Liars for Jesus

Liars for Jesus January 10, 2012

So down below, I noted that a reader had sent a note to the effect that the same dude who underwrites RealCatholic TV is also hiring E. Michael Jones, author of “The Revolutionary Jew” and pal (and publisher) or anti-semitic kook Bob Sungenis. My reader, a conservative Catholic, was not surprisingly disturbed by this.

Lo and behold, what should happen next but that not once, but a twice a “T Burnham” should turn up in my comboxes to announce:

Thanks for keeping us up to date on this one Mark.

As an atheist I really appreciate and enjoy this blog. You do a good job in bringing down Catholic hypocrites and show how flawed, foolish (as well as dangerous) the Catholic faith really is. Many other atheists really love this blog.

Keep up the good work. I look forward to future updates on this story as well as shining the lights on other shady religious Catholic fanatics.


I am atheist and I appreciate this site. I do not know if you are a real believer or not and that is besides the point. You do a good job exposing Catholicism. I also appreciate that there is very little actual religion on this site and you focus on the shortcomings of others and exposing them. I don’t frequent religious sites but I really like this one.

The penultimate sentence is the giveaway. The guy is actually not an atheist at all, but a Voris devotee who thought that by this dumb subterfuge he could arraign a critic of his Folk Hero as the best friend of The Enemy (and, of course, as part of the Conspiracy).

As a Catholic devotee of RealCatholic TV, it should really trouble Mr. Burnham’s conscience that he is not only bearing false witness against another in order to defend his Folk Hero, but actually denying his Lord and Savior by pretending to be an atheist in order to do it. That it apparently does not bother his conscience is (or should be) a big warning signal that something is wrong. It should also trouble him that this sort of underhanded tactic does not exactly burnish the reputation of RealCatholic TV and its devotees. Moreover, given that Opus Dei already has an (I think unjustified) reputation for cloak and dagger among its enemies, guys like this should really think twice before pulling stunts like this, since they don’t do Opus Dei any favor by defending one of their guys by such lies.

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  • Marcus Letz

    Wow. I was thinking, “I AM an atheist, and I DO enjoy Mark’s blog, but I certainly wouldn’t say there is ‘very little actual religion’ on it, or that Mark is ‘exposing’ Catholicism.” But it appears the odd comments were just subterfuge.

  • leahlibresco

    Oh gevalt. And if this is the new way to discredit people, I’d be glad to offer my credentials as a bonafide atheist to these stealth operatives. They can hire me to attend interesting religious talks and I’ll take a couple pictures of me at the event, so they can prove the speakers weren’t hard-core enough to scare off the other side. Sounds like easy money.

  • JoAnna

    Maybe T Baumann et al should spend their excess free time acting like real Catholics (feeding the poor, etc) instead of mounting poor, transparent defenses of “RealCatholic” TV. I guess their message isn’t all that effective…

  • math_geek

    Anyone who reads this blog and doesn’t see it as overall supportive of Catholicism is either delusional or stupid. As a liberal Catholic (who frankly has as much in common with liberal Democrats as conservative Catholics have with conservative Republicans) there is plenty (and plenty more) I disagree with Mark Shea on but it’s nice to wade into a conservative Catholic universe like this one and not feel like I’m in a different religion.

    • Hooray! Conservative Catholics for Liberal Catholics for Mark Shea!

      • (And I hope that didn’t come off as sarcastic. It was genuinely meant to be geekily enthusiastic.)

        • math_geek

          It made me laugh so it doesn’t really matter 🙂

  • Paul


    I think I may have figured it out. T_Burnham is actually an anagram.

    Assuming the blank space can substitute for any letter here is what I have been able to come up with:

    The Man Rub
    A burnt ham

    • ds

      Excellent, I LOLed.

  • Chris M

    Wow. Just wow. God bless you, Mark. I wouldn’t have the patience for that kind of idiocy.

  • E. Nigma

    Hi Mark. I am a member of the Legion of Doom and I love this site. I can’t tell if you really believe that Superman could beat Gorilla Grodd in a fight or not, but that’s besides the point. I though I’d take a break from trying to foil the Super Friends to let you know that I applaud the way you pick on my frie-, I mean conservative, faithful Catholics. Anyway, Solomon Grundy is trying to tell me something, but unlike the insightful deconstruction of all things good and holy that I find on your site, I can’t really understand him.

