Welcome to the Ink Desk

Enjoy the ponderings of the Star's contributors and add your own thoughts. As this section develops, we hope it may become a medium for an exchange of ideas among those who are working towards the cultural revival.

  • August 23rd, 2012Out of Hot Waterby Fr. Simon Henry

    It's not that unusual to hear about Christians getting into hot water at work in this country for displaying their Faith in some way.  The story below tells of Margaret Forrester who was sacked in 2010 by her National Health Service employers for sharing her views on abortion with other colleagues. Having taken her employers to court, she has now been completely vindicated, as evidenced by the fact that they have settled out of court with undisclosed damages.

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  • August 23rd, 2012My Crude Materialism Trumps Your Invisible Sky-Manby Kevin O'Brien

    A few posts ago, Anonymous left an entertaining comment which he concluded by encouraging me, a former strident atheist, to give up belief in my "invisible sky-man", a delusion that's keeping me from complete happiness (I wondered what was doing that).

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  • August 22nd, 2012Unrealityby Kevin O'Brien

    What is unreality?  It is the greatest threat to our relationship to a God who is Truth.

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  • August 22nd, 2012Television and the Fatalism of Denethorby Joseph Pearce

    In yesterday’s post, “Breakfast with Mr. Gullible”, I stressed the addictive grip that the television culture exerted on Mr. Gullible and his ilk. In an earlier post, “An Evening with Gollum”, I compared the withered humanity of an alcoholic to the character of Gollum in The Lord of the Rings. I thought about comparing Mr. Gullible with Denethor, another character from The Lord of the Rings, but thought better of it. Denethor, for all his deadly faults, was a man who wielded power, albeit badly; Mr. Gullible, on the other hand, is utterly powerless except for the vote that he casts in elections. There is, however, a real parallel between the “king” (steward) and the plebeian in their shared addiction to television.

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  • August 21st, 2012Great Catholic Writers - of Today!by Kevin O'Brien

    Bad as things are, and bad as they're going to get, there are at least three great writers out there who are Catholic, reasonable, good writers, and not afraid to speak the truth.  Today people emailed me links to three of the best articles I've read in a long time.

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  • August 21st, 2012Breakfast with Mr. Gullibleby Joseph Pearce

    A few weeks ago I recounted “an evening with Gollum” in which I attempted, apparently in vain, to persuade and motivate an alcoholic friend to pull himself and his life together for his own sake and for that of his child. This reminiscing about past encounters reminded me of a recent encounter with Mr. Gullible.

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  • August 20th, 2012A Sane English Voiceby Joseph Pearce

    I've been travelling for the past several days (hence my absence from the Ink Desk) but have kept a watchful eye on the reaction to my post on the "slimey limeys" who were responsible for the recent Olympics closing ceremony. I'm not sure that any single post in the Ink Desk's commedable history of controversy has matched the number of comments that my post prompted and in some cases provoked. 

    I was particularly gratified to receive a note of support from StAR columnist, John Beaumont, who lives in the north of England. He sent me the comments about the opening ceremony that he had sent a friend. Without further ado, here is John's judgment:

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  • August 16th, 2012Lennon in America with a P.S. from Peter Hitchensby Robert Asch

    I don't wish to take issue with what's been said about the condition of Britain. It can't pain many people more than it pains me.  But remember, this has infected the mainstream everywhere in the West for some time and is being ceaselessly exported and reprocessed. I lived in Toronto on and off in the 70s and 80s. In the 1980s WKRP in Cincinnati, already in sindication, was one of the most popular shows on tv in both the US and Canada. It also enjoyed a considerable critical reputation.

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  • August 15th, 2012Just Imagine.by Dena Hunt

    Joseph’s post lamenting the state of England’s culture, vividly displayed at the Olympics, generated an extraordinary number of comments. Almost all of them were in sympathy; the two or three that objected were comically childish sputterings of indignation.

