Ken Woodward on ND

Here is the estimable Ken Woodward of Newsweek, on the lessons to be drawn from Obama's visit to ND.

"The message of Notre Dame is that thoughtful Catholics wish this president well. They will work with him if he will work with them. The courtesies of the president's day at Notre Dame were a reassuring start. They seemed to signal a willingness to solidify common ground against intractable partisans on the ideological left and right. Will the center hold? Much depends, I think, on whom President Obama nominates to replace Judge David Souter on the Supreme Court. And in the longer run, where the funding of abortion fits in with the president's promised health-care reform."


James Martin, SJ

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9 years ago
The Catholic Church holds the same position as the ''ideological right'' when it comes to abortion.  Does America Magazine and ND hold this same postion? Unfortunately ND gave legitimacy to President Obama's illigitimate postion on abortion.  This is why we should not honor these individuals.  We cannot risk sending the wrong message to Catholics and the culture in general concerning so great an injustice and violation of most basic civil rights.
9 years ago
Balderdash! The University in no way gave legitimacy to the President's view of abortion. Read the President of ND's remarks when introducing President Obama. Obama said in his speech that abortion is an issue where there will never be universal agreement and he sees the need for seeking a common ground on the issue. Whether or not we can seek a common ground will, as Ken Woodward says, much depend on his Supreme Court nonination and future funding for abortions.
9 years ago
This column continues the blogosphere with the most boring and tired entries in the name of "dialogue." I am so tired of the one-note voices. Please, no more columns on Notre Dame or abortion for six months.  We alll need a breather!
9 years ago
Dave, how else with the National Right to Life Committee and its associates keep up their fundraising if they don't have any issues to fundraise on?  As far as Notre Dame, as a non-diocesean school, the directives and objections of the Bishops on this issue amount to a snit or hissy fit and nothing more, since Fr. Jenkins does not work for any of them.  He is an order Priest who has a vow of obedience to his order only - not to the local bishop.  It is amazing how strident the bishops are when someone disagrees with them, and how lose they are when the subject is Iraq, nuclear war or the minimum wage. The question of abortion funding under health care is interesting, especially given the fact that abortion is a medical term which encompasses all terminations, including those that are subsequent to the death of the embryo or fetus but occuring before the onset of miscarriage.  Such abortions must be funded, while the elective ones should not be funded by insurance, but instead by something akin to Flexible Spending Accounts (which are not paid by the other policy holders who might have scruples on doing so - even if by making sure the abortion happens surgeically, two lives are not taken by a dangerous self-induced abortion).  The only way to pay for health care is with some form of tax reform, either with a value added tax and/or an expanded business income tax (which would tax payroll as well as profits and replace payroll taxes and the lowest 25% of all personal income tax rates - including the first 25% of the 39.6% tax rate).  If we are really serious about reducing abortions, we can insist that most tax benefits, including the EITC and the home mortgage deduction, be consoldiated into an expanded refundable Child Tax Credit to be included with the wage (taken against the company Business Income Tax obligation).  If we are really serious about protecting innocent life, we will lobby for a high enough rate to pay workers $500 for each child on the federal level, with states providing an additional credit based on their cost of living.  Supporting such a living wage should be the condition for not opposing flexible spending account coverage of abortion.  Draw the line in the sand here and you may find all Catholics unified on this issue.  Chide any conservatives who bauk because they think such a redistribution is socialism that a just wage covering dependents adequately is required under papal encyclicals.  Chide liberals that direct funding of abortion is wrong as well.  Chide non-Catholics on the National Right to Life Committee that support of this just wage provision is the price for continued participation in the movement, given the massive failure of the current strategy of going after Roe (which is great for fundraising, but has no chance of success - even the last 2 SCOTUS nominees didn't endorse it when given a chance).  This proposal could decrease abortions by as much as 75% by making children affordable.  Given that people don't tell the truth about being poor, the number saved may be even higher. This is the time for Catholic pro-lifers to put up or shut up.


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