIS give the lie to such pacifism. They will not stop until they are stopped permanently by superior fire power. The prophet Rudyard Kipling predicted this long ago:
Later in the same poem he details where the policies of the fools who currently lead the West are headed:
Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts gives us Mark Shea’s predictable take on the Roy Moore controversy:
Both in and out of the courts. A case study, by Mark Shea.
Knowing Mark’s own political loyalties, is wasn’t difficult to believe that Mark would do what he did, and that’s join with all of Roy Moore’s political opponents and adversaries on both sides of the aisle and demand Moore be removed from his senate race. Most, like Mark, made this call long before more women were produced from the same part of the town where Moore was living forty years ago, and before Moore made some of his own questionable statements. Many, like Mark, did it within a day of the WP piece that initially broke the story.
Mark, like Steven Greydanus, has made it clear that Moore’s guilt is all but obvious. There is no room for debate. If you don’t immediately condemn Moore and want him punished, then you support child molesters. Sort of like what people used to say about the Catholic Church, but I’m sure that’s different. After all, Mark asks why women would make false accusations for no reason?
Which brings us to this little tidbit that came my way. In it, we have a cry for justice against a vile women who has made an innocent man’s life a nightmare with endless false accusations and stalkings. And who is that man? It would be Mark Shea’s nephew.
Personally, I have no more vested interest in the case against Mark’s nephew than I do the case against Roy Moore. My thing would be to wait to demand punishment until the cases were heard in an official capacity. Was Mark’s nephew lying to protect himself, or was the woman lying? I might have my own opinions, but I certainly wouldn’t want anyone punished until official inquiries and investigations were conducted that included examining the evidence.
Same with Moore. But yet, whereas Mark found it easy to accuse a woman who had falsely accused his own nephew, Mark finds it just as easy now to believe every woman accusing Moore and immediately call for Moore, the child molester per Mark, to be punished, no physical evidence or corroborating documentation needed.
And that, kiddies, is why we have the rule of law. It’s to protect us from people who can’t quite see the fact that they appear to be playing fast and loose with consistent application of standards, and who seem to be guided more by emotionalism and raw personal bias and prejudice, than an actual quest for truth and justice.
Go here to comment. When I am tempted to rush to judgment I try to recall the golden thread that runs through American law, the presumption of innocence. Rumpole of the Bailey stated it well:
When factual allegations are made, I try to remind myself that the burden of proof is on the accuser, inside or outside of the courtroom.
But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother.
George Orwell, 1984
In the Julian Calendar which the Russians used in 1917 the Russian Revolution, more accurately the Russian Coup, by the Bolsheviks occurred on October 25, hence the October Revolution. (On the Gregorian Calendar the date was November 7, 1917.) Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts reminds us that Communism is still a favored murderous mass movement among all to many intellectuals of the West.
Dr. Samuel Gregg examines the 100th Anniversary of Russia’s October Revolution. This should be bigger than it is, though the Left has always been shy about focusing too much on the horrors of Communism.
Growing up, all the hip shows and movies cast a sympathetic glance over at the legacy of Communism and its prevailing states, whether it be MASH or Reds, you couldn’t help but get the feeling that underlying the approach was a secret ‘they’re better than us’ message in it all.
In college, it was the same. Communism, though not without its flaws, was never as bad as – can I say it – the Capitalism of America’s industrial war machines. More than one professor took great delight in pointing out that the Communists were often just trying to help, unlike our own government that never seemed to have a pure motive in its history.
The same for Catholics, at least those more hostile to America and the Western tradition. More than once I’ve been informed that if you take the Trail of Tears, twist and turn the numbers just right, it’s clear the US is the most murderous nation state in history, far worse than any Communist state of the 20th century. And that doesn’t count the millions of slaves that were murdered, the billions of Native Americans killed, and the tens of millions killed by our military during our endless imperial grabs for power.
Nonetheless, outside of that weird universe of Marxist driven leftist ideology, in what we call the real world, Communism remains perhaps the most evil, murderous, and destructive ideology in the history of the human race. That so many on the Left either try to downplay, or outright deny, this makes you wonder just how passionate the Left is about opposing things like mass slaughter, tyranny, destruction and endless terror.
Nonetheless, this is the big 100th anniversary. We’ll see how much it’s covered. Kudos to The Catholic World Report for stepping out early and getting a jump on the future reflections.
