|No other observation describes Mark Shea better|
One of those things is to go back to the page called Sheavings, and read over some old articles that were crucial to our becoming Catholic. I know. I'm not Catholic. No, I'm not. Someday I might go into detail about how that happened, and how Mark Shea became one of two people who symbolize why we left the Catholic Church.
Yes, it's true. As much as Mark ushered us in, he was also a reason we left. Not for why you're thinking. I admit that I was probably treated worse by Mark and his readers than by anyone else ever in my life. Given the deplorable level of sin, idiocy, and infantile raging that characterizes his social media sites, I'm sure I'm not the only one to make the claim.
That's why I am no longer going to his social media sites, anymore than I would some white supremacist, or ISIS, or other hate group's sites. For what is Mark other than some half-baked cult figure of hate and sin, spewing lies and slander in service of heresy, blasphemy, and defending, advocating or downplaying intrinsic evils and mortal sins that cry out to heaven for vengeance? How is he different than any such cult member? The only difference is that his followers are not cultists themselves, but see in Mark a useful fool and liar who does their dirty work in service to their lust for a Leftist tyranny of oppression, bigotry and the persecution of Christ's people.
But that's not why I left. I could simply have stopped going there. I wouldn't leave a faith tradition over something that stupid. But he does symbolize something that explains why we - except my oldest son - are now Orthodox.
Now, the reasons for Mark's fall into the dark side are beyond my scope. Whether some bi-polar passive aggression, or an emotional or physiological imbalance is anyone's guess. Whether he lacks conviction and must believe he is always perfectly in line with God and everyone in his group is perfect, or whether like Saruman, he can see where the winds are blowing and lacks the courage to stand up to them, I can't say. All I know is what happened.
|One of Mark's sources, linked from Reddit; a standard lame Leftist image|
illustrating the Left's own bigotries and intolerance and how far Mark has fallen
Imagine saying, "You insist Jews must be exterminated, and I'll never change your mind. But let's you and me get together and go after that rotten FDR." That's about what Mark has told his own readers when it comes to his aligning with them, no matter what they advocate, in order to destroy non-conformers to the modern Left. Again, heresy, blasphemy, mortal sin, and in a way more aligned to a cult leader than an apologist. That's why I won't go back. I've informed those who send me emails or links or screenshots of the sin and madness of Mark that I'll certainly respond to them, but I'll no longer post on him or follow any links there. His sites are altogether unclean.
But there is Sheavings. One thing I noticed was that every now and then, Mark would post some pleasant article talking about the Faith, the Bible, and not even bring up the eternal evils of conservatives and conservatism. Then I realized something. Those were often old, recycled articles from years gone by. It was those that I read with my wife all those years ago as we secretly looked at becoming Catholic.
True, Mark was never a pro theologian or scholar, but that's OK. He had an easy way, a wink and a nod, and a good way of explaining misconceptions about Catholicism that any and all Protestant readers would understand. Back then, most of his attention was aimed at Protestants who missed the facts about Catholicism, while also informing Catholics about what Protestants can bring to a table. That and defending Christian morals and heritage against obvious enemies.
I've decided to go back there and read. At least things written before around 2008. It was sometime between then and 2010 that the demons began swarming. I don't know if the bat crazy monkey zoo of his spilled onto his articles in later years. But why chance it? Instead, I'll go back and read what was edifying and pray for his soul in the meantime.
It's not all there, alas. Just as it looks like he pulled his post about Soros (I could be wrong, but I've not found it since I pasted it), he's pulled some of his old articles. For instance, he had a rousing post-9/11 defense of America against the obvious threats of an aggressive, and growing Islamic movement titled Why We Must Fight:
The title is obviously a little nod to Frank Capra's series of films produced during WWII titled Why We Fight. In it, he laid out a very strong case for why action - including military - was needed to stop this clear threat, if not for us, then for our posterity. I've not been able to find it anywhere. The link goes to a generic page. Also he had another one (can't remember the title) in which he made clear the distinction between a Christian analysis of the sins of America's past, and an ungodly and sinful use of past sins for dark and evil purposes more in line with Orwellian styled Stalinism. Again, can't find it anywhere.
