Saturday, October 13, 2007

A reading from the Book of Shea ...

Like some of the others here, I am not opposed to Mark's idea that he write a book about torture for a lot of the same reasons that Victor and Blackadder laid out in the comments of the previous thread. I would actually be fairly interested to read a book that would involve a serious study of the Catholic approach to interrogation, how the US military has approached the problem, and end with a discussion of which forms of coercion that he believes it is licit to support. Mark's general rhetorical sleight-of-hand under which he claims on one hand not to be an expert in the subject yet is more than happy to determine when someone is right or wrong on the issue something that I think it will be very difficult to sustain once he starts writing beyond a few hundred words. If nothing else, perhaps he'll gain sufficient historical perspective to recognize (as anyone who has ever read Republic of Fear would) that torture would exist in Iraq, like it does in most Third World nations, regardless of whether or not we invaded. He will also may even learn enough about real history to drop his zero-sum mentality in this area and refrain from making comments like this:
The fact is, we *have* done just that in the past with Nazis, Commies and Imperial Japanese and we can do it now--without torture.

Given that American police continued to regularly use to what most people today would likely consider torture ("the third degree") well into the 1930s as a regular tool of ordinary law enforcement, this is simply counter-factual. This is not intended to justify such techniques, but if Mark wants to invoke history and tradition to suit his point then he needs to take off the rose-colored glasses and ditch his zero-sum mentality when discussing these matters.

Similarly, he going to have seriously engage those Catholics who differ with him on his view of Gaudium et Spes. This includes Father Harrison, Jimmy Akin, and Dave Armstrong among others. I am well aware that there are readers here who hold at least two of the three of these individuals in some level of contempt. Because my interest is in points of truth rather than individuals, I care far more about their actual positions than whether or not they prefer me and Victor to Mark. The reasons for these opinions aside, it is my hope that in writing a book Mark is going to feel under an obligation to actually acknowledge a difference of opinion here or explain why he doesn't believe there to be one.

One other thing that should be kept in mind about Mark writing up a book is that the standards of libel are a lot firmer when it goes to print as opposed to what he writes on his blog. If he intends to start claiming that Michael Ledeen and other prominent neocons support torture, the murder of prisoners, has called for our soldiers to commit war crimes, et al. he may well find himself sued. Victor and I have discussed this before after Victor noted that any decent libel lawyer looking at Mark's various comments on Ledeen over the years could probably find ample grist for a lawsuit. Now that probably isn't a priority right now because a lot of people write crazy things about Ledeen online, but if Mark publishes said claims in a book to that effect I could easily see that situation changing. I would note now as I have before that if Mark's claims against Ledeen are as clear-cut and persuasive as he believes them to be, it is an odd thing indeed that the man's manifold political enemies have refrained from employing them to their advantage. It wasn't like the American Conservative had any such compunctions when it came to labeling the man a fascist in his political beliefs several years back.

Of a similar vein, I have noted repeatedly that Mark's lack of willingness to understand his opponents' positions has contributed to one the reasons why so many people find him difficult to stand. This has led him to make some very bizarre arguments, including a conflation of neoconservatism with realism, Machiavellianism with utopian Wilsonianism, and generally a very confused discussion of political ideology in general that leaves one with the same impression that Inigo had of Vizzini in The Princess Bride regarding his frequent use of the word "inconceiveable:"
"You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

My primary fear regarding Mark writing a book on this issue is that it will very quickly move beyond the issue of torture into a more general anathema sit against the Bush administration, the war in Iraq, neocons, American conservatism, and the like written in his typically emotional style and lack of understanding about the issues he discusses. In other words, a less eloquent version of the standard Pat Buchanan screed that is lacking only an indictment of illegal immigration. If he does this, he will have quickly moved beyond the realm of a Catholic apologist who comments on politics into the area of a political writer. And if he is going to make those kind of claims in print (something he has generally avoided doing until now), then he can be called to account for them the same way any other political writer might without being able to claim ignorance on matters of politics because he is primarily an apologist.

213 comments:

1 – 200 of 213   Newer›   Newest»
Joseph D'Hippolito said...

Torq, you have to understand that Mark must find a publisher for such a work, if he indeed writes it. Since it would basically be a political work, it wouldn't get a nihil obstat or imprimatur and that would affect his sales among the Catholic book-buying population, let alone his base.

Furthermore, no self-respecting Catholic publisher would take on a manuscript written in the bullying, obnoxious style that Mark uses on his blog. So he would be limited to the most radical publishing houses, which wouldn't necessarily provide him with the financial renumeration he could get elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

Mark is the only Catholic blogger I know of that has the blog-tag "Mea Culpa."

He won't write a book either, because it's too hard for him and he'd prefer to insult people.

Christopher said...

I would actually be fairly interested to read a book that would involve a serious study of the Catholic approach to interrogation, how the US military has approached the problem, and end with a discussion of which forms of coercion that he believes it is licit to support.

I could imagine Fr. Harrison taking on the task (giving his initial two-part research), howbeit he is not well-versed in the secular aspect. George Weigel would also be good -- beating a dead horse here but his Tranquilitas Ordinis remains a tremendous resource on Catholic thought on war and peace (universal and local).

Donald R. McClarey said...

OT-Mark gets noticed by National Review Online.


http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=NWU0MWNkMWQwODk5NWZlNDU3YWY1ZTVhZjgyMzUwMzE=

Donald R. McClarey said...

National Review Online correctly identifies Mark as an "anti-Iraq war blogger" since that does seem to be the overriding purpose of his blog for the past few years.

Paul Zummo said...

No doubt this will lead to a rather lengthy retort from Mark. We should start a pool on how many Shea-isms will be included. I'll start the bidding at 7. Throw in a few more random cliches, and we should have a nice little post to admire.

Shawn said...

I wonder if anyone else has noticed the attempted finesse that Shea has tried in the past couple of days. He is now trying to have it both ways by claiming that there is a distinction between "torture" and other forms of coercion." Gee, did he not lambaste the writers of CFF, many of those in the comboxes here, Jimmy Akin (indirectly) and also myself (again by logical extension) for in a variety of ways making the same point.

Indeed I remember him being rather contemptuous of those who would request workable definitions for the word "torture" specifically because we recognised the problem with trying to claim (explicitly or by logical extension) that there was no difference between the two. Now he does what he was critical of previously so to paraphrase an old "traditionalist" dictum:

"If Shea is right to try and distinguish between torture and other forms of coercion now, then we all were right to do so back when Shea claimed that we were 'dissidents' and 'ignoring the magisterium' and all of that jazz. If we were wrong to try and distinguish between torture and other forms of coercion then, than Shea is wrong to do it now."

He cannot and should not have it both ways -at least not unless he is willing to admit that he was wrong before and apologize to all those he uncharitably slimed in his 1 Corinthians 13-free tirades back in late 2006 and since that time.

Donald R. McClarey said...

"ANYONE WHO THINKS THAT THIS VIDEO is going to hurt Israel's image is, well, crazy."

That is Instapundit's comment on the Shea-Israeli ad controversy and that I think is an accurate assessment.

I find the ad fairly stupid myself as I do most ads. "Come visit Israel because we have hot babes" is the substance of the ad. Yeah, I can just imagine hordes of tourists coming to Israel because the country has beautiful women, something that every country on Earth is blessed with. The ad also has a tin ear in regard to Catholicism when one of a group of men on a beach exclaims "Holy Mother of God!" as he sees a bikini clad woman. Somehow, though, I doubt if pious Catholics was the target demographic of this particular ad.

From this bikini clad molehill, Mark proclaims that Israel is just another secular state, and nothing special and that Evangelical and Catholics should not treat it as the fulfillment of prophecy. Frankly I don't know if Israel is the fulfillment of various Old Testament prophecies or not. God in the past has used the strangest instruments to work his will: fishermen in Galilee, a peasant girl in France, ruthless Spanish conquistadores to pave the way for the cross in the New World, etc. If God can use such disparate elements in the past, why not Zionism in order to gather the remnant of Israel? The ways of God, so clear to some, are often quite mysterious to me. I am agnostic on the point. I know my support of Israel has nothing to do with any musings I have had on that score.

The ad however, in its own foolish way, does hit upon one reason why I support Israel. If most of the people fighting Israel, the same people in most cases who would rejoice if America were destroyed, had there way, there would be no women disporting themselves in bikinis in the sea. They would all be wearing burkas. There would also be no Jewish ladies, hot or otherwise, present, they would all be dead or fled. Choosing to support a democracy against jihadists lusting for blood requires no belief on my part that modern Israel is the culmination of prophecy. It merely requires common decency.

Anonymous said...

Donald,
Excellent points, as usual. As Mike Potemra, the author of the NRO post noted in Mark's combox:

But Mark has great confidence that today's Israel cannot possibly have *anything* to do with the fulfillment of those prophecies, because some Israelis and some American supporters of Israel don't rise to his desired level of moral purity. In this, I cannot help hearing an echo of those who said, This guy can't be the Messiah, look at the riff-raff he hangs around with.

I have a confession to make: 20 years ago, when I was younger and in better shape, I owned and *gasp* sometimes wore 2 piece bathing suits when I went to the beach. When I returned to the church, I had many grievous sins to confess, but it never once occurred to me that my former habit of wearing bikinis might be one of them. Yet to some of Mark's commentators (William never fails to disappoint), women in 2 piece bathing suits seem to be on a par with "sex workers." (Or maybe it's just Israeli women. As we all know, there is no doubt in William's mind as to what nation is the Wickest Country on Earth.)

I detest p-rn as much as Mark does. But if a woman in a bikini equals p-rn and prostitution - well, it's no wonder that Mark and some of his fans sometimes give the impression they are hankering for the destruction of the sinful West. NRO visitors to that thread might leave it wondering how some of Shea's readers can bear to leave the house - they might see a woman in a short skirt.

Donna

Mark Adams said...

Mike Potemra's defense of that ad is incredibly disgusting (as our the defenses I am reading here) and sadly he actually gives credence to what I originally thought was an absurd argument by Shea.

Call me sentimental but it made me feel ill to hear the name of our Blessed Mother used blasphemously in that ad. I am stunned that Potemra tried to minimize that by calling it a "'joke' —and a rather cute one at that; one to which only the proverbial maiden aunt would object." I am no proverbial maiden aunt but I object quite strenuously when someone insults my mother and I certainly don't think it's cute. I can't help but think that there is more than trace of anti-Catholicsm in the Evangelical Potemra's complete indifference to this offense against Mary. That people are defending this makes me think that Shea's accusation that there are people who think Israel was conceived without original sin may not be the straw man I once thought.

Anonymous said...

Now Mark has posted a follow-up regarding the Israeli ad. It begins:

Mike Potemra, after siccing a zillion people on me,...,

Siccing? All Potemra did was notice Mark's comments about the ad, criticize them, and link to Mark's blog. That is ,er, standard operating procedure in blogdom. If "a zillion" people have turned up, well, that's what happens when you get linked to by NRO and Instapundit. I didn't notice Potemra said, "OK, boys, go get him."

Poterma did imply that Mark was humorless, prissy, and believes he knows exactly where the Good Lord stands on the question of Israel - all legitimate points, in my opinion. Poterma's criticisms of Shea are gentlemanly in comparison to how Shea characterizes those who disagree with him - but Mark is complaining about having the dogs sicced on him?

Donna

Mark Adams said...

Here is a link to the entire commercial:
http://www.spikedhumor.com/articles/56790/Israel_The_Holy_Land_Tourism_Video.html

It is vile and should be condemned by any halfway decent Catholic Christian.

Donald R. McClarey said...

"I have a confession to make: 20 years ago, when I was younger and in better shape, I owned and *gasp* sometimes wore 2 piece bathing suits when I went to the beach."

