The Corner

Everyday Heroes

Mainstream journalists writing about social conservatives often seem like zoologists observing a fascinating but hostile foreign species. To those of us who are members of that particular species, the results are often amusing, if also frustrating. There is plenty of that in this profile, which appeared in the Washington Post over the weekend, but if you can look past it you will find the story of a deeply committed young pro-lifer—Maria Bremberg—and how she fights for the voiceless and vulnerable even while raising (and home-schooling) four children.

 

(Full disclosure: Maria’s husband, Andrew, is a friend and former colleague of mine, so I have been hearing her praises sung for years. Andrew himself, a young lawyer and health-care expert, was a staunch and able champion of the pro-life cause in the Bush administration’s HHS—one of those few and wonderful people for the sake of whom pro-lifers grit their teeth and vote for Republicans.)

 

The article also highlights a side of the HHS mandate fight that has not seen much light in the Post: the deep concern the mandate has raised about the future of our first freedom, and the way it has energized and focused social conservatives. The writer, Michelle Boorstein, wants to paint all this in purely political colors. But she really tells the story of deeply moral people moved to fight against injustice, and yet able to do so without a hint of cynicism or of alienation because their anger is driven by love. Anger moved by love, which is the only truly righteous anger, is perhaps the most powerful force in the human experience—and all the more so when it is also backed up by patience, drawn from a confidence in the justice of one’s cause.

 

Arguments in courts and in legislatures matter a lot, but in the end it is because of people like Maria Bremberg—people who live their convictions and virtues, and whose children will too—that the pro-life cause will be victorious. And it will be.

Yuval Levin is the editor of National Affairs and a fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

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