Go here to comment. Ironically, considering how infested with Marxism the Catholic left is, the main attraction of this superstition for intellectuals is largely the atheism that is at the core of Marxism. There is no God, merely an inevitable historical path laid out by Marx. Traditional morality was done away with: cooperating with the inevitable historical process, the ultimate triumph of Marxism, was moral, and anything that opposed it was immoral. Thus morality becomes a mere matter of political labels. How convenient that this allowed movements dedicated to Marxism to commit any crime, no matter how vile, in the scramble for supreme power. That Marxism has never been anything but a transparent fraud, with no more intellectual validity than a tale from The Arabian Nights, is a damning indictment of the human capacity to embrace any fable if it gives an excuse to engage in wretched conduct with an ostensibly clean conscience. One hundred million corpses later it is depressing to see how popular this murderous nonsense is in the West.
Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts takes a look at Mark Shea’s ongoing debate with strawmen:
I must admit, one reason I left Patheos was so that I could keep better track of Mark Shea. When I came on board Patheos, our editor asked me to leave Mark alone and cease and desist arguments with him. I more or less behaved myself, usually confining any references to Mark to the praise and ‘well done’ category.
That didn’t stop Mark, however, from visiting my blog a few times and throwing out his usual preemptive accusations, and then leaving. Since Mark banned me from his own sites, I couldn’t respond, and he never returned to dialogue with me.
That became frustrating to be sure. I tried to behave on my part, and yet felt I was coming out on the short end. Therefore one of many reasons to leave Patheos was so I could speak more openly about Mark’s descent into the deepest levels of the modern Left.
This post is a grand example. First of all, there is nothing wrong with the substance of what Mark says about Church teaching. The Church condemns racism. If you only oppose immigration because you are a racist, then that is bad. Likewise, our salvation does not rest in blood or soil or nation. The Church is not America, nor is it Western Civilization.
But that’s not the problem. First, Mark used a rather poor example to illustrate the opposing side of the debate. Assuming this all came to Mark as he indicates – and knowing how Mark falsely accused me of saying things about him, I must wonder – it is obviously a poorly written, poorly thought out piece. There are other, better pieces explaining the problems with open borders and post-national Christianity. The biggest problem is that whatever negative results occur, it won’t be us who pay the price. It will be future generations. A sort of martyrdom by proxy: By the degree to which future generations pay for our opinions have we declared our righteousness.
Mark doesn’t address those. He takes something written by what could pass as a high school Facebook rant. And he uses it to subtly suggest this is par for the course for those who don’t agree with the Church’s current approach to the subject.
He then does the really, super duper bad thing. He ascribes only the most vile and evil motives to those who oppose open border immigration. And then, to add salt to the wound, he takes it to the next level:
“…is (like all these Alt Right guys) obsessed with his sperm. That’s why he bizarrely speaks of “cuckolds” as he insults celibate “Catholic leaders”. It’s all about the weird fear these guys have that darkskins will inseminate “their” white women. The sexual insecurity of these wretched bully boys just leaps off the page every time they write.”
Go here to read the rest. Saint Thomas Aquinas would take arguments he rejected, make them stronger than their adherents did, and only then subject the arguments to his powerful analysis. Of course the Angelic Doctor didn’t post on the internet and his goal was not to get hits from red meat fans. His whole purpose was to arrive at the truth of any subject he wrote about, as best as he could. Unfortunately the attitude of most internet posters to truth is summed up in the beginning of Francis Bacon’s essay Of Truth:
We can do better than that, and not just Mark Shea. This is a duty especially for those of us who follow Truth Incarnate.
So Deacon Steven Greydanus has banned me from his Facebook page.
We’ve had some good discussions he and I. We haven’t always agreed, but generally we’ve debated well, and I’ve certainly learned some things.
But this time the topic of immigration came up. He posted an editorial about immigration (this was posted on Mark Shea’s webpage, since I can’t access Deacon’s FB page at this point), what it is, America’s rights and immigrants and all. We’ve heard it a thousand, million times.
I responded by something that’s been buzzing around my head for a couple days. When Trump said he would do away with DACA, you had the obvious outcry: But the babies! While this was being done, the MSM ran out and found case after case of people who would be hurt by this.
