At the Republican National Convention, several speakers focused on the pro-life movement and the Democratic Party’s increasing, frightening support for abortion on demand. Perhaps the most noteworthy of those speakers was Sister Deirdre Byrne, a missionary, a medical doctor, a military veteran, and a religious sister in the Little Workers of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary.
My latest column at the Catholic Herald’s Chapter House is on why we should be grateful for Sr. Deirdre’s speech, and especially thankful for her insistence on the dignity of human life and the importance of keeping an eternal perspective. Here’s part of how I put it:
Though it was delivered at the RNC, her speech offered more than partisan politics. We ought to be grateful for her unequivocal defense of human life and her condemnation of elective abortion. “What are we saying when we go into a womb and snuff out an innocent, powerless, voiceless life?” she added. “As a physician, I can say without hesitation: Life begins at conception. While what I have to say may be difficult for some to hear, I am saying it because I am not just pro-life; I am pro-eternal life. I want all of us to end up in heaven together someday.” . . .
As we have excised God more and more from the public square, our society has become increasingly bereft of any notion of eternity and thus of the purpose of human existence. We are left in a culture that rejects the inherent dignity of every human being and replaces it with the false justice of identity politics, that abjures the notion of sin as repressive but condemns the sin of privilege and withholds forgiveness.
We fear death as the ultimate evil, revere the body though we no longer believe it was made out of love in the image and likeness of God, and insist that we can conquer through science and refashion gender and remake ourselves as gods.
Though some Catholics have offered principled objections to Sr. Byrne’s choice to endorse President Trump, we should be grateful for her life of heroic witness and for this powerful reminder that our life on earth isn’t the end.