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 (72)


Killing Abortionists: A Symposium

[First Things, December 1994] 

Paul Hill's thesis has sometimes been expanded into "the big what-if," the scenario often used to challenge pacifists. What if you had to defend your own children from a criminal? Wouldn't deadly force be justified then?

Anyone finds such a prospect deeply distressing. But the very impact of this image hinders us from realizing that shooting an abortionist fails the analogy in three important ways.

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The Embodiment of Us

[World, November 26, 1994]

"Hey, you got stuff all over your car!" the boy called out.

He staffs the gatehouse at the retirement home where my son waits tables. The stuff I had all over my car was large white daisies with sun-yellow centers, carefully painted on by hand. Yes, it draws attention.

It's my daughter's car, I explain, but she hasn't learned to drive a stick-shift yet. While she tools around in my massive station wagon, I'm in her lumpy old sedan. When this car rolled off the assembly line ten years ago, Megan was in the first grade. It kept rolling for 114,000 miles until it crossed her path, and as soon as she caught it she scattered daisies all over its powdery dull-brown hide.

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Not Quite a Perfect Fit

[Prism, September-October, 1994]

It was November 1988, election day, and my husband was miserable. He'd been a Democrat, or further left, forever: in 1964, when his precinct went 12 to 1 for Goldwater, Gary was county chair of Teens for Johnson. He participated in teach-ins, marches, and rallies, and worked two simultaneous jobs in the old War on Poverty. We first met at a steelworkers' strike, and were married in the woods, flowers in my hair and a vegetarian spread on the reception table.

But over the years, as our commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ had grown, we had become increasingly persuaded that abortion was wrong. We had opposed so many forms of violence and injustice; eventually we had to admit that, no matter how difficult pregnancy made a woman's life, dismembering her child was a violent and unjust solution. The realization that 4500 children were dying every day forced this issue to the top of our list. No other social evil had such a bloody toll.

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Becoming a Pro-Woman, Pro-Life Persuader

[University Faculty for Life,  June 1994]

The abortion battle has been dragging on for over twenty years. It began sometime before Roe v. Wade, when individual states first loosened their laws. I have friends who have been active in the cause from before the beginning; some of you may fit that category.

But I have only been working at this for about five years, and so my perspective is perhaps fresher. It seems to me that what we have been doing, frankly, isn't working.

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Prolifers' Long Dark Night

[Christianity Today, April 24, 1994] 

In a year which has seen many discouragements for the pro‑life movement, March 10 marks a particularly low point; it is the anniversary of the killing of abortionist David Gunn in Pensacola, Florida. When the pro‑choice movement tragically gained a martyr, they gained another boost in the fashionability of their cause. And those of us who oppose both abortion and murder must wonder once again why God allows these setbacks to occur.


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Gov. Robert Casey (profile)

[World, March 12, 1994] 

It was "almost providential."

This is a cautious man speaking. Governor Bob Casey is not given to effusive pronouncements. His lengthy form is folded behind the ornate desk, but his long arms sometimes escape to chop the air in emphasis. White hair and black eyebrows lend him an intense appearance, but his manner is plain-spoken and unaffected, and always marked by caution.

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Good News, Bad News

[World, February 26, 1994] 

Good news on the pro-life front recently: both Pennsylvania and North Dakota have overcome judicial hurdles to putting abortion laws into effect. Pro-life victories are rare enough that activists are celebrating.

The Pennsylvania laws were enacted in 1990, but abortion advocates brought repeated challenges that carried them all the way to the Supreme Court.

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Proclaimers and Persuaders in the Abortion Wars

[World, January 15, 1994] 

One of the most hard-nosed and incisive debaters of the pro-life cause is Gregg Cunningham, whose exchange of letters with C. Everett Koop appeared in a recent issue.

Gregg's Center for Bio-Ethical Reform handles a busy calendar of speaking engagements and produces "Hard Truth," a devastating video showing aborted babies. Every cause needs articulate, aggressive champions like Gregg.

But Gregg's latest newsletter set me to thinking about what else a cause needs.

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A Labor of Love

[Philanthropy, Culture, and Society, October, 1993]

The toughest thing about Marilyn Szewczyk isn't her name. You can forget everything you learned in grammar school and rattle off "Seff-check." Keeping up with Marilyn's determination, energy, and vision is not so easy.

Marilyn arrives late for our lunch appointment, her ample silhouette filling the door. Outside it is a blistering white summer noon ;

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Songs of Life

[World, September, 14] 

There are many ways to act out pro-life convictions, and a surprising number of people do so by singing. A recent survey of the field yielded over 40 titles of pro-life songs, and the list is certainly incomplete.

There are two album-length collections of pro-life music, plus many singles and amateur songs. The first album, "Sing Out for Life,"

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