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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The Weeping Icon and Eugene

[Religion News Service, October 31, 1995] 

 All day long Eugene Nahum prays in a church on the outskirts of Chicago. At night, he sleeps in the basement below the church offices. "This is my life now," he says. "I have no other life."

    Both the man and the church are remarkable. Before moving here permanently, Eugene made several day-trips from his home in Ohio to this church in the grimy suburb of Cicero, Ill., because it is the site of an unusual phenomenon: a weeping icon.

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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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Against Capital Punishment

[Religion News Service, October 3, 1995]

When Jane's fiance, a tugboat engineer, disappeared at sea, there were many theories about the cause of his death. When his best friend suggested that he had been murdered after stumbling across a drug deal, the idea electrified her.

"It caused such a rage it was almost a physical reaction," she told me.

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Soap Gets In Your Eyes

[World, September 23, 1995] 

Reporters are brave adventurers, required by their profession to visit places where they face danger in the forms of gunfire, tornados, or foreign food. Recently I undertook a similar expedition: I spent an entire afternoon in my living room. With the television on.


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Loving a Daughter and Letting Her Go

[Religion News Service, September 19, 1995] 

The heat wave has broken hundred‑year records, and now the wave is broken with rain pounding the asphalt and whipping the trees around. This morning I tried to pick my way toward church around the yawning puddles, with an umbrella held down tight enough to function as an awkward hat. At last I sacrificed dignity to common sense and ran barefoot through the parking lot with my sandals in my hand.


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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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"I'm For Sex, not Gender"

[Religion News Service, August 22, 1995]

Quick, how many genders do you think there are? Two? Three, if you count Richard Simmons?

Such stingy thinking is scorned by some of those preparing for the Fourth World Conference on Women, to be held in Beijing next month.

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Mail-Order Bundles of Joy

[World, August 12-19, 1995] 

The residents of a doll catalog that arrived in yesterday's mail are still, perfect, and beautiful, carefully arrayed in fetching poses. Most of these pricey, un-playable dolls are babies and children. Porcelain is ideal for such dolls: it has a smooth, matte finish reminiscent of tender skin, takes color well, and can be exquisitely detailed

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HIV Testing of Newborns

[Religion News Service, August 8, 1995] 

A few years ago a small item appeared in the newspaper of the American Medical Association: some clinics in New York were secretly testing women for HIV, and refusing to give abortions to the ones they found positive. The motive: self-protection. One doctor said they were "unhappy about the risk. We're being splashed with amniotic fluid and blood, and it scares us." Another said he was afraid the staff would contract HIV through exposure to the patients' tears.


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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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