While doing this, some news outlets also went a different direction. I believe they were trying to say ‘Look how unfair this is! People who have lived their lives, and are now firmly set in a path toward contributing to society, will be uprooted and thrown out!’ To that end, they interviewed various business leaders, tech giants and even Ivy League universities about all those undocumented individuals who will be hurt by this. Undocumented workers who have good jobs, are attending college, going to Harvard, and on and on.
And that got me to thinking, as I am wont to do. Isn’t it possible that sympathy for people who have spent their lives breaking the law, who are now attending Harvard, might go down hard for Americans who are struggling to pay bills, can barely feed their own families, and have no hope for their own children affording college? I mean, I’m not hearing much from the Church about that. Oh, the Church talks its usual concern for the poor and injustice at home. But how does it square supporting people who have broken the law, spent their lives breaking the law, and our now reaping great rewards while their surrounding citizens are watching their fortunes diminish?
Isn’t it possible that sympathy for that Harvard grad who never became a citizen might not be easy to extract from that struggling American family who can barely afford cloths and a decent car for their family? Continue Reading
Dave Griffey is back at his old digs after leaving the Egyptian Captivity known as Patheos. He starts off with a bang:
Go here to comment.
At Daffey Thoughts Dave Griffey celebrates the film Gettysburg, the only film that my bride and I ever hired a babysitter for in order to see, all the way back in 1993, which is now almost a quarter of a century ago, unbelievably enough to me. Time does run in a rapid stream:
For deluded Catholics who believe that Moses carried down an eleventh commandment stating “Caesar picks up the tab for Healthcare!”, Dave Griffey gives some food for thought at Daffey Thoughts:
God bless these parents and this beautiful child. Already facing a fatal genetic condition, the child has struggled to live during his short life. The parents had hoped to bring the child to the US to try an experimental procedure in a last hope of saving the baby.
In a turn of events that explains the general hesitation about turning such matters over to the State, the UK courts have said the parents can’t do this. The hospital will remove the child from life support. The parents appealed and took the matter to the European court. But the court refused to overturn the lower court decision. The child will die.
Not because the child was left to die, or because the child was removed from life support. But because the parents were forbidden to bring their child to the US for the experimental treatment. Therefore, after hearing the case brought by the hospital and the parents as prescribed by UK law, the courts and the state have dictated that the child will die. Perhaps he would have died anyway. But it doesn’t take much to see why people are bothered by the fact that it was the courts, and not the parents, that had the final say.
I can’t imagine what those parents are feeling right now, and that precious child who knows nothing of this. God grant peace and strength to all involved in the coming weeks, and bless young Charlie Gard with all your love. Continue Reading
He was a foe without hate; a friend without treachery; a soldier without cruelty; a victor without oppression; and a victim without murmuring. He was a public officer without vices; a private citizen without wrong; a neighbor without reproach; a Christian without hypocrisy and a man without guile. He was a Caesar without his ambition; Frederick without his tyranny; Napoleon without his selfishness; and Washington without his reward.
Benjamin Hill on Robert E. Lee
Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts notes that Mark Shea has embraced the leftist crusade of purging the nation of all things Confederate:
Why should we have a monument in our capital named for a hypocritical racist slave owner? Or for that matter, why should our capital be named for one? Mark Shea explains. Mark isn’t advocating the eradication of Washington’s name from his home state, or the destruction of the Jefferson Memorial, or the closing down of Independence Hall, or moving the presidential residency from a building built on the backs of slaves.
Nothing in his post, however, could be used to condemn such actions. In fact, the post could be used to defend such actions. As a Believer, I’m a little bothered by the sudden emergence of the ‘erase the Confederacy and everyone in it’ movement that has gained steam since the Charleston Shooting. Mark himself decried the sudden removal of Confederate symbols from museums and other historic locations.
Nonetheless, he seems fine with the removal of monuments for even such luminaries as Robert E. Lee, who often was compared to Erwin Rommel, a brave and noble man on the wrong side of the debate. Sure, you could argue there is a dearth of high schools or statues celebrating Rommel, but that is because for the longest time, people actually believed that the American South, if not America, and Nazi Germany were different animals. Now, of course, those differences are eroding. Since there is typically good and bad in most people, places, and things, deciding to weigh all equally on the Nazi Comparison scale seems a dangerous trend.
