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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
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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Saturday
Feb261994

Good News, Bad News

[World, February 26, 1994] 

Good news on the pro-life front recently: both Pennsylvania and North Dakota have overcome judicial hurdles to putting abortion laws into effect. Pro-life victories are rare enough that activists are celebrating.

The Pennsylvania laws were enacted in 1990, but abortion advocates brought repeated challenges that carried them all the way to the Supreme Court.

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Saturday
Feb051994

Do-It-Yourself Deity

[World, February 5, 1994] 

During my college years I lived on "Olympia Hill," a site less heavenly than its name suggests. Our southern city had once been host to a booming textile industry, and a hundred years ago a ramshackle collection of unheated wooden houses for employees had been thrown together beyond the railroad tracks. By the time I arrived, Olympia Hill had developed a mixed population:

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Saturday
Jan291994

Let God be God

[World, January 29, 1994]

The book's title was The Power of Their Glory; its subhead described Episcopalians as "America's Ruling Class." The Episcopal church was just one of several mainline denominations that rocketed in membership, prominence, and influence in the years after World War II. The horrors of war had been such a foretaste of hell

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Saturday
Jan221994

The Flaws of the Fifties: Ozzie and Harriet's Rebellious Children

[World, January 22, 1994]

As Christians today push for the renewal of moral values in our nation, they have a tendency to idealize the Fifties. Wouldn't it be great if families were like the Ozzie-and-Harriet households prevalent then? Strong two-parent families, where the dads worked and the moms stayed home with the kids. Where kids were cherished and not hurried through childhood. Where "family values" were celebrated by schools, the media, and entertainment. If only things were like that again...

...we could raise a new generation of Americans who would take drugs, burn flags, have indiscriminate sex, champion abortion, mock the faith, and complain continuously about what a lousy deal we handed them.

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Saturday
Jan151994

Proclaimers and Persuaders in the Abortion Wars

[World, January 15, 1994] 

One of the most hard-nosed and incisive debaters of the pro-life cause is Gregg Cunningham, whose exchange of letters with C. Everett Koop appeared in a recent issue.

Gregg's Center for Bio-Ethical Reform handles a busy calendar of speaking engagements and produces "Hard Truth," a devastating video showing aborted babies. Every cause needs articulate, aggressive champions like Gregg.

But Gregg's latest newsletter set me to thinking about what else a cause needs.

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Saturday
Oct231993

Fraternizing with the Enemy

[World, October 23, 1993]

I arrived a little early to pick up my 11-year-old son at church camp. It was dinnertime in the long wooden hall, 263 kids noisily banging the cups and wolfing down cherry cobbler. Suddenly a table of boys burst into incoherent song--the words a blur, but the tone tauntingly playful. It was greeted with a mixture of applause and boos. "That's Cabin 44," Stephen grinned. "Every night they have a battle with Cabin 5. They make up rhymes about each other."

When a few minutes had lapsed another song struck up, this one all in girls' voices. "That's Cabin 5," Stephen told me. When they finished, I joined the yays (Go, team!) while Stephen went "Boo!" "I had to go 'boo,'" he explained to me, sincerely. "I knew they were making fun of men. I knew it was a sexist joke."

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Saturday
Oct161993

A Labor of Love

[Philanthropy, Culture, and Society, October, 1993]

 
The toughest thing about Marilyn Szewczyk isn't her name. You can forget everything you learned in grammar school and rattle off "Seff-check." Keeping up with Marilyn's determination, energy, and vision is not so easy.

Marilyn arrives late for our lunch appointment, her ample silhouette filling the door. Outside it is a blistering white summer noon ;

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Tuesday
Sep141993

Songs of Life

[World, September, 14] 

There are many ways to act out pro-life convictions, and a surprising number of people do so by singing. A recent survey of the field yielded over 40 titles of pro-life songs, and the list is certainly incomplete.

There are two album-length collections of pro-life music, plus many singles and amateur songs. The first album, "Sing Out for Life,"

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Wednesday
Jun091993

The Sign

[ESA Advocate, June 1993]

I am looking at a painting of a woman with her arms upraised in prayer. But her eyes are not closed, or even lifted up; they gaze out at the viewer with steady solemnity. The most startling thing about this image is at its center. Upon the woman's red-robed torso rests a large circle of blue, and this disk represents her womb. Within it we see her unborn child, clothed and haloed, surrounded by stars and radiant as the sun. His hand is lifted in blessing. This icon of the Orthodox Christian Church is called "The Virgin of the Sign," recalling the familiar prophecy of Isaiah: "The Lord will give you a sign: behold, a virgin will conceive and bear a son..." (Isaiah 7:14)

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