Kathryn Lopez

Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia, a past Becket honoree, recently told me: "Life is short. We'll be forgotten by everyone but God. Our home is heaven, and the politics of this world won't matter there. Charity, justice, courage, mercy -- these are the virtues, or their absence, that will shape our eternity. These are the things that really matter."

That may explain why Seamus and his wife, Mary, always look so happy -- and still manage to take the time to offer that wee bit of wisdom that can change a life now and again.

As Seamus put it: "I've had the great privilege of investing my life in religious freedom." For "if anyone in America doesn't have religious liberty, no one in America has religious liberty." You don't have to be a believer to believe that. When our first freedom is gone, atheists have as much to worry about as the evangelical.

Seamus' is a legacy to emulate -- it reminds us that there are men and women alive today who those who would curtail religious freedoms are not going to sideline -- in or out of court.

Kathryn Lopez

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