In fact some could argue, as Mark appears to, that there was little moral difference between the North and South. Perhaps the rest of the US was every bit as bad. And if so, then why keep anything honoring it or those who fought for it? No more God bless America? Just God damn America? Perhaps. Given that in my lifetime I watched a concerted effort to stop seeing such historical luminaries as Attila the Hun, or such civilizations as the Vikings or the Mongols in purely negative ways, I have a hard time seeing the reverse trend when it comes to America.
Like clockwork Copts are slaughtered by Jihadists as we approach Easter. Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts prays for the victims:
As I’ve discovered, for some Christians in Islamic countries, Palm Sunday is the main celebration day. That’s because of generations of regulations aimed at restricting their primary holy day of Easter. I don’t know if that’s the case with Coptic Christians. But it’s a reminder that as horrible as this is, it’s not unique, nor is it new.
I had the pleasure of speaking to several Syrian immigrants today. Apparently they’ve not been able to tell their side of the story because they told it all to me. Not sure what to do with their accounts, which included request for prayers for churches they attended that are gone, loved ones and friends who died horribly, or simply the ages and ages that their communities have lived under the specter of similar periods of oppression and persecution.
All I can say is that my thoughts and prayers go out to them. In all due respect to Walt Disney, it’s actually a large world after all. And nothing they told me today sounded at all like what I hear in our media or from our pols or designated ‘experts.’ I fear someday we Americans are going to be in for a rude awakening. In the meantime, we can at least pray for and remember those whose celebrations were marred by death, and pray that today, those killed will be with Christ in paradise. Continue Reading
Vice President Mike Pence has a talent for bringing out the crazy, admittedly never far beneath the surface, on the left in this nation. They are trying to make hay out of Pence’s statement in 2002 that he never dines alone with a non-related woman not his wife. Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts gives us the details:
Who in the world would have a problem with this? Apparently a few hellbent on looking stupid. This is Washington, and this is Pence, a man who tries to live by his faith and thus his reputation will be target number one for those who wish to destroy him. That’s the common sense in politics part.
On the common sense in life part, neither do I. I know of few if any married men who do go out to dinner with other women one on one. Business or otherwise. Not a single man I’ve worked for, and not a single woman I’ve worked with for that matter, does that I’m aware of. At least ones in good marriages. That’s just common freaking sense marriage 101. It’s not really a ‘Billy Graham rule.’ Graham made it famous for pastors back in the day when clergy held a certain star status, but he didn’t pioneer the advice. It goes back long before Graham, and generally has been followed by most men and women I know who had happy marriages.
If people do go out together with others one on one, when they’re otherwise married, that’s up to them. I wouldn’t judge one way or another. But to make this basic common sense advice, since forever, into some scandal? I thought it was an Onion piece or SNL skit when I first heard about it. I’ll count this as almost the most stupid thing I’ve heard in a year. An actual year of stupid, and this is near the top. And reading what the “critics” were actually saying made it worse.
Kudos to Slate for the most ‘out the arse asinine stupid’ take on this non-story. Because the only place I can learn how much a woman has to offer is alone at dinner, not in any other setting at all.
And the “Make Walter Sobchak seem like Einstein”award goes to Philip Sherburn for comparing this principle to Sharia Law in his tweet about Pence’s choice.
I mean, the dumb has taken over the extreme left on this day in March, 2017. Mourn or apologize or rejoice as you see fit. Continue Reading
Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts notes the hostility that much of the contemporary left has to freedom of speech for those who have the temerity to disagree with them:
Is illustrated here:
Yep. My older boys have already run into this. The idea that ‘you don’t have a right to offend me.’ Uh, yes I do. That’s freedom of speech. Or let’s just whittle it down to mere ‘freedom.’ Sure, I can not listen, disagree, argue the point, or even show you to the door if I deem you rude or obnoxious. But violence or, worse, calling for officials and institutions to punish wrong speak?
Growing up, Voltaire’s famous quip was the John 3:16 of American liberalism:
I disapprove of what you say, but will defend to the death your right to say it.
If I heard that once, I heard that a billion times. It might be worth digging it back up and using it again. Or more of us you might end up getting caught up in the storm, as professor Allison Stranger discovered all too well.
Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts has some observations about 2016, the year in which the improbable frequently became probable:
I heartily concur with Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts celebration of our current season:
Anyone who has followed my blog for more than a year or so knows one thing for sure: I love the Fall. I enjoy Spring and there’s still enough kid in me to enjoy Winter, especially leading up to Christmas. Summer is my hibernation time. But Fall? It’s to me what Spring is supposed to be to most people.
