Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Mark Shea on "Conservative American Catholics"

Americanism, don’t let it be forgotten, is a heresy. The belief that we are better catechized by the western apostles of Caesar and Mammon and the gospel of Salvation through Democratic Capitalism, Hedonism and Imperial Militarism than by Holy Church is as toxic as it ever was.

I *expect* the Left to have no serious regard for the Church’s teaching when it comes to things that interfere with ideology. That’s why I don’t bother trying to help them get their act together and win. I don’t want them to win. But when alleged conservative Catholics tell me that they would rather get their social teaching from a talking hairdo on FOX than from the bishops, when they tell me that it is “moralistic” not to be willing to put your soul at risk of the fires of hell by committing what used to be called “war crimes”, when they make excuses for buffoons who think saluting the brave idealists of the Waffen SS with their sons is a sure fire indication of sound judgment—and that any criticism of this makes one vehemently suspect of heresy and a traitor to the Faith—I can only say that the Right is becoming as mindlessly ideological as the Left. And ideology is not the Faith.

SOURCE: National Catholic Register October 18, 2010.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Mark Shea on the Two Party System

But now both parties are increasingly the parties of Salvation through Grave and Intrinsic Moral Evil. Democrats do it with their Nanny State devotion to the Culture of Death and the sacrament of abortion, their sole core value. "Bush Conservatism" does it with its insane dedication to Mystical Imperialism, which believes in redemption through democratic capitalism by means of torture and war crimes. And, as icing, both parties believe devoutly in the Drunken Sailor approach to the national larder. Democrats want to build the Great Society at home, and Republicans want to build the Great Society abroad. ...
SOURCE: InsideCatholic.com December 1, 2009.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Mark Shea on the National Review

Of course, it's easy to blame it on the lefty press. However, Austin Bramwell is not a member of the Lefty Press. Indeed, he used to be affiliated with NRO until they decided that conservatism no longer meant things like limited government, respect for the permanent things and opposition to the Nanny State and instead meant global democratic revolution, imposition of a Great Society on the Middle East, Salvation through Leviathan by Any Means Necessary, spending like a drunken sailor, a Permanent State of War Until there is Freedom and Democracy Everywhere, Creative Destruction, Strength Through Evil and various other crazy things that sound more like Trotsky than like anything an actual conservative before Bush might have advocated. . . .

SOURCE: Catholic and Enjoying It January 23, 2008

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Mark Shea on Jonah Goldberg

According to Jonah, if you buy sprouts the local organic co-op, you've already used up your 15 minutes.

I've always identified fascism with, oh, you know, smashing free speech and trying to centralize everything in a big centralized political economy. I thought a more noticable feature of fascism was, say, Grand Military Adventures promising an End to Evil and the inauguration of a Golden Age of earthly happiness. I've even tended to identify it with urging us all to hand Caesar the power to torture people and the employment of Orwellian euphemisms and groupthink pressure tactics such as "You aren't one of us if you oppose waterboarding and other forms of torture" to punish dissenters. Indeed, I was quite sure, till I heard Jonah explain it all for me, that apologists for Salvation Through Leviathan by Any Means Necessary bore a much greater resemblance to fascists than advocates of "Small is Beautiful" thinking. I never realized that the real menace to our liberty was a taste for tofu. I'm sure glad that Jonah has broken with that silly old narrative of saying "Anything I happen to dislike is fascist."

You learn something every day from NRO's Mandarins of True Conservatism[TM].

SOURCE: Catholic and Enjoying It January 17, 2008

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Mark Shea on Ron Paul (and his critics)

So when I express some pleasure over, say, the way Ron Paul keeps humiliating the thugs, empty suits, and poseurs of the GOP, that's not to say that I "believe" in Ron Paul (who, as I've repeatedly said, strikes me as a bit kooky). It's that I think him a valuable counterweight to the far more pernicious and dangerous kookiness that has infected the GOP with Grand End to Evil Delusions, with huge and cynical schemes for Salvation Through Leviathan by Any Means Necessary arrogance, with a contempt for fiscal responsibility that would do LBJ proud, and with a repellent knack for wrapping all this in fur Kirche und Vaterland rhetoric that constantly makes the suggestion that critics of Bush not only hate America but are enemies of Christ *and* kumbaya idiots who need to read more Machiavelli. I think the stench from that insanity is what makes people appreciate Paul's basically modest approach to what governemnt is capable of. . . .

