14

What This Is All About

The motivation to destroy Brett Kavanaugh comes down to one issue:  abortion.  With Kavanaugh on the court the odds are high that Roe will either be overturned or vastly scaled back.  To most Leftists abortion is a sacrament and a sacred rite.  That is appalling, but that has been reality for a very long time, and I am not surprised in the slightest by the national hysteria based upon blatant lies that the Leftists have stirred up in an effort to destroy a great Judge and a fine man, along with his family.  Leftists are, by and large, modern day Machiavellians, interested solely in power.  However, Catholics, even Leftist Catholics, should know better.  Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts demonstrates how, sadly, that is frequently not the case:

 

 

On full display at none other than Mark Shea’s CAEI.  But I said I would no longer go there!  I wasn’t planning to.  But when I was made aware that Deacon Greydanus hopped on the ‘Kavanaugh’s yearbook proves he’s a rapist’ train, which was a link to Mark’s page, I went there to make sure it wasn’t wrong.  I wouldn’t want to accuse the good deacon of lynch mobbing Kavanaugh over his yearbook if it wasn’t true.  Alas, according to Mark, it was true.

But so ridiculous, so stupid, so wrong, so appallingly ‘goosestepping to the beat of the Left’ is the rush to destroy Kavanaugh to maintain abortion rights (and liberal pundit after liberal pundit admits this is the core issue), that I have given myself a dispensation to follow any posts Mark makes relative to this issue.  For a known Catholic apologist to join the injustice, lies, slander, and destruction of an innocent family in order to lift up the party dedicated to the slaughter of the innocent is worth watching.

In this latest post, Mark tells us that ‘a reader lays out Kavanaugh’s lies’.  You have to read it to believe it.  If his reader was a twelve year old, I wouldn’t be surprised.  Though that is a bit of an insult to twelve year olds.  And yet, it’s no worse than the idiocy and mandated absurdity that the Left is demanding from all who will destroy this man’s life and family.

Read it your self, then read the comments.  From the opening ‘Obvious Ford was credible, duh.  Because she was so obviously credible even if she couldn’t prove anything’, to the constant ‘The things in his yearbook mean this today according to Urban Dictionary (because words and slang never change), so they obviously meant the same 30 years ago’, to the very fact that we’re dissecting a high school yearbook to see if an adolescent over drank at parties or not, it should send off warning bells and whistles.

But again, the Left is a jealous god that demands blood sacrifice, and a growing number of Americans – including Christians – are more than happy to step up to the altar and provide it. As they have sadly done far too many times over the ages.  Mark’s laughably inane and moronic post wouldn’t be worth the effort if we weren’t hearing the same reasoning from politicians, journalists, scholars, commentators, and activists.  He drank too much at 19, or wrote scribbles in a yearbook – destroy him now!  In fairness to his good reader, some of what I heard over the weekend was no better.

If you ever wondered how believers could don swastikas and march in lockstep at Nuremberg rallies, look no further than their support for the train wreck of injustice and evil we are witnessing now.  God help us, and God protect us from the coming storm.  And that includes our brothers and sisters in Christ who will destroy their fellow believers in fealty to the heathen god that has emerged in the midst of our nation.

Note: I will only comment on Mark’s posts related to the Kavanaugh lynch mob.  I will ignore his other posts as a matter of principle.  If Mark’s posts reflected the fringe lunacy they usually do, I wouldn’t bother.  But showing the lunacy, and then knowing it is mainstream, national press, Democratic party, liberal pundit perspective, is an example in how things can unravel so quickly in a given society.

Go here to comment.  Most Catholic Leftists, like Leftists in general, are unknowingly, at least one hopes unknowingly, following a path described by Orwell in his masterpiece 1984:

The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power. . . . Power is not a means; it is an end . . . not power over things, but over men. . . . In our world there will be no emotions except fear, rage, triumph, and self-abasement. . . . There will be no loyalty, except loyalty toward the Party. There will be no love, except the love of Big Brother. . . . Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face forever.

72

The Catholic Left Never Fails to Disappoint

From Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts:

 

Yeah.  Really.  The low point of American politics in 2018, and the good deacon jumps on board the sham train.  Naturally, being good Catholic that he is, he takes the absolute worst, most leftist partisan interpretation of Kavanaugh’s high school yearbook.  That’s his high school yearbook.  If I was a Catholic at this point, I would reach out and say how shameful this is from such a well established Catholic deacon.

This as conveyed to me via Mark Shea who, naturally, gushes over all of the accusers – yes, all three of them – and dismisses anything from Kavanaugh.  You really have to see it to believe it.  Oh, and since both have banned me from their accounts for daring to question leftist narratives, I feel no guilt about pointing out their embarrassing devotion to the worst of the Left on my own page.

Remember, these are Catholics willing to unpack the adolescent years of a SCOTUS nominee, tearing apart any drinking, spinning any youthful joking, condemning even the slightest teenage indiscretion in a yearbook from high school.  We all know how puritanical Catholics are after all, especially when it comes to language.  But then, we all know how the Left has always championed an Ozzie and Harriet morality.  Here today, gone later today.  The Left’s approach to morals.

Again, all of the good deacon’s – and by extension, Mark’s – take on this relies on accepting the worst possible interpretation of what Kavanaugh did – WHEN HE WAS IN HIGH SCHOOL.  Think on that. The great fear of the Left is that Kavanaugh might curtail unlimited abortion rights.  That’s what this is all about, and everyone knows it.  And now you have Catholic apologist Mark Shea and Catholic deacon and movie critic Steven Greydanus jumping on board, accepting guilty until proven innocent, and joining the new puritanism that says anything but the most clean and puritanical behavior from an American adolescent can be grounds for wrecking your life at any point in the future.

Bonus points to Mark for dropping the pejorative ‘White’ into the mix, reminding us that Mark is also slavishly devoted to the new racism of the Left. Also note that, like Colbert, he doesn’t care a whit about any suffering on Kavanaugh’s part, or even mention Kavanaugh’s family’s suffering, choosing to mock and deride Kavanaugh’s own pain that even the pagans have admitted was tough to watch. Apparently suffering and death threats only count when they’re aimed at those who are useful to the Left.   New prolife.  Ha!

BTW, Catholics.  Stop bellyaching about the priests and leadership and the pope and all.  These two represent what the majority of Catholics are, and where they stand.  They’d rather adopt a puritanical McCarthyism filled with all of the false attacks and destruction of due process rather than take a chance on letting a judge on the court who might roll back abortion rights.  Before you go complaining about the bishops and cardinals, you might want to let that sink in.

 

Go here to comment.  Without Catholic votes, the Democrat party would be a fringe party in electoral strength as well as in some of its more arcane core beliefs.  The vile attacks by Catholic Leftists on Judge Kavanaugh, a faithful Catholic who attempts to live his faith, is part and parcel of the fact that most Catholic Democrats are first Democrats by conviction and only Catholic when it does not conflict with their prime allegiance.  Shea of course has long been a lost cause in his crazed journey to the extreme portside of our national political life.  I expected better of Greydanus.

36

Why Mark Shea?

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.

 

9

Mendacity and the Left

One Catholic blog I check in with on a regular basis is Est Quod Est.  On Monday, Pauli, the blog proprietor, had a post which gave a fine example of how the social media Left operates:

 

Mark Shea Attributes Inner City Violence to Trump and the Ku Klux Klan

In a recent public post on Facebook, Catholic commentator Mark Shea used the euphemistic spelling of America as AmeriKKKa — indicative of the Ku Klux Klan — to make point about anti-immigrant, racial violence. To this remark, a commenter points out that the man of Mexican heritage was attacked by a black person.

“AmeriKKKa? The attackers were black.”

