Mark Shea

Breitbart on Abortion

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Mark Shea, fresh from his losing crusade to make pro-abort Hillary Clinton President of the United States, is now attacking pro-lifers who have no problem with President Elect Trump naming former Breitbart CEO Stephen Bannon as his Chief Advisor.  Go here to read Shea’s attack.  Leaving aside the fact that there is no evidence that Bannon is a racist or an anti-Semite, Breitbart has always been firmly pro-life.  Go here and take a look at the Breitbart articles on abortion.  I can understand of course why Mark ignores this.  As his support for Clinton indicates, the fight against abortion is now low on his priority list.

Dave Griffey, Rush Limbaugh and Mark Shea

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Dave Griffey at his blog Daffy Thoughts wrote this about the recent comments by Rush Limbaugh regarding sexual morality:

 

What Rush Limbaugh said is here.  What Rush Limbaugh didn’t appear to say in the least was that rape is defensible.  I’m no fan of Rush, and you’ll notice I seldom reference him.  Not that he isn’t right sometimes.  Sure he is.  My favorite reference is the time he observed that the Baby Boomers are the first generation in history that didn’t have to grow up.  Good observation there.

Nonetheless, he’s problematic enough for me to look to other sources for opinion.  Still, with that said, he doesn’t deserve to be falsely accused of something as horrific as defending rape unless it can be demonstrated that he unequivocally said rape is defensible.  What he appears to be saying is what many have said over the years, and what we are witnessing today.

Assume, just for a minute, that Donald Trump is innocent of the accusations being made against him.  And assume, just for a minute, as opposed to what Major Garrett on CBS said yesterday morning, that he doesn’t have to provide evidence to show he is innocent, but that the accusers have to show evidence that he is guilty.  Assuming this basic ‘innocent until proven guilty’ standard that was so crucial in the late 90s, we can say that what Trump has said about and to women is vulgar, despicable, deplorable, wrong, bad, horrific, and anything else to drive home the point.  If, that is, we say there is such as thing as objective morality.

The problem Rush has is that those who are saying this are some of the same who stood idly by 4 years ago when similar things were said about Michelle Bachmann, 8 years ago when worse was said about Sarah Palin, her daughter, her children, and almost 20 years ago when more than one accuser of Bill Clinton was called a liar, a whore for the Republicans, and trailer park trash.  All while we were told that when it comes to sex, nobody cares, there are no real objective morals, it’s up in the air, it isn’t important, and it doesn’t even matter if we lie or commit perjury. As long as you have consent – and even that seemed to depend on who was saying there wasn’t consent involved – everything was fair game.

It’s a fair statement and a fair observation.  Perhaps he didn’t do the best job conveying that view.  But nothing in the complete statement suggests he was defending rape or in any way suggesting rape is not wrong or that there is a problem with being upset about rape.

Mark Shea showed up in the combox and, as usual, was the quiet voice of reason:

What he did was sneer that critics of non-consensual sex are “rape police”. Normal people just call them “police”. Because non-consensual sex is rape. And you defend it. Because you guys are twisting yourselves into pretzels defending the sex predator you have made your Dear Leader. Good job. Continue reading

Mark Shea and Intellectual Honesty

Mark Shea, in his full throated conversion to the Left, puts on display his current lack of intellectual honesty:

Today’s “Conservatism”: where there’s something weird and silly about having a problem with non-consensual sex. Mr. Limbaugh: the term for that is “rape”. And yes, for rape we do, in fact, call the police, you dolt. I’m sure that your moronic remark has nothing to do with the ongoing struggle of the freak show that is right wing media to defend their Sex Predator candidate.

Trump is gonna lose.  And it will be so satisfying to watch him and his team of professional liars and mob of misogynist racist followers trying to claim that he was robbed and blame everybody but themselves for the catastrophe for which they and they alone are totally and completely responsible.  It’s about damned time the Party of Personal Responsibility was forced to take some responsibility.

Go here to read the comments.

 

Notice that Mark did not link to Limbaugh’s site.  Here is what Limbaugh actually wrote:

 

 

 

 

 

Standards, you stand up for moral standards, you’re gonna be mocked and laughed out of the room.  They’re gonna call you a prude.  They’re gonna call you a Victorian.  They’re gonna call you an old fuddy-duddy, an old fogy, and they’re gonna claim you want to deny people having a good time.  So a culture which rejects moral standards. In other words, anything goes.  You know what the magic word is? The only thing that matters in American sexual mores today is one thing.  You can do anything, the left will promote and understand and tolerate anything as long as there is one element.  Do you know what it is? 

Consent.

If there is consent on both or all three or all four, however many are involved in the sex act, it’s perfectly fine, whatever it is.  But if the left ever senses and smells that there’s no consent in part of the equation then here come the rape police.  But consent is the magic key to the left.  “How ironic, then, that a culture which rejects moral standards has suddenly become so pure and pristine, sitting in judgment of someone they deem too immoral to become president because of something he said in private. As a logical person, I have to ask these paragons of newly found virtue where this standard by which they’ve judged Trump is found.”

