How to Vote Nazi With a Clear Conscience

Wednesday, February 3, AD 2016

58 million

 

 

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.

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19 Responses to How to Vote Nazi With a Clear Conscience

  • The civil good.

    Masterfully accomplished Guy McClung.

    The civil good is killing us.
    The foundation of a once remarkable and blessed Nation has eroded due to civil good.
    George Orwell couldn’t of foreseen the future more accurately than he did in 1984.

    “He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.” G.Orwell (1984)

    The diabolical has gained control of inteligencia. Not all, but most. Especially the liberal elite. This global experiment, human existence, is nearing a result that will eclipse the holocaust of the Nazis. I have over 58 million examples to prove my point.

  • Had the late Archbishop Joseph Cardinal Bernardin consulted a Topologist of Moral Theology, he would have learned that there is a seamless garment that fits Cthulhu.

    When will our bishops renounce the seamless garment excuse and all her works?

  • Well, you know, the policy of killing Jews isn’t going anywhere. Some 20% of Germans oppose killing Jews, and about 20% favor it, and the middle 60% have some problems with it but don’t want to talk about it. So let’s not fool ourselves that “not killing Jews” is a real option this election.

  • There’s enough of a conscience left to want to try to justify wrong doing- just not enough left to see how you are really a collaborator, and misleading others

  • “Be careful not to hitch your wagon to the wrong horse.” Seems to me the conformity of ill-formed consciences is status quo today.
    To participate in genocidal practices or condone such activities is nothing short of horrific. Collaborator’s Anzlyne! This is a nightmare. A killing fields in our own backyard. God has mercy on repenting souls.
    What about the non-sorrowful abortion practitioner and pregnant women?

    Do we have conscience free murderers sipping Latte’s and running for public office’s?

    Do we have a broken moral compass?

    Do we deserve the leadership in the Church and Nation?

    Depravity….The United States of Depravity.

  • One request please.

    Can you spare a prayer for Sandra “Susan” Merritt? Houston Criminal Court reduced charges from felony to misdemeanor.

    To shift the spotlight from Planned Parenthood to Susan Merritt is ludicrous.
    Part of her defense team is staffed by Chris Downey and Dan Cogdell. Please say a prayer for them tonight as the grotesque DA team tries to beat up and hang the heroes, the undercover video journalists.

    Thanks.

  • I like the association of the Democrat Party with Nazi’s. It fits. Now if we could only get our Bishops to seriously take them on by name instead of kowtowing to this party of evil for government largess. The problem with the Catholic Church is that they are way to beholden to the government when they should be calling it to a higher moral standard as our Constitutional system requires to make it effective.

  • Canon 915.

    We’ve had clear teaching and clear consequences for so-called Catholics who present themselves for Holy Communion, yet our leadership is weak in enforcement. Burke excluded. So guess what? Nazis welcome!

  • I could not read Shea’s long diatribe. It makes me sad that people support him, especially after what he posted. I’m reading the comments and my favorite so far is this one: “Pithy, you are not, as you took over 30 paragraphs to answer a one paragraph question. I believe you protest so much to quiet your own conscience. Also, the CCC, paragraph 2240, states it is morally obligatory to exercise the right to vote.”

    I would like to say, my 15 yr old went to the youth rally in DC on the 22nd. He was very moved. He’s always been pro-life, but this took him a step further. He said to me yesterday that he thinks he’ll live to see the end of abortion in our country. Please pray for him that he never loses his zeal or his faith. Oh, and while in the train station, waiting to leave DC, he saw a homeless man with no socks. He sat next to the man to chat, then took off his socks, and gave them to him. Turns out, you can be 100% pro-life and still care for the homeless, all at the same time. Strange that a 15 year old knows more than Professional Catholic Shea.

  • Missy. You are correct on Shea. Folks with little to say take many words to say it. This is often a product of the confused Liberal mind where truth is covered up and nonsense proclaimed, e.g., Pope Francis.

    Good for your son. Perhaps he has a religious vocation which should be cultivated.

  • Remember the “Catholic case for Obama” from some allegedly Catholic professor 8 years ago? I can’t remember his name now, probably because no one has heard from him again. He was featured on a show on the Catholic channel at that time and what he peddled then so frustrated me that I had to call in and challenge his “Obama is pro-life” theme. The host was less than helpful and never challenged the fantasy painted by this gentleman. Plus ce change….

  • Was that Douglas Kmiec ?
    I heard he may be hoping for position as VP

  • I will be much less flowery..but the reasoning in this argument is baloney, period. I have long taught my children to avoid such thinking. Shame on the author. Shame on the Church if this is what “we” have become.

  • The article is a satire as to the arguments used by some Catholic commentators to justify voting for candidates who support abortion.

  • EXcellent! I’ve had to avoid Mark Shea and his followers as an occasion of sin. Your point is well made in this piece and I’ve been sharing it freely – let the fireworks begin!

  • We all knew what we were getting with Obama. After all, he voted against the born alive after abortion bill when he was in the senate. Yet, almost none of our clergy opposed him on moral grounds and a good many of them actively and vocally supported his election to the presidency. I am certainly not in a position to define who is on the road to perdition but I will note that the signposts are quite clear and we ignore them at our peril.

  • RU 486 – Ella abortifacient – Plan B

    More signposts Don Link.

    The antechamber of Hell is a never ending waiting room in an abortion mill. Pray for conversions.

You Know, Hitler Was Pretty Good on the Environment

Tuesday, February 2, AD 2016

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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.

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32 Responses to You Know, Hitler Was Pretty Good on the Environment

  • Does seem inconsistent to say the least…. but to break his stance of purity for Bernie?!?! Richard Rich at least got Wales.

  • Mark Shea is clearly in need of prayers. It’s been said that the more influential a person becomes, the harder the devil tries to corrupt him. Reading his recent work, I fear for his soul.

  • The Register published this trash!? I hope the NCR and Shea’s comment section is flooded with demands for his removal!

  • Ironic from the guy who yelled “consequentialism!” every time it was suggested in the torture debates that it might be a just and proportional thing to inflict some pain on a terrorist who knows where the ticking bomb is hidden. Now he discovers that mirabile dictu!– the Church does in fact condone the use of reason and making judgments about proportionality when faced with imperfect moral choices.

    It’s a sign of his pride and insecurity that he can only admit this principle when it suits his urges, in this case, his urge to support a candidate who embraces not just every social immorality, but also the evil of socialism which has been repeatedly condemned by the Church. I can’t think of a candidate *less* worthy of a Catholic vote than Sanders. Even Hilary is not as unabashedly anti-property and openly socialist.

  • In the NCR article Mark Shea is quoted, “… as well as the preposterous nomination of pro-abort Harriet Miers …”. Now I was no fan of that nomination and there were concerns that she didn’t have much of a track record on Roe vs. Wade or most other legal issues. However, I have never seen any indication that she was pro-abortion and quite a few suggestions that she was actually anti-abortion. This is disgraceful. He is falling for the typical liberal fallacy, A is bad, person B believes things that I don’t like, so therefore B must believe A.

    I think the biggest problem is that Shea seems to understand politics less than any commentator, left or right, who regularly comments on it.

  • Hardly surprising. The Shea of today would have fit right in writing for the Vox Nova of 8 years ago. He’s distinguishable from Morning’s Minion et al only in being slightly less overtly partisan, but even that appears to be changing. Say hello to the new guard at the “Debate Club at Auschwitz”.
    ***
    The people commenting on his blog and /or his Facebook page in days gone by would have been a who’s who of orthodox Catholics from around St. Blog’s and elsewhere. Today, those venues are filled with a veritable freak show of hard left Catholics whose views are more in line with the DNC platform than the Catechism and with an amen corner of malleable Catholic sycophants who can’t think for themselves without having Shea tell them how to do it.

  • Is Bernie saying that PP only murders male unborn babies?

  • It seems Shea’s clinging to the term “conservative” exists for one reason and one reason only; to convince those who love the Lord Jesus and the teachings of the Church that they should sit still and quiet while he promotes unrestrained progressivism.

  • Ironic from the guy who yelled “consequentialism!” every time…

    Thanks, Tom. I prepared and deleted about 3 possible comments of the same thing and you up and expressed better what I was trying to articulate.

    So, amen!

  • Why are you even dignifying anything written by Mark Shea?

    He is a rabid dog. You are best not going near him.

  • RodH: DING, DING, DING we have a winner.

    I’ve been saying it for years: Shea simply uses his supposedly orthodox Catholicism to give cover to his rabid progressivism. And in the process, leading many gullible Catholics astray. Something is terrible wrong at EWTN and its newspaper the NCRegister, that they continue to allow this man a voice. Mother Angelica would have given him a good old-fashioned tongue-lashing, and sent him packing a long time ago.

  • Steve D: I agree with you about the Register. In general, really, and not just about Shea. The more I read the slant given by the writers, the more I wonder if they are trying to make it a Reporter and not a Register…

  • “The Register published this trash!? I hope the NCR and Shea’s comment section is flooded with demands for his removal!”

    Stephen, I wrote to Dan Burke, who was then and may stiil be, the head publisher at the Register about Shea. I got no response.

  • The title says it all.

  • There is no substantive difference between a national socialist of the German Reich and a democrat socialist of the American left. Elect a Bernie Sanders and open persecution of the Church will begin.
    .
    As for Mark Shea, liberalism is a mental defect or disease.

  • Thanks for the head up on Shea and the NCR. I will unsubcibe to both of them

  • Apparently, Mark-who? stopped taking his meds years ago.

  • Voting For Democrats Hitler -Berlin: 1938
    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.
    Also, you can vote for any member of the Nazi party, some of whose soldiers wear the Death’s Head Symbols, especially those Nazis who say they do not support the intrinsic evils of death and of racism that the Party has espoused for years and has made a reality here. You will know who they are if they say things like: “Yes, The Nazi Party has done and will continue to do these atrocities, but I am personally opposed to such atrocities;” or “I am personally opposed to gassing Jews so vote for me;” “It is their right to choose to kill Jewish babies, but this is against my personal conscience;” “I can keep my personal views on holocausts private, and vote for the common good of all citizens;” or “My religion, whose principles are explicitly contrary to those of the Nazi Party, will remain a private thing for me.”
    Pay attention: if a candidate says he is personally opposed to Hitler or he is personally opposed to Jewish genocide, you can in good conscience vote for such a candidate and we encourage this; even if such a candidate takes part in the public rallies with their clear quasi-religious message in support of Hitler. If a candidate says he is personally opposed to your tax money funding killing, paying for gas chambers, and buying the furnaces at Dachau, Buchenwald, Auschwitz and other locations, and you know what they are used for, you can still vote for such a candidate.
    If a candidate says he is personally opposed to denying your religious liberty, even though you know the Party will continue through legislation to do this, it will be an act of virtue to vote for such a candidate.
    Yours in Christ,
    German & Austrian Church Leaders

  • Comment of the week Guy! Take ‘er away Sam!

  • Guy:

    Your satire is biting! And…hard to distinguish from Shea’s position.

    Now Shea is just one guy who is devoid of even a theology degree. He has no credentials and is a guy just like most normal people, a guy with an opinion. So it is easy to discount what he says and draw the obvious direct connection between his bankrupt arguments and the satire you so masterfully present.

    What is horrific and truly demonic is the vociferous support for genocide that has been provided by Catholic Bishop after Catholic Bishop as they stand in “solidarity” with Democrat after Democrat and have for MANY years after the changes in the Democrat party erased all moral justification to do so. In fact, what we have in the USA is such a blending, such a syncretism, I long ago began calling the movement the “Democatholic Party” for it best describes the inseparable brotherhood of Catholics with the Democrat Party and the wholly ghastly union of what should be diametrically opposed groups. Democatholics have been using precisely your satirical reasoning but treating it as a legitimate defense for supporting abortion, the advance of the homosexual agenda and rank feminism for decades.

    I was very encouraged to see the USCCB voting recommendations this year as it shows some form of break with the past. However, not yet do we see condemnation of a truly meaningful form or what might better be called true catechesis on the issue of the butchery of millions and why one cannot support a party who promotes it and indeed has it as a permanent plank in its platform. Of course, Catholics are not supposed to do things such as “uncharitably” condemn anything it seems. You know, except “fundamentalists” who actually try to follow Christ and live according to the teachings of the Catholic faith.

  • Greg Mockeridge:
    Dan Burke is part of the problem at EWTN and the NCRegister, I’m not surprised you didn’t get a response from him. He’s just another part of the neoCatholic / establishment cabal infecting the Church these days. Most are converts to the faith, trying to make their living off the Church.

    Rod Halvorsen,
    Look no further than Bernardin’s “seamless garment” argument to understand the mess we’re in today in AmChurch. This homosexual prelate did much to destroy the Church in America. Of course, Shea is a big fan of the seamless garment.

  • Steve D; Right you are about the seamless garment and Shea’s elevating it to his own personal dogma.

    But hey, don’t chuck all of us converts out with Shea’s bathwater! 😉

  • Here we have another neo jumping on board the Shea Wagon.

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/standingonmyhead/2016/02/can-a-catholic-vote-for-bernie-sanders.html

    Folks, seriously, what happened to the Catholic Church? So often I just plain have trouble finding it. Thank God for my FSSP parish…

  • Jahwohl, democratic socialism ist güt.

  • “Greg Mockeridge:
    Dan Burke is part of the problem at EWTN and the NCRegister, I’m not surprised you didn’t get a response from him. He’s just another part of the neoCatholic / establishment cabal infecting the Church these days. Most are converts to the faith, trying to make their living off the Church.”

    Steve, I am not surprised either. I have been railing about the behavior of people like Shea and have written to the powers that be within the”orthodox” Catholic Media Complex for about a decade only to be treated with indifference at best and downright hostility at worst.

  • I was permanently banned from Catholic Answers for stating what I thought were well-known and simple facts about Swedish Lutheran “Bishop” Brunne’s lifestyle and I being an ex-Lutheran, suspected Martin himself would have the lot of them gibbetted. It wasn’t meant to be a cut, it was meant to literally demonstrate how we have slid historically, to the point that now we are taking seriously what would have been simply rejected out of hand what…just a few years ago!

    So I don’t think the Register is alone in this passive acceptance of anti-Catholic culture.

  • Fr. Dwight Longenecker gets in touch with his inner Mark Shea here:

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/standingonmyhead/can-a-catholic-vote-for-bernie-sanders

  • That one could vote for a Sanders or a Hillary in spite of their odious positions against the Right to Life because you like their other ridiculous ideas is wearing a soiled garment that won’t wash in the tub of my conscience.

  • I saw this article and I was also concerned. If I were less charitable, I would say Mark is now another ‘poster child’ for the labor unions who spew the same garbage. Marxism

  • Mark is attempting to meld the sacred and the profane and in the process has lost sight of the fact that some things are simply and objectively evil and can not be negotiated with for the simple reason that there is no “lesser” evil. Also, it should also be noted that Bernie Sanders is the typical 60s flower child gone to seed. While I am loathe to consign anyone to perdition, I will note that the devil need not have a long reach to snare this catch.

  • Like they do on Amazon.com when you buy a book, “Others who bought ‘If you liked How to Sin Mortally by Voting for Democrats’, you may also enjoy Voting For Nero,” – if you liked Voting For Hitler, you might relish:

    from Catholic Lane, 24 Apr 15:

    Prostitution Politics

    I live in a brothel,
    But I am not a whore.
    Personally opposed to impurity,
    I’m chaste to the core.

    I help with the auctions,
    But no slaves are mine.
    Opposed to such servitude,
    I try to be kind.

    Working at Auschwitz,
    Folks arrive every day.
    Personally opposed to holocaust,
    What else can I say?

    In a warm den of thieves,
    I spend most of my time.
    Opposed to all thievery,
    I commit no such crime.

    I party with death,
    But never would harm a child.
    I am personally opposed to killing
    And to all murder most vile.

    I dance with the devil,
    But I’m untouched, in the lead.
    Opposed to all evil,
    I’m not self-deceived.

    I live in a brothel,
    But no whoring I know.
    Opposed to defilement,
    I’m pure as the snow.

    Copyright

  • Another (internet) source of ignorant banter, Matt Yglesias, was quoted elsewhere as tweeting something like, “Aside from genocide and war, the Nazis had some good ideas.” FYI, some “good ideas” don’t make licit 58 million abortions. If you vote for abortion advancers, you likely won’t be getting into Heaven.

Mark Shea, Do I Have a Candidate For You!

Thursday, January 21, AD 2016

22 Responses to Mark Shea, Do I Have a Candidate For You!

  • I will wager that Mark Shea will vote for that commie pinko geriatric Bernie Sanders.

  • Then he, Cruz, would oppose making a whip of cords and driving out the money changers from the temple….the use of pain to alter behaviour done by Christ. It’s de rigeur in pacifist Catholic circles to say “Christ never hit them really….prove it to us.” Can you imagine first century street merchants running because of feints…gestures of maybe I’ll hit you. Lol.
    Ahhh…so….allowing them their feminized fiction, we may pretend to be about to hit you and that emotional manipulation is ok?
    In short, I believe in using e.g. tooth root pain not major bone damage to torture a kidnapper who refuses to disclose the whereabouts of a child dying in a shack in the woods. Scriptures?….they abound….Proverbs 20:30..” Evil is driven out by bloody lashes and a scourging to the inmost being.”…”a rod for the back of fools” Proverbs 26:3….and John 2:15 ” He made a whip of cords…”. What about section 80 of Splendor of the Truth? Have you read it in tandem with scripture? It says in a non caveat manner that deportation is an intrinsic evil…looks like Christ was deporting the moneychangers and ? Largely Catholic Mexico must keep Pablo Guzman even though only largely non Catholic USA can hold him without escape. And ??? Italy never should have deported those two muslims who planned to kill Pope Benedict…yet Benedict didn’t complain a bit …apparently like me seeing logic problems in section 80. Section 80 called slavery an intrinsic evil even though unbeknownst to St. JPII, God gave perpetual, chattel slavery over
    foreigners to the Jews in Leviticus 25:44. I think St. JPII is now in Heaven. I don’t have to think he shined in protecting children or in adult security matters. When he subtly and diplomatically denigrated the OT death penalties given by God in section 40 of Evangelium Vitae, he lost my attention in security matters. When Benedict denigrated the herem as not coming from God in section 42 of Verbum Domini but rather seeing them as sins simply, he too uncoupled me and him in security matters. He never noticed Christ announcing the absolute largest massacre of them all…70 AD…and Christ describing it as the direct result of Jerusalem not knowing the hour of their visitation.
    Why then did those too young have to die in 70 AD like Christ foretold…”your infants within you”. Read Exodus 20:5…it tells you the reason. Did David’s baby with Bathsheba sin? No but God took him into death as punishment to David and Bathsheba.

  • How to vote when there’s not a blemish-free candidate in the lot? Well I guess it’s time to evaluate all the blemishes out there–to tally and valuate–and then gulp, perspire, pray and vote. It would have been so much easier when just that Barabbas fellow was the other choice.

  • Until Christ is on the ballot, I will always vote for the least imperfect candidate. So, no news there. As for Mark Shea, I stopped reading him back in 2002 for all the reasons known to TAC’s viewers. After a certain point, you just can’t take all the logical inconsistencies.

  • Don, Shea shut down his blog three weeks ago! Why tempt him into firing it up again!?

  • Ah, but he still has his Facebook page which is a hoot!

  • I suspect he still would have many problems with Cruz. He did state once on CAEI that “…if it weren’t for abortion, we’d vote Democrat all the time.” He has that distorted sense of social justice that plagues our society today and passes itself off as Catholic.

  • To be fair, if it weren’t for abortion, I would at least consider the democrats. But then I would see SSM, contraceptive mandates, etc. etc. So they would still have quite a way to go.

  • “I would at least consider the democrats”

    The only Democrats who have ever run for President that I would have voted for would have been Grover Cleveland and Harry Truman. As my late Father often opined, the Republicans frequently look bad until you look at the Democrats.

  • Mark who?
    .
    Can’t agree on Truman. He was correct to cashier MacArthur. However, his characterization of Mac’s Congress speech as “one hundred percent bullshit” was wrong. Likely it was 60%.

  • c matt,

    Not just the contraceptive mandates etc. One has to consider the toxic effect of the Welfare State on families, the burdensome taxes required by such a state and its effects on individuals seeking to develop their gifts in work, the denial of subsidiarity in the ever increasing bureaucratic state and the continued denial of the transcendent end of man in the pursuit of the Utopian here and now.

  • How interesting. Can’t say that I would support Cruz, but I find that interesting. John Kasich also came out against torture some years ago. Whether he still holds that or not, I don’t know. But I pointed out to Mark that he was giving quite a bit of free publicity to Mr. Sanders the other day. It wasn’t pretty. So I suppose Mark wouldn’t support Sanders either. But I’m almost certain he won’t support Cruz.

  • Most of the problems I have with the Dems do boil down to the Abortion issue; if their philosophy was altered so that wasn’t a part of it, they’d be a radically different group and a ton of the moderate Democrats that are currently identified as Republicans would go back, and I’d probably be voting for Democrats all the time. (Not “all the time” as in 100%, but “all the time” as in “with great frequency.”)

    That does irrationally suppose that the Republican party wouldn’t likewise have some major changes, but I really don’t have the time or resources to game out that alternate universe!

  • Very short version: abortion is an extreme expression of the idea of having liberty without responsibility being possible and a good thing, and I’m honestly not able to think of anything the Dems do which I utterly oppose with that doesn’t fall into that category.

  • [Shea] has that distorted sense of social justice that plagues our society today and passes itself off as Catholic.

    .
    Maybe somebody should send him a copy of Novack’s latest.

  • Don, God bless your Dad – evidence is he was a very astute man !

  • Interesting… I didn’t know this about Cruz. So much of the “torture” debate is a problem of definition. The Church has both a moral definition and a legal definition they’ve endorsed; the Geneva Convention and international law generally has a definition; and of course there are a multitude of subjective definitions held by different individuals.

    I suspect Cruz condemns “torture” understanding the term in some subjective sense he has in his mind, thinking about his father’s ordeals. I wonder if he’s really against the kind of methods that are *not* torture under law, but offend some people’s subjective idea of what constitutes torture.

    In any event, I would far prefer Cruz to be in the position to make those calls than any of the other contenders, including Trump, whom I suspect would roll right over the Catholic objection to torture (rightly understood, not as deformed by some pacifist Catholics, such as Shea).

  • Wow, and since I stopped reading Shea’s blog, I did not know he’d given it up. Although with all due respect, his Star Wars theme exit post, which portrays him as a Dark Lord, is all wrong. I think he’s less Dark Lord, more Jar-Jar Binks.

  • Mark Shea still blogs at the National Catholic Register.

  • The Democrat platform in brief:
    Our idol is covetousness. We covet our neighbor’s goods, our neighbor’s wife, and our neighbor’s life.

  • using andrew Cuomo, the knuckle dragger, as a bench mark- Donald Trump is heroic in virtue – pls consider- so perhaps Don, Michael it is our baseline frame of reference measurement that distorts our view of this character – i have an image of Arlen specter ever before me , not exactly beatific: here goes

    Gov. Andrew Cuomo has imposed substantial portions of the Bathroom Bill upon the State of New York by fiat.

    On January 20, the New York State Division of Human Rights adopted a new regulation-known as 9 NYCRR 466.13 – relating to “gender identity discrimination.” As Albany Update has previously reported, this regulation was proposed in November 2015. New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms, along with hundreds of like-minded New Yorkers, submitted comments in opposition to this wrong-headed proposal. Not surprisingly, the Division of Human Rights (DHR) paid very little attention to those comments; the DHR made only minor changes to the regulation before adopting it.

    The new regulation states that existing laws banning sex discrimination and disability discrimination also prohibit discrimination based upon gender identity. This means that New York’s shopping malls, stores, universities, restaurants, and recreational facilities-along with many other public places-are now required to accommodate crossdressing and so-called gender transitions. New York’s employers are also required to accommodate employees who wish to dress and identify as members of the opposite sex. A failure to accommodate “transgendered” behavior will be grounds for a lawsuit.

    Everything about the Governor’s new regulation is wrong. The substance of the regulation is wrong, as the Governor’s action places onerous new burdens upon New York businesses and compromises the privacy and safety of women and girls by allowing men who identify as “transgender” to enter women-only space. The process used to adopt the regulation is wrong because the DHR has, in essence, rewritten the law. Gov. Cuomo may be frustrated that the Bathroom Bill was blocked in the State Senate for the past eight years; however, his frustration does not give him license to bypass the Legislature. As every student with a rudimentary understanding of government knows, it is the executive’s job to enforce the law; making law is a legislative function. The DHR has feebly attempted to justify its “end run” by claiming that the regulation only codifies existing practice; if that is, in fact, the case, the DHR has been adjudicating complaints of “gender identity discrimination” without legal authorization.

    The Governor and his allies will no doubt laud this new regulation as an effort to protect vulnerable New Yorkers. In reality, this regulation makes New Yorkers more vulnerable. Parents, when men who identify as women claim a legal right to use ladies’ changing areas at public pools, and when those men undress in front of your daughters, you can thank the Governor. Employers, when an employee demands that you address him by a feminine name and allow him to crossdress in the workplace, and when your attorney informs you that you could be found liable for discrimination if you do not comply, you can thank the Governor.

  • one more example of the theory of Relativity making Trump look good –
    The centerpiece of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s legislative agenda for 2016 is his proposal to increase the minimum wage in New York to $15 per hour. While NYCF empathizes with our neighbors who struggle to support their families due to low wages, we oppose the Governor’s proposal. NYCF believes that a $15-per-hour minimum wage would hurt low and moderate-income New Yorkers more than it would help them.