Why Donna, you scarlet harlot! Thank you for your common sense comments. There is a world of difference between pornography and the healthy God given attraction and appreciation that men and women have for each other. One of the sad facts of living in a world where pornography has become ubiquitous is that some people, such as Mark, go overboard in the opposite direction and make fools of themselves in the process.

Mark Adams said...

Donna and Donald,

To act as though this is a debate over the propriety of bikinis is disingenuous on both your parts.

Donald R. McClarey said...

"To act as though this is a debate over the propriety of bikinis is disingenuous on both your parts."

Mark, to act on your part as if this was an intentional assault on the honor of the Blessed Virgin is to completely miss the point of both the ad and why Shea was highlighting it. The ad was a buffoonish attempt to appeal to young male tourists. Shea seized upon it because he views American support of Israel as one of the main causes of our problems in the Middle East. Take offense as you will, but the ad was not intended as an anti-Catholic slam and Shea did not raise it in an attempt to defend the mother of God.

Victor said...

Mark:

Here's the whole ad, so others can see it (HT: you, above; but the link broke)

I can't see it myself because of computer limitations at home. I take your word that it goes beyond showing hot chicks in bikinis, and another commenter at Chez Shea, who said it's broader and more-ecumenical in its secularist mocking jokes. I probably wouldn't find it offensive (you know my impious sensibility well enough), but it's probably not a good idea for a state tourism industry (CQ?) to make jokes that reasonable Christians and others might take as blasphemy.

I largely agree with Donald -- an ill-calculated or immoral ad means nothing in the grand scheme of Middle East politics. I think Potemra and others are reacting against Shea's what-you-call-a-straw-man point. If he had just said what you did -- this is vile and dishonorable, nobody would have defended the Israeli tourism bureau. Instead, he had to drag in his passle of straw men and false narratives (someone at his site said "that'll win friends in the Muslim world" ... as if this had anything to do with Muslims anti-Semitism), and give people both something else to react to, and something so transparently ridiculous that his particular point got lost.

Yes ... Israel is a secular state with a Westernized populace. Much that goes on in the society reflects those facts, including much that is bad. But it is still our only friend in the region.

Mark Adams said...

I assure you Donald, I get the point of the ad and I get why Shea was critical of it. First off, one who engages in blasphemous humor almost never does so saying, "I am trying to offend a certain type of person." The defense is, "Lighten up, We're just trying to be funny." While that may be the case, any reasonable grown up would have known that the ad was offensive to Christians regardless of whether they intended to offend Christians.

As to Shea's intent, I don't entirely disagree. If Potemra had said, "Shea trots out the old straw man that supporters of Israel all think that she is a God-established theocracy and he pretends to be upset about an ad when he really just wants to get in some digs on Israel," then I wouldn't have said anything. But instead him and others have actually defended the ad's content and told Shea that basically he is a big prude for being offended by it.

If someone insults my mother on national television, and then someone else tells me to lighten up b/c I'm upset about it, my response to that person is to fuck off.

paul zummo said...

Whether or not they intended to offend, the ad is more than a little low brow. They could have come up with a way of stating that Israel is a hip and happening place without resorting to taking the Lord's name in vain.

That said, to turn this silly ad into a broader bromide against Israel, and the Evangelical support of it, was stupid.

Mark Adams said...

Here is the text of the entire commercial:

Black dude: Holy shit man!
White dude: Holy fuck! . . . Yo man check it out
BD: Holy Jesus! Oh come to papa! . . .Holy. Mother. of God.

Text on screen:
ISRAEL
No wonder they call it
The Holy Land

Victor said...

Yeah, that sounds like blasphemy in the purest sense ... i.e., the taking of what is holy (the word itself; Israel's ... geographic position: "no wonder they call it the Holy Land") for the purpose of something base.

I probably wouldn't be as offended as you, Mark, but ... this sounds like something blasphemous.

paul zummo said...

According to one of the commenters at Mark's place, the "holy" ad wasn't put out by the state tourism ministry. They did, however, put together a photo shoot of scantiliy clad Israeli female soldiers. Not exactly high brow, but not as bad as the blasphemous one that got Mark (both of them) so upset.

Joseph D'Hippolito said...

You mean to tell me that Mark is saying that the United States should reconsider its support of Israel because of a vulgar ad? My God, but he has gone off the deep end. What the Hell does a vulgar ad promoting tourism have to do with defending the only country in the Middle East that shares our values and interests, and protecting that country from genocidal maniacs who wish to destroy it in the name of their "god"?

Regarding the above comments, prophecy is a separate issue. Indeed, it's irrelevant.

There's an insidious anti-Semitism that's endemic in the Catholic world, represented by the Maurice Pinays of the Church. Mark isn't that way out but the fact that he apparently makes these connections that are non-sequiturs demonstrates to me that one doesn't have to be as far out as Pinay to devalue the lives of Jews.

Andy Nowicki said...

This ad is sleazy at best, utterly blasphemous at worst. It shows a callous disregard for things Christians find sacred.

Are Evangelical Christians so reflexively supportive of all things Israeli that they are actually going to give Israel's tourism board a pass on this matter? (I'm not saying it's a HUGE deal in the scheme of things, but it is at least a deal of some size-- if you're a Christian who takes his Christian beliefs seriously.)

Joseph D'Hippolito said...

Andy, the ad wasn't produced by Israel's tourism board. It was produced as a joke to mock the tourism board's ads. That makes Mark's non-sequiturs even more absurd.

Anonymous said...

I saw the ad almost a year ago. Mark is not up to speed, in having to dig up months old adverts to make up his usual Israel pissing post. The ad was frankly blasphemeous and the girl wasn't particluarly attractive - Mark has done a double disservice here.

Ivan

Anonymous said...

I'm curious if anyone knows why Mark finds that the best, most cutting, most effective insult to the people who post at CfF is to refer to you as girls or women. It's really kind of creepy and speaks volumes about how he really views women.

But then, his unreserved (and undeserved), unquestioning, and blind approval and support of anything and everything Zippy has to say is a little weird too.

The guy NEVER forgets a (perceived) insult. Ever.

Anonymous said...

MARK SHEA OUTS COALITION FOR FOG

"I always thought of the Coalition as gay," said Mark Shea to his adoring fans at Shea Stadium. "They fell in love with Michael Ledeen long ago and, unlike wiser souls, never fell out of love with him. In a way it mirrors the love of Bellatrix Lestrange for Voldemort in the Harry Potter books." Shea then mentioned that when sent a script for the upcoming film, "Torture: The Movie" based on his book of the same name there was a scene in which the Coalition gets sexually aroused by a movie clip of Israeli women in bathing suits. He said, "I wrote, 'The Coalition is gay!' on the script and sent it back to them!" Joking about the wild applause that met his revelation about the Coalition's sexual identity, Mark said: "If I knew you'd be so happy about it I would have told you earlier!"

Victor said...

Actually, Shea does forget insults. To the point of publicly lying about them months later.

His sexism (yes, there really is such a thing) is an indication of what a classless pig he really is.

And that Potter discussion was surreal anyway. But since Shea is an Apologist for Harry, and he's revealed that truth means nothing to him, I think Zippy has proven that he must be a goat-fucker.

Tom Connelly said...

Disgusting. Shame on you, Victor.

Anonymous said...

Disgusting. Shame on you, Victor.

Did you actually read all the Harry Potter threads at Mark's? Because I did and I'm not absolutely sure Zippy didn't "prove" Mark must have a thing for goats (if by "prove" we mean assert with unyielding confidence and mix in an occasional denunciation of "positivism").

Tom Connelly said...

Ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

Yes, it is. That was Victor's point. And after suffering through two days of Zippy arguing about sex with goats (yes, I'm serious, he did) it was very funny.

Tom Connelly said...

You find a post that characterizes Mark a "pig" and a "goat-fucker" very funny.

I don't.

I wonder what others who frequent this blog think.

Anonymous said...

I find it very funny as a commentary about Zippy and the surreality of the Harry Potter discussion over at Mark's, not as an insult to Mark.

Tom Connelly said...

So Mark isn't actually a "goat-fucker." Zippy merely "proved" (in the course of those two days that you suffered through for some reason) that Mark is a "goat fucker."

Hilarious.

Victor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Victor said...

And Tom ...

Somebody who would bear false witness, by name, against someone in a combox and then tell said person he cannot defend himself in said combox, and then ridicules with "you ladies" the notion of defending himself elsewhere ... that person DOES have the manners of a pig.

Victor said...

Yes, if you think me using the construction "Zippy proved X" is anything but sarcastic ... I can see why you're quite the Shea fanboy ... one semi-literate skimmer to another.

Tom Connelly said...

Yes, if you think me using the construction "Zippy proved X" is anything but sarcastic ... I can see why you're quite the Shea fanboy ... one semi-literate skimmer to another.

I understand it's sarcasm. That explains but doesn't excuse the vile language, IMO.

Semi-literate ... perhaps. Shea fanboy ... hardly. I agree with you more often than I do with Mark. In fact, you've quoted my words contra Mark on this site.

I guess Mark and I aren't the only skimmers.

Victor said...

I try not to be gratuitous in my use of Anglo-Saxon, but I am not and never have pretended to be a pious man with respect to language. "Pig" is not a bad word anyway. As for the other term I used ... well, that was the topic.

As for your history here, my apologies. Calling someone a Mark Shea fanboy probably doth exceed all vile encomia.

Tom Connelly said...

Actually, Victor, it was your "semi-literate" crack I found most distressing, probably because the truth hurts ;-)

Joseph D'Hippolito said...

So, Victor, can we expect Rangers fans to be singing, "I'd Rather Be a Mark Shea Fanboy Than A Tim"? ;)

VIVA FORZA AZZURI PER SEMPERE!!!

Anonymous said...

>You mean to tell me that Mark is saying that the United States should reconsider its support of Israel because of a vulgar ad?

He never said that heretic boy.

Clueless.

>I wonder what others who frequent this blog think.

So far I'm not impressed.

-BenYachov

Joseph D'Hippolito said...

Ben Yachov, before you continue imitating your One True God, Mr. Shea, and attempt to engage in an Internet stalking campaign that even he foreswore, consider the following words from Donald McClarey earlier on this thread:

From this bikini clad molehill, Mark proclaims that Israel is just another secular state, and nothing special and that Evangelical and Catholics should not treat it as the fulfillment of prophecy....The ad however, in its own foolish way, does hit upon one reason why I support Israel. If most of the people fighting Israel, the same people in most cases who would rejoice if America were destroyed, had there way, there would be no women disporting themselves in bikinis in the sea. They would all be wearing burkas. There would also be no Jewish ladies, hot or otherwise, present, they would all be dead or fled. Choosing to support a democracy against jihadists lusting for blood requires no belief on my part that modern Israel is the culmination of prophecy. It merely requires common decency.

Moreover, Donald also said the following on this same combox:

Shea seized upon it because he views American support of Israel as one of the main causes of our problems in the Middle East. Take offense as you will, but the ad was not intended as an anti-Catholic slam and Shea did not raise it in an attempt to defend the mother of God.


I would also point out the following from Mike Poterma himself on Shea's own combox:

But Mark has great confidence that today's Israel cannot possibly have *anything* to do with the fulfillment of those prophecies, because some Israelis and some American supporters of Israel don't rise to his desired level of moral purity. In this, I cannot help hearing an echo of those who said, This guy can't be the Messiah, look at the riff-raff he hangs around with.

I know you support Israel, Ben. Can you point out any specific evidence that Mark shares the kind of opinion that Donald stated when I first cited him in this response?

Put up or shut up, big guy.

That goes for you, too, Mark.

