This rebuke, however, did not make the impression it should have on the White House; the Department of Health and Human Services would go on, during the same month, to issue final regulations in regard to mandated abortion-drug, sterilization and contraception insurance coverage to employers. To this day, faith-based social-service entities -- including schools, hospitals and some of the very charities providing essential services in Sandy's wake -- face an unprovoked attack on their liberty, no matter what the White House spinmeisters say.
In the wake of disaster, though, we are reminded why it's in the best interest of everyone that we allow these faith-based entities to operate as their conscience guides them -- of why protecting religious freedom in America is the right thing to do not only because it is just, but also because it provides a practical benefit to the healthy life of a democracy. Without hope, without people motivated by something greater than a presidential-election victory or financial gain, we're a sadly limited lot.
Our hope, even for nonbelievers, is not in a political savior. It is in this nobility on display, rooted all so often in faith in God and His call to individuals to truly love one another. Can we translate this compassion into our civic choices, ensuring that we remain a people protecting what is most precious to us -- our first freedom, religious freedom?