Nonetheless, deleted articles aside, that's the plan. I do pray for Mark, he needs it. Like anyone awash in sin, you pray for him. He's beyond reason at this point (see Sowell's tweet above), but with God all things are possible. In doing this, I'll remember some of his better points, and some of those things which did tweak our thinking and make it easier to come into the Church, even if it ended by setting up our departure. I'll also remember that there was a time before Mark became the thing he is today: a useful tool not only of Leftists who hate and desire an end to the Faith, but also I fear of the principalities and powers, the rulers of this present darkness, and the spirits of wickedness in the high places that he thinks he is so passionately fighting against.
You need to realize a few things about Shea once and for all:ReplyDelete
Shea was always in "the dark side". His entire Catholic shtick was all about glorifying his own need to be seen as "smart" "wise" and deeply intellectual. He never really believed any of it. He only needed people to believe that - he believed.
In the beginning, he was a "large" fish in the small burgeoning pond of Catholic apologetics. It was the perfect venue for an insecure loud-mouthed nobody who always needed to be "somebody". Plus - it was better than actually working at a real job. But then it became crowded - with people who WERE actually sincere about it - and who WERE intelligent and original. And they stole the market. And Shea struggled to peddle his wares. And then around 2004 Shea quietly (and shamefully) was forced to declare bankruptcy. And then BOOM! just like that - he suddenly and mysteriously started to attack the evil "NeoCons" with the hottest Leftist topic of the day- the dreaded *gasp* torture debate of "waterboarding". And why? Simple: Shea saw his debt collectors as the embodiment of the evil greedy suit-wearing Wall Street NeoCons who were out to cause his ruin. After all - it's much easier to start a new proud Crusade against political evil-doers than to be humbled by your own dishonesty, incompetence, and sloth. And thus - the new delusional Shea of the ever-radical Left was born.
Also - Shea's brilliant insights were ALWAYS largely borrowed from the greats like Chesterton. Or even Chesterton's protege like Fulton Sheen, or C.S.Lewis. Plus - he occasionally cribbed from Protestant thinkers, who originally cribbed from people like Aquinas - such was the case with the whole "Sin makes you stupid" meme that Shea passed off as his own original thought. Shea only simplified these stolen bits of wisdom and repackaged them in his own verbiage.
And finally - you could plug Shea into ANY religion, philosophy, or political paradigm and over time, he would always end up reacting the same way: ie alienating his original base, pissing off everyone around him when his unoriginal shtick became prosaic and the market became crowded, and ultimately wearing people out with his deep seated need to be "unique" and exceptional by merely being an adolescent punk-ass contrarian. Which IS his default (and REAL) personality. The rest was just the standard coping mechanism of "acting" like a nice guy in order to ingratiate himself to everyone. Something Shea learned well when he was the proverbial fat kid getting bullied in the schoolyard.
You see - the problem here is that your "conversion" into Catholicism was far too invested in the personality that most strongly represented what you thought "Catholicism" was at the time. And the sooner you realize that Shea has always been a headcase of a charlatan - the sooner you'll start to shake the dust of that loud-mouthed mental case from your sandals.
So for God-sake, start looking at Shea with clear eyes - and laugh at the joke he's always been.
