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.

 

Powered by Squarespace
Saturday
Dec241994

Deconstructing the AAR

As late fall slides to winter, across the country Christians are winding up another year of living the religious life. Late fall, and across the country members of the American Academy of Religion are winding up another year of studying the religious life.

The distinction between living it and studying it may seem artificial; most Christians study scripture, as well as theology and devotional works. But the study based in faith is not like the study of religion per se. In the halls of academe, religion is just one more sociological phenomenon, to be appraised from a safe distance (after all, He may not be a tame lion). Not that all the members of the Academy are religious abstainers; there are mainliners, goddess-worshippers, Buddhists, and the odd evangelical or two. But the AAR meets in the ivory tower, not the church.

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Dec211994

Killing Abortionists: A Symposium

[First Things, December 1994] 

Paul Hill's thesis has sometimes been expanded into "the big what-if," the scenario often used to challenge pacifists. What if you had to defend your own children from a criminal? Wouldn't deadly force be justified then?

Anyone finds such a prospect deeply distressing. But the very impact of this image hinders us from realizing that shooting an abortionist fails the analogy in three important ways.

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Nov261994

The Embodiment of Us

[World, November 26, 1994]

"Hey, you got stuff all over your car!" the boy called out.

He staffs the gatehouse at the retirement home where my son waits tables. The stuff I had all over my car was large white daisies with sun-yellow centers, carefully painted on by hand. Yes, it draws attention.

It's my daughter's car, I explain, but she hasn't learned to drive a stick-shift yet. While she tools around in my massive station wagon, I'm in her lumpy old sedan. When this car rolled off the assembly line ten years ago, Megan was in the first grade. It kept rolling for 114,000 miles until it crossed her path, and as soon as she caught it she scattered daisies all over its powdery dull-brown hide.

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Oct161994

Not Quite a Perfect Fit

[Prism, September-October, 1994]

It was November 1988, election day, and my husband was miserable. He'd been a Democrat, or further left, forever: in 1964, when his precinct went 12 to 1 for Goldwater, Gary was county chair of Teens for Johnson. He participated in teach-ins, marches, and rallies, and worked two simultaneous jobs in the old War on Poverty. We first met at a steelworkers' strike, and were married in the woods, flowers in my hair and a vegetarian spread on the reception table.

But over the years, as our commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ had grown, we had become increasingly persuaded that abortion was wrong. We had opposed so many forms of violence and injustice; eventually we had to admit that, no matter how difficult pregnancy made a woman's life, dismembering her child was a violent and unjust solution. The realization that 4500 children were dying every day forced this issue to the top of our list. No other social evil had such a bloody toll.

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Oct011994

Cultvre Vulture

[World, October 1, 1994]

"What is culture?" asks Tom Weller in his funny 1987 book, Culture Made Stupid. "Not the same thing as culture, which a dish full of germs has...No, cvltvre is something nobler, loftier, finer, thicker with pompous adjectives."

If there were a Federal Bureau of Cvltvre, it would be the Smithsonian Institution, which sprawls between the Capital Building and the Washington Monument, paralyzing tourists with its bulk. Although there are fourteen museums in the Institution, its holdings are so vast that only 2% can be shown at once. Museums range from the wildly popular Air and Space (which draws 9 million visitors a year) to lesser-knowns like the Portrait and the Building (yes, a museum about buildings, currently showing a barn).

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Oct011994

Preaching in Times Square

[World, October 1, 1994] 

Sexist treatment is blatant on Broadway. Street hawkers hand women, not men, fliers advertising nail salons (with puzzling semi-English names like "Tanning Nail"). Men, on the other hand, get fliers advertising the "World's Hottest Dancers." The latter fliers suggest that a woman who hopes to attract men by investing in her fingernails has chosen one of the least likely sites of interest.

At the corner of 42nd street a slight, city-pale man is handing out pamphlets freely, without regard to gender.

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Sep171994

Is America "the greatest force for good"?

[World, September 17, 1994]

Tom Clancy is the novelist for patriots, and Pat Buchanan is one of his biggest fans. But one of Buchanan’s recent columns, devoted to praising Clancy’s work, had a line that pulled me up short: “[His characters] put duty, honor, country above all else. And in a Clancy novel there is no moral equivalence: The U.S.A. is the greatest force for good on the planet.”

I write this as the U.N. International Conference on Population and Development begins in Cairo. The U.S.A. is there, parading as the greatest force for abortion, birth control, and eugenic population management on the planet. Our immense wealth and power make us a force hard to withstand.

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Aug271994

Woodstock II: Regeneration Gap

[World, August 27, 1994]

 
1969—Gary Mathewes arrives at the Wood-stock festival with his streetwise, drug-dealing Greenwich Village girlfriend. "I don't remember buying a ticket, or anyone asking for a ticket," he says. "I don't remember much, except spending a lot of time lying on the ground."

1994—Father Gregory Mathewes-Green stands at an altar covered with gold brocade. "Holy things are for the holy," he intones. "One is holy," the people sing back, "One is Lord, Jesus Christ."

Twenty-five years after Woodstock, twenty years after he insisted on a vegetarian spread at his wedding reception,

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Jul161994

Twice Liberated: A Personal Journey Through Feminism

[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.”

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jun091994

Becoming a Pro-Woman, Pro-Life Persuader

[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.

Click to read more ...