Materialism vs. Commercialism

Monday, December 06, 2010 3:00 AM Comments (25)

In the spirit of yearly handwringing about materialism, I give you the following obligatory wring of the hands:

Having discharged that duty, I also note that, strictly speaking, the problem with Christmas is not materialism, but commercialism.  The reason materialism is not the problem is that Christmas is the Feast in which we celebrate God becoming material.  Accordingly, we do what the wise men did and give gifts as a pale reflection of the Gift God made of his son.

As a Chestertonian, I like that.  Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of Christian Science, once said that, for Christmas, she sent her friends “good thoughts”.  Chesterton, being a solid incarnationalist, retorted that he would...READ MORE

Filed under christmas vs. xmas

Eating Our Young, Or Just Harvesting Them for Corporate Profit?

Friday, December 03, 2010 3:00 AM Comments (21)

In the ongoing descent of our culture into hi-tech savagery, I note the following:

Is it Real, Or Is it Senomyx? How New Flavor Technology Tinkers with Our Tastebuds

Ever wonder what flavor technology companies really do? Well you should because this time, they’ve decided to trick our tastebuds, and in turn our brains, into tasting something that isn’t necessarily there.

Sounds pretty perky, eh?  Another fun science article about those amazing wizards who make it possible for gluttonous Americans to have all the sensations of eating tasty goodness while not actually having to gain weight.  What’s their special secret?

UPDATE:  According to Lynn Stratton at Healthy Holistic Living:...READ MORE

Filed under it out-herod's herod

Godliness is Darwinian

Wednesday, December 01, 2010 3:00 AM Comments (13)

A reader writes:

This is a thought-provoking, excellent article from Philip Longman, a liberal atheist featured in the documentary “Demographic Winter” about the decline of global fertility, and author of the book “The Empty Cradle” about the same phenomenon, both of which are worth taking a look at.

Here Longman presents the thesis that the future may belong to the most religious people due to the fact that fertility rates are highest among the most religious and not many of their children leave the faith they were raised in.

The book by Eric Kaufman mentioned in the article coming out in the U.S.A. this spring merits reading I think too!

Babies are the most beautiful thing in the...READ MORE

Filed under babies are good

A reader writes…

Monday, November 29, 2010 3:00 AM Comments (3)

I just stumbled on this article and thought of you (well - thought you might find it interesting anyway).

It discusses how much of a disadvantage children have in these “fragile families”.  When I read it, it struck me that much of the study is focused on avoiding children in the first place and if that fails trying making the single parent situation less fragile.  There really is not much on how to create stable marriages before having children. 

(.....Is it just possible the Pope was right about getting married before having children - and then staying married? .....)


Heh!  So true!  Again and again, our culture (especially we members of Generation Narcissus) keep discovering the...READ MORE

Filed under fambly, mailbag, water found to be wet

Reader Julianne Wiley writes…

Friday, November 26, 2010 3:00 AM Comments (6)

I just gave a talk on Elizabeth Anscombe to my parish Council of Catholic Women, and it was a big success!  I am so excited!  None of these women had ever heard of her before, and going into it I had my doubts that I could win them over, since the ones on the Right accept the Bomb, and the ones on the Left accept Abortion (you know the problem) and none have much use for academic philosophy.

BUT!  I tried to craft the talk so EA would capture their interest and sympathy before I detonated the stuff that would blow their minds—- and I think it worked!  I think they all ended up “on her side,” and wanting to know lots more about her and her tremendous ethical judgments so important for our...READ MORE

Filed under mailbag

Chesterton on Giving Thanks

Wednesday, November 24, 2010 3:00 AM Comments (8)

G.K. Chesterton once remarked that in America, they have a feast to celebrate the arrival of the Pilgrims and that, in England, they should have a feast to celebrate their departure.

All kidding aside, Chesterton probably was one of the most grateful people who ever lived, because he believed in the grace of God and took nothing for granted. He writes, concerning a shipwreck that had occurred a little earlier:

The news that some Europeans have been wrecked on a desert island is gratifying, in so far as it shows that there are still some desert islands for us to be wrecked on. Moreover, it is also interesting because these, the latest facts, actually support the oldest stories. For instance,...READ MORE

Filed under chestertoniana

Nobel Peace Prize Prez: Thumbs up on Child Soldiers

Monday, November 22, 2010 3:00 AM Comments (18)

Our Nobel Peace Prize Winning President Barack Obama (“Winner: 2009 Prize for Being the Darling of the Euro Left”) has, yet again betrayed the suckers who took him seriously as some sort of Messianic Bringer of Peace.

First, it was the move (on the heels of the Nobel Prize) to increase troop levels in order to prop up a failed third world narco state with no clear plan of what to do besides get Americans killed in pointless battles.  That “plan” continues and will continue forever, according to Sec’y of Defense Robert Gates, who frankly admitted that all the twaddle about “When they stand up, we’ll stand down” is a load of bushwah when he plainly stated, “We’re not leaving Afghanistan...READ MORE

Filed under hail caesar

Safe, Legal and Rare

Friday, November 19, 2010 3:00 AM Comments (42)

We are all familiar with that little mantra, I trust?  It’s one of those things said by abortion supporters with a guilty conscience who want to have their cake and eat it.  Abortion “saves lives”, doncha know, so we have to keep doing it.  And besides, it’s harmless, so there’s no problem at all.

Yet mysteriously, these same people also insist we should make it “rare”.  Why?  If it saves lives and is harmless, what’s the problem?  Why gingerly talk about making it rare as though there is some moral problem with it?

I think of that as I read the constant apologetics for another form of grave intrinsic evil being emitted by some of the most powerful and influential leaders of another...READ MORE

Filed under failure to think ahead

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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.