Friday, July 20, 2018

Maybe Patheos needs better editors

Mark Shea writes a very early post today in which he accuses "Christianists" of being a number of things: enemies of God, enemies of America and ... 36 comments? Have a look:

The core sin of American conservatives–and above all American conservative, “prolife” Christianists–is Pride. They cannot accept the fact that they were simply flat-out wrong. They have told themselves for twenty years that they are the *Real* Christians, the *Real* Americans, the *Real* Heroes. They are better than all their neighbors, better than the Pope, better, above all, than the Most Horrible Human Being in America, Hillary Clinton. And in their blindness, they have become everything they hate: enemies of America, 36 Comments, and enemies of God in their sadistic cruelty to children at the border. They began with delusional fears of persecution over coffee cups and Target employees not wishing them “Merry Christmas”. They have ended as sadistic persecutors jailing babies, causing abortionscelebrating the murder by thirst... 

The "36 comments" link takes anyone who clicks on it to a comment page for another post. This was obviously a mistake, and I can understand how it can be made. He is on the west coast and the article is dated today, so this was done before 6am. He was obviously checking the comments from the other page and accidentally copied that link, or something like that. Then he pasted this in and never read it over. Or maybe he did read it and missed it. This is why, I've been told, editors are needed. You often don't see your own mistakes.

I don't have an editor, so I have to make do with my own proofreading. But I also take pride (my "core sin", I am told) in taking my time at my work and self-editing. Is it possible that Mark Shea rushes into his blogging with armfuls of invectives he needs to hurl at these straw men he calls Christianists and does very little in the way of thinking until he has finished spewing everything which comes to mind? Is it possible that people like me might find him compelling if he toned his writing down from a constant screech? Can a person really be this caustic before 6:00 in the morning?

Mark Shea was banned from Facebook for
three days for being sarcastic.
The answer is yes, of course. Not just caustic, but also sarcastic. When he writes things like "the Most Horrible Human Being in America, Hillary Clinton" it turns out that the robots working for Facebook shut that stuff down. This is why Mark was banned for three days, according to him, during which he made 7,500 words worth of progress on a book he's writing about the Nicene Creed. So that might get chalked up to God using something as imperfect as Facebook algorithms to accomplish His good purpose in the same way he uses something as imperfect as Donald Trump to lower the unemployment rate for working class people.

I know several people who have unfollowed Mark Shea on Facebook in recent times due to his constant table pounding about Christianists, which roughly translates to Christians who voted for Trump. His description of people with whom he disagrees vehemently on politics has become such a caricature that many of the traits are not even recognizable to those of us at which the moniker is obviously aimed. For example, no one I know ever became upset over people not wishing them a Merry Christmas. Many of us were concerned that employers were forbidding the saying of Merry Christmas (can't remember if Target was one—people in Ohio, we say what we feel like saying), but no one considered this to be "persecution". We do not bang our chests and chant "We are real heroes! We are real Americans!" We are not people who generally think ourselves as "better than our neighbors" or "better than the Pope", whatever that even might mean. Accusations that we are sadistic baby-jailers who "celebrate murder by thirst" only make us shake our heads and roll our eyes at this point.

Yes, "murder by thirst". That's what we "celebrate".

Note to people who didn't vote for Trump: when we Trump voters give each other that look and say or think those five words, we do not consider that a celebration. A celebration is when we sit down with family and friends, have food, fun, drinks and laughs and do not even think or talk about politics for the next three hours. We know how to do that. And by the way, we know how to shut up the loud mouth fan-boys on the right in these instances, and we do it instinctively, all. The. Time.

I titled this piece Maybe Patheos needs better editors. It is highly likely; they definitely need some better bloggers. This stuff is so tiresome.

Oh, yeah. What are "those five words", you were wondering?

"This is why Trump won."


  1. If his latest book sales tank there is a chance- A CHANCE- he might gain some self awareness and realize antagonizing potential customers while courting those who would never bother with the book was a bad decision.

    1. Nate, one of my goals is to just dissuade people from supporting Mark Shea by purchasing his books. His writing is so caustic... I don't want anyone associating Mark Shea with the religion that I profess in the creed.

  2. Patheos still hasn't fixed the error. Shea is now griping in the comments that he was fired from National Catholic Register for failing to be sufficiently Republican.

  3. Here's a FB comment from this morning:

    "I used to think the NRA was indestructible. Now I think God may be opening a way to crush it as a force in American political life. Thanks be to God through Christ our Lord.

    I hope the Parkland kids and enormous demographic of gun violence victims are talking to some smart lawyers about how to stomp this criminal organization to death while it is down."

    1. Yes, he really referred to victims of gun violence as an "enormous demographic." Delusional.

    2. Well, hey, Pauli, remember that in Democrat Land, the dead can vote! 😂

    3. Oh, yeah... great point!