Wednesday, June 6, 2018

"Republicans are Racists"

Mark Shea thinks that if you are a Republican, you are probably a racist. Here is how he just phrased it on his Facebook page:

Mark Shea: "Know what you call a Republican who says 'Not every Republican is a racist' and who stays mum about all the racist Republicans in his party and does not rebuke or attack them on a daily basis? A racist."

"On a daily basis", people. Let's go! You have your marching orders, just try not to goose-step.

So what is being asserted is that registering as a Republican obligates one to be an activist of sorts who, not only "rebukes" and "attacks" Republican racists, but does so on a daily basis. The assertion also assumes either that every Republican knows a Republican racist, or that we really need to dredge up this guy's name all the time. Letting alone the fact that historically the Democrats have been the slave-holders and comprise the majority of the white southern Jim Crow/segregation mafia, this is simply crazy talk. Surely there are many weaknesses which characterize the Democrats, but I would laugh at anyone who made this assertion about them or any political party.

I don't know any racist Republicans personally, but under Mark Shea's definition, every Republican I know is racist. Because the only people I know going around telling the faults of others on a daily basis are liberal Democrats. Q.E.D.

Looking at something else in the news currently, no one expects Democrats to call out #MeToo offenders like Bill Clinton for their sins on a daily basis, or they too should be considered philanderers. No serious person would say that actors and other Hollywood personnel must call out sex offenders like Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey or Bill Cosby on a daily basis or else then they too are sex offenders. That would be a mixture of moral equivalency and guilt by association that any honest partisan would have to admit was unfair.

I'm not sure why Mark Shea has gone so crazy in his political beliefs over the last two or three years. Perhaps he has breathed too long the illogic of what people are calling the New Pro-life Movement, but is really just a reheat of the "seamless garment" left-overs from the nineties. This theory states that for a person to be truly pro-life he or she is compelled to accept and promote a number of other policy positions commonly associated with the left. You must be opposed to the death penalty, object to strong border security, and favor a so-called "single-payer" health-care system among other socialistic causes to be part of the New, True, Blue Pro-life belief system, otherwise you are just a "cafeteria pro-lifer" of sorts in the mind of these New Puritans.

Where did this absurd idea come from? Many believe is was mainly constructed to give Catholics an excuse to vote Democrat. You could basically answer the people who said "Don't vote for Democrats; they're not pro-life," with "Basically no one is pro-life, because, you know, the death penalty and health-care and torture and stuff." Don't snort; it works. But wherever it came from, what it leads to is the sort of of totalistic necessitarian thinking that the left loves to impose on the other side, but never on itself. "Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.... You can kill them with this because no one can possibly obey all of their own rules," wrote Saul Alinsky. Yes, he wrote "enemy" and "kill" not "opponent" and "defeat". Thinking on the left is fundamentalist and apocalyptic with language to match.

Shea's preferred word for pro-lifers and others who don't buy into his left-leaning politics is Christianist, a term coined by the extremely paranoid Andrew Sullivan who was preaching back in 2009 that because gays were being persecuted in Uganda they would soon be herded into gas chambers by religious zealots in America. Now we have gay marriage. So... that didn't happen.

Another possibility for the decline in his reasoning ability and increased shrillness is that less people are listening to him than previously used to. He might feel like he has been left behind in the sphere of wordsmith intellectualism and has not become as successful as others. Recently he penned a piece attacking Catholic think-tanker Austin Ruse accusing him of all manner of things, justly or unjustly—I'm not really interested. But he threw in what Ruse's annual salary is along with the accusations. That seems to me to be telling of what ails the run-of-the-mill Patheos blogger.

And really it is well that he is criticizing successful Catholics and using the Sullivaneque word Christianist in his writings, because they have become so wild-eyed, so self-righteous and so bombastic with regard to his co-religionists that it only seems like a matter of time before he hires a private priest and retreats to a Catholic bunker. That would seem to be the prescription if things are really as bad as he says. Yet I often ask myself if he really believes his own allegations. Whatever the reason that Mr. Shea is so unhinged toward conservatives, his vitriol— in which one can detect the resounding echo of the pronounced verdict "deplorable"—is one of the reasons why people voted for Trump and why Jordan Peterson is so popular right now. We've had enough of the "repent and roll-over" rhetoric. If you are going to criticize me, I want to hear something solid.