I checked out the claim and discovered that the commenter was correct. This seems to be a good illustration of posting before you have fully thought through the implications of your assertions. I can type the words Trump’s AmeriKKKa in about 2 seconds, Whereas watching the full video took me several minutes. It is possible that Mark Shea did not even watch the video which would explain why he imagined white Southerners committing the crime.

Furthermore we are informed that this is happening in the context of “Trump’s America”, (sorry, I got tired of misspelling my country) so we are asked to dutifully accept the assertion that this is one of the 4% of black females who voted for Trump. In the Willowbrook section of Los Angeles.

We have to buy that Brooklyn Bridge.

Once again, everything goes back to white racism for Mark Shea, and Republican white racism even when in the inner city a Mexican is beaten by blacks.

Donald Trump received a paltry 24% of the vote in Los Angeles.

Exposing your own thought process in this way would seem to indicate that you are unaware of your own prejudices to a degree which would make the man with the “beam” in his own eye blush.

This is Facebook activism, not sound reason or sensible commentary. Mark Shea is not a reliable guide on moral matters nor on Catholic matters. Period.

Go here to read the comments.  Now Mark has always been a fairly lazy blogger.  He will seize an item that supports his preconceptions without doing any investigation.   That was his mode of operation back more than a decade ago, long before his turn to the hard left, and he was often called on it. My reaction to such a story that supports my preconceptions is that on the internet something too good to be true probably isn’t, and that is a very good rule of thumb.  However, that is only applicable if one is concerned about truth, and the contemporary Left and the truth are usually at war with each other.
2

Commissar Inquisitors

Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts reminds us that the Catholic Left is ever watchful for the slightest whiff of heresy against Leftism:

In a way reminiscent of those old Hollywood stereotypes about the Catholic Church, it looks like a bunch of priests have been caught.  The reaction immediate.  The retaliation swift.  Caught doing what you may ask.  Molesting children?  Engaging in child porn?  Teaching false doctrine?

No!  They attended a Trump rally and responded positively, even when Trump said things that his critics were appalled by.  Alas, but the cameras caught them, and keen New Prolife Catholics were fast to jump on their error.  Calls to alert their bishop were made, and it looks like the Bishop himself got involved.

Ah, I can remember when Internet Catholics were disgusted by the idea that people would call someone’s bishop over something like politics, when a priest would suggest an ardently pro-abortion politician might be publicly chastened, or that the Church should even have an opinion on the behavior of its flock. We’re all sinners after all.

I remember Catholics laughing along with Obama, or Hillary, no matter what they advocated and it was all OK.  I remember them blowing beer out their noses over liberal late night comedians, even if they advocated intrinsic evil, mortal sin that cried out to heaven for vengeance, or even toyed with blasphemy. If you want to know what the modern Left values – and that includes the Catholic Left – you need only go back ten or twenty years and see what they condemned.  There is an ever increasing likelihood that the two are one and the same.

Not that this Catholic Left Inquisition is new.  I posted some time ago about a prominent Catholic blogger letting slip the dogs of war and calling on her readers to swoop in and derail the career of a judge who dared disagree with her.  The issue?  That would be the shooting of Harambe the gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo.  So there is precedent.  It looks like calling down the wrath of Holy Mother Church on those who dare digress from the priorities and narratives of the Political Left is becoming quite the thing.  And it looks like ol’Holy Mother Church might be more willing to comply than it was back in the day; back when it did its best Rodney Dangerfield tug-at-the-collar impersonation when asked to punish people over advocating abortion or gay sex.

The Left is in full Inquisition mode, scouring the countryside every day, seeking out those who have fallen from the purer faith of the political Left and the superiority of the latest ethics.  You will be careful if you’re Catholic.  If you are a priest.   You can never be good enough.  And all notions of tolerance and diversity and respect for other opinions are out the window.  You’ve been warned.

Go here to comment.  Catholic Leftists often seem to ape the worst aspects of some of the human adherents of Catholicism down through the ages, suspicion, intolerance and self-rightousness, while simultaneously jettisoning much of the substance of the Faith.  Getting carried away in the cause of Christ is one thing;  getting carried away in the cause of the latest Leftist folly rolling down the pike is quite another.  One of the more frightening aspects of Leftism is how something unthinkable one year among most Leftists, can become mandatory by virtually all Leftists the  next.  Thus the ever popular sport of heresy hunting among Leftists, as they seek to punish those who hold opinions they held themselves the day before yesterday.

 

But practicing homosexuals (nota bene: I have nothing but respect for those with same sex attraction who choose to live chastely) and other enemies of people of faith are eagerly pushing to make it a crime to so much as think that homosexuality is an immoral perversion. That’s what gay “marriage” is really about: creating a legal basis to punish thoughtcrime as “hate speech.”

Mark Shea July 13, 2011

 

My own highly tentative notion is that something like what Mother Teresa proposed with Hindus and Muslims is the way forward, because it appears to be what Jesus did with the Centurion and the Samaritan Woman: meet them where they are according to what they were capable of doing and not expect instantaneous impossibilities. Tell the gay person trying to live according to his or her obligations to others to do the best they can and try to help them do it. This seems to me to be in accord with the Church’s historic habit of gradualism in helping people’s moral progression. Jesus didn’t tell the centurion, “Get out of my sight, slaveowner!” He commended him for the progress in grace he had made. He didn’t tell the Samaritan woman to depart from him. He met her where she was and helped her take a step toward faith in him. At no point, does he order her to go home and break it off with her fifth husband.

I suspect something similar is where the Church will wind up with gay unions. Gay people, like everybody else, will come to the Church for spiritual help sooner or later because the Holy Spirit cannot be denied and gay humans, like all humans, hunger for God. And when they do, real shepherds are not going to slap their faces and send them away any more than Jesus slapped the centurion for daring to approach him while still owning other human beings. Shepherds are going to meet them where they are in all the complexity of their lives.

This will offend Puritans, whose first and last impulse is always to drive the impure away from Fortress Katolicus. But it seems to me that the Church is pretty much bound to take this route. It will not mean sacramentalizing gay unions. Rather, it will mean finding some way to help gay people take steps toward Jesus (who is the only one who can untangle the human heart) where they are.

Mark Shea, February 8, 2018

 

 

31

Mark Shea: Ever the Voice of Reason

Why in God’s name did I ever worry for one second that I had alienated the sons of bitches who are now smugly justifying the torture of children at the border as the will of God? Why did I ever spend a second of my time trying to show such monsters that I was a Catholic in good standing and up to their discriminating standards? Why in God’s name should I ever care what they think about any moral, theological, or spiritual question ever again?

I’m more Catholic than I’ve ever been in my life. Not a particularly *good* Catholic mind you. But a deeply convinced one. And when I look at the pack of nihilist predators–posing as better Catholics than the pope and bishops and all the saints and martyrs–spitting in the faces of the least of these and whoring after this Mob Boss as he takes children hostage for his God-damned wall I feel ashamed that I ever let this mob of devil worshippers push me around.

#Donewiththesethugs

 

Go here to read the rest.  For Mark Shea it has always been about Mark Shea.

 

Update:  Hattip to commenter Nate Winchester.  Just when you think Mark has hit rock bottom, go here to witness him praising NARAL (National Abortion Rights Action League), the most radical pro-abort group because, although they are all in favor of separating kids in utero from their moms, they are quite happy to also bash Trump over the fake controversy at the southern border.  Any Catholic groups who hire Shea for any purpose other than to serve as a bad example are insane.

20

The New Pro-life Movement and the Irish Vote

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.

UPDATEMark 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:

 

I mentioned on the “Ireland has a charming culture of death” post; (looks like Mark deleted the entire thing.) : The pro-life movement in America has reduced the number of abortions year after year, regardless of who is in the White House. Despite increasing population, war, recession, a drug epidemic and rising income inequality. The pro-life movement has changed hearts and minds to the extent that the younger generation, the millennial generation, is the most pro-life generation since Roe – statistically unprecedented. That’s what the pro-life movement has achieved.

