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 8th, 2012Shakespeare and St. Thomas Moreby Joseph Pearce

    A couple of months ago I was asked by the Spanish publisher, Rialp, to write the introduction to the first Spanish edition of the play, Sir Thomas More, which Shakespeare had a significant hand in writing. The extent of Shakespeare's role in the writing of the play is controversial.

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  • August 8th, 2012Chesterton & Shakespeareby Joseph Pearce

    I've received an e-mail from someone requesting information about Chesterton's apparent belief that Shakespeare was a Catholic. I'm pasting the text of the relevant part of the e-mail below. My reply follows.

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  • August 7th, 2012The Oasis of Joyby Kevin O'Brien

    "Who are you?  I want to thank you," he whispered, lying there.  On the side of the busy street.

    "Don't worry about that.  Just pray for me," I replied.

    He sat up.  Or tried to.  "Are you a Christian?" he asked.


    "So am I," he said.  And he relaxed and faded back into unresponsiveness.

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  • August 4th, 2012Just Show Upby Dena Hunt

    I have a friend who’s one of those people endowed/cursed with a native helpfulness. As a medical professional, she knows that such an impulse is useful. As a friend, mother, spouse, she’s learned that it’s not always so. It can get in the way of another’s self-respect, or someone’s struggle to develop of a healthy ego, among other hurtful things. Unbridled, it can become the addiction called “enabling” and do great harm.

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  • August 3rd, 2012When Virtue Pays III: Pearl Huntingby Sophia Mason

    I hope you all enjoyed the professor on Wednesday.  Harold Hill is an instructive example of a rather curious phenomenon—call it the anti-Shtcherbatsky, the hypocrite who, due to circumstances outside of his control but relating directly to his practice of hypocrisy, ends up a good man.  (Another example of the same phenomenon, I would argue, is Shakespeare’s Prince Hal—but that is another story.)

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  • August 2nd, 2012Golly, I’m Glad I Don’t Live in Chicago.by Dena Hunt

    What a terrible country that must be. He said the Chik Filet guy (sp?) did not have the same values that “we have here in Chicago” and therefore the guy would have to be banned from Chicago. Oh, my. If I were a Chicagoan, I would now have to research quickly in order to find out what values I’m supposed to have in order to be allowed to live there. Wow. I bet their internet services have been busy. For example—suppose I like Coke and he likes Pepsi?

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  • August 1st, 2012For Your—Entertainment?by Sophia Mason

    I got into a mini-combox war over at First Things.  The article by Daniel Mattson, "Why I Don't Call Myself a Gay Christian," is well worth the read.  Take a gander at it first for the context.  Here's the skirmish that followed.

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  • August 1st, 2012When Virtue Pays II: The Right Thing and the Wrong Reasonby Sophia Mason

    If it is an acknowledged truth that virtue does pay, it is equally true that to become virtuous for the sake of the payment is practically speaking impossible. Indeed, it is worse than impossible: it is dangerous.

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  • July 31st, 2012When Virtue Pays Iby Sophia Mason

    A week or two ago I wrote a piece for the Catholic woman’s blog Altcatholicah.  I had been supposed to write something for Altcatholicah for a while, but I was running short on time and inspiration both … until I saw a certain exchange in the comment box of a previous piece on Altcatholicah.

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  • July 29th, 2012Curiosity Killed the Monkeyby Joseph Pearce

    The culture of death does not believe in having children but it's pretty adept at corrupting other people's kids. The poison seeps through the relativist schmaltz of Disney et al and it's very difficult to protect one's own children from being intoxicated by this soporifically banal dross. We have tried to protect our own children by getting rid of the television, indubitably one of the best decisions we've made. Our four-year-old daughter gets to watch children's videos on the computer and my wife does her best to monitor the nature of the programming that she sees. The Wiggles strike me as pretty healthy and fairly traditional in their approach. They even include avowedly Christian songs on their Christmas DVDs, which seems to take a degree of courage in these increasingly intolerant days. Veggie Tales are good fun, of course, and unabashedly Christian. I've grown fond of Handy Manny and his indestructible gentleness, though the world in which he moves is sanitized to avoid any mention of religion.

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  • July 29th, 2012Fighting for Religious Freedom in Mexicoby Joseph Pearce

    As the Obama regime continues its war of attrition against the Catholic Church, it seems that the Cistero War in Mexico, the subject of the recent film For Greater Glory as well as being the subject of a number of posts here on the Ink Desk, seems more relevant than ever. This being so, here are some details of an excellent new book about la Cristiada.