  1. Don't get me started!

    I made the mistake of going over to Mark's page recently. What was I thinking? Talk about obsessed. And unhinged. And deranged. It just gets worse and worse.

    I do feel sorry for the guy, but... people of good will, people who really care about him, keep begging him to reconsider, and he. just. won't.

    Recently, someone asked him to cheese it with that "Christians do this; Christianists do that" malarkey. It's so evilly would think Mark would see this. But no. He justifies it. He glories in it.

    He is more than merely a Magisterium of One. He is now God Himself, who alone has power to separate the Christians from the Christianists. I can't even.

    Lord have mercy.

    1. It reminds me of the oft-mocked Goofus and Gallant from Highlights Magazine.

  2. It's very easy to label someone wholesale based on one attribute. Republicans also hate gays, the poor, clean air, clean water, foreigners, Muslims, etc. Then that person can easily write you off and not bother to listen to anything else you have to say, ever. So easy. So virtuous. So unopen to real discussion.

    1. Yep. I discovered this last year when I tried to discuss the issue of health care with Mark. He just kept telling me that I wanted poor people to die. Strange way to try to win an argument. That’s why I suspect that what he is mostly into is playing for the gallery.

  3. I think it's been a perfect storm of circumstance and temperament. He's always been given to rash judgment and hyperbole, and lately -- between his enemies, his boosters, political and social events, the ceaseless voice of Facebook, and his own more-or-less free choices -- he doesn't seem to be finding time for anything else.

    1. That's a good characterization, Tom. And I don't disagree with a bit of it. But it's very sensible and understated, so it doesn't really give a feel for how over-the-top he is.

      One thing he needs to look at it reflexivity, or "knee-jerks" as I've pointed out before on this blog. I'm reminded of this, forcefully, whenever I read some of his posts. For example, today he posted an article about the lack of decorum in Trump's behavior at the G7 meeting. His commentary on it is "Today's idiocy for 'prolife' Christianists to waste the next week defending instead of defending the unborn." The G7 meeting has very little to do with abortion or being pro-life. It's about his "hang-ups", or the "bees in his bonnet". Dreher's hang-up was the bishops, Shea's is the "Christianists".

  4. Today we are treated to this from Mark Shea WRT Jeff Sessions curtailing asylum for victims of domestic abuse: "More vindictive sadism to please the iron hearts of Christianist servants of Satan."


    So A) what is this supposed to convey and B) who is this supposed to convince? Why not write "Sessions is totally wrong to deny asylum to these poor people" and it would be worth considering. I mean, Hugh Hewitt replayed an interview with Sessions on the separation of parents and children at the border on his weekend show stating that the whole thing is a bad situation AND that the AG did not look good in the interview, with which I concur.

    But neither do I agree that Sessions is trying to get points for "sadism" among the the "Christianists". Mark Shea lives in the realm of the absurd.

    1. So now, if we don't toe Mark's line to the letter, we are servants of Satan??

      This is beyond unhinged.

      Trump, Pence, and Sessions live in Mark's head to a far greater extent than they do in mine (or in that of any other conservative Catholic I know). I didn't even know about this latest thing. Or about most things Mark posts about. Because, unlike him, I am not utterly obsessed with Trump.

      Mark imagined that the pro-life Christians he despises are exhausting their energies on every Trumpian burp and twitch. In truth, only Mark and his equally obsessed minions are exhausting their energies on such things. The rest of us are raising families, working for a living, and just trying to middle through.

      Lord have mercy. Mama Mia. Words fail me.

    2. Should read: imagines (present tense) and muddle through (not middle). Sorry. Paul, can you fix? Thanks so much!!

    3. Another person he is obsessed with is Fr. Frank Pavone. Fr. Pavone did something outlandish once -- it was probably wrong -- and Mark brings it up constantly.