Meanwhile in Ireland, the progressive movement, which dominates politics there, wielded it’s power not to shelter and support women and children, not to build safety nets and welfare, but to spearhead the repeal of the following equal rights amendment:

“The State acknowledges the right to life of the unborn and, with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate that right.”

Progressives throughout Ireland and this country celebrated as the weakest most vulnerable people were stripped of constitutional protections. They popped open champagne to congratulate themselves on successfully poisoning the minds of 65% of voters against equal rights for all.

Mark has no comment, I guess, because the story of progressives using their power to commit a massive, historic level of cruelty on the weekend doesn’t mesh with the preferred narrative of the left being somehow “better.” What we got from him instead was a horribly timed collection of stories about Irish death culture and apart from that, silence. But the comments on that piece, before he deleted it, were full of progressives sputteringly incapable of uttering the smallest criticism of their fellow travelers who led the anti equal rights campaign. Not one of them – Not One – uttered one word in defense of the poor. Not One.

Maybe you’ll be the first. But you’ll have to take time off from criticizing prolifers, who once again have reduced the number of abortions in this country year after year in spite of everything.

None of this has to do with this post, other than the Irish death post and this one both being a result, I think, of Mark not being terribly “with it.” But since the one comment thread, with its damning silences, was deleted along with the post, I’m glad to address the same issue here.

20

The New Pro Life Movement and Alfie Evans

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:

 

Five years since she was murdered for failure to be appealing to the Pepsi Generation.

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.

 

 

1

Jordan Peterson, Bishop Barron and Mark Shea

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:

 

Mark Shea ponders Jordan Peterson

 

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) 

Go here to read the rest.  The Left of course, at least in its contemporary incarnation, with a few honorable exceptions, simply does not believe in freedom of speech.  When speech is free, and ideas are argued rationally, the Left tends not to do too well.  Thus free speech is condemned as racist, sexist, homophobic, etc. to shut up anyone who stands against the Left, or, for that matter, to silence dissenters on the Left. This stance is nothing new.  The ideological forebears of the current Leftist would be censors, have always hated freedom of speech, and freedom in general.  Time for all friends of freedom to stand up, and stand together.
SAY not the struggle naught availeth,
The labour and the wounds are vain,
The enemy faints not, nor faileth,
And as things have been they remain.

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!

Arthur Hugh Clough
19

Shea v. Shea: George Soros

Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts gives us the latest installment of the ongoing debate between Mark Shea and Mark Shea:

 

Mark Shea defends and praises George Soros

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. 

37

The Second Amendment and Race

Mark Shea, in his never ending effort to paint everyone who disagrees with him on the Second Amendment as racists and anti-semites, has a long screed on his blog that may be read here.  As usual when it comes to history, Mark is bone ignorant and merely parrots what his leftist sources say.  In regard to race and the Second Amendment Shea’s leftist sources gives us a reverse image look at the actual history:

 

Prior to the Civil War there were laws passed in many of the slave holding states attempting to restrict the right to keep and bear arms to whites.  Challenges to these laws by free blacks almost always asserted the Second Amendment.  A passage in the Dred Scott decision indicates what a preoccupation blacks carrying weapons was to slaveholders:

It would give to persons of the negro race, who were recognized as citizens in any one State of the Union, the right to enter every other State whenever they pleased, singly or in companies, without pass or passport, and without obstruction, to sojourn there as long as they pleased, to go where they pleased at every hour of the day or night without molestation, unless they committed some violation of law for which a white man would be punished; and it would give them the full liberty of speech in public and in private upon all subjects upon which its own citizens might speak; to hold public meetings upon political affairs, and to keep and carry arms wherever they went. And all of this would be done in the face of the subject race of the same color, both free and slaves, inevitably producing discontent and insubordination among them, and endangering the peace and safety of the State.

After the Civil War freed blacks set up Loyal League militias to defend their rights.  Eliminating these militias and taking away from blacks their Second Amendment rights was a key goal of the white supremacist “Redeemer” governments that came to power after Reconstruction.

In the case of Florida v. Stone, 4 So.2d 700 (Fla. 1941), the Florida Supreme Court overturned the conviction of a white man for violating a gun control statute on the grounds that the law violated the second amendment.  In his concurring opinion, Justice Rivers Buford explained that the law was never intended to apply to whites:

I know something of the history of this legislation. The original Act of 1893 was passed when there was a great influx of negro laborers in this State drawn here for the purpose of working in turpentine and lumber camps. The same condition existed when the Act was amended in 1901 and the Act was passed for the purpose of disarming the negro laborers and to thereby reduce the unlawful homicides that were prevalent in turpentine and saw-mill camps and to give the white citizens in sparsely settled areas a better feeling of security. The statute was never intended to be applied to the white population and in practice has never been so applied.

Malcolm X, back in the sixties understood that the Second Amendment provided blacks the right to purchase weapons for self defense:

 

So Mark is correct that race and the Second Amendment are linked in the history of this amendment.  Racists have ever been against blacks enjoying Second Amendment rights.  In his tirades against the Second Amendment Mark stands in evil company indeed.

 

A secondary argument of Mark’s rant, is the contention that the proposition that the Second Amendment is the last bulwark of the American people against tyranny is an illusion, and is a made up pretext by the NRA:

 We’ve heard it a million times.  The second amendment was ratified so that portly suburbanites in Lubbock and Butte could make war on Future Hitler when he takes over the government. It is therefore necessary to offer 35,000 real human sacrifices each year in order to prevent the imaginary slaughter that is come.  Never mind that this theory of gun rights was tested from 1861 to 1865 and the results were negative. Never mind that well-regulated militias do not slaughter children in the some 300  school shootings that have happened merely since Sandy Hook. It is a dogma (and therefore a lie) of the rock-headed Gun Cult:  the second amendment was created by the founders of Constitutional order so that disgruntled idiots could make war on the Constitutional order that gave them gun rights.
I can only assume, based upon the above, that Mark has never in his life read any of the Founding Fathers on the Second Amendment.

Many in the states were concerned that the proposed new federal government would have too much power, and Federalist 46 was written by James Madison, the Father of the Constitution, to help allay those concerns.

The only refuge left for those who prophesy the downfall of the State governments is the visionary supposition that the federal government may previously accumulate a military force for the projects of ambition.

Madison realized that this was a sensitive point.  The American Revolution had only ended five years before, and the attempt by Great Britain to rule through military force was a raw memory for all of his readers.  Madison tackles this fear head on by comparing the military force of a standing federal army to the militias of the states:

Let a regular army, fully equal to the resources of the country, be formed; and let it be entirely at the devotion of the federal government; still it would not be going too far to say, that the State governments, with the people on their side, would be able to repel the danger. The highest number to which, according to the best computation, a standing army can be carried in any country, does not exceed one hundredth part of the whole number of souls; or one twenty-fifth part of the number able to bear arms. This proportion would not yield, in the United States, an army of more than twenty-five or thirty thousand men. To these would be opposed a militia amounting to near half a million of citizens with arms in their hands, officered by men chosen from among themselves, fighting for their common liberties, and united and conducted by governments possessing their affections and confidence. It may well be doubted, whether a militia thus circumstanced could ever be conquered by such a proportion of regular troops. Those who are best acquainted with the last successful resistance of this country against the British arms, will be most inclined to deny the possibility of it.

Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people are attached, and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of.

A British officer lamented at the beginning of the American Revolution that the Americans were “a people numerous and armed”.  Madison does not simply seize upon militias as an argument against fears of a tyrannical federal government, but he rather views the right of citizens to be armed as a fundamental protection for liberty.