Today is a day off. The boys are off of school, owing to a local holiday that can only happen in small town America. And with it, I have the day off as well. Don’t know what we’ll do today. Maybe nothing, though I always hate to let a day go by without something to do. I often start reading The Lord of the Rings in September, but thought this year I’d try something different. This year I’m going to read through the Appendices. Truth be told, I’ve glanced at them over the years, but never read through them. As for the other fun parts of Fall, those are just beginning.
Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts ponders the Pope’s call for Catholics to apologize to gays.
And it is us. Not that there is anything wrong with the occasional sermon that looks out on the congregation and proclaims ‘thou art the man!’ You can’t spend your life pointing out the window and condemning all those sinners out there. The problem is, again, you have Pope Francis echoing that modern Catholic tendency of wanting to embrace almost everything to do with the modern, post-Christian secular progressive world view … but with Jesus.
The idea that Christians are the mischief when it comes to homosexuals is well known, and almost universally embraced, by the modern Left. Just look at Orlando and who our popular culture ended up blaming. And once again, Pope Francis steps in and echoes that same narrative, despite the fact that ten years after becoming Catholic, I have yet to hear a homily that even mentioned homosexuality. He doesn’t seem to differentiate. He simply says we Catholics must apologize.
True, he doesn’t condone homosexuality. He already has made it clear that technically the Church still teaches that homosexuality is at least not compatible with God’s vision for marriage. But apart from that, his take on the subject and the take I hear from Dr. Drew are about the same. It’s certainly nothing I won’t hear on MSNBC, CNN, or the Huffington Post; several of which were cheering and celebrating the Pope’s words this morning. I also understand that he included other groups in there as well. But let’s face it, what will the modern world focus on, thanks to his choice of words?
If Jesus praised the Roman Centurion’s faith, at no point did he stand alongside the Roman legions, look out among his imperfect disciples, and say to the Romans, “Let’s get’em!” Perhaps the reason was that to do so might have given the Romans a flawed understanding of the Kingdom. It might have presented an idea that, as long as I’m not like those sinful Jew disciples over there, I must be pretty awesome where I stand, in the pagan empire, venerating Caesar, indulging in the Roman lust for conquest. I don’t know. Just speculation on my part. I simply know there’s something off kilter about Pope Francis’ continued railing against the Church in a manner almost in lockstep with perhaps the greatest heresy to challenge the Faith since Arianism, even if technically there’s nothing wrong with what he’s saying.
As an aside. My boys asked, when they heard this, if Pope Francis was calling on Gays to forgive Catholics. I don’t know. I’ve not heard. Perhaps he has. If so, the press hasn’t reported it. If not, then I wonder why.
I will simply say ditto to David Griffey at Daffey Thoughts:
A sane take. Michael Flynn reminds us that the prospect of people, largely young postmodern liberals, storming venues and shutting down debate, and even threatening speakers they don’t like, is not something that started last week. It’s been going on for years now, and increasingly our institutions of higher learning have begun to rethink the value of higher learning in order to appeal to these rather tolerantly intolerant youth.
Not to say Trump doesn’t deserve some of the blame. I think he does. But we certainly can’t – and shouldn’t – act as if this is some fluke, that Trump just stepped into a down home culture of polite and civil discourse and suddenly started flinging verbal chairs around the room. That’s as wrong as those who try to act like the world on August 5, 1945 was on the brink of living out the Messianic peace of the Thrice-Holy God when all of a sudden BAM!, the racist US flew in a nuked them some babies because Racism!
David Griffey at his blog Daffey Thoughts, notes the similarity between Mark Shea and Donald Trump:
By that, I don’t mean Mark supports or likes Donald Trump. Quite the contrary. Mark routinely takes on Trump and Trump’s supporters the way Mark does most things: in the same manner as Donald Trump. In fact, that’s my point. If you want to be brutally honest, you’ll admit that Mark Shea is simply a Catholic Internet version of Donald Trump. If you visit Facebook or similar Social Media sites, you’ll see that Mark is far from the glaring exception. Go onto most Internet sites, including major media outlets, read the comments and you’ll see Donald Trump all over. And in some cases, such as Daily Kos or Salon.com or even such esteemed sites as the Huffington Post, you might find published editorials that aren’t much different.