    How would Gov. Cuomo’s minimum wage proposal affect a worker currently earning less than $15 per hour? It depends on the situation. If that worker continues to work the same number of hours following the minimum wage increase as she did before, that worker will make significantly more money. However, if that worker’s employer responds to the minimum wage increase by closing, downsizing, cutting employee work hours, or moving out of state, that worker will actually be harmed by the minimum wage increase. According to the Empire Center for Public Policy, the Governor’s minimum wage proposal would likely result in the loss of at least 200,000 jobs in New York.

    For unemployed workers, the outlook under Gov. Cuomo’s proposal would be sobering. Workers seeking entry-level jobs are likely to find it extraordinarily difficult to find employers that will to pay $15 per hour for unskilled labor. A $9-per-hour job is better than no job at all.

Stalin, Mark Shea and Imprisonment

Tuesday, November 10, AD 2015

untitled

 

 

“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.

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24 Responses to Stalin, Mark Shea and Imprisonment

  • Liberal progressive Mark Shea is to Catholic blogging what liberal progressive Rod Adams is to nuclear blogging. They tout themselves as defenders of and expert in their respective arena, but underneath it is only liberal progressive ideology that matters. And interestingly, both have apparently favored Stalin over the US. The first asserts America is evil because it jails more people than Stalin did (a false claim), and the second has asserted in conversation that the Great Holodomor never occurred.
    .
    These liberal progressives are always and everywhere the same. I think they honestly believe the lies that they have conditioned themselves to spout forth. They are true believers, and their faith in unshakable.

  • The issue, I would submit, is not about the numbers of people jailed, but the number of “black” people committing true crimes against society (not as in the Marxist states–political resistance)
    The horror of the number of blacks in our jails rest primarily (but not solely) upon the shoulders of the liberal anti-God, anti-family establishment that sees but opportunity in this crime crisis that they insist upon perpetrating for their own power. Slavery comes in many forms.
    The rest must unfortunately be laid at the feet of the inner-city community that shuns fatherhood, discipline and responsibility toward self and society under the false allure of government supported victimhood, long proved to be largely a self-perpetuating self-inflicted wound.

  • The related meme of “nonviolent” imprisonment has been dealt with nicely by Heather Mac Donald and others, such as here: http://www.city-journal.org/2015/25_4_decriminalization.html

  • Why doesn’t Shea just retitle his blog “Marxist And Loving It!” Nate Winchester, congrats for being banned by Shea! It proves you’re a good person!

  • Mark-who can’t tolerate bitter fact-clingers.
    .
    I estimate I was banned three rimes before it dawned on me that life is too short to waste time and eyesight on unadulterated, over-wordy bullshit.
    ,
    Over years, my impression was that Nate W. is quite “liberal” and (uncharacteristically for libs) truth–bound. I guess not liberal enough, and too adamant for truth, for Mark-who.
    .
    Dose Mark-who retain his toady, useless idiots defending his crap? . . .

  • This is such a common refrain lately, that the US supposedly “over incarcerates” people. Just this weekend I encountered this complaint at a dinner party, “why does the US jail more people than any other country?”

    As a 25 year prosecutor, I would concur with Don who points out, and as anyone involved in the criminal justice field experiences, incarceration is truly a last resort and lengthy incarceration (> 1 yr) is reserved for violent criminals (sometimes) or grossly habitual, career non-violent offenders.

    You have to work hard, as a criminal, to get serious jail time. The reality is that all the players, judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, know that incarceration is expensive and usually does little to nothing in terms of actual rehabilitation. Hence, there are many non-incarceration alternatives, especially for drug possession offenses.

    The exception to the above is perhaps federal court, where penalties are pretty draconian compared to what similar offenses would net in state court. There are too many federal crimes, and too many of these are punished too harshly. But thankfully, the vast majority of criminal justice occurs on the state, not federal level.

  • These liberal progressives are always and everywhere the same. I think they honestly believe the lies that they have conditioned themselves to spout forth. They are true believers, and their faith in unshakable.

    TM Lutas and I had that discussion on an earlier Shea post. He may not consciously make an effort to deceive, but he seems eager to buy into whatever claims are made by people who have deceived him before (plus his seeming inability to post proper corrections in his post). At what point is your repeated gullibility your own fault?

    That Shea repeatedly harps on truth and obsesses over the minutia of lying only makes it further ironic.

    Why doesn’t Shea just retitle his blog “Marxist And Loving It!” Nate Winchester, congrats for being banned by Shea! It proves you’re a good person!

    This is actually the 2nd time, does that make me a saint? lol

    This is such a common refrain lately, that the US supposedly “over incarcerates” people. Just this weekend I encountered this complaint at a dinner party, “why does the US jail more people than any other country?”

    So often by people that want to do away with the death penalty too, which makes it doubly ironic. Next time at a dinner party you hear this, you might ask them: “Well which felon would you have be your neighbor?” If they don’t want them jailed, they don’t want them killed and they don’t want them in the neighborhood, what is to be done?

  • Mr. TM Lutas was offering the nonsense that prisons are substituting for old-style insane asylums. Asylums housed people with schizophrenia, tertiary syphilis, senile dementia, retardation, and sundries of like severity. It’s a population that has been transferred to other sorts of institutions or is now dealt with as outpatients. He got the idea of prisons filled with asylum candidates from a government white paper which reported that so and so many inmates have a ‘mental problem’. Well, so does the guy in the next cubicle. My nearest and dearest works in an office with 8 f/t employees of which 3 admit to the use of psychotropics and one other is a reasonable wager. Them’s the times we live in. As for jails and prisons, they are shot through with aficionados of street drugs and heavy drinking.

  • I think one difficulty re federal crime is that contemporary jurisprudence is inspired by notions which render the distinction between commerce and productive activity and between inter-state commerce and local commerce factitious. I recently read about a case in which a man was prosecuted in federal court for trading in pornography. Why in federal court and not an Indiana state court? It seems the digital camera he was using was assembled from parts made outside of Indiana… Humbug begets humbug.

  • One problem with the federalization of criminal prosecution (and other issues) is that the media is always pushing the process, or at least never calls out politicians who push it. Federalism, it would appear, is nearly a dead letter.
    Yet there are situations where states’ rights and federalism do appear to produce unjust disparities between states. One would think that more frequent use of state legislator conferences and (for some other issues) interstate compacts would fix such disparities without trashing federalism. Media mavens, do your homework!

  • “ The reality is that all the players, judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, know that incarceration is expensive and usually does little to nothing in terms of actual rehabilitation.”
    I did a three year stint as a prosecutor in Scotland (Advocate-Depute). If the panel was (1) in regular employment and (b) had a stable family background and (c) did not have a drug or alcohol problem, the courts would impose a sentence of immediate imprisonment only for the most serious offences. The thinking was that these were the people most likely to stay out of trouble in the future, if given a second chance and statistics appear to bear this out.
    The main exception was cases involving breach of trust or fiduciary duty, where a severe sentence was felt to be necessary to deter others, even though the panel was most unlikely to be in a position to re-offend.

  • I think the next time I hear the ‘mass incarceration’ humbug, I’m going to suggest some alternatives to incarceration.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KaBMBVpsuwo

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vfuylkt4n0M

  • Stalin only imprisoned people “at his pleasure”–since the most conservative estimates are that he murdered 20 million ranging up to a more likely number, 60 million.

    But Mark Shea shows an appallingly uninformed viewpoint, which just a few biographers of Stalin (Simon Sebag Montefiore, “In the Court of the Red Tsar”; Norman Naimark, “Stalin’s Genocides”; or a check of even the official Russian archive’s position is 20 million—so given the typical Russian tendency for diminishing their state’s own crimes, we can safely assume it is at least 3 times that number) could have set straight. If Stalin imprisoned only million who actually survived—they were the lucky ones.

    The viciousness of the Stalin regime really is beyond comprehension: Naimark (a Stanford U. prof, hardly a right-winger) observes, “”In some cases, a quota was established for the number to be executed, the number to be arrested,” said Naimark. “Some officials overfulfilled as a way of showing their exuberance.”

    The brutality applied is beyond our present capacity of belief: In the case of the kulaks alone:
    “They were called “enemies of the people,” as well as swine, dogs, cockroaches, scum, vermin, filth, garbage, half animals, apes. Activists promoted murderous slogans: “We will exile the kulak by the thousand when necessary – shoot the kulak breed.” “We will make soap of kulaks.” “Our class enemies must be wiped off the face of the earth.”

    “One Soviet report noted that gangs “drove the dekulakized naked in the streets, beat them, organized drinking bouts in their houses, shot over their heads, forced them to dig their own graves, undressed women and searched them, stole valuables, money, etc.”

    “The destruction of the kulak class triggered the Ukrainian famine, during which 3 million to 5 million peasants died of starvation.” —Naimark
    ……………….
    Mark Shea is carving a memorial in granite to dedicated to his own idiocy. I really wonder if he is mentally losing his marbles.

  • “”n some cases, a quota was established for the number to be executed, the number to be arrested”

    Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn in the Gulag Archipelago wrote of a woman who went to a police station with the young daughter of a neighbor who had been left behind when the neighbor was arrested for the camp quota. “What should I do with her?” the woman asked. Wrong question: the woman found the quota was not yet full.

  • By the logic of “correctional supervision,” wasn’t the entire population of the Soviet Union imprisoned?

    They didn’t call it a police state for nothing, you know.

  • Mark Shea -http://www.patheos.com/blogs/markshea/2015/11/a-reader-struggles-with-his-faith.html
    “The Church cannot alter the sacraments. The most that may happen is that the Church will face the fact that Caesar has decided to pretend that there is such a thing as gay marriage and that people involved in such arrangements require some form of pastoral care. Would you rather the Church simply reject them and their children? ”
    .
    Somebody is playing with fire.
    The first pastoral care the Church can give to those in so-called “Gay-marriage” relationships is to tell them to cease if they do not want to end up in a very unpleasant place.

  • Forget Mark Shea. This pope allowed himself to be draped with the symbol of communism and said he wasn’t offended. Liberals are always the same, ignorant or evil.

  • Anybody catch the oxymoron in that quote cpola posted?

  • Cpola’s quote of Mark Shea’s oxymoron:
    .
    “The Church cannot alter the sacraments. The most that may happen is that the Church will face the fact that Caesar has decided to pretend that there is such a thing as gay marriage and that people involved in such arrangements require some form of pastoral care. Would you rather the Church simply reject them and their children? ”
    .
    St Paul’s response in 1st Corinthians chapter 5:
    .
    Turn the sex pervert over to Satan for the destruction of his flesh that his soul may be saved on the last day.
    .
    St Paul devotes a whole chapter to this and admonishes the Church at Corinth to have nothing to do with sex perverts.

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  • “By the logic of “correctional supervision,” wasn’t the entire population of the Soviet Union imprisoned?” As Solzhenitzyn once observed, the entire country was a prison. Some just had a little less supervision than others.

  • I have been called a global warming denier but that accusation fails to do me justice. I consider myself to be a liberal fantasy denier. So much nonsense. So much to deny.

Tom McKenna Schools Mark Shea on the Death Penalty

Friday, October 23, AD 2015

Council of Trent-Death Penalty

 

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.

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50 Responses to Tom McKenna Schools Mark Shea on the Death Penalty

  • Good Morning, Donald. I don’t know how to send you a “Tip” so I’m using this Comment box. Sorry. It’s 3:00am here in Chicago and I just got this from Michael Matt in Rome. Pretty bad…..

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9yHXKqKo-GM&feature=em-uploademail

    I feel sick.

    Elizabeth Fitzmaurice

  • That’s really bad. I too feel sick. I’m watching this space.

  • Well.
    A new church.
    Why not new commandments?
    Why not a new drive thru Mass chain?
    Save money and time…kind of a McSacrament. Pull in and order your choices;

    1.) Mc ommunion.
    2.) Mc onfession.
    3.) Mc Word.

    Depending on the order you could be thru the line in five minutes flat. More time for the casino, strip club or Transgender parade.

    Endless possibilities in the “new Church.”

    All kidding aside, which report is more likely?
    I pray its leaning towards “The Catholic Thing.”
    Remnant Church report paint’s a sorid picture.
    Feeling sick? It could be the “New swine flu.”

  • There is this idea among liberal progressives like Mark Shea that no one deserves to die (except perhaps conservative Republicans) and everyone deserves to go to Heaven (again, except conservative Republicans). The fact of the matter, however, is that Ephesians 2:3 describes us as children of wrath and Ephesians 2:1 says that we were dead in our trespasses and sin. We all therefore deserve the punishment that Christ received. Fortunately for the majority of us, we have received His mercy. Some, however, by murder and rape and pedophilia reject that mercy and should thus be sent straightaway after conviction in a fair trial by a jury of one’s peers to the gallows or firing squad or electric chair or gas chamber or lethal injection stretcher. I do not like that. I do not want that. I do not advocate that. But I remember what my 12 step sponsor said to me when we visited Fishkill State Penitentiary in NYS on an outgoing 12 step meeting: “The only difference between you, Paul, and the inmates is that they got caught and you didn’t.” While I had not murdered or raped or done pedophilia, I had certainly done plenty of other things and what he had said thus brought to home in a real way what St Paul had written in his epistle to the Ephesians. Death penalty? I don’t like it. I’m not supposed to like it. But it is God-ordained as punishment for the unrepentant murderer.

  • @Philip: “Which report is more likely?” I was wondering the same thing. The two reports are rather different, aren’t they? Personally, I believe Mr. Matt’s report. Mr. Royal seems to me to be a big fan of Pope Francis, based on some of his writings. Last I read from him, he’s still in the mindset of the poor Pope is constantly misunderstood.

  • Elizabeth Fitzmaurice.

    Thanks for your observations.
    Regardless of the validity of each report, one thing is certain. The forces of culture are pressing the Church. Nothing new here.
    As we pray our rosaries we must take strength in knowing that the victory is coming. Christ’s Church will suffer, as Christ himself suffered, and the glorious resurrection, as He resurrected, will come for his own as well. Regardless of the enemies of Holy Church.

  • I always wonder if Hitler would have been captured after W W 2, and had been convicted at Nurenberg, would the Pope then have argued against his execution? The answer is NO !! And the same should have been applicable if Osama bin laden had been captured. Anything but the death penalty would been disrespect for the thousands of victims.

  • Philip: Amen to that. 🙂 And no disrespect intended towards Mr. Royal, by the way.

  • Mark who?
    .
    Question for Gospel revisionists like Mark who? and the gang subverting the Gospels in the synod against the family: Who gave you authority to rewrite the Gospels?
    .
    God is eternal and His Truth is eternal. God preordained that in order to redeem man, the Christ must suffer death (penalty). N.B. unlike ancient fertility cults, the Christ could not redeem man by engaging in sexual intercourse with a temple prostitute or by cremating His first-born (Melech). If death (penalty) were an intrinsic evil, why would God preordain that the Christ would save man through His suffering and death (penalty)?
    .

    If any of that makes me a bad person, make the most of it.

  • Meanwhile, back at the ranch; http://www.lifesite news.com/news/violent-mob-of-pro-abort-feminist-tries-to-burn-down-cathedral-attacks-praying

    Francisco’s back yard…but wait! Issues that are of greater concern, death penalty v. abortion, should give us reason to speak out less regarding the terrible war on women.

    Take a close look at this war. Notice the prayers being tragically thrown at the innocent bare chested feminist.

  • As he ages, Mark Shea takes on a remarkable resemblance to Rosie O’Donnell.

  • Mark Shea has become so far left, that he ought to have Pope Francis’s hammer and sickle cross decorating his blog page. And he ought to change the name of his blog to “Social Justice Warrior And Loving It!” As for Tom McKenna “schooling ” Marky, Tom would have to send Death Row Shea to the corner with a dunce cap on his head 90% of the time!

  • He’s more focused on who he’s arguing with– describing their features, real or imagined– than dealing with the arguments.
    That’s a good sign that someone doesn’t HAVE an argument.

  • Cardinal Dulles, for whom I had the privilege acting as an altar boy and sacristan during a small Mass in law school, had this excellent article in First Things:

    http://www.firstthings.com/article/2001/04/catholicism-amp-capital-punishment

  • Jonathan,

    That is a great link. Cardinal Dulles ultimately found himself siding against the use of capital punishment. But it seems the take home message he has for us is when he writes:

    “Summarizing the verdict of Scripture and tradition, we can glean some settled points of doctrine. It is agreed that crime deserves punishment in this life and not only in the next. In addition, it is agreed that the State has authority to administer appropriate punishment to those judged guilty of crimes and that this punishment may, in serious cases, include the sentence of death.”

    When Scripture and tradition state something is acceptable, it should be with great trepidation that modern man abolishes it.

  • Art Deco, Bravo!
    .
    That is best comment of the day so far!
    .
    Brevity is the soul of wit.
    .

  • His Sheaness (The Pyromaniac Prince of Literary Straw-men) needs to wean his sullied political heart away from that steady diet of NeoCatholic hyperbole. If only he had a fraction of the faith in God’s immutable Divine Justice that he seems to have in man’s modern political fashions – maybe he would actually find the peace that his troubled angry head so badly needs.

  • Father George Rutler was a friend of Cardinal Dulles and both were of the same opinion on capital punishment. (By the way, Pope Pius XII urged hanging those convicted at the Nuremburg Trial.)

    Read Father Rutler: “Hanging Concentrates the Mind” in Crisis Magazine, February 2013.

  • Capitol punishment – less than 100 American executions; abortion – millions. Trials for the executed criminals; none for the innocent babies killed. Shea needs to get a clue.

  • Thanks, Don.

    I sometimes wonder whether it’s worth the effort to address Shea’s histrionics, since I sincerely question his intellectual honesty. He seems dedicated merely to throwing rhetorical bombs and demonizing those he has deemed outside the pale. Perhaps he likes to stir the pot just to get the clicks on his site; since he does not post anything about his background or education, I’m inclined to assume he’s probably not very well educated, at least in the sense that he seems not to know how to reason with someone with an opposing view, resorting instead to ad hominem as his first recourse. Discourse with such a person is, as you know, usually pointless. But it’s important that the record be set straight especially about this issue, concerning which there is plenty of confusion among the laity.

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  • Confusion arises from equivocating terms used in careless or abbreviated speech with the full, exact terms. For example, many forget–or are wholly unaware–that the term ‘pro-life’ is an abbreviated way of saying ‘pro-innocent life’. Once these distinctions are bleached away by equivocation, the errors in thought begin. Sloppy thinkers conclude that pro-life means they must oppose the just imposition of the death penalty for deadly, dangerous justly convicted criminals. Or that they conclude that because defending oneself might call for the use of deadly force against aggressors, being pro-life must require them to be pacifists. Other examples of this error abound.

  • I must also call attention to the distressing tendency of those who oppose capital punishment to treat prison guards as if their lives are disposable. This is wrong. Prison guards are innocent people and being genuinely pro-innocent life requires us to show active and efficacious concern for their lives too.

    Besides the corporal risks to prison guards of death, maiming, and injury that dangerous convicted criminals pose, prison guards and their families are at higher risk of the moral and spiritual maiming and injuries of family breakup, juvenile delinquency, and other social pathologies. The calling to be a prison guard who protects the innocent from dangerous criminals who would otherwise be loose among us is a difficult one, a vocation that is grossly underappreciated by those who do not have relatives or friends who are prison guards or members of their families.

  • It’s not only prison guards, Micha. What about other prisoners who are in for lesser crime, perhaps including manslaughter who still have some regard for human life? They may not be completely innocent, but surely they aren’t to be subject to the whims of the most vicious murderers who are without any regard for human life. A murderer who is in for life without any possibility of parole—what has he to fear and (his thinking) why shouldn’t he create as much mayhem as possible?

  • I’ve also seen it used to argue that we shouldn’t eat meat.
    The tactic is called ‘equivocation.’

  • Micha and BPS, you’re exactly right. It can never be emphasized enough that even under the “new” “modified” teaching that we only may execute when there is no other way to render an offender harmless, we have to include a consideration of whether the offender represents a reasonably discernible threat to prison personnel and/or fellow inmates. Killing and wounding of guards, staff, and other inmates by “lifers” is relatively common. After all, these are people who have *already* a proven lack of self control and a disregard for life such that they have already murdered. Couple that with the lack of any incentive for *not* assaulting/killing (what will happen to them? They’re already locked up for life!), it is easy to conclude that in many cases there is a substantial threat to prison staff and other inmates, and therefore we cannot really render these offenders harmless.

    People like Shea do not want to focus on either the victims of these murderers, the terror of the crimes they commit, or on the relatively forgotten prison staff and inmates whose safety and lives are put at risk by daily, close proximity to murderers. It’s much easier to focus on a murderer who claims he’s been transformed, and who has that claim magnified and spotlighted by a complicit pro-criminal media and academe.

  • Micha Elyi writes”

    “I must also call attention to the distressing tendency of those who oppose capital punishment to treat prison guards as if their lives are disposable.”

    If women or children made up more than an insignificant number among the population of prison guards, society (which, unfortunately, includes the Church) would see the problem of the threat to innocent life that Micha raises.

    This is but one example exposing a false dichotomy present in society (which, unfortunately, includes the Church) holding that, since women and children by their relative physical weakness are deserving of special protection by society, the protection of men is deserving of no consideration at all.

    In the Church of late (the last fifty years or so) this has translated into the neglect of men also as having any particular human dignity. So, for example, the downplaying of a mother’s role in society is (rightly) recognized as an affront to the dignity of woman (cf. Mulieris Dignitatem, Letter to Women, your typical American diocesan newspaper any given week, etc.), the downplaying of a father’s role, if it is mentioned at all, is…harmful to women and children.

  • Women are a significant number among prison guards.
    The guard that was killed up here in Washington a few years back was a woman, for example. (Not in a women’s prison, either.)
    There’s also no shortage of “female guards pregnant by prisoners” in the news.
    **************
    It’s not along the lines of the sex of those involved, it’s more along the lines of the prodigal son being given his inheritance over and over without ever having to come back to his father.

  • Judging by a quick search of prison guard statistics, it looks like you are correct: while men still significantly outnumber women, women are not an insignificant portion of the population.

    I think it still remains in the public consciousness, however, that prison guard is something that men do. I readily acknowledge the insupportability of this latter claim, as well as my suspicion that its bearing on public consciousness is a reason for the lack of concern for prison guards’ lives.

  • Just to point out that in 2014 and 2015 thus far, two (2) have been killed in assaults per the Officer Down Memorial Page. One perpetrator was a robbery suspect (in jail awaiting trial) and one was a lifer with several convictions for robbery, assault, and aggravated assault. Neither had previously killed anyone.

    In New York, the annual probability of death for inmates (who have a median age of about 33) was 0.0028 when assessed in 2013. That’s 87% higher than the norm for a man of 33 (about normal for a man of 46). That does not strike me as shocking for a collection of impetuous characters. There were 26 deaths from undetermined causes and 1 verified homicide. Were all the deaths in the undetermined category undetected homicides, the homicide rate in jails and prisons in New York would be similar to that in the Rochester slums.

  • Two (2) guards in prisons and jails have been killed. (btw “Officer Down” collates all deaths in law enforcement, not just deaths from assaults.)

  • I’d suggest this page as a source, over the memorial one:

    http://www.odmp.org/search/year

    It has three dead from assault, three dead from vehicular assault, 31 dead from deliberate gunfire.

    They list K9 losses but don’t count them towards the total, and those counts don’t include accidents even if they were in the line of duty.

  • Those would be patrolmen. I’m speaking of jail and prison guards killed.

  • I thought you were making a point about over-all ability to keep those who have posed a lethal risk from completing the deal, so to speak.
    Almost double of the normal rate isn’t that bad for a group of known bad folks, except that it’s in a situation where they’re known to be bad eggs, and are supposedly being kept under control, and the vast majority of accidental causes of death have been removed.

    (poisoning, suicide, car accident, murder and “other injuries” according to this: http://www.worldlifeexpectancy.com/usa-cause-of-death-by-age-and-gender )

  • I think you’re confounding my point. There were on that page 2 guards listed as having been killed in jails and prisons over the course of the last two calendar years (not quite complete re 2015). The vast majority of cops who die violently are killed on the street. The death rate 87% above national means (roughly speaking) was for inmates in New York in 2013, and the vast majority died of natural causes (the breakdown was ~74% natural causes, 13% suicide, 13% undetermined and <1% verified homicides). Even if inmates were killing each other at alarming rates, that would be a modest driver of the elevated homicide rate. Most of these guys dying prematurely are just very unhealthy (from drug use, I would guess).

  • Arrgh “a modest driver of the elevated mortality rate”.

  • Death to the typo demon!
    ****
    I think you’re missing my point– that they’re in a by definition highly controlled situation. Homicides (nevermind the unrecorded attempted homicides) should be freak accident level events for BOTH the correctional officers AND the inmates.
    ***
    Where the majority of cops are killed would be changed by where they work– the number that deal with the public professionally is much higher than the number that deal with jailed prisoners.

  • Inmates wouldn’t be able to harm anybody if they were chained (think dungeon) to their cell walls and fed minimally above starvation rations of bread and water. Instead, they’re well-fed and provided gym equipment so that many of them could play linebacker in the NFL.
    .
    Re: the death penalty a famed Catholic theologian wrote that Catholics may disagree with JPII on that and receive the Eucharist – it’s a prudential judgment and the pronouncement was not ex cathedra. That famous theologian later served the Church as Pope Benedict XVI.
    .

  • I understand you. My point is that if you want to argue for capital sentences, you should do so on normative grounds. The number of guards and inmates whose lives you will save by executing someone is small enough that it’s difficult to detect.

  • Problem being that your own information shows that it’s not difficult to detect, and the argument is made to counter the claim that a life sentence would prevent the criminals from killing again.
    Not only do we know that people don’t actually stay in jail for their entire sentence, but they can’t even be kept from murder when they ARE in jail.
    *****
    Ah-ha! I found a national stat!
    http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=5341
    There’s a Death In Custody reporting program; nation wide, or less 3% of the deaths of those in custody were homicides. (roughly where suicide is for the general population over age 44)
    That is, optimistically, a quarter of what it is for the rest of the population.
    (page 17, http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr64/nvsr64_10.pdf )
    Pessimistically, it’s more like a third.
    You can get bigger variations in homicide rate by moving.

