Mt. Vernon Register-News


January 10, 2014

Tenderness in the night


We’re seeing something like this realization now in the surprise New Year’s Eve move by Supreme Court Justice Sandra Sotomayor to hold off penalties for the Little Sisters of the Poor’s noncompliance in the face of the Obama administration’s abortion-drug, contraception and sterilization health care mandate. After the story of various lawsuits against the Department of Health and Human Services went untold or dismissed, suddenly the narrative of the forced constricting of religious liberty — targeting the likes of nuns running elderly-care homes — in America is hard to avoid.

In his Christmas message, Pope Francis implored Christians to “pause before the Child of Bethlehem.” He continued: “Let us allow ourselves to be warmed by the tenderness of God.”

It’s hard to know how talk of the tenderness of God is received in a cynical culture numbed by evasions that keep us from confronting wounds. We tend to both overcomplicate matters and distract ourselves from what is right in front of us.

We debate about abortion, pretending it’s all a matter of women’s health and freedom. But what we’re really doing in so many of our most high-profile campaigns and exchanges is compounding a culture of violence of the most intimate sort.

“I actually trust the women I know. I trust them with their choices, I trust them with their bodies and I trust them with their children,” Ruffalo has written. But do children belong to mothers only? What a far cry from the liberal embrace of “It takes a village to raise a child”! Ruffalo is himself a father. How about getting rid of this false disconnect? Putting aside some of the political rhetoric, perhaps we can begin again and acknowledge that there is a cultural responsibility to support and encourage a mother and father to rise to the occasion of parenthood?

Rather than doubling down on the misery of abortion, let’s put out the welcome mats to life in 2014. Just like heaven, there can be tenderness on earth, too -- even in social media, even on the most contentious of issues.

(Kathryn Jean Lopez is editor-at-large of National Review Online, director of Catholic Voices USA and a consultant with the Magnificat Foundation. She can be contacted at

Text Only
  • Why Obama shouldn't go to Ferguson On Monday, ABC’s Ann Compton asked President Barack Obama whether he would visit Ferguson, Missouri, amid the continued unrest. Obama didn’t give a firm answer, but he did suggest it’s probably not a good idea.“When they’re conducting an investigatio

    August 20, 2014

  • Food stamps' $80B secret spending program Imagine a government program that has exploded in size, is the subject of bitter partisan haggling and spends almost $80 billion a year in secret.No, not the National Security Agency, the Central Intelligence Agency or the Department of Homeland Secu

    August 20, 2014

  • Vouchers provide greater choice I was chatting the other day with a fellow who, along with his wife, homeschool his children. We joked about the stereotype: Moms in denim skirts.But then he expounded on the benefits his youngsters have derived from being taught at home: a customize

    August 20, 2014

  • A rare experience Alexandra Petri’s editorial, “What exactly are we seeing in Ferguson” is well written and did something which has increasingly become a rare experience for me. Her article caused me to think!Petri makes the case for media coverage of American events,

    August 19, 2014

  • Naive? Simple? I will admit outright that I may be a little naïve and tend to look at things through a simple prism. I received a suggestion for a column with an accompanying article written by By Reed Abelson and Eric Lichtblau concerning the failure of our govern

    August 19, 2014

  • Don't pass 'coup clause' with a security waiver It is a sad reality that national security waivers often render human rights laws moot, inviting the government to overuse the loophole to accommodate immediate needs. The “coup clause,” which mandates foreign aid suspension to countries after a mili

    August 19, 2014

  • Clinton could end up like Gore Although we’re all still sort of pretending that it remains to be seen whether Hillary Clinton will run for president in 2016, she recently gave the most definitive confirmation she has to date of her impending candidacy. No, she didn’t say the words

    August 16, 2014

  • Guru will work for food ‘At the height of its power, the photography company Kodak employed more than 140,000 people and was worth $28 billion dollars. They even invented the first digital camera. But today Kodak is bankrupt, and the new face of digital photography has beco

    August 16, 2014

  • Ferguson police fumbled protests From the chief of the police department to the president of the United States, government officials on Thursday promised a different approach to the racially-charged unrest in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson. But the situation demands a lot more tha

    August 16, 2014

  • A better tax code solution: taxing consumption According to much conventional wisdom, the flap over corporate “tax inversions” is just the latest evidence that the tax code needs a comprehensive overhaul like the one agreed to by congressional leaders and President Reagan in 1986.Whether you cons

    August 15, 2014

Twitter Updates