About this issue . . .
. . . Readers who like to start at the back will find a special reward: “Remembering Faith,” our editor’s poignant reflection on the eight-year anniversary of her mother’s death (page 96). Faith Abbott McFadden, a founding editor of this journal, was beloved by everyone here, but as you will read, Maria has a unique relationship with her, forged not just by love and DNA but by something called microchimerism, “the biodirectional transfer of cells between mother and fetus during pregnancy, a fascinating biological bonding.” The death of a parent is also the subject of “Letting Weeping Spend the Night” (page 82), Tara Jernigan’s meditation on her father’s long-ago passing in which she observes that “over the years, grieving slowly becomes part of the fabric of our lives, but at some point it turns itself inside out and becomes rejoicing.” And Brian Caulfield, a long-time contributor, movingly recounts “a week of highs and lows that was redeemed by the grace of Mom’s peaceful, expected, yet strangely untimely death” (“Diary of an Unwitting Orphan,” page 37). While our primary focus is on abortion and its deadly cultural wreckage, these pieces ponder the meaning of individual lives, and remind us of the huge potential for relationship that abortion so callously cuts off.
Four new contributors help make this issue a worthy cap to our 45th year of publishing. Michael Kuiper, a psychologist practicing in California, considers how gender confusion is wreaking havoc in the lives of young people (“What the Ancients Understood,” page 45). David Talcott, a philosophy professor at The King’s College in New York City, discusses why the pro-life movement must embrace marriage and fertility as well as renounce abortion (“Building a Culture of Life,” page 53). We hear from a student, Dominique Cognetti, now in her senior year at the Franciscan University of Steubenville, about what it’s like to navigate conversations with family members who don’t share her traditional stance (“Talking to Myself,” page 83). And we have another long-time contributor, John Grondelski, to thank for introducing Pastor Clenard Childress, Jr., president of the Life Education and Resource Network (L.E.A.R.N.) to these pages (HLR Interview, page 73).
Speaking of thanks, we also are grateful to our friend Hadley Arkes, founder of the James Wilson Institute in Washington, D.C., for permission to include his moving tribute to another founding editor of the Review, Michael Uhlmann, who died Oct. 8. (Appendix A, page 86). First Things permitted us to reprint Kevin Walsh’s “A Chance to Challenge Roe?” (Appendix B, page 89), and Stefano Gennarini’s “Trump Administration Doubles Down at UN,” which originally appeared in C- Fam’s Friday Fax, is also reprinted here with permission (Appendix D, page 94). Lest I forget, another friend, Clarke Forsythe, sent his Wall Street Journal op-ed (Appendix C, page 92).
Finally, thanks to the inimitable Nick Downes, who ponders the meaning of life in humor, and always gives us a lift.