I remember….

…when I actually had Catholics furious at me for pointing out that Glenn Beck was an unstable “rodeo clown” (as he described himself) and that anybody who ran after that guy or regarded him as some sort of deep thinker or reliable teacher was a fool. I actually lost readers over that proposition because, doncha know, Beck “had the courage to say what our bishops wouldn’t etc. blah blah”. Incredibly, Catholics took that guy seriously.

So, Beck suckers, here’s your prophet urging you to pretend there is such a thing as gay “marriage”. And seriously suggesting that gay “marriage” is not going to be a staging platform for an assault on the church.

Meanwhile, Cardinal George goes on saying what the Church has always said about the ontological impossibility of gay “marriage”.

Just stick with the Church’s teaching and learn that. Don’t fall for the notion that the Conservative (or Progressive) Infotainment Complex is interested in helping you learn truth. They are there to sell you beer and shampoo, make you into cattle, and stampede you where they want you to go. God respects you. The Political Infotainment Complex regards you as food.

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  • justin n.

    Yes, yes, and yes. So glad to hear you point this out! ;-).

  • Sean O

    You may have lost readers. You did not lose thinkers.

    • Justin N.

      Absolutely! Personally, I think that the biggest problem in the Church today is a lack of thoughtfulness. People, even the (what I like to call) “Otherwise Orthodox” Catholics, tend to form a sub-Catholic group mentality, often aligned with things that are not necessarily Catholic. Deviation from this “cult” is unacceptable. They are unwilling to think a bit. Loose the readers; keep the thinkers.

  • Raul De La Garza III

    “The question is not whether gay people should be married or not. The question is why is the government involved in our marriage?”

    To consider this question is to actually think. Our federal system was never designed to determine this type of question. Our Union in its formation assumed that the states would be free to determine this for the citizens within her jurisdiction. A simple reading of the Constitution and her amendments should inform on this easily. The same with abortion.

    Both issues, ‘gay marriage’ and abortion are matters which should be determined by the individual states and by the citizens which reside in them. Neither are a federal matter and this is by design. Right or wrong (and I believe both to be the latter as I believe Mr. Beck also does), these are issues which rightly belong to the states. In fact, the matter of abortion should inform all citizens of the Union of what we get when we allow the federal government the right to determine what will and will not be on a matter that should never have gotten to that level.

    • Bill

      This isn’t a matter of federalism or states’ rights. It’s a matter of error having no rights.

      It’s all relativistic tyranny if it comes from the federal government or the state governments.

      The Left worships themselves and a Whiggish view of the world. The Right worships the Enlightenment.

      • Raul De La Garza III

        Ugh. You’ve missed the point entirely. A matter of error having no rights? Do you really want to go down that path in these United States where even error and truth have become debatable? [sarcasm]Last I checked error was not a citizen of the Union.[/sarcasm] We live in a fallen world and this was recognized by the men who worked hard to form our political system in the 18th century. Hence the tenth amendment. This is what is and we would do well to work within this system in order to best serve our neighbors in our respective states.

        That being stated, what is needed, of course, is the Gospel, first and foremost, and its preaching from one end of the Union to the other.

      • Truth has no rights either. Rights adhere to people, not to abstract constructs that are meaningless without a soul to believe and advocate them. You’re missing the point that human beings are the crown of creation.

        • ivan_the_mad

          “[E]rror has no rights” is an established shorthand referencing ideas spread out across several encyclicals. No need for pedantry.

        • DTMcCameron

          Mightn’t you be exalting the creature of the Creator?

          • DTMcCameron

            Sorry, meant to say “over.”

  • I’m holding out for beer I can wash my hair with and shampoo I can drink. Obama should come out and challenge the country to achieve these by the end of the decade — it would be his “Kennedy moment” (and a lot better than what he will do, sadly).

  • tz

    So you accept that Uncle Sam, Levithan, Caesar gets to define marriage?

