The “war on women” rhetoric of the Obama campaign this general-election cycle can only gain traction in a culture that has lost a sense of what some of its greatest treasures are: women, with all the gifts they bring to the world, in a complementary relationship with men. We lose so much when we insist that fertility is the enemy of women’s freedom, as the Obama administration does in its Department of Health and Human Services abortion-drug, sterilization, contraception mandate, institutionalizing sexual-revolution values in the most unhealthy of ways, as a democratic, cultural, and even medical matter.
In her new book, My Sisters the Saints, Colleen Carroll Campbell offers a cultural reintroduction to some of the most impressive women who have ever lived. It’s a walk through a modern life with models of goodness, sanctity, and peace. It’s title might suggest something sectarian or pious, but what it is is the most practical and inspiring response to a culture deeply longing for something better than this poor understanding of “Mars and Venus,” our very lives, the role of religion, and what freedom means.
Whatever happens on Tuesday — whether or not we let the president’s restricted view of conscience and life itself remain our federal policy, with all its repercussions, economically, culturally, and politically in the lives of doctors, families, and even inner-city schools, when you take into account what the HHS mandate means, practically speaking for Catholics who run schools, and social-service organizations — we have so much work to do. Colleen Carroll Campbell assists here with something so practical, so accessible, so inspiring, so beautiful. And she talks with me about it here.