If morality is relative to each individual — and believe me, it is today.  You try to define morality, and they’re gonna come for you and mock you and make fun of you, and, worse than that, it’s like you don’t have any right to define morality.  One of the Undeniable Truths of Life that I wrote back in 1987 is that morality has become an individual choice.  And, of course, it isn’t. 

Morality is what it is.  Virtue is what it is.  And you either are or you aren’t.  And the left doesn’t like that so they’ve obscured the lines and the definitions.  And the definition now is moral is whatever you can get somebody to do with you, consent.  You can do anything.  If you could get the dog to consent with you, if you can get the horse to consent, we got no problem with it.  And they don’t!  So morality has been boiled down to consent, is my point, and it’s true. 

So it’s said here, “If morality is relative to each individual — a purely subjective experience — by what standard are they judging Trump? Obviously, in such a secular climate, there can’t even be a ‘standard.’ Why should anyone listen to people who out of one side of their mouths declare the death of objective moral standards yet out of the other condemn someone for violating objective moral standards?”

Because, you see, morality is not subjective.  “Human beings possess the capacity for rationality and objectivity. We’re able to distinguish what’s good and what’s bad,” and we know it.  We know right from wrong.  We know good from bad.  We know what we should do and what we shouldn’t do and the left wants to not feel guilt when they engage in what you shouldn’t do.  And the way to get there is to simply erase the concept of objective morality.  There isn’t any.  You don’t get to define it.  Nobody else does.  You get to define your own.  And therefore you can’t criticize. 

Well, in this atmosphere, how does anybody dare preach to Donald Trump?  When we have spent the last 25 or 30 years obliterating the moral code, when we have blown virtue to smithereens, who are you phony baloney, plastic banana, good-time rock ‘n’ rollers all of a sudden now sitting in judgment of Donald Trump? 

“Trump’s trashy comments do not uphold sex and romance as a beautiful and fulfilling, uplifting activity. But neither do Bill Clinton’s actions over the years, particularly with respect to his many, many dalliances with women. Bill Clinton is not running for president. His wife is. But his wife built her whole career off the springboard of his presidency. Without his presidency, she would not have become a U.S. Senator and later Secretary of State — a bad one,” but she wouldn’t have become either if it weren’t for her husband and her using that as her springboard.

Go here to read the rest.  I guess winning political battles by any means, fair or foul, possible is important in some quarters.  For myself, I like being able to look at my face in the mirror when I shave.

 

Godzilla v. Bambi

 

 

Philosopher Doctor Ed Feser takes on Mark Shea on the death penalty in the biggest mismatch since Godzilla tangled with Bambi:

 

As Pope St. John XXIII once wrote:

 

The Catholic Church, of course, leaves many questions open to the discussion of theologians.  She does this to the extent that matters are not absolutely certain…

 

[T]he common saying, expressed in various ways and attributed to various authors, must be recalled with approval: in essentials, unity; in doubtful matters, liberty; in all things, charity.  (Ad Petri Cathedram 71-72)

 

What Catholic could disagree with that?

 

Well, Mark Shea, apparently.  For no sooner does he acknowledge the truth of what Joe and I wrote than he proceeds bitterly to denounce Catholics who have the effrontery actually to exercise the right the Church herself has recognized to hold differing opinions on the topic of capital punishment.  After acknowledging the truth of our basic claim, he writes: “So what?” – as if Joe and I were addressing some question no one is asking.  This is followed by a string of remarks like these:

 

When it comes to taking human life, the right wing culture of death asks “When do we get to kill?”

 

The Church, in contrast, asks, “When do we have to kill?”

 

The death penalty supporter looks for loopholes and ways to enlarge them so that he gets to kill somebody.  The Magisterium urges us to look for ways to avoid killing unless driven to do so by absolute necessity…

 

The term for that is “prolife”. You know, from conception to natural death. It’s what we are supposed to actually mean when we say “All Lives Matter”. Even criminal ones.

 

So it comes back to this: If you stop wasting your time and energy fighting the guidance of the Church, searching for loopholes allowing you to kill some of those All Lives that supposedly Matter to you, you find that you have lots more time and energy for defending the unborn that you say are your core non-negotiable. Why not do that instead of battling three popes and all the bishops in the world in a struggle to keep the US on a list with every Islamic despotism from Saudi Arabia to Iran, as well as Communist China and North Korea? Why the “prolife” zeal to kill?

 

Be more prolife, not less…

 

“I want to kill the maximum number of people I can get away with killing” is, on the face of it, a hard sell as comporting with the clear and obvious teaching of the Church and perhaps there are other issues in our culture of death that might use our time and energy more fruitfully, particularly when the immediate result of such an argument is to spawn a fresh batch of comments from priests scandalously declaring the pope a heretic, wacked out conspiracy theorists calling the pope “evil beyond comprehension“, and false prophets forecasting that “Antipope Francis” will approve abortion.  This is the atmosphere of the warriors of the right wing culture of death.  It does not need more oxygen.