SOURCE: Catholic and Enjoying It December 22, 2007.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Mark Shea on Little Green Footballs

. . . Slowly, through a process of attrition, those guys have found their natural habitat at Little Green Footballs and other places that have nothing but contempt for any Catholic teaching that stand in the way of such secular messianic projects as Grand End to Evil Schemes for Changing the World and Salvation Through Leviathan by Any Means Necessary Projects. So the open contempt for Catholic moral teaching has faded in the comboxes somewhat. . . .

Source: Catholic and Enjoying It December 17, 2007.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Mark Shea on Torture Apologists for the Bush Administration

. . . people have been *taught* over the past few years to be "sincerely conflicted" by apologists for Strength Through War Crimes and shills for the Administration. I recognize that the vast majority of people are thinking about torture (when they happen to do so, which is seldom) in light of "24" and crap fed them by professional crapmeisters who scare people with endless (and completely unreal) ticking time bomb scenarios. My ire is not with the plumber or the soccer mom who has never given the matter much thought beyond, "Yikes! I'd do anything to save my family from the Bad Guys." My ire is with those in the media who have, with calculated malice aforethought (not to mention self-serving abuse of power), worked with might and main to excuse, abet, and aid the Bush Administration with a policy of war crimes that they *know* is torture, that they *know* is shady, and that they strive to cover up with redacted court opinions, lies, and euphemisms. And they have taught us to parrot them. . . .

Source: Catholic and Enjoying It December 12, 2007.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Mark Shea on Ron Paul, Republican Media Whores

"So, Congressman Paul ... you’re basically saying that we should take our marching orders from al Qaeda?" Fox host Chris Wallace asked.

"No! I'm saying we should take our marching orders from our constitution." Paul replied sharply.


That the agents and shills of the War Party and the End to Evil Crowd have to routinely stoop to this sort of filth in order to neutralize the growing threat of Ron Paul says far, far more about them than it does about him. The idea that a high regard for the Constitution is now routinely treated as crazy talk by the the Rubber Hose Right is a harbinger of the self-made doom they face in the 2008 elections. [...]

I differ from many Americans in not regarding the Constitution as holy writ. I think it is a work of staggering human genius which we disregard at our peril and particularly when the disregarding is being done by a fourth rate Chauncey Gardner with a mean streak like the current President. To sell our birthright for the mess of pottage the Administration has crammed down our throats for the past six years is spectacularly short-sighted. But I don't think the Constitution is inspired Scripture, so I'm not convinced that mere fidelity to the Constitution always guarantees Ron Paul won't be (as I think he sometimes is) a kook. But I do find myself thinking I much prefer this kook to the Best and Brightest whose schemes of Creative Destruction and Grand Strategies for the End to Evil have so royally screwed up America and the world in the past six years. And not the least of that damage is that a good man who reveres the Constitution has to sit there and take it while a Republican Media Whore says he is a traitor to his country for that reverence. Despicable!

Source: Catholic & Enjoying It September 7, 2007.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Mark Shea on Victor Davis Hanson

Part of the reason I am so suspicious of the Creative Destruction theorists, the Grand Political Strategists and the secular messianic End to Evil visionaries is that they write things like:
    Israel lost some of its precious capital of deterrence in the last war, but ultimately the real loser was a bankrupt Iran who lost far more materially than did a far wealthier Israel.

Daniel Larison points out the little blind spot that comes of this tendency to analyze things in terms of "people as means to ends".

    [T]he "real loser" of the war in Lebanon last year was, um, Lebanon, which had its infrastructure severely damaged, 1,000 of its people killed, hundreds of thousands made into refugees and its political life thrown into ever greater convulsions.
Oh. Yeah. Them. The Lebanese. But they don't figure into the Grand Strategy of the Great Thinkers. They're just people who happened to be in the way of the Big Picture.

Source: Catholic & Enjoying It July 3, 2007.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Mark Shea on Neoconservatism

That secular messianic impulse is why I keep banging on about the sinister rhetoric of Creative Destruction that is animating the latest Big Thinkers in their Wilsonian/Machiavellian attempts to create heaven on earth (in this case, via democratic capitalism). Ideologies that attempt a short cut around human nature via violence (whether jihadi or Creative Destroyer) are menaces. The common rhetoric these ideologies share with the Commies is, as the Marxist loves to say, no accident. There are few things more dangerous than a couple of Christian virtues cut off from the Tradition and used as the basis of a militant movement unashamed to use violence in pursuit of the Millennium.
SOURCE: Catholic & Enjoying It June 12, 2007.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Mark Shea on Michael Ledeen, Neoconservatism

