Saint Thomas Aquinas

Friday, June 3, 2011

Mark Shea: A Hack Begging For Money So You Can Read His Blog.

Mark Shea is begging for money on his blog, complaining that he cannot afford dental or health insurance. This is not the first time he has done this. Has he heard the old saying, "get a real job"? Does he expect free handouts from people who actually work for a living so they can have healthcare? Shea spends much of his time in between speaking engagements writing bombastic, sarcastic, arrogant pieces on several web sites, and yet he expects people to pay to read his personal blog! Shea writes the following concerning his personal blog, "Time spent writing this blog is time not spent writing for sources of income. So if response to the Tin Cup Rattle is weak, I've gotta focus my energy elsewhere since my kids weirdly insist on food and shelter every single *day*." Good, do us a favor and close down your blog. It would also be great if Catholics would quit paying this guy to write or speak. He has produced nothing of any benefit to Catholic apologetics, and quite frankly, the Catholic world would be in much better shape without the likes Shea pontificating his personal version of Catholicism. And of course, you had better not disagree with him on anything he proclaims, or else you will get a drive by ad hominem! Forget actually debating a topic, that is off limits.

Shea then continues in his usual juvenile styled grammar which he is well known for, "So I'm askin' ya, if everybody who has gotten something good from this blog will kick in some bucks on the PayPal button on the left rail below my picture." Are you kidding me? Pay to have more of his noxious nonsense posted on the internet? I for one cannot believe that anyone pays him for anything he writes, let alone for his own blog. Here is some advise. If you want health insurance, go work for it. Quit begging for money and go get a real job, and leave Catholic theology and apologetics to the real experts. People don't mind supporting actual scholars for their professional work. Most people however are not interested in supporting amateur hacks who expect to be paid for writing horrible pieces, with the vocabulary and language of a twelve year old. Sorry if this post sounds a bit harsh, but I, and many other Catholics that I know, are sick and tired of this guy and those like him who go around pontificating as if they are an authority on the Catholic faith. Also, Shea has no money for health insurance, but has no problem going on vacation and telling everyone on the entire internet about it, "toodles." I hope someone else paid for that, I am sure no responsible person would go on vacation and then complain about not having heath insurance. I feel sorry for anyone who drops a dime in the bucket to support his personal blog.

29 comments:

scotju said...

Matt, you're right on target! Shea's posts nothing substancial on his blog. It's all about his personal opinions on things. I've never read any of his books, but I'm willing to bet his books are intellectually vapid as his blog scribblings. By the way, has anyone ever critically reviewed any of his books? I'd like to know wheather his "Catholic" books are better or just as bad as his extended editorial at CAEI.

Alexander Greco said...

For being in such financial straits, and moreover complaining about it, does it make much sense for Shea to go on his annual 4 day Memorial Day vacation? Does he even consider how it comes across when only a couple of days after returning from vacation he tells us that his family needs money to make ends meet?

Very arrogant and obnoxious!

http://www.ncregister.com/blog/Toodles/

Alexander Greco said...

Glad you brought this up Matt.

scotju said...

Alex, speaking of health insurance for Shea, I doubt wheather he could get any. Until he loses his excess poundage, no insurance company would take the risk of covering him or his family. Those pictures he posted on his blog last year shows that he, his wife, and his kids got back (As well as a lot up front!) Well, at least his clan ain't starving to death on his pitiful income!

Nick said...

"Mark Shea: A Hack Begging For Money So You Can Read His Blog."...BUT not comment on it! Few things annoy me more than folks with big egos or controversial who also do not allow posting comments on their blog.

Sadly, such "tin cup rattling" was a HUGE turn off to me with the Catholic Answers Corporation. Yeah, people have to make a living, but it was getting utterly obscene the way Keating was sending monthly letters with return envelope and at least 3 sheets of paper with Karl's signature scanned and pasted on a sob-story or titanic-sinking financial crisis at Catholic Answers and was wondering if we could spare a mere $50 (which would result in him sending us his new pamphlet as a 'thank you', or for $150 get Tim Staples' 3-CD set on Mary). Such begging on the corner is repugnant to the spirit of Apologetics and Catholicism. That was such a turn off for so many people that Karl had to send out a letter apologizing and saying he was going to change his strategy and stop doing it. (It just goes to show what hiring a marketing team and financial analyst can do to a Christian endeavor.)