  • Ray Toelstedt

    Respectfully Mark:

    I don’t get mad at you and neither do the other atheists I know. Most believe we are working for the same goal. For me this is because we are both of good will. For others, it is because you undermine and corrupt the theocracy.

    The point is, the world will be a better place when it is rid of religious extremists of all stripes.

    Have you noticed that Jones the racist is now quoting the pope’s uncle everywhere he goes?

    Leave him buried!

  • My real name is Cthulhu and I love this site! That should tell you all you need to know about how horrible the blogmaster is. If you don’t believe me, I’ll eat you first!

    • Hermann

      You are NOT the GREAT OLD ONE!!!


      The great Cthulhu will eat us cultists first, not the unbelievers! These he will keep to heap new undiscovered kinds of fear and horror on!! I must know, I wear his tartan!



  • O. Puss Day

    We will bury you.

    • LOL, that wasn’t as sneaky as I thought it would be.

      • Margaret

        You know, dude, switching your profile pic to an albino monk assassin would go a loooong way… Just sayin. 🙂

  • Tim

    What! Atheists are reading this blog? AND ENJOYING IT!?

    You, Mr. Shea, should be ashamed. I for one will stop frequenting your site because of this outrage (at least until I need another diversion).


  • Harry

    T Burnham has probably gone for Plan B- hiring a deadly albino monk assassin.

  • Confederate Papist

    Mark…kudos for picking up on this right away!

  • Sharon

    In the January 10 post you said in reply to a post from T Burnam: As a Catholic devotee of RealCatholic TV…
    I can’t find in T Burnam’s posts any mention of Real Catholic TV. Have I missed a post?

    Post by T Burnam reproduced by Mark on 10 January :I also appreciate that there is very little actual religion on this site and you focus on the shortcomings of others and exposing them.

    Mark’s comment: The penultimate sentence is the giveaway. The guy is actually not an atheist at all, but a Voris devotee who thought that by this dumb subterfuge he could arraign a critic of his Folk Hero as the best friend of The Enemy…

    Now, granted that I am not the sharpest knife in the drawer but I can see nothing in that penultimate sentence which would indicate that T Burnam is a Voris devotee. Could you please explain to me how you came to that conclusion from the penultimate sentence?

    • Mark Shea

      Because the line gives away that the purpose of the author is not really to say, “Thanks for showing up all those Catholics I oppose as an atheist” but to say, “You self-righteous prick. How dare you insult my hero.”

  • The Deuce

    I think you’ve got him pegged right. His writing definitely comes off as very manufactured.

  • kenneth

    Maybe it’s just me, but it sure seems like the culture of Catholicism, or at least political Catholicism in the U.S. bears a lot of resemblance to Rome of the Borgia and Medici popes. Everybody worries about rabid atheists or Obama coming after you, but honestly you, but chances are one of your own kind will get you long before then! Y’all might want to revive the lost arts of hiring food tasters and wearing chain mail shirts under your vestments and night shirts when you get together at Catholic functions!

  • Kevin

    What does Opus Dei have to do with any of this? Why did it show up twice in the comments of your reader, and again in this post. Was your reader implying that there was something shady about someone’s membership in Opus Dei, or was that simply a neutral character trait on top of his links to antisemites?

    • Mark Shea

      Brammer is an OD guy. Enemies of OD tend to accuse them of cloak and dagger tactics. Defending Brammer by lying about one’s identity and faith is a poor way to dispel such accusations.

      • Kevin

        So because a commenter out to defend a guy in Opus Dei uses bad tactics, that justifies bringing Opus Dei into this mess? I don’t think that makes sense. That also doesn’t explain why you posted a comment from another reader that mentions his Opus Dei membership twice, as the only notable characteristic apart from his anti-semitic links and his funding of the “RealCatholic” group. I think that was wrong.

        Now other commenters are piling on (see below). EdL compares Opus Dei to the Legionaries. I trust that appeals to authority are appropriate on this blog. I only point out that, in 2002, Josemaria Escriva was canonized by Pope John Paul II. This is (if I remember correctly) an infallible act that binds the consciences of all the faithful.

