I can be an insensitive jerk. Yesterday, I posted a snarky comment about Obama’s drone strikes and linked it to Boston.

Too soon. I resented it when jerks jumped on Newtown to score political points. So I shouldn’t have posted what I did. Mea culpa. The post is gone. I’m sorry. God love Boston.

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"Forfeiting the Right to Life"
The Murder of Innocents
  • Joseph

    It’s normal in our fallen state to allow anger and frustration to manifest itself in the form of tarring, blaming, or pointing out ironies of other people in situations like these. It’s not like the Obama people restrained themselves from the kneejerk reaction to instantly blame so-called *right-wing* extremists and perpetuate that unsubstantiated allegation as far as Ireland or anything (at the same rate, the Foxists were quick to blame the mystery mooslem boogey men and the conspiracy theorists were quick to blame the gov’t for a false flag).

    But, what’s important is that we don’t try to beat them at their own game. That’s a road that leads to bad places.

    • Rosemarie


      Actually, I didn’t hear anyone on Fox News instantly blame Muslims. There were discussions over whether the evidence points to Al Qaida or some domestic (non-Muslim) terrorists, giving pros and cons for each side. On Wednesday afternoon, when the news broke that they had footage of possible suspects, I was switching between Fox and CNN. Only CNN mentioned that one of the possible suspects had “dark skin”; Fox did not mention the skin tone. If Fox were somehow keen on pinning this on Muslims you’d think they’d jump on that detail.

      • Rosemarie

        (Incidentally, it turns out the suspects, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, are Chechen Muslims. Though neither one appears to have dark skin. Guess they got that wrong.)

        • Bob_the_other

          Actually, quite a few Muslims do not have dark skins. Ethnically, quite a number of Afghans and North Indians are products of the Aryan migration, and probably more white-skinned than say some Spaniards or “Black Irish”. And likewise, some of the Afghanis and North Indians have green or blue eyes and blond-hair.* As Chesterton remarks in many places, this is what shows up the real stupidity of racialist theories, that most “races” are really the admixtures several times over of a whole host of previous races.

          As to the original post. I also saw it, reposted and/or liked it, and then deleted it from my Facebook feed since I thought it was insensitive at this time.

          * And, one might remark, haven’t the remotest interest in blowing people up or being blown up.

  • http://davidgriffey.blogspot.com/ Dave G.

    Well done. And thumbs up for the choice. I didn’t care for the post itself, and many of the comments suggested it started out on the wrong path. Nicely done, and hardly the sort of honesty one gets from ‘insensitive jerks’.

  • Ronald King

    You did great with Jem yesterday!

  • http://www.patheos.com Amy

    At least you, Mark, can with humility say I am sorry, and you will be reminded by the prompting of the Holy Spirit to guard your words. God bless you. I pray that the news media, Congress, Government leaders who use their positions as a pulpit will recognize the faulty words and judgments they hand out actually scourge, crown and nail Our Lord Jesus to the Cross. I pray that we can all recognize that in ourselves and say, “NO MORE do I Want to hurt MY JESUS!

  • Blog Goliard

    Well done, Mark.

  • http://reluctantliberal.wordpress.com Reluctant Liberal

    I went back and looked at the post you wrote (it’s still on my reader feed). It is a bit snarky, which is uncalled for. At the same time, though, I also think it is a valid point, and one that Americans need to hear. The tragedy of the Boston Marathon is a tragedy that our government routinely visits on the people of Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, and Somalia. Blood spilled cries to heaven for redress. Seeing an injustice and letting it pass unremarked upon is every bit as political as commenting on that injustice.

    The idea that these tragedies are unavoidable, exclusively personal, and devoid of context is simply wrong. It shrinks from delivering the Gospel message, which is love, truth, and justice. From Luke 13:

    “Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. 2 Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? 3 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. 4 Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”

    I am very saddened that you regret all of what you wrote yesterday.

    • Mark Shea

      I regret the timing, not the point. The first thing you do with people in pain is ease their pain, not scold them and not urge those who are not in pain to join you on a soapbox, but help the suffering. So: mea culpa.

      • Psy

        “I regret the timing, not the point.”