To me, Shea's post is a microcosm of that, and thus no less low-class.

There are Catholic people (including apologists) out there who genuinely need donations, but it's situations like this that put a sour taste in our mouths.

Nick said...

I want to clarify: I don't 'hate' Shea or Catholic Answers, and in fact they have put out good, solid Catholic things. That said, they have done or put out questionable things, and I have no problem pointing these out.

The real problem in all this is that there is a a wide-spread sense of granting certain people the status of 'untouchable', so that they can say or do whatever they want and we are 'obliged' to turn a blind eye - or even defend it.

The truth is, and all reasonable folks will readily admit, is that not everything Shea, Keating, Sungenis, Pope John Paul II, etc, says is gold, and in fact some of the stuff they say is scandalous or even wrong.

Neil Parille said...

It's incredible that Mark Shea can write something like this

http://www.crisismagazine.com/2011/a-hell-of-an-argument

which misrepresents the arguments of his opponents and then claim that we live in a "theologically illiterate culture."

Does anyone know whether Shea has any formal training in theology?

Matthew Bellisario said...

As far as I can tell Shea has no theological competence whatsoever. I have no idea whether he has formal theological education or not. His vocabulary and writing style indicates to me that he has no education whatsoever. How a piece like that can make it into the newly restored Crisis magazine is a mystery to me. But it does help me to discern what publications and organizations I am going to take seriously. If I see any Catholic organization or publication printing or endorsing his work, then I have no interest in supporting them. It demonstrates poor judgement on their part, and I will not support them. Lets just call it the Shea litmus test.

Neil Parille said...

Does Mark think language such as this is anything but childish?

___

The gospel of Comfy is simply not the gospel of Christ and the apostles. It is, like all Latest Real Jesuses, a reflection of our own cultural priorities (which is why it is on the cover of a MSM mag whose priorities, as ever, are to sell beer and shampoo).
__

The man has become a parody of himself and doesn't even know it.

In the article Shea misses an obvious distinction. There is a difference between asserting: (1) there are people in hell; and (2) we know for certain which specific individuals are in hell. I don't know of anyone (except perhaps Fred Phelps) who believes (2).

This article might well be used in a critical thinking class for 12 year olds.

Alexander Greco said...

Yep, he certainly has the personality type of the guy who brings 20+ items to the 10 item or less checkout line at the grocery store, and then gets impatient with the people in front of him. Rules and standard etiquette does not apply for some people.

beowulf2k8 said...

I thought the Big 0 made health insurance free already? What gives?

scotju said...

Beo, ObamaCare doesn't pay for Jenny Craig!

Mark P. Shea said...

Nick:

You can comment on my blog. You just have to click on the title of the blog entry and then the combox appears. It's stupid software, but I haven't had time to find better.

Matthew et al: God bless you.

Alexander Greco said...

Mark I can't tell if you are being sincere here. Many people will react to something they find offensive by saying God Bless you. They are not really being sincere, but believe that they are being very clever in using this as a rejoinder. We see the protestants on tv talk about using this a lot. In reality, this is a form of using God's name in vain. I would like to think that you are not using God's name in vain in this way, but based upon your prior behavior, profanities, etc, which is the only thing I have here to go on, I do have some doubt. The way you have treated Matt and his positions and comments before, as well as mine, by purposefully misstating them and not acknowledging after being corrected time and again that you were incorrect, and instead ignoring these corrections and even censoring these corrections have become the basis upon which I have doubt in your sincerity now. If my hope that you are sincerely praying God's blessings be upon us is true, then thank you, but you still need to be held accountable for what you do. If my doubt in your sincerity is true, then let this be a warning: you shall not take the Lord's name in vain. Do not go there.

Regarding your money begging, have you considered being open to everyone about your financial situation? This isn't a matter of you just giving people the option of donating money if they like your work, you are telling us that your family can't make ends meet (even though you are just coming off a four day vacation), you can't provide for health care, and in fact you desperately need this money. Since you let us all know that you live frugally, can't make ends meet, and we need to give you money, why don't you let us all know what your actual finances are and perhaps we can help you prioritize? After all, you claim that this comes down to feeding and clothing your children.

scotju said...

