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The Bad Catholic's Guide to the Catechism: A Faithful, Fun-Loving Look at Catholic Dogmas, Doctrines, and Schmoctrines (Bad Catholic's guides) Paperback – November 1, 2012


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The Bad Catholic's Guide to the Catechism: A Faithful, Fun-Loving Look at Catholic Dogmas, Doctrines, and Schmoctrines (Bad Catholic's guides) + The Bad Catholic's Guide to the Seven Deadly Sins: A Vital Look at Virtue and Vice, With Quizzes and Activities for Saintly Self-Improvement (Bad Catholic's guides) + The Bad Catholic's Guide to Good Living: A Loving Look at the Lighter Side of Catholic Faith, with Recipes for Feasts and Fun
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Product Details

  • Series: Bad Catholic's guides
  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: The Crossroad Publishing Company (November 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0824526805
  • ISBN-13: 978-0824526801
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #72,600 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A book by a polymath who is at the same time gloriously funny and massively serious . . . thoroughly orthodox and sane. The author capers through the entirety of Catholic doctrine, hagiology, literature, history, and contemporary culture. The reader will be instructed, blessed, and exhilarated."  —Thomas Howard, author, Evangelical Is Not Enough

"John Zmirak is easily one of the funniest writers alive . . . smart, well-grounded in his Catholic faith, and not hesitant to share it. . . . He attacks the subject matter with the best of his doctrinally sound depth of knowledge and relays it with maximum humor."  —Thomas McArdle, former White House speechwriter and communications director, Catholic League for Civil and Religious Rights

About the Author

John Zmirak is an editor, a journalist, a college teacher, and a political commentator. He is the author of The Bad Catholic's Guide to the Seven Deadly Sins and the coauthor of The Bad Catholic’s Guide to Good Living; The Bad Catholic's Guide to Wine, Whiskey, and Song; and The Grand Inquisitor. He has contributed to Investor's Business Daily and the National Catholic Register. He lives in New York City.


More About the Author

John Zmirak received his B.A. from Yale University in 1986, then his M.F.A. in screenwriting and fiction and his Ph.D. in English in 1996 from Louisiana State University. His focus was the English Renaissance, and the novels of Walker Percy. He taught composition at LSU and screenwriting at Tulane University, and written screenplays for and with director Ronald Maxwell (Gods & Generals and Gettysburg). He was elected alternate delegate to the 1996 Republican Convention, representing Pat Buchanan. He has been Press Secretary to pro-life Louisiana Governor Mike Foster, and a reporter and editor at "Success" magazine and "Investor's Business Daily," among other publications. His essays, poems, and other works have appeared in "First Things," "The Weekly Standard," "The Atlanta Journal-Constitution," "USA Today," "FrontPage Magazine," "The American Conservative," "The South Carolina Review," "The Atlantic," "Modern Age," "The Intercollegiate Review," "The New Republic," "Commonweal," and "The National Catholic Register," among other venues. He has contributed to "American Conservatism: An Encyclopedia" and "The Encyclopedia of Catholic Social Thought." From 2000-2004 he served as Senior Editor of "Faith & Family Magazine" and a reporter at "The National Catholic Register." He works now as an editor for several publishing companies.

Customer Reviews

Surprisingly, I started one day to read it on the throne & I couldn't put it down!
Michele M.
I especially enjoyed how he ripped evolution to shre - listed the logical flaws in evolutionary argumentation.
Michael A. Johnson
After hearing the author on Catholic Radio on SiriusXM, I liked his dry, but very pointed sense of humor.
Brian ó Séaghdha

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Brian ó Séaghdha on February 8, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There are few books that, once I start them, I cannot put them down, and almost look forward to being trapped in the center seat on Delta just so I can have some time to finish some chapters.

This is one of those books.

After hearing the author on Catholic Radio on SiriusXM, I liked his dry, but very pointed sense of humor. He didn't pull any punches during the interview. I liked what I heard, and thought, well, give one of his books a try.

