Former First Lady Betty Ford, who died last week at age 93, was indeed courageous. At a time when not many well-known people spoke openly about breast cancer, she did and encouraged women to examine themselves and have regular checkups. Through her treatment she became addicted to pain killers and spoke publicly about that, encouraging others to seek treatment for their addictions. And she did more than that. The Betty Ford Clinic has helped perhaps thousands break their addictions to various substances.
It does not diminish that work to also note she was politically liberal. She supported abortion on demand and the so-called equal rights amendment. That is why the media loved her. Had she been outspoken about faith and opposed abortion and same-sex marriage – like Michelle Bachmann – she would have been reviled and called “controversial.”
Now she is gone as we all go – the way of all flesh she stands before God, the ultimate judge of all. One can only hope she made her peace with Christ.
This article published on July 13, 2011.
Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist based in Washington, D.C.