I'll Come Speak

    I write and speak on all sorts of topics: ancient Christian spirituality and the Eastern Orthodox faith, the Jesus Prayer, marriage and family, the pro-life cause, cultural issues, and more. You can contact Cynthia Damaskos of the Orthodox Speakers Bureau if you’d like to bring me to an event. This Calendar will let you know when I’m in your neighborhood.


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Entries in Pro-Life (71)


Democrats and Pro-lifers

Updated on Wednesday, January 19, 2005 by Registered CommenterFrederica

[NPR, "Morning Edition," January 22, 2005]

The other night a couple of dozen young professionals and college students, mostly Eastern Orthodox Christians, crowded into my house for dinner. We played a current events party game. We divided the group in two and assigned one side to favor, and the other to oppose, five controversial issues.

At the end of the discussion we went around the room and voted. One after another, these twenty- and thirty-somethings said that one issue was more important to them than any other. They were strongly opposed to abortion.

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Dutch Child Euthanasia

[Christianity Today Online, December 28, 2004]

If you close your eyes and picture a housewife with a bucket of hot water and a bristle brush, scrubbing away at her front doorstep, the small line of type at the lower corner of your imagination reads "The Netherlands." That's the Dutch: tidy, polite, reasonable and compassionate.

"Tidy" and "compassionate" can intersect in a strange way, however, when it comes to handling the tragedies of life. Three years ago, the Dutch Parliament shocked the world by passing a law allowing "mercy killing" under certain circumstances.

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Doing Everything We Can

[Touchstone, January 2004; a consortium discussion of the pro-life movement's  "New Rhetorical Strategy"]

The "New Rhetorical Strategy" that Francis Beckwith critiques is getting up in years. My first book, "Real Choices: Listening to Women, Looking for Alternatives to Abortion" was written in 1993. The Caring Foundation's first ads appeared in the mid-nineties, as did Paul Swopes' essay in First Things describing the results of their research. David Reardon's book "Aborted Women: Silent No More," appeared in 1987.

Beckwith might have mentioned as well Dr. Jack Willke's early-nineties project to develop a concise response to the other side's "Who decides?" rhetoric (you may have seen "Love them both" placards), and the trend of pregnancy care centers to shift focus, changing from storefronts that discourage abortion to full-fledged medical clinics or professional counseling centers.

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Post-Abortion Men, Natural Consequences

[Today's Christian, January-February, 2004]

Q. If a woman commits the sin of abortion, people say that she can be forgiven. But if the father of the child wanted that child, and had absolutely no say in the child's fate, and afterwards wanted to commit suicide, would he be forgiven? I understand that a person can be forgiven for murdering an innocent life, but can a person be forgiven for murdering his own life? --a grieving father

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Stem Cells

[recorded for NPR "Morning Edition" December 2003; postponed to wait for a "news hook," eventually lost in a system crash]

When reports of human cloning first began appearing in the news, a lot of us had the initial reaction, "You're kidding, right?" They weren't kidding. This bizarre field of medical research is rarin' to go. We don't have much time to consider the question: should it?
The idea of a full-grown human clone is creepy enough, but what about cloning for medical purposes--making an embryo with a patient's cells, then killing it to use in the patient's treatment? Even here we know instinctively that something's wrong. We know it isn't right to mix up a baby in a test tube and then, when it starts growing, chop it up for medicine. It isn't right to make medicine out of people.

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The Lessons of Roe

[National Review Online, January 22, 2003]

I was what the sociologists call an "early adopter" of feminism. Soon after arriving at college, in 1970, I knew that it was the religion for me. I had discarded the religion I grew up with, Christianity, as an insultingly simpleminded thing, but feminism filled the gap. Like a religion it offered a complete philosophical worldview, one that displayed me as victim in the center, a feature with immeasurable appeal to a female teenager. Feminism had its own gnostic analysis of reality, by which everything in existence was decoded to be about the oppression of women; it had sacred books, a secret vocabulary, and congregational gatherings for the purpose of consciousness-raising.

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Roe v Wade 30th Anniversary

[NPR, "Morning Edition," January 22, 2003]

Thirty years ago, when I was an idealistic college student, I volunteered at a feminist newspaper called "off our backs." The Roe v Wade decision happened the first month I worked there. Our editorial said it didn't go far enough, because Roe requires a woman to have medical reason for abortion in the third trimester.

I thought abortion rights were going to liberate women.

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Abortion in the Tides of Culture

[First Things, December 2002]

Where did the pro-life movement go? A half-dozen years ago movement activists were everywhere, drafting statements, holding press conferences, staring fixedly into the blind lens of a remote-studio TV camera. But a tide of silence has gradually come in. Abortion, which had defined "hot issue" for our time, mysteriously cooled off. Magazine cover stories have moved on to other topics; college students no longer crowd into abortion debates.

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Of Stem Cells & Starry Nights

[Again, December 2001]

You must think of something immense: a star standing still in the indigo sky, reigning like the sun. It casts back darkness and illuminates even the corners of the cattleyard, so that all that is humble, dirty and scuffed is revealed. The star waits. Three kings come into the pool of its light, and find there a greater King, greater than any blazing star.

Now you must think of something very small: in a cold, dark place there are miniature children suspended in frost, snow babies, unmoving and unbreathing.

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Mark Pickup

[Citizen, October 2001]

Here’s the problem. The audience, a couple of hundred doctors and nurses, are clustered along conference tables and in rows of chairs all around the room, waiting for the next speaker. But he’s still a good twenty feet from the podium. Between him and that microphone, up on a raised dais, there’s a short flight of stairs. And that’s the problem.


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