  • Compare the number killed by murder to the number executed.
    http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=kfdetail&iid=495

  • NY prisons may be an outlier, Art Deco. Also, there are other crimes perpetrated by inmates
    See:
    http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2014/06/prison_crime_rate_the_u_s_violent_crime_rate_is_falling_partly_because_the.html

    The money quote:
    “For comparison, there were 1.2 million violent crimes reported to the FBI by police departments across the country in 2012, and a little more than 5.8 million self-reported by inmates that same year, according to the BJS survey.”
    ” In a 2012 survey, a full 4 percent of the nation’s prisoners and 3.2 percent of jail inmates reported being sexually victimized in the previous 12 months…rapes and sexual assaults in[U.S. generally] 2012 was 346,830, representing a rate of 1.3 per 1,000 people 12 years of age or older, or 0.13 percent.

  • NY prisons may be an outlier, Art Deco.

    Really? It has the largest inmate census bar 4 (the federal system, California, Texas, Florida).

    a full 4 percent of the nation’s prisoners and 3.2 percent of jail inmates reported being sexually victimized

    What’s the plan here? Prison buggery is not limited to convicts remanded for murder. Are you going to start executing people convicted of robbery a la early modern England because some share thereof might bugger someone or are you planning to execute more people for homicide because people convicted of robbery and assault bugger people in prison?

  • Problem being that your own information shows that it’s not difficult to detect,

    My own information shows two guards murdered in a 21 month period, neither of whom were killed by a convict remanded for murder. That’s two perpetrators out of a prison and jail census in excess of 2 million.

  • Art, you’re not responding to the points I made, and your not making your own very well at all. You’ve also totally missed the rather major point that the criminals are VERY OBVIOUSLY NOT UNDER CONTROL, which is a required foundation for your argument that capital punishment is not licit in this situation.
    **
    Your own evidence shows that people in prison are SUCCEEDING in murder while they are behind bars, both of control officers and of other inmates.
    ….
    You haven’t even looked at the rate of murders outside of jail, by those who had been previously in jail for murder, much less ‘attempted homicide’ or ‘assault with a deadly.’

    When it’s pointed out that no, as a matter of fact murder of guards by inmates is detectable as shown by YOU DETECTING IT, you decide to ignore the successful murders of inmates, not even look at attempted murders, and start attacking strawmen.
    *******
    You limited your argument against capital punishment down to a ridiculously narrow point of murder of guards by convicts who were in custody, and that point still fails unless you additionally limit it to people with prior homicide convictions in the last 20-some months.
    ********
    ********
    A rephrasing of this argument.
    Original position: “Capital punishment is needed to keep criminals from hurting innocents.”
    Art’s counter: “It’s not needed because criminals in jail almost never kill anyone.”
    Foxfier’s counter-counter: “Two dead cops is not ‘almost never,’ and the murder rate for inmates is still over 25% of that for the national population.”
    Art’s response: “Those cops weren’t killed by convicted murderers.”
    ….
    They successfully murder other prisoners in numbers that approach the lawful executions, they murder wardens, they commit horrific physical abuse on other prisoners, they are very obviously not under control even when actually in jail.

  • Foxfier, I can explain my position to you. I cannot comprehend it for you.

  • If I did not understand, I would not have been able to make the counter-points that I made when you finally did elaborate on your point.
    If I had attempted and failed, then you could point to where the mistake was– as I did with your focus on number of successful murders of prison guards by inmates.
    If the counter points do not correlate with what your position is, you might try explaining it, simply, in one location, possibly in the form of “Because A(, B and C), I conclude D.”

  • No one, not even Shea, has provided evidence that our prisons are able to protect the outside public from any further harm from capital offenders. Pope John Paul 11 only made an assumption that prisons today are so safe that the incarcerated can do no further harm to innocent people. No proof of that assumption has been provided by the Vatican or any other Catholic body. The truth is – hundreds of murders outside the prison walls have occurred because of criminals held in solitary confinement.

Let a Thousand Flowers Bloom!

Wednesday, September 30, AD 2015

5 Responses to Let a Thousand Flowers Bloom!

  • a pope who has done and said nothing heterodox

    That’s the rub right there, isn’t it? Because a lot of what he has said and done has some of us appending a yet to that statement, others of us pounding our poor heads like Pooh-bear trying to jog a thought loose, and still others not fully “us” anticipating a new orthodoxy.
    .
    Some of us are in for some profound frustration and disappointment.

  • Mark Shea is a manichean and divides the world into evil people and good people. Isn’t his entire theologocal education fundamentalist? He is always so eager to condemn and accuse as if his fundamentalism has found a new target for who’s going to hell, only now it is anyone who disagrees with his magisterium.

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

    And what a horrid stench that would be.

  • Mark Shea is basically a leftist. When you read his comments and postings on the subjects he blogs on, it’s obvious he has taken more and more of a leftist position on them as the years go by. Nobody who’s a traditional, conservative Catholic should take this man seriously as a commentator on the Catholic faith or secular politics.

  • Mark Shea should be ignored. I am not going to insult the man or his opinions, but I am not going to waste my time on them either. Mr. McClarey made an honest observation on the Holy Father’s visit and his speeches. Mr.McClarey insulted nobody, banned nobody and told nobody how to run their blogs or business. It is Mr. McClarey who behaved as an adult, not Mark Shea.

    Go to Mass. Pray. Go to Confession and do penance. Pray for the Holy Father, no matter what he says or does

Well What Do You Know, I Guess Shea Does Read The American Catholic

Friday, September 25, AD 2015

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It has long been a pretense of Mark Shea that he does not read The American Catholic.  That pretense slipped today:

 

So the Pope spoke to Congress yesterday and the righties of St. Blogs are going mad because, just like Benedict XVI addressing European Parliamentarians, he never mentioned the word abortion.  But, of course, since he’s Francis and not Benedict, we are to conclude that this makes him (I am not making this up) the worst Pope since Alexander VI as well as Che Guevara’s Pope according to the not-at-all-unhinged assessment of the Rightwingosphere.  Moral:  If you say, ““The Golden Rule also reminds us of our responsibility to protect and defend human life at every stage of its development” nobody will understand that the Church still opposes abortion.

And so the Rightwingsophere is awash with outrage today because the Pope, in the ear of the Right “failed to mention abortion”.

Yet strangely, the ears on the Left had no difficulty hearing his mention of abortion and are under no illusion that he has somehow changed the Church’s teaching on the matter.  Indeed, some on the Left are still furious at him for saying that there is any sin to forgive at all.

So why is it that Francis, doing the same thing Benedict did, is The Worst Pope Since Alexander VI?

Go here to read the rest.  Well, I’ll tell you why Mark.  Because Pope Benedict made this statement:

“protection of life in all its stages, from the first moment of conception until natural death;” while Pope Francis, in the middle of giving a big air kiss to every piece of the leftist  agenda before Congress, immediately segued into a rant against the death penalty:

The Golden Rule also reminds us of our responsibility to protect and defend human life at every stage of its development.

This conviction has led me, from the beginning of my ministry, to advocate at different levels for the global abolition of the death penalty. I am convinced that this way is the best, since every life is sacred, every human person is endowed with an inalienable dignity, and society can only benefit from the rehabilitation of those convicted of crimes. Recently my brother bishops here in the United States renewed their call for the abolition of the death penalty. Not only do I support them, but I also offer encouragement to all those who are convinced that a just and necessary punishment must never exclude the dimension of hope and the goal of rehabilitation.”

He could not expend even some hot air in defense of the unborn for fear it would offend his Democrat allies on issues obviously much more important to him than the defense of the weakest among us.  Imagine if he had called for the defunding of Planned Parenthood!  Pope Francis is the perfect leftist Catholic:  a man who cares deeply for leftist initiatives and will not even pay lip service when it counted, and when he had a national audience, on behalf of the unborn.  He is either a coward or he simply doesn’t give a damn about the unborn, at least in comparison to such monumental Catholic moral issues like global warming.   That is where his heart is and he will prostitute his papacy to advance the leftist agenda he so fiercely embraces. Bend yourself into a pretzel Mark in defense of Pope Francis all you wish, and I suspect that you will have far more contortions to do  before this pontificate is concluded.

 

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36 Responses to Well What Do You Know, I Guess Shea Does Read The American Catholic

  • You are correct, Donald.

  • Rightwingosphere is odd to me. I’m for the death penalty as a saver of thousands of largely poor peoples’ lives precisely in poor areas of the world where most murders occur….the two worst world regions by UN numbers being non death penalty northern Latin America and rare death penalty Africa. No death penalty = poor people getting killed. Affluent areas whether Greenwich Connecticut or Sweden or Luxembourg have few murders with or without the death penalty. Safest area on earth…East Asia…poor people plus the death penalty….1 per 100,000 murder rate similar but a shade better than Europe but includes a billion poor people unlike Europe. Second safest…non death penalty Europe…no large sectors of alienated poor though that will change with time perhaps. The black man in the US ghetto areas only …has a murder rate equal to that of Central America…32 per 100,000….32 times that of East Asia. Does the US have a death penalty when appeals average 10 years…20 in California. Not an very effective one. Our murder rate is 4.7 times that of East Asia.

  • Shea is a drama queen. He needs some stage for his unbearable personality to play out. I choose to ignore him.
    I can’t believe that his one sentence I thought was about abortion really isn’t- the sacred life he is defending is that of the criminal who committed a crime so heinous as to invoke the death sentence. Absolutely unbelievable! The #%&!**% death sentence! This is not Catholic teaching but an issue requiring prudential judgement.
    This pope may turn me into a drama queen yet! I’m beside myself…..Oy Vey.

  • I’m sure Mark Shea has his good qualities, but I find his view of the Catholic faith flawed and his style obnoxious. I don’t know why he’s all over the Internet, and so many people give him a platform.

  • I didn’t read the UN address but merely a summary. More or less the same. Save the environment. Materialism destroying the environment. Immigrants. Nothing about the UN seeking to promote abortion and gay “marriage” around the world.

    Apologists may say he sounds like Benedict or even JPII. But really, on this trip he seems to be talking about two or three things. Much like a politician’s stump speech.

  • Also, climate change and immigration are matters of prudential judgment which Francis is likely wrong on and Catholics in good conscience can disagree. Of course, leftists will deny this. Mostly because they are seeking to change Church teaching.

    The death penalty is among these matters which Divine command and Natural Law defend. The fact the Francis has been opposed to capital punishment from the “beginning of (his) ministry” highlights concerns about his understanding of these Truths.

    This opposed to the all out assault on unborn life and marriage by the administration is not a matter one can disagree on.

    This Pope is a politician arguing prudential matters, not the Vicar of Christ spreading the true Gospel.

  • PF certainly had no problem calling the death penalty out by name. No nebulous “allusions” there.

  • As pointed out by Don, Mark did not read Benedict’s address – an address truly befitting a Vicar of Christ. Let’s highlight points, clearly and charitably made, that Francis seems incapable of speaking. Likely because he has no notion of non-negotiable principles in Catholic teaching:

    “As far as the Catholic Church is concerned, the principal focus of her interventions in the public arena is the protection and promotion of the dignity of the person, and she is thereby consciously drawing particular attention to principles which are not negotiable. Among these the following emerge clearly today:

    – protection of life in all its stages, from the first moment of conception until natural death;

    – recognition and promotion of the natural structure of the family – as a union between a man and a woman based on marriage – and its defence from attempts to make it juridically equivalent to radically different forms of union which in reality harm it and contribute to its destabilization, obscuring its particular character and its irreplaceable social role;

    – the protection of the right of parents to educate their children.”

  • It is understandable that faithful Catholics would want to defend the Pope. Catholic commentators have new busy from the beginning explaining, reassuring, excusing, this Pope. Some wrote him off some time ago, and their assessment seems correct. The calculated demoralization of pro-lifers during his Congress speech was demonic. He got his longest, sustainted applause when he started off about life at all its stages, then he gave his anti-death penalty spiel. Who this the applause was in anticipation of anti-death penalty sentiment. Boehner invited him, and got a speech Obama could have given. No wonder he bawled during, and resigned the next day.

  • Correction: “Who thinks the applause…”

  • Kind of dumb of Shea to keep doubling down.

  • The rightwingoshpere perceives something Mark Shea refuses to acknowledge. Francis has rendered the teaching of the Papacy perfectly superfluous, the credo of a second rate school administrator. We’ve heard it before, just not from clerics.

  • http://liturgicalnotes.blogspot.com/2015/09/now-we-know.html
    Wonder whether he will be forthcoming with an assessment of this situation, which may be found elsewhere, as well.

  • Like many former activists of the Democrat Party,
    who have become church activists and who believe
    the Catholic Church is the religious arm of their
    party, Shea attacks pro-life Catholics for their
    obsession with the single issue of abortion, when
    racism, bigotry, sexism, discrimination, poverty,
    environmentalism, etc. have the same moral
    importance as abortion, if not greater.

  • Shea attacks pro-life Catholics for their obsession with the single issue of abortion, when
    racism, bigotry, sexism, discrimination, poverty, environmentalism, etc. have the same moral importance as abortion, if not greater.


    That’s not a description of Shea, who is a much more idiosyncratic character. (He also has no history of association with the Democratic Party, unless I’m mistaken).

  • Art,

    I said Shea is similar to or like a former Democrat activist.

    Shea in his hit piece against The American Catholic
    used the term “Rightwingosphere” to smear this blog.
    Apparently, Shea has great disdain for rightwing or traditional
    Catholics and their unwavering loyalty to the teachings of the
    Church. Also, Shea, like a former activist of the Democrat
    Party, criticized The American Catholic’s obsession
    with abortion by comparing the statements of the traditional
    Pope Benedict XVI with Francis’ lack of statements on the
    issue of abortion to suggest that this blog is possessed by an
    anti-abortion fanaticism.

    Shea wrote his hit piece as an activist from the left.

  • “I am not a liberal…” PF.

    Maybe Mark Shea ( isn’t ) a liberal either?

    This fits with a bumper sticker I spied a week ago; “Jesus Christ was a Liberal.”

    Peace.

  • For centuries the catechisms , church doctors, Thomas Aquinas ,St Augustine, other Popes, have all said the state has the right and in fact said the DUTY to inflict capital punishment in situations where the proportional response should be the death penalty.Not until the mid 1980s did the emphasis (NOT church teaching) change to ” well, the bad guy can’t get out f the modern secure slammer, so no need for CP.” So….if the Allies had captured Hitler and tried him, we couldn’t have put him to death??? Tell that to 6 million Jews. No I can and will disagree with Pope Francis, and do so vocally!!!

  • I noticed that a lot of those “Catholics” who “convert” from whatever cult they come from or no cult at all, have liberal, leftists views. And they try to change the Church or manipulate the Bible to fit their views. Kinda like the Muslims who invade the West and want to change it to suit their Islamic way of life.

  • Nothing so brings a condemned murderer to repentance and conversion as the gallows. A truly repentant murderer will expire with grief over his crime. Since he has need of some assistance to repent, to deny him the death penalty is unmerciful. The Innocent victims, too, must be spared the death penalty. Equal Justice requires that if the innocent victim must endure the death penalty so must the murderer.
    The principle of separation of church and state requires that the Pope and Bishops of the church while being released from capital punishment by their vocation to serve God in the church, allow, without interference, the state to exact equal Justice for the innocent victim.
    It is this state of innocence that separates abortion from the death penalty. The unborn person, in innocence, must be given due process of law in any civilization,… and benefit of a doubt about his sovereign personhood, the absence of which is held by atheists.
    Technically, Pope Francis, in calling for the abolition of the death penalty worldwide, has made priesthood of the laity of all persons alive on earth, but without their informed consent or choice. Some professed atheists may not want to be incorporated into the priesthood of the laity in the Catholic Church, even while being sponsored by the Pope.

  • The newly begotten, legally and morally innocent sovereign person is the standard of Justice, Perfect Justice, and the compelling interest of the state in protecting innocent, newly begotten human life procreated in the womb and in the test tube. Test tube babies, of whom there are 44,000 in Great Britain alone, and SNOWFLAKE BABIES, fertilized eggs who are frozen and then gestated have immortal souls and are persons. Test tube babies and SNOWFLAKE BABIES are proof beyond any doubt that the newly procreated life has sovereign personhood and free will. The will to live and survive is an act of the free will and is the human being’s civil right to Life. This act of the free will to live is an act of the soul in the one-celled human being. Test tube babies and SNOWFLAKE BABIES are now adults and teenagers and I highly recommend that they sue for the risk and damage that is caused them through this horrendous means of procreation.

  • Atheism denies God and man’s immortal human soul and makes beasts of burden of all people. Totalitarianism and enslavement of the peoples of the world. The crime of the United Nations. Finite freedom is all the state and the UN can give. Unalienable human rights are endowed by “their Creator”. And until the UN can prove that it is God, they have no legitimate leg to stand on.

  • Of course Shea reads TAC! He’s hypersensitive about anybody or anything that dares to criticize him or his pet ideas, causes, or persons. So he has to read TAC, Creative Minority Report, or any other traditional, conservative site, blog, or magazine to check out on what devious thing we’re up to.
    Some folks think Mark is an opportunist who changes his direction depending on which way the wind blows in his support of various causes (like the death penalty), but I believe, based on looking at his writings over the past few years, he’s a hardened leftist. Everything he says or writes seems to reflect left-wing rhetoric or causes. He acts like a leftist in the way he deals with people who dare to differ with him. I get the impression that he’s a stalking horse to see how far he can push things like gay rights, the abolishment of the death penalty, and other hot button issues among traditional and conservative Catholics.

  • but I believe, based on looking at his writings over the past few years, he’s a hardened leftist. Everything he says or writes seems to reflect left-wing rhetoric or causes.
    ==
    To me, it seems like a collage of the left and the alt-right, something uniquely his own and reflecting less an understanding of public life than the issue of his emotional self.

  • I know something about the alt-right, and based on what Shea has said in the past, I don’t think he likes them very much. However Art, I believe your comment about the
    “the issue of his emotional self” is the key to understanding Mark Shea. While we know the public Mark Shea, we know very little about his background, which would explain who he actually is. IMO, his public persona is a mask that hides the real Mark Shea from his fans, and probably all but his closet associates. And sooner or later, the mask will fall off, showing us the sad, pathetic man behind it.

  • I don’t think Shea is any more of a sad, pathetic person than the rest of us– he’s just got a different challenge, in that he’s got a LOT of people who are telling him he’s right when he lashes out at disagreement.
    (insert clip from Fiddler on the Roof about how it’s a challenge I’d be willing to face. 😉 )

  • Birds gotta fly
    Fish gotta swim
    Shea gotta shoot from the lip

    Mark Shea is the Yosemite Sam of The Patheos Posse and he is forever leading his followers into box canyons where they are trapped, forever missing their targets and shooting each other.

    If you haven’t been banned form his blog, you cannot identify as a Traditionalist.

  • in that he’s got a LOT of people who are telling him he’s right when he lashes out at disagreement.

    He helps with the atmospherics by deleting the comments of critics.

    Mark Shea is the Yosemite Sam of The Patheos Posse

    Not a bad metaphor.

  • Art- I know, and definitely don’t say he’s blameless. I just remember watching him start to…well…flip over, and part of why he GOT there is because he listened to folks who said he was doing the right thing, when he wasn’t.
    Some other reasons, and I’ve seen a few other folks flip over in similar ways; it’s sad, but I don’t think they’re inherently worse folks, just…didn’t rise to the challenge the way I hope I would.

  • It’s so nice and simple to use the shorthand of “they disagree with me, so they’re CLEARLY totally wrong.” And it’s something reasonable folks fight all the time, which is why jerks use it so often as a false accusation.
    Which leads, when it’s piled on top of “we honestly just disagree” things, to folks eventually ignoring it out of hand, on the boy who cried wolf theory.

  • and part of why he GOT there is because he listened to folks who said he was doing the right thing,

    I was never a regular reader of his, so there may be something I missed. He’d previously been aggressive online but grew intolerable around about 2005 or 2006. I do not recall him receiving much positive feedback for this and he had a great deal of criticism for it. He intervenes in his comment fora a great deal more than most moderators and his critics found themselves deleted en bloc so founded a counterblog. One was a fellow named Fotos and one a fellow named Victor Morton.
    ==
    It struck me a long time ago that he benefited from editors, as I could not reconcile the workmanlike articles he wrote for Crisis (a publication he now savages) with his much more bilious short commentaries online. I do not think he has a coherent politics (which would not bother me if he did not bother with political topics; I have nothing coherent to say about imaginative literature or Lincoln biographies). It’s more like he has a clutch of animosities. All of which is too bad.

  • Mark Shea isn’t worth the time or the bandwidth to read or to comment about.

    At the least, I expect Catholic priests, bishops, brothers and Sisters to uphold Catholic teaching and doctrine, and not to substitute their preferences in place of Catholic teaching and doctrine. Shea, in his verbose attacks, indicates that he is cool with said substitution. Shea’s blather is just that. Blather.

  • If I’ve got my timeline right, I was long gone by ’06– could’ve sworn he got BDS about the time I got in the area to be able to notice his view of Iraq didn’t line up with what I saw, which was ’05, and I know I stopped reading years before he started in on waterboarding being torture which was (from what I found trying to pin down a timeline) ‘08.

  • After 9/11 Shea wrote a very powerful and lengthy blog post. It was a great blessing to me and I’m sure many others. I wish we could resurrect that persona without the mean-spiritedness.

  • I spent the past three weeks in America: Tennessee and Louisiana, slumming and assisting our airborne ranger to PCS from the 101st to an airborne task force at Fort Polk, LA; and then we brought home his hound because his new duties don’t allow for him to care for dog.

    So, Mark who? Pope who?

    I think I’d faint dead-away if Pope who were to mention something remotely related to the Spiritual, as in repentance, confession, penance, amendment of life and good works for the greater glory of God; as in the four end things: death, Judgment, Heaven or Hell; as in Christ’s gaining for us by His life, death and resurrection the rewards of eternal life; as in Jesus forgiving our sins, saving us from the fire of Hell; taking souls to Heaven, and helping those of us most in need of his mercy; etc.

Himmler, Mark Shea and False Equivalence

Thursday, August 6, AD 2015

false-equivalence-jesus-and-hitler

False Equivalence-A common way for this fallacy to be perpetuated is one shared trait between two subjects is assumed to show equivalence, especially in order of magnitude, when equivalence is not necessarily the logical result. False equivalence is a common result when an anecdotal similarity is pointed out as equal, but the claim of equivalence doesn’t bear because the similarity is based on oversimplification or ignorance of additional factors. The pattern of the fallacy is often as such: If A is the set of c and d, and B is the set of d and e, then since they both contain d, A and B are equal. d is not required to exist in both sets; only a passing similarity is required to cause this fallacy to be able to be used.

 

Oh good.  I was afraid that we would miss on the 70th anniversary of Hiroshima Mark Shea’s usual histrionics:

 

Or the rhetoric of those who champion the incineration of thousands of civilians for the Greater Good:

If nuking these cities was a major U.S. war crime, illicit under international law and Church teaching, then we are put in the position of demanding a higher price in blood to salve our consciences. There are times in real life when one must commit a wrong in order to avoid an even greater wrong. These instances arise frequently in wartime. Another example: the terrorist who must be “tortured” in order to find out where the bombs are.

Jimmy, you’re right when you say that we were participating formally in evil when we dropped the bomb. Unfortunately, our participation in evil began almost four years earlier when we entered the war. This is the nature of war. There is much, much evil in it, and we do ourselves a disservice when through our well-meaning but futile efforts to mitigate its evil we prolong it and make it even worse.

What ties each of these stories together is perverted courage. For instance, note the sick logic at work in Himmler’s remarks: the willingness to commit murder is transmuted, in Himmler’s diabolical imagination, into a brave act of self-sacrifice. He consoles the SS soldiers by telling them they are tough men willing to do the dirty work of war. They don’t moralistically refuse to do acts that risk hell but bravely undertake the work of sinning gravely for a higher cause. They have the guts softer men lack to butcher thousands of innocent Jews and are willing to endure this hardship—the psychological trauma that goes with doing monstrous evil—for the sake of the love of country without looking for any loopholes.

Myers uses the same curious rhetoric of bravery to undergird his stirring defense of his Kermit Gosnell view of life – which also turns out to be a stirring defense of the Dr. Josef Mengele view of life. These men, like Myers, were “unafraid” to reduce millions of other, slightly older, human beings to “pieces of meat”. Once again, the language of “courage” and “bravery” is deployed to describe the embrace of grave evil.

And it doesn’t stop there. The Croatian butcher likewise speaks of his monstrous evils in tones indistinguishable from Milton’s Satan. As though the filthy charnelhouse he helped to staff was an act of noble rebellion against an unjust God whom he had no choice but to defy, what with His simplistic ideas of “just war” that get in the way of what Needs to Be Done to Win. He speaks of his participation in slaughter as a beautiful act of patriotism that none but the bravest could undertake. Sure, he’ll go to hell for it. God is unjust! But our brave soul will spend his eternity in Hell secure in the notion that He Did the Right Thing.

This is much of a muchness with our last quotation from an American who argues (like ever so many Americans) that God asks far too much when he imposes Just War criteria on us and seriously expects us to believe that not even we can directly intend the mass slaughter of innocent human life. This reader doesn’t mess around with pretenses that Hiroshima and Nagasaki weren’t violations of Just War teaching. Instead he simply declares that God is wrong, we are right, and we have to have the courage to just go ahead and do monstrous evil because it’s the Right Thing to Do and God is a fool to say otherwise. You must “commit a wrong in order to avoid an even greater wrong.”