I hate to say it, but my boys are correct. Donald Trump is the candidate that the Facebook generation deserves. And it isn’t because of a few radical exceptions to the rule. It is the rule. We are the generation that liberal society has been striving for over the decades. From the 50s through the 60s and 70s and beyond, Trump is what we’ve been aiming at.
Just look at Mark Shea as an obvious example. Mark is familiar to most Catholics on the Internet and is highly regarded by many. And yet, not only does he resemble Trump in his approach to topics and interaction on his various sites, he does so as a representative of the Catholic Church. At least Trump just represents politics. And yet Mark is quite the hero for many Catholics. For many non-Catholics, too. Including those who are quick to attack and bemoan the Trump phenomenon.
How can I be so heartless and judgmental to compare Mark to Trump? Or compare others on Social Media to Trump? Easy. I read. I listen to Trump and what people criticize him for, and then visit various Facebook pages, including Mark’s, and I see no difference. Trump, beyond the policies he advocates – when we can figure them out – is brash, crude, rude, vulgar, sinful, mean spirited, ill-informed and simply a lousy person because of how he interacts with others and treats others who dare disagree with him.
So how is that different than Mark, or even Mark’s own followers? Or the followers on any one of a million sites? For instance, Mark’s own lack of substance and knowledge of topics he comments on outside of Catholicism is legendary. Even those who support him and agree with him have hung their heads over his approach to such topics as the Death Penalty or Gun Control. The same is a common complaint about Trump. Mark thinks nothing of using the same language Trump is condemned for using. Mark attacks through name calling and condescension and scorn any who dare disagree, unless Mark happens to be friends with the violators. Mark isn’t even above making false and slanderous accusations against people, even to the point of libel.
But Trump says horrible things! He mocks people for things they can’t help. He made fun of Carly Fiorina’s looks. He talks about killing people. He talks about destroying other countries. So does Mark. One of his Facebook followers recently said that things would be better off if America was burned to ashes. Mark only disagreed because he said Americans, being the murderous barbarians that we are, would take millions of innocent lives with us. Mark justified his view of America by reminding us of the millions of Indians and Slaves who fell to our murderous, barbaric ancestors. Imagine if Trump or a Trump supporter produced the same dialogue about another country, like Mexico or China. Imagine the outrage and anger.
And Mark not only uses death and suffering to advance his opinions, he even has begun to mock people murdered by guns – if those same people were hard right wing activists. That might seem understandable to some. But remember, Mark and many others were shocked at how many celebrated the death of Osama bin Ladin or Hugo Chavez, saying that the only appropriate Christian response was to pray for their souls. Yet many of those same Catholics are rightly shocked when Trump appears so callous and cruel to other people in the world. Notice a trend? What about making fun of others like Trump does? Last election cycle Mark was forced by his own readers to remove a post he had submitted that made fun of Michelle Bachmann’s eyes and facial features. Sound familiar?
If you want to be objective, there is little difference between how Mark Shea approaches the modern debate and the way Trump does. Unless you blindly follow and agree with Mark, you see some glaring problems in his approach and his stances that are not unlike Trump’s. Ah, but that’s the rub. How can people honestly follow Trump despite his views and behavior? I give you Mark Shea. More than one Catholic on the Internet has railed against Donald Trump for multiple reasons, while at the same time endorsing and loving Mark Shea and similar individuals who approach. Continue Reading
This declared indifference, but, as I must think, covert real zeal for the spread of slavery, I cannot but hate. I hate it because of the monstrous injustice of slavery itself. I hate it because it deprives our republican example of its just influence in the world,—enables the enemies of free institutions, with plausibility, to taunt us as hypocrites; causes the real friends of freedom to doubt our sincerity, and especially because it forces so many really good men amongst ourselves into an open war with the very fundamental principles of civil liberty,—criticising the Declaration of Independence, and insisting that there is no right principle of action but self-interest.
Abraham Lincoln, 1854
David Griffey at his blog Daffey Thoughts, shines a light on one of the more disgusting developments this election year: the attempt by some Catholic and conservative bloggers to gin up support for avowed socialist Bernie Sanders, a 100% pro-abort:
I read this opinion piece at The Imaginative Conservative, I had to ask myself: When did abortion go from being the only sin that matters to a sin that doesn’t seem to matter at all? I mean, we’re not talking about a pro-choice politician who has been sort of pro-choice. We’re talking about someone who has tried to open the gates for any and all abortions, up to and including partial birth abortion even without the mother’s life on the line. Something so heinous, that it has been called one of the worst murderous crimes in our country today. And yet, so what if Sanders supports it? Big deal, right?