Iraqi Church enjoys the fruits of the doctrine of Creative Destruction. But hey! As the Great Theologian says, "the level of casualties (in Iraq) is secondary." It's not like salvation comes through the Church or something. Get real! Salvation comes through Leviathan by any means necessary.
Source: Catholic & Enjoying It June 11, 2007.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Mark Shea on Impeachment

. . . I think that's just about it for me. If Corsi's assessment is accurate, then I say, Impeach George Bush. Yes, I'm aware Lincoln did something similar. I'm uninterested in excuses. The United States is not embroiled in a civil war. This is a power grab more despicable than Roosevelt's scheme to pack the Supreme Court. And undertaken by a man who has shown himself to be shockingly incompetent in dealing with the issue that he himself has decided his presidency must stand or fall upon: American security and the war in Iraq. Giving this man (much less all his successors in perpetuity) the power to make themselves dictator solely on their own discretion is insane. Fire the guy. Consign this disastrous novelty to the flames of political perdition.

The biggest mistake I ever made in my civic life was voting (twice, alas!) for George W. Bush.

SOURCE: Catholic & Enjoying It May 23, 2007.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Mark Shea on Republican Torture Enthusiasts

Our Vice President prefers not to call it "waterboarding". Too Khmer Rougish. He likes to call it "dunking". A little friendly horseplay that calls to mind the watersports of our teen years.

A few determined Torture Apologists will say, "Who you gonna believe? Me or your own two eyes!" Some of those with FoxNews implants will nod when the Torture Apologists flash the Queen of Diamonds and tell them that this is just "enhanced interrogation techniques", "so-called torture". Worse still, with the exception of McCain and Ron Paul, every single candidate in the Republican Augean stable enthusiastically endorse what you are watching (assuming you have the stomach to watch it) and even worse stuff besides. Indeed, not a few of the Torture Enthusiasts are saying that the gravest question facing the Republican Party is whether to allow a beast like Ron Paul to continue to sully the reputation of the GOP by appearing on stage with the upstanding men who want to make America a stronger, more efficient Torture State.

And all this has become a legitimate legal cheerfully endorsed (though euphemistically elided) fact of American life because of George W. Bush.

SOURCE: Catholic and Enjoying It May 22, 2007.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Mark Shea on Ron Paul

Libertarians always tend to be a bit kooky. But his kookiness is far less of a problem to me then the Enforcers of Newthink in the End to Evil Crowd who would ban his voice in the public arena because it shows up the Salvation Through Leviathan By Any Means Necessary guys as the brutal incompetents they are.

SOURCE: Catholic & Enjoying It - May 17, 2007

* * *


I will have to keep my eye on Ron Paul. I'm somewhat suspicious of the Libertarian thing, but if he opposes abortion as well as what the Newspeakers of the Rubber Hose Right and the FOXNews Ministry of Newthink technicians call "enhanced interrogation techniques", I may have finally found my doomed quixotic candidate to support.

SOURCE: Catholic & Enjoying It - May 16, 2007.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Mark Shea on Norman Podhoretz

Another Cubicle Dweller Has More Plans for More Andy Baceviches

When it comes to Grand End to Evil Planners, no sacrifice of other people's children is too much.


SOURCE: Catholic & Enjoying It May 15, 2007.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Mark Shea on Christian Persecution in Pakistan

Religion of Peace Adherents Feel the Longing for Freedom Beating in Their Breast Just as Bush's Second Inaugural Says It Does

Clearly, this is a culture ripe for the imposition of democratic capitalism at the barrel of a gun. What could it possibly hurt if we, say, march into a country and destroy the few protections that exist for the only institution in history that has ever actually given birth to stable democracies? Surely, the Christian community is not as important to the long-term healing and redemption of a people in darkness as "Democracy! Whiskey! Sexy!" is. Six of one, half dozen of another! Indeed, as some of my readers have said, if the Chaldean Catholic community in Iraq *really* loved their country they'd be glad to undergo martyrdom at the hands of Muslim lunatics our Grand End to Evil Experiment there has unleashed.

Can't argue with logic like that.

SOURCE: Catholic & Enjoying It May 14, 2007.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Mark Shea on General Petraeus

Bravo, General Petraeus!

Clearly, he hates America and has nowhere near the grasp of Real War that the Laptop Bombardiers of the Rubber Hose Right have. Still, I'm glad he's calling the shots and not them. It would be especially nice if his Commander-in-Chief would listen to him.