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40 Responses to Himmler, Mark Shea and False Equivalence

  • So Shea thinks we should have taken an additional million casualties so he can feel better about his countrymen? Do I have that right

  • The toughest thing the fat man ever had to do was push himself away from the kitchen table. Monday morning quarterbacks get paid zip.

  • Ken, he does not do the toughest thing you say he does for if he did, then he would avoid surrending to that one particular of the seven deadly sins that causes his condition. And having surrendered to one, surrender to others – wrath against Conservatives and Pride in one’s own flawed thinking – follows as surely as the night does the day. This criticism would not be leveled if a certain pompous blogmeister would at least acknowledge that he is not the divine dispenser of apostolic wisdom.

  • One of the problems with this whole you can’t do that! It’s immoral/atrocious/criminal line of thought (besides the whole isn’t war is organized immorality/atrocity/criminality question begging I mean) is that it renders ideas about just war and self defense futile. So, say Putin decides to take back everything that used be behind the Iron Curtain, and he’s prepared to use nuclear weapons to do it. Are we supposed to let him? Apparently yes. Because using nukes is always wrong/bad and you can’t do a wrong/bad thing, even to achieve a good end.
    .
    That’s not to say that A-bombing Japan was a good thing. Only that it was the least bad choice among a range of increasingly worse ones.
    .
    And if that seems too worldly, as perhaps it is, then it further seems to me that Ghandi had the right of it after all: All of Europe should have marched happily into that Nazi death camps and trusted in God to change the hearts of men.

  • Mark Shea is the Catholic blogosphere’s version of Jon Stewart.

    It is a waste of time to point out the militarization of the Japanese population. It is a waste of time to point out that the firebombing of Tokyo and other Japanese cities were deadlier than Fat Man and Little Boy. It is a waste of time to point out that President Truman’s job was to end the war as fast as possible with as few American casualties as possible.

    I don’t know this for sure, but I doubt Mark Shea has spent little or no time with war veterans from the Pacific Theater.

    the LAST think I want to hear from Mark Shea, given his distaste for traditional Catholics, is a lecture about Just War or anything else. St. Thomas Aquinas did not live in the 20th century and did not face the monstrorus evils that existed in the 20th century.

  • I would think that the surviving Jews of Europe would be insulted to be compared as equivalent to the Japanese who material supported their war effort. That is exactly what Mark Shea is doing with his word games.

  • I would argue that destroying a city to kill one soldier is immoral, but destroying a military base with one civilian among 100,000 enemy soldiers is acceptable(would Mark Shea agree with the second statement? ). Somewhere in between, a line is crossed. I think a debate about that line would be very illuminating for this argument. It would at least tell us a lot about Mr Shea.

  • Or to rephrase, what proportion of combatant/non combatant defines a location as a valid military target vs off limits/war crime?

  • For myself, I’d like for one of these titans of moral insight to tell us we should have done in 1945 instead of telling us why what we did do was wrong.
    .
    Just once

  • MikeS wrote, “I would argue that destroying a city to kill one soldier is immoral, but destroying a military base with one civilian among 100,000 enemy soldiers is.”

    Take the case of the Lusitania. She was carrying contraband of war (a small cargo of arms). Was topedoing her justified?

  • Penguins Fan said it. He’s Jon Stewart. What does anyone really expect from him? A wise professor once told me to always ask who’s ox is getting gored. If Mark Shea’s was the life that was spared by Truman’s decision, something tells me he would have a different view of the matter.

  • MPS,

    I believe the traditional answer would be if there were proportionate reasons. Sinking the Lusitania would likely not meet that criteria as the death of a large number of civilians could not be justified by destroying a small arms shipment. If there were a small number of civilians on a freighter carrier munitions, aviation fuel etc., that would be different.

  • Yesterday was Shea’s birthday. This was the perfect gift for that pompous fool!

  • For myself, I’d like for one of these titans of moral insight to tell us we should have done in 1945 instead of telling us why what we did do was wrong.

    Well, you can go on his site and ask. The following will take place: (1) one of his pet pit bulls will make rude and snide remarks in reply, (2) Shea himself will issue a denunciation of you in the comments section or a succeeding post, and (3) all of your remarks will be deleted. About the most patient description of the quality of his commentary on any subject was offered just the other day by a competing blogger: “Shea’s signal-to-noise ratio [has] long since dipped below the level I’m prepared to deal with”.

  • “I wrote about this some time ago (here) saying that I thought it had been a mistake for the movement against abortion to adopt the term “pro-life.” Not that it’s not accurate, and not that I don’t understand the rationale for it. But it invites the response which it regularly gets: “You’re not truly pro-life, because you don’t support [some other cause] in addition to your own.” The other causes can be anything that the speaker believes to be good for people, or for that matter for animals, or the entire planetary ecosystem.

    For reasons that are obscure to me, this tactic is used even by some people who are actually anti-abortion. I can only conjecture that they are so repelled by the right-wing associations of the pro-life movement that they want to distance themselves from it. A few weeks ago, for instance, I saw a link to a piece by Catholic blogger Mark Shea that appeared to suggest that insufficient concern about gun violence disqualifies one from calling oneself pro-life. I say “appeared to suggest” because I didn’t read more than a few sentences, Shea’s signal-to-noise ratio having long since dipped below the level I’m prepared to deal with; the link appeared on my Facebook feed because someone I know had commented on it. Then a few days ago he pointed out that you aren’t truly pro-life if you don’t consider illegal immigrants to be human.

    I dare say that almost all pro-lifers are opposed to the use of guns in settling disputes or committing crimes, and believe immigrants, legal or otherwise, to be human. But it doesn’t matter. The tactic is so tempting that those who use it often don’t even seem to care whether the charge is true. I.e., the thing they say pro-lifers should support (or oppose) is often something that many or most of them do in fact support (or oppose), although perhaps not embracing the specific solution proposed by the leftist who is the usual accuser. But it does seem to be an effective way of changing the subject, at least for those who want to change it, and of putting the anti-abortion side on the defensive.”

    http://www.lightondarkwater.com/2015/08/pro-life-vs-anti-abortion.html

  • “For myself, I’d like for one of these titans of moral insight to tell us we should have done in 1945 instead of telling us why what we did do was wrong.”

    And also explain why such an outrage against Catholic morality was apparently missed by the entire hierarchy of the Church.

  • Since I refuse to go to Shea’s website can someone give a brief description of how Shea brings Planned Parenthood into this? I remember reading on another blog a year or two ago the argument that there is a direct link between the bombings and Roe v. Wade, and I am wondering if Shea was trying that same historically ignorant approach.

  • For Brian English:
    It can roughly be approximated as, “it took false courage for the Nazis to massacre Jews, it takes false courage for PP to dismember children and it took false courage for us to drop the bombs.”
    He also sets up a straw man who says that all war is evil anyway, so the bombs weren’t any worse.

  • Even a broken clock is right twice a day. This is once. Actually, not sure there is another.

  • Oh, and another logical fallacy is the agumentum ad hominem.

    I think Mark is a putz most of the times on most issues. That does not mean he is wrong this time. In fact, the responses I see are the same type of crazed bile that *Mark* is usually noted for. And still, none can square the bombings with Church teaching, and simply repeat the mantra that “a million” were saved, which, even if true (I do not grant it: the Pentagon only predicted 50k casualties, but we can never know), would not justify incinerating Grandma, Grandpa, and little Suzy in order to terrorize the Jap government into surrendering. It’s profoundly immoral to kill innocent people in order to get a bad guy to stop doing bad things. That’s what it all boils down to stripped of the verbal vomit.

  • (I do not grant it: the Pentagon only predicted 50k casualties, but we can never know),

    You continue to promote this fraud. There isn’t a judge in Virginia who should take a word out of your mouth at face value.

  • Tom, your last post was really crippled by that 50k comment. It is simply not true as a realistic estimate. Your inclusion of it shows you are in denial about the realities.

    And to repeat: do you think starving Grandma, Grandpa, and little Suzy to death in order to force (terrorize is a word reserved for the innocent) the ‘Jap’ government into surrendering during a 1945-46 blockage is not profoundly immoral?

  • Can someone point me to one respected moral theologian who has concluded that the bombing was morally right?

  • Judging from the attitude of the American people, I’d suggest that their “respected moral theologian” in this case is named Harry Truman. WJ, can you name any “respected moral theologian” who has written about the atomic bombings who was slated to participate in Operation Olympic? Oh, and I’d put Father Wilson Miscamble up against any “respected moral theologian” you’d care to name.

    Go to the links below to see an example of why I put “respected moral theologian” in quotes:

    https://www.commonwealmagazine.org/blog/ctsa-considers-resolution-contraception-mandate

    http://ncronline.org/news/faith-parish/theological-society-backs-vatican-criticized-nun

    http://www.cardinalnewmansociety.org/CatholicEducationDaily/DetailsPage/tabid/102/ArticleID/3523/Prof-Explains-Controversial-History-of-Catholic-Theological-Society-of-America.aspx

    http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/resources/life-and-family/sexuality-contraception/reluctance-among-clergy-to-speak-about-the-catholic-sexual-ethic/

    https://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2014/08/in-the-wake-of-heroic-theology

    In practice the Catholic Theological Society of America is, in the main, merely a left wing pressure group.

  • “Can someone point me to one respected moral theologian who has concluded that the bombing was morally right?”

    The well respected (that is, before the KGB-inspired “Hitler’s Pope” calumnies) moral theologian Pius XII refused to say that the bombing was absolutely wrong. See
    http://the-american-catholic.com/2015/08/07/hiroshima-survivors/#comment-270117

  • Brevity is the soul of wit: Mark who?

  • Tom,

    In the past I would be inclined to agree with you. Given the information on the conscription of most of the population of Japan, one is inclined at least to give ear to those who would look at Japan as one large island fortress. The Church has never declared that there can be no civilian casualties in battles. Thus the poor grandmothers and babies line is subject to criticism.

    As TomD intimates, a blockade would also be immoral (JPII declared the sanctions on Iraq were immoral and asked they be lifted due to the effects on ordinary people.) An invasion would likely have cost huge numbers of casualties and at some level lend itself to the question of its morality. That leaves us with negotiating peace with a Japan militarized in a total war mindset and in control of foreign territories.

  • “That leaves us with negotiating peace with a Japan militarized in a total war mindset and in control of foreign territories.”
    And as Don McClarey has pointed out over and over, in control of the monthly murders of tens of thousands of civilian citizens of nations were had agreed to fight for. A failure of responsibility to force Japan to surrender would be seen today as complicity in these civilian deaths of our Allies. There is no denying it.

  • Tom D wrote, “A failure of responsibility to force Japan to surrender would be seen today as complicity in these civilian deaths of our Allies. There is no denying it.”

    We must not confuse foresight with intention, which is at the root of most of the moral dilemmas posed by consequentialists.

    Miss Anscombe details the result of such confusion, “Christianity forbids a number of things as being bad in themselves. But if I am answerable for the foreseen consequences of an action or refusal, as much as for the action itself, then these Prohibitions will break down. If someone innocent will die unless I do a wicked thing, then on this view I am his murderer in refusing: so all that is left to me is to weigh up evils. Here the theologian steps in with the principle of double effect and says: “No, you are no murderer, if the man’s death was neither your aim nor your chosen means, and if you had to act in the way that led to it or else do something absolutely forbidden.” Without understanding of this principle, anything can be–and is wont to be– justified, and the Christian teaching that in no circumstances may one commit murder, adultery, apostasy (to give a few examples) goes by the board. These absolute prohibitions of Christianity by no means exhaust its ethic; there is a large area where what is just is determined partly by a prudent weighing up of consequences. But the prohibitions are bedrock, and without them the Christian ethic goes to pieces.”

  • “But if I am answerable for the foreseen consequences of an action or refusal, as much as for the action itself, then these Prohibitions will break down.”

    Ah, but the Church has always taught that we are just as responsible for sins of omission as sins of commission. “For what I have done and what I have failed to do.” is not merely a string of words we recite at Mass. That is precisely the Hiroshima Dilemma that Ms. Anscombe attempted to “solve” by simply ruling out the potential sin of omission clearly involved. Clever, but ultimately unconvincing, at least to me, especially if we had chosen what she assumed was the moral course, ignoring the clearly foreseeable consequences, and millions more had died as a result.

  • Donald R McClarey wrote, “Ah, but the Church has always taught that we are just as responsible for sins of omission as sins of commission…”

    But a sin of omission requires a positive duty to perform a particular act in all the circumstances of the case. Thus, St Alphonsus gives the case of a man who jumps to his death off the top of a burning building. His intention is to escape the flames; his death is merely the foreseen, but unintended consequence. Now, the prohibition of suicide is absolute, but the duty to preserve one’s life is not, so his choice is a legitimate one (S Alphonsus Liguori, Theologia moralis, lib. III, tractatus IV, cap. I, 367) Another example would be giving a dose of an analgesic to a patient sufficient to prevent his suffering, even though its foreseeable effect is also to terminate life.

    Cases where it is not permissible not to do x are very rare.

    Of course, the principle of Double Effect can be abused; thus, Miss Anscombe rejects several examples drawn from the Jesuit casuists, “that it is all right for a servant to hold the ladder for his criminous master so long as he is merely avoiding the sack by doing so; or that a man might wish for and rejoice at his parent’s death so long as what he had in mind was the gain to himself; or that it is not simony to offer money, not as a price for the spiritual benefit, but only as an inducement to give it.” All these were condemned by Innocent XI.

  • “But a sin of omission requires a positive duty to perform a particular act in all the circumstances of the case.”

    Indeed? If an assailant is killing my family, I doubt if I have a duty to intervene, but I have no doubt that it would be a great sin if I did not. Additionally, let us say that I kill not only the assailant, but also his friends who are cheering him on and might pose a threat to my family. I perhaps have committed a crime in doing so, but have I sinned? Under the circumstances I think not. This is not as clear a moral area as Ms. Anscombe mistakenly thought.

  • “We must not confuse foresight with intention, which is at the root of most of the moral dilemmas posed by consequentialists.”
    Thank you Don, for showing that the distinction between foresight and intention is not a clear cut as some would think. I could rattle off many examples of people and indeed nations taken to task over their intentions when the issue is really one of foresight. The philosophers’ distinction hardly matters to politicians and their supporters. It should, but it often doesn’t.

  • I”Cases where it is not permissible not to do x are very rare.”

    MPS, I would submit that the case of it being not permissible to not do the necessary acts to end the Japanese murders of Chinese and other civilians in 1945 would be one of the rare ones.

  • Estimates are estimates. There was a wide divergence concerning the potential casualty figures for an invasion. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Downfall

    Obviously, it is impossible to know how many casualties would have been suffered, because there was no invasion. The 1 million assumes Don’s theory that the entire Japanese populace would have fought, a very unlikely occurrence in my opinion. Some would have, many or most would not have, or would have only done so reluctantly and ineffectively, like the boy soldiers of the Third Reich.

    In any event, it’s all immaterial, irrelevant, and beside the point, which is that under Christian moral reasoning, you cannot kill civilians as a direct war aim to attempt to induce surrender. That is doing a direct evil in order to bring about a good, something impermissible, for Christians anyway.

    The populace of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were not combatants in any sense of the word. Their direct murder to compel Japanese surrender was simply immoral.

  • Tom D wrote, “I would submit that the case of it being not permissible to not do the necessary acts to end the Japanese murders of Chinese and other civilians in 1945 would be one of the rare ones.”

    That is far too widely framed. I am obliged to rescue a drowning man, but only if I can do so without imperilling my own safety.

    Again, a ship’s master is under a duty to pick up people in a lifeboat, but only if he would not endanger his own vessel, or risk the deterioration of his cargo or the loss of his market, by reason of diversion or delay.

    That is why I say that an absolute positive duty is so rare.

  • “Again, a ship’s master is under a duty to pick up people in a lifeboat, but only if he would not endanger his own vessel, or risk the deterioration of his cargo or the loss of his market, by reason of diversion or delay.”

    Probably under nautical law. I doubt seriously that the Church would look at it in the same way.

  • @MPS – Funny, when I read Matthew, I see that what separates the goats from the sheep and drives the former from the master’s sight is what the goats did NOT do, not what they did.

    Seems the Boss takes inaction as seriously as He takes actions.

  • “That is far too widely framed. I am obliged to rescue a drowning man, but only if I can do so without imperilling my own safety. ”
    No, it is not too widely framed. We were at war. it is impossible to equate a violent and implacable human enemy with a body of water. The safety of our servicemen was already imperiled. The only way to avoid the peril would be to agree to a cease fire that would have negated the war aims.

  • Tom D wrote, “The safety of our servicemen was already imperiled. “
    In absolving the government of the Netherlands for liability for the deaths of some 8,000 civilians at Srebrenica on11 July 1995, Larissa Alwin delivering the unanimous opinion of the International Court at the Hague on 16 July 2014, repeatedly stressed the paramount duty of military commanders to ensure the health and safety at work of the troops under their command and to carry out (and record) proper risk assessments to ensure that they operate in a safe working environment, “principals long enshrined in Public International Law and International Humanitarian Law.”
    By contrast and applying the same principals, the court found that, by cooperating in the deportation of some 300 men from the Dutch compound by Serbian forces, the Dutch acted unlawfully.
    Because troops are already, in some measure, “imperilled,” their government is not absolved from its duty of minimising that risk and every case will turn on its own facts.

Pewsitter v. Eye of the Tiber!

Tuesday, July 28, AD 2015

 

(Some down time before the family heads off for Indianapolis and GenCon tomorrow morning.  Had a great time in Kenosha visiting the mother-in-law.  Fascinating visit to the Civil War museum in Kenosha.  Details on Sunday.)

Well, Pewsitter and Eye of the Tiber square off!  From Eye of the Tiber:

 

After close to an hour of staring at the headline he had just written about Pope Francis, an employee at the news aggregation website Pewsitter has reportedly begun questioning whether or not to add an additional exclamation point or three, sources have revealed.

The unnamed Pewsitter writer reportedly told a fellow staff member this morning that after having written his most recent headline about the Pontiff, that he wasn’t sure whether or not the headline warranted a few additional exclamation points to help convey the possible lunacy of the Pope’s most recent actions.

“He told me that he was also considering whether or not to add one or a few more question marks sprinkled in between the exclamation points to help express the fact that Pope Francis was doing something that at best could be considered odd and something out of character for a pope to do, or at worst, something completely heretical,” the source told EOTT. “You can see the stress that this news aggregation Mozart has to deal with on a daily basis to put out the works of art that that he does.”

The source also went on to explain the importance of adding exclamation marks to headlines, saying that without them, “no one would ever know when to be outraged.”

At press time, the writer has decided go with the headline, “Francis Brushes With Same Brand Of Toothpaste That Planned Parenthood CEO Uses!!!?!!???!”

 

Pewsitter links to the article, as it always does for any post critical of it:

 

PewSitter gets Eye-of-the-Tibered?! – COMMENTS!

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The comboxes are a riot!

 

 

And then Mark Shea showed up:

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Only the anonymous hysterics at Pewsitter can save the Church from the Pope!!!!!!11111!!!!!!!!!!!

 
 
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    BTW your Sheaness – as I recall, in the past you most ardently rejected the left-wing nuttery of man-made global warming.

    So tell us your Sheaness, now that Comrade Pope Bergoglio has declared man-made global warming an immutable scientific truth and an official doctrine of faith – have you formally declared your new found discovery of this developed doctrine of thruthiness?

    After all your Sheaness – unless you’ve had a recent conversion to the scientific consensus of this new Katholic-Communism – you’re actually just another NeoCon Capitalist pig!!!!!!11111!!!!!!!!!!!

    Oh my!!!!!!11111!!!!!!!!!!!

    BTW have you gotten rid of all of that intrinsically evil air conditioning in your house?

     
     
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    Ahhh, there he is; the Yosemite Sam of the Patheos Posse (otherwise knows as CAI (Character Assassination Incorporated).

     
     
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    Says his Sheaness: the histrionic rhetorical-pyromaniac of the endless acreage of self-constructed strawmen!!!!!!11111!!!!!!!!!!!

    Who BTW is posting under an anonymous name!!!!!!11111!!!!!!!!!!!

    Yes – his hypocrisy does consume itself.

     

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Mark Shea on Climate Change

Thursday, June 18, AD 2015

 

After the issuance of the Green Encyclical today I assume that Catholics will be debating global warming.  I thought we would kick off the debate here on TAC with Mark Shea representing both sides:

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.

2015:

I have always expressed ignorance of the science for the very good reason that I am not a scientist. I have always granted the premise that there is climate change for the very good reason that change is what climate does. Beyond that, I have always left the matter in the hands of experts to hash out because what do I know?

Go here to read the rest.

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8 Responses to Mark Shea on Climate Change

Daffey Thoughts

Saturday, June 13, AD 2015

 

A blog I have been reading lately is Daffey Thoughts, run by David Griffey, a Baptist minister who converted to Catholicism.  The video above is from 2006.  He is a graceful writer as demonstrated by this recent post:

This year has been a struggle, as I work things out relative to the shifts that have happened in Catholicism since I’ve been Catholic.  The last vestiges of pre-progressive culture have been swept behind us, except for those sexual issues that would likely not impact celibate men.  Everything else is increasingly along the lines of modern, Western, progressive and even secular social and political theory.

That is enough right there.  Add to it the slammed doors on any hope that I will be able to act in the capacity of a minister of the Gospel, and it’s been tough.  What to give up?  What to sacrifice?  What to commit to?

Well, I decided, a few weeks into Lent I admit, that my penance will be a daily visit to Catholic and Enjoying It.  That may sound strange.  But here is why.

In my early days of looking at non-Protestant Christianity, I stumbled on CAEI largely by accident.  I was searching for some free downloadable articles by Scott Hahn, without success.  Then I found an article by someone named Mark Shea.  It dealt with the strange aversion many Protestants have regarding Mary.  It was direct, but nice.  Even respectful.  There were some clever zingers, making the point without offending.  But the point was solid, fair, and truthful.

I went back, found his website, and gobbled up the articles.  They were almost all wonderful.  Here was a conservative American Catholic, not afraid to point out when Conservatism wasn’t following the path of Christ.  He was also fair when liberalism was correct.  His blog was a little more raucous.  But those were usually the readers.  Mark himself was often the goalie, stepping in and stopping things before they went too far.  Even telling his friends to back off.  No personal attacks or accusations were allowed.  Those would get you the door.

There you had it.  You could be conservative and Catholic.  The stereotype of Catholicism and Liberal Socialism voting Democrats as the sacramental calling of modern Catholicism was not universal.  You could love America, admit it sins, but not emphasize them (which Mark pointed out was often a very un-Christian thing to do).  You could respect the heritage of Western Civilization. You could evenly boldly declare “Why We Must Fight” following 9/11.  He even liked Tolkien, and the books I liked.  And his humor and mine were not too far off each other.

Perhaps it was my own fault that I saw in Mark’s rather balanced approach as what Catholicism was, rather than looking further.  But that was well over ten years ago.

Today, the Church has changed in just the time since we came into it.  The generation that had welcomed Protestant Clergy Converts into the fold have passed to retirement.  With some exceptions in the priesthood, most now in charge (Boomer age) seem to want little to do with us, unless we can design webpages or raise money.  And it isn’t hard to see that Oprah style liberalism and the growing pronouncements about reality from Church leaders sound increasingly the same.  The Bishops’ willingness to almost in one voice support the Democrats in all things, as long as they don’t screw the Church, and the shift toward accepting the Secular narrative are hard to miss.

True, Pope Francis is a horse of a different color.  But those who have studied liberation theology and the Marxist influences in South American Christianity will recognize at least some influences there, even if what he is willing to take a stand against other forms of radical leftist morality (again, usually where sex is concerned).

On CAEI, the change is even more pronounced.  It’s almost an entirely different world.  An entirely different blogger.  Most regulars of old have long since moved on.  The readers are either post-modern non-conformists cheering on their own superiority over all those loser “tribal Catholics”, or clearly hard to the Left progressives, with varying degrees of anti-abortion and non-gay marriage support.  In fact, opposing gay “marriage” is about the only thing that separates much modern talk about homosexuality in the Church from your average LGBT rally. And CAEI echoes this.

CAEI is a strange mixture now of Jack Chick, Glenn Beck, Huffington Post progressive thought, and a reminder that Catholics are, whether we want to admit it or not, heirs of the Inquisition.  For a couple years, many regulars tried to warn that there was little to do with enjoying anything on CAEI, and a growing discrepancy between a man who claims to be conservative, and a man who increasingly seems to love liberalism but hate conservatism.  One by one, those readers have apparently given up and moved on.  Only a handful remain.  God love them.

For me, who has been accused of horrible things by the stock readers and by Mark himself – including not caring about murdered children at Sandy Hook and desiring to increase human slaughter – there is little joy or happiness now.  The anti-Western, anti-American, anti-Traditional and anti-Conservative narrative fully embraced has made me more of an outcast there than I was at the Huffington Post.  And to be honest, I’ve been called far worse on CAEI than I was at the Huffington Post.  And it was leaving HP (as well as being banned for not being liberal) that was one of the reasons I started my blog!  Which is always a possibility at CAEI, since the thing that gets you banned now is pretty much defending traditional and conservative viewpoints, with rare exception.

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3 Responses to Daffey Thoughts

  • Mark Shea follows the man who is Pope instead of the Man Whom the Pope is to follow.

  • As a convert since 2008, I too was initially drawn to Mark Shea but, upon reflection, he now seems to be too acerbic and too willing to blast those who disagree with him. Boy, is he hare line and hard nosed. I, too, join you in being puzzled as to why a Episcopalian or Lutheran convert can become a Catholic priest but a Baptist convert cannot. On the other hand, the Catholic Church is still the True Church of Jesus Christ and I am heartened by the witness of Catholics like Fr. Neuhaus, Thomas Howard, Scott Hahn and many other Catholics I encounter in our parish and on our Catholic journey. The happiness, joy and peace of being Catholic far exceeds any concern about the Bishops and the Pope, of which there is a good deal, on certain issues.

