Kathryn Lopez

If we're willing to reconsider the popular understanding of freedom -- which all too often is defined down to license -- this is all quite liberating. We're not made for ourselves. We're not in this alone.

In "How the West Really Lost God," Mary Eberstadt observes: "(F)amily and faith are the invisible double helix of society, two spirals that when linked to one another can effectively reproduce, but whose strength and momentum depend on one another."

She concludes: "It appears that the natural family as a whole has been the human symphony through which God has historically been heard by many people -- not the prophets, not the philosophers, but a great many of the rest; and the gradual but now recognizable muffling of that symphony is surely an important and overlooked part of the story of how certain men and women came not to hear the sacred music anymore."

We want that music playing. We need to know it's there.

Pope John Paul II said that true faith produces culture. The current pope has said, "A believer is essentially someone who goes into an encounter with other believers, or nonbelievers, to give them a hand."

We need religious liberty because we need people to give us a hand. We need people who see clearly and hear the symphony, who are inspired by the wonder of creation. We need something better for babies and families. We might start with the cardinal's simple assertion.

Kathryn Lopez

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