 

End quote. 

 

Well.  What on earth is all that about?  And what does it have to do with what Joe and I wrote? 

 

Let’s consider the various charges Shea makes.  As to the “So what?”,  Joe and I are by no means merely reiterating something everyone already agrees with.  On the contrary, there is an entire school of thought with tremendous influence in orthodox Catholic circles – the “new natural law theory” of Germain Grisez, John Finnis, Robert P. George, and many others – that takes the position that capital punishment is always and intrinsically immoral and that the Church can and ought to reverse her ancient teaching to the contrary.  Many other Catholics, including some bishops, routinely denounce capital punishment in terms that are so extreme that they give the false impression that the death penalty is by its very nature no less a violation of the fifth commandment than abortion or other forms of murder are.

 

In our article we cited cases in which even Pope Francis himself has made such extreme statements.  We also suggested that the pope’s remarks should be interpreted as rhetorical flourishes, but the fact remains that they certainly appear on a natural reading to be claiming that capital punishment is intrinsically wrong – a claim which would reverse the teaching of scripture, the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, and every previous pope who has addressed the topic.

 

Since Shea agrees that the Church cannot make such a change, to be consistent he would also have to admit that the more extreme rhetoric from the pope and some bishops and other Catholics is misleading and regrettable.  He should also agree that “new natural lawyers” and others who hold that the Church should completely reverse past teaching on capital punishment are taking a position that cannot be reconciled with orthodoxy. 

 

The late Cardinal Dulles, among the most eminent of contemporary Catholic theologians, has (in remarks quoted in our article) gone so far as to say that a reversal of traditional teaching on capital punishment would threaten to undermine the very credibility of the Magisterium in general.  Our primary motivation in writing our book was to show that the Church has not in fact reversed past teaching on this subject, and thereby to defend the credibility of the Magisterium.  Accordingly, Shea’s charge that Joe and I are in the business of “fighting the guidance of the Church” is unjust and offensive.  So too is Shea’s casually lumping us in with those who characterize Pope Francis as a “heretic” and “antipope.”  In fact we explicitly said that we do not believe that the pope wishes to reverse past teaching, and we proposed reading his statements in a way consistent with the tradition.

 

As to Shea’s other remarks, it is simply outrageous – to be frank, it seems as clear an instance as there could be of what moral theologians would classify as an instance of calumny – to suggest that Joe and I are really just “look[ing] for loopholes and ways to enlarge them so that [we get] to kill somebody,” that we “want to kill the maximum number of people [we] can get away with killing,” that we have a “zeal to kill,” etc.  There is absolutely nothing in what we wrote that justifies such bizarre and inflammatory accusations. Continue reading

Jews For Hitler = Pro-lifers for Clinton

 

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1933:  “Well, sure, Hitler really hates Jews, but he has a great policy of getting everybody back to work!”  2016:  “Yeah, Hillary is an abortion extremist, but she really loves the welfare state!”

 

 

Hmmm. the willingness of Mark Shea and other Catholic “pro-lifers” to endorse Hillary abortion-uber-alles Clinton has attracted the attention of a writer outside of Saint Blogs.  Tom Riley at The American Thinker dissects this movement of the absurd:

 

Now that the practical choice is between coughing Clinton and terrifying Trump, the Seamless Garment crowd is making new attempts to co-opt pro-life sentiment in favor of the vociferously pro-abortion candidate – that is, Clinton.  This New Pro-Life Movement is supposedly bolder, more sincere, more consistent, and especially more “prudent” than the old (and conservative) one.

It’s wise to wave aside some of this with a sneer – especially the tried-and-false dilution of the pro-life message with the goofy pretense that opposing capital punishment makes innocent lives safer.  But it’s also wise to take seriously a more profound falsehood:  that the way to advance pro-life goals is to throw our full support behind the welfare state. 

Oddly enough, one of the most prominent proponents of this viewpoint is Mark P. Shea, whose self-written Wikipedia listing describes him as “an American author, blogger, and speaker working in the field of Roman Catholic apologetics” and whose forays on behalf of broad pro-lifery display all the telling logic and rhetorical effectiveness of a banana slug in the noonday sun.  Shea is fond of telling us such things as that the invasion of Europe must be encouraged by pro-life Christians, maybe because Jesus was a refugee, too.  It’s pointless to ask him whether little German girls ought to be raped by Jesus stand-ins.  Indeed, it’s pointless to offer counter-argument to anything Shea says, since he never offers argument.  He makes assertions and accuses anyone who disagrees with him of defying the Magisterium.

But Shea refers us to Matthew Tyson, whose presentation of the New Pro-Life Gospel is more explicitly reasoned and cogent.  Tyson reasons thus: pro-lifers have put all their authentic plastic fetal models into the wrong basket.  They’ve been working to elect Republicans for years.  They’ve concentrated on changing the composition of the Supreme Court.  Yet time and again, the Court has handed them defeats, and legalized abortion has continued unabated.  Therefore, pro-lifers must address the “root causes” of abortion – by expanding various welfare programs so women will not feel forced to seek the destruction of their children.