I understand – and have always maintained – that there are more than one or two issues to think about in an election. But I also understood that there were certain issues that were off the table. They certainly were when it came to Romney or McCain. Certain sins that were non-negotiable. Not because they were all that mattered. But because there was no way to support them and do so in a sinless way. There was no ‘right interpretation of abortion.’ There might be different opinions on how to limit it or eliminate it. But at no point could you say ‘I support unrestricted abortion rights’ and be in the running.
Now it doesn’t just look like abortion isn’t the only big deal. As more and more Conservatives and Catholics flock to Bernie, it looks like abortion is now no big deal at all. And by my lights, that is something that will swim around and bite Conservatives, Christians and Catholics in the ass when all is said and done. Especially if all of the things that have been said about the horrors and evils of abortion through the years are still, you know, true. Continue Reading
Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts gives us his take on New Hampshire:
While for some inexplicable reason Conservatives and Christians still support Trump, much of his support comes from moderate to non-Republican primary voters. Not enough. But his appeal to the non-conservative, non-religious vote is noteworthy. Despite that, he continues to wobble around the 1/3 mark in the GOP. It’s unlikely he will get much higher. Most Republicans and Conservatives, desperate for change and honesty and promises kept aren’t willing to drop that low. Just the fact that he picked as his national spokesperson an outspoken hater of Conservatives and Christians should speak volumes. That’s not counting his stances on various issues that are supposed to be near and dear to conservative hearts.
As a disclaimer, I very much like John Kasich. I’m not sold on the idea of him being presidential material, but I like and respect the man very much. He would be a formidable obstacle for Democrats and liberals in a general election. Kasich was one of the Republicans in the 90s that liberals trotted out against the Gingrich Republicans to say ‘Why can’t you be awesome like Mr. Kasich?’. That alone is tough to overcome if you’re a Democrat.
Rubio is a good man, and I think down the road presidential material. But I’m a little gun-shy about electing a young senator with no real executive experience. Look what happened last time we did that. Sure, that’s a tough attack for the Democrats, who would have to concede that things didn’t work too well under Obama. But it is a valid complaint.
Cruz, as I said here, is that guy who seems able to piss everyone off for all the wrong reasons. He’s abrasive. He’s that guy who starts a war with our own allies because of the way he is. Unless he can change on a dime, he is far from the type of person we need in our divided and struggling nation. He would be divisive in a way that shames Obama. And just because he might be divisive for issues I care about, doesn’t mean it would end up any better. In fact, it would likely set up a 2020 Democrat who would then have sympathy for any causes Cruz was against.
Bush? I’ve never seen a man who seems less interested in running for President than Bush. I’m still not sure what he stands for except to make it clear he would be better for the pro-choice crowd than staunch anti-abortion Marco Rubio. I don’t even know if he wants to be there. I think of that scene in Citizen Kane where Susan pleads with Kane to let her quit singing. She’s no good, and she knows it. But Kane has the billions, and he’s able to build whatever opera house she needs to perform in, no matter what the critics say and how much they laugh. Despite her pleading, he forces her to go on. I see Bush in a back room with his establishment, billionaire donors doing the same thing.
The rest of the GOP is done and should drop out ASAP. Christie did the right thing and dropped out, but mainly because of his dismal showing in New Hampshire, where the press had treated him like a major contender. He torpedoed Rubio fine and good, but pretty much shot himself in the process; a political murder suicide. And that’s Christie, the bully who holds low income earners to a standard he tries to avoid himself, who supports Obama when convenient, and is willing to jump on board with the radical left at his choosing. He couldn’t have left the race fast enough. All that’s left now that Christie and Fiorina have dropped out is the good Dr. Carson.
The two Democrats aren’t worth discussing. I certainly would consider a Blue Dog (that’s socially conservative, pro-life) if that person was capable and not off the scale loony. But I will not vote for candidates who enthusiastically support abortion unfettered and look to Dying socialist, secular, culture-of-death, heretical Europe as their end goal. If it came to nothing better than that, I wouldn’t vote.