  • EdL

    This article on Opus Dei was written in 1995 by Father Martin, S.J., before the whole priestly abuse thing blew up:

    Their tactics sound similar to Maciel’s Legionaries. I always thought something smelled a bit off with Opus Dei.

    • Ray Toelstedt

      A cult is a cult is a cult

    • Opus Dei’s founder is a canonized saint. I charibably warn you that you risk committing sacriledge with stuff like this.

      • Saint Francis of Assisi was a canonized Saint almost before his body was cold. This didn’t stop some of his followers killing some other of his followers. And that was only a few years later. “Sacrilege” has nothing to do with saying Opus Dei is a cult. (More like a Catholic version of the Masons.)

        Jesus didn’t call Satan “the thief” or “the abortionist” or “the warmaker.” He called him “the LIAR.” Find the lie, the twisting of truth, the obfuscator of fact, the ones who operate in secret and you know who’s side they are on.

        • Kevin

          OK, but Opus Dei has nothing to do with this. The fact that a blog commenter possibly used lies to defend a man who seems to have links to both Opus Dei and anti-semites (and potentially others, though the original commenter didn’t include any other but these associations) does not make a strong connection between lies, deceit, and Opus Dei. Calling this personal prelature of the pope a “cult” and like “Catholic masons” is nothing but calumny. And its one that in my opinion was encouraged by the original post on this topic and this post.

  • Iota Unum

    Mr Shea, you write well, but you are unjust. I am indifferent to Voris et al, i.e. I have no dog in this fight, yet your conduct in the combox has been irritating. Why isn’t it enough to question Hammer’s wisdom and invite readers to judge both Jones and him for themselves? Why must you gratuitously imply that those who admire or merely positive about Hammer’s projects are slavishly stupid conspiracy theorists? And why ‘prove’ that Jones is kooky (and note that by my square quotes don’t deny that he is, just deny that you prove it) by citing people with a clear agenda who, I discovered in ten minutes casually libel the one person I happen to know something about, and a verifiable gold standard Great Man, Hilaire Belloc?

    • Ray Toelstedt

      Wasn’t Belloc an anti-Semite? That’s why Speilberg chose the name for the Nazi sympathizing nemesis of the Real Indiana Jones.

      • No, Belloc was NOT an anti-semite.

        This is a rumor that is spread by people who haven’t read Belloc’s works or who buy into a kind of complacent group-think. Read Belloc’s book “The Jews” and find one anti-semitic thing in it. You won’t be able to.

        Both Belloc and Chesterton were forthright in their criticism of the Jews in a way that people aren’t anymore since the Holocaust, but Chesterton said he and Belloc would die defending the last Jew in Europe.

        There is nothing anti-semitic about either man. Dale Ahlquist and “Gilbert Magazine” have done much to lift the cloud from Chesterton, and someone needs to do the same for Belloc.

      • Yes, that’s right, Ray. Speilberg named a bad guy movie character Belloq, so that proves that Hilaire Belloc was an anti-Semite.


  • abb3w

    Possibly an atheist who’s stumbled on the blog, coming via Google News (hi!) from some reference to “atheist|atheism” and looking about, or perhaps via Patheos cross-site traffic wandering out of the Friendly Atheist. Contrariwise, the lack of any prior T_Burnham comments anywhere on Patheos argues against it being a regular reader — although there’s one (non-comment) reference over from FA to a “Ted Burnham”, who writes the blog “A Word For Science”.

    • Mark Shea

      The name and email address were fake.

      • abb3w

        …if someone can’t even bother to set up a non-bouncing email drop for trolling, then to the bit bucket with them.

  • Sandra Miesel

    I recall the INDIANA JONES character as Belcoq. But take a look at H. Belloc’s seldom seen book THE JEWS and decide for yourself.

  • Sandra Miesel

    I just checked the cast list where it says “Belloq” so there may be a connection.

  • Ray Toelstedt

    Then of course, there was Chesterton who parroted Fr. Georg when he spoke of “the money ways of the Jews.”

    The Holy Father’s uncle makes Belloc/Belloq seem positively philo-Semitic. “The Jews” was dedicated to his Jewish secretary. Pat Buchanan pulled the same fast one with his What We Have Lost/Republic Not an Empire.