Anonymous said...

Heretic boy,

You have to prove Shea thinks the United States should reconsider its support of Israel because of this vulgar ad based on WHAT HE ACTUALLY SAID(can't be done BTW). How other characterize what he said is not relavant.

Shifting the burden of proof & introducing tangents doesn't move me. I'm more than wise to your agrumentive tactics by now. You put up or shut up.

-BenYachov

Victor said...

First of all, Jim, do not call others heretics. That's within neither your office nor your knowledge.

Second of all, what do YOU think Shea means by:

This is the sort of thing that makes me wonder how long American Evangelicals (and even some Catholics) can be snookered by the notion that Israel is something other than a secular nation-state.

If indeed, "American Evangelicals snookered by the notion that Israek is something other than a secular nation-state" is some statistically significant piece of evangelicals (an ex-evangelical whom I trust has told me it is) and thus a statistically significant source of American support for Israel (thus one factor among others keeping Israel alive) ...

Why does he need to point this out?

What is the objective effect of pointing out this (out of a million things he could be pointing out), or of doing so now, or of *Shea's* doing so given what else he thinks about the Middle East?

And if you think that these be are morally-unfair or factually-unreliable hermeneutic methods -- arguing from insinuation, from presumed agendas (and I'd agree that they are) ...

Understand Jim ... that this is the VERY WAY SHEA HIMSELF argues about interrogation, Michael Ledeen and his evil mind-control rays, about me, about anybody with whom he disagrees, about "money sex and power-worshipping Mammon-loving" conservatives ... you know all this.

That is why this blog exists. As sauce for that silly goose.

Anonymous said...

>First of all, Jim, do not call others heretics. That's within neither your office nor your knowledge.

I'll call it as I see it. Your opinion is noted & rejected.

Ah but....it is OK to say I believe Shea is my One True God? Or that I worship my Catholicism (a charge heretic boy made against me on another blog)?

Well it's nice to see you are totally fair & unbiased when it come to Mark Shea.

>Second of all, what do YOU think Shea means by:

>This is the sort of thing that makes me wonder how long American Evangelicals (and even some Catholics) can be snookered by the notion that Israel is something other than a secular nation-state.

It means what it says.

That he doesn't believe the Bible mandates unconditional & uncritical support of the State of Israel(I don't believe this either. Unconditional support of Israel ONLY supports Israel's critics).

Plus he doesn't believe (& of course Church doctrine allows him this belief) the founding of the State of Israel fulfills any prophesy.

I still don't see where he says we shouldn't support Israel because of this ad. That is heretic boy's extremist retoric & unproven charge.

You speculations as to his motives not withstanding.

-BenYachov

Victor said...

Your opinion is noted & rejected.

Um ... that someone's being a heretic is not within your office is a fact. Not my opinion. A fact.

That it is not within your knowledge is only not a fact if you have vastly greater personal knowledge of Joe (or anyone frankly) than comment fields allow. If you have this knowledge, please let me know.

Otherwise, stop calling Joe a heretic. Or be gone.

Victor said...

You speculations as to his motives not withstanding.

You miss my point.

I agree it's an unfair surmise, intellectually.

It is also exactly how Shea operates, making his protests ring hollow. (I have truly never met anybody BOTH so cavalier about representing others while being so hyper-fastidious to others about being represented. The gap is Grand Canyon size).

Anonymous said...

>And if you think that these be are morally-unfair or factually-unreliable hermeneutic methods -- arguing from insinuation, from presumed agendas (and I'd agree that they are) ...

>Understand Jim ... that this is the VERY WAY SHEA HIMSELF argues about interrogation, Michael Ledeen and his evil mind-control rays, about me, about anybody with whom he disagrees, about "money sex and power-worshipping Mammon-loving" conservatives ... you know all this.

If I grant the above for sake of argument all that I can say is YOU by doing the very thing you decry in Mark have lost ALL moral authority to correct it in him & others.

This blog is NOT about defending any great principles. It is about YOU SIDE in this useless feud with Mark.

He DOESN'T like you.

and YOU don't like him & NEITHER is listening to the other.

And THAT is the bottom line chief.

BTW for the record I don't like heretic boy either & since he seems dead set on calling the late Pope an "Enemy of Christ" that is not likely to change anytime soon.

-BenYachov

Anonymous said...

>That it is not within your knowledge is only not a fact if you have vastly greater personal knowledge of Joe (or anyone frankly) than comment fields allow. If you have this knowledge, please let me know.

I don't have to DO anything. That is between Joe & myself. If Joe wishes to defend himself on this particular charge he is a big boy.

You hypocracy in allowing Joe free range to make ANY accusation he wants without correction or challenge further sets me against you.

>Otherwise, stop calling Joe a heretic. Or be gone.

No. Let Joe defend his own orthodoxy if he is man enough. He's not.

-BenYachov

Victor said...

This blog is NOT about defending any great principles. It is about YOU SIDE in this useless feud with Mark.

Stipulating that for now ...

What does Mark expect or more precisely, what does Mark have a moral right to expect when he uses his site to smear other people (CQ) and then summarily dismisses and/or bans their attempts to defend themselves at that forum?

He has all bases covered: "I can say what I want cause it's my site" (fair enough); "I can limit comment and debate on certain cause it's my site" (slightly less OK ... but unavoidable); and "Talking about me elsewhere is obsesso-stalking and proof of mental imbalance or women on The View, etc."

And he did all this again to me yesterday. (i.e., lied about me, and told me I couldn't defend myself there).

Anonymous said...

>Stipulating that for now ...

Well I'll give you props for that.


>He has all bases covered: "I can say what I want cause it's my site" (fair enough); "I can limit comment and debate on certain cause it's my site"

This rings hollow coming from the guy who told me to stop calling Joe a heretic or get lost.

_BenYachov

Victor said...

I told you to stop calling Joe a heretic because it's neither your office nor your knowledge, not because I can particularly vouch for Joe's state of grace (nor he for mine).

You can criticize Joe's ideas all you want. No sane man would deny that Joe goes overboard often. And that includes Joe. And if Joe (or anyone else) calls you (or anyone else) a heretic, I will tell that person to cut it out or buzz off too.

I'm sorry if you think I'm engaging in double standards, but there are some particular things that I have no tolerance for, Jim, and one of them is "heretic" (cf "alleged Catholic") via mere cyberspace.

Ironically, the first time I ever slammed the door on anyone at Chez Shea, it was "William" (the guy who found the Church among the Palestinians) because he insisting on viewing our disagreement over Israel as an excuse to psychoanalyze me (or more precisely, reduced my views to his psychoanalysis-by-modem). I told him the conversation was over, and I have never responded to or acknowledged him since.

Victor said...

I meant to reference this at the phrase "alleged Catholic."

Anonymous said...

>I told you to stop calling Joe a heretic because it's neither your office nor your knowledge, not because I can particularly vouch for Joe's state of grace (nor he for mine).

I am the first to admit my assersion has no Legal Ecclesastical meaning. I'm not a Bishop.

>You can criticize Joe's ideas all you want. No sane man would deny that Joe goes overboard often. And that includes Joe.

Joe does MORE than "go overboard" he goes beyond what is morally & rationally acceptable & clearly gets a pass for it from some people. The same people who wail on Mark for comparibly less.

>And if Joe (or anyone else) calls you (or anyone else) a heretic, I will tell that person to cut it out or buzz off too.

Don't do me any favors. If I made a heterodox doctrinal statement in a commbox I would want to be taken to task for it too. Of course I wouldn't do that.

>I'm sorry if you think I'm engaging in double standards,

I don't think that I know it. I have eyes & I can read.

>but there are some particular things that I have no tolerance for, Jim, and one of them is "heretic" (cf "alleged Catholic") via mere cyberspace.

Joe has made heterodox statements on blogs in the past. I've called him out on it. He has not seen fit to defend his statements as orthodox or reverse himself & repudiate said statements. Nuff said. Clearly he can't defend himself & needs others to make excuses for him.

>Ironically, the first time I ever slammed the door on anyone at Chez Shea, it was "William" (the guy who found the Church among the Palestinians) because he insisting on viewing our disagreement over Israel as an excuse to psychoanalyze me (or more precisely, reduced my views to his psychoanalysis-by-modem).

Yeh William has changed (unlike Joe who everone says is changing & yet last week he called the Pope an enemy of Christ, acccused the Pope of commiting suicide & of the Vatican murdering the Pope. This is all a little "overboard").
He has apologized as I recall for the charges he made against Roy.

He is easy to answer on politics. It's a simple matter of pointing out the Israelis have several times elected goverments that have offered land for peace & the Palestinians have elected Hamas.

It's hard to lose an argument to William. But William isn't obliged as a Catholic to hold a Pro-Israeli political view.

Cheers.

-BenYachov

Anonymous said...

Is Ben Yachov a contender for the GF category?

Ivan

Ben Douglass said...

Dear Donna,

If you are still reading this thread, yes, wearing a bikini in public is a grave sin (mortal, if performed with full knowledge and deliberate consent of the will). No one should have had to tell you this. All sexual sin is grave. Immodest dress is sexual sin. Bikinis are far beyond immodest: a woman who wears one makes herself available to, and incites, the auto-erotic fantasies of whatever lecher (most men, sadly) happens to take a mental snapshot. If you haven't Confessed wearing a bikini in public yet, you should do so at your next Confession.

Victor said...

>And if Joe (or anyone else) calls you (or anyone else) a heretic, I will tell that person to cut it out or buzz off too.

Don't do me any favors. If I made a heterodox doctrinal statement in a combox I would want to be taken to task for it too.


We have different ideas about what is acceptable from strangers. Calling someone a heretic or otherwise calling into question their religious bona-fides is never morally acceptable in my opinion, no matter the underlying substantive disagreement. And please do consider that an invitation to publicly call me on that if you ever see me doing it anywhere at anytime of anyone. (That doing this is his stock-in-trade, a feature not a bug, is a big part of why I so detest Shea.)


I don't think that I know it. I have eyes & I can read.

Clearly, I am engaging in a double standard with respect to behavior, calling some behavior bad but acceptable and other behavior unacceptable.

But that is inevitable and, more importantly, not at all the same thing as engaging in any double standard with respect to persons, which IS bad. I repeat: if anyone calls you a heretic, an alleged Catholic or the equivalent, I will tell him to stop it or leave.

Those are my rules, Jim. And I don't think I'm asking too much in saying that others must accept them in my space.

Donald R. McClarey said...

"If you haven't Confessed wearing a bikini in public yet, you should do so at your next Confession."

Only if you were wearing the bikini to Church Donna!

Anonymous said...

>We have different ideas about what is acceptable from strangers. Calling someone a heretic or otherwise calling into question their religious bona-fides is never morally acceptable in my opinion,

Translation: Joe has the UNLIMITED RIGHT to accuse BenYachov of Papal worship, & idolatry. BenYachov however IS NOT ALLOWED to respond in kind or question Joe questionable orthodoxy. Furthermore Joe has the unlimited to make ANY heterodox doctrinal statement he wishes (like calling Priestly celebacy a "Tradition of Men") & cannot be called on it.

You are a nuts.

>I repeat: if anyone calls you a heretic, an alleged Catholic or the equivalent, I will tell him to stop it or leave.

I don't submit to tyranny sir I'm of Scotish origin.

>Those are my rules, Jim. And I don't think I'm asking too much in saying that others must accept them in my space.

You clearly wish to shut down debate & dissent & are NO BETTER than what you accuse Mark of being.

FYI I DON'T call people heretics because of their political beliefs or their pet moral theories. When they make statements that BLATANTLY contradict & contraven Catholic dogma then I have no fear or hesitation to pull out the "H" word.

