Monday, March 12, 2012

In case you missed Mark Shea's comments

I blogged a few days back on Joe Hippolito's FPM piece entitled A Catholic Writer’s Propaganda For Iran. The Catholic writer mentioned is Mark Shea who must have read both Joe's article and my blog post because he showed up in my comment box to exercise his 1st amendment rights which are universally respected here.

In fact, I want to make sure no one missed these comments, so I've reprinted them here. Here's the first one:

And EWTN/NCR has the bulging file of deranged rants from Joe [Hippolito], screaming at them about how the Church is damned by God, JPII is in hell, everybody Joe hates needs to be put to death with extreme prejudice and go to hell, nuking Muslims and Japanese is the will of God, Jesus loves capital punishment and pre-emptive war, the bishops are all going to hell, as well as many of NCR's writes (especially Yr Obdt Svt) and all his other helpful contributions to Catholic political thought over the years. I'm sure they will be on the edge of their seats listening to your appeal that they heed his wisdom. :)

Note the smiley at the end. Kind of a nice touch.

Second: Um, Joe has never had a blog. He parasitically lives off the blogs of others. If, by "doing things to people" you mean "not allowing rude wahoos on my blog" that's true. If you mean I never allow disagreements on my blog, you are either illiterate, stupid, or a liar, Jonathan.

On the other hand, I've never suggested that people who disagree with me should be murdered or prayed for their death and damnation. Joe's done that multiple times with me. Enjoy your bedfellow.

"Enjoy your bedfellow." Should we laugh at this remark? I did when I read it. Even if Mr. Shea does have some claim against Mr. Hippolito we can note something instructive here. He fills his cup of scorn and derision so abundantly that it overflows and we are all invited to take a swig.

Third: I'm not a paragon of virtue. I commit the same sins as you, Kathleen (whose writing is, after all, suffused with mockery, humiliation of others, and epithets). My point is not that I am a paragon of virtue. It is that Joe's hatred of both the Church and me is legendary throughout St. Blog's and that the editors at NCR are not unaware of it, since he has subjected them to it for years. So failure to acknowledge that little detail as Pauli makes the preposterous case for the sobriety of Joe's libel is a non-starter.

OK, I have to respond seriously to the charge that I made a "preposterous case for the sobriety of Joe's libel". Words mean something, words like sobriety and libel, and if Mark doesn't think Joe's article is accurate then he can explain why, providing examples. In fact, I'm sure he has done that on his blog, but I'll let someone else verify that. Nevertheless, libel denotes deliberate untruthfulness, or at least some type of vicious deviation from the facts, neither of which can be seen in Joe's article.

For example, referring to Rick Santorum as a "Murderer for Jesus" or referring to Santorum and Romney as "aspiring war criminals" can both be called vile attacks and distortions by just about anyone in the mainstream of America. Lines describing conservatives as possessing "deathless neoconservative faith in the Immaculate Conception of the State of Israel and its preservation from all sin, both original and actual" can easily be used as evidence for Joe's position that Mark Shea is at best a "curmudgeon who shoots from the hip and fails to understand the implications of his ideas" and at worst a "bigoted fanatic".

Now as far as sobriety goes, that's a judgement call, and I see nothing about the article which resembles a drunken rant. If Joe ranted at another time and another place without sobriety that is not relevant to my point and the point of Joe's article. It's normal and likely that past heated rhetoric may weaken his perceived reliability. But it's also a good idea to take someone's reasoned criticism presented thoughtfully according to its own merits. The only people who belabor every past lapse of an individual would be "rigorism maximumists". Wow, I just came up with that phrase! Am I clever or what?

Fourth: Jonathan (and Pauli):

You are welcome to post. However, you have to obey the rules. You're in my comboxes on my suffrage as guests. Disagreement is fine (as even a cursory read of my comboxes shows). Just be polite and honest.

I wonder what my wife is making for dinner tonight... Dang! tonight's PSR, too... And that flooring guy left a message, hope it's a low quote. Oh, that totally reminds me of something else....

Again, here's a link to his blog.

Fifth: This is Kathleen *R------*, correct?

And you seriously assert that nothing you've had to say about Rod Dreher is mocking, or aimed to humiliate, or chock full of epithets? Not to mention suffused with naked contempt for the guy?


Well, I suppose we'll just have to disagree about that.

No argument that I'm a terrible witness to the faith. But I'm all I've got and Jesus says to bear witness to him, so I try. Are you saying I shouldn't try? Or are you merely saying that it's worse that I do a bad job of witnessing to the faith than that Joe is actively trying to destroy the Church while urging mass murder.

Curious priorities.

"Joe is actively trying to destroy the Church while urging mass murder." Gee, didn't realize that. Maybe we should rethink our bedfellowship with Joe. I mean that has got to be worse than actively trying to destroy the Church while advocating a local, organic diet.

I'm not going to take a lot of time defending Kathleen because she can do so pretty adequately. I imagine her reading this blog on her smartphone in the checkout line and commenting with her right thumb while the left hand packs the groceries. I do think that she is a fairly normal woman in that if you once called her a "witch queen" she might not have an entirely warm attitude toward you.

I know I mentioned the 1st amendment earlier, so I should add that 2nd amendment rights are also respected on my blog. I'll let people shoot themselves in the foot whenever they are moved to do so. And as many times.


  1. Pauli (et al), if you wish to read how Mark is responsding on his own blog, here are examples:

    All Mark is doing is re-iterating the same rhetoric he's used before, along with the same strategy he's used before: attack the messenger and destroy his credibility.

    If you re-read my original piece, you will notice that I said nothing about advocating any particular geopolitical position. Nor do I claim (unlike Mark) to speak for the Catholic Chuch, let alone the U.S. or Israeli governments, or any entity outside myself.

    This is the propagandist's old trick. Divert attention from yourself to others. That says more about Shea than anything I could conjure up.

  2. There's no doubt that you won a round here. Bring up the (very old) red herring of Robert (who?) Sungenis proves it if you didn't smell ample red herrings already.

    My advice: stay away from his blog. I've decided to do so and have not regretted it. Besides, he's reading ours now. ;-)

  3. "witch queen"?! did he call me that? that's awesome.

  4. I'm totally going with that name for my Stevie Nicks tribute band.

  5. Yeah, here's the other one from the vault where the "Witch Queen" moniker is mentioned.

    Hey I'll do all the John McVie stuff in your band. I'm a big fan of his.