  • Pingback: TUESDAY EDITION: – Big Pulpit

Gennarini, Archer and Shea

Tuesday, June 9, AD 2015

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Faithful readers of this blog will recall the interview that Stefano Gennarini conducted with Archbishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, go here to read all about it.  The interview has developed into a larger controversy following a First Things article by Gennarini.  Go here to read it.  Mahound’s Paradise sets the stage for us:

 

 

The President of the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences (PASS), appointed by Pope Francis in 2014, just publicly dropped the “H” word on a pro-life writer at First Things.

The full saga involves the First Things writer, Stefano Gennarini, the Chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences (PAS), Bishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo and Margaret Archer, the president of PASS. It was in the context of initial criticism by Gennarini of the Vatican working closely with “population control” advocates Ban Ki-moon and Jeffrey Sachs.

Lifesite News sums the whole thing up well here. But I wanted to excerpt (with a few annotations) some of the worst parts of the letter written by Ms. Archer. The letter is extremely nasty–completely out of proportion to Mr. Gennarini’s initial calm criticisms–and often bizarrely off-subject, as when she accuses Mr. Gennarini of ignoring mass graves in Malaysia.
 
Keep in mind that this is a Vatican official appointed by the Pope, not some non-Catholic or squishy Catholic academic. And it was posted on an official Vatican website, not Salon or the Huffington Post:

Is your sole concern with human dignity confined to the period between conception and live-birth?…If so, this is a travesty of Catholic Social Teaching. [Gennarini of course never says anything of the kind, but this is a standard move.] 

Why are you so totally uninterested in vicious practices, such as human trafficking that are an offence to the human dignity and right to life that you purport to defend? [Ditto.] 

In the last two weeks of April in question, mass graves were found in Malaysia and Thailand of those killed by their intended traffickers; tens of thousands were set adrift at sea without food or water by those intending to traffic them before they feared for their own lives through the ‘civilized’ solution of a ‘blockade’. Is this of no concern to you? [Ditto again.] 

Of course, your comments imply that you are a climate change denier… [Burn him!] 

Why do you direct a hate message to Bishop Sánchez Sorondo alone? [There’s that H-bomb.] Various Cardinals were present at different meetings. Instead, blame me, blame PAS. [Well, yeah, but Sorondo is the Chancellor.] We are respected academics who take full responsibility for our actions and have, according to our Statutes, the duty and privilege of advising the Church on matters of Social Doctrine and its application. I am appointed by the Pope and responsible directly to him. I’m afraid that leaves you and your cohort out in the cold. Moreover, we work pro bono and are therefore are (sic) self-supporting, which makes me wonder which lobbyists meet your salary bill? [You dare to disagree with us? Who’s paying you?]  

Why are we not allowed to speak to Jeffrey Sachs or the Secretary General of the UN? [It’s a bit more than that.]…Well, that was not the attitude of Pope Francis who invited him to a private Audience, immediately prior to our joint PAS/PASS meeting on 28 April – to discuss climate change and human trafficking. Do you really have a higher moral standard than the Pope? Or is your own minimalistic version of the Creed, consisting of the single item: ‘’We believe in the ethical depravity of abortion’ considered to be an improvement? [Ditto for the third time.] 

It seems as if abject poverty, malnutrition, no schooling, and the prospect of no employment are of little concern to you after (children) have been born. [Well, personally, I also deeply care about employment opportunities for the unborn. But that’s just me.]

Who is Margaret Archer? As well as being the President of PASS, she is the Director of the “Centre for Social Ontology” at the University of Warwick.
Go here to read the rest. I find it rather odd that the President of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences would engage in pro-abort rhetoric rather than address the moral problem with the Vatican getting into bed with pro-aborts.  (Yes, Hitler has a terrible policy regarding the Jews, but we can work with him on ecological issues.)  Mark Shea has chimed in, and his opinion is that the controversy is all the fault of the nasty pro-lifers:

There have been a number of pre-emptive strikes against Francis and his imminent encyclical.  So…

This time, they messed with the wrong woman – Margaret Archer, world-renowned social theorist and president of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences. In the context of an all-too-typical hit piece from First Things, she issued a defiant response. She asks a sequence of questions, starting with this one:

“Is your sole concern with human dignity confined to the period between conception and live-birth? If so, this is a travesty of Catholic Social Teaching, whose concern is not confined to the newborn but extends to the development of all those potentialities and powers that exist only in potentia at birth (such as walking and talking) that develop or can be irreparably damaged throughout life.”

I’ve had people get mad at me when I’ve pointed out that things like the death penalty gun violence, unjust war, torture, or poverty are prolife issues too.  One reader furiously demanded to know why prolife activists were expected to drop everything and go protest some shooting in Detroit that killed a couple of people while a million and a half were dying from abortion, etc.  I was, I was told, placing an impossible demand on people with limited resources to do everything and be everywhere.

But that’s not what I’m saying.  I get that people have their focuses and can’t be everywhere doing everything.  Well and good.  If you are devoted to working against abortion full time and can’t fit anything else into your schedule then thank you for your hard work and may God bless and prosper it.  You are one of my heroes.

Yet here’s the  thing.  An awful lot of the “prolife” subculture, protesting that it has no time to expand its energies beyond protesting abortion, *does* have a huge amount of time and energy to work *against* the clear and obvious guidance of the Church on the issues I mention above.  Indeed, they often give every indication of having more time and energy for working against the Church on such issues than for actually doing prolife work.

Go here to read the rest.

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54 Responses to Gennarini, Archer and Shea

  • It is difficult to guard the village when our own guards have their matchlocks pointed inward at their own people, even as the enemy transgresses the walls. and dismantles the barricades.
    When truth is the target, much wailing is certain to follow.

  • Mark Shea is a liberal progressive Democrat through and through. But I suppose that comes with living on the left coast. I should stop now. Anything further I have to say would be truly yet fairly derogatory. I can’t stand him and his kind at all.

  • Lol….not having a rigorous death penalty gets thousands murdered in the Phillipines per year. 8000 murdered there in a recent year with a murder rate of 8 per 100,000. China’s murder rate of adults is one eighth of that…1 per 100,000…. with a billion poor people. Ergo conceivably, 7000 murders per year in the Phillipnes might be caused by not having Chinese severity…affirmed in the New Testament in the now unquoted Romans 13:4….unquoted in Evangelium Vitae and in the catechism
    death penalty sections. Abortions in China? About the same as New York City which has no death penalty operative for adult murder.

  • Mark Shea is a liberal progressive Democrat through and through. But I suppose that comes with living on the left coast. I should stop now. Anything further I have to say would be truly yet fairly derogatory. I can’t stand him and his kind at all.

    But, Paul! He says himself that he’s just thoroughly conservative and has a mostly conservative readership! 😉

    Then again in Seattle, I guess anyone to the right of Stalin is “conservative”…

    I’ve had people get mad at me when I’ve pointed out that things like the death penalty gun violence, unjust war, torture, or poverty are prolife issues too

    BECAUSE YOU’RE INCREDIBLY STUPID ON THEM, MARK!
    Death Penalty – You know what, I would gladly compromise on abolishing the DP if it meant outlawing abortion.
    Gun Violence – All time low. I guess pro-lifers won? (of course there’s also the very thorny issue of gun violence correlating to certain races and immigrants – I wonder how much Shea is really ready to travel down that road?)
    Unjust War – So nebulous in its meaning it is not even worth discussing.
    Torture – Catholic church fans might want to be wary of getting too attached to this particular petard.
    Poverty – The poor in the modern western nations have greater wealth than the rich man from Lazarus’s parable. Seems like pro-lifers have won there too.

    We live in an age of miracles and blessings our ancestors didn’t even dare to dream about. Yet people like Shea insist on complaining and constantly focusing on that last, unsolved 5% of several problems, rather than realizing that maybe it’s time we turned our focus to challenges that are 80% unsolved. At some point one wonders if he could ever go to Heaven because he would mad from having nothing to complain about.

  • Cancelled my subscription to the National Catholic Register because of Shea. In reality he isn’t much different than some of our leaders; e.g. Dolan, Wuerl and on and on!!!!

  • The problem is one of cooperation. Different types of cooperation with evil though only under one circumstance can one do so and if there are proportionate reasons. Formal cooperation where one agrees with the act (in this case promoting abortion and population control) and immediate material cooperation (one’s actions directly contribute to the act even if one does not agree with the act) are always wrong. Mediate material cooperation can be proximate or remote depending on how direct or causally related to the act. Proximate mediate cooperation is also illicit. Remote cooperation may be licit if there is proportionate reason to do so and other options have been tried. Also, scandal must not be given.

    It would seem that at a minimum, given the conditional state of climate science, that there is little proportionate reason to cooperate with the UN and other agencies that promote abortion etc. Even if there was, there is concern that the Vatican stand with these groups at some level would provide at a minimum proximate mediate cooperation and would be wrong. Better for these groups to be excluded even if one accepted the science.

    Whatever the case, neither Archer nor Sorondo argue from this traditional Catholic understanding. Rather, they fall back on tired, leftist arguments. This leads one to believe they either think their cooperation is not licit remote mediate cooperation or they don’t know the arguments about cooperation. Neither bodes well.

    The problem for Mark is, how close is he willing to tiptoe up to evil in order to achieve a very questionable good.

  • Shea is a high profile troll. I wish people would just stop reading him, like I did years ago. The only reason I know anything about his writing is from articles like this one and the blurbs that appear on New Advent. It seems that he has actually gotten worse since Francis came in, which is not surprising. They both appear to dislike the same people.

  • Well said, Brian English.
    Two reasons to never click on a link to a Mark Shea post:
    1) He gets money based on traffic to his site.
    2) He just bans anyone who disagrees with him from his comment box. I can’t believe the obvious sycophants following the gospel according to Shea.
    Really, I’m just fed up with the whole “I converted, therefore I am more zealous than thou, and am the only one who can understand the real truth that you ignorant cradle Catholics are missing. You are all so filled with self-righteousness and hung up on liturgical abuses. And a pox on all your houses for not agreeing with me.”

  • Is Mark Shea still writing?

  • I met Shea a few years ago and was not impressed. An now, because of views, vitriol, and argumentative writings, I simply avoid anything by him. It seems he is always attacking someone. I do not like him.

    Anyway, as an active pro-life advocate, I can tell you that many who witness for the dignity of the unborn ARE involved in other things. Many also volunteer at pregnancy centers, some help at maternity homes, some with Gabriel project—all of which are concerned with mothers and children after birth too. Many are concerned about sex trafficking and do what is available to do. Some work in soup kitchens as I have done. Some visit the elderly as I do also. But it is true that a person cannot embrace every aspect of pro-life work. And nothing takes more lives and SOULS than abortion,

  • Good comment, Magdalene.
    .
    What does Mark Shea do about the immigrants?
    .
    What does Mark Shea do about the homeless, and the drug addicts and alcoholics in inner cities?
    .
    What does Mark Shea do about the imprisoned – does he visit them?
    .
    What does Mark Shea do about the hungry, poverty-stricken people in Appalachia?
    .
    What does Mark Shea do about the family whose bread winner has lost his job and can neither pay the mortgage nor feed the children?
    .
    What exactly does Mark Shea do except mouth off about what he accuses us of not doing but he himself refuses to get his hands dirty by doing?
    .
    Drink that Star Bucks coffee and eat that fancy pastry while criticizing people for not doing what you refuse to do!
    .
    Liberal progressive social justice Democrat. Arrggghhh!

  • Drink that Star Bucks coffee and eat that fancy pastry while criticizing people for not doing what you refuse to do!

    Yeah, I’ve often wondered that if everyone complaining about a living wage, actually went out and hired someone to work for them at what they think a living wage should be, we wouldn’t have anybody making minimum wage any more.

    Certainly Shea and many of his commentators reinforce the stereotype about Catholics and economics.

  • There once was a blogger named Shea,
    Who thought pro-life Catholics weren’t great.
    So he made it his cause
    to point out their flaws.
    Now he thinks, “I’m better than they!”

  • The newly begotten human being is endowed with sovereign personhood from the very first moment of existence. Human existence is the criterion for the objective ordering of human rights. Suarez. If Pope Francis follows Aquinas in that the human being comes into existence at ensoulment, what of Aquinas saying that the soul is the form of the bod? How does the human body get to ensoulment without his soul? God creates and ensouls the sovereign person simultaneously when man procreates the human body.
    Who can determine how the new human being, our posterity, worships and loves God in his relationship with his Creator? As a member of homo sapiens, he has a rational, immortal soul and is a member of the Church militant on earth. We know that the sovereign personhood of the new human being constitutes the human race, his nation and his government. We know that his civil rights are held in trust for him by God, by his parents and by the state, and therefore he must be given due process of law and may not be put to death for the crimes of his parents, or of overpopulation. He may be given up for adoption to parents who can afford to help him. Many childrens’ funds allow people to support children in other countries via mail and even support the aging.
    Any law can be broken to save a human life is the unwritten rule of thumb. The death penalty is not only a deterrent, the death penalty save lives.
    “We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal…” in moral and legal innocence, the standard of Justice for the human race. Our vocation comes with our soul. Mary Immaculate said “YES” to her vocation. Test tube babies, frozen Snowflake babies, the product of rape all start life, with free will and intellect, with innocence.
    The effort to silence innocence makes one wonder where in hell Bergoglio is taking us.

  • Embarrassing.
    Archbishop, Archer and Shea.

  • The cases of Archer and Shea are stretching what it means to be a Catholic beyond recognition and that includes those who support them like Bishop Sorondo. This is just another example of the Vaatican goings-on which are a travesty, an embarrassment, and a scandal.

  • A person that places gun confiscation, illegal immigration and the death penalty (leftist/secular humanist-fabricated crises) on a level with 50,000,000 abortions is a moral bankrupt and not worthy of an iota of your attention.
    .

    PS: Social Justice! Recent NBER study revealed that democrat, progressive policies destroyed, duh, fundamentally transformed the American middle class.

  • Is anyone REALLY shocked that He Who Should Be Ignored has embraced the leftist meme that pro-lifers only care about people until they get born, at which time said pro-lifers suddenly lose interest in caring for others? We ALL know that meme is a LIE. Yet Mark has embraced it.
    ***
    I ask you: Is there a dime’s bit of difference between what Shea writes today and what he once criticized at Vox Nova as being the “debate club at Auschwitz”?
    ***
    He now has more in common with the hard-left commenters who now haunt his comboxes and Facebook page as his biggest fans.

  • NOTICE that the Commonweal [COMMONWEAL !!!] piece to which Mark links is a piece by Morning’s Minion.
    ***
    Shocker.

  • Shea is the Tony Campolo of the Catholic blogosphere.

  • Yeah, I can imagine Mark doing an about face on gay marriage in a year or two depending on who has the upper hand at the Vatican:

    http://www.christiantoday.com/article/tony.campolo.calls.for.full.acceptance.of.gay.christian.couples.in.the.church/55718.htm

  • I’ve been in the pro life movement all my life . Since 19. These pro lifers have gone the extra mile in all areas of ministry . Adoption, foster care, pregnancy help centers, provide shelter for the homeless, prayer ministry, homes for unwed mother’s all area of care. Most of the time we have had very little help from the church, especially at the beginning. Legislation, education., hands on non stop help for all races, creeds and color. That’s along with our families and many activities family centered around our pro life activities. Social justice my patootski If the thousands upon thousands of pro lifers had not been doing what we have for the last 43+ years I dare say this country would have been casting shell already

  • Hell can you believe it won’t record HELL.

  • “If the thousands upon thousands of pro lifers had not been doing what we have for the last 43+ years I dare say this country would have been casting shell already.”
    .
    Again I ask, “What exactly has Mark Shea done that remotely resembles this.”
    .
    Has he gone to a State Penetentiary, regularly meeting and talking with prisoners to help them get to a normal life without drugs and alcohol? What an experience! So don’t talk to this right wing pro-lifer about caring for the imprisoned.
    .
    Has he taken two Filipina immigrants into his apartment free of charge until they could get on their feet? So don’t talk to this right wing pro-lifer about caring for the immigrant.
    .
    Has he worked with drug addicts and alcoholics? Has he ever paid for a month’s worth of housing for a drunken dope fiend, or counselled a manic depressive alcoholic, or gone to the beach to pick his sorry freaking behind up off the sand at 11 pm at night to get him some help? So don’t talk to this right wing pro-lifer about caring for the drug addict or alcoholic.
    .
    And I will wager that the overwhelming majority of readers here have done far more than what is mentoned about. But what has that bombastic Mark Shea done? What besides pontificate on how evil right wing people are? I despise, loathe, abhor, detest and hold in utter contempt and disdain liberal progressive humanism.

  • Catholics should know where the word “pro-life” came from, and what it means. “Pro-life” was a word coined to counter the pro-aborts calling themselves “pro-choice” soon after Roe v. Wade. It was a spiritual word, not political. What was political was the second part of what pro-life meant. It meant support for a Right-to-Life Constitutional Amendment. To get that required having at least 70% of men and women elected to Congress who were pro-life and would support a RTL Constitutional Amendment. It also required having at least 3/4 of the state legislatures to have men and women who were pro-life and would vote for a RTL Constitutional Amendment. So “pro-life” meant being against abortion and for a RTL Constitutional Amendment.

    There was a second means of providing protection for the unborn and that was to have justices on the U.S. Supreme Court who would overturn Roe v Wade. That required having Presidents elected who would nominate such persons who would overturn R v W, as well as required men and women elected to the U.S. Senate who would vote for such presidential nominees. .

    That all changed when Cardinal Bernardin got the U.S. Conference of Bishops to redirect the “pro-life” movement to include so called “social justice” issues which were prudential judgment issues, not intrinsic evils. Nor did any of them require passing a Constitutional Amendment to rectify them.

    In essence, Bernardin and the U.S. bishops quietly abandoned the fight to pass a RTL amendment for the unborn in favor of providing Catholic Democrats a “religious” means to remain in their beloved Democratic Party from which they get their self-identity. All the issues the bishops added to the name “pro-life” just happened to be issues the Democratic Party supported.

    I believe those Catholic Democrats and their supporting clergy are going to be in for a surprise when Jesus returns and directs them to stand on his left side – just as they have chose to do in this life.

  • Hey now, living in/around Seattle doesn’t make you a liberal…. although my husband and I lost a friend who’d also been a shipmate because we’re too “extreme.” You see, he considered himself right-wing because he regarded Obama as a centrist, rather than being on the Right, as all his friends do. So we were clearly far-right extremists, and thus hateful Nazis.

    That said, the Church over here is pretty good. Compared to what I had growing up on the other side of the state, it’s awesomely good– even the retired hippy priest preached against abortion, with no wiggle words! I had NEVER HEARD THAT before moving over to the damp side.
    ***
    I’ve had people get mad at me when I’ve pointed out that things like the death penalty gun violence, unjust war, torture, or poverty are prolife issues too
    That’s because they are not.
    The death penalty is a licit way to protect the lives and rights of the innocent– you happen to believe there are other routes for it, and lash out viciously when people don’t instantly agree.
    Gun violence is no different than any other violence– I like the idea of gun violence that prevents my kids from being tortured to death, as has happened in our area. Gun violence is just a type of violence that’s much more accessible to those who are not large, strong, healthy men.
    Unjust war– problem, you use that for any war with which you do not agree.
    Torture– same thing.
    Poverty– define it, and then try to prove it, rather than making assertions.
    What have they got in common? They all are prudential judgement issues where you want them to be binding ones.
    Contrast with actual killing people.

  • The Tony Campolo story is a cautionary tale about the whole idea of leading with mercy.We should not be separating mercy and justice- now that they have kissed (at the Cross).
    As I may have mentioned before, I wonder why Vatican 2 even gave us two separate Constitutions! (Pastoral and Dogmatic)
    .
    There is a danger to the evangelist who may want to, as a measure of mercy, in some way validate the lifestyle. We begin to say, it’s not so bad- nothing like the raunch parades of 10 years ago…and, really, these two- they are such nice guys!
    .
    We Christians are losing people by attrition– people are “evolving” convinced within their own families and circles of friends. And priests have a hard time calling their brother priests to conversion to Christ
    It is harder and harder to speak the truth when sin is so disarming. The evangelizer begins to feel a certain guilt for “judging”… Surely Jesus would be more loving than…..He was …
    He would surely couch HIs words softly with a certain aquiesence- being able to thoroughly understand people’s deepest needs and all.
    .
    Michael Coren too.

  • @Anzlyne: Have you not read from the Pope, referencing Ps 51:11-16, that God’s justice is his mercy? [Cf. Misericordiae Vultus, 20]

  • Thank You @FMShyanguya – I did read that.
    Deut 6:4 “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one “- doesn’t just refer to the fact that there is only one God, but also to the inner unity and wholeness- the Integrity, if you will, of God. Mercy is not in oppositon to justice but they are two attributes of the Holy God….in Whom there is no contradiction, no shadow of change.
    God became man- Body Blood and Soul, and with perfect Mercy atoned or offered satisfaction for our sins. Justification is a mercy He won for us. By Grace perfectly fulfilling the Law. Yay!

  • Psalm 85:11-12 has caused us to ask how can this be? Just and Merciful at the same time? but remember it is a coming home psalm 🙂 a hopeful song and a prophetic one.
    11 Love and truth will meet; justice and peace will kiss.
    12 Truth will spring from the earth; justice will look down from heaven.

    It is prophetic in that Justice and Mercy met at the Cross, Jesus in His Mercy SATISFIED Justice, offering Himself, Body Blood Soul and Divinity. ‘by His stripes we were healed’
    Perfect Offering, perfectly fulfilling the Will of the Father. Making all things new, setting things right,
    Our poor efforts to be mericful /just must be better than to simply ignore or be apathetic about sin. We can’t just wave people off, “Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well,” not caring abut the consequences they will suffer Mercy requires telling hard truths. For us to be merciful requires sacrifice, getting involved…even proselytizing 🙂

  • “God’s justice is his mercy “[cf. Ps 51:11-16]. Makes no sense to me whatsoever. I am scratching my head. I have tried to reconcile this with what is on Catholic Encyclopedia [New Advent], St. Thomas Aquinas, Pope St. John Paul II’s Dives in misericordia, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, etc., and I can’t. Please may someone explain this to me? For starters, if God’s justice is his mercy, if they are the same, what then is justice?

  • http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/apost_letters/documents/papa-francesco_bolla_20150411_misericordiae-vultus.html

    Reading over it, starting with the opening paragraph of #20, I’m guessing he’s pointing to how Jesus dying for our sins (that is, mercifully paying the price Himself that must be paid for justice to be served) was where Mercy and Justice combine as aspects of love.
    ****
    I don’t think it takes much to recognize that a lot of people want to be dispensing mercy, without bothering to deal with the price that justice requires. Or even the consequences of that “mercy.”

  • Thank you @Foxfier. To be honest, I do not get the whole paragraph …
    *
    PS In my earlier comment I forget to add I can’t even reconcile the statement with the reference given of Ps 51:11-16.

  • I’m guessing, here, honestly; if my reading is right, then the last phrase is needlessly obscure– should say something like they’re two sides of the coin of God’s sacrificial love.
    Something to reiterate the early line about two dimensions of a single reality that unfolds progressively until it culminates in the fullness of love.
    It doesn’t do a very good job of looking at the really hard part of mercy– the price. Well, it’s hard if you’re the one paying it, anyways; cheap mercy where the person imposing the mercy doesn’t pay the price, and the one receiving it isn’t open to the idea that they did anything wrong, feels entitled to the mercy…that’s not good for anybody.

  • “then the last phrase is needlessly obscure” – Thank you!

  • Zowie, check out this article by the boss of the guy who had the Social Sciences head attack him with pro-abort rhetoric:
    http://www.crisismagazine.com/2015/bullies-for-francis
    Quote:
    He refers repeatedly to Archer’s mocking tone, though approvingly, and says more Catholics and all people of good will should do the same and in the process “reclaim Catholic Social Teaching from those who have spent decades hijacking it.”

    I call them Bullies for Francis.

    You see them large and small. You see them among the major and minor bloggers. You see them in the comment boxes. You see them among the academics and among the ordained. You even see them among the non-believers for even they have waited for a Pope they could use as a stick against their enemies.

  • Someone we might recognize is in the comments. 😀

  • Shea recently was trying to resurrect the “Seamless Garment” argument, promulgated by that heretic, Card. Bernardin. If I could think of one person and philosophy that was more destructive to the Catholic Church in America than anything else, it would be this. Why do you think Obama was elected twice by a majority of Catholics? And as many people here have pointed out, Shea is a bomb-thrower who loves to stir up his critics. He enjoys hunting down the most extreme examples of conservative / traditional Catholics on the Internet and then generalizes it to all, which is nothing more than lying. What is sad in that this neoCatholic cabal of Evangelical converts like him, have managed to seize considerable control of EWTN / NCRegister. Just wait until they move into the offices of that atrocious Christ Cathedral in Orange County, CA. Also look for their “Forming Intentional Disciples” movement to come to a parish near you. Here we will be instructed that catechizing Catholics will not work until we first have a “personal relationship with Jesus”. Can you give me an alleluia?

  • About justice and mercy:
    A clip fro a meditation on the Sacred Heart by Cardinal R. Burke who quoted Cardinal Ratzinger
    “In a wonderful reflection on the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, expresses the profound significance of the references to the Heart of God and the Heart of Jesus in the Holy Scriptures. He writes: “The pierced Heart of the Crucified is the literal fulfillment of the prophecy concerning the Heart of God, which overturns His justice with compassion and precisely in this way remains just. Only in this concordance between the Old and New Testament can we behold the full extent of the biblical message concerning the Heart of God, the Heart of the divine Redeemer (‘The Paschal Mystery as Core and Foundation of Devotion to the Sacred Heart’ in Towards a Civilization of Love [San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1985], p.159).