    If you go beyond, you find that Penn is advocating that the state not define at all, “he doesn’t feel like the government needed to be involved”. On what basis do Catholics (who seem to accept the Protestant definition of marriage today, though I do not know on what basis) impose their ideas on Pagans? Or Atheists? Just as insisting that Levithan provide health care – then get upset when Levithan includes contraception, insisting that Levithan control this sacrament profanes it and can only result in abuse. Is marriage a sacrament or MERELY a civil contract? Is it to be rendered to God or Caesar? Is it a holy thing or can it be given to dogs, cast before swine?

    Meanwhile, we are busy defining marriage as serial polygamy, writing Henry VIII’s definition – after all, he married a woman each time – into the law. Nothing to lose our head over as St. Thomas More did.

    I would rather have the law state no one can force anyone to recognize any marriage, but also let the church write “till death do us part” contracts, that made marriage harder to get out of than student loan debt. Then the church could insist on such a contract as a condition of being married in a Catholic church by a priest.

    We give up the 50% divorce rate and treat no-fault divorce as acceptable for the 0.5% at most of silly people who would claim they are married although they are of the same sex. They can equally claim they are tea-kettles.

  • Consistency

    You mean he has the same position as Ron Paul? That the government shouldn’t be involved. Your commentary is clearly misleading and I don’t even like Beck.

    • Mark Shea

      And if I said Ron Paul’s view is to be preferred to the Church, which urges us to oppose gay “marriage” you’d have a real point.

      • Well then, I’ll chime in. It seems that you’ll give Ron Paul the pass, while you’ll excoriate any other Republican. It’s true that Ron Paul is an isolationist and doesn’t support torture. Those are two positive attributes of the man. However, Ron Paul will vote against pro-life legislation if in his view, it opposes an originalist/libertarian view of the Constitution. Any other Republican would get a Mark Shea trashing, even if the non-Paul Republican offered the same intentions.

        It’s not that I want Ron Paul knocked down, even though he seems to have had a cult of his own. The point here is that the libertarian view of marriage, in effect, denies that there are incorrect views on the definition of marriage. Neither the cult of Beck nor the cult of Paul are reliable defenders on marriage.

        Mark, when you go after libertarians for an ideology that is only one generation deep (i.e. an ideology without children), you are correct. And libertarianism is an ideology that conservative Catholics are very susceptible to fall into (I’ve seen the shift from conservative to libertarian more than once). If a conservative Catholic opposes CST, it’s likely because he shares libertarian views on economics.

        • Mark Shea


          You seem to think you’ll get an argument from me. I hold no brief for Paul’s take on marriage.

          • Actually, Mark, it’s not your Catholicism that I find curious (I assume that you earnestly try to be obedient to the Magisterium), but rather the crusades against certain individuals and the lack of crusades against other individuals.

            This has been a long standing disagreement between us. And I fault myself for failing to articulate this properly. I don’t want you to “go after” Paul any more than I want you to “go after” Beck. I cringe at the implication that Beck is a ritually impure source, while Paul is not. It seems to me that Beck has become this thing, “the cult of Beck,” that is to be avoided, while Paul is this lovable guy (and I love Paul too).

            I guess that this is a sort of pleading to attack the idea, rather than the person. I hold no brief for Beck’s ideas and never did (when you first attacked him, I barely knew the man beyond his name). You seem to impress your judgment of Beck as a man upon me, rather than letting me judge the man for myself. I would prefer one hundred posts, “Beck is wrong again” over one post on “that fool Beck whom Catholics shouldn’t follow.”

            Perhaps I’m sensitive to this because of the sneering by other people who contributed to my falling away from Catholicism: “You believe them!?” Indeed, my return to the Church could not have happened unless I had rejected the sources in which I trusted, and relied on my own personal vetting of trustworthy sources. “Whom should I trust?” seems too critical a question to leave to others in these skeptical days.