A blog I have been reading lately is Daffey Thoughts, run by David Griffey, a Baptist minister who converted to Catholicism. The video above is from 2006. He is a graceful writer as demonstrated by this recent post:
This year has been a struggle, as I work things out relative to the shifts that have happened in Catholicism since I’ve been Catholic. The last vestiges of pre-progressive culture have been swept behind us, except for those sexual issues that would likely not impact celibate men. Everything else is increasingly along the lines of modern, Western, progressive and even secular social and political theory.
That is enough right there. Add to it the slammed doors on any hope that I will be able to act in the capacity of a minister of the Gospel, and it’s been tough. What to give up? What to sacrifice? What to commit to?
Well, I decided, a few weeks into Lent I admit, that my penance will be a daily visit to Catholic and Enjoying It. That may sound strange. But here is why.
In my early days of looking at non-Protestant Christianity, I stumbled on CAEI largely by accident. I was searching for some free downloadable articles by Scott Hahn, without success. Then I found an article by someone named Mark Shea. It dealt with the strange aversion many Protestants have regarding Mary. It was direct, but nice. Even respectful. There were some clever zingers, making the point without offending. But the point was solid, fair, and truthful.
I went back, found his website, and gobbled up the articles. They were almost all wonderful. Here was a conservative American Catholic, not afraid to point out when Conservatism wasn’t following the path of Christ. He was also fair when liberalism was correct. His blog was a little more raucous. But those were usually the readers. Mark himself was often the goalie, stepping in and stopping things before they went too far. Even telling his friends to back off. No personal attacks or accusations were allowed. Those would get you the door.
There you had it. You could be conservative and Catholic. The stereotype of Catholicism and Liberal Socialism voting Democrats as the sacramental calling of modern Catholicism was not universal. You could love America, admit it sins, but not emphasize them (which Mark pointed out was often a very un-Christian thing to do). You could respect the heritage of Western Civilization. You could evenly boldly declare “Why We Must Fight” following 9/11. He even liked Tolkien, and the books I liked. And his humor and mine were not too far off each other.
Perhaps it was my own fault that I saw in Mark’s rather balanced approach as what Catholicism was, rather than looking further. But that was well over ten years ago.
Today, the Church has changed in just the time since we came into it. The generation that had welcomed Protestant Clergy Converts into the fold have passed to retirement. With some exceptions in the priesthood, most now in charge (Boomer age) seem to want little to do with us, unless we can design webpages or raise money. And it isn’t hard to see that Oprah style liberalism and the growing pronouncements about reality from Church leaders sound increasingly the same. The Bishops’ willingness to almost in one voice support the Democrats in all things, as long as they don’t screw the Church, and the shift toward accepting the Secular narrative are hard to miss.
True, Pope Francis is a horse of a different color. But those who have studied liberation theology and the Marxist influences in South American Christianity will recognize at least some influences there, even if what he is willing to take a stand against other forms of radical leftist morality (again, usually where sex is concerned).
On CAEI, the change is even more pronounced. It’s almost an entirely different world. An entirely different blogger. Most regulars of old have long since moved on. The readers are either post-modern non-conformists cheering on their own superiority over all those loser “tribal Catholics”, or clearly hard to the Left progressives, with varying degrees of anti-abortion and non-gay marriage support. In fact, opposing gay “marriage” is about the only thing that separates much modern talk about homosexuality in the Church from your average LGBT rally. And CAEI echoes this.
CAEI is a strange mixture now of Jack Chick, Glenn Beck, Huffington Post progressive thought, and a reminder that Catholics are, whether we want to admit it or not, heirs of the Inquisition. For a couple years, many regulars tried to warn that there was little to do with enjoying anything on CAEI, and a growing discrepancy between a man who claims to be conservative, and a man who increasingly seems to love liberalism but hate conservatism. One by one, those readers have apparently given up and moved on. Only a handful remain. God love them.
For me, who has been accused of horrible things by the stock readers and by Mark himself – including not caring about murdered children at Sandy Hook and desiring to increase human slaughter – there is little joy or happiness now. The anti-Western, anti-American, anti-Traditional and anti-Conservative narrative fully embraced has made me more of an outcast there than I was at the Huffington Post. And to be honest, I’ve been called far worse on CAEI than I was at the Huffington Post. And it was leaving HP (as well as being banned for not being liberal) that was one of the reasons I started my blog! Which is always a possibility at CAEI, since the thing that gets you banned now is pretty much defending traditional and conservative viewpoints, with rare exception. Continue Reading