Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Somehow, this aspect of Eunice Kennedy Shriver’s life failed to make it into the New York Times obituary for Mrs. Shriver, as well as the Washington Post obituary cited by Rick. As the article makes clear, Mrs. Shriver was forthright and courageous in maintaining that one could be true to the fundamental values of the Democratic Party and a principled opponent of abortion.
The statement issued by her family following her death said that Mrs. Shriver “taught us by example and with passion what it means to live a faith-driven life of love and service to others.” For Mrs. Shriver, however, unlike the members of her family who are currently active in politics, the “others” to whom service is owed included the unborn. Although faithful Catholics like Mrs. Shriver who are also Democrats and opponents of abortion are not unheard of today, they are wholly absent from the ranks of the Party leadership – something that has been on vivid display in the recent efforts of abortion activists to expand the abortion license in the health care reform legislation before Congress.
May the committed solidarity and love that Mrs. Shriver showed to those with disabilities and the unborn inspire a new generation of leaders in politics and civil society. Requiem in Pacem.