I'm sorry you are more concerned with political orthodoxy then religious.

Joe is a heretic. Go ahead BAN ME. Confirm to me that YOU are just as much of a blog fascist as you accuse Mark Shea of being.

-BenYachov

Clearly you can dish it out but you can't take it.

Anonymous said...

>Clearly, I am engaging in a double standard with respect to behavior, calling some behavior bad but acceptable and other behavior unacceptable.

Thus you are admiting to inforcing tyranny. Why should ANY free man submit to it? You are beyond unreasonable if you think I must.

-BenYachov

BTW Joe hasn't answered me. Clearly HE has chosen to shup up rather than put up.

Typical.

-BenYachov

frank sales said...

Mark having sexual congress with a domesticated animal? I have seen no evidence for it but would not be totally shocked. I would take some comfort, though, in the knowledge that he undoubtedly took care to inflict no pain or discomfort on the poor beast.

paul zummo said...

Shifting the burden of proof & introducing tangents doesn't move me. I'm more than wise to your agrumentive tactics by now. You put up or shut up.

Translation: Joe has the UNLIMITED RIGHT to accuse BenYachov of Papal worship, & idolatry. BenYachov however IS NOT ALLOWED to respond in kind or question Joe questionable orthodoxy. Furthermore Joe has the unlimited to make ANY heterodox doctrinal statement he wishes (like calling Priestly celebacy a "Tradition of Men") & cannot be called on it.

Maybe it's time to step away from the computer, Jim.

Anonymous said...

>Mark having sexual congress with a domesticated animal? I have seen no evidence for it but would not be totally shocked. I would take some comfort, though, in the knowledge that he undoubtedly took care to inflict no pain or discomfort on the poor beast.

Ah accusing people of beastiality is allowed here. But calling them heretics is out of bounds. OF COURSE!

>Maybe it's time to step away from the computer, Jim.

Maybe I should. I might get mad & call somebody a heretic (horrors!) after they accuse my Mother of being a Lesbian Necrophillac(since that is OK).

Victor you are out there if this makes sense to you.

-BenYachov

paul zummo said...

Seriously, I think everyone here could benefit from stepping away, because no one's coming off particularly well. We've got talk about Mark and goats that I'd rather we not explore, Jim's cyber stalking exploits, me jumping the gun on the Israeli ad, Joe being Joe.

It's Friday, enjoy the weekend. Victor can enjoy some REAL football at Wembley Stadium (Go Giants!).

frank sales said...

Ah accusing people of beastiality is allowed here. But calling them heretics is out of bounds. OF COURSE!

Ben, you either cannot read, are stupid, or are completely humourless. Assuming any of the above, why do you hang around here and cause yourself aggravation?

Anonymous said...

>Ben, you either cannot read, are stupid, or are completely humourless.

I am none of those things. I think Frank you are engadging in what is known as "Protjection".

>Assuming any of the above, why do you hang around here and cause yourself aggravation?

You might as well ask why this blog exists in the first place.

-BenYachov

frank sales said...

I think Frank you are engadging in what is known as "Protjection".

I guess you just proved you are all three.

Susan B. said...

I haven't had a chance to watch the ad in question, but I will agree that it does sound blasphemous. However, I was disgusted by the obvious Muslim-theocracy-envy and misogyny expressed by many of Mark Shea's male commenters and even some commenters here. The fact that Mark lets so many obviously anti-semitic comments stand is also appalling.

Let me make it clear, I am a strong believer in modesty, I'm a social conservative and I am no feminist. However, I do not think it's a sin to wear a two-piece bathing suit on the beach or at the pool. I don't wear two-piece bathing suits myself, but I see nothing wrong with wearing one at the appropriate place (beach or poolside) as long as it's not too skimpy. That idea that someone needs to "confess" the "grave sin" of wearing a non-skimpy two-piece bathing suit to the beach or at the pool is ridiculous and offensive. Calling women "slutty" for wearing two-piece bathing suits and saying crap like, "No wonder the Muslims hate the west" shows obvious envy of the way those Muslims keep those evil women in line. I really do believe that many of these good Christian men have serious issues with women and would love to throw a burka over those wicked women and make them stay at home.

I have argued with liberals in the past that conservative Christians do not want a theocracy but simply want a place at the table, politically speaking. However, I'm starting to see that some really do want a theocracy, mainly because they have issues with women.

I would love for someone to prove me wrong on this, but I don't think they can.

Donald R. McClarey said...

"However, I do not think it's a sin to wear a two-piece bathing suit on the beach or at the pool. I don't wear two-piece bathing suits myself, but I see nothing wrong with wearing one at the appropriate place (beach or poolside) as long as it's not too skimpy. That idea that someone needs to "confess" the "grave sin" of wearing a non-skimpy two-piece bathing suit to the beach or at the pool is ridiculous and offensive. Calling women "slutty" for wearing two-piece bathing suits and saying crap like, "No wonder the Muslims hate the west" shows obvious envy of the way those Muslims keep those evil women in line. I really do believe that many of these good Christian men have serious issues with women and would love to throw a burka over those wicked women and make them stay at home."

Bravo Susan b., well said! It all comes down to time and place for what attire is appropriate. I also think that men who are inflamed with lust at a woman in a non-skimpy bikini, would also be inflamed with lust if the woman was wearing a one piece suit. When I go to a beach I expect to see women in bikinis just as I expect to see women dressed professionally in the office, and dressed modestly at Church. Common sense goes a long way in this area.

kathleen said...

" 'Assuming any of the above, why do you hang around here and cause yourself aggravation?'

You might as well ask why this blog exists in the first place. "

err, why? Should the blog not exist if it causes Ben Yachov aggravation? I'm also curious why you frequent a blog that causes you aggravation/should not exist.

Anonymous said...

>Should the blog not exist if it causes Ben Yachov aggravation? I'm also curious why you frequent a blog that causes you aggravation/should not exisT?

Who says I'm aggravated?

Now somebody answer a straightforward question.

BenYachov

kathleen said...

I'm in a generous mood, so I'll assume you're joking.

Anonymous said...

Susan B, you totally rock.

--- Diane, who wore a bikini when she was a size-5 teenager and had nothing much to show off to lechers on the beach

Susan B. said...

Ben,

I have to work right now, so I will plow through that pesthole of a comment thread and find anti-semitism examples this evening.

Donald & Diane,

Thank you! :-)

Victor said...

Jim:

Your further presence is not wanted.

Victor said...

Others:

Do not feed the troll.

Pauli said...

Way too freaking funny.

Victor said...

Jim:

(1) When a bloghost tells you to buzz off, that means buzz off. It doesn't mean continue to argue his "buzz-off" criteria. Stop posting. Now.

(2) Do not take advantage of the fact I do not have the capability to delete comments, for temporary technical reasons that will last a couple of days. Rest assured amything and everything you say, on any subject whatever, of any content whatever, will be deleted.

(3) You may also be rest assured, that unlike Shea, I do not talk about people I ban behind their back (it is the latter thing that is truly despicable). That comment will be gone as soon as I can delete your trolling.

(4) As it happens, "anon" is not accusing you of anything. Which you'd realize had you read earlier on with your eyes, rather than your patella reflex.

Victor said...

Obviously, I have now found a work-around way to delete comments.

For everyone else's benefit:

Jim's crime resulting in his banning was not low-blows per se, but arguing with the ref. And continuing to do so when the ref told him the decision had been made, was final, and stfu.

kathleen said...

Victor, do you really have to ban him? I found it somewhat amusing. the banning seems so Shea-esque.

(Jim is ben yachov, right? maybe i'm confused)

Victor said...

Kathleen:

Yes, "Jim" and "Ben Yachov" are the same person. It's a nickname he uses based on an encounter with Hebrew Catholics, the details of which are slipping my mind, but it's an anecdote he's told around St. Blogs a couple of times. They gave him the name "ben Yachov" which is Hebrew for "son of Jacob (James)," both his name and his father's name.

Obviously, I don't *have* to ban him. I actually went to bed last night, saying "maybe I should email Jim and try to cool things down." I have my reasons for everything, some of which I don't wish to and/or should not speak of publicly. But I wake up to see that he'd just gotten more belligerent in the morning and not grasped that all blogs are dictatorships. My patience was exhausted, and I could see no other way of making him learn that. If he does and learns some manners ... we'll see.

My banning him would only be Shea-esque, if I used that fact to shield slanders of him or continued to slander him. I note that I gave Jim fair warning and tried to reason with him, and he just used that as a further springboard for more rants about how nuts I am, how Shea-like I am, etc. Even my attempts to tell him to stop were excuses for further criticism of the host. Perhaps my trigger was too quick by some precise calibrations, but **at some point,** that will get you banned at any site.

Anonymous said...

Mine not to question my host. But I just want to go on record as saying that I normally find Ben Yachov to be a really great guy. (Hey, he loves Red Dwarf; that endears him to me right away.) I can't imagine what's gotten into him in these recent exchanges. They don't seem to reflect the Ben / Jim I know and love. :D

God bless,

Dianonymous (btw, Joe, thanks for the compliment on the Nom de Net)

Victor said...

Diane:

For the record, other people's friendships or opinions of third parties are not my concern, and never will be.

I have never even taken my far-greater loathing for Shea and Zippy onto other St. Blogs sites, excepting cases where it was already the topic of discussion at another's initiative.

People's friendship lines tangle too much to apply Second-Degree Ritual Cleanliness laws.

Susan B. said...

In light of Ben/Jim's banning and the request from the blog host not to feed the trolls, I guess I won't be posting about anti-semitism in those comments.

I can't say I'm sorry...I really wasn't looking forward to reading through all those repugnant comments again. There are better things to do on a Friday evening.

Anonymous said...

People's friendship lines tangle too much to apply Second-Degree Ritual Cleanliness laws.

Ain't that the truth!

Diane

Phillip said...

Boy, you're gone for two weeks and look what happens.

Anonymous said...

Mark has continued to obfuscate the fact that the ad wasn't by the government even after it was pointed out to him. Doesn't willful obfuscation prove Potemra's point in the end?

Joseph D'Hippolito said...

Anonymous, you're absolutely right; Mark never mentions that the ad was a spoof, not an officially sanctioned product of Israel's tourist commission.

Moreover, it appears that Mark's tendency to deliberately misrepresent arguements and engage in personal attacks has jumped from his blog to his "official" writing. Let's examine two examples:

"Perhaps he means survival"? One hardly knows how to reply. Evidently it did not occur to him that I think Evangelicals have snookered themselves. They are, after all, the ones who concocted the various end-times scenarios featuring the notion that Israel is the fulfillment of prophecy. It is they who suggest that Christians have to take it as Biblical Truth that you must support, say, a unified Jerusalem, or a Red Heifer Portent, or the election of so-and-so as Prime Minister or risk the Wrath of God. It is they, in short, who hold a purely human dogma of the Immaculate Conception of the State of Israel and its preservation from all sin both original and actual.

Since when does Poterma's defense mean that all evangelicals believe in such things as Red Heifer portents. Yes, some evangelicals are into these things but they are a minority even among the evangelicals who go overboard on end-times analysis.

Besides, by accentuating the extremist aspects and by ridiculing the evangelicals' concern for Israel, Mark doesn't have to take their theology seriously. It's no different than Protestant fundamentalists calling Catholics apostates who worship Mary and the saints.

Here's another section:

And the surest proof of the pernicious effect of this tradition of men is... Mike Potemra. Because at the end of the day, he was in fact saying that if you criticize a blasphemous jiggle ad or say Israel is merely a secular nation state (like every other ally we have) you are poisoning the hearts and minds of Americans and trying to "turn them against a brave ally." The loud and clear message of Potemra is that anything less than uncritical acceptance of anything Israelis might choose to do is endorsement of the idea of pushing Israel into the sea.