Madison makes this clear in this passage:

Notwithstanding the military establishments in the several kingdoms of Europe, which are carried as far as the public resources will bear, the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms. And it is not certain, that with this aid alone they would not be able to shake off their yokes. But were the people to possess the additional advantages of local governments chosen by themselves, who could collect the national will and direct the national force, and of officers appointed out of the militia, by these governments, and attached both to them and to the militia, it may be affirmed with the greatest assurance, that the throne of every tyranny in Europe would be speedily overturned in spite of the legions which surround it. Let us not insult the free and gallant citizens of America with the suspicion, that they would be less able to defend the rights of which they would be in actual possession, than the debased subjects of arbitrary power would be to rescue theirs from the hands of their oppressors. Let us rather no longer insult them with the supposition that they can ever reduce themselves to the necessity of making the experiment, by a blind and tame submission to the long train of insidious measures which must precede and produce it.

Madison’s views were commonplace at the time.  Justice Story, appointed by James Madison to the US Supreme Court, wrote in 1833 in his Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States:

“The next amendment is: ‘A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.’ “

“The importance of this article will scarcely be doubted by any persons, who have duly reflected upon the subject. The militia is the natural defence of a free country against sudden foreign invasions, domestic insurrections, and domestic usurpations of power by rulers. It is against sound policy for a free people to keep up large military establishments and standing armies in time of peace, both from the enormous expenses, with which they are attended, and the facile means, which they afford to ambitious and unprincipled rulers, to subvert the government, or trample upon the rights of the people. The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them.(1) And yet, though this truth would seem so clear, and the importance of a well regulated militia would seem so undeniable, it cannot be disguised, that among the American people there is a growing indifference to any system of militia discipline, and a strong disposition, from a sense of its burdens, to be rid.”

 

Mark, like many other leftists with no military experience, pooh-poohs the idea of the American people successfully defending their liberties against the regular forces of the Federal government.  The idea that an armed citizenry cannot be a powerful force against a regular Army  is belied by the American Revolution where the American militia gave invaluable aid to the comparatively miniscule Continental Army.  As for the Civil War, both sides depended upon citizen armies raised from the state militias as volunteer regiments from the states, the miniscule Federal regular army being a non-factor, other than providing a small fraction of the officers in the huge Union army.  The aftermath of the Civil War, Reconstruction, demonstrated how effective even low level civilian guerilla operations could be against an occupying regular force.

As Afghanistan and Iraq have amply demonstrated, insurgencies are difficult to combat even for the most advanced military on Earth.  A widespread insurgency in this country would pose the same problems for our military on a vastly larger scale.  We have a huge country inhabited by some 330,000,000 people.  An insurgency supported by 40% of the American people, with ten percent willing to take up arms, would produce a potential guerilla force in the tens of millions.  National Guard units and segments of the military would quickly line up with the insurgents in a rebellion supported by 40% of the people they are pledged to defend.

The State in which I live, Illinois, is 26th in size, with 102 counties and hundreds of cities, towns and villages. I can just imagine the military effort necessary to hold down just Illinois in a conflict where 40% of the population supported a war against the government.

Modern militaries have immense logistical tails supporting the fighting units, filled with soft targets, all tempting fruit for guerilla units.  The idea that an armed population would not be a check on a tyrannical government in this country badly misunderstands both the nature of modern warfare and the history of this nation.  Mr. Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence wrote of a right of revolution.  The Second Amendment guarantees that if that right ever must be exercised, the people will have the ability to do so.

The Founding Fathers, in all they did, struggled to pass on the blessings of liberty to their posterity.  Ensuring that the American people would remain, in the words of the aforementioned British officer during the Revolution, “a people numerous and armed”, was one part of the safeguards that they gave us against tyranny.  It is the last protection between the people and tyranny. This safeguard is just as effective today as it was in 1789.

 

“Let me tell you why I’m a defender of the Second Amendment.”

“I was a little girl growing up in Birmingham, Alabama, in the late fifties, early sixties.  There was no way that Bull Connor and the Birmingham Police were going to protect you.”

“And so when White Knight Riders would come through our neighborhood, my father and his friends would take their guns and they’d go to the head of the neighborhood, it’s a little cul-de-sac and they would fire in the air, if anybody came through.”

“I don’t think they actually ever hit anybody, but they protected the neighborhood. And I’m sure if Bull Connor had known where those guns were he would have rounded them up.”

Condoleezza Rice, March 1, 2018

 

8

A Warning From 2008

 

 

 

 

Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts gives us an on-target warning from 2008:

Why the Democrats should not be trusted

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:

Let the CDC do a scientific study of gun violence as they have sought to do for 20 year and been blocked by the GOP, just for starters.
Get rid of AR-15s, just for starters.
Get the insurance industry involved and force gun owners to have insurance for their gun just as they have to have it for their cars. Make the rates exorbitant. Just for starters. Indeed, treat guns like cars in every way. Just for starters.

Also, try this: http://www.usccb.org/issues…

But, of course, before anything can be done, the first practical action is: Destroy the GOP at the polls this fall. The do it again in 2020 and 2022. Nothing whatever will change till the Party of Obstruction is gone.

Charming.  Shea now longs for a one party Democrat State, which would no doubt persecute faithful Catholics as the Obama administration did, but this time with zero effective political opposition, and to the cheers of Vichy Catholics.  “Hey Lions, those vile Catholic Christianists are over there!”.  Yes, that debate between the Sheas separated by a decade would be amusing indeed.

 

17

Ghouls, the Slaying of Innocents and Prayer

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:

When Christians mock prayer

 

A Case Study.

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.

Go here to comment.  To have 17 young lives snuffed out because a misfit decided to commit mass murder is an evil that is difficult to fathom.  I have long thought that such acts of evil are inspired by Satan as a form of spiritual terrorism to make us despair.  Fortunately Our Savior warned us about the grim fates that could await us in this Vale of Tears and taught us to pray in response.  A Memorare for the repose of the souls of the young people slain in the dawn of life and for their poor parents, other relatives and friends:
REMEMBER, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly to thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother; to thee do I come; before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.

24

Go and Sin No More

I have a handful of blogs that I look at each day.  The eponymous site of my co-blogger Darwin Catholic is one of them.  He has a very good post up currently entitled Hiding the Truth is Not Pastoral:

 

Mark Shea wades into the recent controversy about Cardinal Marx’s suggestion that perhaps the Church may in certain individual cases come up with some sort of blessing to be applied to same sex unions. (There’s some dispute as to what Cardinal Marx meant, with initial reports suggesting he proposed a standard approach to blessing such unions and clarification from his spokesmen suggesting that he was more ambiguous, but that ambiguity does not come into Shea’s piece so I won’t bring it up here further.)

Shea proposes nothing definite, but argues that the cardinal may be onto something because the presence of same sex marriages will be an established fact that the Church must deal with, and failure to do so will, he argues, result in rejection by many younger people who support same sex marriage in large numbers. It’s a long post, but I’ll try to quote the key sections below:

[H]ow do the people who are currently shouting denunciations at Cdl. Marx propose the Church proceed in a world where, like it or not, gay unions are here to stay? Put bluntly, if they do not want some kind of blessing on gay people, would they prefer the Church devise a curse for them?

My guess is no. Very well then, my question is this: what do we want to do, as Catholics committed to the evangelization of the entire world, including gay people? What concrete course of action do we propose for the Church to engage the here-to-stay, not going anywhere, immovable, staring-us-in-the-face sociological fact of a world which not only has gay unions, but has a rising generation of people, gay and straight, who have absolutely no problem with gay unions and who are increasingly alienated from a Church that does, in fact, appear to them to curse gay people? (We’re talking roughly 75% of Millennials here.)