  • I read this blog AND Shea’s nearly every day and usually find something good or interesting in both. So there must be something wrong with me, right? 🙂 Or is there something wrong with the incessant Shea-bashing that takes place on this site?

    Yes, I realize that Shea is harsh to the point of obsession on what he calls “The Thing That Used To Be Conservatism,” and he seems to think that any attempt to rein in or reduce the growth of expensive entitlement/welfare programs is “punishing the poor.” His regular commenters, however, generally contribute some helpful insights on these issues. Some of them, including me, frequently disagree with him but do NOT get banned. Also, he posts interesting and humorous stuff on non-religious and non-political issues (e.g. science fiction writers, tributes to actors such as Christopher Lee). Finally, he often posts prayer requests from readers, which I incorporate into my prayer intentions regularly.

    There are some blogs, and some Catholic blogs, that I have pretty much stopped reading because I don’t get enough useful or edifying information out of them to be worth it. “Catholic and Enjoying It” is NOT one of them. Your mileage may vary, however, and if you don’t get anything out of it just don’t read it. If you feel he has said something egregiously wrong that merits correction, by all means feel free to post something about it. But don’t assume that he and everyone who reads his blog are, ipso facto, bad Catholics or actual/potential heretics.

  • Mark Shea is as leftist as the folks over at the NC Reporter. I’ve watched him slowly advance stuff like the anti-death penalty movement, his crazy obsession about what he calls torture, pro-gay sympathies, and defending welfare moochers. Why any sound Catholic would want to take this man seriously is amazing to me. But sadly, EWTN, Catholic Answers, and several other organization do take him seriously. Hopefully, his growing extremism will push him into well deserved isolation so he won’t be heard from anymore.

  • Elaine,

    I understand that there may be some useful kernels of information reported by Shea, but at some point a man can only get away with spreading malicious information and impugning the character of those he disagrees with for so long before he should be shunned. Take Andrew Sullivan, for example. Sure, he could still write lucidly and even convincingly on certain subjectsl, but he had so poisoned his reputation that he could no longer be taken seriously on anything of substance. I’m not suggesting Shea is as bad, but he is longer a reliable source.

    Also, I think the “just don’t read him” suggestion, while a good one, misses that he has a little more pull in the Catholic media world than others. This is a man who can still be heard on ETWN radio, after all, and thus has a wider audience than most.

    Finally, here’s what really bugs me about Shea, and I realize this is a bit personal, but so be it. This is someone whose vocation is ostensibly to be a writer who spreads the faith, makes converts, etc. It’s a noble vocation, if not outright admirable. But that means he’s drawing a paycheck to spread the faith, and in a sense be a representative of our faith. The rest of us are doing this as a hobby. Would you say he’s really justified that position? Don’t you think that someone who has a vocation as a professional writer has a greater responsibility to be more reasoned and refrain from invective? How does blogging every single uncensored thought that comes into his head fulfilling his vocation?

    Shea has outright slandered people. That’s not the mark of a Catholic apologetic. He should be shunned, if not ignored.

  • Good point Elaine. While outrage is the fuel of most blogs it does one well to take a break from criticism to make an effort to see the other side’s point of view. But this, of course, is most difficult as trying to understand the ‘other side’ requires a level of forbearance few of us possess. But we should try nonetheless. And I do very much like Shea’s including prayer requests in his column.

  • Or is there something wrong with the incessant Shea-bashing that takes place on this site?
    Yes, I realize that Shea is harsh to the point of obsession on what he calls “The Thing That Used To Be Conservatism,” and he seems to think that any attempt to rein in or reduce the growth of expensive entitlement/welfare programs is “punishing the poor.”

    Hardly incessant when people occasionally object, with substance, to what even you describe a a near-obsession with attacking them. I run into Shea’s stuff more on facebook than I do here.
    He is paid for where where he represents the Catholic Church, and has a nasty habit of conflating his prudential judgement with binding teaching, combined with a tendency to be vicious when challenged on it. This is especially noticeable because when he’s actually on firm theological ground, he doesn’t (mis)behave the same.

    Especially when he says stuff that falls right in line with the attacks from those opposed to binding Church teaching, he needs to be countered.

  • Foxfire: “He is paid for where where he represents the Catholic Church, and has a nasty habit of conflating his prudential judgement with binding teaching, combined with a tendency to be vicious when challenged on it…”

    Yes, exactly. For instance: if you claim to be a pro-life Catholic yet dare to own a handgun, don’t support raising the min. wage, or worst of all you accept the Church’s centuries old teaching on the death penalty, why you are really nothing but a pro-death Protestant hiding behind your precious feet-pins. He’s using the same methods to attack faithful conservative Catholics as Bernardin did decades ago. This destructive seamless garment ideology wreaked havoc on the Church….and still does to this day.

  • @Anzlyne: Thank you for throwing some light re: justice and mercy.

  • @FMShyanguya
    Re: Justice=Mercy.
    Seems difficult to reconcile doesn’t it? How the ‘Our Father’ where we will be forgiven as we forgive. In others words God’s justice towards us will equal our mercy towards others.
    Does this help?

  • @Michael Dowd: Thank you [and all trying to assist here]. Seems difficult to reconcile doesn’t it? Yes it does and to me, this is the first time in the Church that this equation has been made.
    *
    Mercy presupposes justice; God treats us better than we deserve, etc. but never God’s justice is his mercy … If it was, to me, no consequences after the fall, no need for repentance, no hell, no need for Christ to come for us men and our salvation …

  • @FMShyanguya

    Understanding divine perfections, which are identical with other, requires mystical knowledge according to St. Albert the Great. This is possible thru divine contemplation that shows us how infinite justice harmonizes with infinite mercy, without ceasing to be justice and the same with mercy. To understand this on earth requires infused contemplation, a gift from God, and most difficult to obtain. Please see the book ‘Christian Perfection and Contemplation’ By Fr. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P. pages 322-23.

  • @Michael Dowd Thank you!

    Thus, as applied to creatures, goodness and justice, for example, are distinct from each other and from the nature or substance of the beings in whom they are found, and if finite limitations compel us to speak of such perfections in God as if they were similarly distinct, we know, nevertheless, and are ready, when needful, to explain, that this is not really so, but that all Divine attributes are really identical with one another and with the Divine essence. – The Nature and Attributes of God | New Advent.

    Still I am not getting Misericordiae Vultus, and I can’t shake the feeling that the formulation God’s justice is his mercy is there to serve some purpose …
    *
    Please note from the heavy reading of New Advent, to us, is helps us make the distinction precisely because in us, the perfections are varied and distinct.

  • “Or is there something wrong with the incessant Shea-bashing that takes place on this site?”
    ***
    If I thought for one moment that there was something wrong with my criticism of Mark as voiced in the comments on this site, I would abjectly apologize to him and vow never to say another negative word about him.
    ***
    There’s not. So I don’t.

  • “God’s justice is his mercy “[cf. Ps 51:11-16]. Makes no sense to me whatsoever. I am scratching my head. I have tried to reconcile this with what is on Catholic Encyclopedia [New Advent], St. Thomas Aquinas, Pope St. John Paul II’s Dives in misericordia, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, etc., and I can’t. Please may someone explain this to me? For starters, if God’s justice is his mercy, if they are the same, what then is justice?

    .
    Let me take a shot at that. I’m fond of westerns. In fact, I’d like to write a Everything I Needed to Know, I Learned from Westerns type book. But that will never happen because I’d die before I secured all the permissions. Anyway, for those of you who’ve seen Kevin Costner’s Open Range, (and if you haven’t, you should) there’s this, in my opinion inspired scene in which Costner’s character kicks the innocent youth character (played by Diego Luna) out of his saddle, dropping him into the middle of a river. “What did you do that for?” Luna asks. “Cheatin’ at cards,” Costner replies.
    .
    When I saw that. I thought something like what a service that was that Costner’s character did for Luna’s. Because other men will literally kill you for cheating at cards. Dying is a hard lesson, particularly because you don’t get to benefit from what you’ve learned. And that, to my mind, is what’s meant by “God’s justice is his mercy.” We don’t escape punishment (kicked into freezing cold water) for our transgressions, but, we don’t necessarily have to die (in the sense of suffering eternal damnation) for those transgressions either.
    .
    Granted, we can choose to refuse His grace, and continue to cheat at cards….

Shea Plays Race Card on Death Penalty

Wednesday, March 11, AD 2015

 

Mark Shea has been trending left for quite a while and now he is using the favorite tactic of the contemporary left in this country:  race baiting.

 

but it’s totally not about race or anything and if you notice that it is you are “playing the race card”. The Death Penalty: Because the Magisterium is incompetent to teach about faith and morals when American white conservative sacred cows are involved.

 

Have you no sense of decency left Mark?  Of course, it has long been known around Saint Blogs that in the heat of controversy Mark Shea will use any stick to wield against those on the other side, no matter how dirty and unfair the stick is.  Back in 2013 Shea offered a public apology for his bad behavior and I congratulated him on it.  Go here to read my post.  One aspect of apologies is amendment of behavior and, regrettably, since that apology Shea has gotten worse in his public behavior, and the above putrid insult by him of Catholics who hold to the teaching of the Church for almost 2000 years as racists, is beneath contempt and is about as low as one can go in American contemporary discourse.

For 33 years I have engaged in adversarial relationships every day of my professional life as an attorney.  I have always tried to never use unfair arguments and I have always attempted to treat my adversaries with respect.  Sometimes I have felt that this has put me at a slight disadvantage occasionally with attorneys who have a win at all costs mentality.  However, my success record in litigation has been rather good, and I have the added bonus of being able to look at myself in the mirror when I shave.  I think that what I have done as an attorney is a good rule to follow in blogging, whether other bloggers do so or not.

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22 Responses to Shea Plays Race Card on Death Penalty

  • Here is a simple line of reasoning: if more capital crimes are committed by members of one race versus members of another race, then more people of the first race would and should receive capital punishment than the people of the second race. But the imposition of capital punishment is being done not because of race but because of the commission of a capital crime. It is sad that more members of one race may commit more such capital crimes than another. I do not say that that is for certain the case. I have not done a statistical study. But nevertheless, the punishment is done for the crime, not the race.
    .
    Now here is the thing: if we want fewer people of that particular race to receive capital punishment, then we have to find a way of ensuring that fewer people of that race commit such capital crimes in the first place. So the right question to ask is this: why do so many more people of that race commit capital crimes than people of other races? Find that answer and fix that problem, and then the supposed inequitable imposition of capital punishment on members of that race will decrease.
    .
    BTW, does Mark Shea pray and work for the cessation of criminal activity which would obviate the need for capital punishment in the first place, or would he prefer to show mercy to the criminal instead of justice for the victim?
    .
    PS, I am NOT a racist (unless you count the fact that I love the human race of which I am a member). Indeed, while by accident of birth the melanin of my skin cells is white, that of my wife, being Filipino, is a light brown.

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  • Mark who?

    FYI, in 2004, there were 1.3 million US abortions of innocents and 59 death-penalty executions each after numerous years of appeals and other delays.

    .
    Liberal catholics’ enthusiasm for forcing on the USA Catholic (recently rewritten) death penalty teaching would be commendable. Except, where is their zeal for forcing an end to the most pressing pro-life issue: abortion?

  • The death penalty is slanted even further in its application against men than any racial or ethnic minority Mark Shea cares to name. Yet Shea commits an act of omission regarding that obvious-to-the-most-casual-observer misandristic sexism. Truth doesn’t fit Shea’s feminist-driven narrative.

  • I think the race obsessives would argue that makes you the worst kind of racist Paul.

    And if Shea is going to play the race card, he should do so proudly, instead of sulkingly. Either it’s about race or it’s about playing the race card. Make an argument and defend it.

  • “I have the added bonus of being able to look at myself in the mirror when I shave.”
    ***
    Is that an explanation for the size of Mark’s beard?

    😉

  • PS: The number of US black unborn babies aborted each year is disproprtionately high in relation to the percentage of blacks in the US population. If that isn’t racism I don’t know what is racism.
    .
    Mac,
    .

    Growing a beard was my solution to having look at myself in the mirror.

  • Unlike you Donald, I was once removed from a courtroom by the judge in a citizen’s arrest case…and I made the arrest and was on the state’s side. But the defense lawyer accused me of strangling the defendant…whereupon I went into him verbally because I sensed an inaccuracy….strangulation varies from country to country and I spent time in foreign jungles where what I did meant hello.
    Be that as it may, Shea knows who pays him into his tin cup and how to keep on the Catholic speaker circuit. That John Paul II audience wants total catechism and Pope adherence….with any creative sensationalism left outside those two venues….ergo the Shea endless ad hominems outside those venues while having endless submission to the CCC and each Pope. Creativity here…submission over there. It results in pan infallibility of each Pope and catechism article which is kind of rampant anyway….though Francis has begun to end that in traditionalists. Both John Paul II in EV and Benedict on preemptive war quoted the catechism as though it was the Bible which neither of them did as to the actual Bible on the death penalty as to Romans 13:4. Lol….maybe Protestants are not 100% wrong about us and the Bible.
    If Shea goes against the CCC or the sitting Pope, he’ll be working for money at something else as time goes on. I sense he doesn’t want that. Corapi went against Canadian Bishops…never against the catechism or the sitting Pope…ditto Bill Donohue…the money came in.

  • Shea’s leftism is becoming more obvious with each new blog post. In the past few years, he has shown he’s a radical on immigration, the death penalty, and homosexuality. How long can the Catholic organizations that use his talents(?) continue to employ him in good faith?

  • A sure sign that Mark and those who pushed the editorial line are losing the debate. Comments on those sites are clearly against abolition. Generally they are well argued and consistent with Catholic teaching.

    I see that in my Diocesan paper also. There have been numerous editorials against the death penalty. Letters to the editor have been reasoned and persuasive others in the community.

    Truth is a powerful thing. Just as those who have pushed the anti-family and homosexualist positions in the last Synod are losing ground, so those that push for the abolition of the death penalty. That because it is a position that is contrary to natural law and Revelation.

    The Holy Spirit is moving. Just not the way many would like.

  • If you read Shea’s facebook posts on an regular basis (and I don’t recommend it if you value your sanity), you’ll discover the guy has always been a flaming Seattle lefty. Yes, he likes to hide it because of the pro death stance of Demonrats, but he’s on record saying that he’d have no problem voting for progressives if it wasn’t for their prochoice views. And yet he claims to be conservative? Laughable. The guy regularly posts links from the DailyKos, HuffPo, Salon, Media Matters and the like to trash conservatives, and if you point out the unreliability of these sources, he’ll cry genetic fallacy! His regular commenters or even more looney….by their fruits ye shall know them.

  • “Mark Shea has been trending left for quite a while and now he is using the favorite tactic of the contemporary left in this country …”
    ***
    I haven’t read Mark’s blog in years, but I do catch glimpses of his Facebook posts from time to time. And Don’s assessment (as well as Steve D’s assessment in the previous comment) seems about right. Mark’s Facebook page paints the picture of his leftward lurch far more tellingly than does his blog. Mark does little more than parrot talking points of the political left, trafficking in the left’s usual character assassination, guilt by association, and simplistic caricatures (often based on lies or misrepresentations) of those with whom they disagree. These days, his most ardent followers and commenters on Facebook seem to be fairly limited to such left-Catholic ideologues with axes to grind as Morning’s Minion and Dan Conway. Mark’s commentary is virtually indistinguishable from theirs.

  • *shrug* I stop listening to folks when they feel the need to lie to make their case. So he added another lie– it’s sad, and rather embarrassing since he is a public face for Catholicism, but he’s not going to persuade anyone who wasn’t already on his side.
    So it’s just… sad. Lies with fallacies piled on top.

  • Mark does little more than parrot talking points of the political left, trafficking in the left’s usual character assassination, guilt by association, and simplistic caricatures (often based on lies or misrepresentations) of those with whom they disagree.

    Yet another sign of how left he is. As the saying goes

  • Allow me to play the very real race card: Since Roe, tens of millions of dead babies. Of those over 55% were babies of minority mothers. Over 17,000,000 dead Black babies. Over 12,000,000 dead Hispanic babies. Planned Parenthood Mega-Death Center in Houston TX most days killing a majority of Black and Hispanic babies; and the new Death Center of Planned Parenthood being built in San Antonio [and currently with inadequate zoning certificate] somedays will kill 20 Hispanic babies. These are not white American sacred cows-these are God’s own precious infants. Guy McClung, San Antonio

  • I met Shea some years ago and was not impressed at all. And he has indeed been turning left and more than that, he just likes to have someone to attack and have controversy. I do not like him. Never read him. Not impressed years ago and have nothing to do with him now.

  • Comments on those sites are clearly against abolition. Generally they are well argued and consistent with Catholic teaching.

    You mean he did not delete them and insult the posters?

    I’d have told you a decade ago that Shea needed an editor. The regrettable demise of much of the Catholic press since then has deprived him of the services which were once provided by Brian St. Paul.

    I suspect that seeing his utterances as the work of a political intelligence is mistaken, except insofar as one can regard portside politics as the miasma of the inner life of troubled people. Political language can be a mode of expression for the problems of aging, or failures in daily life, or for long-standing character and personality defects. (Something more manifest in feminism than in other sorts of discussion). It does not have to be, but it often is. It can also be an exercise in status games and a reflection of anxieties in those games (Rod Dreher, I’m looking at you).

  • I met Shea some years ago and was not impressed at all.

    There are stories of him having rude confrontations with vendors at book fairs and the like. That would make an impression.

  • “You mean he did not delete them and insult the posters?”

    I was referring to sites promoting the editorials. However, I am sure he deleted comments, insulted posters and banned them. I don’t read Mark anymore. Don’t want to cooperate with evil.

  • All capital one murderers must be put to death. If some racially counted murderers escape because of skin color they must be put to death, too.

  • Shea’s point is wrong, as usual, race really is not a factor in the death penalty: http://seeking4justice.blogspot.com/2005/09/new-study-race-of-defendants-no-factor.html
    Many such race-baiters mention a numerical discrepancy between a race’s proportion of the population and that race’s representation in the criminal justice system; but such a crude metric only tells us there is a different rate of incarceration and sentencing, it does not explain why there is a difference, and without evidence of the “why” there can be no rational claim of racism as the reason for the disparity.

    It’s all simple logic and basic reasoning, but sadly Shea is not a thinker, he’s a mere agitator, hence the rapid descent to ad hominem when he is challenged.

  • If you read Shea’s facebook posts on an regular basis (and I don’t recommend it if you value your sanity), you’ll discover the guy has always been a flaming Seattle lefty
    .
    Can confirm. If you think Mark’s extreme on his SJW And Hating Life blog and you haven’t seen his Facebook, you haven’t seen anything yet. He’s an absolute fanatic there, with discourse about on the level with Bill Maher, though with more SJW hypersensitivity and even rarer moments of common sense or logic.
    .
    The guy regularly posts links from the DailyKos, HuffPo, Salon, Media Matters and the like to trash conservatives, and if you point out the unreliability of these sources, he’ll cry genetic fallacy!
    .
    Which is ironic, given how fond of he is of using guilt by association himself, and how often he smears writers for articles that he turns out not to have even read.
    .
    My favorite is when he accused Ben Stein of advocating eugenics, by embellishing on an embellished Rawstory article about an embellished Right Wing Watch article about an article that Ben Stein had written. When people linked to the actual Ben Stein article and showed how ridiculous the claim was, Mark suddenly deleted his post like a coward, without any comment or apology for his libel. And he learned nothing, as he has continued to do the same thing repeatedly (eg. libeling Matt Walsh for his article on suicide, which he also didn’t read. I’m sure there are more recent examples, but Mark’s blog is worthless as anything other than a near occasion to sin, so I don’t read it anymore).
    .
    His regular commenters or even more looney….by their fruits ye shall know them.
    .
    Had one far-left fanatic named Andy Simons (who Mark says goes to his parish) insist at length that Catholic teaching does not say that abortion is murder. Mark came in to agree with him on that claim and insisted that “Andy is fully pro-life.”
    .
    The same whackjob also argued against anti-abortion laws, absurdly bemoans that pro-lifers “refuse to work together with Democrats stop abortion,” etc. But try to argue that more welfare isn’t good for lowering the abortion rate, and Mark will accuse you of literally murdering babies. Mark isn’t really pro-life himself, imo, and he’s trying to deflect his shame by loudly and frequently accusing others.

Are You Now, Or Have You Ever Been, A Libertarian?

Friday, February 20, AD 2015

 

Libertarians

 

As faithful readers of this blog know, I have absolutely no use for the late Ayn Rand, a  puerile novelist who got rich on the formula of writing didactic libertarian novels like Atlas Shrugged, and filling them with smut at a time when smutty mainstream novels were still a rarity.  I also have little use for libertarians, the perfect political philosophy for fifteen year old nerds.  However, , at The Stream, is quite correct about a new form of “red baiting” going on in Saint Blog’s today:

 

Today Catholic circles are seeing the exact same tactic, except that now the use of guilt-by-association and false implication is serving the cause of big-government statists. The targets are conservative Catholics who distrust the modern secular state, and the smear-word is not “Communist” but “libertarian,” which is then connected with the thought of Ayn Rand. Welcome to the age of the Rand-baiters.

An entire conference held last summer at Catholic University of America was devoted to such Rand-baiting, to speeches that said, implicitly or explicitly, that Catholics who oppose the expansion of government and the large-scale redistribution of wealth are “dissenters” from Catholic Social Teaching. Listening to them speak one would imagine that opposing the leviathan state was a heterodoxy on par with supporting partial-birth abortion and euthanasia. Austin Ruse wrote a fine response to this conference, which provoked a sneering answer from Matthew Boudway at Commonweal.

Go here to read the rest.  Can we supply an example of this Rand Baiting?  Can we?  (Mark, you are missing your cue!)

I am similarly dubious. When I hear Ryan a) ceasing to pretend that he was never an acolyte of Rand and b) doing more than paying lip service to Thomas and citing more than the word “subsidiarity” to give his rhetoric a veneer of Catholic respectability, I will take his Sister Souljah Moment with regard to Rand seriously. Till then, I’m not buyin’ Ryan. He seems to me to be a particularly odious epigone of the Randian Class Warrior against the weak, dressing his class warfare with a few rags from Catholic social teaching to make it look nice. When the Randian jargon goes and is replaced with actual Catholic social teaching beyond the bare repetition of the sacred word “subsidiarity” (interpreted to mean “individualism and hostility to the state”) I’ll start to trust that he is serious.

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24 Responses to Are You Now, Or Have You Ever Been, A Libertarian?

  • Maybe Mark could take the time to carefully elucidate Church teaching on economics. After all, he has made his vocation as a Catholic apologist, and as such he should have the time and opportunity to delve deep into the roots of Catholic teaching. As a full-time apologist, certainly he has the time and ability to read through and thoroughly research documents dating back to the time of Aquinas and well beyond. As someone whose life’s work is calling people to conversion, he could lay out a meticulous and well-documented long essay or even book that deconstructs centuries of writing and distill Church economic teachings to its very essence.

    Alternatively, he could just write shrill blog posts that mock people who disagree with him without making a substantive case as to why the person being derided is wrong.

  • “He seems to me to be a particularly odious epigone of the Randian Class Warrior against the weak…”

    Actually, it seems that the current social justice crowd are the class warriors, resurrecting Marxism with a Christian veneer. Neo-Marxism perhaps. Or perhaps more a Christian materialism.

  • I don’t waste a second reading their crap. That’s why I come to this blog.
    ;
    Your “certain catholic circles” are pathetic. They have nothing but dishonest ad hominems and hysterical shrieks of, in this case, “Libertarian!” That is equally as honest and intelligent as the noises heard from a wind chime in a hurricane. If the crux of the essay is errant, typing in words such as “epigone” doesn’t make it right.

    .
    The catholic/social justice cranks are demonstrably not self-aware. hey fail to recognize that their, and their democrat/statist allies’, agendae are based on envy, hatred, and lies. They aid and abet liberal politics and the state which essentially are coercion/force and deceit.

  • Ayn Rand Objectivists and Libertarians are two different things, although they share some similar points of view. Both points of view are however flawed. That said, I used to consider myself Libertarian until I came to realize that the Libertarian Party in the United States supports abortion and homosexual marriage. I prefer to simply be called Catholic. As such, Caesar is not my God.
    .
    BTW, why would anyone find as admirable an adulterous woman of insatiable sexual need who died of heart disease and lung cancer because she lack the self control to stop smoking cigarettes? The selfishness which she deified was abominable.
    .
    Also interestingly she was a Russian Jew.

  • “Alternatively, he could just write shrill blog posts that mock people who disagree with him without making a substantive case as to why the person being derided is wrong.”
    ***
    He-who-should-be-ignored has become nothing more that a caricature. He’s quite pathetic, really. I almost … ALMOST … want to feel sorry for him because of how far he’s fallen from his apologist roots to become whatever it is that he is now.

  • Sorry to be a repetitive bore on this subject, but the problem that Shea, Dineen, et al do not confront re this subject is that the social encyclicals (esp. Rerum Novarum) are difficult to operationalize. That named seems to assume master-journeyman-apprentice configurations which were disappearing then and are non existent in our time. So what do you do? (You also get the impression that the Pope’s thinking was clouded by the experience of daily life in an ecclesiastical economy wherein everyone has a stipend or benefice which has little relation to marketable skills). This superstructure sits on top of the bowl-o-spaghetti which is papal teachings on usury. I’ve heard some reasonable arguments from economists and medieval historians on the implications of lending at interest in poor agricultural economies where the ratio of cash to real income was low to get a sense of why it was considered a dubious practice in that context. You still have at least one papal encyclical (addressed to the Italian bishops in 1745 or thereabouts, not the whole Church) which explicitly addresses that and denies that interest is licit in any context.

