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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 Marriage and Family (55)

Tuesday
Dec241996

Too Much Togetherness

[Religion News Service, December 24, 1996] 

This season of togetherness pushes people together, and in the process they find sometimes that the fit isn't so easy. Family members who see each other once a year do so now, over the turkey or New Year's Day ham; co‑workers from other departments share cookies and a paper cup of soda (or something stronger) and try to make conversation. In this season more than ever we are being appraised and often find ourselves fretting about how to dress or behave to suit different occasions. It's a tense and giddy time, so full of fun that we're quite relieved when it's over.

 

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Wednesday
Oct091996

Men Protecting Women

[NPR, "All Things Considered," October 9, 1996]

When my daughter got a job delivering pizzas, I was a little concerned. Is the neighborhood safe? Do they deliver after dark? I imagined her standing in a shadowy hallway all alone, vulnerable to any sort of mayhem, and armed only with a pizza.

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Monday
Jul081996

Generation Why

[NPR, "All Things Considered," July 8, 1996]

When my daughter came home from college she announced she wants to paint something else on her car. It's already covered with daisies. Now she wants to add cartoon depictions of the Beatles, Yellow-Submarine style, on the doors. The tape rack inside is filled with Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, and the Doors. "Everybody I like is dead," she says. Her brother David is a couple of years younger. His golden hair flows over his shoulders, and he's attempting by sheer force of willpower to generate a moustache and goatee. Wire-rim glasses complete the look. The other day I found him bent over his guitar, picking out the chords to Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone."

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Tuesday
Jan231996

Safe-T-Man

[Religion News Service, January 23, 1996]

It’s not every day you get to see a photo of a woman folding a man up and pushing him into a suitcase. But there she is: standing outside a compact car, shoving an amiable-looking fellow in a rugby shirt into a carrying case.

Make that a “#4858944 Zippered Nylon Carrying Tote.” Yes, this is Safe-T-Man, the inflatable bodyguard, “a life-size, simulated male that appears to be 180 lbs. and 6 ft. tall.”

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Saturday
Nov181995

Overthrown by Eros

[World, November 18, 1995]

As Morality in Media launched their eighth annual "White Ribbon Against Pornography" campaign, the New Yorker magazine helpfully provided a 22-page look inside the world of porn film production. Author Susan Faludi gave readers a sympathetic glimpse at the tough lot of a male porn star. No, really. In this business, the woman is the object of desire and the male is furniture, and pay follows accordingly. What's more, male actors regularly find themselves the unwilling cause of production delays, and reap as a result the irritation and scorn of their peers. Habitual apprehension creates more problems, and this career-destroying pressure eventually destroys every career. Has-beens shuffle into backstage work, or, if they're lucky, marry a female star who can support them.

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Saturday
Oct071995

Unnatural Childbirth

[World, October 7, 1995] 

I got a “what’s wrong with this picture” feeling from reading the news clip: Sens. Nancy Kassebaum (R-Kansas) and Bill Bradley (D-New Jersey) were introducing a bill to require health insurers to provide a minimum 48 hour stay after childbirth. Over the last twenty years, the length of postpartum stays has shortened from four days to two or less.

Health insurers, not surprisingly, love the shorter stays.

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Tuesday
Sep051995

Isn't Censorship Part of a Parent's Job?

[Religion News Service, September 5, 1995]

An on‑line friend regularly sends me E‑mail titled "Hathos!" These are items that prompt a mix of hatred and pathos (and embarrassment, loathing, and other emotions). Something that showed up the other day certainly fills that bill: the liberal advocacy group People For the American Way is accusing America's parents of censorship.

 

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Saturday
Apr291995

Monster

[World, April 29, 1995]

"I recoiled so much from what I had done that it seemed to be not my choice at all. A mystery, I thought. A monster did it."

Michael Warner writes these words in the Village Voice (Jan. 31,  1995), in an article titled "Why Gay Men are Having Risky Sex." He is perplexed at the statistics: 30-38% of HIV-negative gay men admit they don't always use condoms.

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Thursday
Feb161995

The Wiedros in Winter

[Unpublished, February 1995]

Long winter evenings have always challenged families; the Hagley Museum in Wilmington, Delaware recently hosted an afternoon of "19th century winter pastimes…once-popular parlor games challenging the mind or the memory." For some readers, early March will bring more snowstorms, and a list of old parlor games sounds appealing.

But who needs outmoded forms of entertainment, when you can keep jolly the Wiedro way? "The Wiedros" became our family alias when daughter Megan, attempting to enter the surname "Weirdo" on a computer questionaire at Disneyworld, logged something like "Wiedr O" instead. On our last Wiedro outing we visited museums in Delaware’s Brandywine Valley, then spent abed-and-breakfast evening, free from all electronic diversions. Here are the pastimes taht helped pass our time—some old familiars, some invented on the spot. The first is a guiding principle:

1. Drive it into the ground. Don’t let a promising topic go until it’s exhausted.

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Saturday
Oct291994

Born That Way

[World, October 29, 1994] 

An interview in the September 1994 Heterodoxy introduced us to a man the homosexual mainstream (or “Gaystream”) would prefer we didn’t meet: Leland Stevenson. Stevenson is a spokesman for the North American Man-Boy Love Association, which promotes sexual encounters between adults and adolescent boys.

This organization causes the Gaystream some awkward moments. When reporter Paul Mulshine phoned a representative of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, the representative, Ms Kane, stated that her organization did not support NAMBLA. Then she added, apparently automatically, “We believe that people should not be denied their civil rights because of the sexual orientation with which they are born.”

 

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