Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Mark Shea is correct

So I guess Mark Shea has rebooted his blog Catholic and Enjoying It.  I won't be visiting it, and I'll explain why some day when I have a minute.  But while searching for Catholics and voting, I noticed this link where Mark is making it clear that in order to stop Trump, a Catholic can vote for Hillary Clinton in good faith.  Of course the Catholic can't support the myriad sins that cry out to heaven for vengeance (assuming they still do) that Hillary, and the Democrats, support.  But assuming they don't, a vote for her to stop Trump can be a valid choice.

Now there is nothing new here.  It's what the Church teaches.  It's what the American Bishops teach.  It's what they've taught since I've been Catholic. It's how Catholics should be taught when anyone representing the Church is trying to guide believers.

The problem is, this isn't what was said years ago.  Yes, in official publications Mark and others would admit the same thing, that Catholics could, in good faith, vote for the lesser of two evils.  But even then, it was made clear that the more spiritual way was to not vote at all, or vote for a more perfect candidate no matter how unlikely it was that candidate could win.  To do otherwise was almost immediately cast as a suspicious choice.

On his own blog and Facebook page, as well as the websites of others, it was more caustic.  Those Catholics, basically conservative Catholics, who argued that voting for Romney or McCain was a valid option were skinned.  Their motives and spiritual lives were questioned.  They were accused of being partisan hacks, of being tribalists, ideologues putting ideology above Church teaching, of not caring what the Church teaches, of not loving Jesus more than their party affiliation, of being hyphenated Catholics.  In short, for those who agreed then with what Mark is saying now, Mark and others presumed guilt, then accused and attacked accordingly.

I understand people can change.  That happens.  Not being perfect and always right, as I hope we realize we never are, we can change.  We can realize that we were wrong and admit it and proclaim our new understanding.  From what I can tell, from what I could see when Mark was writing about voting for Bernie, that isn't what is happening.  It's as if this has always been the case.  Why, who wouldn't get that you can vote to lessen evil (see this link for the little linguistic double step there)?  Of course you can.  How could people not accept the clear teaching of the Church and its bishops?

So the lesson here is that either the Church is right this time, or it's right when it says what I want, or conservatives are simply so evil and wicked there could be no justifiable reason to vote for one, while apart from a plethora of failures, evils and sins that cry out to heaven for vengeance, liberal Democrats are almost at one with the Gospel? I don't know.  Personally I like to get my direction from sign posts the point the same way every time, that way I don't have to guess.


  1. *checks archive* so he came back on May 11th eh?

    Hmm... well I see his usual political hackery is still afoot. It reminds me of a tweaked joke.

    "So that's your favorite child?"
    "Don't be silly, I love both my children equally!"
    "Then why do you only ever hit one of them?"

  2. Yeah, I guess. I was looking to see how many Catholics were jumping on the Democratic bandwagon. It popped up, I thought it might be his facebook page. But when I clicked, it was CAEI. I did a double-take, but I guess he brought it back up for whatever reason. Those weeks I visited his facebook page, I remember a couple visitors quipped that Mark said he was abandoning CAEI because he didn't have time to post. And yet, he was posting like mad on Facebook. Maybe he thought on that. I don't know.


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