    Keep in mind the sort of thing we’re arguing about in this country would be the pros and cons of various means of financing medical care. It’s difficult to see how papal teachings (even without the lacunae which infest them) can adjudicate disputes that granular. Append to that the tendency of people without much aptitude for mathematics and statistics to think in terms of nominal categories rather than spectra. The Republican Party and the Democratic Party are vehicles for different sets of interests and different subcultures and that is reflected in public policy dispositions. So the fact that Republican legislators are less inclined to advocate or accede to state allocation of one or another resource is transmogrified in the minds of innumerate yappers into advocacy of the nightwatchman state. The innumerate yappers also do not take into account the ways in which our political institutions fuel obstructive veto groups. The federal government is a Fibber McGee’s closet of agencies which were derived from the pet projects of Lyndon Johnson or long departed members of Congress. Has anyone done a tally of which of them would be eliminated by Ryan’s don’t-rock-the-boat multi-year budget plans? Veronique de Rugy has been writing a series on the efforts to shut down one modest corporate welfare sink, the Export-Import Bank and the resistance that’s getting from both sides of the aisle. That’s the reality of public policy in the making.

    In fairness to the yappers, you knock-about in discussion fora frequented by partisan Republicans and there is an abrasive retro-libertarian element therein. These people all have two things in common: they have no familiarity with how much anything costs even in sketchy outline and they are not in positions where they actually deal with policy questions in their professional life. Republican policy is not likely to ever reflect the viewpoints of these types.

    /rant off.

  • Libertarianism is a bit like communism– a really pretty theory that does massive damage when over-applied. For communism, that’s pretty much any time it’s outside of the family; for libertarianism, it’s more not so clear cut. (maybe because there’s so much less control involved?) They both have baseline issues– communism, who decides what is fair; libertarianism, who decides who is a person, and what harm is, and similar things.
    They’re both trying to make messy, personal and complicated things simple, neat, systematic… and they fail, in pure form, because of that.
    ***
    For the howler monkeys– they’re name calling. Don’t give it any more dignity than that. When they bother to make an actual argument, then answer it; other than that, point out the fallacies and refuse to dignify them with more.

  • I’ve never been a libertarian because of their stand on drugs and sex. And I, like Don and several others, I have no use for Ayn Rand because she was a heartless person who exploited the people who followed her. For a devastating portrait of ‘Miss Objectivism’ read Daniel Flynn’s “Intellectual Morons” which also has some spot on looks at several other liberal loonies.

  • Paul: that Rand was Russian Jew has absolutely no impact on her ideology.
    .
    Thomas Jefferson said in 1802:”I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around the banks will deprive the people of all property–until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.”
    .
    I am fearful that giving government access to taxing the citizens for an agenda such as Social Justice, Obamacare or Global Warming will only bloat the government will little, if any, serious trickle down effect to help the poor. In evidence, there is Obamacare, willing to murder people to balance their idea of who ought to be given the Right to Life and who must be euthanized by our tax dollars. The virtue of charity is a matter of personal conscience of the individual citizen, not of government. Government has already violated man’s individual conscience by denying a man and his personal conscience. So, how is government going to do Justice to Social Justice?
    .
    Another example of government abdicating its obligations after taking our tax money, is how our veterans are being ignored and abandoned after giving their all to defend our nation. Private organizations are helping, but the government has taken our tax money. Taxation without representation. Do not let it happen again.
    .
    Now, that I am a digit with a social security number to the government, the government has little care about eradicating me.

  • died of heart disease and lung cancer because she lack the self control to stop smoking cigarettes?

    Rand died at 77, a perfectly unremarkable life span for a woman born in 1905 (about normal, in fact). I do not think cigarette smoking has ever been considered a healthy habit, but by the time the association between cigarettes and lung cancer was a matter of public record, Rand was 61 years old. I have a fairly proximate relation who quit smoking at age 59. He still died of lung cancer. I’ve consulted actuarial data which tells me I remain at elevated risk for lung cancer (not having smoked in nearly a quarter century). Tobacco’s one of life’s pleasures (which no one indulges in moderation, sad to say).

    It’s conceivable her sexual appetite was ‘insatiable’. I had not heard about anyone other than her husband and Nathaniel Branden. Of course, carrying on an affair with a man 20 years your junior is not something ordinary women in their 50s do…

  • Also interestingly she was a Russian Jew.

    With a social viewpoint and a set of mores quite different from the median among Ashkenazic Jews in the United States. She also intermarried, which was not done in 1929. The significance of her origins is that she was a child of Russia’s small merchant-professional class and her family saw its property (an apothecary shop) stolen by the Bosheviks. That triggered the development of her social thought.

  • Art Deco: “It’s conceivable her sexual appetite was ‘insatiable’.”
    .
    Anything “insatiable” is, in reality, flight from mortality, death.

  • ”I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around the banks will deprive the people of all property–until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.”

    Fake quote. It has been conning people since 1937:

    http://www.snopes.com/quotes/jefferson/banks.asp

  • Sorry, Mister McClarey. I will be more careful.

  • Everyone gets fooled now and then Mary including me. Fake quotes drive me up the wall and I expose them whenever I see them.

  • Anybody had a chance to read Anthony Esolen’s book yet? I haven’t, but it sounds worthwhile; at least based on this review:
    .

    Like the thought of Pope Leo XIII, Esolen’s thinking is suffused with Christian realism about men and how they live. In his discussion of social life, for example, he summarizes the concreteness of Christian love in a memorable way: “Jesus did not command us to love ‘mankind.’ There is no such reductive abstraction in true Christian morality. Jesus commanded us to love God with all our heart and soul and mind and strength, and to love our neighbor as ourselves. The neighbor is not someone conveniently on the other side of the world. The neighbor is inconveniently here, now. He is the man who never mows his lawn and who drinks too much. She is the woman escaping from her troubled home to meddle in the lives of the victims of her benevolence. He is the man fallen among thieves, right there in the ditch, bleeding his life away.” It is only with this sort of understanding that any sense can be made of how social life works.

    Catholic social teaching has become, certainly in this country, almost completely politicized. Many, perhaps most, Catholics hear the phrase and automatically associate it with the political left. Esolen’s erudite primer eviscerates this distortion by restoring a sound understanding of this area: not left (or, for that matter, right) on the ideological spectrum but Catholic: rooted in the family, in the common good, and ultimately in the source of all Catholic life—the Eucharist.

  • Art Deco wrote, “You still have at least one papal encyclical (addressed to the Italian bishops in 1745 or thereabouts, not the whole Church) which explicitly addresses that and denies that interest is licit in any context.”
    You have in mind Vix Pervenit by Pope Benedict XIV, probably the greatest Canonist ever to sit in the Chair of Peter (his only competitor is Innocent IV).
    He declares that “The nature of the sin called usury has its proper place and origin in a loan contract. This financial contract between consenting parties demands, by its very nature, that one return to another only as much as he has received. The sin rests on the fact that sometimes the creditor desires more than he has given…”
    However, he continues, “By these remarks, however, We do not deny that at times together with the loan contract certain other titles – which are not at all intrinsic to the contract – may run parallel with it. From these other titles, entirely just and legitimate reasons arise to demand something over and above the amount due on the contract. Nor is it denied that it is very often possible for someone, by means of contracts differing entirely from loans, to spend and invest money legitimately either to provide oneself with an annual income or to engage in legitimate trade and business. From these types of contracts honest gain may be made.”
    This is really obvious. A loan for consumption of money or other fungibles (mutuum), like a loan for use (commodatum), or deposit or pledge, is a real contract. The obligation arises from the delivery and receipt of a thing (“res”) and can only be one of restitution (or of repetition, in the case of fungibles). Contrast commodatum with hire (locatio conductio), where a rental is legitimate, for there the title constituting the obligation is different; it is a consensual contract, not a real one.

  • As I’ve said before on this and other blogs, my take on Ayn Rand is that her Objectivist philosophy was basically a massive overreaction to Soviet Communism that went off the deep end in the other direction. She fled Stalinist Russia and despised anything that reminded her of it; and because that regime used concepts like “common good” and “shared sacrifice” to justify what they were doing, she decided that these concepts were bad.

    The two books by her that MAY be worth reading are “The Romantic Manifesto,” which explains her view of art (and articulates why so much modern art leaves people cold) and a collection of essays titled “The New Left: The Anti-Industrial Revolution,” which does a great job of skewering the pretensions of liberals. In these two instances, Rand was the proverbial stopped clock that happened to tell the correct time. Other than that… forget it.

    I’m still waiting for someone to come up with a political or social philosophy that doesn’t take an all-or-nothing approach of “Government is always the solution” or “Government is always the problem.” Is it just possible that we really need a balance between these two extremes and that the balance may need to be periodically adjusted as conditions change? A dash of libertarianism, or government intervention, may be appropriate in some circumstances but totally disastrous in others.

  • Elaine Krewer wrote, “I’m still waiting for someone to come up with a political or social philosophy that doesn’t take an all-or-nothing approach of “Government is always the solution” or “Government is always the problem.”
    Recall Rousseau’s answer: “The question “What absolutely is the best government?” is unanswerable as well as indeterminate; or rather, there are as many good answers as there are possible combinations in the absolute and relative situations of all nations.
    But if it is asked by what sign we may know that a given people is well or ill governed, that is another matter, and the question, being one of fact, admits of an answer.
    It is not, however, answered, because everyone wants to answer it in his own way. Subjects extol public tranquillity, citizens individual liberty; the one class prefers security of possessions, the other that of person; the one regards as the best government that which is most severe, the other maintains that the mildest is the best; the one wants crimes punished, the other wants them prevented; the one wants the State to be feared by its neighbours, the other prefers that it should be ignored; the one is content if money circulates, the other demands that the people shall have bread. Even if an agreement were come to on these and similar points, should we have got any further? As moral qualities do not admit of exact measurement, agreement about the mark does not mean agreement about the valuation.
    For my part, I am continually astonished that a mark so simple is not recognised, or that men are of so bad faith as not to admit it. What is the end of political association? The preservation and prosperity of its members. And what is the surest mark of their preservation and prosperity? Their numbers and population. Seek then nowhere else this mark that is in dispute. The rest being equal, the government under which, without external aids, without naturalisation or colonies, the citizens increase and multiply most, is beyond question the best. The government under which a people wanes and diminishes is the worst. Calculators, it is left for you to count, to measure, to compare”

  • I’m still waiting for someone to come up with a political or social philosophy that doesn’t take an all-or-nothing approach of “Government is always the solution” or “Government is always the problem.”

    I do not think any well thought out conception of the political order working in the broad swath of territory between Robert Nozick and Lenin would say either, and neither extreme would be reflected in the policies politicians actually pursue. You’re confounding social thought with rhetorical tropes. The thing is, much political discussion is self-aggrandizing. You can see this more readily on the portside because a lot of it defaults to vacuous babble about various bogies in lieu of discussing a discrete set of issues. On the starboard, much of it takes the form of jabs and complaints that productive citizens such as themselves are being injured by various and sundry social parasites. There is some truth to that, but you try to get them on the subject of how the quality of public services might be improved and you get a complete blank; the only discussion of public agencies they favor is point-and-laugh that said agency bollixed something up.

  • Rand has her heroic characters clearly attempt to obey the Natural Law. The banker’s books balance. The employers pay wages to the last penny. They don’t lie, cheat, steal, defraud, murder, or vandalize. They earn their wealth from their own hard work. The books would be better without the smut – but I’ve seen similar lacunae for different cardinal sins from “Catholic” authors. She held to “Objectivism” – that the moral law was objective, like CS Lewis pointed out, and that places her and her followers far closer to truth than the moral relativists – including those claiming to be Christian or Catholic. Her reasoning was sometimes faulty, and even rationalizing (she only committed adultery after finding a loophole). But she was aiming at the right target.

    The Bishops have found it more convenient to have the national governments do their job. When appearing before the judgment throne, Jesus will say “When I was sick, hungry, etc., you told me to go to Obama for help!”. So “Catholic” hospitals have to do far more today than burn a bit of incense to the god of Caesar. They have to engage in (unborn) human sacrifice.

    In the movie, “Time Bandits” near the climax, the dwarves go across time to get weapons and aid. Two are futuristic machines, and when the battle starts the Devil says “I control the machines” – one of the dwarves says “he’s right!” and it starts shooting at the dwarves and not the Devil.

    Government is like that. If you keep it simple and direct and appropriate (subsidiarity) the Devil doesn’t have much to seduce and pervert, and the corruption is usually obvious. But centralize and complicate power and the Devil has an easy time. Acton was a christian and libertarian, and what he said is true: Power corrupts.

    That is what the US Declaration and Constitution are about. Limiting, dispersing, and causing conflicts of power. Just enough to do the job Government has the competence and authority to do. And leave the Church free to do things proper to its sphere, and citizens free to go about their business in peace and freedom.

    Ayn Rand understood and got a large part of that right. Too many Catholics today don’t understand any of it. They think that the gospel says to get Caesar to do the works of mercy.

  • tz: “(she only committed adultery after finding a loophole). But she was aiming at the right target.”
    .
    Actually, tz, if Ayn Rand was looking for a loophole to commit adultery, she wasn’t committed to finding the truth. Looking for a loophole to get out of heaven is not very wise and puts her other judgments into question.
    .
    The rest of your post is very interesting and very well thought out.

  • I’d love to hear the loophole. I’ve had plenty of arguments with hostile-to-tradition type libertarians who don’t even want to admit that she did.
    For those who want a thumbnail: she entered the union with her husband with the agreement that they could sleep around– if the other agreed. She then did it against her husband’s wishes, which is an even bigger deal than is obvious because the entire point is that she couldn’t keep even a deal where she’d designed it, entered it willingly, and entered it with full humanly possible knowledge.
    The hostile-to-tradition sorts tend to reject the social contract because they think it’s not fair to expect people to hold up their end of a deal unless they entered it willingly, and they specifically exclude any non-explicit agreements.

  • Folks,

    You really need to understand how Objectivists view selfishness as a virtue:

    http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/selfishness.html

    And here is a time line of Ayn Rand, the Brandens and her adultery, and not just hers:

    http://www.noblesoul.com/orc/bio/brandens.html

    In my apostasy I tried to adopt the Objectivist philosophy. It depressed me to the point where I had a breakdown and almost drank again. In my opinion, because it has so many things in its philosophy which seem true and correct, Objectivism is one step removed from Libertarianism and closer to true evil.

If Only All Catholics Thought As Highly of the Church

Sunday, February 8, AD 2015

 

In response to President Obama’s ignorant exercise in moral equivalency in invoking the Crusades and the Inquisition, ( as T.Shaw noted fewer people were turned over for execution by the Inquisition, actually Inquisitions, in all of history than die in American abortion clinics on any week day), go here to read about it, Jonah Goldberg quotes from his book Tyranny of Cliches which explains why such Catholic bashing is ahistoric and unfair:

 

As a fairly secular Jew I cannot and will not speak to the theological questions, in part because I do not want to. But mostly because I do not have to. The core problem with those who glibly invoke one cliché after another about the evils of organized religion and Catholicism is that they betray the progressive tendency to look back on the last two thousand years and see the Catholic Church — and Christianity generally — as holding back humanity from progress, reason, and enlightenment. They fault the Church for not knowing what could not have been known yet and for being too slow to accept new discoveries that only seem obvious to us with the benefit of hindsight. It’s an odd attack from people who boast of their skepticism and yet condemn the Church for being rationally skeptical about scientific breakthroughs.

In short, they look at the tide of secularism and modernity as proof that the Church was an anchor. I put it to you that it was more of sail. Nearly everything we revere about modernity and progress — education, the rule of law, charity, decency, the notion of the universal rights of man, and reason were advanced by the Church for most of the last two thousand years.

Yes, compared to the ideal imagined by atheists and secularists this sounds like madness.

But isn’t the greater madness to make a real force for good the enemy because the forces of self-anointed perfection claim to have some glorious blueprint for a flawless world sitting on a desk somewhere? It is a Whiggish and childish luxury to compare the past — or even the present — to a utopian standard. Of course there was corruption, cruelty, and hypocrisy within the Church — because the Church is a human institution. Its dark hypocrisies are the backdrop that allow us to see the luminance of the standard they have, on occasion, fallen short of. The Catholic Church was a spiritual beacon lighting the way forward compared to the world lit only by fire outside the Church doors.

You know that you live in loony tunes times when a secular Jew like Goldberg has a better appreciation for the role of the Church in History than some Catholic bloggers:  (Ahem, that is your cue Mark:)

Not feeling the hysteria…

…over Obama’s Prayer Breakfast remarks. It’s just today’s Panic du Jour from the Noise Machine. Here’s what he actually said:

“And lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ. In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ…

“So this is not unique to one group or one religion. There is a tendency in us, a sinful tendency that can pervert and distort our faith. In today’s world, when hate groups have their own Twitter accounts and bigotry can fester in hidden places in cyberspace, it can be even harder to counteract such intolerance. But God compels us to try. And in this mission, I believe there are a few principles that can guide us, particularly those of us who profess to believe.

“And, first, we should start with some basic humility. I believe that the starting point of faith is some doubt — not being so full of yourself and so confident that you are right and that God speaks only to us, and doesn’t speak to others, that God only cares about us and doesn’t care about others, that somehow we alone are in possession of the truth.” (source)

This seems, not merely reasonable, but rather pedestrian.

 

 

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16 Responses to If Only All Catholics Thought As Highly of the Church

  • Sadly I clicked the link more to read the comments. Read only about a quarter so can’t say absolutely. The comments that I did read were pretty sad. It seems the readership over there is fairly leftist in its nature. Not only is America bad but so is Christianity. Little difference between the defensive wars of the Christian Crusades and the Muslims who then, and now, advance by force. Mark has created quite the echo chamber.

  • What about John’s Gospel 15:16 choosing and appointing his own to be fruitful for the Father.
    Are we to throw up our hands and place the (coexist) bumper stickers all over our automobiles? Are we to see the next step in tolerance become a national
    acceptance of bestiality. Then marriage for that pervert so his/her dog horse pig or who knows what has “RIGHTS?”

    OBAMA IS EVIL INCARNATE.

  • I have been struck by the fact that the winners not only get to write history, they get to name history.
    The “Reformation” — yeah, in the same sense that the secessionists were trying to “reform” the Union.
    Likewise the “Age of Reason” portrayed as dawning full-blown as if everyone just decided one day to throw off the shackles of the Church and live by science one day. No mention of the universities founded by the Church nor of the religious orders dedicated to teaching and scientific discovery.
    And, of course, if you try to mention any of this in a discussion of the Church’s role in history you will be laughed at.

  • The only thing that will correct those liberal progressive secularist commenters about about whom Philip talked is what corrected the children of Israel and Judah. In the case of the latter, it was chastisement by the Assyrians and Babylonians. In our case it will be chastisement by Muslims. God never changes. He does the same thing in the same way because He does the right thing in the right way. He is entirely capable and willing to use our enemies to bring us to justice, and that will constitute God’s mercy for the innocent whom these same liberal progressive secularists murder with complete abandon.

  • Tom Collins.
    “…that the winners not only get to write history, they get to name history.”

    I relationship to these so-called winners a short sentence comes to mind from Braveheart; “History was written by those who hung the heroes.”

    The winners will receive a crown of glory that will never tarnish rust or be stolen.

    Unfortunately for the world winners, many will have spent their heaven while on earth. Then they will ponder their existence upon earth. Perplexed at the absurdity they demonstrated while chastising those who believed and lived out the Gospel messages as best they could. Now. All alone in the eternal darkness they unceasingly cry out a hatred towards God. A scream of infinity. A never ending scourge that they themselves created in their enlightened mind and superior thought.

  • The “Reformation” was badly needed when Pope Leo X was Pope. The Church had distorted and warped the gospel so badly that Martin Luther had to speak up about it. In much the same manner that many are speaking out against the Pope today.

    Luther never left the Church. They threw him out and had a death sentence placed upon his head. He stood his ground and at least was able to restore the gospel, in it’s purity, to much of the Christian world.

    If we are speak of ‘history’…we might as well be as honest and objective as possible. And I’m not one of the kooks that believes that the Catholic Church is not Christian. Only that because of our self-centered nature, the gospel needs to be placed back onto the rails from time to time.

  • Folks, stay focused on the topic of the post please. I do not want this becoming a back and forth on Martin Luther, a subject which has zip to do with this post.

  • Was reminded of something recently– do you know how The Inquisition (the instruction from the Church, and later the organization, got its name?

    The Pope put out an instruction that, if they were going to punish people for anything on the list, they had to actually prove the person was guilty.
    *Gasp*
    How horrible!

  • And I can’t help but notice that most talk of the Crusades (or, more flinch worthy, “the medieval crusade”) is sort of like starting a story when the guy who’s been taking a massive beating finally raises a hand.
    As opposed to something like this:
    http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2005/11/the_truth_about_islamic_crusad.html
    long quote:
    630 Two years before Muhammad’s death of a fever, he launches the Tabuk Crusades, in which he led 30,000 jihadists against the Byzantine Christians. He had heard a report that a huge army had amassed to attack Arabia, but the report turned out to be a false rumor. The Byzantine army never materialized. He turned around and went home, but not before extracting ‘agreements’ from northern tribes. They could enjoy the ‘privilege’ of living under Islamic ‘protection’ (read: not be attacked by Islam), if they paid a tax (jizya).

    This tax sets the stage for Muhammad’s and the later Caliphs’ policies. If the attacked city or region did not want to convert to Islam, then they paid a jizya tax. If they converted, then they paid a zakat tax. Either way, money flowed back to the Islamic treasury in Arabia or to the local Muslim governor.

  • Goes on to note that the polytheists did not get the option to pay for ‘protection.’

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  • President Obama says that we shouldn’t get on our moral high horse re:
    what Muslims are getting up to these days, since Christians also did some
    bad things a long time ago …

    Which makes me wonder if Democrats will cease demonizing conservatives
    now, since it was Democrats who legislated Jim Crow, progressive Democrat
    Woodrow Wilson who re-segregated the federal workforce, Democrats who
    filled the ranks of the KKK, Democrats who blocked civil rights legislation
    for decades…

  • So this is not unique to one group or one religion. There is a tendency in us, a sinful tendency that can pervert and distort our faith.

    That’s the trillion dollar question, is isn’t it? Is ISIS in fact a distortion of Islam, or a more pure form of it?

  • So this is not unique to one group or one religion. There is a tendency in us, a sinful tendency that can pervert and distort our faith.

    That’s the trillion dollar question, isn’t it? Is ISIS in fact a distortion of Islam, or a more pure form of it?

  • @c matt. Amen that is the trillion dollar question:
    Were the the followers of Christ in doing evil actually following Christ, and are the followers of Mohammad in doing evil actually following Mohammad…?
    Even if the evil committed were the same (and it’s not), there is the question of moral equivalency in the two religions to a relativistic elite. Can a religion at is root be evil? Can judeo-christian thought be a superior culture? Can religion be important in a secularist age?

  • Was reminded of something recently– do you know how The Inquisition (the instruction from the Church, and later the organization, got its name?

    The Pope put out an instruction that, if they were going to punish people for anything on the list, they had to actually prove the person was guilty.
    *Gasp*
    How horrible!
    –Foxfier (10:44am)

     

    Inquisitors didn’t accept anonymous accusations either. This puts them way ahead of today’s US universities with their “rape!” tribunals.

Ferrara v. Shea

Saturday, January 10, AD 2015

 

 

Break out the popcorn!  The latest in the longstanding Ferrara v. Shea feud:

 

 

The “Francis effect” appears to be driving Mark Shea over the edge as he doggedly stays the neo-Catholic course of defending the indefensible no matter how indefensible it becomes. Given a Pope who has just cooperated with the Abortion President to sell out the oppressed Catholics of Cuba, with thanks from both Obama and Cuba’s communist dictator, and who approved a synodal document calling for appreciation of the “positive elements” in concubinage and “valuing” the “orientation” and the “gifts and qualities” of “homosexual persons,” Shea is now faced with a growing army of messengers that have to be shot, including a few cardinals and bishops.

Shea is beside himself over a searing critique of this pontificate by Maureen Mullarkey that appeared in—oh the horror!—First Things. He cannot believe it: “This was not written on a bathroom wall where it belongs.  It was not published on some blog published from Ignatius Reilly’s basement.  This was published by First Freakin’ Things.” Yes, First Freakin’ Things, the preeminent journal of “moderate” Catholic opinion that could never be accused of “rad trad” leanings.A bewildered Shea wants to know: “First Things: What happened to you guys?” Francis happened, that’s what. Now, if Shea were a reasonable man he would recognize that there just might be a serious problem with this pontificate when even First Things begins voicing objections to such elements of the Bergoglian program as “his clumsy intrusion into the Middle East and covert collusion with Obama over Cuba” and his “sacralizing politics and bending theology to premature, intemperate policy endorsements”—a reference to Francis posing between two environmental activists while holding an anti-fracking T-shirt.

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20 Responses to Ferrara v. Shea

  • Let’s see, this might be tough. How to choose? Let’s see:

    On one hand, this pontificate has turned me into a Remnant subscriber.
    On the other hand, Mark Shea is a uniquely repulsive figure, the Keith Olbermann of Catholic punditry.

    Wait, I guess those are the same hand. Oh well, Ferrara it is.

  • “…Francis posing between two environmental activists while holding an anti-fracking T-shirt.”
    .
    I will not be able to contain myself once he poses with anti-nuke activists.

  • I will not be able to contain myself once he poses with anti-nuke activists.

    I find that it helps, in a perverse way, to remember that it’s all theater, just like the clown nose, or the beachball on the altar, or all the other instances of papal performance art to which we’ve become accustomed. The Holy Father isn’t seriously opposed to fracking or nuclear power, but he seeks the approval of those who are, and so he poses for photos.

  • The Holy Father seems is taking the Church and now the world to a new level with relevance and freedom for all. Unfortunately, God seems no where to be found in any of this.