No, that's not what he was saying. Poterma was ridiculing Shea's broad-brushed, stereotyped characterization of evangelical attitudes toward Israel. Shes actually proves Poterma's point by applying that broad brush to Poterma.

Actually, this column is a good thing. It means that Mark has allowed his abrasiveness to infect even his serious commentary, which means that he is likely to do so in any book about torture, which means that no publisher will be able to take him seriously.

Anonymous said...

Any comment from Torq?

... an outraged reader of my blog sent along a story that recently ran on British TV stating that the Israeli government was trying to boost tourism with some racy new ads. The story featured a lot of soft porn jiggle starring the Babes of the Israeli Military waggling their scantily clad bods and boobs while gasping young letches at the beach exclaim "Holy Mother of God!" The punchline to the ad: "No wonder they call it the Holy Land." ... So when I ran the link along with my reader's outraged note, I remarked: This is the sort of thing that makes me wonder how long American Evangelicals (and even some Catholics) can be snookered by the notion that Israel is something other than a secular nation-state.

vs.

"I started making phone calls to friends in Israeli diplomatic circles. They made phone calls to the Ministry of Tourism. It did not take long for me to learn that the Israeli government did not commission, vet, or approve the ad. The Ministry of Tourism never used the ad, which achieved a life of its own on the internet after being left there like a foundling by the marketing firm that had created the ad to demonstrate new ways in which Israel could sell itself. Maybe, in this case, sell itself short. The Government officials I spoke to reacted – unequivocally and univocally – with regret, embarrassment and consternation."

Mark Adams said...

No, that's not what he was saying. Poterma was ridiculing Shea's broad-brushed, stereotyped characterization of evangelical attitudes toward Israel.

No he wasn't. He wasn't doing that at all. What he was doing was pretty clearly and expressly defending the content of the ad itself. He didn't say, "The ad is bad but shouldn't be taken as representative of Israel." He didn't say, "I looked into this and the ad was not a product of any organization with any official or even quasi-official ties to the state of Israel."

What he said was: "Now, to the untrained eye this looks like what we in the business call a 'joke'—and a rather cute one at that; one to which only the proverbial maiden aunt would object (and hey, she has a right to—this is America)."

The commercial was "cute" and to criticize it is equivalent to calling on the entire state of Israel to become a "convent."

And there is nothing in Potemra's argument that indicates to me he is calling out Shea for painting Evangelicals with a broad brush.

The fact that Potemra continues to be defended just gives more credence to Shea's original argument. (Of course Shea does himself no favors either by his InsideCatholic piece which does not highlight the circumstances surrounding the ad's creation and actually could be said to continue to obfuscate them.)

Hapax Legomenon said...

Potemra's response to Mark's comments were an overreaction, to say the least.

On the other hand, I wish that Mark would occasionally link to an article that portrayed Israel in other than in a negative light.

Hapax said...

in a negative light should be "a negative light."

Phillip said...

"Of course Shea does himself no favors either by his InsideCatholic piece which does not highlight the circumstances surrounding the ad's creation and actually could be said to continue to obfuscate them."

Actually, if as has been pointed out, Mark knew that the ad was not produced by the Israeli government, then this obfuscation is a lie. A moral evil as Mark likes to point out. And remember, no good end can justify any evil. Learn it, love it, live it. (Hat tip to Zippy for that last line.)

Anonymous said...

Quoting Zippy is intrinsically evil. Phillip must be banned from this blog.

Get to it, Vic!

paul zummo said...

Actually, if as has been pointed out, Mark knew that the ad was not produced by the Israeli government, then this obfuscation is a lie.

You mean like it's been pointed out - repeatedly - that realpolitik and neoconservatism are in opposition, and yet he ignores that as well?

Phillip said...

Mark has ignored many things that have repeatedly been pointed out to him. I do not know the reasons for each or if they can be summed into one reason.

The bottom line is, as I have pointed out before, he has become a polemicist. His apologetics is nice and simple (see his analysis of patriotism.) However as such it generally lacks any significant depth and no originality. His frequent equating of his political opinions with Catholic teaching is a result of his lack of depth and originality. His inability to articulate his positions beyond caricature and misrepresentation of others is further proof of his intellectual weakness.

Now he protests against his public political stands being attacked by others. He feigns innocence when he is clearly wrong in his understanding and quite possibly lying. Making further public show of his ignorance or moral failure is further evidence that he is rejecting his position as an apologist and engaging in politics.
If this is so, it is his right. But he shouldn't whine when others call him to task for his often disordered understanding of world affairs.

As the Spanish saying goes, "The bird with long tail feathers should not go near the flame." Mark should really avoid the rough and tumble world of politics. Particularly when his misinformed political opinions which may be backed up by his public lies draw criticism.

Anonymous said...

Can Torq or Victor post something else (not necessarily about Mark Shea ;))? Y'all are so much fun to read!!!!

Diane, having withdrawal pains

Phillip said...

This just to get us to 100 comments.

paul zummo said...

One hundred and first!

Sorry. Had to be done.

Phillip said...

Just an aside, but Comerford has reappeared in Shea's most recent torture post (11/29). Its fun to read him again.

Christopher said...

Dear Phillip,

Thank you for your kind reply. I am a dummy. Who is this 'Richard Comerford?'

Christopher

Anonymous said...

On a serious note, Fr. Harrison's article on torture made it into Catholic Answers' This Rock (December 2006) AND Catholic Culture's document library.

http://www.catholicculture.org/library/view.cfm?recnum=7390

Pauli said...

Christopher;

What is Richard Comerford's secreat identity?

Thank you.

God bless

Puzzled in Parma,
Pauli

not dick w. said...

Gentlemen,

You have been warned and continue to besmirch my good name. Not since a certain bit of messy business in Angola have I had to put up with such indignities.

Please provide me with your true identities and addresses for service. My solicitors will be on you quicker than a SEAL team on a certain extraction mission that I can't discuss but did lead.

God bless you all in this Christmas season.

r.w.c.

Joseph D'Hippolito said...

Good Morning! Today is Day 2 of Mark Shea's quarterly pathetic attempt to solicit money from his audience. Tell your friends not to give Dime One (or Penny One or Farthing One) to this deleted expletive until his obnoxious behavior changes.

frank sales said...

Interesting to note that the recently published Encyclopedia of Catholic Social Thought, Social Science and Social Policy, edited by conservative orthodox folks, called on Brian W. Harrison, not Mark Shea, to write the article on torture.

I suppose they're letting Mark keep his powder dry for his eagerly anticipated book-length tome on the subject. Of course to read Harrison and Shea side by side is to see the difference between a thinker and a sloganeer.

frank sales said...

Philip,

You're right, Comerford's big splash landing back into blogdom is hilarious. Classic stuff. Although the parodies posted above are good, nothing beats the original.

Reading him now, I find it hard to believe I actually let him get under my skin. It also occurs to me that his claims of military service are put into doubt by the fact that IQ tests are administered to applicants with a cut off, I believe, at 80.

God bless.

Joseph D'Hippolito said...

Good Morning! Today is Day 3 of Mark Shea's Quarterly Pathetic Panhandling Program. Tell your friends not to support evil...and tell The Self-Benighted One to get a real job....

Phillip said...

Frank,

You may find it hard that you let him get under your skin, but there are people on Shea's blog right now drinking Comerford's peculiar brand of Kool-aid. I don't know why Mark is letting him go on. It seems exceptionally dishonest. Get this:

"R.w. Comerford,

From what I have read, you don't appear to be too incompetent. At least no more than any others I have read.
Dave G. "

If Dave G. only knew what the term incompetent meant in relation to Comerford.

Joseph D'Hippolito said...

Good Morning! Today is Day 4 of Mark Shea's attempt to imitate PBS' fund-raising. Remember, if you buy anything from Shea, please send him Vietnamese piasters. In cash. That is all.

Anonymous said...

""While I'm not a proponent of the Death Penalty, existing law provides that the likes of Cheney, Bush, Rumsfeld and Rice, if found guilty, could have hoods thrown over their heads, their hands bound, facing a 12-man rifle corps executing death by firing squad,""

Truly, a speech Mark Shea would be proud of.

frank sales said...

So...waterboarding is torture, but the person who does it isn't a torturer? Why not just say that it's torture, but not the kind that's wrong?

According to 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.” SERE waterboarding isn't used for this purpose, but rather as preparation.

Nonetheless, if torture is "intrinsically immoral" than certainly it shouldn't be a part of SERE training. Am I correct in saying that you believe the military is in the wrong for this sort of training?
HokiePundit | Homepage | 12.14.07 - 3:49 pm | #

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hokie:

I shot a man to death in a play once. It looked a lot like murder. It wasn't the same thing, despite appearances. Both of us knew that. So did the audience.

Actions which do not and are not intended to result in the mental torture that waterboarding is designed to inflict are not mental torture. They are educative actions intended to help the soldier prepare to resist the mental terror his captors will be intending to inflict.
Mark Shea | Homepage | 12.14.07 - 3:58 pm | #

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

It's fun to see how Mark's responses on the thread become more and more intemperate as HokiePundit refuses to yield to his weak reasoning. Zippy chiming in with the "you're not morally sane" accusation is a particular delight. All that is missing is for RWC to declare himself a dummy while offering some inane piece of wisdom that actually proves his self-description.

I predict HokieP will be banned soon for the temerity of actually thinking on this clown show.

CresceNet said...

Gostei muito desse post e seu blog é muito interessante, vou passar por aqui sempre =) Depois dá uma passada lá no meu site, que é sobre o CresceNet, espero que goste. O endereço dele é http://www.provedorcrescenet.com . Um abraço.

Joseph D'Hippolito said...

Gostei muito desse post e seu blog é muito interessante, vou passar por aqui sempre =) Depois dá uma passada lá no meu site, que é sobre o CresceNet, espero que goste. O endereço dele é http://www.provedorcrescenet.com . Um abraço.

I don't speak Portuguese (if anybody does, perhaps he can translate the last comment), but I'll give it a shot.

Many thanks for this post. This blog is very interesting. Please take a look at my site at CresceNet. I hope you like it. Its address is http://www.provedorcrescenet.com . I give you a hug.

Joseph D'Hippolito said...

I forgot something...

vou passar por aqui sempre =)

I stop by here often.

Victor, congratulations. You have become a hit in the Portuguese-speaking world.

Pauli said...

I spoke Portuguese in a play once. It wasn't the same thing, despite appearances.

Anonymous said...

Victor and Torq: I think a new post is in order, now that Ron Paul has been outed as a racist bigoted dirtbag.

See link (which I'm sure you've already seen):

http://www.tnr.com/politics/story.html?id=e2f15397-a3c7-4720-ac15-4532a7da84ca

This blog should live on, whether or not it has anything to do with Mark Shea. It's better to attack ideas than people, anyway, and Ron Paulism (etc.) = a set of ideas, non?

Diane

Joseph D'Hippolito said...

I heartily second Diane's recommendation. Focusing this blog solely on Shea will make it look petty.

Paul is an ignoramus who should be challenged on all fronts.

Shawn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shawn said...

Paul is an ignoramus who should be challenged on all fronts.

Here is as good a place to start as any:

On the Constitutional Standing of Wars Undertaken Without a Formal Declaration of War

Pauli said...

You know, I was going to do a post on the "congress must declare a war" fallacy and another mistake that R. Paul made in a speech, or essay -- text is somewhere on the 'net -- where he says something about how the U. S. Constitution specifically mentions God.