If you say (as I suspect most of Cdl. Marx’s critics do) that the Church should simply do nothing, then at least be aware that “nothing” will, in fact, be read as rejection, not as nothing–by that 75% of Millennials. Mark you, I’m not talking about gay unions per se. I’m simply talking about the mere existence of gay people and the straight people who care about them.

If the message the Church is sending to every gay person on the planet–and to their straight Millennial friend–is “You are rejected” then it will be only the most extraordinary and motivated person who persists in seeking Jesus in the face of such rejection. And make no mistake, the most zealous and vocal Catholics are typically the ones sending just that message to gays and the straight people who love them. Indeed, they send it even to gay people who have committed to live in chastity and celibacy. I cannot count the number of times I have seen gay Catholics I know–faithful, chaste, celibate ones–spoken of as sinister fifth columnists within the Church and regarded with suspicion simply because they are open, frank, and honest that they are sexually attracted to people of the same sex.

I think the entire “burn heretics, not make converts” approach to the Catholic life is radically wrong and foreign to the mind of Christ. So I return to my question: what do we propose about evangelizing people in a world where gay unions–and an entire generation of people who do not even see a problem with them–are already an established sociological fact?

Jesus didn’t tell the centurion, “Get out of my sight, slaveowner!” He commended him for the progress in grace he had made. He didn’t tell the Samaritan woman to depart from him. He met her where she was and helped her take a step toward faith in him. At no point, does he order her to go home and break it off with her fifth husband.

I suspect something similar is where the Church will wind up with gay unions. Gay people, like everybody else, will come to the Church for spiritual help sooner or later because the Holy Spirit cannot be denied and gay humans, like all humans, hunger for God. And when they do, real shepherds are not going to slap their faces and send them away any more than Jesus slapped the centurion for daring to approach him while still owning other human beings. Shepherds are going to meet them where they are in all the complexity of their lives.

This will offend Puritans, whose first and last impulse is always to drive the impure away from Fortress Katolicus. But it seems to me that the Church is pretty much bound to take this route. It will not mean sacramentalizing gay unions. Rather, it will mean finding some way to help gay people take steps toward Jesus (who is the only one who can untangle the human heart) where they are.
[You can read the full post here.]

Now I think it’s important to say that Mark is right that there is a faction within the Church which is so suspicious of people who are gay (in the sense of being consistently sexually attracted to those of the same sex, regardless of whether they act sexually on those attractions) that they do indeed attack even faithful gay Catholic writers who write about ways for people who are gay to live chastely according to the Church’s teachings. This is a problem. Christ came to being salvation to all who are willing to follow Him, and that includes people who are gay. We must have a welcoming place within the Church for those who are living according to the Church’s teachings under difficult circumstances: those who are gay, those who are divorced, those who are unwillingly single, those who struggle to follow the Church’s teachings within their marriages.

Go here to read the rest.  When it comes to sin the trite observation that we are to love the sinner and hate the sin is completely accurate, and is a good summary of what Christ commands us.  To repentant sinners Christ was ever merciful, but that did not detract one iota from His condemnation of their sins.  Truly this is not rocket science and the Church has been doing it for twenty centuries.  Yet today we have people within the Church who seek to argue that condemnation of certain politically correct sins, almost always involving sex, is somehow condemnation of the sinner.  This is completely the reverse.  It is no mercy to a sinner not to condemn their sin, for that attitude abandons them to their sin and the price they pay for it in this world and the next.  What is merciful is to point out the sin and the mercy and love of Christ that can free them from their sins.  For all of us sinners the message of Christ is always the same:  Go and sin no more.  Something to remember this Lent and every day of the year.

 

 

21

Sorondo and Shea: No Enemies On The Left!

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:

 

Mark Shea is dead wrong

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 2012It 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.

 

33

Mark Shea Pro-Abort

 

 

At least that is what Shea’s position amounts to:

 

The Nihilist Freak Show of the GOP holds all the cards and runs everything. The only answer their excusers give is “But Democrats!” Nope. I refuse to play this moral equivalence game. Christianists have been seduced by the GOP, not Dems. It’s to them that this false secular messianic cult is enslaved, not to Pelosi or Clinton. And the reality is that prolifers *lie* for them that Roe is just about to be overturned. It is not going to be overturned. But since the prolife movement is blindly committed to the lie that it is, it keep pursuing the same braindead strategy of outlawing abortion instead of asking “Since that will not ever happen, how can we look to other ways of saving the unborn?” And since they stupiidly and wilfully refuse to think, they back an Administration with policies calculated to kill more children. You guys deserve no pity. You deserve a sound thrashing until you wake up and realize that you are the problem, you are the ones now poised to increase abortion. Wake up.

 

Shea hates the GOP so much that he has made his peace with a million abortions a year in this country.  If he had his way, the Democrats would completely control the government, no doubt mandating public funding for all abortions, persecuting pro-lifers and persecuting pro-life churches. So long as the GOP is exterminated, Shea is fine with all of that.   For God’s sake Mark, take a hard look in the mirror, and see what you have become.  Take to heart his statement by one of your readers:

 

What reputable website, let alone a “spiritual” one, would allow the bilious screeds and rantings that emanate from this author? He is feverish and incoherent with hate, bile, vitriol, hysteria and prejudice. He name calls, slanders, lies, demeans and libels anyone who doesn’t agree with him. He calls Christians by the word used by atheists and Islamists (note: I did not say “fellow Christians” because I can find zero evidence that he is a Christian). The first time I read anything he had written, he was hoping Dick Cheney would die in some fashion or another. I was shocked to see this is on a ‘catholic’ site. Yet, he is still here. Why?

His positions, if he has any, are opaque, interlaced in a tangled ball of contempt, inchoate rage and revulsion and his attempts at settling scores (real or imaginary, who can tell). I have never seen this kind of behavior outside comment boxes and yet he is given a platform to spread this muck on Patheos. Patheos allows its site to be corrupted by the click-bait money it receives from allowing this kind of desperate, degenerate one-man freak show. How can they justify this; this man’s words reflect no spirituality at all. Just hate, megatons of never-ending hate. It would be apparent to a 2nd-grader that this man is not “Enjoying” anything, let alone being a Catholic. He debases and discredits the word, “Catholic”. Also, the man obviously needs some very serious help. And prayers.

 

 

18

Patriotism, Mark Shea and Ezra Klein

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:

 

According to Mark Shea, Ezra Klein.  Why?  Because Klein is a leading voice in the call for Trump’s impeachment.  He is a an activist not at all shy about donning his PhD and MD in psychiatry and declaring Trump to be mentally unstable.  He supports the contraceptive mandate of Obamacare.  He supports abortion rights.  He supports gay marriage.  In short, Klein is a hard left activists who represents many of the radical Leftist extremes that got us Trump in the first place.
And Mark Shea gushes with love and adoration over this folk hero of American patriotism.  Why?  Because, again, Klein is against conservatives and Trump.  Apparently, that is the litmus test.  Support abortion rights, gay marriage, the eradication of religious liberty, Leftist politics – it matters not.  Oppose the Right and Trump at all costs, and that alone is worthy of praise and adoration.  Oh, and that abortion thing?  We just blame it on sexist men and capitalists who give women no other choice but to have an abortion.  
Remember when Mark joined other Catholics in saying support for abortion rights was bad, or that the HHS mandate was a threat to freedom?  Yeah, so do I.   But then I can hardly blame Mark for excusing what the Church once so loudly opposed when the Church no longer seems to loudly oppose them. 
Note: None of this is to take issue with Klein’s interpretation of Trump’s interview, or tendency to gloss over the similar foibles that have plagued the media over the last few years.  It’s just to notice the term ‘patriot’, which has alternately been used as a compliment, an insult, and a joke in my life, is applied by Mark in such a way.
Go here to comment.  Those of us with good memories will recall that Klein founded Journ-O-list.  This was a secret cabal of left wing journalists that was uncovered in 2010.  I guess for them the mainstream media was too right wing.  Klein, of course, is not a patriot.  He is what the Founding Fathers would have called a factionalist.  He seeks not the good of his country, but rather the triumph of his political faction.  I have no doubt that if queried he would protest that the policies of his faction would be good for the nation, and he might well be sincere in that statement, but there is little doubt that he views the nation through the prism of his factional loyalties and that America is only to be loved insomuch as it embraces his faction.  This all brings to mind a brilliant scene from True Grit:

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,

 

 

12

Mark Shea and the Christianists

Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts takes a look at Mark Shea’s response to the sexual harassment avalanche:

 

Off the rails lunacy

 

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.

