Paranoia is the Serious Business of Heaven: New Horizons in Conspiracy Cinema

11/20/2014 Comments (12)

One of the many advantages Christians have over those who live in the world is the range to which we can extend our angst. Secularists, forced by their own principles to live in a one-floor ranch style universe, inevitably wind up wasting time on neuroses which are small beer in the Grand Scheme of Things. That's why a secular media is unable to conceive of any higher conspiracy than the hackneyed "Who Killed JFK?" question.

But suppose Oliver Stone was a good Fundamentalist filmmaker with a truly cosmic conspiratorial perspective. Then we might be reading film reviews like this:

Stone Breaks the Silence on the Silent Planet

Whether you love him or hate him, agree or disagree, you've got...READ MORE

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The Glory and Peril of Music

11/16/2014 Comments (13)

To somebody thinking about postmodern culture, one of the most fascinating passages in the New Testament is Titus 1:12: "One of themselves, a prophet of their own, said, 'Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons."

What is fascinating is not the slam on ancient Cretans, but the fact that Paul refers to the Cretan poet Epimenides as a "prophet." I think this fascinating because Epimenides was, among other things, what we would today call a poet or songwriter, not an inspired biblical prophet, as Paul well knew. In short, Paul recognizes the enormous power to lead and sway that a poet like Epimenides enjoyed.

It is, of course, a truism that music in praise of limitless sexual...READ MORE

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Why We're Called the Catholic Church

11/13/2014 Comments (13)

G. K. Chesterton once remarked that Catholics agree about everything; it is only everything else they disagree about. That is to say, Catholics (and by this he meant "Catholics who know and believe their Faith") agree on a few cosmic truths summarized in the creeds, prayers, sacraments, and common life of the church. However, when it comes to the rest of human existence they not only disagree with one another, but take a rather gleeful pleasure in doing so.

I was reminded of this quite vigorously when, once upon a time, I wrote a review of the action flick The Matrix. I argued -- and still believe -- that this incredibly violent science-fiction film was, in fact, remarkably well-informed...READ MORE

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Intellectual Fisticuffs: Some Thoughts on the Apologetics Subculture

11/10/2014 Comments (47)

In 1998, I was asked to give a talk at my parish on my conversion to the Catholic Faith.  The local Catholic bookstore set up a table of various materials on the Catholic faith and as I perused them, I was struck by the fact that virtually none of these materials had existed when I came into the Church in 1987.  Today, if I were to walk into that bookstore, I would find, not only the materials under which that table groaned in 1998, but a still greater torrent of books, videos, DVDs and CDs, a vast number of them created by converts.  Clearly there have been some big changes in the past twenty years.  But before I discuss them, let me digress a bit.

On the whole, I'm glad of the boomlet in...READ MORE

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King David Among the Super-Righteous

11/06/2014 Comments (24)

If David lived today, I have a feeling not a few modern-day Greatest Catholics of All Time in the Reactionary blogosphere would read something like this:

Psalm 51
For the leader. A psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet came to him after his affair with Bathsheba.

Oh great! Here it comes. A happy-clappy hymn from our Fearless Leaders, designed to make all of us hold hands, sing a little ditty, and forget the corruption at work in our "big happy family" at the very highest levels! Count me out! I am outraged at what this supposed "apple of God's eye" has done and no amount of cheery little campfire ditties from the "Psalmist of Israel" is going to make me forget the way he has frittered...READ MORE

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Welcome to Corkscrew's Religion Chat Room!

11/02/2014 Comments (9)

My Dear Slimemold:

I am gratified at your latest report concerning the spectacle of fratricidal malice among the patients who participate in the Christian email list we are monitoring.

I see that Pusfang has got one of the hairless bipeds into that delightful state where it can set out to attack a fellow human's faith in the Eucharist with bad satirical poetry (coated in a veneer of greasy humour) and then take offense when the attack is seen for what it is and objected to! Excellent! I must remind Pusfang in my next communiqué to be sure to play on the creature's thwarted will to bully and abuse by teaching it to say that it has a "sense of humour" whereas all around it are simply...READ MORE

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HellCo's Corporate Propaganda

10/30/2014 Comments (8)

October is, among other things, the month in which the devil sends out the most press releases about how business is booming, what with Halloween and all. Of course, like any big international business operation, Hell has to maintain several faces depending on the public it is talking to. To secularists, it frequently issues press releases from the Materialist Myth Manufacturing Ltd. subsidiary of Hell, reminding its customers that Hell doesn't exist, that God doesn't exist, and that everything is just atoms and energy, followed by the long long night of death (so be sure to pick up as much sex, drugs, rock n' roll and self-indulgence as your shopping cart can hold in our Life Clearance...READ MORE

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Two Kinds of Questions

10/23/2014 Comments (33)

When you spend your time talking about volatile stuff like politics or, in my case, religion (especially that unique species of religion called “the Catholic Faith”) you discover pretty quickly that conversations can move along two tracks simultaneously.

The first track is the “intellectual”. Somebody asks a question like, “Was the gospel of John actually the testimony of John the apostle?”

That’s a straightforward question with a straightforward answer: “Yes.” You can back it up with all sorts of evidence from the text itself, and from the testimony of the early Church, as well as a general consensus of biblical scholars. Usually, such questions and answers can be dealt with quickly--if...READ MORE

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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.