The theme for this year’s Women’s History Month is “Providing Healing, Promoting Hope.” For a world wresting itself from the grip of a pandemic, this is an appropriately timed salute to the caregivers, the frontline workers, the women of all cultures and creeds who lit the candles, took the temperatures, comforted when needed, and consoled when necessary.
A look at the Women’s History Month website provides one with a snapshot of just a handful of the iconic women who have changed history and our lives for the better: the Eleanor Roosevelts, the Ella Fitzgeralds, the Amelia Earharts, the Ruth Bader Ginsburgs, the Florence Nightingales, as well as the less celebrated but no less extraordinary women who contributed so much to our culture. Frontiers have been breached and opened by these and by so many others in fields as diverse as human rights, the arts, exploration, science, civil rights, mercy and charity.
With so much upside one is hard-pressed to find a contrast to balance, nor should one need to look. Yet the unfortunate fact remains that villains exist in a culture just as surely as heroes. And the heroic actions of those we honor are often performed in the face of—or despite—the actions others take who specialize in stopping the good and glorifying the bad.
Thank God for the women who heal and give us hope.
One such is Leah Remini, the antithesis of this month’s theme of healing and hope. With hate and inhumanity, her TV series promoting antireligious bigotry encouraged hundreds to commit or threaten acts of violence and arson against peaceful minority religions and their parishioners. Then when her sponsors, disgusted at her public display of venom, dropped her, she began a podcast, heedless of fact or tact, throwing all pretense of truth and civility to the winds, freely venting her hatred of the church that tried to help her.
It is difficult to get through a full minute of Remini’s spewings without being assaulted by obscenities, often at the rate of two or three per sentence.
With such ugliness on full throttle for the world to see, with so much adrenaline expended in the cause of bile, one wonders who in their right mind would listen, let alone believe or act upon such open and bleeding calumny. Yet she has a small, rabid audience of those who, like her, see the world as a battlefield and the people in it as enemies who must be stopped at all costs.
Thank God for the women who heal and give us hope, and may they continue to light the way for us, no matter the odds and no matter the howls from those who see only darkness.