  5. I think there are lessons here for us all:

    1. Always distinguish.

    2. Be charitable in your inferences.

    3. Use verbal tropes thoughtfully and sparingly.

    4. If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. If you can't involve yourself in some matter without overheating, excuse yourself from involvement.

    5. Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever modest, whatsoever just, whatsoever holy, whatsoever lovely, whatsoever of good fame, if there be any virtue, if any praise of discipline, think on these things. If you think only of slime, your thoughts will be slimy.

    6. It's okay to have an unexpressed thought.

    1. It's OK to have an unexpressed thought. And most of us normal people do. I'm retired, working a freelance gig, worrying about my kids, reading Trollope, and having *many* unexpressed thoughts.

      But what am I to do or say when some dude who doesn't know me from Eve explicitly states that I'm a minion of Satan, simply because I do not accept every jot and tittle of his political agenda?

      I'm sorry, Tom. This is serious. Mark's bishop needs to step in and say something. For Mark's soul's sake, if for no other reason.

    2. Here's my advice for what you are to do: Offer a short prayer for Mark, then go back to Trollope.

      If you want to effect change in Mark's behavior, I wish you well. I took all my own advice about how to do that last year and got nowhere. He was locked into the righteousness of his behavior and unconcerned with changing any minds among those he disagreed with. I'd just suggest that, in anything you might right, concede that there may be living examples of each individual behavior he condemns. He gets a lot of crackpot emails; I think he often just fails to distinguish between crackpot and non-crackpot objections to his opinions.

      It's possible Archbishop Sartain knows Mark, or at least has heard of him. I'm doubtful it's a bishop's job, even in theory, to keep track of what every Catholic in his diocese is writing online. You could try writing him directly to let him know, though I'd guess that letter would not wind up on the archbishop's desk.

    3. I would never write to anyone's bishop! Don't worry about that! I was just offering an Internet Opinion, and you know what *that's* worth.

      I do pray for Mark. But I don't try to argue with him, for precisely the reasons you mention. And I seldom visit his page. It's too disturbing.

    4. He was ... unconcerned with changing any minds among those he disagreed with.

      Odd behavior for an "apologist".

    5. I would never write to anyone's bishop!

      I don't think it is really wrong to write his Bishop. But many of the people advocating for this seem to think that if they do this then the Bishop is automatically obliged to respond or else he is in some way complicit with whatever Shea does. That is, IMHO, as stupid as anything Shea writes.

    6. He gets a lot of crackpot emails; I think he often just fails to distinguish between crackpot and non-crackpot objections to his opinions.

      And I think that it is likely that he at least sometimes conflates these purposefully. I say that mainly because I've caught myself doing the same thing. It's so much easier to tackle a straw man dressed up like Earl Campbell than the real deal.

    7. Tom, your forgot #7: Bring in the authorities when necessary. In late March, Shea was ranting about me and other members (by name) of a closed Facebook group, "Banished By Mark Shea," calling us anti-Semites who encourage murder and joke about rape. One of his Facebook friends, Juan Francisco Crespo, sent me a death threat through Facebook Messenger. I contacted the police in Shea's hometown, and provided screenshots of his behavior and a copy of the threat. A detective called me and told me he spoke to Shea; I don't know whether that was over the phone or in person.

      Shea has been indulging in incendiary rhetoric for *years* and nobody has held him accountable, except the National Catholic Register, which fired him two years ago. Last year, a senior citizen who supported Bernie Sanders and who was motivated by incendiary rhetoric nearly murdered Republican Congressmen and Senators practicing for a charity baseball game.

      With all due respect, your advice is woefully inadequate for somebody like Shea. Indeed, it almost places more guilt on the person who was offended than on Shea himself!

    8. Joe, for the record, I have no problem with Tom's advice. I think different times in the past you have overreacted to Shea and thus played into his insanity. I have done the same thing. To admit this isn't to accept more guilt, merely some guilt.