Mark Shea's crying for cash because he can't "afford" dental work and health insurance brings back memories of my time in the Armstrong cult. Ol' Herbert would always be crying that the "work" as he called his church, was in some sort of crisis or it was going to take another big leap forward. Yet the "Apostle" lived in the lap of luxury at his Pasadena headquarters while his members struggled to make ends meet. I suspect El Marko too is not that bad off financially. He's probably not a millionare like Herbert Armstrong, but I don't believe he's that strapped for cash.
Like Alex, I'd like to see what his finances are really like. I'd also like to see what kind of neighborhood he lives in. If He's so desparate for money, his family must be living in a shack. I'm willing to bet his "shack" is in the high five figures to low to middle six figures in value. After all, he does sell quite a number of books a year, doesn't he?

Mark P. Shea said...

Alex:

I'm being completely sincere. "Bless those who curse you" is the command, isn't it? So, I forgive you for insulting my wife and children. What a sad thing for Catholic Champions to lower themselves to.

Alexander Greco said...

What do you think I said about your wife and kids Mark? I never mentioned them other than to say that you claim that your family is frugal yet facing financial difficulties. If you find that my repeating your claims to be insulting, then you should stop making those claims.

Mark P. Shea said...

Alex:

I refer to "you" in the collective sense since the Hive Mind of your malice and loathing here not only welcomes somebody like scotju but regards him as a valuable contributor to the discussion. I'm sure that you believe that your profound additions to the discourse are so captivating that I carefully read all the backbiting. But here's the thing: when I reached scotju's repellent stab at my wife and children, I stopped reading and basically just scanned down to see if any one of you Catholic Champions had the common decency to call him out on it. When I saw that none of you did, I decided the best thing to do was to bless you (since you manifestly regard yourselves as my enemies and that's what Jesus says to do for enemies). Then I left. I checked in again today to see if any of you had the common pagan decency to feel just a twinge of regret about the embarrassing spectacle scotju's insults to a good woman and good kids and find you as clueless as ever. So now I leave for good. God bless you and pity you and I forgive you.

Alexander Greco said...

I just re-read scotju's comments, and I understand why you would be offended. He addressed the reality of high health care coverage premiums for people who are unhealthy and obese, but he did so in a way that lacked charity and distracted from the main point he was driving at. I didn't defend what he said then, nor do I now. That being said, with all of the nasty and slanderous things you have said of others, including the host of this blog, I think that you are overplaying the victim card here. Do we really need to go through your own blog to demonstrate the ad hominems you use toward others? If you want to use this as your excuse not to address the other issues, then so be it, but don't expect me to buy it.

Next time, instead of assuming something of me, just ask.

Matthew Bellisario said...

Mark, no one here attacked your wife and kids. All of the focus seems to be on you and your begging for money from hard working people who you are expecting to pay for you and your family's health care. I find few people who think so highly of themselves that they think their personal blog is worth the price of their family's healthcare and food. Have you honestly looked at your blog? You say nothing, and when you write anything substantial it is on another website. Most of your posts are one liners with a link.

As far as finances go, if you are going to make the claim that you are poor on your website, and then ask for money, and yet tell everyone that your entire family just went on a vacation, it is not improper or an attack to ask about your financial state. Scotju can be a little rough around the edges, but some of the things I have read by you I find to be far more insulting that what he wrote here. Again, I find it sad that people are going to pay you to read your personal blog. As they say, only in America.

scotju said...

Matt and Alex, I'm sorry if my remarks about Shea's obesity came across as snarky and sounded like an attack on his wife and kids to him. All I meant to say was that he's poor-mouthing his audience, yet it looks like his family is eating well in their "poverty".
In one of my previsious comments, I've already mentioned that I was a member of the Armstrong cult. The extortive money-grubbing done by Herbert and Co. of their poor members, so they could live in the lap of luxury, left a bad taste in my mouth. Mark Shea's "tin cup rattle" also gives me bad oral feelings. He's a "successfull"? author of books and articles, yet He's got to plead "me so poor". Question, where does the money go? Enquiring minds want to know!
Finally to Mr Shea, I'm sorry if I have hurt your feelings or you felt that I have attacked your wife and kids. But as Matt pointed out, no one attacked your wife and kids. What was criticized was you pleading poverty, that you couldn't afford health care for your family, yet you can afford to go on a four day vacation, and as I pointed out, your family isn't exactly starving to death. I do hope though you can find some sort of health plan, but losing weight would improve your health so yo wold have a better chance of getting into one you could afford.