SOURCE: Catholic & Enjoying It May 11, 2007.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Mark Shea on the GOP

Somehow, the GOP morphed into the Great Society with Guns, bribing people with entitlements at home and imagining that dreams of human perfectibility which gave us the The Projects 40 years ago would kindle the fires of the Goddess of Democracy through Michael Ledeen's Creative Destruction abroad. This is why I laugh at End to Evil types. It's the same messianic secularism. And it's working as well in Iraq as it worked for LBJ in Detroit and Watts.
SOURCE: Catholic & Enjoying It November 16, 2006.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Mark Shea on Tom McKenna

Tom McKenna is Predictably Angry with Me

Reason: I demonstrate an insufficiently insatiable hunger and thirst for death, death, death, and more death, so that means I regard Saddam as a victim, you see.

McKenna, whose blog is more or less devoted to obsessing over how to execute as many people as humanly possible, is naturally orgasmic at the idea of hanging Saddam. Failure to be thrilled at the death of a human being and a general agreement with Pope John Paul that it's better to forego executing people unless you really need to is, for McKenna the ultimate crime and the source of numberless entries on his vengeful blog.


(Tom McKenna responds).

Monday, September 25, 2006

Mark Shea on the Apostles of Strength Through Torture

It's not just a matter of time, I reckon, before a happy concord is reached between cynical devotees of abortion on the Left, and equally cynical devotees of torture on the right (yes, *devotees*: just as the Left *needs* abortion to fuel its raison d'etre, so the cynical manipulators on the Right are already coming to *need* to justify themselves as the Apostles of Strength Through Torture). When that day is reached, the big losers will the Christian dupes who mouthed the agitprop fed them by the Administration that just a *little* mortal sin was the grease that keeps a modern nation state in fine tune! If they repent of being shills for Leviathan, they will be called goddam torture pharisees and prolifers whose sanctimony has gummed up the smooth running of the party long enough. If they persist in being nuisances, they may well find themselves vehemently suspect of aiding and abetting the enemy.
SOURCE: Catholic & Enjoying It Sept. 25, 2006.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Mark Shea on Hope and Despair

As the media begins to dally with apocalyptic despair, it becomes more urgent than ever to point out that despair (like the presumption that is its twin) is the enemy of hope. Secular presumption consists of the project of turning heaven into earth. It matters little who is making the promise. Whether it's the Lefty who is promising eternal health and youth via embryonic stem cell research or the Creative Destructionist Righty who promises an End to Evil and the triumph of the New American Century via murder of wounded combatants and torture, both are basically making secular messianic promises: heaven on earth and ultimate happiness achievable here, if only you will fudge some of that pesky crap about doing evil that good may come. We get drunk (for a time) on the hope that this time it will work.

The problem is that drunkeness leads to hangovers. So when the best laid plans of mice and men gang aft agly because God is not mocked, the one who dreamt of heaven on earth yesterday can fall into despair and the false certitude of hell on earth today. This is why the prophets so often seem to be out of step with the times.

SOURCE Catholic & Enjoying It August 17, 2006.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Mark Shea on War Zealots, Master Planners and Machiavellian Schemers

For me, it's 2006 and I'm highly suspicious of all moral calculations that appeal to a clock for legitimacy. I plod along, looking at just war teaching, and find myself increasing puzzled as to how to unscramble the various eggs our Best and Brightest have scrambled for us in recent years. On the whole, though I disagree with the Pope's remarks as they stand (since I believe in Just War teaching), I find myself thinking that I'd rather live in a world of people who err as the Pope does than in a world of War Zealots and Master Planners with big ideas for a New American Century based on "creative destruction" and other Machiavellian schemes. In short, I don't have much in the way of solutions, but I have a clearer and clearer idea of who I trust as I try to think things through.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Mark Shea on Neoconservatives

the point is that the Weekly Standard and suchlike neocon enthusiasts for war are not talking about Lieberman v. Lamont. They are talking about Lieberman for Veep. And it's quite clear that, for the neocons, the only thing that matters is war and the entire prolife movement and social conservative types can drop dead. The Neocons are All About Power and Realpolitik. Conservatives are morphing into the mirror of their postmodern nihilistic Leftist opponents.
Mark Shea | Homepage | 08.14.06 - 3:49 pm | #

I think a war is coming between the God first conservatives and the Money and Power First Conservatives. And I think the MP Cons are going to win. God Firsters have been useful fools. But their utility is almost played out.

