A reader wants to know…

Friday, January 14, 2011 3:00 AM Comments (21)

Quick question, from a fellow Catholic (only needing a short, short answer, I think… like even just “yes” or “no”, if sufficient):
Do you push the view that, in order to follow Protestantism, you have to accept that its core differentiating beliefs were nowhere to be practiced in the entire history of the Earth, until the 15th century? (when a MAN brought them about, for the first time) ...in other words, pushing the question: “Why would God allow all Christianity to be misled for 1,500 years, then finally introduce the “truth” in some “new beliefs package”?” As I understand it, even the Jews never thought you needed to believe in God to get to Heaven, and they certainly allowed non-written...READ MORE

Filed under mailbag

Mom Cross-Dresses Her Five Year Old

Wednesday, January 12, 2011 3:00 AM Comments (11)

and hawks a book.

I once knew a man who was forced to box with his twin brother from the age of five.  Whoever lost got beaten up by Dad when he got home.  I think this woman is every bit the abusive parent he was.  If ever there was a justification for CPS, she is it.

Naturally, the hawkers of beer and shampoo at Today glorify this.  In a just world, their ratings would drop to zero and the producers and stars of the show would be pelted with mud in the street.  But since an audience with a normal sense of sexuality and its limits is an audience with little sales resistance, the tendency of our media class (whose first duty is to the manufacturers of beer and shampoo) is to instinctively...READ MORE

Filed under the work of mainstream media is to sell beer and shampoo

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

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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.