        I don’t disagree with the point. I saw the title and decided not to read the posting, I have friends who run in the Boston Marathon. They both planed on running this year and I don’t know if they went. A 54 year old local man and a girl in California who was in the last Olympics.

        • Mark Shea

          God protect them through Christ our Lord and their guardian angels.

          • Psy

            Thank you Mark.

      • Psy

        “scold them”

        Do people actually listen or take you seriously when you scold them?

        • Mark Shea

          Me personally or the generic “you”. If you mean me personally, I don’t know. I guess some do since I have a whole Facebook group devoted specifically to hating me, as well as a couple of stalkers who go around the internet invading comboxes to ring the changes on variations of “You know, your mention of X reminds me of how much I detest Mark Shea. Let me tell you about it…” :)

          • Psy

            Perhaps I should of rephrased the question in the form of do you listen or pay attention to those who try to scold you? I realize it seems to be part of the Catholic style or culture.
            “I guess some do since I have a whole Facebook group devoted specifically to hating me”
            That sounds like a sign of success and notoriety, but we both know the internet is no place for the thin skinned. Though we disagree on many things I think we would get along great in the real world as I do appreciate the way you have presented things that we do agree on

            • Mark Shea

              There are certain people I listen to very carefully when they criticize me, for the simple reason that I respect their opinion. But no, I don’t lose any sleep over the hatred of lunatics.

              Yeah, I expect we’d like each other’s company. Us Washingtonians gotta stick together. If you ever pop up to Seattle, let me know and I’ll have some coffee with you.

              • Psy

                I don’t get up that way very often, but yeah, I’ll email you if or when I head that way.

                • Mark Shea

                  Sounds good.

  • http://revertedxer.blogspot.com Gen X Revert

    I like that you apologize for posts or comments upon reflection. It is so Christian yet so rare on blogs.

  • Jamie R

    I can’t think of a more timely opportunity to talk about the evil of blowing up kids than when people who blow up kids are talking about how evil other people are for blowing up kids.

    • Psy

      I don’t agree, its happened to me with statewide media involving a car accident caused by a driver who passed out while driving on drugs. My kids were airlifted to the trauma-center in Seattle both with broken backs and not sure if my son was going to survive. The hospital was flooded with phone calls from the media and everyone from our hometown wanting to know more, the last thing on my mind was talking to anyone and I didn’t know anymore then they did. After about a week up at the hospital my daughter agreed to talk to one newspaper and went off on a great rant about idiots driving on drugs. That’s when the media got what they wanted to hear and that was the end of it.

      Just a few years back my cousins lost their son in the middle east and it went national, TV, newspapers, phone call after phone call, reporter showing up while we where trying to gather just family and friends at their home.
      Let them grieve and speak for themselves if or when they are ready. Its just messing with other peoples lives as if they were just pawns for you to exploit.

      • Psy

        Mark I hesitate to post this link and feel free to delete it at your own judgement as I’m being hypocritical in posting this link. The father of the girl is a priest at a local church and his family are some of the nicest people i know. In almost 30 years I’ve never heard them say an unkind word about anyone. I also admire that he could talk to a camera under these circumstances.


  • enness

    I do, however, look forward to your take on his suddenly getting religion, now that he’s opened his big fat mouth.

    • Mark Shea

      I don’t know what you mean.

    • Psy

      I’m not sure who or what your post is directed at but I can give you my take. I understand Mark has to keep his readership interested and somewhat appeal to them while trying to stay in the guidelines of the Church. That’s compounded by having to do it daily.
      As far as “getting religion” I hear from the media in general is a lot of talk about families and children and what I see instead is a political agenda prepared to throw them under the bus. Many of my friends and relieves have are post Christians and Catholics that now rarely attend church as its less about family than politics.

      • Mark Shea

        I don’t get this. Sure cyber-Catholicism (i.e. the blogosphere) is about politics. But at Mass? Bah! It is almost never mentioned. Also never mentioned are the fabled “Catholic obsessions” with abortion, gay marriage, divorce and all the other pelvic issues. Anybody who says they got sick of constantly hearing about them from the pulpit is a liar or defines “constantly” as “at the one sermon a year I hear”. Priests hate talking about it and you have to drag it out of them. They also, by the way, absolutely hate having to talk about money.