Like all the most effective lies, this one has a limited truth behind it.  Efforts to establish a pro-life – or even a strict constitutionalist – Supreme Court have proved less than encouraging.  Tyson is right that both Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey were decided by courts on which Republican presidents had appointed a majority of the justices.  (He’s certainly wrong, however, to characterize these courts as featuring a majority of conservatives.)  Why has this strategy proved a disappointment? 

One reason is that pro-life conservatives haven’t managed to place all their most favored nominees on the Court.  Please recall that Robert Bork was President Reagan’s first choice for the vacancy left in 1987 by the retirement of Justice Powell, and that Douglas Ginsburg was Reagan’s second choice.  (Ginsburg withdrew his nomination over marijuana use, arguably a necessary qualification for Democrat presidential candidates.)  Instead of Bork or Ginsburg, we got Anthony Kennedy – the “conservative justice” liberals love to flatter, and the deciding vote in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt.  Why is it that we got Kennedy instead of Bork?  Because Bork was borked by just such Democrats as the “pro-life” Tyson proposes to vote for.  Let’s hear it for a progressive pro-life attitude!

Whole Woman’s Health is certainly the most extreme pro-abortion decision ever rendered by the Court – and it’s important to look at who, aside from Kennedy, rendered it.  We have Stephen Breyer (a Clinton appointee), Ruth Bader Ginsburg (a Clinton appointee), Sonia Sotomayor (an Obama appointee), and Elena Kagan (an Obama appointee).  One of the reasons the grand pro-life strategy for the Supreme Court hasn’t delivered is that voters like Shea and Tyson have labored to thwart it.  Tyson mocks conservatives for electing Republicans in an effort to influence the composition of the Court: supposedly, in conformity with the commonplace definition of insanity often attributed to Albert Einstein, conservatives do the same thing over and over again and expect different results.  Is Tyson saner because he intends to the same thing over again (that is, vote Democrat) and get the same unacceptable result?

Tyson boils the whole pro-life emphasis on the U.S. Supreme Court down to a single question:  can pro-lifers overturn Roe v. Wade?  He concludes – reasonably, though not unassailably – that they cannot.  Yet is this the only question of importance to the movement that is likely to come before the Court?  Whole Woman’s Health shows that it is not.  Texas’s perfectly sensible restrictions on abortion mills could have stood without overturning Roe.  They didn’t stand because a Democrat-influenced Court is inevitably devoted to expanding Roe.  This is a process that will continue if the insouciant Mr. Tyson gets his way.  Will the Court overturn state requirements that only a physician can perform surgical abortions?  Following the example of California’s legislature, a Democrat Court almost certainly will.  Will the Court restrict even further the First Amendment rights of abortion opponents?  A Democrat Court will.  Will the Court lift restrictions on fetal tissue procurement and sale?  Yup – if the Democrats prevail.  Mandatory abortions for mothers deemed unfit?  Don’t count it out.  After all, Hillary is a big admirer of Margaret Sanger.

It’s all coming down that great big pro-abortion highway, folks, and “pro-lifers” Shea and Tyson are, in effect, cheering it on.  None of this stuff really matters, after all.  What really matters is “focusing on why.”  What really matters is “thinking deeper.”  What really matters is expanding the welfare state in every way imaginable.

An entertaining deficiency in Tyson’s argued thesis (and Shea’s unargued one) is the assumption that pro-lifers should practice something that can only be called vital utilitarianism.  Just as Jeremy Bentham thought ethics should focus on the greatest good for the greatest number, the new “pro-lifers” think our only concern should be the most lives for the greatest number.  In this assessment, questions of principle are mere distractions.  American law is establishing an expanding right to kill?  Who cares?  We can’t change that anyhow and shouldn’t even try.  The only question is, how can our heroes Shea and Tyson save the most lives?  Photos on their websites should let the critical reader know just what unlikely action heroes Shea and Tyson would be.  More important, utilitarianism of this sort, even if it’s not explicitly hedonistic, isn’t an ethical theory consistent with the Catholic faith.

Despite their ethical confusion, our new “pro-lifers” insist that the smart and prudent thing for pro-lifers to do is to support every state program for making lives easier, work less necessary, and businesses more likely to collapse.  Only that way – and not by maintaining pro-life principles – can we truly call ourselves pro-life.

