Continuing my Interesting Conversation

08/02/2010 Comments (5)

My correspondent continues:

1) My emotional component of belief is gone. I am fully open to considering that all of my previous experiences were not god, but in fact post-occurrence causal inferences based on what I already believed to be true.

Does it have to be either/or?  In a sacramental universe, God comes to us through human things.

- what is the Church’s best guess as to the time period in which the fall took place?

As far as I know, the Church attempts no answer to that question.  It regard the fall as a fact of revelation, but is agnostic about when it happened and even about the specific historical circumstances.  The catechism describes Genesis 3 as using “figurative language” to...READ MORE

Filed under mailbag

Interesting Conversation

07/30/2010 Comments (76)

I’ve been having an interesting chat with somebody who is dubious about matters of faith.  I thought it might be interesting to take a look at the discussion.

S/he writes:

Can one choose belief?

Yes. But it’s a particular kind of choosing. Not shutting your eyes and willing to yourself to believe what your intellect knows to be self-contradictory nonsense (that’s insane). But choosing to believe the possibility that the God who transcends (not contradicts) reason has spoken in Christ Jesus. It is, at the very least, worth checking out the possibility.

- Re. choosing. I don’t comprehend much of a difference… choosing to believe vs. choosing to believe in the possibility sound very similar....READ MORE

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Where Does the Church Drive you Crazy (and Make You Grow)?

07/28/2010 Comments (23)

I am inveterate explainer.  It’s just what I do.  Where some men draw a picture of a horse, I draw a picture of a horse and then write below it: “THIS IS A HORSE.”  When it seems necessary, I italicize “horse”.  And boldface.  And underline, just in case.  That’s because I hold two deep and contradictory convictions. 

The first is that if you build an idiot-proof argument, they’ll build a better idiot.

The second is that if I just apply myself hard enough, I will nonetheless build the idiot-proof argument for this or that truth of the Faith.

I’m always, therefore, attracted to arguments that make things extremely clear, rather than to Delphic utterances that leave things shrouded in...READ MORE

Filed under let's have a really good talk

The Ruling Class: Spending your Money to Kill African Babies

07/26/2010 Comments (2)

Here is a nice sample of your tax dollars at work.  In brief, it is your money going (yet again) to help interfere in the internal affairs of a Third World nation, so that they make the “right” choices about their own internal affairs and embrace the “right” choice to kill their children.  Message:  Just enough of us, way too much of you.

It’s all being architected (yet again) by the Ruling Class here in the Land of the Sexually Free and the Home of Brave with Other People’s Children.  The Ruling Class has all sorts of advanced ideas about what other people need to be doing with their money (Give it to the Ruling Class!), their children (Sacrifice them to Moloch so the Ruling Class won’t...READ MORE

Filed under salvation through leviathan by any means necessary

Barbara Nicolosi Harrington vs. Generation Narcissus

07/22/2010 Comments (29)

Here is my friend Barb, having way too much fun pointing out to Boomers that history neither begins nor ends with us. Yes, I am a Boomer, and, on behalf of my generation, I apologize to both my parents and my children and grandchildren for our sheer insufferability, self-righteousness, self-absorption, self-involvement, self-centeredness, SELF Magazine, self-love, self-concern and selfishness.  Indeed, true to my generational ethos, I can’t even write an apology without making it all about Us, the Baby Boomers, toward whom all History has aspired and after whom nothing will ever quite as awesome—including our awesome, awesome faults which nobody has ever quite equaled because we are just...READ MORE

Filed under at the movies

You Just Need to be the Right Sort of Roman

07/19/2010 Comments (57)

I have long maintained that a massive amount of the outrage being directed at the Church over the abuse scandal is completely phony.  Not that the crimes and sins committed by abusive priests and their Episcopal defenders are phony in the slightest—but rather that many of the people who are crying “I’m shocked—shocked—at the thought of sexual abuse of children!” are, in fact, completely uninterested in the sexual abuse of children or are, indeed, supportive of the sexual abuse of children.

Case in point, child rapist and molestor Roman Polanski and his ardent defenders, including such moral giants as Woody Allen, Whoopi Goldberg (“It was something else, but I don’t believe it was...READ MORE

Filed under manufacturers of culture, the last acceptable prejudice, the situation

"Science Works. Religion Doesn't" What Does that Even Mean?

07/16/2010 Comments (156)

A correspondent of mine, all agog for the New Atheism, spouted the hackneyed slogan “Science Works.  Religion Doesn’t” some time back, along with the claim that “all religions claimn exclusive possession of the truth”.  My reply:

No small part of the problem with this sort of sloganeering is that there is a marked laziness on the part of critics of “religion”. They seem to have only the haziest notion of what they mean by the word. I’m afraid I find a similar haziness in your remarks. What do you mean by “religion”? If you mean “the worship of a deity or deities” where do you put Buddhism in that? Some people would class Confucianism as a religion. I would not, since I think it is...READ MORE

Filed under intellect worship vs. intellect use

Strange Foes, Stranger Bedfellows

07/14/2010 Comments (13)

It’s a strange day when Ann Coulter, George Will, Glenn Greenwald, Pat Buchanan and Andrew Sullivan are all converging on the same point: that GOP Chair Michael Steele was right to call the war in Afghanistan “a war of Obama’s choosing”.  And they are, of course, right.  Bumbler and incompetent though he is, Michael Steele called this one.  Once the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize for Not Being George W. Bush decided to squander billions more dollars, waste more American lives, and embark on the doomed mission of turning a failed narcostate into the Great Society at Gunpoint project, he made it his war just as surely as LBJ made Kennedy’s dalliance in southeast Asia into his war.  Of...READ MORE

Filed under politics

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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.