        • Psy

          I’m sure it can vary from church to church to some degree, I have a Catholic friend in Maine who quit going saying if he wanted to hear about gays he’d go to a bar and ask them. I know many who were offend by some Cardinal or some other label telling them them to vote for church doctrine.
          “Sure cyber-Catholicism (i.e. the blogosphere) is about politics.”
          Thanks for explaining that, I appreciate you patience and I have gained a better understanding of Catholicism reading your blogs.

          • Mark Shea

            I suppose if you get stuck in a small remote parish with a priest who perseverates on some issue that might happen. But I’ve been all over the English speaking world and can confidently say that it is simply false that you hear much about the pelvic issues from the pulpit. That’s one of the reasons I know Michael Moore is completely full of shit when he says he is sick of listening to homilies about people’s sex lives. It’s the dead giveaway of the Christmas and Easter Catholic who never actually goes to Mass on a regular basis, but who is trying to establish his bona fides as a “devout Catholic” in order to slam the Church for the media credibly. You also very seldom hear about politics from the pulpit. And I’m *extremely* skeptical that anybody has been told “to vote for Church doctrine”. It’s not only bad politics, it’s bad theology and pastoral care. Even with gay marriage and abortion, what you get, at most, is a statement of the church’s moral teaching and an exhortation to form your conscience in light of it. But there is frankly no way in hell you are going to get an instruction on who you are to vote for nor some threat or promise concerning specific legislation. It’s just not how the Church works. And at the parish level, your average priest regards having to get close to political controversy or sexual politics with dread.

            • Psy

              Which makes me wonder if everyone else is also associating internet religion-politics with church as I have.

              • Mark Shea

                Quite possible. This is one of the reasons I have no trouble believing Traditionalists when they tell me their experience of parish life is not one filled with crazy anti-semitic lunatic but normal happy people. Cyber-space is not like the real world. But it is *a* world, which is why I keep telling Traditionalists “It doesn’t cut it to say that the cyber-nut don’t represent Traditionalism. On the contrary, they *do* represent Traditionalism–horribly–in cyberspace and like it or not the average person, encountering Traditionalism in cyberspace is hit in the face as with a heat of furnace with the Jew-hatred, paranoia, self-pity and malice that suffuses that subculture. If Traditionalists want to deal with that public relations problem, it not enough to tell people who are repelled to stop feeling repelled. The jerks in Traddery have to be addressed and a counter-witness forcefully assert so that outsiders can start to see the difference. The same goes for Catholics in general when speaking to non-believers. Sure some non-believers are aggressive pig-headed bigots. But an awful lot are just trying to figure out what’s going on. My recommendation to them is to find as many non-crazy voices in the Church and, above all, go to an actual flesh and blood parish, prayer meeting, or small group. Trying to get the measure of the Church from cyberspace is like going to a funhouse room of mirrors to get a good look at the human form.

                • Psy

                  “But an awful lot are just trying to figure out what’s going on. ”
                  That’s for sure, my parents left church in the 50′s an to me its an alien environment. My dad was in his 60′s when the conversation of church came up as my ex-wife started taking him to her Evangelical Christian Church to socialize after my mother passed away, he said they kept trying to stick their nose into their personal life. I didn’t know til then that he believed in god. I still don’t know what my mother believed. But he became an angry atheist after her death. My mother was raised Catholic my dad Christian.

                  • Mark Shea

                    Yeah. That’s a familiar story. The best way to encounter the Church, as with any human group, is to meet it in its natural habitat. That would be Mass, or in some sort of Catholic apostolate like a soup kitchen or hospice. It’s thoroughly human. But you also see rumors of glory when you look. And don’t forget good books.

                • S. Quinn

                  You might not see this, Mark, but I couldn’t agree more. It’s a good deed to call out liars etc. in the blogosphere if for no other reason than if a reasonable person stumbles across a blog post (maybe accidentally, doing a search or something) he or she will see that it is B.S.