  • Murray: I don’t know that we know for sure what the Pope opposes or supports.

  • Why is the Iran-Iraq war coming to my mind and the observation of Henry Kissenger: It is a pity they both can’t lose.

    I would not want to have to riffle through the whole corpus of Mr. Ferrara’s writings and offer a defense (what I’ve read was more-or-less satisfactory and a welcome respite from some of the cant you used to see from more mainstream authors, but I understand a mess of it is troublesome). I realize the man has occasional bouts of hot air production, but I cannot imagine equating him with M. Shea, who has been suffering escalating inability to engage in ordinary discussion for at least 10 years now and slides time and again into wild fusillades of hostility.

  • What did the First Things article actually say that was objectionable?
    I know they published a second article because I caught the comment under it about how it was “not the apology we deserve, it was doubling down” or something, but I didn’t have the emotional energy to get into it.

  • Ferrara’s writings often imply the deep contempt he has for Catholics who attend Mass in the Ordinary Form. As many Catholics have no choice – or just prefer it, which IS their choice – I make no such judgment.

    Shea is, well, Shea. Shea would defend the inherently stupid No Fracking t shirt the Roman Pontiff posed with. Given that thousands in my home Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, with a majority employed around Pittsburgh – I want the Roman Pontiff to take a side trip here after he visits Philadelphia next year and tell everyone at a gas well drilling site that they need to stop. That is one reason I would want to go and see the current Roman Pontiff.

  • Penguins Fan wrote:
    .
    “I want the Roman Pontiff to take a side trip here after he visits Philadelphia next year and tell everyone at a gas well drilling site that they need to stop.”
    .
    I would prefer the Roman Pontiff tell the folks at NRG to stop constructing and building Heliostats:
    .
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=emBY6phmn9E
    .
    And how safe and environmentally conscious does the Roman Pontiff think this is?
    .
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p5KvJjI21i0
    .
    There are hundreds of examples of solar photovoltaic pollution, solar thermal fires, wind turbine fires, wind turbine thrown blades, etc., available on the internet. What makes any of these BETTER than fracking for oil and gas?
    .
    BTW, speaking of thrown wind turbine blades:
    .
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u14tBwO5QVQ
    .
    I truly despise environmentalism.

  • Exemplary irony.
    .
    He cannot believe it: “This was not written on a bathroom wall where it belongs. It was not published on some blog published from Ignatius Reilly’s basement. This was published by First Freakin’ Things.”
    .
    Foxfier, when your energy perks, do read the article that mentions Faith related elements in relation to developments from whom the above quote inspired such loyalty.

  • Paul: “I truly despise environmentalism”. So do I. In the Holland of old, the windmills were driven by the wind but here they are driven by the government subsidies. On the Big Island of Hawaii, there is a sizeable wind farm in the vicinity of South Point. The wind blows like mad there most, if not all of the time, Yet a third or more of the machines are broken down and rusting away. If these things were truly productive, they would worth repairing to keep them in service. They are not. Rather, they are a raid on the US Treasury and a farce. Oh yes, and the solar aerial bird zappers, what a travesty of human progress. Where is Rachel Carson when we need her? 😉

  • Patricia-
    thank you.
    Although that probably means that you think I will most likely be dragged into the fight…. 🙁
    (I’m getting better about cutting off when it’s past being useful, but I still spend a lot of time defending people I think are getting unfairly abused.)
    *********
    William- when the wind gets too fast, windmills have to be shut down. That’s true even with the smaller water-type ones I know from Nevada, but the bigger the fins the lower the speed that will result in massive shaking from stress. There’s some down in Oregon that had tips that were breaking the sound barrier…for a very short time before it damaged them too much….

  • Mark never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity to not sin.

  • I am glad to see First Things is not held up as a reputable magazine.

  • Paul W. P.: Thank you for bringing up the deaths of birds, etc. That kind of thing does not get nearly enough press play (nor does the fact that contraceptive chemicals are getting into the water ways and damaging fish and frogs).
    .
    One Oregon company was fined $2.5 for bird deaths due to the wind mill operation.(Somehow I expect the tax payers themselves will pay the fine.) One commentator says that the wind industry is in fact killing far more birds (and bats) than the government is letting on. This has got to stop.
    .
    http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_27269019/company-fined-2-5-million-after-death-birds?source=infinite

  • You are welcome DJ Hesselius: Silent Spring!

  • when the wind gets too fast, windmills have to be shut down. That’s true even with the smaller water-type ones I know from Nevada, but the bigger the fins the lower the speed that will result in massive shaking from stress. There’s some down in Oregon that had tips that were breaking the sound barrier…for a very short time before it damaged them too much….

    You should see what a windfarm looks like after a line of tornado producing severe thunderstorms moves through.

  • “You should see what a windfarm looks like after a line of tornado producing severe thunderstorms moves through.” Ernst, It must look like the economy post-Obama. Heh heh 🙂 Why am I laughing?

  • DJ Hesselius wrote:
    .
    “Paul W. P.: Thank you for bringing up the deaths of birds, etc.”
    .
    You are welcome. I am sadly correct as the following video shows – the eagle tried to rise from the ground after impact and could not:
    .
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8NAAzBArYdw
    .
    Ernst Schreiber wrote:
    .
    “You should see what a windfarm looks like after a line of tornado producing severe thunderstorms moves through.”
    .
    I viewed about a dozen or more You Tube videos of tornado impacts on wind farms in the American mid-west. If the tornado vortex impacts a wind turbine directly, then devastation results as these videos show. Blades whose tip travel at 90 to 150 mph and which weigh tons carry quite a bit of momentum when thrown. That said, I could not find videos of the wide spread damage that a tornado would likely do to a wind farm. Nevertheless, if a tornado were to occur, then I would feel safest here:
    .
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_Point_Energy_Center#mediaviewer/File:Indian_Point_Nuclear_Power_Plant.jpg

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Torture Debate Golden Oldies

Friday, December 12, AD 2014

9-11 jumpers

With the release of the Senate Intelligence Committee Report on Torture, which does its mendacious best to blame the CIA for enhanced interrogation methods (torture) while giving Senate Democrats the Sergeant Schultz defense, I know nothing, nothing!, Mark Shea has decided to climb Mount Sinai again and damn every one who disagreed with him as to the inherent evil of torture:

Now that the Torture Report is out and we are discovering that the lies we listened to for so long (We only waterboarded three high value targets! We had to do it to save lives!  Valuable intel!  Are you telling me that some filthy terrorist is more important than an unborn baby in your sick twisted liberal mind?) are all exposed as appalling lies, it’s important to do an examination of conscience.  Why?  Because we Catholics consistently supported torture in larger percentages then the average American population.  And the more we self-described as “faithful conservative” and “prolife” the more likely we were to do so.  God’s name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of us. (Romans 2:24)

The ugly fact is that in our fear and rage, we became the thing we hate.

Go here to read the rest.  The comments are a hoot:

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50 Responses to Torture Debate Golden Oldies

  • Shea like many converts feels that all Papal moral dicta are infallible but that is contradicted by the Intro to Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma by Ludwig Ott, last par. of section 8 which says the ordinary papal magisterium is not irrevocable on morals.  
    Shea’s source for torture being intrinsically evil is “Splendor of the Truth” by St. John Paul II which in the same section 80 stated that slavery was an intrinic evil which is impossible because God affirmed it for the Jews over non Jews in a perpetual form in Leviticus 25:45.  Section 80 further states that deportation is an intrinsic evil which is deficient as a principle in that all men know it must have many qualifiers and thus Pope Benedict did not denounce Italy for deporting two muslim students back to North Africa who had planned on killing Benedict.
    Popes cannot rightly call intrinsic evil any action that had repeated support in Scripture….and coercion by fear of pain was used by Christ against the money changers and elsewhere…

    Proverbs 10:13
    Wisdom is found on the lips of the discerning, but a rod is for the back of one who has no sense.

    Proverbs 19:29
    Penalties are prepared for mockers, and beatings for the backs of fools.

    Proverbs 20:30 (nab)
    Evil is cleansed away by bloody lashes,
    and a scourging to the inmost being.

    Jn.2:15
    ” He made a whip out of cords and drove them all out of the temple area…”

    Torture could use pain rather than damage but must have several layers of government involved.  Drill into my teeth roots without anesthesia and I’ll watch three interviews by Piers Morgan and applaud him.

  • For other, more balanced takes on the debate (referring to Shea, not Don):

    John C Wright’s torture post.
    Sarah Hoyt’s post.

  • *shrug* I ignore anybody that needs to lie to make their case. Especially if, when shown that something they’ve built a case off of isn’t so, they claim it wasn’t that important. (Thinking about all the times folks have said “X is torture, because it’s just like Y historical torture.” When given a from-the-time description of Y, and it’s shown that they’re at best slightly similar and function totally differently, the subject suddenly becomes something else.)

    Ugh. Just tiring.

  • Good point, Foxfire. One would think that if Shea was so opposed to torture, he would no longer do so to logic.

  • Purgatory anyone?

  • . Torture is usually defined in international law as:
    Yeah, Shea has his knickers all knotted about this like he did a few years back, but I’m not buying it now any more than I did then. He never wants to define terms, because he fears that a proper understanding of what torture *is* might pull the rug from under his histrionics.
    In international law, torture is defined as:

    any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a puhttp://the-american-catholic.com/blic official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions.

    The Catholic Church has signed on to this definition when it became a signatory to the UN Convention on Torture, which adopts this definition.
    None of the enhanced methods used by the US inflict “severe” pain or suffering. At worst, they inflict a lot of discomfort and unpleasantness. But if the pain or suffering was “severe” I can’t imagine that our military would train by being subjected to these methods.
    Shea and others wringing their hands are just coddled moderns whose idea of severe pain apparently includes being made to stand up for a long time. Please.

  • According to the report, sleep deprivation could last up to 100+ hours. You are saying that keeping someone awake (not clear if this also included “standing” for that long) for nearly five days straight is not severe? At what point, if any, would it be severe? You do understand the body requires sleep cycles to repair tissue damage and remove toxic waste, and lost sleep is not something that can really be made up for later? And, frankly, I don’t get the logic of “if we train for it then it can’t be severe”. If it was not severe, why would you need to train for it? You should just be able to handle it without training.

  • And, frankly, I don’t get the logic of “if we train for it then it can’t be severe”. If it was not severe, why would you need to train for it? You should just be able to handle it without training.

    So… training is torture? I guess we should give up on training soldier or anybody else because then the nation is endorsing torture.

  • William P Walsh,
    Yes….I often think the same thing…but maybe Christ was being hyperbolic:

    Luke 12:47New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

    47 “That servant who knew his master’s will but did not make preparations nor act in accord with his will shall be beaten severely”.

  • C matt, you might get a better result if your response didn’t involve dropping rather important words out of what you’re responding to; either you didn’t read it the first time, or you’re not willing to listen to what’s said– and in either case, it’s counter-productive to respond to your objections.

  • There are several schools where you stay awake for 5 days, actually doing things. Heck, it’s not unheard of for people to party for days straight.

    Yeah, sleep deprivation sucks. Massively.
    “It sucks” does not equal “torture.”
    Neither does “it’s not healthy,” or “in some situations, can cause death.” (Peanut butter sandwiches can cause death in some situations.)

  • Why do we believe ANYTHING that a report issued by liberal progressive Democrats says? They murder unborn babies. They sanctify the most heinous of immoral sexual behaviors as marriage. They steal from the public treasury. They restrict access to health care. They constrict the supply of available energy. The stupidify public education. Why put ANY faith in ANYTHING they say? Or is it perhaps that, since they torture and murder unborn babies, they truly know something about the subject of torture?

  • Here’s a sane commentary on the torture controversy. http://www.renewamerica.com/columns/kincaid/141211

  • Here is the 525 page report from the liberal progressive Democrats. Enjoy. I despise them as much for this as I do for what they do about my own field of endeavor, nuclear power.
    .
    http://www.intelligence.senate.gov/study2014/sscistudy1.pdf

  • Here is the Minority Republican Report. Let’s be fair and read this too.
    .
    http://www.intelligence.senate.gov/study2014/sscistudy3.pdf

  • Same way that my support of the validly Catholic meaning of Social Justice doesn’t require me to agree with the publicly used version of the term which means something entirely different (and generally antithetical) , the redefinition of “torture” does not magically change what I must think. Equivocation is a fallacy for a reason.

  • Foxfier, I already posted that link and sarah’s. 😉 #feelingIgnored

  • Sorry Nate, I’m going slightly insane. We’re buying a house and somehow I skimmed right over it. 😀

  • Ah, I see– there was only one comment when I started typing my comment, so that’s how I missed yours.

  • At the risk of appearing callous, cruel, obstinate etc., I’ve always thought that our public policy position vis-a-vis, enhanced interrogation, torture, etc. ought to be twofold: 1) We will do whatever is necessary to protect the the lives and property of the citizens of the United States and our allies around the world. 2) The United States does not torture.

  • I’m sorry that everyone is being legalistic and getting all yawny about this. Because the Democrats support abortion, they MUST be lying in this report? And we’re saying that the horrors described here were no different than Jesus and the moneychangers, and no different than what interrogators of the Catholic Church have historically done? Then I want to run screaming from Church.
    I read those comments which our host called “a hoot” and found most of them spot on
    This entire charade of calling these acts of torture by the euphemism “enhanced interrogation techniques” shows what lengths people go to to hide what they do. That CIA officers, CAREER CIA officers, resigned is a huge tell. My gosh. Go to confession. I am unsubscribing immediately. If our host reacts like this to THIS, then I’m not interested in anything he has to say. And no, I’m not a convert. I’m a “conservative” (whatever that means anymore) and a cradle Catholic.

  • “If our host reacts like this to THIS, then I’m not interested in anything he has to say. And no, I’m not a convert. I’m a “conservative” (whatever that means anymore) and a cradle Catholic.”

    We will soldier on somehow without you Pauline and your invaluable, one, count ’em, one comment.

  • Did Pauline ever bother to read the minority report from the Republicans to which I posted a link above? Or did she just focus on the majority report by the baby-murdering, perversion-sanctifying Democrats because that report just happened to appeal to her world vision?

  • Pauline’s mind was made up Paul. Please do not confuse her with mere facts.

  • Pauline1960,
    Bring the issue to your home rather than to the terrorism level. Imagine if you had a five year old son who was kidnapped by a sex pervert who was soon captured but your boy was still missing. I would want police to find out where is my boy. The pervert though refuses to say where your boy is but only that he is still alive but under some leaves in black bear territory. He then taunts the police and wants immunity for the location. I think the police should rip back one fingernail slowly and promise him all fingers and toes will be done until he tells where the boy is. Hence my citing of the old testament passages. Shea in rural Washington is far from NY harbor where I live and where close to 4000 people were slaughtered….and no such thing will happen in rural Washington. But Shea has a granddaughter and if she were kidnapped, Mark might very well convert to old testament realism if the captured sicko was hiding where his granddaughter was laying beneath leaves in black bear territory. Mark would be faced with admitting that it is the bible that is inerrant not the catechism which was written by men…none of whom for fifty years were heroes in the protection of Catholic boys from predators. I don’t go for critical security advice to those who have just failed in public at security….for half a century.

  • pauline1960 on Saturday, December 13, A.D. 2014 at 7:59am (Edit)
    I’m sorry that everyone is being legalistic and getting all yawny about this. Because the Democrats support abortion, they MUST be lying in this report?

    You seem to have completely misunderstood the post, to the point of drawing an incoherent and unsupported conclusion about the logic involved.

    This entire charade of calling these acts of torture by the euphemism “enhanced interrogation techniques” shows what lengths people go to to hide what they do.

    Circular logic to support an accusation of lying with no other support– both irrational and objectively something Catholics aren’t supposed to do.
    You are trying to skip the actual discussion, about if uncomfortable rooms and startling people amount to torture, and not only assume that they do but that those you disagree with AGREE that they do, and are trying to hide that via an euphemism. In the case of calling a developing human the “products of conception,” that is supported; in the case of calling unusual interrogation of suspects designed specifically to avoid harming them or even inflicting great pain, it is not supported.

  • Bill B-
    I believe Shea’s billed as being in Seattle these days, same as me; although he is from Everett, and may still live there, I am unsure because it is NOT rural. I have a friend that lives in northern Tacoma who just says “Seattle,” and is in keeping with normal use.

    I disagree about the fingernails, but wouldn’t blink at using the actual techniques of enhanced interrogation.

    Dragging the abuse scandal in is cheap, irrelevant and a slander on those who compiled the CCC.

  • Foxfier,
    We disagree. It is totally relevant. It couldn’t be more relevant.

  • “Imagine if you had a five year old son who was kidnapped by a sex pervert”

    The operative word here is “imagine”. A lot of the attempts to defend torture in the comboxes are rooted in imagination of a possible future or speculative scenario, rather than in actual experience. However, I would guess that 99.9 percent of the people commenting will never find themselves in a position where that scenario will become reality. In that sense, all their feelings, speculations, etc. about when torture is or is not justified are, ultimately, imaginary and will have little or no effect in the real world.

    Now, I’m not saying that the issue itself is imaginary or that it is of concern only to people who are directly involved (members of the military, CIA, Congress, etc.) Nor am I saying that the “what if” scenarios are of no value to those who have a bona fide duty to protect the public against future dangers (e.g. military, police, emergency responders).

    What I am saying is that when real people in the here and now are treating one another with contempt, calumny and rash judgement in the name of justice and compassion toward people they have never met, over events that happened many years ago and about which they know nothing other than what they have read in the media, something is wrong with this picture.

  • Of course it could be more relevant.
    It could have the slightest thing to do with US policy, the definition of torture, or the exact definition and validity of that definition held by those who wrote the CCC.
    As it does not….

  • Firstly I never commented on the US case at all and the moderator obviously thought my posts on torture in general…were indirectly relevant and he, not you, is the moderator here at this site.
    Well, let’s look at the Catechism definition of torture and see if it shares an underlying connection to the universal over softness by all magisterial clergy that was applied to clergy sex abusers for fifty years :
    ccc #2297… ” Torture which uses physical or moral violence to extract confessions, punish the guilty, frighten opponents, or satisfy hatred is contrary to respect for the person and for human dignity.”
    Not simply “permanently damaging physical violence” ( my theoretical definition for me) but all physical violence to frighten opponents is ruled out. As stated, it is radically permissive in favor of the criminal or terrorist which is exactly what happened with almost each sex abuser who were coddled in therapy rather than sent to jail including under the 1980 Archbishop Ratzinger in the case of Peter H. who offended again after Munich accepted him for therapy knowing that he had abused four young boys…but he abused again and was given parish assignment two weeks after the acceptance decision. If the subsequent victim were your son, I believe you would be enraged for years regardless of how you write in public now as a non victim of that case.
    http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/sex-abuse-scandal-did-archbishop-ratzinger-help-shield-perpetrator-from-prosecution-a-684970.html
    That ccc #2297 makes Christ guilty of torture because it does not quantify physical violence in gradations …so it implies all. Christ used physical violence to ” frighten opponents”. It’s radical …ccc #2297 …because that’s what over simplifying does.
    So is Pope Benedict’s denouncing of Biblical massacres or herem as sins in Verbum Domini 42 radical also and so is his assertion there that “the prophets…challenged…all forms of violence..individual and communal”. They didn’t because God’s covenant promised them victory in battle if they obeyed his law in Leviticus 26:7…not to mention Elijah killing 552 idol worshippers and Samuel killing Agag etc ad infinitum. So there is an “almost pacifism” at the top of the Church that issues from a culture which also put children in jeopardy rather than punish evil doers with severity.

    The Church is responsible for what it actually writes…it doesn’t get credit for the makeup men from the apologetics world zooming in and telling us what was really meant.
    According to ccc #2297 as written, nothing can be done to the kidnapper who won’t tell us
    where the child is in bear territory….nothing even moral. Because all physical violence and all moral violence are ruled out, the cops can’t even pretend that they are going to remove his fingernails.

  • Who is a moderator at this site has nothing to do with if your claim is relevant; yet another attempt to change the topic?
    ….
    It says “(dictionary definition: the infliction of intense pain (as from burning, crushing, or wounding) to punish, coerce, or afford sadistic pleasure) which uses physical or moral violence to extract confessions, punish the guilty, frighten opponents, or satisfy hatred is contrary to respect for the person and for human dignity.”
    If it meant “all infliction of anything which uses physical or moral violence to extract confessions, punish the guilty, frighten opponents, or satisfy hatred is contrary to respect for the person and for human dignity” then it would not have specified “torture.”

    Thus, the argument that you built by assuming they were defining torture is thus just as invalid as the ad hominem and unsupported claim about failure to do anything about child molestation.

    (EDIT to add a dropped word)

  • . And a makeup person appears on cue and leaves multiple other points unaddressed. On the house shopping, ask how old the furnace is because replacing one including installation is $5800 and up but varying with size of house and quality level. If the furnace is twenty years old, it could be another bill unforeseen….watch age of such things. Water heaters last about ten years I think….they are roughly 1 K.

  • And you know you re implying logically that the Church permits non violent, non fearful torture…..and that would be????…..Dean Martin reruns?

  • I did not imply they were permitting any sort of torture. The passage is clearly saying that torture is not permitted.
    I pointed out that your reading that they were defining torture (rather than explaining why “the infliction of intense pain to punish, coerce or afford sadistic pleasure” is wrong) is incorrect.
    Given the other things accounted as “torture” in the report, Dean Martin reruns are probably a big risk due to insufficient cultural sensitivity.
    ********
    We have a Realtor with a good reputation, who has a go-to inspector, and we’ve also got all the VA rules making things difficult but at the same time protecting us from silly mistakes. It’s just a rather big leap.

  • God be with ya….interest rates will rise late 2015 according to some in the stock market. This the sweet spot in that respect….and fuel prices will be down for awhile

  • Shea should be writing for Mother Jones or The Nation. I wouldn’t mind his left-wing feaver swamp ranting so much if he didn’t then insist that if you didn’t agree wiith him on waterboarding then you have no moral basis for condemning Gosnell. If he represents mainstream Catholic moral thought, we are in deep trouble.

  • Mark should be making a nice Christmas bonus from the looks of his site.

    BTW, here’s one of my favorite exchanges there. Reflects the lack of concern for the truth. Now I thought that was a Christian virtue:

    ” haven’t read the report. This from someone who has read some of it. (For whatever that’s worth.)

    http://www.powerlineblog.com/a
    • Reply•Share ›
    Avatar
    Rob B. Paul • 3 days ago
    I don’t want to post there, so I’ll post here.

    “Welcome to the Republican Party. Please be sure to check your God-given conscience at the door…”
    7 • Reply•Share ›
    Avatar
    Paul Rob B. • 2 days ago
    First, I am not a Republican.
    Second, my point is, that we need to look at the facts first before condemning. Wrongs were done, but I don’t think to the extent that Mark claims. This in turn might tone down the rhetoric.
    Bu perhaps my counter in keeping with your comment is “Welcome to Christianity, check you are arguing from the truth when entering the door.”

  • I still can’t believe that Mark Shea behaves so un-Christian like. Blogging is a big occasion of sin for him.

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  • Tito,
    You are correct. The man’s forte is a certain type of biblical commentary ( not all types ) but apparently it does not bring in enough income. I found one of his biblical commentaries to be top shelf. I find his controversies for click sake…to be a shrewd Irish jig in the pub which gets coins in the hat. Yet his real talent is way above that.

  • Bill, I suspect the reason why his commentaries don’t bring in the moolah is that intelligent people see through the real Mark Shea (the pushy, arrogant, foul mouth, harassing bully) and don’t want anything to do with him. So, he has to appeal to the low IQ, low information types that dote on his every word at CAEI and other media outlets. And Bill, he doesn’t do a jig at an Irish pub for “coins in a hat”. He does the semi-annual Tin Cup Rattle. A jig in a pub would be more dignified than the shameless begging he does for extra money. At least he would be providing a service with a jig!

  • Part of the problem is that this report was timed to coincide with Gruber’s testimony and thus deflect criticism of Obamacare. Now there is consequentialism in action – one which the USCCB cooperated in. I look forward to Mark’s multiple postings on the consequentialist evil of Obamacare:

    http://spectator.org/articles/61239/obamacare-and-eugenics

  • Stephen,
    I’m pretty sure the Patheos Catholic bloggers get paid per click weekly…ergo Shea does not move on away from certain click getting topics like torture and lying

  • I know about the pay per click Bill, but a large part of his income is from those shameless tin cup rattles too.

  • Well, speaking of reading what is written, Foxfire, where did I say “or in some situations, it can cause death”? Frankly, I don’t know if it can or can’t, but I never wrote that.

  • Still not showing an inclination to read what is actually there, C Matt; not only did I not claim you’d said it– rather obviously, I was offering some other possible metrics that people have applied to decide something is torture– but it was not even in the same post as the one where I was responding to you in as much as your argument, built on dropping a vital aspect of someone else’s comment, could be responded to.

    The post that you took to being a response to you was pointing out major issues with redefining torture.

    I guess I should have pointed out that equivocation is a fallacy a few more times.

  • I expected this from Mark, but Simcha Fisher also wrote a column citing the Catechisms reasoning on torture. I’m a baby boomer and it seems that neither Mark or Simcha recall the brutal torture of our POWs in Bataan, North Korea or Vietnam. They have a right to their views, but again this report us hypocrisy as again abortion torture is ignored, and thus has been going on for a long time. To publicize this report now is hypocritical as it is a product of the Democratic Party. Diane Feinstein should recall the party’s platform in the last presidential election. It not only allowed but praised abortion, and many people in this party even endorse late term abortion, and if that’s not torture what is? Furthermore, the report is focused on events after 9/11. I wonder what mental torture these families are going through. Not a wod about that either.

  • The principle of ends not justifying means is essential. The problem seems to be the definition of torture. I imagine that to reside somewhere between the naughty chair and the rack.