Skip to comments.John Schlafly Remembers His Mom
Posted on 09/13/2016 3:44:40 PM PDT by Kaslin
Remarks delivered by John Schlafly at the funeral of his mother, Phyllis Schlafly, at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis on September 10, 2016:
When my father, Fred Schlafly, reached the age of 75, and realized he could no longer compete in the sports he had enjoyed throughout his life, he turned to my mother one day and said: "Phyllis, you probably have about 10 good years left."
That conversation took place more than 30 years ago. And those 30 extra years were good years: good for us, of course, her family and friends who received her wise counsel; and also good for our country, as her political activism continued to influence the 2016 election.
They were good years for Phyllis, too, despite the increasing burdens of her old age. She was able to watch her family grow to 25 descendants, with more on the way. In her final days, she had the great joy of seeing the infants and toddlers that my father never knew.
My parents were partners in their life together, and Phyllis depended on Fred for everyday reinforcement. He supported her career, screened what she wrote, and coached her on what to say. She called him "the censor."
Fred Schlafly's influence is apparent in Phyllis' most widely read article, "What's Wrong With 'Equal Rights' for Women?" First published in February 1972, that article has since been reprinted in dozens of college textbooks and is considered the classic expression of Phyllis' opposition to feminism.
The 1972 article set forth the proposition that our public laws and policies, as embedded in the fundamental law of our nation, should reinforce the family as the basic unit of any society. Confronting the burgeoning feminist movement and its principal objective, the Equal Rights Amendment, Phyllis' simple but powerful argument seemed controversial and even retrograde to liberals.
As Father Brian Harrison explained in his homily today, the idea that a nation's laws should recognize the basic social unit as the family, rather than the individual, is grounded in the social teaching of the Catholic Church. It's the central insight of the pope's famous 1891 encyclical Rerum Novarum, which launched Catholic social teaching, and it has been reaffirmed many times since then.
Phyllis expressed the idea in a way that attracted tens of thousands of people, mostly of other faiths, to what she called the "pro-family" movement. Many of those she touched and inspired have honored our family by coming here today.
We now take Phyllis to rest beside her husband, my father, in the place she selected many years ago. Like every place she ever lived, she decided the burial plot needed another tree -- a maple tree that that turns bright gold in the fall.
She selected a tree, planted it and drove there frequently with buckets of water, to make sure the tree survived. Since we buried my father there, 23 years ago, the little tree that Phyllis planted has become a powerful, majestic, stately canopy, and next month its color will be gorgeous.
Reflecting on my mother's long life, the singular quality that explains her effectiveness is that she was always prepared. Whether her task was to give a speech, conduct a meeting or meet a deadline, her careful preparation made the job seem effortless and gave her time to deal with unexpected events.
Phyllis was never at a loss for the appropriate words. She faced crisis and conflict with grace, and she infuriated opponents with her unflappable good humor.
In the parable of the bridegroom (Matt. 25:1-13), Jesus tells the story of 10 women who were called to light the way for a wedding party. Five of the women brought no extra oil, and their lamps went out before the wedding party arrived.
The other five women came prepared with extra oil in case the wedding party was running late. The sensible five were admitted to the wedding feast from which the foolish five were excluded.
Phyllis would have been one of the five wise enough to bring an extra flask of oil. Even in her final year, she was planning for the future, including America's future as well as her own.
Phyllis Schlafly was a wise woman, a sensible woman, a faithful woman. Her lamp would not go out, and I believe she was prepared for today.
She was a wonderful woman. Now she’s home.
One of the greatest women in American history.
R.I.P. Phyllis Schlafly. Thank you.
I have known her as a great woman for many years.
I knew she achieved great things when I read a communist/progressive writer that named her as one of the ten most hated women in America a couple of years ago.
If I was her that would have been one of my favorite accomplishments.
What a contrast to see her and Hillary as examples of two different groups of peoples female hero’s.
Perhaps Phyllis was on hand to say hi to my dad who joined the team on September 12.
I met her in 94, right after the huge Republican win in Congress. She addressed our group at Eagle Forum in DC, although I wasn’t a member, I was none the less sent by the group I was president of, which Phyllis had helped found years before I joined. She was a very gracious lady, petit yet fiesty. The feminists hated her and she was spit on by them more than once. By stopping the ERA, she saved the country from going down a slippery slope that would have started a real bastardization of the Constitution.
All the other readers had only good things to write about her.
The liberals and the left hated her. I couldn’t believe the hatred that spewed forth when she passed away.
They really knew who she was.
Outstanding lady; outstanding person!
I’m not old enough to have seen her when she was in her prime, but why wasn’t she on Fox News? I heard from her more during this election than I ever did since around 2000.
Back in the early 80s we were in a communications ‘Stone Age’ compared to now.
Phyllis Schlafly was one of the Top Five of that decade who helped lead to this moment.
We cannot let the Establishment squander her work.
She was a rare blessing.
Wonderful eulogy, Mr. Schlafly
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