Archive for April 2009

Should Notre Dame Welcome President Obama?

Posted by unclesmrgol at 01 April, 2009 06:46:42

The Catholic hierarchy is outraged (to put it mildly) over Notre Dame's recent invitation to Barack Obama to speak at the 2009 Commencement and to receive the customary honorary degree. They would prefer that the University "disinvite" him.

The Washington Post thinks not:
Catholicism is not a sect that shuns the world as evil. As a body, the American hierarchy has usually been both principled and open to political engagement. The bishops have congratulated the new president on his victory and pledged to work with him on issues affecting social and economic justice. Do they now find him morally unfit to speak at a Catholic university?

Obama is not coming to Notre Dame to press a pro-choice agenda but to address issues that affect all American citizens, including Catholics. He will be speaking to students who, like other Americans, gave him a majority of their votes. He will receive an honorary degree because it is the custom, not as a blessing on any of his decisions.

American bishops should remember that it was only a few decades ago that a Catholic was considered unfit for the White House. Do they now believe that a sitting president is unfit to address a Catholic university? It's time the bishops gave a clear and principled response.

You say that Notre Dame, a Catholic institution, should honor the President for things aside from his hyper-support for abortion -- to the point where he quashed legislation requiring medical treatment for babies born alive as the result of an abortion -- a position so supportive that it is the embodiment of evil to many (if not most) Catholics, and is certainly so to our leaders, who, counter to your assertion, are indeed giving a clear and principled response.

If Adolf Hitler were alive and Brandeis University (the foremost Jewish university in the United States) decided to award him an honorary degree in Judaic Studies, would you feel the same?

Adolf Hitler made the trains run on time and brought Germany out of its depression (both of great aid to the people of Germany) but we remember him for something totally different. That's what us Catholics think of Barack Obama -- something totally different, morally unfit to speak at a Catholic university.