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  • July 29th, 2012Filming Lectures on Chesterton and Tolkienby Joseph Pearce

    I have a very exciting week in store, which I hope and pray will bear great fruit. On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday I will be filming two "Catholic Courses" (www.catholiccourses.com). The first will be an eight lecture series on "The Thought of G. K. Chesterton" and the second will be an eight lecture series on "The Catholicism of The Hobbit". I'm very excited by the prospect of filming both courses and hope you will consider purchasing one or other, or both, of them when they are released later this year. On Thursday morning, I fly to Reno, Nevada for the National Chesterton Conference. I'm giving a talk on "The Humour and Humility of Chesterton" on Thursday evening, and leading a discussion on "The Thought of Chesterton" on Saturday. It's not too late to register for this conference. For details, please see my post of a few days ago.

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  • July 27th, 2012Too Good To Miss!by Joseph Pearce

    Time is running out! Register today for the 31st Annual Chesterton Conference in Reno, August 2-4!

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  • July 26th, 2012Chesterton on Jews and Germansby Joseph Pearce

    Ahead of next week's Chesterton Conference in Reno, Nevada, I thought I' post my response to three questions related to the great GKC which were sent to me yesterday:

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  • July 25th, 2012Cross Over the Lineby Sophia Mason

    Once upon a time yours truly was a heretic. If that word conjures up images of stakes and spiked iron chairs and empire-chinned prelates of dubious heart and Pricean voice, you can stop reading now. I am not the reincarnation of a Spanish dissenter. Nor am I that only slightly less interesting thing, a convert from Protestantism. No, I came by my heresy honestly, being baptized a Catholic and having every intention of dying one.

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  • July 25th, 2012The Spawn of Nietzscheby Kevin O'Brien

    OK, I can understand young girls getting a secret thrill out of Ayn Rand - Rand's novels are Hallmark Movies on steroids, where the shirtless heroes are selfish geniuses who take what they want when they want it and ride off into the sunset on some powerful and muscular horse, snorting along the way (the horse, not the hero).  And girls have always liked Bad Boys.

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  • July 25th, 2012James the Great, Defender of Christendomby Joseph Pearce

    Today is the Feast of St. James the Great, patron of Spain and Defender of Christendom. Earlier this year, I fulfilled a long-held desire to visit the shrine of the great saint at Santiago de Compostela in Galicia. What a joy and honour it was to pay homage to St. James by praying at his tomb.

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  • July 24th, 2012Kevin O’Brien’s Journey Homeby Kevin O'Brien

    Kevin O'Brien, founder of the Theater of the Word Incorporated, will be featured on EWTN's The Journey Home  on Monday, August 6 at 8:00 pm Eastern time (7:00 Central).  Kevin recounts his journey from atheism to the Catholic Church, which began with his experiences on stage; and he and host Marcus Grodi discuss many things, including the relation between Acting and Faith.  He will also be featured on Grodi's radio program Deep in Scripture on EWTN Radio Wednesday, August 8th at 2:00 pm Eastern (1:00 pm Central), discussing a number of Scripture verses, especially as they relate to the spirituality of the arts.

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  • July 24th, 2012Bit by Painful Bitby Dena Hunt

    There were several posts recently about patriotism and nationalism. These are not synonyms, nor are they “positive” and “negative” views of the same human emotion. They are antonyms, in fact. Patriotism is the love of one’s homeland, having its source in connotative memory of home, family, of that which is familiar and dear. It performs the healthy psychological function of bestowing identity, a sense of security and of belonging. It’s a natural part of a healthy psyche. 

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  • July 24th, 2012An Evening With Gollumby Joseph Pearce

    Having returned home on Sunday from our family holiday in California, I am now embroiled in the writing of an eight part lecture series on The Hobbit for Catholic Courses (www.catholiccourses.com). As I grapple with the moral and theological dimension of Tolkien’s classic children’s story, I am mindful of Tolkien’s assertion in his famous essay “On Fairy Stories” that fairy stories hold up a mirror of scorn and pity to man. This being so, I recall an evening some time ago when I spent a few tortured and tortuous hours in the presence of Gollum himself – not the literal Gollum, of course, which would have been a little scary, but the mirror of Gollum reflected in an old friend of mine.

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