I am so glad I did. One of the benefits of reading this book is to review the true aspects of our Catholic faith, sometimes not what you were taught or believed (since Catholic education is sometimes taught by people who still believe you can catch a headcold if you bang your head, it's not surprising that there's been some teachings that were passed down that should have been dispelled over the years). It's also good to read from an apologist perspective, as the populist media and the unknowing public often criticize Catholics for being some perverse version of "Papal Pawn," if they don't bring up the sex abuse scandals.

And as another reader wrote, his treatment of those scandals was spot-on: no holds barred. It helps to remember that any institution where two or more humans get together can stray, and we sure had some who strayed. Sadly, the few who did, and those who covered up for them, tainted the thousands who gave their lives to preaching peace, love, and social justice, while visiting the sick and dying and bringing the faithful hope.

If I were teaching Confirmation classes, I would use this book as a text. Of course, I'd probably be thrown out of my parish. But nothing in here is heresy: wit is used as a tool to keep you focused on subjects that otherwise could be very dry.

If you are Catholic or thinking about becoming Catholic, this is a GREAT, easy, funny read!
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Robert L Galbreath on January 5, 2013
Format: Paperback
I stumbled across Zmirak's "Bad Catholic" series a year or two ago and quickly bought, read and reread the lot. His latest is, in my opinion, the best defense of the Faith yet. Laid out as a series of questions from a skeptic and answers from the author, together with numerous asides and segues, I think the format brings out Zmirak's lightning, aggressive wit and his knack for lucid explanation superbly. Certainly I found myself hooting with laughter at the back and forth, sometimes wondering when, had this been a real conversation, the inquirer would have lost patience with Zmirak's delivery and simply taken a swing at him.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Locksley - lover of truth on February 20, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm in the middle of reading this latest example of John Zmirak's presentation of genuine Cahtolicism unblemished by "the Spirit of Vatican II" nonsense, while adhering to the truth of the documents of the 2nd Vatican Council.

I've read Zmirak's three previous efforts and am enthralled by his mischievous recasting of real Catholic teaching, customs, liturgy and philosophy. Zmirak is one of those astonishing educators who knows his topic so well he can have fun with and even make fun of it without losing his reverence for the Church and her teachings.

You won't find relativism or situation ethics in these pages. You will find the Catholic Church's authentic teaching, presented for public consumption, direct from the pages of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. His cheerful prose is marred only slightly and very occasionly by careless errors of fact, easily corrected by a decent editor, such as allowing readers to believe that Archbishop Jose Gomez made certain remarks about immigration in 2008 as if he were Archbishop of Los Angeles at the time instead of Archbishop of San Antonio. He wasn't transferred to LA until 2011. In this presnt volume on the catechism, Zmirak becomes a touch or two more solemn than in the other Bad Catholics' Guides. But it's just a touch.

All this notwithstanding, anyone reading Zmirak's series will come away with a profound respect for his familiarity with the subject and impressed with his impishness in relaying the information. Zmirak is inspired by the very best defenders of the Faith; he is, himself, a latter-day G. K. Chesterton.

God bless John Zmirak, Evangelist to all the, unhappily, poorly educated Catholics of our present age.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Michael A. Johnson on March 1, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a protestant who attended a Catholic grade school, lo these many decades ago, it is good to get caught up on what Catholics really believe nowadays. I mean, I had to memorize (badly) parts of the old Baltimore Catechism. And was so confused by some of the Post Vatican Council liberal (religious, not political liberal) Catholics. Many of whom not only tried to out liberal (as it turns out) the Catholic Church’s flirting with liberalism, but even Universalist-Unitarians.
I am pleased to find that even the parts we disagree on are more logical, and logically argued (not the same thing as knock down drag out screaming threat exchanges) than some of the oddball rumors I had heard floating about. He certainly makes it much more understandable. If nothing else, while I may prefer a different interpretation or doctrine, I find (like the explanation of Mary) that it is not so far out as to be heretical, and is actually at least possibly true.
The humor is generally not offensive, and certainly makes for a better reading experience than the dry as dust methods creeds and systematic theologies are written in. I especially enjoyed how he ripped evolution to shre - listed the logical flaws in evolutionary argumentation.
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