This is the most offensive part of the argument because it is so hypocritical.  Expanding the welfare state too is the same old thing expected to produce new results.  Tyson indicates that aborting mothers are women in poverty who feel they don’t have options.  But why are there so many single mothers in poverty?  Shea and Tyson probably don’t remember Daniel Patrick Moynihan – although, as a liberal Democrat, he would certainly have won their vote.  Way back in 1965, Moynihan first began to assert that the expanded welfare state wasn’t good for poor people, and especially for poor blacks.  Experience since then has only tended to strengthen his distrust of such expansion.  Shea and Tyson like simplifications, so I’ll give it to them simplified.  Welfare programs contribute to the breakdown of the family, and the breakdown of the family contributes to the abortion culture. Continue reading

Hilary White and Maureen Mullarkey Send Their Profound Condolences

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A little trip down memory lane.  Go here to see Mark Shea gloating over the axing of Maureen Mullarkey by First Things.  Then we have Simcha Fisher’s reaction, go here to see Paul Zummo’s report on that tempest, to Hilary White reporting accurately on Pope Francis at Lifesite News.  The wheel doesn’t always come round, but when it does it is hilarious.

Mark Shea Demonstrates Once Again That He Does Not Read What He Writes

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Socrates opined that the unexamined life is a tragedy.  The same goes for blog writing.  Let’s take a look at the lament by Mark Shea over the canning of Simcha Fisher:

 

 

Msgr. Charles Pope, has a piece warning us to prepare for persecution.

Prophetic considering that a very good Catholic woman named Simcha Fisher, faithful to the Catholic Church, a mother of *ten* children who has worked tirelessly as a witness to the greatness and goodness of our Holy Catholic Faith, a fine writer who could be making a million bucks somewhere but who is spending her prodigious gifts in the service of the gospel, has been kicked out of her job to the salacious screams of a mob, all for using the English equivalent of “skubala” (Philippians 3:8) now and then and for making a couple of bawdy dick jokes on her private FB page (you know, like when St. Paul remarks to the Galatians that he wishes the circumcision enthusiasts would castrate themselves).

Look, I *get* that I’m abrasive and I get the rejoicing over my losing a job.  Fair enough.  But don’t hand me a load of bushwah about how Simcha Fisher had this coming.  Somehow or other, the anti-abortion-but-not-prolife movement has mutated into a thing that eats its young and imagines that the unborn are being served by punishing a mother of 10 children with loss of her livelihood.

This. Was. Wrong.

Simcha Fisher is an ornament of the Church.  She has been such a gift to so many and I will be grateful to God for her till the day I die.  Punishing a mother of 10 with loss of income over something this utterly trivial is a judgment, not on her, but on the mob of bullies across St. Blog’s rejoicing over her humiliation.  She does none harm. She says none harm. She thinks none harm. Nevertheless, it is not for the bawdy jokes that this mob have sought her blood, but because she would not bend to the marriage of the Faith with a fraudulent disgrace like Donald Trump.

If you value her witness, check out her book and think about hiring this funny, earthy, humble, godly and orthodox woman to come and speak at your parish.

Let’s parse this out shall we?

1. Shea starts out by comparing the persecution of the Church with a writer losing a writing gig.

2.  He goes on to say that Fisher could be making a million bucks somewhere unnamed.  (I guess then that losing a minor writing job is not an immense tragedy for her?)

3.  Shea is unable to see why a Catholic publication would find it problematic to have a writer who makes “dick jokes” on her Facebook page.

4.   Shea utilizes the old pro-abort technique of condemning people who oppose abortion as not being pro-life.

5.  With no evidence other than his assertion he proclaims Fisher an “ornament of the Church”.

6.  Once again he laments the loss of what I assume was a fairly modest income to someone who could earn a million bucks elsewhere.

7.  Shea concludes by comparing Fisher to Saint Thomas More and Donald Trump to Henry VIII. Continue reading

Of Mark Shea and Elderly Poodles

 

 

I have described being banned from a site on the internet as being akin to being gummed by an elderly poodle:  it does you no real harm, but it does tell you that it is time to move on.  Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts has been banned by Mark Shea:

 

 

 

UPDATE: Apparently Mark has banned me from his Facebook page for good. We’ll see if there is more to say about that later.  For now, the link might not work.  Which is fine.  It wasn’t pleasant reading.  Anyway Happy July 4th.

UPDATE 2: Mark has now banned me from everything at this point.  My wife too.  Towards the end of the Facebook debate, Mark called upon his readers to join him.  No, he didn’t say he wanted them to join and gang up on me.  But I was pretty sure that was where he was going.  During the course of the development, his readers made it clear that they supported Mark’s approach to discourse over mine.  They were also aghast that I would post a link to his page and beg my readers to go over there.  Personally I wouldn’t have minded if a few readers came over and helped me out against the onslaught.

Now Mark has done that very thing more times than I can count.  I was shocked to find out it was a big deal.  Heck, back in the day I would follow links Mark posted about debates he was in on other sites and rush to defend him when he was being attacked.  I imagined that it was fine to do.  But Mark clearly had issues with it, and Mark is an honourable man.

Likewise, Mark made it clear he was outraged at the posts where I have criticized him, his styles, or that part of the Catholic blogosphere with which he associates.  Usually, those posts came after heated debates with Mark in which Mark either said something about others I felt crossed the line, or said something about me which I thought crossed the line, and either threatened to ban me or ordered me off of his page.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t like being accused of wanting to increase human slaughter or not really caring about Jesus.  Especially when, in the course of debating, I’m forbidden from defending myself under threat of being banned.

