[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.”
[Touchstone, Summer 1994]
[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.
[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.
[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.
[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:
[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.
[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.
[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:
[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
[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.