Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Hilarious Observation of the Day About Anti-Catholicism (Mark Shea)

This is a wonderful example of Shea's characteristic flowery, semi-sarcastic style (not to everyone's taste, and sometimes I think he goes overboard and becomes highly uncharitable, but all in all, delightful):
So, for instance, when a Protestant anti-Catholic “apologist” adopts the handle “prosApologian”, you pretty much know where this guy’s sense of identity is invested. He knows Greek and you don’t. He has a degree from Wilbur Weed Unaccredited Boxtop Diploma Mill and is fond of calling himself “doctor” and listing his credentials. He eats and sleeps apologetics. He will fill your screen with enough gaseous ASCII to inflate the Hindenburg in pursuit of the exact parsing and declension of some Greek conjunction (all while asking if your credentials are as big as his credentials). He’s ready to rumble. Right. Got it.
I especially love the Hindenburg line. LOLOL This was from a great article, entitled: "Intellectual Fisticuffs: Some Thoughts on the Apologetics Subculture." Here's more funny stuff from Mark in the combox:
James has lovingly preserved (because he genuinely believes others will be interested) a web thread from (get this) 1997 in which he tried to square the circle and prove that the canon of Scripture was not basically a product of the Church's authority. That he sincerely believes rational people will drop everything and pore over an argument I had with him ten years ago on USENET, marveling at scholarship, sighing at his rhetorical brilliance, and swooning over his forensic prowess is but one tiny indication that something is askew in the ol' Self-Importance Department.

Basically, the argument came down to this:

Mark: How do you know which books belong in Scripture, James?

James: [emit five billion cubic feet of ASCII like a panicked squid and change the subject].

That's essential[ly] all there was to it. There basically is no answer except that Holy Church decided what goes in the Bible by the power of the Holy Spirit and that Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture are two sides of the same apostolic coin.
I also like his line near the end of the initial post:
Likewise, those who turn their Fave Rave Apologists into Alternate Magisteria would do well to smash their idols and allow their heroes to be the faithful–and fallible–human beings they are.

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