Only it doesn't. I know this not because I'm so knowledgeable about the Constitution, but because every secularist mentions the fact during talk radio arguments about whether the US is a "Christian nation". It would seem like someone who claims to be "Mr. Constitution" himself would not make such a blunder, small though it might seem.

Pauli said...

Yeah, here it is:

"Certainly the drafters of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, both replete with references to God, would be aghast at the federal government’s hostility to religion."

He mentions it in passing. Of course, the Declaration does mention God, so he's batting 500.

I mean, is he lazy, sloppy, ill-informed, or is this yet another case where he had a seventh grader ghost write the piece?

Joseph D'Hippolito said...

Mark, it also ends by playing Russian roulette with a loaded revolver, which I heartily suggest you do.

You know, it really is a pity that, among his many mistakes, Oliver Cromwell didn't wipe out your ancestors when he had the chance....

Joseph D'Hippolito said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Joseph D'Hippolito said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Pauli said...

THAT LAST COMMENT SHOULD BE DELETED. YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELF FOR SAYING THAT.

Shawn said...

I am trying to figure out how my posting three times in three months (including the one from today and the other day in that number) constitutes an "obsession." Of course if it does, then we have to ask what Mark's bandying about his undefined shibbolth of "torture" nearly day in and day out for probably two years now means. While far from the only way to look at it, simple proportion would hint that if this blog is "obsessed" then Mark is "certifiable" and in need of one of those special jackets which enables him to "hug himself" all day long...

Mark, it also ends by playing Russian roulette with a loaded revolver, which I heartily suggest you do.

Joe, only one bullet is used in the "game" of "Russian roulette", not six.

I will not comment on the last part except to say that with a last name like "McElhinney" (or "McElhenney" as it was spelled in the old country after the time of Cromwell and before arriving in America) you can probably guess my view of the other strategy you recommend.

I would also note that on a sliding scale, the idea of advocating abortion is much further down than having to put up with the kind of crackpot geopolitical blather that commonly graces Shea's blog in recent years, even five minutes on a waterboard as administered by the CIA (which differs from the way others have done it in past eras -a subject for another time perhaps) would be like sunning oneself on the Riviera by comparison...

Joseph D'Hippolito said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Joseph D'Hippolito said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Pauli said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Shawn said...

Or, maybe it's more likely that he'll use your comment to smear the fog site. That's what I'd do.

Cannot argue with Pauli on this Joe. If I can exhort you to consider the wise words of Edwin Tait and Friedrich Nietzche -the latter of which I blogged after reading what you noted further up on this thread.

Mark will obviously not heed what is noted there and it will be to his further detriment. But do not fall into the same pit yourself.

Anonymous said...

Victor and Torq: I beseech you to delete Joe's most recent comments re Mark Shea (and Cardinal Mahony).

Joe: Please...you are a brilliant guy. You do not have to resort to this kind of thing.

God bless, all,

Diane

Greg Mockeridge said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Joseph D'Hippolito said...

I do apologize for my remarks concering Mark Shea. The fact is that I hate the man and I need to deal with that hate.

BTW, Mark, what kind of a reception do you expect to receive when you come into this blog and attack those who comment here regularly with your persistently snide gibberish?

Mark, you should be very proud of yourself. You are an expert in stimulating hatred in people where none existed before -- and I'm sure I'm not the only one. May your eternal reward be rich, indeed.

Regarding Roger Mahony, however, I will neither apologize nor withdraw my remarks. Mahony is evil incarnate. He must be opposed on all fronts and at all costs. Not even Shea would countenance the sexual exploitation of his own children for the sake of keeping a false peace or preserving institutional facades (i.e., "avoiding scandal"). Indeed, Shea has been a constant critic of Mahony; for that, he deserves credit.

But the fact that Roger Mahony remains the arsebishop of Los Angeles is a direct indictment of the corruption pervading the Church leadership -- corruption that, unfortunately, goes to the head of that leadership. The fact that Catholics have not taken a far stronger stand against Mahony is a direct indictment of their moral ignorance and complacency.

I'll say it again, and at even louder decibels: If the Catholics of Los Angeles had any moral testosterone, they would have hanged Roger Mahony in Pershing Square when the clerical sex-abuse crisis broke six years ago.

Joseph D'Hippolito said...

Let me add one more point:

To the best of my knowledge, nobody lost their faith in God or committed suicide because of Shea's shenanigans. Many victims of clerical sexual abuse, however, have irrevokably lost their faith or committed suicide because of Mahony's malfeasance. Does nobody care about that latter point? Or are we Catholics so infatuated with the notion of "apostolic succession" and so conditioned to blind deference that we refuse to challenge our "shepherds" even when they become a collective stench in the nostrils of a holy, righteous God?

Victor said...

I've eliminated the latest Shea droppings -- he obviously came wanting to stir shit; he has no other value here. It's as if he secretly wants to pose self-righteously against his imaginings.

I also eliminated both Joe's overreaction and the denunciations from others that in my (fallible) judgement alluded too specifically to its content.

My apologies to Greg, Pauli and Shawn -- I hope you understand why I felt I had to delete them.

Shawn said...

[i]Shea has no value. I eliminated Joe and others that in my (fallible) judgement alluded too specifically. I hope you understand why I felt I had to delete them.[/i]

As I selectively present Victor's words to say things he never actually said. This way, I can posit moral outrage at his "position" in the same fashion as Shea likes to do with the rows of strawmen which line his rhetorical cornfields.

Joseph D'Hippolito said...

Victor, thank you beyond thanks. I embarassed myself and embarassed you and Torq with my remarks. Shea is a red cape to my bull (or vice versa, or whatever). The best thing for me to do is to ignore the deleted expletive at any and all occasions.

Shawn, your imitation of Shea is among the most salient and accurate I've seen.

Diane, thank you for your kind words.

Victor said...

Remember, Joe:

Losing one's temper only gives Shea what he wants -- another straw man to pose self-righteously against.

Anonymous said...

Joe, you are a mensch! :D

Diane

Phillip said...

I've just been banned yet again for suggesting that Comerford, who has been posting for a while with his usual style, is not what he seems to be. Mark of course was most charitable.
But Mark, since you do keep coming here, you know Comerford is ill and much of what he says is not true. You deleted a whole section of his meltdown on his blog and yet feign not to know what is at issue. You do a disservice to Mr. Comerford by encouraging his delusions and to all veterans by allowing his posts to continue.

mysolicitorisunlisted said...

Philip, that thread has a new Comerford claim: sustained bullet and high explosive wounds. If true, I'm assuming justifiable friendly fire.

Strange how such a battle-scarred veteran would be threatened and traumatized by a physical from a female doctor.

Phillip said...

Didn't you know. The female physician was with the famed Bulger crime family. She was actually putting plutonium in the syringe she claimed was to draw blood.
You see our Mr. Comerford is defending us in many places - often at once. And thus he has many enemies.

Shawn said...

I've just been banned yet again for suggesting that Comerford, who has been posting for a while with his usual style, is not what he seems to be. Mark of course was most charitable.

I am sure he was...wait until he starts emailing you with taunts if he does. I do not condone Joe's outbursts but I understand how they can come about due to weaknesses. Another way of saying it is that I can understand how "Mr. Hand"{1} turns into "Mr. Fist."

But Mark, since you do keep coming here, you know Comerford is ill and much of what he says is not true. You deleted a whole section of his meltdown on his blog and yet feign not to know what is at issue. You do a disservice to Mr. Comerford by encouraging his delusions and to all veterans by allowing his posts to continue.

You do not get it Philip. Mark is an ideologue pundit and not a serious commentator. If he was than he would not selectively edit people's words to misrepresent them or (in Comerford's case) try to pretend all is well in the latter's mental Denmark merely to have at his disposal a veteran who takes Mark's own view of the war in Iraq (at least in broad outlines).

Ideologues do not care about anything but advancing their agendas through all means be they fair or foul. And part of that is airbrushing the record with regards to who said what: an eminently marxist tactic that seems to have found its way into the repertoire of the proprietor at CAI...um I mean CAEI.

Note:

{1} This is not a reference to Stephen Hand lest anyone wonder.

Shawn said...

Victor, thank you beyond thanks. I embarassed myself and embarassed you and Torq with my remarks.

For the record (and so that my stances against Shea's antics both past, present, and future are consistent), I do feel obligated to denounce your recent statements Joe and publicly exhort you to show in subsequent words and statements that your apology here is one that you take to heart.

Joseph D'Hippolito said...

That's a fair challenge, Shawn. Now, I offer you one: Pray that God takes this hatred for Shea out of my soul. I also offer that challenge to Victor, Diane and anybody else out there who wants to take it up.

Anonymous said...

Joseph: Please pray for this sinner who also prays for you.

God bless,

Diane

Pauli said...

Victor did the correct thing in deleting my post. We could all use more prayer.

Joseph D'Hippolito said...

Diane, I shall and thank you for your prayers. BTW, is there anything specific you would like me to pray about?

Anonymous said...

Joseph--let's just say a "special intention," the old Catholic standby. :) Thanks so much!

Diane

Anonymous said...

BTW, y'all--have you seen Mark Shea's idiotic attack on Jonah Goldberg's new book *Liberal Fascism*? Mark hasn't even read the flippin' book, yet apparently he feels authorized to trash it. To tell the truth, I know next to nothing abnout Goldberg, but if Mark Shea hates him, he can't be all bad...so I'm very, very tempted to read his book.

Pauli has a great piece about the overreaction to Goldberg's book at his blog, Contrapauli.blogspot.com

At a former job, I had to do research on attacks on personal freedom and property rights launched by environmenalist wackos. I read about cases that would make your hair curl-e.g., about the couple who were fined $25,000 because the deck they built on their own property *cast a shadow* on a wetland. I kid you not. And that was one of the less outrageous anecdotes!

So, when I run across the phrase "liberal fascism," I think I know exactly what it means.

In any event, though, it would be nice if Mark would refrain from mercilessly attacking a book until he has actually read it. But perhaps that's too much to ask.

Diane

Joseph D'Hippolito said...

Diane, you got it.

Guys, let's be honest about what Shea is doing here:

1. Shea is reflexively reacting to those (Diane and Kathleen Reilly) who criticize Dreher's "crunchy conservative" approach -- and, since Dreher is an FOM (Friend of Mark), the Enemy of My Friends Is My Enemy (so thinketh Shea).

2. We have Catholics have to be honest about one thing: Historically, the Church has never valued individual freedom. I'm not talking about Objectivism, the libertarian view or, certainy, narcissism. I'm talking about the fundamental values that the Founding Fathers relied on to build this country. Some Catholics like to claim that this country is too Calvinist for their tastes (cf, Cdl. George of Chicago). Perhaps it's far more Lockean than Calvinist. Given what this nation has produced, Locke's philosophy isn't that bad.

3. Shea seems to forget that many ideologues (liberals, environmentalist radicals, social conservatives, crunchy conservatives, for starters) do want to impose their moral interpretations into the legal framework of society. At some point, it doesn't matter whether one is a left-wing ideologue or a right-wing ideologue; the lust for government controla and political power becomes blinding. Read Cal Thomas' Blinded By Might, in which he criticizes the Rev. Jerry Falwell's Moral Majority for having too much of an emphasis on political change. (And, remember, that Thomas was one of Rev. Falwell's closest advisors).

Then again, Shea would forget such a phenomenon because Shea is a part of that phenomenon. Just look at the way he not only stifles debate but arbitrarily decides who is a "nonperson" in his estimable, infallible opinion (i.e., me, Victor, Diane, Shawn, Kathleen, et al).

The whole point in referencing St. Athanasius is to do the above.

If the Catholics produced an Oliver Cromwell, Shea would be the perfect prototype.

Shawn said...