Blogahon said...

This is pretty disappointing.

There is nothing honorable about publically ridiculing another man like this.

Alexander Greco said...

Scotju, Shea is going to use whatever excuse he can in order to avoid addressing the actual substance of our inquiry into what could very well be a scam. If it wasn't this, it would of been something else.

To be clear, I'm not completely against him accepting donations for his work. I don't know why anyone would give him any money for it, seeing that the quality isn't very good, but that's just my opinion. He could charge a fee, but we know how his "daily Sheavings" faired.

The whole thing just doesn't make any sense to me. I understand that Blogahon is disappointed with these questions being brought up, but I wonder if he has expressed the same disappointment with Shea's repeated abusive behavior.

Blogahon, here is the issue as I see it. Mark Shea is telling people that his family is suffering financially and needs assistance. If this is true, then there are significant questions which should be brought up. Why did he go on vacation if he knew his family would be in such need? What is his actual financial situation which places him in such need, and what adjustments can be made to his lifestyle? If this is a continuing issue, then perhaps he needs to find higher earning employment. That is what a responsible parent would do. Sometimes an adult just cannot support his family based on a hobby. As I said above, if he wants to give people the option of donating to support his blog, then fine, but don't speak about being in financial need (which obligates Catholics who can provide out of Christian charity to do so) when he spends what money he does have on frivolous things.

I understand that it must be fun for him to do what he does, but when you are a spouse and parent then your obligation is first to your spouse and family. If the market doesn't support your hobby, then find a different line of work. Do not burden the consciences of good Catholics who give money to help your family when they otherwise would not have given you money based simply upon your work. This is an abuse of Catholic apologetics and people of good will.

scotju said...

Matt, I've got some good news! Shea has annonced on his hog, er, I mean blog, that the annual tin cap rattle is over! You can take yor hands off your back pocket, your wallet is safe for another year!

KLind said...

You guys have no idea how many people that Mark's writings have helped into the fullness of the faith, including myself. If I were you I would remove this entire post as it is available for anyone to see when they Google for Mark's essays on a topic. Slander is not acceptable ... even in the blogosphere.

What does scripture teach? If you see your brother with a fault, go talk to him privately. That would be a much more Catholic course of action than to lambast him publicly.

I urge you to reconsider your approach.

Matthew Bellisario said...

You have no idea what slander is apparently. You had better go tell your hero about that, since that is one his favorite pass times.

Matthew Bellisario said...

I also find it quite funny Klind that you have just created your username just to leave a comment on this post. Makes me wonder who this really is.

Alexander Greco said...

KLind, what does Scripture also teach after speaking to one privately? It doesn't stop there.

Can you substantiate your charge of slander or do you simply not like the fact that Mark Shea's abuses have been pointed out? I'm curious to see what your answers are going to be because if you are anything like Shea, when challenged, you will give any excuse possible rather than actually address the critique. This is how Shea opperates, like the masked coward who drives by in the middle of the night to shoot up his adversary's home rather than confront him in the light of day.

I would like to think that I am a reasonable person. Address what I have written with a reasonable critque rather than unsubstantiated charges. Don't use the cowardly unreasonable bully tactics that Shea uses. If you don't like what I have written, tell me why and then let's engaged in what's called a discussion about it. Otherwise, can you really claim to be engaging with Christian charity?

KLind said...

Matthew and Alexander, you're right that your intent may not have been to slander Shea. If "slander" is defined as both unkind and untrue, then that charge may be dropped since you have written what you see to be true. (I am not close enough to the situation, nor do I wish to be, to evaluate the truth of your complaints against Shea.)

My reaction is simply to the kindness factor, as was Blogahon's. It sounds like you feel that the other party has acted unkindly toward you. Again, I'm not close enough to the situation - nor do I wish to be - to know what the other party has said or done in your interactions. However, as our mothers might have asked, Do two wrongs make a right?

I'll leave you with that; I won't be commenting further. Alexander, if you were still wanting to dialogue, you are welcome to message me off-wall at klindiegirl@gmail.com.

I wish you the best as you work toward peace and reconciliation in the name of Christ. Over and out!