    • Ray, specifically where does Chesterton speak of “the money ways of the Jews”? What is the context? What on earth does your link to Fr. Georg have to do with Belloc? What does Belloc have to do with Buchanan?

      Sean Dailey, please jump in here. Provide us some links for the “Gilbert” issue that tore apart the lie that Chesterton was a Jew-hater.

      Ted, quit smearing these writers with innuendo. If you have a case for the anti-semitism of either man, make it. Links to non-sequiter items and references to current anti-semites are no help at all.

  • Ray, respectfully, you are a troll. Up above, you smeared Opus Dei as a cult — without any evidence for that. And now you’re smearing G.K. Chesterton and Hilaire Belloc as anti-Semites, and your only “evidence” is the name of a movie character named Belloq and an un-attributed, alleged quote by Chesterton.

    As it so happens, I am a member of Opus Dei, and I edit a magazine devoted to G.K. Chesterton. You, my friend, have stepped in it.

    I do not speak for Opus Dei, but I can say this much: Opus Dei is part of the hierarchy of the Catholic Church, and our founder, Josemaria Escriva, is a canonized saint. Opus Dei’s canonical structure is that of a personal prelature. We are headed by a bishop, Bishop Javier Echevarria. We fall under the jurisdiction of the Congregation for Bishops. But if you still want to argue that OD is a cult, have at it.

    In my experience, two kinds of people accuse Chesterton (and Belloc) of anti-Semitism: those who don’t know any better, and those who do, yet make the accusation anyway. Both kinds are reprehensible. Belloc in The Jews may say some things that sound offensive to post-Holocost ears. He may say some things that offend our sensibilities. But that is a far cry from anti-Semitism.

    The case against Chesterton is even thinner. In fact, it is non-existent. But don’t take my word for it. We devoted an entire issue three years ago to the question, which you can download for free here:

    Toggle down to the link at the bottom of the page. I know, reading actual evidence that trounces your silly suppositions may be painful. But I urge you to cowboy up, and give it a shot.

    Yours sincerely,
    Sean P. Dailey
    Editor-in-chief, Gilbert Magazine

    • Sharon

      “great stories” – Sean P. Dailey, editor-in-chief, Gilbert Magazine

      Giving favorable reviews to Jones groupies there Sean?

    • Sharon, could you please explain?

  • This was in Fr. Z’s blog today and adds some spice to the mix with regard to Voris.
    “Today’s excerpt from TheCuriousCatholic is very, very interesting, for the author has posted a video in response to Voris’s Vortex statement re the AOD, calling for Prayer in Detroit.
    Many of us are concerned to learn the truth. I am inclined to believe this blogger, since he has posted authentic data that is irrefutable. It looks as though more will be forthcoming. His partner offered further undeniable information in comment #10, for which I am also grateful.
    FWIW, I’m deeply disturbed with the deplorable comments concerning the AOD. It doesn’t appear to me that these come from REAL Catholics.”

    Can. 747 §2. It belongs to the Church always and everywhere to announce moral principles, even about the social order, and to render judgment concerning any human affairs insofar as the fundamental rights of the human person or the salvation of souls requires it.

    So the matter of jurisdiction is immaterial, and reading between the lines, there is a lot more at stake here than the use of the name Catholic. One may assume that the Voris apostolate has endangered the salvation of souls through its teachings that purport to be REAL Catholic, but fail to teach authentic truth.

  • JustMe

    Sean P. Dailey FTW!

  • Crispian

    All of this brouhaha over a nutty poster has to do with one thing, and one thing only: Shea’s never ending personal vendetta against Michael Voris.

    • Mark Shea

      Yes! It’s a conspiracy! My vendetta is so profound, I even wrote a defense of Michael Voris! All criticism of Conservative Folk heroes is *always* due to a conspiracy and a vendetta. All of it. Always.

  • Sorry, for the omission,Mark.
    Here’s the link to Fr. Z that I referenced earlier.

  • VelikaBuna

    You tear down a fellow Catholic for the praise from some atheist? That is not very charitable thing.

    • chezami

      Not a skilled reader, are you?