  6. But I do agree with all six of your points, Tom. A hearty amen to all of them. Especially number 6.

  7. Here's his latest:

    Why in God's name did I ever worry for one second that I had alienated the sons of bitches who are now smugly justifying the torture of children at the border as the will of God? Why did I ever spend a second of my time trying to show such monsters that I was a Catholic in good standing and up to their discriminating standards? Why in God's name should I ever care what they think about any moral, theological, or spiritual question ever again?

    I'm more Catholic than I've ever been in my life. Not a particularly *good* Catholic mind you. But a deeply convinced one. And when I look at the pack of nihilist predators--posing as better Catholics than the pope and bishops and all the saints and martyrs--spitting in the faces of the least of these and whoring after this Mob Boss as he takes children hostage for his God-damned wall I feel ashamed that I ever let this mob of devil worshippers push me around.


    This is my thing. I agree with the major premise/I disagree with the minor premise. Torturing children is wrong/no children are being tortured. Therefore what's the fuss about.

    1. Whew. Talk about intemperate language. I truly do not know how to process this.

    2. I must confess that I am utterly confused about this border mess. On the one hand, I am hearing about little kids being brutally torn from their mothers' arms, then cooped up in cages (???). On the other hand, I see actual photos and videos of the facilities where the kids are being kept. These facilities look bright, comfortable, and eminently kid-friendly, with clean, colorful bedding, spacious recreation areas (inside and out), and clearly dedicated staffers (mostly Hispanic) cooking yummy-looking hot meals. This may be "institutional" -- and who wants that? -- but it bears no resemblance to a cage. Looks more like a college dorm, but with little-kid primary colors.

      I don't know what the answer is. "Catch and Release" was a disaster. But what's the alternative? Clearly we need comprehensive immigration reform. And clearly we're not there yet. And clearly the little children are caught right in the middle. And clearly they need all the love and care and attention we can give them. And clearly we need to find a way to reunite them with their parents ASAP.

      But, just as clearly, they're not being "tortured." What possible purpose is served by such insanely inflammatory rhetoric?

      The whole situation is a tragic mess. I wish I could see what's going on, in person, because right now it seems as if both sides are being less than forthcoming. It's really hard to get straight answers or to figure out the actual situation.

    3. "I'm more Catholic than I've ever been in my life."

      Really? So Catholicism includes deliberately lying about people, engaging in constant personal attacks, distorting opposing arguments, issuing grandiose and insincere apologies, and feigning victimization when caught?

      Shea is the perfect example of defining Catholicism down to a political or sociological ideology. In that sense, he's quite in step with today's bishops and today's Vatican.

    4. To Diane's point/question on the border mess, I think the problem is that the politicians & media love the problem more than they want a solution to the problem. They'll keep the issue alive no matter what, just like the racism/sexism/homophobia/#metoo issues are kept alive. This is true on both sides of the aisle -- one side gets to crow about how tough they are, while the other gets to crow about how compassionate they are, and each gets to yell at the other 24/7.

      My guess is that the situation is not as bad as made out, as you note (the children are certainly safe and secure, much more so now than they were on the trip here). It's the legal and bureaucratic tangle is the problem, which is as they like it, as noted above.

      As far as Mark Shea goes, whatever. I am fortunate to have stayed out of his vortex so far, and I have no intention of going there now. Keep up the good work on that score, y'all.

  8. Mark Shea needs prayers badly. I don't know what the problem is, and perhaps it's nothing but the St. Saruman approach: The Left has risen in the East and it's time for all smart Christians who wouldn't be targeted by the Left to jump on board. But whatever, he embraces or at best ignores the evils of the Left, including its racism, bigotry and even its sins that cry out to heaven for vengeance. Often he does this through calumny, judgmentalism, and character assassination. All sins. So a hot mess to be sure, but a child of God who desperately needs prayers.

  9. Here's another one from today:

    So all those conservative Catholics who spent months and months freaking out about a footnote in Amoris Laetitia and *anguishing*--ANGUISHING!!!! I TELL YOU--over a pope who just does not care about the integrity of the family...

