Barack Obama, Notre Dame and an Imagined Scandal

There’s a big controversy brewing at Notre Dame as a result of President Obama’s invitation to give this year’s commencement speech.

A lot of people don’t want him speaking at the school, claiming his beliefs are at odds with the university’s teachings.

Many of these people are Catholics- as is the university itself- and are using this fact as an excuse to try and keep Obama from accepting the college’s invitation.

He’s pro-choice, he’s pro-gay rights, he’s pro-stem cell research… and so for these reasons, they argue, he should not be allowed to give the address.

Quite frankly, it is absolutely ridiculous.

First of all, the Catholic Church has stated, on more than one occassion that Obama cannot be considered a violator of Catholic principals since he, himself, is not Catholic.

This would be the same thing as condemning Jews for not believing in Jesus as the son of God.

It simply isn’t done.

Not in any official capacity, anyway, and not by the Catholic Church.

Second, President Obama is but one in a long list of non-Catholic political figures to have spoken at the University in the past.

He isn’t even the first pro-choice person to be asked.

Obama, one has to assume, likely will not be attempting to convert the students of Notre Dame into bleeding heart liberals… supporters of all-things abortion and gay.

It’s a graduation speech.

Give me a break.

Where was the outrage back in September of 1984 when then-Governor of New York (and Catholic), Mario Cuomo spoke at the University?

Governor Cuomo’s entire speech was centered on the defense of liberal politics and his pro-choice stance.

This guy was not only pro-choice… but he is a Catholic who’s pro-choice… which is a direct violation of that church’s doctrine.

I’m pretty sure it’s punishable by death, in fact.

Prob’ly says something like that in the book of Leviticus.

A Catholic speaking at a Catholic university to defend his pro-choice beliefs sounds way more controversial than a non-Catholic speaking at a graduation ceremony…

…A ceremony in which, due to the theme of the day, will most likely center around nothing more eyebrow-raising than a motivational speech designed to give graduates the ambition they need to go forth into the world and follow their dreams.

Barack Obama simply follows a long line of presidents before him… a tradition, if you will… of giving commencement addresses at Notre Dame.

He joins the likes of Dwight Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy (coincidentally, this country’s only Catholic president- ever), Jimmy Carter, and Ronald Reagan.

Interestingly, it was later said of Regan’s speech, that while Notre Dame is definitely an institution of prestige and national influence, Regan’s actions “opposed the values placed on social justice in Catholic moral teaching”.

You paying attention, Conservatives?

Even Regan didn’t get it quite “right”.

Pardon the pun.

What better way to show the world that even people with deeply opposing belief-systems can still find common ground, than by having a man such as Barack Obama speak at a university such as this one?

It’s a wonderful idea.

Hopefully people will get off their moral high ground for long enough to see this for mind-opening opportunity that it truly has the potential to be.

Really, it’s almost as if some people are so terrified that if their children, their innocent li’l college grads, are ever exposed to anyone with different ideas than their own, then these most-precious kids will instantly self-combust.

It’s getting ridiculous.

Let’s work harder at working together, and let’s focus on the goal of killing off closed-mindedness.

If that’s too hard, fine.

Just let the man speak.

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Barack Obama, Notre Dame and an Imagined Scandal

  1. It is not so much as him speaking, as it is giving him an honorary law degree. That is the point where the president of ND disregarded the norms-no honors given to politcians who hold and promote laws contrary to what we believe (life issues/abortion).
    And if you would like to know how we view life issues, abortion and euthanasia are always considered morally evil.
    War is to be avoided, but in extreme circumstances, can be entered into.
    So, we are open to debate, but this isn’t a debate. And it isn’t one that we take lightly, taking of innocent human life in the womb.
    So it boils down to giving him an honorary law degree when all of his legislation has been to have more abortion/and readily available, not less.
    I hope that helps some.

    1. Hi Opey124,

      Thanks for weighing in, and providing a little clarification!

      Personally, I am pro-choice, and would be more than honored to attend an event- any event- in which Obama is speaking.

      That being said, I can understand your point, though I still don’t quite agree with all this controversy.

      Obama will not be speaking from a platform in which he tries to convert others to his beliefs. He is unapologetic about his pro-choice views- as well as his other political beliefs, but he isn’t coming to Notre Dame with the intention of shoving them down anyone’s throats- or even discussing them, for that matter.

      Why not take the pro-life/pro-choice/euthanasia bit out of the equation altogether and allow the university to simply honor him for his amazing achievements?

      Obviously, like him or hate him, he has accomplished quite a lot, and has had a distinguished career, from helping those less fortunate (community organizer) to his time in Constitutional Law, to his astonishing rise from Junior Senator to President of the United States.

      It doesn’t have to be an everyone-up-in-arms occassion… he is simply speaking to some young people who are about to embark on a journey into the real world. He has a lot of experience when it comes to following your dreams, never giving up hope, and working hard to accomplish one’s goals.

      I just think this is another excuse for some people (not necessarily you specifically) to stir up controversy where none needs to exist.

      Regardles, I’m glad you stopped by, and thank you for taking the time to share your views- they are respected.

      ~C-Haze

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s