Thursday, May 17, 2007

Self-righteousness Trumps Torture ...

So speaketh Shea, at least. Following his bizarre claim that there was a "burst of interest" in blogosphere for Ron Paul after the debate and that the Rubber Hose Right was "frightened" because of it (if we are, it's because he's a nut far more than anything to do with torture), he appears to have backed down from his initial rhetoric that seems to indicate that Paul stands a snowball's chance in hell of actually winning the election.

As such, Mark writes:
Who said anything about Paul winning the nomination. I'm simply happy to see that there is one candidate who is not foursquare in favor of Strength Through Evil. Given that both parties are now committed to intrinsic moral evil, I don't give a shit who wins, because they don't give a shit what I think. They are about power and money. I'll vote for the candidate who will not use my vote for intrinsic moral evil. The best causes are lost causes.

First of all, I don't think that this is true because it sounds far more like an after-the-fact realization once the cold, hard truth sunk in to Shea that Paul didn't stand a serious chance of winning the White House. Yet in his post explaining why he supports Paul over McCain, Mark appears to be seriously considering the geopolitical benefits from his perspective of a Paul presidency vs. a McCain presidency. While acknowledging that McCain is against torture, Mark cannot bring himself to support him because he continues to support a strong American foreign policy rather than Mark's favored isolationism.

I don't necessarily have a problem with that, but war, even the war in Iraq, is not an intrinsic evil. It is a prudential judgement and both the Catechism makes that clear. If Mark wants to argue that support from the war in Iraq or neoconservative foreign policy is now an intrinsic evil, then he has crossed the line from rhetoric into active dissent from the teachings of the Church. If nothing else, if he seriously believes that he may want to rethink asking Father Neuhaus to write the forward to his next book. Mark can criticize the Iraq war from now to Kingdom Come if he likes, but if his rhetoric is going to start reaching for these type of declarative doctrinal statements I think it is worth asking him by what authority he does so.

Anyone care to guess how long it is before Mark starts explicitly arguing that support for any GOP candidate other than Paul is to be complicit in an intrinsic evil? If he does, I'd love to see him weigh in on this one.

14 comments:

Phillip said...

But here is the latest arrogance on Mark's part. He posts today about Christopher Hitchens' screed on Jerry Falwell's death. Now Hitchens seems to be a jerk, but look at what Mark says:

"The fact is, Hitchens is a man of such profound hatred when it comes to religion (and other selected enemies) that he simply does not see any reason why he should pause for a trifle like death. Indeed, he has a curious habit of publicly kicking the corpses of those he despises. Is that plain speech or simply boorishness rooted in hatred? In this case, I suspect the latter."

This from Mark not more than two days after he used the death of Andrew Bacevich's son for political and moral grandstanding. Mark indeed is a hateful liar.

Mark also got the post right in that he compared Hitchens to Fred Phelps. Unfortunately, Mark is Catholicism's Fred Phelps.

Bubba said...

Shea writes that "both parties are now committed to intrinsic moral evil." Both Congress and the White House are controlled by both parties, and this obviously won't change in the near future. If Mark now believes that the U.S. government is being run by parties who are committed to intrinsic evil, a reality that is very unlikely to be changed by elections, doesn't this make him more apt to be (at best) ambivalent in our struggle against jihad?

Phillip said...

The of course that would make "Catholic and Enjoying it" the Catholic equivalent of the Westboro Baptist Church. Sounds about right.

Anonymous said...

The Blackadder says:

Whatever you think of the Bacevich matter, it isn't even in the same ballpark as what Hitchens does. There's a big difference between using someone's death to make a political point, and writing a vicious attack about them soon after they died. Cindy Sheehan is not Fred Phelps.

Anonymous said...

Shea isn't quite into Phelps territory yet, but he's edging awfully close...

Phillip said...

Sorry Blackadder, it is a distinction in degree and not in kind. Of course it is more coarse to protest at funerals, but it is also quite coarse to publicly link a man's war stance to his son's death on the day of his death.

Bubba said...

I'm inclined to agree with Phillip, in that neither Phelps' protests nor the Wellstone "memorial" were in any way proper. In both cases, the dead is treated as a thing to be used rather than a person to be mourned. That Phelps exhibits hatred in addition to that is important, but it doesn't diminish the serious nature of the sin that is common in both cases.

Anonymous said...

The Blackadder says:

Supposing it is a difference in degree rather than kind. So what? There's only a difference in degree between the guy who takes five dollars out of the cash register at work and the guy who embezzles millions, but it would be foolish to treat the two as being anything close to the same. When you compare the Wellstone Memorial to Fred Phelps you trivialize the evil of what Phelps is doing.

I've been on the receiving end of Shea's ire a number of times. He can be a real jerk. But he's not even comparable to Fred Phelps, and if someone thinks that he is, I would suggest you need some perspective.

Anonymous said...

Well, seriously, guys; how can you expect reason and decorum from a man who believes that the physical comfort and alleged dignity of a terrorist outweighs the deaths of thousands of innocents, who believes that anyone who disagrees with this not-exactly obvious belief is a servant of radical evil, and that we don't really have to worry about the Islamization of the West because, after all, the West is destined to produce the Antichrist? As bad as Hitchens is, his criticisms will never convince anyone - Shea is discrediting Christianity from the inside, which is far worse. To paraphrase Chiang-Kai-Shek, the Dawkins and Hitchens' are diseases of the skin; Shea and Phelps are diseases of the heart...

Anonymous said...

Whatever you think of Mark Shea, he never stated that he thinks that Ron Paul has a real chance to win. As far as I know, in his first mention of him, this is what Mark Shea wrote:

"I am grateful to Sullivan and
Larison for the snapshot of the
debate, which I missed. I will have
to keep my eye on Ron Paul. I'm
somewhat suspicious of the
Libertarian thing, but if he
opposes abortion as well as what
the Newspeakers of the Rubber Hose
Right and the FOXNews Ministry of
Newthink technicians call "enhanced
interrogation techniques", I may
have finally found my doomed
quixotic candidate to support."

Bubba said...

Let me be clear, Blackadder, that I for one do think Phelps is worse than what we saw at the Wellstone memorial, because he adds hatred to indifference. But it's still the case that the indifference of the Wellstone memorial is still significant.

torquemada05 said...

I don't think for a moment that Mark is as bad as Fred Phelps. I do, however, think that his hatred of all things to the Bush administration and not-so-creeping paleoconservatism is seriously impeding his judgement on this one. In that sense, I think that a possible comparison to the Wellstone funeral is an apt one.

Phillip said...

"I've been on the receiving end of Shea's ire a number of times. He can be a real jerk. But he's not even comparable to Fred Phelps, and if someone thinks that he is, I would suggest you need some perspective."

Let's add some perspective then. Is Shea as bad as Phelps? Using Shea's criteria he is. Remember he is equating Hutchins with Phelps and what Hutchins says is as bad as what Shea has said.

But perhaps for additional perspective. Let's say someone's son was killed in a terrorist attack. Then on the same day on two occasions someone on a blog that gets 2000 or more visits a day pointed out the father's views on the War on Terror. What would one say about that blogger using the son's death to discredit those who oppose the War on Terror. I don't think its merely five dollars worth. It is contemtible hate. A serious sin I might add not to mention the scandal it is for someone claiming to be a Catholic apologist.

Phillip said...

Let me add this as a veteran. Both Shea and Phelps are exploiting the death of a serviceman. A servicman who served his country and, for all we know, may have strongly agreed with the mission he died for. Sorry, Shea is serving up a load of cheap s**t at the expense of this man and he deserves to be kicked in his ass good and hard.