On Parades

07/27/2011 Comments (4)

As July winds down and August approacheth, we are entering into Parade Season up here in Washington state. Here in my hometown, we are in the thick of our local parade. In nearby Seattle, we are just about to have the Seafair Parade. There will also be (and have already been) parades in various local towns.

Which is curious when you think about it.

One of the things that marks us off from the beasts is that we are alone in the animal kingdom in our peculiar desire to get up, get in a more or less straight line with a number of our fellow homo sapiens and then walk in front of a bunch of other homo sapiens. Oh sure, birds and lizards and other critters will “display,” typically in order to...READ MORE

Filed under thinking out loud

Friends Don't Let Sociologists Do Theology

07/25/2011 Comments (30)

Stephen Prothero writes a spectacularly wrong headed piece for CNN in which he asks and answers the musical question, “Can Catholics abide a saint who had an abortion?”

He is speaking here of Servant of God Dorothy Day, who had an abortion as a young woman and went on to become one of the most profoundly converted Catholic converts of the 20th century. The assumption that lies at the back of the piece is spelled out by Prothero in terms that are alive to the yakkery of the Culture Wars, but stone deaf to Catholic teaching and theology:

Can you be a saint if you have committed the original sin of contemporary Catholicism?

He answers, Yes. But his answer is a travesty of Catholic thought:


Filed under chattering class follies

A Question About Virginity

07/22/2011 Comments (16)

A reader writes:

It’s always a bit awkward for me to email bloggers in response to their work, since I feel like I know a certain amount about you, whereas you know nothing of me. Nonetheless, your Sheavings have been quite helpful in my conversion to the Church. I grew up Evangelical (of the question-asking, apologetics-and-Powerpoint persuasion, rather than the proclaim the Holy Spirit louder and the world will change variety) but was received into the Catholic Church a year ago. Both I and my parents have found your thoughts on Mary to be very helpful in understanding. Your descriptions of the Evangelical feelings and views are, I suppose unsurprisingly, spot-on.

But as my...READ MORE

Filed under mailbag

Scripture Does not Say…

07/20/2011 Comments (430)

“When the Son of Man comes with all his angels, he will separate the nations as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and to the sheep on his right he will say, ‘Come into the kingdom which my Father has prepared for you from the foundation of the world, for you refused to read or see Harry Potter and bravely condemned all those who did.”

One thing I am grateful for this week is that with the launch of the last Harry Potter movie, we are, at long last, looking at the end of the era of self-appointed inquisitors informing us that enjoyment of Harry Potter signals either spiritual blindness or wilful cooperation with the Forces of Darkness.  We will no longer be treated to specious...READ MORE

Filed under living romans 14

A Question about Euthanasia

07/18/2011 Comments (63)

A reader writes:

I have another question, if you have the time to reply – no rush.
The subject this time is euthanasia, and particularly assisted suicide. I would like some suggestions on the way to explain the Catholic position on this, in case it comes up again in some conversations.

As I was discussing with a friend who is a very sound Catholic, and has been working with intellectually disabled people for many years, it occurred to us that, unless someone has faith, pain and suffering just does not make a lot of sense. If this life is all there is to it, and illness, injuries due to accidents, or just the wearing out of one’s body due to old age, are all there is left to look forward to...READ MORE

Filed under mailbag

Chesterton Would Be Proud

07/15/2011 Comments (16)

From the Wall Street Journal, amidst a whole batch of tales of strangeness which cluster around WalMart like bees on honeysuckle, we have this fetching tale of Small Is Beautiful crime and punishment:

... One of the latest outbreaks of Wal-Mart weirdness took place in June in Texas. A 5-foot 2-inch shopper and mother of two named Monique Lawless, who later told a reporter she was “sick of the lawlessness,” chased down three brothers after she spotted them allegedly running out of a store with stolen beer.
Her actions, which included hopping up and down on the hood of a car, led to the arrest of the brothers, named Sylvester Thompson: Sylvester Andre Thompson, Sylvester Durlentren Thompson...READ MORE

Filed under small is beautiful

Gay "Marriage" is About Power, not Love

07/13/2011 Comments (346)

George Weigel gets it:

According to a New York Times story of June 25, an essential part of the coalition that brought “gay marriage” to the Empire State consisted of Republican financial high-rollers who gave Republican legislators cover for voting in favor of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s “marriage equality” bill while generously funding the pro–“gay marriage” ground campaign, and who “were inclined to see the issue as one of personal freedom, consistent with their more libertarian views.”

More intellectual and political confusion would be hard to pack into one sentence.

“Gay marriage” in fact represents a vast expansion of state power: In this instance, the state of New York is declaring that...READ MORE

Filed under gay brownshirts on the march

Zac Alstin Notes a Basic Principle

07/11/2011 Comments (39)

Namely, he recognizes that when you scratch an atheist, particularly a New Atheist, you will typically find a passionately religious (albeit flatfootedly moralistic and literalistic) Fundamentalist.

I can’t tell you how often I have gotten mail from people who tell me they don’t believe in God and then almost instantly reveal that they are furious with him.  Sometimes they are furious with him for not existing, but much more often they are furious with him for not doing something they badly wanted him to do.

That’s not stuff for mockery by the way.  Because many and many a time the something God was supposed to do was “save my daughter from death by cancer” or “keep my wife from...READ MORE

Filed under atheism

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About Mark Shea

Mark Shea
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Mark P. Shea is a popular Catholic writer and speaker. The author of numerous books, his most recent work is The Work of Mercy (Servant) and The Heart of Catholic Prayer (Our Sunday Visitor). Mark contributes numerous articles to many magazines, including his popular column “Connecting the Dots” for the National Catholic Register. Mark is known nationally for his one minute “Words of Encouragement” on Catholic radio. He also maintains the Catholic and Enjoying It blog. He lives in Washington state with his wife, Janet, and their four sons.