Joe:

The last post is a very good contribution containing criticism but sans the emotionalist outbursts which you have been prone to in the (let us hope permanent) past. One small point if I may...

We have Catholics have to be honest about one thing: Historically, the Church has never valued individual freedom.

It depends on how this concept is understood. Even the quotes which the "traditionalists" love to quote from pre-Vatican II popes about condemning "liberty of conscience" and the like do not say what those who reference them presume they do. Likewise, Dignitatis Humanae does not support a full fledged and untethered freedom of conscience.

But this is not to say that DH did not support religious (and by logical extension, individual) freedoms. Or that the earlier popes did not recognize and respect individual freedoms to some extent.

I'm not talking about Objectivism, the libertarian view or, certainy, narcissism. I'm talking about the fundamental values that the Founding Fathers relied on to build this country.

The Founders built this country on a variety of values and sources -among them scholastic sources.

Some Catholics like to claim that this country is too Calvinist for their tastes (cf, Cdl. George of Chicago). Perhaps it's far more Lockean than Calvinist. Given what this nation has produced, Locke's philosophy isn't that bad.

To claim that the country is "calvinist" or "lockian" is profoundly simplistic. I would recommend if you have not seen it yet a thread I wrote in late 2005 on the Founding Fathers:

On the Subject of America's Founding With Christopher Blosser and David Jones--Parts I-III

The basic argument there is against what was David Jones' ahistorically anachronistic approach to the subject of freemasonry and the Founding Fathers but some additional information on the very Catholic foundation of the Republic is also touched on.

Anyway, that point being noted, we return you to your regularly scheduled programming :)

Anonymous said...

Shawn: I think it may be time to stop beating up on Joe. Even his confessor would only assign three Hail Marys and an Our Father and be done with it. And who among us has never lost his/her temper online? I must confess that I have been guilty as charged on far too many occasions. Ain't nobody here but us sinners. Joe has apologized; no need to keep extracting that pound of flesh. :)

With the rest of your post I heartily concur. Youse guys sure are smart.

Diane

Pauli said...

The only thing I have to add is that, in my opinion, Joe was baited. Big time.

Everyone here is invited over to my wee humble blog, or as some people would no doubt call it, my Ladies Sewing and Gossip Circle. But that's because they've never seen the scores of brass casings on the floor, nor heard the hearty laughter and camaraderie nor felt the warm spray of tobacky juice shrapnel on the backs of their necks.

Joseph D'Hippolito said...

Diane, Shawn wasn't "beating up" on me. He was making a non-personal analysis of my arguments. I am lucky to consider him a friend; despite our disagreements, we share much in common.

Pauli, you're right about Shea's baiting. His deleted post might not have been only intended for me but I have fallen for that trick all too often before.

Everybody, thanks for your support and kindnesses.

Joseph D'Hippolito said...

Shawn, let me answer your points.

1. Regarding DH, the question isn't what the encyclicals say but what the papacy does on a diplomatic and geopolitical level. Up until the 1950s, the papacy lent most of its political capital to authoritarian regimes that do not reflect the ideals of the Founding Fathers.

In fairness to the Holy See, the only major powers that functioned as republics as late as 1939 were the U.S. and France; everybody else was either a monarchy, colony, military dictatorship (as in Latin America) or totalitarian state. Also in fairness to the Holy See, it could be said that it was used to handling authoritarian states (mostly monarchies) and did not know how to deal with republics. Nevertheless, the Americanist controversy reflects how the Holy See really felt about the kind of popular rights that the Founding Fathers developed.

2. To claim that the country is "calvinist" or "lockian" is profoundly simplistic.

Shawn, this kind of logical error is beneath your usual high standards. I never said that the U.S. was solely Calvinist or Lockean, nor did I even imply that the Founding Fathers weren't influenced by other sources. But you can't ignore the Calvinist influence on much of popular American culture (at least until the present day), nor can you ignore the primary influence of Locke on the Founders' thinking.

Remember, also, that Cdl. George told the Tablet that the U.S. is immersed in a kind of secularized Calvinism, in which everything is permitted and nothing is forgiven; that's what I meant by saying that the U.S. is too Calvinist for some Catholics' tastes.

George also made that quote during the midst of the clerical sex-abuse crisis. Given the legitimate state of siege that the bishops' felt at the time, the quote can only be seen as self-serving; it's blaming the populace as a whole for the bishops' own malfeasance concerning the innocent.

Shawn said...

Joe:

I will interact with the rest of your thread next but first this bit.

Shawn, this kind of logical error is beneath your usual high standards. I never said that the U.S. was solely Calvinist or Lockean, nor did I even imply that the Founding Fathers weren't influenced by other sources.

That was more a general statement Joe. You mentioned "too Calvinist" and referenced Cardinal George: my point was that such a claim is profoundly simplistic on his part. The one who brought up the Lockean element was you and I had in mind with that comment those who have tried to claim that the Founders drew as their predominant or even first and foremost source the work of John Locke.

Nonetheless, I reviewed my previous hastily written comments and it does appear that I was tarring you with at least part of that statement of profound simplicity. I apologize for that and assure you that I will not welch on my apology unlike Shea who is due for his annual "Lenten repentance" charade soon.

Joseph D'Hippolito said...

No problem, Shawn. I wonder how much box seats will go for Shea's annual "Lenten repentence"? Will ESPN televise or will it be pay-per-view?

Also, one more point in my favor to consider concerning my previous comments: The Church didn't eliminate the Index of Forbidden Books until 1966. That was barely 40 years ago, within my lifetime (and I think within yours), and an eyeblink when it comes to the span of human history. Maintaining such an index does not reflect the ideals maintained in DH, let alone in the Constitution.

vjmorton said...

No problem, Shawn. I wonder how much box seats will go for Shea's annual "Lenten repentence"? Will ESPN televise or will it be pay-per-view?

The scalpers are already selling at below face value.

Shawn said...

Shawn, let me answer your points.

Okay, let us get to the other ones now.

1. Regarding DH, the question isn't what the encyclicals say but what the papacy does on a diplomatic and geopolitical level. Up until the 1950s, the papacy lent most of its political capital to authoritarian regimes that do not reflect the ideals of the Founding Fathers.

The papacy was not fond of democracies because they saw in them the anarchy of the French Revolution personified. The American Revolution was hardly of the same model whatever superficial similarities there may be. And with the democracies of Europe, the papacy was opposed to unrestrained liberties because they lead logically to despotism; ergo for every French Revolution there is a Napolean.

In fairness to the Holy See, the only major powers that functioned as republics as late as 1939 were the U.S. and France; everybody else was either a monarchy, colony, military dictatorship (as in Latin America) or totalitarian state.

True. The papacy while recognizing as early as Pius VII that democracies could function as a legitimate form of government within certain boundaries nonetheless did not have a synthesized structure of sorts with which to approach them. Putting one in place was one of the jewels in the crown of Pope Leo XIII who wrote a few important encyclicals on the subjects of the origin of civil authority (Diturnum c. 1881), on the Christian constitution of states (Immortale Dei c. 1885), and on the nature of human linerty (Libertas c. 1888). To say these principles took a while to work themselves into the fabric of Catholic thought would not be an understatement.

Also in fairness to the Holy See, it could be said that it was used to handling authoritarian states (mostly monarchies) and did not know how to deal with republics.

Well, this was true to a point. The popes had dealt with the United States from the beginning through John O'Conner (America's first bishop) and the papacy had seen in America the sort of freedom with which to circulate their letters and decrees which many countries of Europe (even Catholic ones) did not provide for.

This is why Pope Gregory XVI (who was profoundly suspicious of anything resembling democracy in any way, shape, or form) was able to say "in no place do I feel more like the pope than in the United States." This does not mean he liked the American governmental arrangement as preferable of course, only that he recognized (however begrudgingly) that it facilitated his ability to be pope better than any other nation of the time by virtue of not getting in his way.

Nevertheless, the Americanist controversy reflects how the Holy See really felt about the kind of popular rights that the Founding Fathers developed.

I would suggest a more careful reading on your part on this matter -it had a lot more to do with what the Holy See thought were certain views of the American government. The source of those views was a French translation of an American work where the translation was (apparently) of questionable import. As is often the case, this matter has more to it than can be done justice in a brief note here. Suffice to say, in the 1899 apostolic letter condemning Americanism Pope Leo XIII had a lot more positive to say about America much as he did four years previously in an epistle written to the American bishops.

But you can't ignore theCalvinist influence on much of popular American culture (at least until the present day),

There is some influence sure. But I am less one for labeling things unless the use of terms is explained so there is no confusion. (You know, the stuff Shea regularly does???)

nor can you ignore the primary influence of Locke on the Founders' thinking.

Locke was one source the Founders drew upon. See the appended source in the aforementioned thread on the America founding for more on that.

Remember, also, that Cdl. George told the Tablet that the U.S. is immersed in a kind of secularized Calvinism, in which everything is permitted and nothing is forgiven; that's what I meant by saying that the U.S. is too Calvinist for some Catholics' tastes.

I agree with that but as you also noted, Cardinal George's comments were also quite self-serving. Forgiveness is fine but that does not excuse responsibility as well as making some form of restitution. And money is hardly adequate for this sort of thing. But I do not want to get offtrack with this so that is all I will say about it now.

As far as the Index goes, the reason it was abolished is the functional impracticality of it Joe. (There is also the fact that the Index had become a political tool of sorts: I will explain this sometime if you like.) The spirit of those prohibitions still apply though -and I remind you in case you did not know that even the Index had certain "loopholes" to it that allowed "forbidden books" to be read prior to 1966. But enough on that for now.

As far as the public apology broughaha, there will be more "scalped" than just the tickets Victor. Principles and ethics will receive a scalping too along the lines if what reason and logic get on a daily basis at CAEI.

Christopher said...

Having seen this over at CAEI I'm compelled to add Jonah Goldberg's book to my "to read" list. =)

Phillip said...

I haven't read the book. What I've read from NRO is that the book is nothing like Mark presents it to be. I think the problem is that Mark has a narrative that now has taken on Gospel truth for himself and those who uncritically accept his posts. Anything that supports that "truth" will be taken as further proof of its correctness even if people who know the facts of a given case say it is wrong. He will then be supported by those who hold his views as Holy Writ. Throw in a poem or two by Pavel and the deal's done. Marks' opinions are then reinforced and there will be no changing his mind.

Christopher said...

What I've read from NRO is that the book is nothing like Mark presents it to be.

I'd suspect so -- well, this hasn't been the first time that Mark has arrived at a knee-jerk reaction to a book based on its title. Remember his fulminations over "An End to Evil?"

Phillip said...

Yes. One might have expected him to learn. Judging from the initial beating he took over Goldberg's book he might have backed off some. But he seems to be going ahead full speed over the past two days.

Mark said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Pauli said...

11th Commandment

Victor said...

To Markmoud Sheamedinejad:

As you once said to me (slight-paraphrase), "Toddle back to your pro-terrorist slander site and continue clucking about me there. That's not a request. Thanks!"

You have no right to post here. I believe I have made this clear.

Anonymous said...

Gosh! Whatever it was, I missed it!!

I alwasy miss the really juicy stuff. Waaaah!

Diane

frank sales said...

Victor, it's obviously your call, but I'd leave Shea's posts up so that this will be one place we can freely debate with him without fear of our posts being deleted or being banned altogether.

Phillip said...

I always miss the good stuff too. I'm torn about letting Mark post here. It would be good to debate him especially with a level playing field where he cannot delete posts, distort what others say and ban when his balloon is pricked. Alternatively, the few times he has posted here, he's hurled an insult or two and moved on, failing to respond to comments.
So in the end its Victor's call.

Victor said...