Mark Shea | Homepage | 08.14.06 - 6:10 pm | #

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Mark Shea on Michael Ledeen

Michael Ledeen Reliably Suggests that our Troops Should Murder Surrendering Enemy Combatants

That, in the final analysis, can only be what is meant by saying, "terrorists should be killed on the battlefield, not captured".

Despicable. Imagine Ledeen writing a piece that said, "Your daughter should sell her virginity to a pimp in order to ensure American security. She'll make an excellent whore and do her nation proud". Would anybody be offended if I suggested that Ledeen's estimation of your daughter is worthy of pistols at dawn?

Yet when Ledeen says, "Your son should commit cold blooded murder of surrendering prisoners in order to keep the quota of captured prisoners down. He'll make an excellent murderer and war criminal and do his nation proud" some of my readers, by some mysterious mental process, somehow decide that my bleat of protest against this insulting estimation of our troops is a sign *I* despise the troops, not Ledeen.

SOURCE: Catholic & Enjoying It July 12, 2006.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Mark Shea on Michael Novak

I don't think Michael Novak is a bad guy. I do think that the attempts by the Money and Power guys who are writing policy to hold up Novak as a sort of Voice of Catholic Teaching Blessing our Policies vs. the Euroweenie opinions of our Peacenik Pope and his Clueless Bishops was highly cynical. I wish Novak had been more vociferous in saying that it is precisely at the moment when the whole world is shouting for one thing and an almost unanimous chorus of bishops is saying "Whoa!" that the duty of the Catholic is to inform his conscience with the teaching of the Church, not join the shouting throng. But I also think Novak is not a materialist so much as a guy who has been beating the drum of democratic capitalism for a long time and who naturally gravitated toward people who found him...useful.
SOURCE: Catholic & Enjoying It March 23, 2006.

This is why I'd like to see a healthy Dem party re-emerge. Opposite evils, so far from balancing, aggravate one another. A Wilsonian Drunken Sailor Safety Through Torture Right inflames an hysterical angry vengeful Left. Meanwhile, when Elephants and Donkeys fight, it is the grass that suffers. The Left fanatically aims for the maximum number of babies to die, while the Right continues pissing away our grandchildrens savings and trying to make the world into the image and likeness of Michael Novak through the exportation of our democratic capitalist system at the point of a gun (only to wind up with Muslims who tend to see the image and likeness of Madonna instead--and to to hate us all the more).
SOURCE: Catholic & Enjoying It March 22, 2006.

I don't say Novak is a materialist. I do say he's a cheerleader for claims about democratic capitalism that seem to me to be in excess of the facts (recall that he was the Neocon Advocate of Choice to go to Rome and try to explain to the Holy Father and bishops of the world why their almost completely unanimous judgment against the justice of the Iraq War was wrong). Novak is the court theologian for this particular experiment. The people who looked to him for theological rationales for the war and the experiment in nation-building to follow have to face the fact that we ain't exporting what we used to export. The manufacturers of our culture are apostate Puritans who could not care less about a civilization of virture or a culture of life. It's Madonna, M-16s and money for them. Novak, probably with good intentions, allowed himself to be used to push this war to plant the American Way in the Islamosphere. The trouble is, the American Way is not the gospel and is becoming increasingly hostile to the gospel.
Mark Shea | Homepage | 03.22.06 - 8:18 pm | #

Monday, February 27, 2006

Mark Shea on Mammon-Worship

. . . I'm afraid I have no idea what you are talking about. I don't believe I've ever claimed that proponents of the War on Terror are Mammon-First Conservatives. That would be rather self-defeating since I am a proponent of the War on Terror, just not of the War in Iraq. I can't for the life of me see that supporting the war on Terror necessarily has anything to do with Mammon-First conservatism. Similarly, I don't think somebody who supports the War necessarily worships Caesar (though I suppose there are people out there who are willing to give the State the power to do anything if it will promise to keep them safe, which is a form of Caesar-worship). . . .

SOURCE: Catholic & Enjoying It February 27, 2006.

Friday, January 30, 2004

Mark on Grand End to Evil Projects

I come from a military family. That's why I fret about Grand "End to Evil" Projects. It's generally guys like my Dad and brothers who have to pay the bills for that in blood. That's why I like to be reeeeally reeeeally sure we know what we are doing when we embark on such projects.
SOURCE: Catholic & Enjoying It January 30, 2004.