    So where are those people now that their god king has torn apart thousands of families at the border and the pope has loudly condemned it?

    You know, the ones who have spent years saying that human rights come from God and not from the generosity of the state?
    Where are those guys? The prolife ones who say that those shredded families have it coming because rules are rules?

    How do they sleep at night? How do they go on strutting around and telling the rest of the Church that they are the Real Catholics, pointing fingers, putting on their paper mitres, and issuing their combox excommunications?

    More classic strawman work. Wow, look at how easily he knocks them down!

    I don't point fingers, strut, tell people "I am the Real Catholic here," or put on a paper mitre. And I don't know anyone on the right who does.

    OTOH, the combox excommunication reference is pure projection. That is Shea's thing, banning people who he gets irritated with.

    1. Especially weird as I am given to understand, wasn't a lot of the people bringing up problems with Amoris Laetitia not American but Catholics from other countries?

  10. Now Mark is lauding and praising the restaurant that refused to serve Sarah Sanders.

    How can anyone defend this?? Much less try to explain it away?

    Utter insanity. Cannot even process.

    1. Hilarious that he was lol-ing about the 3 weeks of reservations the place had. Now the news is that these were all fake reservations. Some idiot threw chicken poop at the place today -- the whole thing is a mess but the owners started it. Now Sanders has Secret Service protection until everything blows over.

  11. Here is Mark Shea's latest rant:

    Yesterday's logic: If you supported Hillary Clinton for any reason, even one approved by Cardinal Ratzinger, you have BLOOD ON YOUR HANDS AND YOU *ARE* GOING TO HELL!!!!

    Today's logic: Just because somebody works for the Trump Administration does not mean they are somehow responsible or share in guilt for something he may or may not have supposedly done to "children" allegedly "taken from their parents" and so-called "jailed". Let quit the hysterics, people!

    Here are my comments:
    1) I never said no one could support Hillary Clinton without being subject to hellfire,
    2) I never heard anyone on the right say this,
    3) I do remember hearing the opposite of this, provided you are a woman you must vote for Hillary or go to hell. It is assumed that the men are all going there anyway.

    Simply put, Mark Shea is a frequent user of extremist rhetoric.

  12. And now Mark has joined the chorus of rabid leftist crazies who are claiming that *Trump* is responsible for the Annapolis shooting.

    Never mind that the killer had been carrying on a deranged vendetta against the Gazette since *before 2012* -- long before the Trump presidency -- when he actually *sued* the paper. Never mind that the killer *isn't even registered to vote.* (Kinda hard to be a True TrumpBot Political Ideologue when you're not even registered to vote. I mean, isn't that the very definition of Political Apathy?) Never mind that the killer's beef with the Gazette had absolutely nothing -- nichts, nada, niente -- to do with politics. Never mind that several Gazette journos had been warning the police for *years* that this dude was a ticking-time-bomb psycho who had repeatedly threatened their lives...and the police did nothing. Never mind all that. Trump said Something Mean about contemporary American mainstream journalism; therefore, in Mark's mind, Trump is responsible for this shooting.

    Has Mark even peped about Maxine Waters' much more incendiary language, exhorting her supporters to physically confront Republicans and drive them out of public places? I don't know; haven't checked; but somehow I doubt it.

    Next time some crazy leftist shoots up a Republican softball game, it sure won't be Mad Maxine's fault, will it? Not according to Mark, anyway.

    But, because Trump has referred to the leftist media as "fake news" and "enemies of the people," that means he is responsible for nutcases shooting up newspaper offices.

    Got it, Mark. Got it.

    Can the Loony Left get any loonier?

  13. "peped" should be "peeped." I was not alluding to green frogs with red lips.

  14. Here's the latest comment:

    Jesus asked, "Who of you, when your child asks for water, would hand him a stone instead?"

    And the Christianist raised his hand and said, "Totally me. Water is not a right. People should just get a bucket. Also, cops should shoot people stealing water with buckets."