You could be right. It would certainly explain things. It doesn’t quite account for his radical shift to the Left and his condemning so many things he once praised and defending or even embracing so many things he once condemned. But his general demeanor, his behavior, his lies and slander and hypocrisy? Those could just be what he always was, but it was more convenient to keep them under a bushel. But for us, it wasn’t so much Mark as much as his writings that helped make Catholicism approachable. If you converted as an adult, you’ll know the ease of becoming Catholic depends largely on where you’re located. For us, it wasn’t easy, and Mark was one of the bridges by way of how he wrote from a convert’s POV. Remember, whatever he really was as a person, his persona was one of more traditional, mature, descent and restrained 15 years ago than now. It’s like saying daytime talk show and thinking of Dick Cavett when kids today think of Jerry Springer. But as I said, someday when I have the time I’ll go over what I mean when I talk of Mark’s, and other’s, symbolic role played in us becoming Catholic and then moving beyond.Delete
Oh please!! This absurd contention that Mark Shea represents Catholicism is pure special pleading. I know Orthodox -- both cradles and converts -- who make Mark look like Steve Bannon. Including gay Orthodox in same-sex marriage so who routinely take Communion at their GOA and OCA parishes...and yes, their pastor ***knows.***Delete
Please, enough with the invidious comparisons and intellectual dishonesty. Things really *are* tough all over. And refusal to recognize this leads to the grave sims of calumny and schism.
It seems I cannot Google Mark Shea these days without coming up with your tendentious Catholic-bashing, which is completely detached from empirical reality. Lord have mercy!! Our Lady of Lourdes, protect us!
Missed this one. Again, I never said Mark is Catholicism. I said that for a person who does and says the things he does in the name of the Catholic Faith as a paid, professional apologist, he gets far too much support from religious, parishes, and other Catholic outlets. I'm sure there are sinners in other traditions. I'd wager they're everywhere. In fact, anywhere I go there's at least one sinner in a Church. And that goes for this or that priest (I could go off on this or that Catholic priest just the same). That's not the point. The point is when a person engages in things in the manner of Mark in a consistent and persistent way, and continues to be affirmed by a significant number of individuals and outlets (or otherwise ignored just the same), that's telling. Constantly insisting that 'everyone else is as bad as us', BTW, isn't the best defense in any circumstance.Delete
Please excuse typos. Should say "same-sex marriages" (plural; no "so"). And "sims" should obviously be "sins."ReplyDelete
But really... please! Stop using Mark as an excuse. *Enough* with the slanderous nonsense that he is representative of the Catholic Church!!
I have been Catholic most of my life. I have attended Mass all over the world. I have belonged to countless parishes all over America. I can safely assure you that 99.99% of Catholics have never even *heard* of Mark Shea. Much less identified with his views!
So please...enough with the Catholic-Bashing Calumny! We papists may have many issues (as does Orthodoxy BTW, big-time)
...but rampant Sheavism ain't one of them.
If you'll notice, this post is over a month old. I no longer go to Mark's sites. I tried to get out the message of his danger to others and himself. He banned me, so no reaching him. And I did my duty relative to others. I simply no longer care to waste further time. I still see too many religious, priests, deacons and others visiting his site or referencing him, too many parishes or Catholic outlets inviting him to speak - one is too many - for it to be just 'no big deal.' Have I ever said all Catholics follow him, or he represents the Church? No. I say it's a problem that someone of his caliber and yet his actions continues to be affirmed by those in the position to do something about him. Protestants may have had their Fred Phelps, but once made aware of him, almost everyone (everyone I heard of) distanced themselves by a mile until he was altogether shunned. And yes, in my years as a Catholic, I was only at a few parishes, but in those I met others who knew of and listened to Mark. So you might be the lucky one.Delete
Nonetheless, again, I'm through with him, as this post makes clear. I will still look for old articles back when he wasn't, IMHO, over the edge (at Sheavings). But that's it. Some still send me things of his, but I no longer look for or visit his contributions, finding them bad for the soul. If someone is warned from getting wrapped up in him by what I did, I'll consider it to have been worth the effort. But that effort is done. That's all I have to say really.
I’ll speculate on his transformation. He loves his children who grew up in Seattle. As they become adults I would guess they adopted extreme leftist ideology and felt they couldn’t remain Catholic. In his effort to convince them that leftists could be faithful Catholics, he quickly became one. Total speculation, but I’ll bet he did it out of love for his kids.ReplyDelete