Go here to comment.  Here is a sample of what Dave was talking about:

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.

3

Lies, Mark Shea and Cardinal Newman

 

 

 

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

23

The Golden Thread

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.

38

Mark Shea Knows Who To Blame For the Sutherland Shootings

My co-blogger Paul Zummo takes a peek at the Leftist shell that was once Mark Shea:

 

The last drops of blood had not been shed before this nut and his hypocritical followers were casting all gun owners out into the eternal darkness.

https://m.facebook.com/story.php…

 

Mark Shea

15 hrs

“This is a time for thoughts and prayers, not politics”. Bunk.
Using “thoughts and prayers” as weapons against taking action to prevent future slaughter is the *real* insult to the dead and always has been. It’s also an insult to God Almighty. By 12/31/17, 35,000 more people who should still be alive will–as on December 31 of every year–be dead. They will be dead because “thoughts and prayers” were used as weapons to defend the profits of an arms industry that could not care less about their deaths. Thoughts and prayers used to defend human sacrifices to Mammon are an abomination whether Mammon receives his libations of blood from Planned Parenthood or the National Rifle Association.

It is hardly worth responding to Shea anymore, but he of course he ignores that it was  a good guy with a rifle who likely brought this fiend to Eternal Justice:

Stephen Willeford, who lives near the Texas church targeted yesterday, grabbed his own rifle and rushed to confront Devin Kelley after being told an attack was underway by his daughter.

As the 55-year-old arrived outside the church he came face-to-face with Kelley.

Mr Willeford, a plumber with no military experience, shot him in the side through a gap in his body armour, forcing the killer to flee.

Mr Willeford and another passing resident, Johnnie Langedorff, then chased him at almost 100 miles per hour in a car as the wounded killer tried to make a getaway after taking a hostage.

Kelley is said to have killed 26 people – including a child aged five – when he stormed into the church on Sunday dressed in black tactical gear and armed with an assault rifle.

Go here to read the rest.  Weapons are as good or bad as the man wielding them, no more and no less:

 

29

Mark Shea and Charlie Gard

 

 

Hattip to commenter Nate Winchester.  An example of how far down the dark path Mark Shea has gone:

With supreme cynicism, the anti-abortion-but-not-prolife Congress of Trump takes a step to grant Charlie residency for a sketchy experiment that holds extremely little promise of hope–by attaching it to a bill funding Trump’s idiotic border wall designed to maximize waste for the taxpayer and cruelty to refugees:

The amendment has been added to a controversial bill that includes money for US President Donald Trump’s border wall and enhanced immigration enforcement, which could take a significant amount of time to be voted into law, if it is at all.

In other news, a hard-working taxpayer and father of four who has committed no crime other than being brown is being deported to Mexico to the orgasmic cheers of Christians for Cruelty, aka, Trump Defenders.  His name is actually “Jesus” and still these Pharisees applaud without irony.  Convinced that petty rule-keeping is their real savior, they hide behind paperwork while families are viciously destroyed and admire their righteousness in punishing the least of these.  And they dare to call themselves “prolife”.

 

So, let’s see:  efforts to help Charlie Gard’s parents defy the edicts of courts in Europe that they cannot give their son treatment, and that he must die, are futile and efforts to enforce our immigration laws, laws that every nation on Earth have, are racist.  Right. Continue Reading

25

Mark Shea v. Mark Shea

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2011:

As you probably know, I’m skeptical of the Global Warming hype, not least because its marketers and packagers keep changing the name. First, it was “Global Warming,” then “Climate Change” (as if climate does anything besides change) and lately it’s “Global Climate Disruption.” I’m also skeptical that it is man made, and I think the dishonesty of some of the scientists in the field, not to mention the packagers and marketers, leaves me cold (clever pun, eh?). So, for instance, when I see evidence of rising sea levels that doesn’t always refer me back to the same remote island nobody knows anything about except that it might be a case of erosion and not rising sea levels, I will begin to take our melting ice caps more seriously.

Go here to read the rest.

 

June 1, 2017:

 

American Right Wing Id Monster joins Nicaragua and Syria in rejecting Climate Accord–just for spite.

And just days after Francis gave him a copy of Laudato Si, begged him to listen, and Trump lied that he would read it. (It’s longer than 140 characters and Trump’s name is not in it anywhere. Boring.)

Me: I boringly think wisdom lies with listening to the Holy Father. But of course, the kneejerk response of the revanchist Trumpified Catholic is “Francis is not speaking infallibly, you know! We’re talking about Prudential Judgment! You can ignore him on climate change! It’s not like he’s a climate expert!”

Go here to read the rest.

18

Teaching Hate

Fifth rate comedienne grabs some cheap publicity by holding up a mock bloody head of Donald Trump.  Ho Hum, the deranged left always acts this way, and that is precisely the problem.

 

Mark Shea is his born again leftist mode had this post on his blog today:

So good white Christian Greg Gianforte assaulted a reporter (a fact confirmed by dangerous Marxist network FOX)…

and the Party of Brownshirt Lovers of Threats and Violence loved it, which is why Mona Charen had the unenviable task of trying to tell this party of neutronium-skulled thugs that they must stop denying, excusing and defending it.  They are not listening, of course, because they are violent thugs and enemies of America.  But worst of all, it is Christian thought leaders who are now orgasmic for this crude thuggery and Steven Greydanus calls them out:

I write today neither to accuse Greg Gianforte nor the voters of Montanta, neither of whom I have much to do with.

I write to accuse those who excuse, dismiss or enable intolerable behavior like Gianforte’s, or who give ear and support to those who do.

I’m talking to you, Dinesh D’Souza. I’m talking to you, Laura Ingraham.

Most of all, I’m talking to you, all my friends who still regard D’Souza and Ingraham as voices worth listening to.

It pains me to say this, because the fact is that I not only liked Ingraham and D’Souza, I *respected* them. I feel betrayed by what the American Christian conservatism I once identified with has become. I feel like a fool for not having seen it sooner.

In this words of this article, “None of this is a gray area. You either uphold certain basic standards of decency or you don’t.”

And the answer is: We don’t. Obviously. Read what Ingraham and D’Souza had to say about a now-elected official body-slamming a journalist, and realize the truth of the world we live in: The Tribe Right or Wrong; The Tribe Über Alles.

With the appropriate incantatory words (depending on your sub-tribe and the situation, they may be “But Hillary,” “The Babies,” “Obamacare,” “Immigration,” etc.), people who pride themselves on decency and traditional values will not only look the other way, but actively *defend* bad behavior and harm as long as the right people are being defended or harmed.

That’s what most horrifies me: not simply that someone might say “Unprovoked assault is obviously terrible and unacceptable but what’s on offer on the other side is even worse,” but that people will say “It was our guy hitting their guy? Eh. He had it coming. He’s a crybaby. He’s a sissy for not hitting back.” (This is paraphrase but scarcely exaggeration. Read the piece.)

