A bit more on Subverting the Dominant Paradigm

02/11/2011 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?

02/09/2011 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

02/07/2011 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?

02/04/2011 Comments (257)

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

Some Suggestions on Subverting the Dominant Paradigm

02/02/2011 Comments (53)

A reader writes:

I am in the Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry program at a Catholic University, and this semester I am studying Christology. I am concerned that I am not going to get a solid grounding in the orthodox teaching of the Church about Christ, as the professor spent a good percentage of our first class weekend quoting her favorite theologian, Edward Schillebeeckx. The class syllabus has us reading Karl Rahner, Edward Schillebeeckx, Jon Sobrino, Juan Luis Segundo, Elizabeth Schussler-Fiorenza, Elizabeth Johnson, Rosemary Radford Ruether, Roger Haight, and Jacques Dupuis - a veritable recap of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’s hit list over the last 30 years, not...READ MORE

Filed under higher ed, mailbag, subverting the dominant paradigm

New Moral Theory Gains Ground

01/31/2011 Comments (54)

Over the past several years, the exciting new moral theory of the “Simon Peter Says Strategem for Exoneration of All Evil” was pioneered by the staunch defenders of the doctrine that drowning somebody is not torture.  The way the theory works is this: No act is immoral unless the Pope defines infallibly that it is.  In particular, this moral theory holds that since the Pope has never defined waterboarding to be a species of torture, therefore it’s just fine. Zippy Catholic discusses this theory as the Appeal to Finer Detail:

Another fallacious mode of argument is Magisterial positivism, or more colloquially an appeal to finer detail.  Waterboarding prisoners for information is not torture...READ MORE

Filed under simon peter says

Michael Kinsley, Baby Boomer Par Excellance

01/28/2011 Comments (14)

Here he is, delivering himself of a typical specimen of Generation Narcissus thinking, the purpose of which is to incoherently yell at the Catholic Church and demand the sacrifice of as many babies as it takes so that he can go on living in Pepsi Generation bliss forever.

Here’s how Kinsley’s logic works:

A) Ridicule the miraculous healing of Sr. Marie Simon-Pierre from Parkinson’s Disease due to the intercession of Pope John Paul II. 

According to CNN:

The 46-year-old, speaking in a clear, poised voice, said she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2001. Her symptoms worsened with time: Driving became practically impossible, she had difficulty walking, and her left arm hung limply at her...READ MORE

Filed under culture of death, generation narcissus

For the average abortion advocate…

01/26/2011 Comments (22)

...advocacy of abortion is dealt with as an aesthetic, not a moral, problem.  That is why, for instance, the person writing this thinks that abortion is the solution to infanticide.  Abortion is private and we are strongly encouraged not to look at what is done.  Infanticide is more public and there is a danger that there might blood or screaming or a tiny corpse visible.

This aesthetic approach to killing people also, by the way, completely dominates our discourse about the death penalty.  That is why we blab about “deterrence” while making sure that there are as few witnesses as possible.  We desire death and lots of it.  But we want it very very tidy, quiet and *clean*.

That’s one of...READ MORE

Filed under culture of death

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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.