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.

  • July 16th, 2012Apocalypse Soon!by Kevin O'Brien

    First, I must apologize to my friend Joseph Pearce for mischaracterizing his Ink Desk blog post The Resurrection of the God of Physics, which in my haste I read as Joseph's agreement with an article in Crisis that seemed to imply the notion that physics can prove the existence of God.  

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  • July 14th, 2012Never Letting a Quarrel Get in the Way of a Good Argumentby Joseph Pearce

    It seems that Kevin O'Brien and I have taken radically different positions with regard to the article by Father Rutler. That's one of things I like about this site: the engagement of like-minded Catholics about the issues of the day

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  • July 13th, 2012Comfort and Christianityby Joseph Pearce

    The usually excellent George Rutler has written an alarming and alarmist post in today's Crisis Magazine online:  http://www.crisismagazine.com/2012/the-election-of-2012.

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  • July 13th, 2012It’s Hardly Prophecy Any Moreby Kevin O'Brien

    Not long ago James V. Schall SJ wrote a piece that began, "Catholics have little legal future in this country except as a narrow, strictly defined sect."  He went on to suggest that there would come a time in the U.S.A. where we will have an officially tolerated faux-church, and an actual, but underground and persecuted, church-of-the-catacombs, as in China. 

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  • July 13th, 2012The Savior of Scienceby Kevin O'Brien

    Joseph Pearce points to an article at Crisis, which asserts that physics can prove that there is a God.  But I would suggest that this is as much of a mistake as asserting that physics can prove that there is no God.

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  • July 12th, 2012The Resurrection of the God of Physicsby Joseph Pearce

    Last week I posted a link to an excellent BBC radio documentary about the priest scientist Georges Le Maitre who is accredited with positing the Big Bang Theory. In similar vein, this article in today's Crisis Magazine shows that statements by atheists, such as Stephen Hawking, that God is dead are proving premature, as shown by new discoveries in physics:

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  • July 12th, 2012Taking Exception to Exceptionalismby Joseph Pearce

    In the light of our recent discussions about the United States, this excellent article by Thomas Storck will add grist to our cognitive mill:

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  • July 12th, 2012In Aeternum: The England That Never Changesby Joseph Pearce

    Recent posts on this site about the United States and England, and especially Dena’s recent “blasphemous” post about the decline, decay and ultimate disintegration of England have prompted my musings on the mutability of nations and cultures. Is everything subject to change? If so, is there any permanent value attached to these mutable things? Why bother about the USA or England if they are doomed to die?

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  • July 10th, 2012The Most Frightening Novel Ever?by Joseph Pearce

    I had hoped this morning to write a post entitled "The Eternal, Unchanging England" as a comment upon Dena's excellent "blasphemous" post. Although I agree with her observations and analysis, I'd like to take her discussion on a transendental tangent that leads us to a more hopeful conclusion. Since, however, I am on holiday with my family in California and since my son had me up half the night because of a bad case of congestion, which is preventing him from sleeping, I think I'll need to postpone the writing of the post until tomorrow.

    In the interim, I'm posting a link to an excellent article by the inestimable and indefatigable Jesuit, Father Schall, about R. H. Benson's novel, The Lord of the World.

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  • July 9th, 2012And now, for a little blasphemy . . .by Dena Hunt

    We’ve just done our July 4th thing. Sentimentalists (I don’t use the word “patriots”) get all misty and irritated on this day. They satisfy their need to mist by playing military band music, and in their rhetoric, confuse us sometimes about what’s actually being celebrated—not so much mention is made of the American Revolution or the Declaration of Independence any more, but there’s often much talk about our veterans, etc. July 4th over time has gotten mixed up with all kinds of other things; it’s all tied up now with whatever is “patriotic.” After all, England (which hardly even exists now anyway; it’s been subsumed into something called the UK, which is, in turn, subsumed into something called the EU) is our long-standing closest ally. So it’s kind of difficult to assume a contrary posture toward the country from which we once declared our independence and on which we once waged war. So—we settle for something rather like general patriotism and wax sentimental. The irritation comes from this very muddledness about what we’re celebrating. People get irritated at the lack of reverence paid to patriotism. They want to interrupt the cook-outs and fireworks to restore a more reverent regard toward July 4th—which used to be called Independence Day. You never hear that term any more, however, which is a good indication of the holiday’s lost original meaning.

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  • July 8th, 2012Some Civil Words on an Uncivil Warby Joseph Pearce

    I arrived with my family in California yesterday at the commencement of a fortnight vacation. As such, I suspect that my posts over the next two weeks will be somewhat sketchy due to the presence of lovable distractions. By way of illustration, my four-year-old daughter is sitting at the breakfast table asking me intermittently why I am working when it’s supposed to be a playing day.

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  • July 7th, 2012Trading on Chesterton without a Trace of Chestertonby Kevin O'Brien

    Well, there is such a thing as the Benefit of the Doubt. 

    But a PARISH SECRETARY???

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  • July 7th, 2012The Unholy Familyby Kevin O'Brien

    Frank Weathers has engaged in an interesting conversation with Timothy Dalrymple here

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  • July 6th, 2012The Problem and the Solutionby Kevin O'Brien

    "I know what your problem is. In fact, I know what everyone’s problem is. Furthermore, I not only know the problem, I have the solution."

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  • July 6th, 2012Book Newsby Joseph Pearce

    Within the past few minutes, I've sent the manuscript of a new book, tentatively titled "Bilbo's Pilgrimage: The Christianity of The Hobbit"  to my publisher, Saint Benedict Press. The plan is to have it published in time for the release of the first part of Peter Jackson's movie adaptation of The Hobbit this December.

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  • July 6th, 2012Father of the Big Bangby Joseph Pearce

    It can never be stressed enough that Faith and Reason are inextricably connected. The rejection of the one is always at the expense of the other. It is for this reason that Catholic priests and religious have made some of the most important discoveries in science. The modern science of genetics owes its genesis to a Catholic scientist, as does the science of geology.

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  • July 5th, 2012Franciscan Pyrotechnicsby Joseph Pearce

    Last night I sat on the deck of our home in South Carolina, sipping Kentucky bourbon, watching the dying embers of the fire on which we’d had a barbecue earlier, and listening to the sound of redneck pyrotechnics in the distance.

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  • July 5th, 2012Fifty Things I Like About the United Statesby Joseph Pearce

    Yesterday, as part of our Fourth of July festivities, my wife read me Father Dwight Longenecker’s post on his own website listing the things he likes most about his native land. I am not a native American, unlike all those born here irrespective of ethnic origin, but I am a fairly recent American citizen and thought it might be fun to list fifty things that I like about the United States. Here goes:

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  • July 5th, 2012Sigrid Undset and the Fate of Europeby Paul Adams

    I am reading Sigrid Undset’s Stages of the Road, a collection of essays written in the years after she won the Nobel Prize for literature, published in English in 1934, and now reissued with an introduction by Elizabeth Scalia.  As the new edition’s blurb says, it is a “fascinating collection of of saints’ lives, a prophetic critique of modernity, and a surprisingly contemporary take on being Catholic—in particular a Catholic woman—in a sometimes hostile secular world.”  It is also—strikingly in these days of religious indifferentism, casual heresy, and lowest-common-denominator ecumenism—a powerful critique of Protestantism, its history and continuing legacy in Europe.

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  • July 5th, 2012New Catholic Homeschooling Radio Showby Joseph Pearce

    I've been asked to share news that Radio Maria is sponsoring a Catholic homeschooling radio show, Homeschool Lifeline. The host is Katie Moran, with co-host Terry Arnold.

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