Kathryn Lopez

Or, as Cheney recalls from an election-season Sunday morning, listening to Rev. Suzanne Harris speak from the pulpit: "'Our faith is not that bad things won't happen,' she said. 'Our faith is that when bad things do happen, God can still use that material to make something holy.' She reminded us that life is short. 'We do not have too much time to gladden the hearts of those who travel with us,' she said, 'so be swift to love and make haste to be kind.'"

He remembers, noting that he saw campaign staff scattered in the pews: "In the midst of a hard-fought political campaign, her sermon made all of us pause and reflect."

In the ups and downs of politics, as we watch polls like sports scores, it's worth remembering that all this activity and gamesmanship should always be in service to something greater and more enduring than a mere campaign or the movements of power.

We won't always agree on issues. We may interpret events and precepts differently. But we must never simply accept what the crowd says without gathering a few primary documents, the light of reason and a perspective rooted in something beyond the hubbub of the chattering class.

Kathryn Lopez

Kathryn Jean Lopez, editor of National Review Online, writes a weekly column of conservative political and social commentary for Newspaper Enterprise Association.