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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 The Culture (92)

Tuesday
Jul251995

Looking for Religious Truth in All the Wrong Places

[Religion News Service, July 25, 1995] 

It's as adorable as a kitten sitting on a teddy bear holding a balloon, licking a lollipop shaped like a rainbow that smells like violets and plays "Send in the Clowns." Make that a pink kitten.

Superlatives fail me. The latest porcelain doll catalog just arrived from the Ashton‑Drake Galleries, and just thumbing through it is enough to make my teeth hurt.

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Sunday
May071995

War, Peace, and Bumper Stickers

[Religion News Service, May 7, 1995]

 

I can't get the bumper‑sticker out of my mind; it's stuck there like a wad of gum under a theater seat. "World Peace," read the message on the back of the Dodge, in faux‑childish crayon scrawl. It had a smiley‑face in the middle. No doubt the woman toting this sticker likes world peace, and wanted to suggest it as an option the rest of us had not yet considered.

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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
Dec241994

Deconstructing the AAR

As late fall slides to winter, across the country Christians are winding up another year of living the religious life. Late fall, and across the country members of the American Academy of Religion are winding up another year of studying the religious life.

The distinction between living it and studying it may seem artificial; most Christians study scripture, as well as theology and devotional works. But the study based in faith is not like the study of religion per se. In the halls of academe, religion is just one more sociological phenomenon, to be appraised from a safe distance (after all, He may not be a tame lion). Not that all the members of the Academy are religious abstainers; there are mainliners, goddess-worshippers, Buddhists, and the odd evangelical or two. But the AAR meets in the ivory tower, not the church.

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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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Saturday
Oct011994

Preaching in Times Square

[World, October 1, 1994] 

Sexist treatment is blatant on Broadway. Street hawkers hand women, not men, fliers advertising nail salons (with puzzling semi-English names like "Tanning Nail"). Men, on the other hand, get fliers advertising the "World's Hottest Dancers." The latter fliers suggest that a woman who hopes to attract men by investing in her fingernails has chosen one of the least likely sites of interest.

At the corner of 42nd street a slight, city-pale man is handing out pamphlets freely, without regard to gender.

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Saturday
Sep171994

Is America "the greatest force for good"?

[World, September 17, 1994]

Tom Clancy is the novelist for patriots, and Pat Buchanan is one of his biggest fans. But one of Buchanan’s recent columns, devoted to praising Clancy’s work, had a line that pulled me up short: “[His characters] put duty, honor, country above all else. And in a Clancy novel there is no moral equivalence: The U.S.A. is the greatest force for good on the planet.”

I write this as the U.N. International Conference on Population and Development begins in Cairo. The U.S.A. is there, parading as the greatest force for abortion, birth control, and eugenic population management on the planet. Our immense wealth and power make us a force hard to withstand.

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Saturday
Aug271994

Woodstock II: Regeneration Gap

[World, August 27, 1994]

 
1969—Gary Mathewes arrives at the Wood-stock festival with his streetwise, drug-dealing Greenwich Village girlfriend. "I don't remember buying a ticket, or anyone asking for a ticket," he says. "I don't remember much, except spending a lot of time lying on the ground."

1994—Father Gregory Mathewes-Green stands at an altar covered with gold brocade. "Holy things are for the holy," he intones. "One is holy," the people sing back, "One is Lord, Jesus Christ."

Twenty-five years after Woodstock, twenty years after he insisted on a vegetarian spread at his wedding reception,

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Saturday
Apr231994

Tyrranical Victims

[World, April 23, 1994] 

The American Association of University Women, which last year issued a report equating boy-girl schoolyard teasing with sexual harassment, is now concerned about how schools damage little girls' fragile self-esteem. The problem is that they don't have enough role models.

Wait a minute, you say. The last time you visited a school, at least half the teachers looked to be female.

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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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