I shouldn’t have to say this, but experience shows that I do: If your first reaction to this scolding is to bring up punching Nazis or what happened to Charles Murray at Middlebury, YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG.

Tu quoque won’t help you here. First of all, because *I’m* making the accusation, and *I* neither punched Richard Spencer, nor joined in the Middlebury mob, nor have I defended those who did.

I’m against punching Nazis and mobbing out-of-favor academics on college campuses, and *I’m* telling you that if you listen to people like Ingraham and D’Souza who defend blatant thuggishness as long as the violence goes the right way, *you’re* the one being harmed. Tu quoque is no defense when both sides are sipping arsenic.

Some might be tempted to modify the tu quoque and ask me why I’m actively calling out defenders of Gianforte when I haven’t gone out of my way to call out defenders left-wing violence. There are many answers to that, but the simplest is that I USED TO LIKE AND RESPECT INGRAHAM AND D’SOUZA.

The people I’m talking to are still, in spite of my alienation from the conservative machine, very much my peeps. We agree on many of the things that matter most.

What it seems to me we haven’t yet managed to agree on is the spiritual danger of embracing The Tribe Über Alles.

To be sure, not all Republicans endorse this filth.  Some of them, known by the goons and thugs who now constitute the bulk of the Party of Trump as “fake conservative” and “wusses” still speak out on behalf of civilization and are shouted down by Real Christians and Real Conservatives: Continue Reading

16

History and Leftist Inconoclasm

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.

Continue Reading

31

About That Apology

 

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

 

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

 

######################

 

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

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

Continue Reading

12

Congratulations Mark!

 

 

I have to hand it to Mark Shea.  He has managed to get into the verbal equivalent of a fist fight with Ed Feser.  Ed is a philosophy professor, and runs a blog where he breaks philosophical concepts down to bite sized chunks for readers like me.  He is a loyal son of the Church and a true gentleman.  Getting him angry is rather like getting Gandhi to take a slug at you or being hissed at by Mother Teresa, but Mark managed that feat:

 

Not too long ago, Catholic writer Mark Shea and I had an exchange on the subject of capital punishment.  See this post, this one, and this one for my side of the exchange and for links to Shea’s side of it.  A friend emails to alert me that Shea has now made some remarks at Facebook about the forthcoming book on the subject that I have co-authored with Joe Bessette.  “Deranged” might seem an unkind description of Shea and his comments.  Sadly, it’s also a perfectly accurate description.  Here’s a sample:

 

Yes. This needs to be the #1 priority for conservative Christian “prolife” people to focus on: battling the Church for the right of a post-Christian state to join Communist and Bronze Age Islamic states in killing as many people as possible, even if 4% of them are completely innocent. Cuz, you know, stopping euthanasia is, like, a super duper core non-negotiable and stuff.  What a wise thing for “prolife” Christians to commit their time and energy to doing instead of defending the unborn or the teaching of the Magisterium. How prudent. How merciful. This and kicking 24 million people off health care are *clearly* what truly “prolife” Christians should be devoted to, in defiance of the Magisterium.  Good call!
“Prudential judgment” is right wing speak for “Ignore the Church and listen to right wing culture of death rhetoric”.
This book will be the Real Magisterium, henceforth, for all members of the Right Wing Culture of Death on this subject. It’s judgments, not that of the Magisterium, will be final and authoritative for the “prolife” supporter of the Right Wing Culture of Death.

 

It will do nothing but foster right wing dissent. It will be the New Magisterium for the entire right wing and give oxygen to the War on Francis.

 

The Right anoints a Folk Hero antipope who tells it it’s okay to reject the obvious teaching of the Church and do whatever they want and then the cry “Prudential judgment!” goes up.

 

Etc.  End quote.

 

No comment is really necessary.  Still, I can’t help calling attention to a few points:

 

First, the book has not come out yet, so Shea hasn’t even read it.  His attack is thus aimed at a fantasy target rather than at our actual claims and arguments.  In fact, all of the concerns Shea might have about our position are answered at length and in detail in the book, and in a scholarly and non-polemical fashion.  Hence Shea’s remarks are – to say the very least – ill-informed and unjustifiably vituperative. 

 

Second, the few substantive assertions Shea makes here – and note that they are mere assertions, completely unbacked by any argumentation or evidence – have already been answered in my earlier exchange with him.  For example, in the initial response to Shea I posted during that exchange, I noted that Shea’s claim that “4% of [those executed] are completely innocent” misrepresents the authors of the study from which Shea derives this claim.  I also there noted the problems with Shea’s use of the term “prolife,” which is merely a political slogan deriving from contemporary American politics and has no theological significance.

 

As to the bogus charge of “dissent,” in my second post in our earlier exchange, I quoted statements from Cardinal Ratzinger (then head of the CDF and the Church’s chief doctrinal officer) and Archbishop Levada (then writing in a USCCB document, and later to take over from Ratzinger as head of CDF) which explicitly affirm that faithful Catholics are at liberty to take different positions regarding capital punishment and even to disagree with the Holy Father on that particular issue.  Both Ratzinger and Levada in these documents also explicitly assert that abortion and euthanasia – which, unlike capital punishment, are intrinsically evil – have a greater moral significance than capital punishment.  Hence, when Shea mocks Catholics who are strongly opposed to abortion and euthanasia but who do not share his views about capital punishment, he is implicitly mocking Ratzinger and Levada – who, unlike Shea, actually have authority to state what is and is not binding Catholic teaching. 

 

Shea has, in several follow-ups now, given no response whatsoever to these points or others made in my earlier posts.  He simply ignores the arguments and instead reiterates, with greater shrillness, the same false and already refuted claims he made in his initial attack on Joe and me.

 

Third, the charge that Joe and I are motivated by a desire to justify “killing as many people as possible” is not only false and groundless, but a truly outrageous calumny.  Shea made this charge in our original exchange, and (as I noted in my second post in that exchange) when I complained about it he seemed to back away from it.  Now he is back to tossing this smear at us.

 

Fourth, if Shea insists on flinging calumnies like these, he ought to consider just how many people he is implicitly targeting.  On my personal web page I have posted the endorsements given our book by J. Budziszewski, Fr. James Schall, Robert Royal, Fr. Robert Sirico, Edward Peters, Fr. Kevin Flannery, Steven A. Long, Fr. George Rutler, Fr. Gerald Murray, Barry Latzer, Michael Pakaluk, and Fr. Thomas Petri.  This list includes some very prominent faithful Catholics and respected scholars, representing fields such as moral theology, canon law, philosophy, and criminal justice.  And unlike Shea, they have actually seen the book.  It is worth noting that Fr. Sirico, who happens to be opposed to capital punishment, does not even agree with our conclusions.  He graciously endorsed our book anyway simply because he regards it as a worthy and serious defense of the other side, which opponents of capital punishment can profit from engaging with. 

 

Now, I imagine that Shea knows and respects many of these people.  Of course, they could be wrong, and the fact that they endorse our book doesn’t mean we are right.  But would Shea go so far as to label all of these people “dissenters,” or proponents of a “culture of death” who want to “kill as many people as possible,” etc.?  If not, then perhaps he will reconsider his rhetorical excesses. 

 

Fifth, the out-of-left-field stuff in Shea’s remarks about “kicking 24 million people off health care,” “the War on Francis,” etc. have, of course, absolutely nothing to do with the argument of our book.  Shea made similarly irrelevant remarks in our earlier exchange.  His seeming inability to refrain from dragging in his personal political obsessions shows just how very unhinged he is.  It also manifests his lack of self-awareness.  Shea accuses fellow Catholics who disagree with him about capital punishment of being blinded by their political biases – while in the very same breath bizarrely insinuating that our support for capital punishment somehow has something to do with President Trump’s health care bill (!) 