Frank, Philip:

I understand what you're saying, but it was not an issue in this case. It was a commentless link.

Christopher said...

So . . .

1) are we pushing for 200 comments on this post?

2) is this because 'Coalition for Fog' is otherwise out of commission?

Joseph D'Hippolito said...

Shawn, my responses:

The papacy was not fond of democracies because they saw in them the anarchy of the French Revolution personified. The American Revolution was hardly of the same model whatever superficial similarities there may be. And with the democracies of Europe, the papacy was opposed to unrestrained liberties because they lead logically to despotism; ergo for every French Revolution there is a Napolean.

You forget these factors:

1. The papacy's opposition was based more on the fact that it could not get the kind of guarantees or privledges from democratic republics that it could from monarchies or similar states. For most of the Church's history, starting with Constantine, Christianity (or its various denominational forms) was a state religion. The establishment of religion meant that one church would receive special support from the sovereign as the state's "official" church. The papacy supported monarchies and authoritarian states because those leaders had a better chance of granting such privledges or guarantees.

Take the 1929 concordat between the Holy See and Mussolini's Italy, in which the Church was recognized as the Italian state religion. Or take Reich Concordat of 1933, which the Vatican and Nazi Germany concluded. The Holy See was working on that agreement during the Kaiser's era. Negotiations had broken off before Hitler resumed them. Among the articles to which both parties agreed was freedom for Catholics to express their faith and no state interference with Catholic organizations. In return, the Holy See would withdraw support for two German Catholic political parties (the Center and the Bavarian People's Party). The Church was concluding similar concordats with leaders of Italy and Eastern European nations.

The point is not that the Holy See of the 1920s and 1930s was permeated with Fascist supporters (I can't substantiate that). The point is that the Holy See used its diplomatic service to gain guarantees and privledges where it could.

more to come....

Franklin said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Joseph D'Hippolito said...

2. Until the Reagan Administration, the Holy See did not have diplomatic relations with the United States. That means that the Holy See had no means to understand directly (as opposed to hearing from American bishops) the nature of American republican democracy and how it differed from the French version.

3. Regarding the Americanist controversy, Pope Leo XIII himself wrote in his preceeding encyclical, Longinqua, that Catholicism "would bring forth more abundant fruits if, in addition to liberty, she enjoyed the favor of the laws and the patronage of the public authority." Such an opinion runs directly counter to the spirit of the Constitution and the Founders' intent. Leo's opinion also reinforces my comments about a primary role for papal diplomacy.

4. Regarding the Index, let me ask you this: Do you seriously believe that if Pope John XXIII did not convene Vatican II that the Index would not exist? I realize that's an open question that you probably can't answer (it's unlikely if anybody could). Nevertheless, the Index's existance reflected the idea that Catholic ideas must be protected from debate and criticism. Again, this runs directly counter to the spirit of the Founders' and the Constitution.

5. Regarding the influence of Calvinism in the United States, I suggest you read the following (written, admittely, by a Presbyterian minister):

http://the-cyperus.blogspot.com/2007/12/calvinism-and-america.html

As far as Calvinism and popular culture go, Christmas was not celebrated in the U.S. in widespread fashion until right after the Civil War. Southerners celebrated it but they were a minority, primarily because the Calvinists hated Christmas with a passion. Indeed, during Cromwell's "commonwealth," Christmas was a regular workday, even for Parliament.

Joseph D'Hippolito said...

Boy, if you weren't such nellies crushing on Mark, I'd worry what you'd actually do with a set of jumper cables.

Well, Franklin, it seems you've mastered Mr. Shea's unparallelled techinque of using personal attacks to obfuscate and avoid dealing with the real issue: Shea's propensity to jump to unfounded conclusions and attacks without substantiation, and to smear anyone who disagrees with him. If you don't that's a problem, let alone have a problem with people who fight it, then you're not much of a man.

Joseph D'Hippolito said...

BTW, Franklin, you will be hard-pressed to find anything I've said on any Web site on the Internet that supports what Shea considers to be torture. That's because I haven't ever addressed the subject.

Anonymous said...

Deranged stalker chicks.

LOL! That would come as a surprise to my devoted husband of 25-plus years, my two well-adjusted teenage kids, and my Fortune 500 employer (for whom I've worked for more than eight years).

But by all means, indulge in your lurid fantasies, if it makes you feel good. As Joe pointed out, Mark's acolytes, like Mark himself, seem rather addicted to personal insult as a substitute for real argument.

It really impresses me with your Christian charity. Not.

Diane

Shawn said...

Diane:

Right when I was ready to respond to Mark's video with a video of my own about him, you decide to take the moral high ground. Thanks a lot. Anyway, here would have been my offering:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nqQh60V48WI

I could not find one of this in English so the Spanish one will have to do -I used a shorter bit so it is not that long.

But since Diane has taken the high ground, I decided not to post the above video.

Shawn said...

Joe:

Will respond to your recent stuff soon...worry not.

Victor said...

Everyone else:

I deleted Franklin's note. I chose not to delete your responses because none of them repeated the unacceptable content.

Joseph D'Hippolito said...

Franklin, if you're still reading this thread, understand that Mark Shea is no different than Hilary Clinton. Both will do whatever they have to do -- regardless of ethics -- to promote themselves or their agendas. When people question them, they make themselves victims and blame others.

Mark, if you're reading this thread (and we all know that you are), then realize that you've hit the double. Not many people can be equated to BOTH Hilary and Cromwell.

Do you want to continue in this vein? Do you want to continue to destroy whatever credibility and respect you have left? Do you really want to face God -- who will judge every idle word, as Christ said in Matthew's Gospel -- unrepentant of your antics?

Donald R. McClarey said...

I came across this piece that Mark Shea posted at National Review Online in 2001.


http://www.nationalreview.com/weekend/religion/religion-shea122901.shtml


Note the tone of the article. He makes a reasonable argument in a reasonable way.


He ends with the following:

"To criticize America with the mind of the Christ is a duty of every American Christian. But, since 9/11, many more Christians and many Americans now recognize that all such criticism should be done with reverence and gratitude for the truly great country this is.

America! America!
God mend thine every flaw,
confirm thy soul in self-control,
thy liberty in law."

If it were only possible to have the Shea of 2001 debate with the Shea of 2008.

Anonymous said...

Shawn, it's not so much the high road as the fun road. I found Frankin's post inadvertently funny. I can't remember all the offensive parts...I think it simply struck me as so over the top as to be extremely silly. Like Mr. Bennet in Pride and Prejudice, I love absurdity. :-)

"For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbors, and laugh at them in our turn?" -- P&P

Diane, trying to bring us up to 200 posts :D

Joseph D'Hippolito said...

Shawn, I saw the video. It was great!!

Anonymous said...

Y'all, just 11 more comments, and we'll hit 200. C'mon, now, I know you're up to it. :D

Diane

Joseph D'Hippolito said...

OK, Diane, you're on.

Here's an idea: Anybody want to talk about whom their supporting in the primaries? I'll start.

Naturally, I'm going to start some controversy with my choice.

Since my first choice, California Rep. Duncan Hunter, dropped out, I'm hoping that Rudy Giuliani wins in Florida so I can vote for him here in California on Super Tuesday.

C'mon, you didn't think I wouldn't choose somebody who wouldn't piss you off, right? ;D

Pauli said...

I'm voting for John McCain. Not that it matters in our late Ohio Primary (March 4).

Hey, check this out. Be warned, it's loud if you have sound. You can do this with any site. Great time waster.

Phillip said...

McCain,

Though its a bit of a stretch for me. I think he has somewhat valid pro-life credentials though his stance on stem cell research is flawed. I have concerns about who he will choose for the Supreme Court also.

Joe,

Giuliani. That cross-dressing New Yorker. The former I can forgive. The latter I can't.

paul zummo said...

Romney. He's the only thing resembling a conservative left in the race. After that, I choose hemlock.

That cross-dressing New Yorker. The former I can forgive. The latter I can't.

Hey buddy, I'll show you the New York state bird some time.

Phillip said...

"Hey buddy, I'll show you the New York state bird some time."

Now, just what I'd be expecting from a damn yankee. :)

kathleen said...

"Romney. He's the only thing resembling a conservative left in the race. After that, I choose hemlock."

MEGA DITTOES

Anonymous said...

Woo-hoo! Five more comments to go. We can do it, y'all! :D

I'm undecided re the presidential primaries. Can someone convince me in favor of either McCain or Romney?

Thanks in advance. :D

Diane

Christopher said...

I'm undecided re the presidential primaries. Can someone convince me in favor of either McCain or Romney?

I'm on the fence as well, but considering the alternative . . .

Donald R. McClarey said...

I will vote for Romney in Illinois. I am suspicious of his sudden conversion to conservatism, but at least he clams to be a conservative now. McCain on the other hand has spent a career giving the hand of friendship to liberals and giving the back of his hand to conservatives. Having said that, if, as I fear, McCain is the nominee I will unhesitatingly vote for him in the Fall. If he is elected I will then spend the next four years helping the conservative opposition to the many bad ideas I suspect McCain will attempt to implement.

Pauli said...

Not to change the subject, but I need to pimp a post....

Joseph D'Hippolito said...

And now for post number 200!!!!

kudos to diane ;D

I also plan to support Romney (reluctantly) because I don't trust McCain (though I'd vote for McCain in the general election if he wins the nomination).

McCain says he want to win the war on Islamic terror. How can he do that if the border is porous, especially since Islamic terrorists are starting to use South America as a base of operations? Also, how can he win this war by closing Guantanamo? Is he going to put the prisoners in the American penal system, which is a fertile ground for Islamic radicalism? Is he going to have them deported to their home countries, from which they can re-enter this war?

McCain is fighting an asymmetrical war in old-fashioned military terms. At least Bush recognized the need for new tactics (such as the Patriot Act).

He says he supports the military. He's actually exploiting the military for his own political purposes. If he supports the military, then why did he support Clinton's reduction of the military budget?

As far as economics is concerned, McCain is an ignoramus. Yes, he opposes "earmarks." But his passionate stance about global warming flies in the face of science. I cannot take anybody seriously who thinks global warming is a dire situation (see this article I wrote for Front Page Magazine: http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/Read.aspx?GUID=B553802D-8692-4113-8A37-280917179F32).

Moreover, his position is going to affect this nation's energy policy. As a short- and medium-term solution, we should be drilling in ANWAR. We should be drilling offshore. We should be building more refineries (if we do that, we might be able to undercut the Saudis, Iranians, Russians, Venezuelans and Nigerians). But do you think the apostles of Gore favor these things? Noooo. This stupid-ass global warming excrement going to make energy more expensive and make us more dependent on foreign oil.

Moreover, McCain is engaging in the same kind of economic "populism" that Huckabee is engaging in while ducking the real issues. So the drug companies are to blame for expensive medications? Well, why are they so expensive? Because health insurance is expensive. Why is health insurance expensive? Because the God-forsaken lawyers have made malpractice insurance expensive, that's why! Tort reform will reduce health costs but the lawyers don't want to earn less money.

Shakespeare and Dickens were right!

Finally, McCain's campaigning reveals how smarmy and petty he is. His cravenly sentimental exploitation of the troops is despicable. His deliberate distortions of Romney are more despicable (look or listen to the transcripts of Wednesday night's debate). Moreover, it's obvious he's using Huckabee for his own purposes, and Huckabee is either too ambitious to care or too stupid to realize it -- or McCain has made a deal w/Huckabee. I wouldn't be surprised if McCain is funnelling money to Huckabee's campaign to keep it alive at least until Super Tuesday.

We have one Mark Shea in the Church. We don't need another one in D.C.

«Oldest ‹Older   1 – 200 of 213   Newer› Newest»