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.

  • January 3rd, 2013Out, Damned Spots!by Kevin O'Brien

    I was quite serious in my last post when I wrote that the (unspoken) logic behind abortion is not "An unborn baby is not a person and therefore has no rights", but rather, "An unborn baby is certainly a person, but no person has any rights, since human beings have no intrinsic value."

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  • January 2nd, 2013In God’s Sweet Graceby Pavel Chichikov

    I’d been watching lots of Russian Folk Chorus videos recently, and then came across this exceptionally lovely and moving song, “A Poor Little Bird sat in a Cage”.

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  • January 2nd, 2013Just Kill Itby Kevin O'Brien

    My son Colin, home for the holidays, tells me that his friend Steve, who happens to be my favorite atheist, has a unique argument concerning abortion.

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  • January 2nd, 2013Tolkien’s Catholicismby Joseph Pearce

    I've received an e-mail request for further reading on the Catholic dimension of Tolkien's work. I thought the list of books on the topic that I sent to this correspondent might also interest visitors to the Ink Desk:

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  • January 2nd, 2013Just Kill Itby Kevin O'Brien

    My son Colin, home for the holidays, tells me that his friend Steve, who happens to be my favorite atheist, has a unique argument concerning abortion.

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  • January 2nd, 2013Mentioning Humanism, 3by Dena Hunt

    In its online religion column yesterday, the New York Times asks where the non-believers are in times of crisis like the Newtown massacre. Citing the rallying-round of diverse religious groups, the Times seems to sympathize with the non-religiously affiliated:

    “To raise these queries is not to play gotcha, or to be judgmental in a dire time. In fact, some leaders within the humanist movement — an umbrella term for those who call themselves atheists, agnostics, secularists and freethinkers, among other terms — are ruefully and self-critically saying the same thing themselves. . . .  ‘It is a failure of community, and that’s where the answer for the future has to lie,’ said Greg M. Epstein, 35, the humanist chaplain at Harvard and author of the book “Good Without God.” ‘What religion has to offer to people at moments like this — more than theology, more than divine presence — is community. And we need to provide an alternative form of community if we’re going to matter for the increasing number of people who say they are not believers.’”

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  • December 31st, 2012Bilbo Wagginsby Joseph Pearce

    No, you read it correctly. It's not a typo. Bilbo Waggins is or was a rather famous canine "singer".

    I receive all sorts of correspondence, forwarded to me by my publishers, but this is one of the strangest and most humorous. In this festive season I thought I'd share it with visitors to the Ink Desk.

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  • December 31st, 2012Liberty is More Than a Hobbyby Kevin O'Brien

    Breitbart has a thrilling story about the Christian couple who run Hobby Lobby, and their plans for civil disobedience in the face of Obama's unjust HHS Mandate.

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  • December 29th, 2012White Christmasby Sophia Mason

    When I left my family's house on the 26th, it was snowing.  It had started snowing on Christmas Eve, and kept the habit up, on and off, with breaks for the air to crystallize, for two days.  It was the first white Christmas we've had in some time, and one of the best in memory.

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  • December 29th, 2012A False Concordby Kevin O'Brien

    So a group called Patriotic Christian Quotes posts this chart on Facebook ...

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  • December 29th, 2012Newman A to Z: Eucharistby Joseph Pearce

    He does not merely present Himself before us as the object of worship, but God actually gives Himself to us to be received into our breasts ... It is the life of our religion.
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  • December 27th, 2012The Triumph of Godby Pavel Chichikov

    More than 20 years ago, as the Soviet Union was falling, I went on a trip to northern Russia with an environmental group. The purpose of the visit was to collect samples from the fish of the White Sea, so they could be tested for dioxins and furans, common environmental toxins in the almost unregulated Soviet environment. These chlorine-containing organic compounds are known to be potent causes of birth defects, even in very small amounts. They are most often found in dairy products and sea foods. The group was after fish bladders as representative samples.

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  • December 27th, 2012Radagast the Ridiculousby Joseph Pearce

    A friend of mine in England, responding to my own comments, has written rather amusingly about the strengths and weaknesses of Peter Jackson's movie adaptation of The Hobbit:
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  • December 27th, 2012Scroogenomicsby Joseph Pearce

    My friend Tom Martin, a professor of philosophy at the University of Nebraksa at Kearney, has forwarded me this excellent meditation on the meaning of Christmas by Joshua Schulz of DeSales University. Those interested in discovering more of the sagacious musings of Professor Schulz should visit his website:  http://philosophystone.wordpress.com.

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  • December 27th, 2012Mentioning Humanism, 2.by Dena Hunt

    About thirty years ago, a determined group of Christian parents demanded that creationism be taught in public schools along with Darwinian evolution as an alternative theory. The demand made quite a stir at the University of New Orleans where I was at the time. Some of the faculty were so aghast that they felt compelled to speak out publicly in opposition. A debate ensued between two “experts,” during which a prominent Protestant pastor called his opponent, a science faculty member, a “humanist.” The science professor was nonplussed. Of course he was a humanist, he responded, confused to be called a “name” which he assumed to be universally complimentary. (It wasn’t.)

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  • December 27th, 2012On the Third Day of Christmasby Joseph Pearce

    Two e-mails, just received from friends in Europe, reminded me that the number of days of Christmas that we celebrate really depends on what we are celebrating.

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  • December 25th, 2012Mentioning Humanism, 1by Dena Hunt

    “Papa may have … Mama may have … But God bless the child who’s got his own.”

    Ask the question: What’s the most important part of life; the universal answer will be: Relationships. We get this from the pulpit and the newspaper, from Washington and often from the Vatican. So, when someone goes into a school and kills children with an assault weapon, we say—even before we know whether it’s true—that he had a “troubled” relationship with a parent or some significant other, or (and this is worse) we say that he had no relationships at all, that he was a “loner.” The assumption, immediate and unquestioned, is that such behavior has to have its cause in dysfunctional or nonexistent relating. The same assumption provided all the immediate explanations for the shootings in Colorado and elsewhere. (That shooting people is itself radical non-functional relating is overlooked; effect is often confused with cause if the need to cite a cause is desperate enough.)

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  • December 23rd, 2012Pining for the Shireby Joseph Pearce

    As my wife and I anticipate a quiet family Christmas with our ten-year-old son and four-year-old daughter in our quiet hideaway in the relative wilds of South Carolina, I find myself pining like an exile for the Shire that my heart still calls home. I refer to Norfolk, a charming and relatively unspoiled backwater of rural England, where I lived for the last thirteen years of my life in my native land.

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  • December 22nd, 2012The Lion’s Heartby Dena Hunt

    I can’t believe it’s actually here, that it’s really ready to pre-order…but here it is.  Please take a look at http://leoninepublishers.com/bookstore/new-releases/the-lions-heart.html.

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  • December 21st, 2012Left Meets Right at Christmas Dinnerby Kevin O'Brien

    Anthony Esolen has written another brilliant piece for Crisis in his continuing series on the connection between Social Justice and the Family.

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What are your thoughts on the subject?