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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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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Why Pro-lifers are Anti-Euthanasia

[Sisterlife, Spring 1991]

On June 4, 1990, Jack Kevorkian attached Alzheimer's patient Janet Adkins to a homemade contraption in his 1968 VW bus, then watched her push the activating button that made her die.

Public reaction was swift and generally negative. Judge Alice Gilbert, in barring Kevorkian from ever again using the device, charged that he "flagrantly violated" all standards of medical practice.

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The Bitter Price of "Choice"

[Tampa Tribune, December 3, 1989]

When I was in college the bumper sticker on my car read “Don’t labor under a misconception —legalize abortion”. I was one of a handful of feminists on my campus, back in the days when we were jeered at as “bra-burning women’s libbers”. As we struggled against a hazy sea of sexism, abortion rights was a visible banner, a concrete, measurable goal. Though our other foes were elusive, within the fragile boundary of our skin, at least, we would be sovereign. What could be more personal? How could any woman oppose it? I oppose it now. It has been a slow process, my path from a pro-choice to a pro-life position, and I know that unintended pregnancy raises devastating problems. But I can no longer avoid the realization that legalizing abortion was the wrong solution; we have let in a Trojan Horse whose hidden betrayal we’ve just begun to see.

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Grandaddy's Obstetrics

[Unpublished; written Summer 1986]

My grandfather lived to be ninety-four, and in many ways he was like a birch tree: small but springy and bright, with light filling his blue eyes. For over 60 years he signed his name George Frederick Oetjen, M.D. and (although he told his daughters that “M.D.” really stood for “My Daddy”) being a doctor was the joy of his life.

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