Skip to comments.Who Is Mark Shea Talking About?
Posted on 10/20/2010 9:46:38 AM PDT by Alex Murphy
After several posts by Mark Shea on the subject of conservatism, I must admit I dont like those conservative Catholics very much. Anyway, at least how Mark Shea describes them. Fortunately, I havent met very many who fit Marks description. And I think I would have run into them, for I am a conservative Catholic.
I wont go point for point with Mark on this as he has so many points it would be rather pointless. A snippet then. Mark says things like:
But when alleged conservative Catholics tell me that they would rather get their social teaching from a talking hairdo on FOX than from the bishops, when they tell me that it is moralistic not to be willing to put your soul at risk of the fires of hell by committing what used to be called war crimes, when they make excuses for buffoons who think saluting the brave idealists of the Waffen SS with their sons is a sure fire indication of sound judgmentand that any criticism of this makes one vehemently suspect of heresy and a traitor to the FaithI can only say that the Right is becoming as mindlessly ideological as the Left. And ideology is not the Faith.So Catholics who also call themselves Catholic willingly admit that they would rather get their social teaching from a talking hairdo on FOX. Truth is, I dont know these people. I know lots and lots of Catholics of a conservative political bent, and I dont know anyone who puts Glenn Beck or any other host ahead of the Bishops. Not one.
Now obviously there are kooks out there I cant speak for every person who call himself Catholic conservative (neither can Mark btw), but that is not any of the Catholic conservatives I know.
(Excerpt) Read more at ncregister.com ...
....My name is Patrick. I am a Catholic. I call myself a conservative. I put my Church first and my party about 108th. I prefer small government because I believe it protects our God given liberties, including our religious liberties, best. I believe in the Constitution. Not because it is a document handed on from on high but because it was written by men who understood what dastardly deeds of which men with power are capable. Moreover, I support the Constitution because it is the arrangement to which we all agreed. Until that changes, it should still apply, no?
I believe in free enterprise, not because I hate poor people, but because I think that it offers the best chance at prosperity for the most people. Does it eliminate inequity? Surely not. However, all the other systems I have seen tried produce even more inequity or even worse. So free enterprise seems like the best idea.
I believe in a strong defense, but a strong defense that never subjugates the dignity of any individual to a greater good. No ifs, ands, or buts. No way. No how.
Related Mark Shea-authored threads:
Capitalism, Colossians and the Miller Brewing Company
The Perspicuity of Scripture and Other Creation Myths
The Semi-Permeable Membranes of the Various Protestantisms [2009 thread]
The Semi-Permeable Membranes of the Various Protestantisms [2010 repost]
Big Laws and Small Laws [Mark Shea on "Nanny Staters" vs the "Right Wing Noise Machine"]
Mark Shea is speaking to stereotypes in his own mind.
I know Catholics like him. They believe, first and foremost, but they really, really want to be Democrats. They know they can’t, because they do believe, but as a result, they spend their lives trying to show that conservatives are just as morally bankrupt as dems (or those that support abortion etc.)
It seems to me that Mark Shea resents the fact that he can’t be a dem, so he will demonize conservatives to make himself feel better.
From the article: "I sometimes grow weary of the broad brush and using combox kooks to prove your point. It really doesnt. Really." Well that's a truth worth sharing around here...
But best of all:
I dont watch Glenn Beck and I cant watch Bill OReilly for fear of throwing something at my television.
PREACH IT BROTHER!
It seems to me that Mark Shea resents the fact that he cant be a dem, so he will demonize conservatives to make himself feel better.
IMO that's a pretty good description of any number of Catholics that I know.
I stopped reading Mark Shea about a year ago when he seemed to lose a nut and bolt over the issue of waterboarding. He simply can’t talk about anything else, and it’s in this quote. His comment about war crimes is referring to conservative Catholics who believe waterboarding is a legitimate means of interrogation. From that he is extrapolating to a whole host of other issues.
I think the comment below, about Mark wanting to be a Democrat, but not being able to because he does believe in the teachings of Christ, is spot on. I never could put into words what made me skeptical about him, but that’s it in a nutshell.
First, I think this Register writer, Pat Archbold, is correct: Shea is arguing against a conservative strawman. No such person (or to be safe, let me say, very few such persons) as described by Shea actually exist. However, he finds it useful to construct Mr. Omnium Gatherum Errorum in order to provide a focus for his argument: namely,that we shouldn't take any ideology (whether it's from the conservative forums or factions or parties or pundits---"the Talking Hairdo of Fox")-- as a substitue for Catholic Faith and Morals.
(N.B. He gives this treatment to the Catholic Left, too.)
Second, why does he persist in constructing and then knocking down Straw Men (he does it lots)? I think it's because (1) he doesn't want to call out anybody in the Catholic blogosphere by name and start a one-on-one feud; (2) he doesn't want to commit the sin of rash judgment or detraction by imputing extreme positions to someone who really isn't that extreme; but (3) he enjoys refuting extreme positions because he prefers the huge swinging haymaker whomp to the short precise jabs of an accurate point-by-point argument.
So therefore he makes up this AwfulPerson ("saluting the brave idealists of the Waffen SS?" Really?) and then takes his exhilarating roundhouse punch.
Do I think that's a good way to argue? No. It might work in writing a deliberately ludicrous parody, but not in a column where you're allegedly characterizing a huge complex group known as "conbservatives" (or "conservative Catholics.")
Should he be corrected for this fault? Yes. He should hear it, above all, from his friends. His best writing is much more thoughtful and skillful than this, and he knows better.
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