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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Monday
Nov131995

To Hell on a Cream Puff

[Christianity Today, November 18, 1995]

It's hard to know just how to take an invitation to write about gluttony. "We thought you would be the perfect person," the editor's letter read. "Gee, is it that obvious?" I thought, alarmed. "No, no," I wanted to protest, "that's not really me. It just these horizontal stripes." But, if I'm honest, I have to admit that it is me. It's most of us. Food is an intoxicating pleasure, and it appears superficially like an innocuous one; it's not one of the bad sins, like adultery or stealing. We wouldn't do that; gluttony is different. All it does is make you soft and huggable. It's the cute sin.

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Saturday
Nov041995

Sweet Mystery of Daisy

[World, November 4, 1995]

The message on my answering machine begins with the loud exhalation of a child holding the phone too close. Then, apparently, she pressed her hand over the mouthpiece because this is muffled: "Mom, it's a answering machine."

The voice of a middle-aged woman comes on the line. It is kindly and somehow lush; I picture a full-bodied woman with big eyes. "Hi, Daisy? This is Cammie. Would you like to go on a cruise?" She speaks clearly and precisely; maybe Daisy is hard of hearing. "In August. If so, give me a call." Cammie gives her number, then adds in a sweet voice, "Thank you. Have a pleasant evening."

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Tuesday
Oct311995

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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Saturday
Oct071995

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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Tuesday
Oct031995

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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Saturday
Sep231995

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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Tuesday
Sep191995

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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Tuesday
Sep051995

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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Tuesday
Aug221995

"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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Saturday
Aug121995

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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