 

Sixth, Shea’s political obsessions blind him to other and more important aspects of the debate over capital punishment, in ways I have already explained in my earlier posts – where, here again, Shea simply ignores rather than responds to what I wrote.  For example, Shea appears not to realize that there is a very influential strain of thought within otherwise theologically conservative Catholic circles – namely, the so-called “new natural law” school of thought – which takes a far more radically abolitionist position than even he would.  Shea has repeatedly acknowledged in the past that capital punishment is not always and intrinsically immoral and that the Church cannot teach that it is.  But the “new natural lawyers” maintain that capital punishment is always and intrinsically wrong, and they would like the Church to reverse two millennia of teaching on this point – indeed, to reverse the consistent teaching of scripture, the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, and the popes.

 

One of the main motivations for writing our book was to rebut this extreme position, which has very dangerous theological implications that extend well beyond the capital punishment debate.  Indeed, our primary concern in the book is to demonstrate the continuity of Catholic teaching and rebut any suggestion that the Church has contradicted herself, with advocacy of capital punishment in practice being a merely secondary concern.  Among the many novel things the reader will find in our book is a far more detailed and systematic response to the extreme “new natural law” position on capital punishment than has yet appeared. 

 

Since Shea too rejects the extreme “always and intrinsically wrong” position vis-à-vis capital punishment, one would think he would see the importance of rebutting it.  Unfortunately, in his apparent desire to fold every Catholic theological dispute into his obsession with current American electoral politics, Shea seems unable to understand that some of us have much larger and less ephemeral concerns in view.  Continue Reading

16

Mark Shea and the Brownshirt Smear

As Mark Shea continues his sad journey to the looney left, he has developed the habit of calling those who disagree with him Nazis or seeking to associate them with Nazis.  A case in point:

Austrian Nazis to attend inauguration…at the invitation of Catholic congressmand Steve King.

God’s Name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you, Mr. King.

This will be today’s thing for Catholic Trump supporters to defend instead of the unborn and the Faith.

And so it will go for four long years.

Or you could just stop defending every filthy thing Trump and his toadies do and say and get back to defending the Faith and the unborn.

Go here to read the comments.  I was imagining brown shirted and lederhosen clad Austrian legions goosestepping through downtown Washington.  I was crest-fallen to learn that Shea was actually referring to the Austrian Freedom Party.  Founded by a Nazi in the 1950s, it is a rather conventional center-right European party.  Except for their opposition to immigration, the Freedom Party would on our political spectrum be moderate Democrats, and about as much Nazis as the members of a Rotary Club in our country.

Austin Ruse in a post at Crisis tells what happens when he pointed this out to Shea:

 

I recently came under a blog-swarm (though not on blogs rather on Facebook), but the swarmers were mostly bloggers who I will not name except to say they fashion themselves as Über-Catholic Defenders of Francis-Destroyers of Nazis-Creators of the One True Church of Pro-Life-and-Wrath of the Old Guard.

I forget exactly how it began except with a Facebook post nitpicking something Donald Trump had done. Never Trumpers still sit in the caves of the Pacific with their field glasses trained on the enemy and whenever Trump does even the littlest thing they judge to be wrong they shout, “See, see, we told you” or “Isn’t it interesting that Trump would (fill in the blank).”

In this situation I usually prefer to ask a question and have the unhappy fellow defend the silly nitpicking. But, in this case, from out of nowhere, The Thing That Used to be Catholic Apologetics lumbered through the underbrush and grunted “So do you defend Trump meeting with Nazis?” or something to that effect.

So, here we have Trump meeting with actual goose-stepping Nazis? I had to admit I had missed that and had to inquire, “Huh? Wuh?”

“So you defend Trump meeting with Nazis?” Continue Reading

44

Mark Shea Celebrates March for Life

 

While hundreds of thousands of pro-lifers are marching in Washington, Mark Shea delivers this:

 

Fascist Scapegoating.

Jefferson bought the entire Louisiana Purchase for two cents an acre. It was an incredible steal. Smartest decision in American history.

Trump is buying the complete cooperation of prolife Christians even more cheaply. For the cost of a few words from Mike Pence and KellyAnne Conway at the Prolife March in Washington, prolifers will henceforth reliably go to bat for every evil he wants to do. Torture? Fantastic! Scapegoating immigrants? We are on board! Destroying access to health care for the poor! Great!

Christian Trump supporters have completely bought a false soteriology that opposition to abortion taketh away the sins of the world.

Prove me wrong. I beg you.

Continue Reading

20

Breitbart on Abortion

simcha-shea11

 

 

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.

9

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

30

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.

 

34

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

21

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

20

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.

67

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

8

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

14

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

29

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

23

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!

12

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

42

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

19

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

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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

22

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.”

24

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

50

Tom McKenna Schools Mark Shea on the Death Penalty

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No Catholic blogger writes better on the traditional teaching of the Church regarding the death penalty than Tom McKenna, my worthy adversary on this blog on many a joust over the Confederacy.  In a post on October 22, 2015 he masterfully addresses Mark Shea who has become hysterical, (what a surprise !), in his anti-death penalty rantings:

On Shea’s blog, another attack on Sacred Tradition and a confusing conflation of arguments.  The first thing bothering Shea this time is that death penalty proponents supposedly place too much weight on the words of Dismas, the Good Thief, related in this passage from Luke 23:

And one of those robbers who were hanged, blasphemed him, saying: If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.  But the other answering, rebuked him, saying: Neither dost thou fear God, seeing thou art condemned under the same condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this man hath done no evil. And he said to Jesus: Lord, remember me when thou shalt come into thy kingdom.  And Jesus said to him: Amen I say to thee, this day thou shalt be with me in paradise. 

Now, I don’t know anyone who hangs their hat on this passage alone, or even as a mainstay of the obvious and overwhelming approval of the death penalty in Scripture.  It is, however, one more place in Sacred Scripture where the death penalty is either merely assumed to be moral or expressly stated to be so.

It’s significant, if not decisive, that St. Luke added this detail, and did not record any rebuke of Our Lord to the Thief’s claim that the two criminals were being justly executed.  In fact, the Lord right after the Thief’s statement assures him of Paradise.

And after all, when God Himself says in Genesis,

Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for God made man in his own image 

it’s pretty clear that He approves of the death penalty precisely because of the inherent dignity of man (almost the direct opposite conclusion drawn by our contemporary clerical class, which argues, against Scripture, that the dignity of man means that the death penalty is immoral).

 And while Shea smears those who cite this passage of Scripture in Genesis as “quot[ing] Scripture like a fundamentalist,” he may not realize that he is smearing folks like Cardinal Avery Dulles, not a noted fundamentalist as far as I know, and a man whose education, erudition, and judgment I certainly find more convincing than Shea’s. Continue Reading

5

Let a Thousand Flowers Bloom!

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Hattip to commenter Murray who advises us of this mercy filled rant from Saint Blog’s answer to Robespierre:

“Likewise, sane conservative Catholics need to stop coddling those twisting themselves in pretzels of hatred and defiance for a pope who has done and said nothing heterodox, all in defiance of the Church’s social doctrine need to repent or they need to be repudiated by Catholics of good will. It would be a nice bonus if sane conservatives beyond FT also pressured the nuts to repent smearing a good man as an accomplice to murder (which is what “Che Guevara’s Pope” means) in their zeal to declare their non serviam to the gospel. But the person of Francis is less crucial than the office of Peter and it doesn’t do to ask too much of hard hearts all at once. But the bottom line is, the enemies of Peter need to take responsibility for their actions, repent, and believe the good news–and those who have hitherto enabled them should take responsibility for the fact that they did not spring up like topsies overnight but have been cultivated for a good long time. That cultivation must end.”

For Mark Shea it is always let a thousand flowers bloom so long as they all smell like him.