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 (76)

Tuesday
Apr251995

Smiling Conservatives

[Religion News Service, April 25, 1995}

Smile and the world doesn't always smile with you. When Verlyn Klinkenborg reports on a pro-life protest outside a Milwaukee abortion clinic (Harper's, January 1995), the first thing he tells us about the participants is:  "They were smiling.  'They smile all the time,' said a woman named Catey Doyle...in the room with me." Likewise, when Julie A. Wortman writes in The Witness about her reluctance to attend a meeting on evangelism, her first complaint is, "Most of the people I've encountered who enjoy talking about and doing evangelism have seemed unnaturally smiley and friendly." When liberals peer across the barricades, they don't only see their opponents thinking wrong thoughts. They see them smiling about it, which is even more unsettling.

 

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Saturday
Feb181995

Dignity, Always Dignity

[World, February 18, 1995]

When Oregon passed "Measure 16" last November, it became the first state in the nation to give doctors permission to prescribe poisonous drugs in order to kill dying patients. In fact, according to the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, Oregon is "the first jurisdiction in the world to legalize assisted suicide by popular vote." Oregon was a well-chosen test site; it has the lowest church attendance in the nation, and pro-euthanasia messages played on bias against pro-life Catholic leadership (it's been said that "Anti-Catholicism is the anti-Semitism of the elite class.") The lines don't split precisely between Christians and non-believers, however. Many Christians feel an innate revulsion for legalized killing of the sick, but some do not. A recent letter in our Mailbag column proclaimed, "Thank God for Dr. Kevorkian." It's human nature to feel panic at the thought of dying in misery, and to long to circumvent the possibility.

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Saturday
Jan211995

Noisy, Empty Gestures

[World, January 21, 1995]

All through a long afternoon I had listened to true stories: women, strangers to me, pouring out intimate tales of love and loss. True stories are sometimes less strange than fiction; their outcomes can almost seem inevitable. This day, every story ended with an abortion.

The spring evening was fair and warm. After dinner I left the hotel for a long walk, thinking about the day's conversations. Then I noticed on one building a plaque reading "Planned Parenthood."

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Monday
Jan021995

Pro-Life, Pro-Choice: Can We Talk?

[Sojourners, January 1995] 

For years I scoffed at the idea of violence outside abortion clinics. Sure, plenty of violence was going on inside the clinics--over 4,000 babies killed every day. But opponents of abortion are pro-life, I kept saying. We're in this because we oppose bloodshed. Occasionally I'd wince to hear that someone who was Not Clear on the Concept had harmed an empty building, an action that was wrong, risky, and stupid. But the notion that anyone would aim a gun at an abortionist's head and pull the trigger was ludicrous.

Then somebody did it.

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Wednesday
Dec211994

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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Saturday
Nov261994

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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Sunday
Oct161994

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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Thursday
Jun091994

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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Sunday
Apr241994

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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Saturday
Mar121994

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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