Our Glorious Multicultural Adventure in Afghanistan

Monday, January 10, 2011 3:00 AM Comments (5)

A document released by WikiLeaks described efforts by high-ranking Afghan officials to quash reports of police officers and other Afghans arrested for “purchasing a service from a child.”

The leaked diplomatic cable quoted former Minister of the Interior Hanif Atmar’s concern that publicity about the arrests, which involved the hiring of “dancing boys,” would “endanger lives.”

The author of the diplomatic cable fretted that the case would be “blown out of proportion, an outcome that would not be good for either the U.S. or Afghanistan.”

The vast gulf between U.S. and Afghan attitudes about homosexuality and pedophilia has generated concern among U.S. advisers in Afghanistan since the...READ MORE

Filed under hail caesar

I Hate Being Right All the Time

Friday, January 07, 2011 3:00 AM Comments (15)

Some time ago, I pointed out that when you make consent the sole criterion of the good, that’s gonna get you a whole lot more than just the gay marriage fracas that is currently agitating our cultural waters.  Ultimately, it’s going to throw open absolutely every permutation of perversion that the human mind can conceive. 

As if to demonstrate my point, we now see that Switzerland is contemplating getting rid of those silly laws against incest.  After all, if two people love each other, who are we to impose our barbaric taboos on that?  Consent is (once again) invoked as the sole criterion of the good.  No other consideration for the common good matters.

You may think that’s hitting...READ MORE

Filed under the sole criterion of the good

The New 15 minutes of Fame

Wednesday, January 05, 2011 3:00 AM Comments (15)

Way back when, Andy Warhol said that, in the future, everybody would be famous for 15 minutes.

Then the polarization of American political discourse happened.  Suddenly everybody was Adolf Hitler for 15 minutes.

Now, with the expansion of the Paranoid American Security state, everybody is a national security threat for 15 minutes.  Currently at bat, fat kids:

“Military leaders … tell us that when more than one in four young people are unqualified for military service because of their weight,” the first lady says in the prepared remarks, “childhood obesity isn’t just a public health threat, it’s not just an economic threat, it’s a national security threat as well.”

Caesar loves to do...READ MORE

Filed under 15 minutes of terror

Does Everything Happen for a Reason?

Monday, January 03, 2011 3:00 AM Comments (12)

A reader writes:

I have a quick question, and I apologize if it’s awfully trite, but I haven’t been able to find a satisfactory answer after (admittedly,
not-so-exhaustive) searching.  Here it is:

From the standpoint of the Catholic Church: does everything happen for a reason?

If it does, it smacks a bit of predestination; if it doesn’t, does that mean that God is out of control or doesn’t care? Say a flower grows on a mountaintop and it dies, and no human ever saw a trace of it or knew it existed; how much of that is an effect of an ecosystem going through its natural cycles, and how much is God putting a flower on a mountaintop?

Again, sorry if this is simplistic.  And if you’ve...READ MORE

Filed under mailbag

File This Beautiful Story Under "Grace is Dark Matter"

Friday, December 31, 2010 3:00 AM Comments (3)

Recently, physicists have been postulating that most of the universe is made of “dark matter” and that the stuff we can see is only a small fraction of what is actually going on out there.  I think this is a nice image of how God works in the spiritual world as well.

One of the reasons God is able to get so much done under the devil’s nose is because the devil firmly believes in the Big, Loud, and Flashy and does not consider the small, quiet and hidden to be important (except when he’s sneaking around trying to tempt people on the sly).  Pride doesn’t believe in humility and so cannot conceive that God would primarily manifest himself in humble ways.  The great model of this is the...READ MORE

Filed under grace is dark matter

Compare and Contrast

Wednesday, December 29, 2010 3:20 AM Comments (8)

“The documents appear to have been acquired illegally and contain all manner of private information and statements that were never intended for the public eye, so they won’t be posted here.”
—New York Times, on the Climategate emails, Nov. 20, 2009

“The articles published today and in coming days are based on thousands of United States embassy cables, the daily reports from the field intended for the eyes of senior policy makers in Washington. . . . The Times believes that the documents serve an important public interest, illuminating the goals, successes, compromises and frustrations of American diplomacy in a way that other accounts cannot match.”
—New York Times, on the WikiLeaks...READ MORE

Filed under manufacturers of culture

Let Me Tell You About my Friend Drewey

Monday, December 27, 2010 3:00 AM Comments (9)

He’s a sweet young man.  Fond of horseplay.  Loves his family.  Heart of gold.  The world would be a vastly poorer place without him.  I’m morally certain that when he dies he will go straight to Heaven.

Oh.  And he has Down’s Syndrome.

Now let me introduce you to Frankie Boyle.

Ol’ Frankie is what our post-human civilization regards as “funny”.  How does he make a living?  By making fun of people with Down’s Syndrome.

On national television.

For a lot of money.

When civilized people complain about this barbarian, do you know what the response of his network producers is?

No.  Not an immediate firing and a full apology for allowing trousered ape on the air:

“We think that it is...READ MORE

Filed under culture of death

Of the Making of Latest Real Jesuses There Is No End

Friday, December 24, 2010 3:00 AM Comments (1)

Here’s a piece in which somebody projects some good old-fashioned postmodern identity angst on Jesus.

It’s a common enough thing in our world.  People are continually manufacturing Latest Real Jesus to suit the cultural priorities of their age.  Albert Schweitzer, the great Social Gospel Protestant, went on a Quest for the Historical Jesus and discovered that Jesus was basically a Social Gospel Protestant.  Frank Barton wrote The Man Nobody Knows in the 20s, just as the stock market was soaring and Calvin Coolidge was declaring that “The business of America is business.”  Turned out Jesus was the first businessman.  In the 30s, the Nazis discovered that Jesus was actually an Aryan with no...READ MORE

Filed under the 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.