Nonetheless, despite the fact that Mark has made his living by posting the writings and statements of others and criticizing them and calling on his readers to do the same, he was upset at the fact that I had done the same to him.  I didn’t see it as some hate thing, I’m sincerely worried about Mark’s spiritual pilgrimage.  Yet Mark was offended.  And Mark is an honourable man.

So from now on, if Mark stops taking the words of others and using them to attack those individuals or encouraging others to do the same, then I will refrain from further posts or criticisms of Mark or his tactics.  Quite frankly, if Mark stops doing that, I’ll have little to complain about.  When Mark actually writes about Church teaching or unpacking the Bible or day to day Christian living, there are few better.  What could I complain about?  So that is my pledge.  I will no longer criticize Mark or post references to him, unless it is to give a thumbs up regarding something he has written, if Mark also ceases the same approach that he criticized me of using.  After all, if he does that, then I could honestly say that Mark is an honourable man. Continue reading

Comments?

Shea gun

 

Hattip to Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts.

 

 

The latest droppings from the mind of Mark Shea:

 

This mockery of gooey fake piety…

is currently circulating on the web.

When Christians offer “thoughts and prayers” not as prelude to obeying, but as prophylactic *against* obeying the fifth commandment, God’s Name is blasphemed among the Gentiles.

Not, of course, that I agree that thoughts and prayers are useless. On the contrary, I think them vital since I believe that the Gun Cult is a demonic spiritual stronghold just as abortion is. I think that conscious, deliberate prayer *against* that stronghold, undertaken by spiritual warriors at every Mass, will be an invaluable part of defeating and destroying this enemy of human life and this disgraceful and warping stain on the prolife movement and the witness of the Church. I believe Catholics must implore our Lord to send his mighty angels to break the grip of principalities and powers and spiritual forces of evil in heavenly places who hold people in thrall to fear and selfishness and blind them to the need to place the fifth commandment above their cultic devotion to the gun. But of course, such prayer will indeed be prelude to action, not studied inaction shrouded in pious goo.

 

Continue reading

Mark Shea and Donald Trump: Two of a Kind

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Festung Shea

 

Oh, not in regard to having orange hair or in possessing several billion dollars, but rather in their mode of operation in matters of controversy.  Dave Griffey at his blog Daffey Thoughts nailed this back in March, and now that Shea has given his blessing to votes for the pro-abort Cruella de Ville Hillary Clinton in pursuit of his crusade against the Trumpster, I thought the readers of TAC would be interested in Griffey’s sharp observations on the subject:

 

Donald Trump, Mark Shea and the Facebook Generation

 

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? Continue reading

Mark Shea Hearts Hillary Clinton

 

Well, Mark Shea has restarted his old blog and is giving a big thumbs up to Catholics who want to vote for the complete pro-abort Hillary Clinton in order to stop Donald Trump:

 

you do not have to say a word in praise of Hillary’s evil policies.  You can bash them all you like (and I do).  Her support for abortion is evil (just like Trump’s).  Her cynical ease with lying is repellent (just like Trump’s).  Her bellicose ease with violence and war is wicked (just like Trump’s).  Her shady  associations are creepy (just like Trump’s).

But if you support Trump, you also are supporting evil she does not advocate such as torture, racism, misogyny, mockery of the disabled, mockery of POWs, and fiscal fantasism.  You have to, like Mike Huckabee, say stuff like “We’re electing a President, not a pope” and chuck overboard your claims to be thinking with the mind of Christ in order to pretend that Trump has “grown in virtue” and “evolved” on abortion when the reality is that he has not changed a bit.  You need to back him on *his* “non-negotiables” while abandoning your own.

I will be voting third party since Hillary won’t need my help to win Washington and the goal is to stop Trump, not help Hillary.  But I will not fault any Catholic who takes Benedict XVI’s permission and votes to lessen the clearly greater evil posed by Trump.

The greatest of those evils is the fact that every single “prolife” Christian who supports him will invariably find that they must immediately abandon the fight against abortion and devote all their *real* energies to *his* non-negotiables of racism, misogyny, Mammon-worship, violence, and grinding the faces of the poor.

 

Go here to read the comments.  Now as faithful readers of this blog know I am not going to be voting for Trump because I view him as a liberal Democrat in Republican disguise.  However, I can understand people who decide to support Trump in order to stop an unprincipled crook like Clinton from running the nation, especially due to the fact that while I am dubious about Trump’s conversion to the pro-life cause, I have no doubt that Clinton is an ardent pro-abort.  However, it is truly laughable for an ostensible pro-lifer like Shea to champion Clinton.  His arguments in her behalf are delusional.  She revels in anti-white racism in order to whip up the black vote;   she supports partial birth abortion which is torture as well as murder;   in regard to misogyny, anything Trump has done on that score pales in comparison to her rapist hubbie Bill, who she has assiduously shielded from such charges;   she supports abortion for unwanted disabled kids;   she was partially responsible for our men in Benghazi being left to die and then lied to their parents about it;   and as for fiscal fantasism, I guess Shea has been asleep for the last eight years in regard to the administration that Clinton was a proud part of.  Shea’s arguments are rubbish and he is intelligent enough I trust to realize they are rubbish.  The simple truth is that Shea has gone hard left, and on that score, and only on that score, Clinton would be preferable to Trump.

