Three Cheers for Notre Dame

The University of Notre Dame made twin announcements that President Barack Obama would be giving the commencement speech and Ambassador MaryAnn Glendon would be receiving the university’s Laetare Medal this past weekend. The first news about Obama came on Friday, and blogger extraordinaire Rocco Palmo broke the story about Glendon Saturday evening. Whoever devised this timing in the Notre Dame press office deserves a raise! Maybe even a bonus!

The right wing of the Catholic Church was, as we noted on Saturday, up in arms within a twinkling of the eye over any honor being given to the President. Mr. Hudson is in high dudgeon at his blog, even issuing a veiled threat to Fort Wayne-South Bend Bishop John D’Arcy: "Bishop D’Arcy, who has challenged Notre Dame before, must invoke the guidelines of ‘Catholics in Political Life’ or risk some of the other bishops doing it for him." (Must? Call me conservative but I do not think laymen should issue "musts" to prelates.) The Cardinal Newman Society has started a petition drive to protest the decision. Archbishop Charles Chaput, who has no ecclesiastical jurisdiction in the matter, urged a letter writing campaign to the university’s president. (Someone at the Catholic News Agency, a conservative propaganda outfit that pretends to be an unbiased purveyor of news, has contacted me to say that the Archbishop’s office is denying he said any such thing. The link above indicates someone thinks they heard otherwise. In the event, Archbishop Chaput has my email and if he objects to the characterization on the blog referenced above, I will be happy to change it.)

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Now, of course, the stage at Notre Dame will be shared by someone whom the right has seen as a champion, Ambassador MaryAnn Glendon. There is no denying her credentials either as a conservative or as a pro-life advocate. I will bet dollars to doughnuts the next few weeks will make clear, however, that some on the right will begin attacking Dr. Glendon. Of course, Dr. Glendon, like the University of Notre Dame, is a source of pride for all Catholics, not just for conservatives. I view the world through very different lenses from Dr. Glendon, but I would be blind not to admire her accomplishments, her intellectual force, and her love for the Church. Whatever disagreements I have with her are disagreements within the family. (Of course, the right wing doesn’t view Notre Dame with the same "All in the Family" spirit.) And, in any event, here is a chance to fight another battle in the culture wars so who cares if Dr. Glendon must be thrown overboard?

This latest contretemps is disturbing not only because some of us are more than tired with the right wing insisting that only they can lay claim to the mantle of Catholicism, that those of us who see the demands of the world, or the challenge of the Gospels, differently are bad Catholics. Last week, before the latest mess, I ran into a priest whom I have known for more than twenty years but whom I had not seen recently. He did not discuss President Obama, he ranted. He did not offer a conversation or even an argument, he threw out slogans, and vulgar slogans at that, despite the fact that he is one of the least vulgar men I have ever known.

What is it about President Obama that makes the right wing so crazy, so uncharitable, so frothing-at-the-mouth unreasonable? I asked another priest who ventured racism was part of the answer. I am not so sure. I suspect that many people, with profound sentiments about abortion, had convinced themselves that our nation was close to seeing Roe v. Wade overturned and that Obama’s victory makes that less likely. But, overturning Roe would not have a large effect on the abortion rate as most states would codify the decision in their statutes. Besides that, what did the pro-life movement really gain from eight years of the George W. Bush’s presidency? Mr. Hudson may have had access to the White House, but what did the movement gain from the association? A phone call at t he Right-to-Life March? The Mexico City Policy, which is not nothing but it is not exactly a casus belli? I suspect the problem is that many on the far right listen to each other only, they have convinced themselves that FOCA will pass and Obama will be the "most pro-abortion" president in history, their understandable and laudable disgust at the entire nation’s tolerance of abortion has been channeled to focus on this man and like water entering a narrow channel, that disgust moves quickly and destructively. They are sincere, but sincere in the sense that they are the first to believe their own propaganda.

This crowd of conservatives does not own the Catholic Church. They certainly do not own Notre Dame. They are about to find out that they do not own Dr. Glendon either. The rest of us Catholics, however, must not let the public square think that they do. Our voices must be raised to say that we are thrilled such a distinguished Catholic university is considered such a part of the life of the nation that our President will be coming to address its graduates. We are thrilled that he will be sharing the stage with one of our Church’s and nation’s finest scholars and diplomats. And, we should be thrilled that the right wing commentariat has again adopted its smug "I thank Thee, Lord, that I am not like other men" stance. The Master condemned many things when he trod the earth, but none more than the smug judgmentalism of the Pharisees. Alas, like the poor, the Pharisees will be with us always. You will be able to find them on Graduation Day protesting outside the gates at Notre Dame.

