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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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Saturday
Oct151994

Hotel Full of Cowboys

[World, October 15, 1994] 

We had gathered, about a hundred pro-family leaders, for a weekend conference in a Washington hotel. It was encouraging to see so many other fellow laborers assembled at one time; we filled a small dining room at lunchtime, and felt like the forward edge of a mighty army.

But as the day went on we began to be outnumbered by cowboys. Cowboys in the elevators, cowboys in the halls, cowboys sitting at tiny glass tables in the lounge. Two things about this seemed unusual:

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Saturday
Oct011994

Cultvre Vulture

[World, October 1, 1994]

"What is culture?" asks Tom Weller in his funny 1987 book, Culture Made Stupid. "Not the same thing as culture, which a dish full of germs has...No, cvltvre is something nobler, loftier, finer, thicker with pompous adjectives."

If there were a Federal Bureau of Cvltvre, it would be the Smithsonian Institution, which sprawls between the Capital Building and the Washington Monument, paralyzing tourists with its bulk. Although there are fourteen museums in the Institution, its holdings are so vast that only 2% can be shown at once. Museums range from the wildly popular Air and Space (which draws 9 million visitors a year) to lesser-knowns like the Portrait and the Building (yes, a museum about buildings, currently showing a barn).

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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
Jul161994

Twice Liberated: A Personal Journey Through Feminism

[Touchstone, Summer 1994]

When I joined the college newspaper as a shy freshman many years ago, the editor gave me my first assignment: “Find out what’s all this stuff about women’s lib.” I was baffled as to how to do that; reports of feminism (which was then usually called “women’s lib”) were just beginning to titillate the public, just beginning to show up in Johnny Carson jokes about “bra-burners.” Was it possible to dig up any local “libbers”? My editor had a suggestion: go to the Student Union and have them announce over the loudspeaker, “Anyone representing the women’s liberation movement, please come to the information desk.”

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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
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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Wednesday
Apr131994

Orthodoxy and the "Kissing Bug"

[The Christian Century, April 13, 1994]

When my friend Marvin came for a visit, I presumed he'd join us for vespers, out of curiosity or simple politeness. To my surprise he was deeply reluctant. Marvin is a dedicated convert to a conservative branch of the Presbyterian church, and it began to dawn on me that he might actively object to Orthodoxy.

I recalled the evangelical Protestant anxiety about highly liturgical churches:

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