 

Back in 2009 Shea referred to the Catholic leftists of Vox Nova as the debate club at Auschwitz, because of their downplaying of the fight against abortion in order to support Obama.  Go here to read that post.  Well boys and girls, welcome the newest member of the Catholics Who Don’t Really Give a Damn About Abortion Club.  Give a big hand for Mark Shea!

Catholics Who Support Bernie: You Are Idiots

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Either that or you don’t give a damn about fighting abortion:

Sanders stated, “I think we should expand funding for Planned Parenthood. And it is no secret, that in states all over this country, in a dozen different ways, there are governors and legislatures who are trying to make it impossible for a woman to control her own body. I will use the Department of Justice to go after those states, in every way that I legally can.” Continue reading

Only Four Billion and a Bad Toupee Separate Them

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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

How to Vote Nazi With a Clear Conscience

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Commenter Guy McClung takes the Shea voting advice in regard to pro-abort Bernie Sanders to its logical conclusion:

Germany 1943:

Dear Friends in Christ, We encourage all faithful believers to vote in the upcoming elections which are so important to the future of our cities and of our beloved country which was once a shining star in Christendom.

 

 
You can in good conscience vote for Adolf Hitler, but you cannot vote for him for the wrong reasons, which would be a mortal sin. You, as we all do, know that his government has killed millions of people, and millions of Jews, including thousands of Jewish babies, and that this will continue for the foreseeable future since he has told us this will be so and this is his Party’s publicly stated policy. If you vote for him and his government because you want them to kill Jews, that would be a mortal sin. You cannot vote for Hitler so that more Jewish babies will be killed, that would be a mortal sin.

 
If you vote for him and his Jew-Killing government, it must be for good reasons. If you like the fact that they have made the trains run on time, and do not vote for him so Jews will be killed, that will be not only morally permissible, it will be an act of virtue. If you vote for him, not because more Jewish babies will die horrible deaths if he is elected (which, of course, is absolutely certain), knowing your own tax dollars are paying for the killing, but because he has increased employment here in the Fatherland and will continue to do so, that will be a civil good in accord with your moral duty as a good citizen. If you vote for Hitler because he has all but eradicated poverty and hunger (by his focus on preparing for the war that is now inevitable), in accord with the Savior’s Sermon on the Mount and the Gospel’s clarion call to social justice – you can proceed in good faith to vote for him and any Nazi Party candidate for any office, knowing you have followed your conscience and you will have no sin to confess. We all know that our tax money funds the Nazis killing programs, provides the money to run the Death Camps, pays for the ovens that cook away most of the evidence of the dead bodies, and pays for the fuel for the trains that bring the people to the camps. You cannot pay your taxes with the intent that these things be done. If however you pay your taxes, as all good citizens should, so that children (the children of good Germans) will be properly educated or, for example so that foreign workers here are properly housed and fed, then you can in good conscience pay your taxes and win merit in heaven for doing so. Continue reading

You Know, Hitler Was Pretty Good on the Environment

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Over at National Catholic Register Mark Shea carries water for socialist pro-abort Bernie Sanders:

 

Sanders?  The pro-abort?  But, but! Cardinal Ratzinger said in 2004:

Regarding the grave sin of abortion or euthanasia, when a person’s formal cooperation becomes manifest (understood, in the case of a Catholic politician, as his consistently campaigning and voting for permissive abortion and euthanasia laws), his Pastor should meet with him, instructing him about the Church’s teaching, informing him that he is not to present himself for Holy Communion until he brings to an end the objective situation of sin, and warning him that he will otherwise be denied the Eucharist.

Yes. He certainly did. And he’s absolutely right. And if my reader were in any way indicating he supported Sanders because he supports abortion, he’d be in exactly the pickle Cardinal Ratzinger describes. But my reader is obviously not trying to support abortion. What he’s trying to do is support the other things Sanders advocates, many of which are obviously and immeasurably better than what Trump advocates. And in a contest with a GOP candidate such as Trump whose views on abortion are indistinguishable from Sanders, there is therefore a case to be made that my reader can do so without incurring any sin at all.

Sez who? Sez Cardinal Ratzinger in the same letter:

A Catholic would be guilty of formal cooperation in evil, and so unworthy to present himself for Holy Communion, if he were to deliberately vote for a candidate precisely because of the candidate’s permissive stand on abortion and/or euthanasia. When a Catholic does not share a candidate’s stand in favour of abortion and/or euthanasia, but votes for that candidate for other reasons, it is considered remote material cooperation, which can be permitted in the presence of proportionate reasons.