 

 

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8 years 8 months ago
Well, Michael, isn't it judgmental to call someone else judgmental?
8 years 8 months ago
Let's try this, Sean: First of all, engage arguments instead of tossing around ad hominems. Secondly, tell us why Obama is such a great choice. He's the president...and? What has he achieved? What in his administration so far is reflective of the Catholic, gospel-centered worldview that Notre Dame is supposed to be about? Even leaving abortion out of the picture...what is he doing that you are so excited about and that should make a Domer proud that he's giving the address and receiving the honorary degree? Make an argument.
8 years 8 months ago
Mr. Winters: As a domer who also imbibed the Jesuit ratio studiorum I must say that your commentary is scraping bottom with such intemperate terms as ranted, right wing, crowd of conservatives, Pharisees, etc.. This is hardly inclusive language of the kind that broadens the appeal of your argument on such a delicate Catholic issue as the protection of human life. I find myself conflicted with Notre Dame's choice of President Obama, whose stance on the unborn offends everything that the great university stands for. Moreover, against such a dominating figure as the President, do you really think that Dr. Mary Ann Glendon will balance the agenda that much? The good news is that thanks to the university's invitation and to your vitriolic commentary the pro-life movement has been given a shot in the arm. For that we thank you.
8 years 8 months ago
I can easily imagine that Ms. Glendon will reconsider and refuse the, what would you call it, the "previlidge" of sharing the dias with an abortion provider.
8 years 8 months ago
Ms. Kokstis suggests that the President's health care proposals in effect will cause (sanction?) the murder of the elderly and infirm. I'm not sure what she means by that, and I've not previously seen any allegation that the President is supporting euthanizing the elderly or crippled. Is there some substance to this allegation? Also, for those who oppose the President's invitation to speak at Notre Dame, a question. If we want to persuade pro-abortion folks that they are wrong, don't we have to talk to them (which involves listening as well). Since the president is not a Catholic, we cannot just invoke the Magisterium. Could not Notre Dame and pro life advocates work to make sure the President gets to hear our arguments on his visit, and not merely our condemnations. If we do not have the power or the votes, don't we need to persuade, not merely damn?
8 years 8 months ago
I don't even know where to begin with this... As a youth minister, I have encouraged many of the teens in our parish to consider the University of Notre Dame when deciding on a college. It has historically been one of the most prestigious Catholic universities in the U.S., and is a top academic institution. Can we still call it Catholic? Right wing, left wing, blah, blah, blah. This is NOT about politics! I have absolutely no problem respecting President Obama as the leader of our country. He's not one party's president, he is OUR president. If he was invited to my alma mater to speak, I would have no problem with that. It is a public university and in no way called to uphold the values and teachings of the Church. But that is a far cry from honoring him at Notre Dame-- a university named in honor of Our Lady. I wonder how she would feel about the school honoring someone who so clearly defies everything she was about... Mr. Winters, I will not call you or anyone else who supports President Obama's visit to Notre Dame "bad Catholics." I can't throw that stone. But I certainly will think (and pray) twice before asking the teens in our parish to consider Notre Dame if they want to attend a Catholic university. And I will pray for you and the leaders of Notre Dame to more fully embrace the faith which should not bow to the "demands of the world," but rather focus on the demands of the One who is greater than the world. Because that's what should set Catholic schools, publications, and leaders apart.
8 years 8 months ago
The Catholic priest who is President of Notre Dame should be ashamed of himself for this announcement. President 0bama should not be speaking at a Catholic University because of his pro-abortion, pro-later-term-abortion and embyonic stem cell support, all of which will take lives. For this reason, he should not be honored either. Bishop D'Arcy is right. There is no place at Notre Dame for President 0bama. Not now and not ever.
8 years 8 months ago
Just to second all the negative comments. And add this: Notre Dame never invited Bill Clinton, and he was much more moderate than Obama, much more in line with what "moderate" Catholics preach. He was not far enough to the left for some member of the ND board?
8 years 8 months ago
I'm gonna go out on a limb and guess that ninety-nine percent of the time, the guy who posts "I will not be renewing my subscription" was not, in reality, ever a subscriber. Just a guess.
8 years 8 months ago
What we are witnessing another example of Marxist-inspired Catholic intellectuals vs people of the Catholic faith. They helped minimize and totally side-line the influence of the Catholic Church in Europe and now they are working on the U.S.
8 years 8 months ago
