Faustian Bargains

Monday, February 21, 2011 2:55 AM Comments (310)

Well, I’d hoped (as you no doubt did) that I could put the Lila Rose controversy behind me.  But I continue to ponder the moral reasoning that has come to the fore with the advent of the campaign LiveAction has conducted against Planned Parenthood.  Let me reiterate, first and foremost, that I think the reward of the Hebrew midwives will (and should) be the reward of Lila Rose and her companions.  The big fact here, which must not get lost in all the hurly burly of argumentation, is that Lila Rose fears God and, like the Hebrew midwives, deserves the reward they received from God.  I fear that in all my talk-the-hind-leg-off-a-donkey verbiage about the specific question of lying for Jesus,...READ MORE

Filed under consequentialism on parade

Last Comments on Lying for Jesus

Friday, February 18, 2011 3:00 AM Comments (323)

My post the other day has generated a boatload of questions, comments and concerns.  I can’t address absolutely everything, but there are several main questions that come up which I think it is worth playing whack-a-mole on (though, as “whack-a-mole” suggests, they are hardy perennials that lots of people seem to raise again and again, usually because they’ve never thought about it).  In no particular order, here are some random thoughts about some of these moles.

First, isn’t it interesting how things that appear to be “elementary” moral teaching (“Don’t lie”) suddenly get complex when it’s Us and not Them who are pondering the problem.  Case in point, not long ago we were all being told...READ MORE

Filed under ponderings

Dawn Eden is Right, Darn it

Wednesday, February 16, 2011 3:00 AM Comments (266)

Long ago, back when I used to have a real job instead of being a blathering pundit, I worked at the University of Washington.  One day, my old boss got a promotion and it became necessary to replace him.  The guy they hired turned out to have some baggage.  It seemed that, a physiologist with a specialization in hypothermia, he had come across the medical research done at Dachau by Nazi physicians who were eager to find some way of keeping their flyers from freezing to death in the waters of the English Channel when they had to ditch their planes.  Their solution: experiment on prisoners by, among other things, freezing them to death and then perform autopsies on the corpses they created...READ MORE

Filed under culture of life

Here's a bit of happy news

Monday, February 14, 2011 3:00 AM Comments (12)

Ukrainian seminaries are so full they are turning people away.

Full to bursting seminaries is a nice problem for the Church to have.  Having lived through the worst that the 20th century has had to offer—Bolshevik Revolution, engineered famines, Stalin, Hitler, More Stalin, the full brunt of the two greatest forms of totalitarianism conceived by the mind of man, and now the aftermath of a dispirited and ruined civilization—it shouldn’t be too surprising that Ukrainians living in the wake of the dreadful catastrophe of man’s rejection of God should be turning back to him with zeal.

What is surprising, or at least not sane, is that the West, having witnessed all the horrors of the 20th...READ MORE

Filed under sin makes you stupid

A bit more on Subverting the Dominant Paradigm

Friday, February 11, 2011 3:00 AM Comments (10)

A reader writes:

I cannot believe how well you hit the mark in this article.  As a recent college graduate, I can definitely sympathize with the “dominant paradigm” that has gripped so much of Catholic America, particularly in places of higher learning.  I went to public university (here in sunny San Diego), and in the light of a lack of orthodoxy that seems to be a common trend in Catholic universities, perhaps it is often overlooked that there are countless Catholic students in non-Catholic schools that are similarly starving for the true Gospel and the true Church.  On college campuses we have an obsession for mass appeal, not realizing that the few we scrape up with Hip Hop Mass,...READ MORE

Filed under subverting the dominant paradigm

Can You Lie for a Good Cause?

Wednesday, February 09, 2011 3:00 AM Comments (154)

A reader writes:

I know that you regularly run moral issues on your blog, I thought you might be interested in this article from New Theological Movement: “It is a sin to lie, even to Planned Parenthood”.

Perhaps it would be something worth linking to?
In any case, I would be interested to here your take on the issue!

I hate to say it, because my loathing for Murder Inc. is so deep, but I basically tend to agree that it is wrong to take even a butcher down with lies.

That said, I wonder if some moral theologian could make a reasonable (as distinct from sophistical) case for videos like these under the same sort of logic that allows for feints, ruses and similar strategems in Just War...READ MORE

Filed under conundrums, mailbag

Ireland paying the Piper

Monday, February 07, 2011 3:00 AM Comments (20)

A reader files this in our “What shall it profit man to gain the world and lose his own soul?” department:

You see Michael Lewis’s terrific piece on the Irish economy? He’s so good:

This graf caught my eye:

How did any of this happen? There are many theories: the elimination of trade barriers, the decision to grant free public higher education, the persistent lowering of the corporate tax rate, beginning in the 1980s, which turned Ireland into a tax haven for foreign corporations. Maybe the most intriguing was offered by a pair of demographers at Harvard, David E. Bloom and David Canning, in a 2003 paper called “Contraception and the Celtic Tiger.” Bloom and Canning argued that a major...READ MORE

Filed under salvation through mammon and hedonism

Did Jesus Exist?

Friday, February 04, 2011 3:00 AM Comments (256)

A reader writes:

Recently I got into an argument with my non-believer college pals regarding whether Jesus even existed as a historical figure (yes, people are still talking about that). They contended that there is no sufficient evidence, pointing out that that usual non-Christian sources (Pliny the Younger, Tacitus, Josephus, etc.) were not contemporaries of Jesus and therefore only had the “hearsay” of believers to rely upon, and furthermore that the believers themselves could not be trusted because, obviously, they had a vested interest in ensuring that Jesus was regarded as a real person. They demanded that a reliable, “independent” source that was contemporaneous with Jesus would be...READ MORE

Filed under latest real jesus

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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.