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 Question of Question 6: Maryland's 1992 Abortion Referendum

[Human Life Review, Spring 1993]

"Are you sure?"

The question caught me off guard. I had been rattling on to my friend Mark Crutcher about the terrible abortion law just passed by the Maryland legislature, the appalling anti-woman provisions, the consternation of the pro-life community, and had wound up with the assertion that we wanted to bring it to referendum.


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Pro-Life Spirituality

[National Catholic Reporter, February 5, 1993] 

Linda was six months pregnant the first time I saw her. Her mother had kicked her out of the house, and the homeless shelter only allowed her two weeks, so she was about to be homeless again. When Linda came to stay with us, she brought all her earthly belongings were in a black plastic garbage bag; about half was stuffed animals.


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Assuming Too Much

[Living Church, June 28, 1992] 

"It's like trying to grab a handful of jello!" A frustrated conservative Episcopalian was trying to describe his attempts to dialogue with members of the liberal wing. "We all use the same words, but we mean different things," said another. "I want to talk things out and identify our differences, but it seems like that's bad manners‑‑if we talk about differences, we're being divisive," contributed a third.


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Post-Roe Feminism: Recharged or Discharged?

[The World and I, May 1992] 

Major movements begin with dreams and end with mechanics.

The term "feminism" is almost inextricably bound up in the public mind with access to abortion, provided (as a recent Fund for the Feminist Majority mailing puts it) "without restrictions". A kind of red fury surrounds this demand, one that is presented as beyond negotiation and even beyond discussion.


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Suffragists at the Abortion March

[Sisterlife, Spring 1992] 

On April 5, 1992 , the National Organization of Women sponsored an event in defense of abortion; delegations from women's groups marched through the streets of Washington , DC , united by the slogan "We Won't Go Back." But the march organizers intended the day to be a time of, at least, looking back: "We want to tie our current challenge to the historic fight for women's rights waged by our foremothers," they wrote in a letter to women's groups.

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Abortion: Women's Rights and Wrongs

[The Remnant, January 20, 1992] 

The abortion debate seems like an unresolvable conflict of rights: the right of women to control their own bodies, the right of children to be born. Can one both support women's rights and oppose abortion?

Truly supporting women's rights must involve telling the truth about abortion and working for it to cease.

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The Heart of the Matter

[Parenting, Dec 1991 - Jan 1992]

In Edgar Allen Poe's classic horror tale, "The Tell-Tale Heart", a murderer dismembers his victim and hides the pieces under the floorboards. When the police call to investigate, he prides himself on his cleverness--but gradually becomes unhinged, at last screaming out the location of the corpse. He was undone by the sound of his victim's heartbeat, drumming in his ears.

Why, after so many years of legalization, does the abortion debate continue in America?

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Unplanned Parenthood

[Policy Review, Summer 1991] 

The voluble cashier wears a locket containing her toddler's picture; coming through her checkout line is brightly entertaining, like rejoining a show already in progress. You know that she works another job, that her landlord is a jerk, that she has a weakness for ice cream, that her little girl loves Big Bird. You suspect that her immigrant status may not be entirely in order. One day she is pale and subdued; another baby is on the way, and she loves babies, but how can she ever manage? With a stricken look she whispers, "But how could I have an abortion?"

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Designated Unperson

[Sisterlife, Spring 1991]

The abortion debate stands or falls on a single question: is the unborn a person? One would not necessarily know this from the great heat and little light that usually surround the issue, as pro-lifers target additional social ills caused by abortion license, and abortion defenders charge that pro-lifers only want to punish women for sexual activity, or keep them pregnant and out of the workforce. But so much passion would not arise if the issue were not literally a matter of life and death. In the Roe v. Wade decision, Justice Harry Blackmun wrote that if the "suggestion of personhood [of the unborn] is established, the [abortion rights] case, of course, collapses, for the fetus' right to life is then guaranteed specifically by the [14th] Amendment." Thus, the personhood of the unborn child is the single point on which the entire debate turns.

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On Taking the Wrong Test

[The NOEL News, Spring 1991] 

Did you ever study for the wrong exam? There you were with freshly sharpened pencils and a head full of trigonometry--and you were handed a blue book and a list of essay questions about the Spanish-American War. Oh no!

There are times that I wonder whether the pro-life movement is confused about which test we're taking.

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