Search
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.

 

Powered by Squarespace
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.

 

Click to read more ...

Monday
Dec091996

The Grim Nativity of an Inconvenient Infant

[Religion News Service, December 9, 1996] 

The story has become familiar: Amy Grossberg and Brian Peterson were high school sweethearts in a New York City suburb usually described as "affluent." They went off to separate colleges as freshmen this fall, but met in mid‑November at a motel outside Newark, Del. There she delivered their firstborn son, and Peterson swaddled him in bloody motel linens and laid him in a gray garbage bag. The corpse was later recovered from the motel trash bin.

 

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Nov261996

Who's That Idiot Next to the Potted Plant?

[Religion News Service, November 26, 1996]

Has this happened to you? You're watching some talk'n'politics TV show, a few people sitting around a table with a photo backdrop of the U.S. Capitol, and one of them is a total idiot.

You're thinking, "I can't believe what the one next to the potted plant is saying," and "Did you hear that? How'd she/he get on this show?" and "I could do better than that -- in fact, my labrador retriever could do better than that!"

Well, that would be me.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Nov121996

Deconstructing the Cheshire Cat

[Religion News Service, November 12, 1996] 

Well, here we are. Or are we?

It's an open question among some academic sophisticates. Does anything exist? If it did, how would you know? Is there any feasible way to prove it? Or is everything we perceive (if indeed there's anything there at all) so colored by preconceptions that nothing can be definitively stated?

Is what we call "reality" merely constructed of our prejudices and whims ‑‑ or worse, constructed of our desire to gather power and subjugate others? Can one really state that "physical reality ... is at bottom a social and linguistic construct"?

That's what Alan Sokal, a physicist at New York University, asserted not long ago in the pages of the journal, Social Text. Unfortunately for the editors of Social Text, Sokal was only kidding.

Click to read more ...

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.

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Sep181996

From Episcopalian to Orthodox

An excerpt from Facing East: A Pilgrim's Journey Into the Mysteries of Orthodoxy

Prologue: In the Passenger Seat

Saturday, December 21, 1991
Vespers

He was an Episcopal priest, but he was standing in an Orthodox church on this Saturday night and thinking about Truth. At the altar a gold-robed priest strode back and forth swinging incense, moving in and out the doors of the iconostasis according to rubrics that were as yet unfamiliar. Golden bells chimed against the censer, and the light was smoky and dim. Over to the left a small choir was singing in haunting harmony, voices twining in a capella simplicity. The Truth part was this: the ancient words of this Vesperal service had been chanted for more than a millennium. Lex orandi, lex credendi; what people pray shapes what they believe. This was a church that had never, could never, apostatize.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Sep031996

Shows the Famiily Can Watch

[Religion News Service, September 3, 1996] 

 A recent television awards ceremony sought to honor so‑called "family" shows; advertising for the program proclaimed that it would celebrate "shows the whole family can watch together." The tone was both defensive and opportunistic.

The show's producers read their demographics correctly: There are a lot of parents out there who are just plain peeved.

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Jul281996

Seeking Abortion's Middle Ground

[Washington Post, July 28, 1997]

I was pro-choice at one point in my life, but I came over to a pro-life position years ago. I've been there ever since. Perhaps because of my background, I think there's a logic to the pro-choice position that deserves respect, even as we engage it critically. It is possible to disagree with somebody without calling them baby-killers, without believing that they are monsters or fiends. It is possible to disagree in an agreeable way.

The abortion argument is essentially an argument among women. It's been a bitter and ugly debate, and I find that embarrassing. For me, that gives a special urgency to this conference.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Jul231996

Church Fires, Contagious Hatred

[Religion News Service, July 23, 1996]

 
At the beginning of a summer expected to be long and hot, a shocking charge was made: Racists are burning black churches. In a June 8 address, President Clinton cited the burning of Murkland Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, N.C., which he described as the 30th such fire in 18 months.

 

Click to read more ...

Friday
Jul121996

Virtual Water Cooler

[NPR, "All Things Considered," July 12, 1996]

Someone somewhere is sitting in a car. She's just left the office and is trying to get home, but the traffic is backed into a snarl.The setting sun cuts through the windshield, steaming the car and wilting the collar of her blouse. It's been a long day, and tomorrow will be another, all summer, all winter, year after year.

Click to read more ...