In other words, if you vote for somebody who advocates grave evil (abortion, euthanasia, torture, etc.) because of the grave evil they advocate, you are guilty of advocating the grave evil yourself and therefore are unworthy to present yourself for communion.

But! If you vote for somebody, not because you support their advocacy of grave evil, but because you are trying to prevent an even graver evil, or because you think there is some proportional good supporting them will achieve, you are not committing a sin and are only offering remote material cooperation with evil. Bottom line, the Church says that you can, under certain circumstances, vote for a pro-abort candidate. Meaning it is on the cards that, under certain circumstances, my reader might be able to vote for Bernie Sanders. That’s not me talking, remember. That’s the future Benedict XVI talking. Continue reading

Mark Shea, Do I Have a Candidate For You!

 

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At the risk of restarting the Catholic torture wars, (No Don, for the love of God, no!)  I would note that there is one Republican candidate running for President who is against torture:

 

One year after a bracing Senate report on post-9/11 CIA interrogation practices led Congress to ban waterboarding and other forms of torture, the leading Republican presidential candidates are talking like it’s 2002 all over again.

With one exception: Going against the GOP’s rhetorical grain is Trump’s main rival for the party’s nomination, Ted Cruz. “Torture is wrong, unambiguously. Period. The end,” the Texas senator said in December 2014. Cruz, whose own father was tortured in Cuba, reaffirmed that position last month, saying that “America does not need torture to protect ourselves.”

 

I assume that Mark Shea, and the denizens of the Catholic Left, will now be falling over themselves to endorse the pro-life Ted Cruz who is also anti-torture.  “Crickets chirp.”

Stalin, Mark Shea and Imprisonment

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“Gene Wilder and I went to do a film at Arizona State Penitentiary. I was up there six weeks. It was strange, because it was 80% black people, and what’s strange about that is there are no black people in Arizona. I’m not lying, they bus “motherlovers” in. I was up there and looking at all the brothers and it made my heart ache, all these beautiful black men in the joint, g-d d-mn warriors should be out there helping the masses. I felt that way, I was real naive. Six weeks I was up there, and I talk to the brothers, and I talk to ‘em. And thank god we got penitentiaries.

I asked this one, I said, ‘Why did you kill everybody in the house?’ He goes, ‘They was home.’ I mean, murderers. Real live murderers. I thought black people killed people by accident. No, these “motherlovers” was murderers.”

Late Comedian Richard Pryor

Hattip to commenter Nate Winchester who alerted me to this.

As is his wont of the past few years, Mark Shea eagerly has climbed aboard yet another Leftist meme of the moment:

When I contemplate the fact that the Land of the Free has a bigger prison population than Stalin, and I read about such Big Brotherism as this:

“The NIH inventors have developed a mobile health technology to monitor and predict a user’s psychological status and to deliver an automated intervention when needed. The technology uses smartphones to monitor the user’s location and ask questions about psychological status throughout the day. Continuously collected ambulatory psychological data are fused with data on location and responses to questions. The mobile data are combined with geospatial risk maps to quantify exposure to risk and predict a future psychological state. The future predictions are used to warn the user when he or she is at especially high risk of experiencing a negative event that might lead to an unwanted outcome (e.g., lapse to drug use in a recovering addict).”

I’m beginning to think that the American Experiment is winding up as a particularly spectacular display of Truth Cancer, whereby heresy winds up mutating into its diametrical opposite.

 

America started out as an anti-Catholic Puritan culture advertising itself as free of the legalism of papism. It is bidding fair to end as an apostate Puritan culture obsessed with an all controlling state attempt to legislate everything and jail everybody.

But at least it’s still anti-Catholic.

Go here to read the comments.   Shea as usual did not bother to research the statement by Adam Gopnik, that we are jailing more people than were jailed in Stalin’s gulags, in the New Yorker article that he linked to.  If he had, he would have quickly realized that although it is a Leftist buzz phrase, it has no foundation in reality.  As commenter Nate Winchester noted, before he was banned by Shea,  the actual figure is 2.2 million incarcerated rather than six million.  At its height Stalin’s gulags had about five million people incarcerated at one time, although this is only a rough estimate and the figure is almost surely higher.  Considering the mass murder that was part of the gulags, the exact prison population during a year in Stalin’s workers’ paradise  is often reduced to guess work.

The weasel phrase “correctional supervision” probably was included by Gopnik to encompass supervision, conditional discharge and probation in the US.  Most people who encounter the criminal justice system in this country never serve a day in jail.  Supervision is a sentence where a conviction is stricken if the defendant does not run afoul of the criminal justice system within a certain time period, usually six months to a year.  It is used routinely in traffic cases.  Conditional discharge is a form of non-reporting probation.  Probation often involves people who serve very brief sentences in county jails.  About half the people incarcerated in the US are in county jails serving brief terms, usually a few days or weeks and most first offenders, even on low level felonies, never see the inside of a jail.

Continue reading

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