The Catholic teaching on abortion is about personal action. That is different from the legislative strategies of its leadership, which are flawed. As long as the hierarchy act as if it is 1972 and the question of legal abortion is legislative, it will come from the wrong perspective. The burden of action is not on pro-choice politicians to justify their position - but on those who would change the status quo who must offer some measure to grant rights to the unborn. By the way, Roe did not take status away from the unborn - rather it quite correctly recognized that none had been given to them and that until this occurs state governments cannot interfere with the relationship between a woman and her doctor. It is much better for electoral politics to castigate the other side than to actually come up with a solution. That doesn't cut it, however, if you care about the unborn.
8 years 8 months ago
Here's what I don't understand: this whole article boils the issue down to Right Wing Vs. The Left. If we continue do march down that path, we're dead in the water and no amount of dialogue is going to get us anywhere. So, let's just focus on the word, ''Catholic''. Can we do that? Can we also agree to stop saying that anyone who is pro-life is part of a vast, cruel, ultra right wing conspiracy. It seems Mr. Winters has quite a bone to pick with the ''right'' and has chosen to place anyone who considers themselves as ardently pro-life in that box. Seems a trifle judgmental and a bit conspiratorial. So let me say this as a Catholic. My faith tells me abortion is the destruction of human life. My faith tells me abortion wipes away one of God's own. With this knowledge...what would you have me do? Sit quietly? Say nothing? Avert my eyes? Put my head in the sand? What would you have me do? I'm asking? I must say what I think. What would you possibly think of me if I didn't? Those who think President Obama shouldn't speak at Notre Dame are merely doing the same. It's not a ''right wing'' thing. It's a pro-life thing. Dare I say, it's a Catholic pro-life thing. Or...would that be too judgmental? So let's take everyone out of their little boxes and stop labeling. Cool?
8 years 8 months ago
Strictly speaking, the number of abortions and smoking deaths don't matter to the intellectual exercise I would have you perform, although since you bring it up - please not that the number of abortions does not correspond on a one to one basis with the number of children who would ultimately survive. Not that this is a justification for abortion (I said nothing about abortion being justified), but simply a recognition that about a third to a half of those aborted would not have been born anyway due to miscarriage.
8 years 8 months ago
Pete, the whole point of Roe was that equal protection had not been extended to the unborn. You cannot finesse that and you cannot have the states do it. It is a federal responsibility. While it is emotionally satisifying and formerly politically effective to castigate "pro-choice" politicians for their views, until the right-to-life side actually comes up with legislation recognizing the unborn it cannot call this the most important issue for Catholics. It certainly should not castigate the most important Catholic university in America (sorry CUA and Georgetown) for inviting the President of the United States to speak at commencement. Especially as many of the students voted for him.
8 years 8 months ago
This issue is about one, and only one, thing: is Notre Dame, purportedly a Catholic Institution, going to follow the very clear statement of the United States Episcopacy, who in the 2004 statement taught that Catholic Universities may NOT give platform to individuals whose policies are in grave opposition to the moral teachings of the Church, or is Father Jenkins' hubris going to place Notre Dame above the teaching of the Bishops? BTW, I would think that a publication that calls itself "America" would present arguments that are consistent with the clear teaching of the "American" Bishops.
8 years 8 months ago
Mike, first, work without an ownership share is equateable to slavery - especially if the employer has the upper hand in negotiating the labor contract (which is often the case). Second, the fact that smoking is a personal choice does not diminish the damage it does. Suicide is a personal choice too. If the abortion lobby had the political power of the tobacco lobby, you would have seen protestors in front of Churhces rather than at abortion clinics. I can see why many of the vocal Republicans who post here are uncomfortable with this comparision,since in the world of coalition politics, big tobacco is right up their with RTL in the GOP.
8 years 8 months ago
What's with this "right wing" Catholic stuff? I'm a Catholic born and bred, my father and mother both Catholic, my grandparents; Catholic. All were totally anti abortion and all would have openly opposed any pro-abortion candidate, if one had raised their head in my country - Ireland. My dad always kept himself au fait with Catholic teaching, well understood the importance of "Humanae Vitae" and totally supported all the teachings of the Church. They were simply Catholics - just like me. I think maybe this "right wing" label has come about because of people who call themselves Catholic are in fact a bunch of heretics who have decided to stay in the Church instead of, as in former times, leaving it and realizing they look a bit out of place have decided to make ordinary, faithful Catholics seem off kilter. - Rene
8 years 8 months ago
Frank, Obama showed great restraint in attacking the religious, as have Kerry, