Control Freaks

Monday, November 01, 2010 3:00 AM Comments (16)

The White House has found something else for us to be afraid of: asteroids.  Turns out we need to spend a bunch of money to prepare for this, because our power to control the universe is limitless:

Of course, all we need to do is get Bruce Willis, but nobody listens to me.

I sometimes think that one of these days, our Ruling Classes are going to undertake a long-range program to try to prevent the Second Coming, with task forces and bipartisan analyses which will present computer models of the predicted socio-economic and environmental problems expected to attend the Consummation of All Things and the Advent of the New Heaven and the New Earth.  There will be solemn pledges (“Not on my...READ MORE

Filed under news of the weird

Monsters vs. Monstrance

Friday, October 29, 2010 3:00 AM Comments (31)

Come Sunday, we all celebrate Halloween again, that strange night of the year when, with one accord, American civilization dredges up all its darkest fears of the supernatural and waffles between scaring itself and laughing at the whole thing—nervously.

It’s an odd thing really.  Halloween urges upon us a particular *kind* of fear.  Nobody associates fear of terrorism, or a rise in prices, or dogs, or bullies, or cancer with Halloween.  It’s ghosts, demons, witches, and all that sort of fear that our culture plays around with. We sense, somehow, that there are deeper terrors and evils in the world than just muggers or other workaday fears like unemployment.  We whistle past the graveyard...READ MORE

Filed under thinking out loud

A Conversation about Homeschooling

Wednesday, October 27, 2010 3:00 AM Comments (148)

A reader writes:

I see your enthusiasm on Home Schooling, and I see there are plenty of reasons to seriously consider it. However, how far through your children’s education should you home school? I for one would find trouble offering some things High School does offer a child, like: 

-Advanced academics. 
-Competitive sports which develop emotional strength and leadership. 
-Team and cultural activities such as music and theatre. 
-And most importantly, their discovery of God and self outside the shadow of their parents. 

I went to Catholic High School in the 80s and my children, in turn, went and go to Catholic High School (I have one that graduated last year, and a sophomore). I...READ MORE

Filed under mailbag

In Memoriam

Monday, October 25, 2010 3:00 AM Comments (9)

I just discovered that an old teacher of mine, Arden Flom, died in July.  God rest his soul.  The article in the Herald (and the tributes in the comboxes beneath it) reflect the profound impact Arden had on the lives of a great many people, and I would like to add my voice to them, for what it’s worth.

Arden Flom saved my life.  That’s not an overstatement.  You know those statistics you read about teen suicide?  I came this close to be being one of those statistics in the winter of 1977.  I was an American suburban garage band pagan.  Unbaptized, without a clue about the gospel, “without hope and with God in the world” as St. Paul puts it.  The previous spring I had graduated from high...READ MORE

Filed under in memoriam, rip

For some people…

Friday, October 22, 2010 3:00 AM Comments (43)

...tomorrow is the birthday of the entire universe.  That’s because some folks credit 17th Century Anglican Bishop James Ussher’s stab at figuring out the exact date of the creation of the whole universe.  He nailed it down to October 23, 4004 BC.  Some say he pinpoints it at 9:00 AM, but Steven Jay Gould says noon in this article.

I like this piece.  Gould was an atheist and a Darwinist, but he maintained a respectful attitude toward believers that is refreshing in these days of New Atheists who think that shouting “SCIENCE!” like Thomas Dolby lends an authority to their philosophical gruntings.  Gould has the moxie to write an article in defense of Ussher rather than simple pull the...READ MORE

Filed under notable dates

Obama's Cynicism

Wednesday, October 20, 2010 3:00 AM Comments (60)

Andrew Bacevich is somebody I respect a great deal.  A Catholic conservative and a principled opponent of our policy of Permanent War, he served honorably in the Army for decades and sacrificed a son to our disastrous and wrong-headed war in Iraq. He was respectful, yet unstinting in his criticism of the disastrous policies of the Bush Administration that have embroiled us in our imperial adventures (and of the policies pre-dating Bush 43 by decades, which are embraced by both sides of the aisle as conventional wisdom).  His book, Washington Rules, chronicles the way in which our present wrong-headed policies abroad evolved, flourished, and are now rapidly becoming outdated as we try to...READ MORE

Filed under the first casualty of war

Why Am I So Hard on Conservative American Catholics…

Monday, October 18, 2010 3:00 AM Comments (159)

...who put their conservative Americanism before their Catholic faith?

It’s more or less summed up in this note from a friend of mine, an Eastern Orthodox Christian who tells the following tale:

The wife of a Russian Orthodox priest in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, once told me that she and husband, both Ukranians, had lost their families to Stalin, escaped to Hitler, and escaped deportation to the Soviet Union only by providential miracle (the intervention of Orthodox monks and stealth). They came to the US and he got a job with General Electric in Indiana. He retired from that job and his church community and Bishop asked him to become their priest at the repose of their pastor.

She told me in...READ MORE

Filed under god first then country

A Bit of Humor for a Friday

Friday, October 15, 2010 3:00 AM Comments (30)

as folks in the heartland respond to the Amateur President’s demand that they stop whining just because he is presiding over just about everything ineptly.  Hey!  What’s to complain about?  Obama, Biden, and the rest of our Ruling Class in DC are millionaires, so why are the little people so upset about the tanking economy?  They need to respect their betters!

Filed under the amateur president

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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.