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  • August 15th, 2012I Wonder Which Policies?by Sophia Mason

    FBI probing shooting of guard at Family Research Council HQ

    "The suspect 'made statements regarding their policies, and then opened fire with a gun striking a security guard,' ..."

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  • August 14th, 2012The Dry and the Livingby Pavel Chichikov

    Recently, looking through my draft file, I came across an article I’d saved, published last April in the Wall Street Journal. It was an encouragement to all those who fear that the Catholic Church might be fading away, because it noted the increase in ordinations in many places in the United States. Here is the article:

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  • August 14th, 2012Good News from Franceby Joseph Pearce

    Although StAR is now published by the St. Augustine's Press, the magazine was founded eleven years ago by Ferdi McDermott of the St. Austin Press in England, which explains how we got our name. Ferdi asked me to edit the new journal and it has been an honour and a labour of love for me to do so ever since.

    Shortly after the launching of StAR, Ferdi founded Chavagnes International College. This wonderful English-speaking Catholic school in the heart of rural France is now celebrating its tenth anniversary. In order to share in the celebration, I'm posting the latest Chavagnes Newsletter. As you will see, the school's alumni are already making their mark in the world.  

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  • August 14th, 2012Not My Regular Massby Dena Hunt

    I missed my regular Mass. Through my own fault, my most grievous fault, I had to attend the Mass with guitars and campsongs. It’s happened before. And I sit there enduring more than participating. I just can’t bring myself to sing an Our Father that sounds more like a tapdance than a prayer.  And I confess (through my own fault, my most grievous fault) that when I have to attend that Mass, I look at the women around me dressed like streetwalkers, grown men in shorts and flip-flops—well, some readers may know what I mean….

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  • August 14th, 2012Preview of the Next Issueby Joseph Pearce

    The next issue of the St. Austin Review is winging its way to the printers.

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  • August 14th, 2012A Holy Benedictineby Joseph Pearce

    Brendan King has sent me details of the life of a little known and very heroic Benedictine sister, whose feast day is today.

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  • August 13th, 2012Slimey Limeysby Joseph Pearce

    Against my better judgment I watched the closing ceremony of the London Olympics last night. I was expecting the worst and it was even worse than I expected! The whole thing was a nasty and narcissistic celebration by the denizens of modern Britain of how wonderful it thinks it is. It was a debauched celebration of atheism and hedonism, including schoolchildren singing Lennon's atheistic anthem, Imagine, as hundreds of people came together to create a giant icon of Lennon's face.

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  • August 13th, 2012Ink Desk on Europeby Robert Asch

    Negotiating a path through the turbulent waters of modern Europe can be a daunting task for anyone. In response to Joseph Pearce's last post, here is a supplementary list of books mostly on France, the Church and what Burke called 'The Armed Doctrine.' I hope you find them useful!

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  • August 10th, 2012Hilaire Belloc - the Perfect After-Dinner Speakerby Kevin O'Brien

    I will be performing as Hilaire Belloc a lecture on "The Great Heresies" on Sunday, August 26 in St. Louis.  Be sure to come!  My friend Dale Ahlquist said, "Everyone in America should see this show."

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  • August 10th, 2012Exploring European Historyby Joseph Pearce

    Continuing my occasional practice of publishing my private correspondence with those who have written to me requesitng advice, I'm publishing an e-mail from a lady that I met at last week's Chesterton Conference. She is interested in specific periods of German, French and Italian history. Although I am certainly not an expert in the study of these periods, I  list some books from my own personal library that might be of help. I'm also forwarding her e-mail to three historians who specialize in these periods. If any visitors to the Ink Desk have other suggestions, please feel free to add them in the combox.

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  • August 10th, 2012The Beholder Is in the Eye of Beautyby Joseph Pearce

    Art for art's sake or art for God's sake? Is beauty in the eye of the beholder or is the beholder in the eye of beauty? These are important questions which those who wish to evangelize through the power of beauty must learn to answer.

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What are your thoughts on the subject?