Hatred in the Form of Admiration
Columnist Neil Steinberg wrote a piece in the Chicago Sun Times that seeks to lionize a nun who has devoted her life to caring for people with Downs Syndrome, not because of what she does but because her words can be misconstrued and used for his hateful column.
The piece is about Sister Rosemary Connelly, the founder of Misericordia, a home for those with Down syndrome and other cognitive disabilities. But it's not her work which makes the writer like Sister Rosemary. Steinberg, a non-believer who is a radical supporter of abortion rights, wrote of Sister Rosemary:
She said something Tuesday before 400 people at a fundraising lunch that I’ve never heard spoken before, never mind by a nun. And no, it wasn’t individuals have “not just a right to life, but to a life worth living,” a tossed-off line of hers with enough power to make the whole Right to Life movement a lot more palatable to a lot more people, though of course that would shift their focus from shaming women to helping children, and they don’t seem eager to consider it. It wasn’t that.
No. You see, he sidesteps what Sister Rosemary actually said and uses it to hammer those who stand up for the sanctity of life. And it gets worse. He uses Sister's words to slam all Christians. Nice, huh?
He then tells a story about how she was unable to help a young man with a mother who could no longer lift him. She didn't think she could help. But...
The standard, sorry-not-my-table shrug so many give to those in need. But it didn’t sit well with Connelly, even as she said it. “And I saw her wheel this boy down the hall, going back to a very depressing situation, and I said to myself: ‘Who’s God but us? If we don’t do it, it’s not going to happen.’ ”
“Who’s God but us?” Who’s God but us! Pardon me, sister, but daaaamn! Do you know how many people invoke God to justify their indifference? Their harshness? Their evil acts? Their dismissal of the very people they should most open their hearts to? And here’s Sister Rosemary, trying out the platitudes, finding them hollow and basically looking up at God, giving him the stink-eye and saying, “OK then, Mr. Lord of the Universe, if you’re going to fail this boy, I guess we’ll have to do your job for you.”
Now, I'm pretty sure that Sister Rosemary didn't mean what Steinberg said she meant there. I don't think she's saying that God has failed the boy and I don't think that she's saying that she's making herself the equivalent of God. I think what she was saying is that we are called to act as God's hands.
It is, however, a little disturbing that Misericordia would link to this piece on their website without explanation. But for Steinberg to use Sister Rosemary's words to advance an anti-life, anti-Christian agenda is disgusting.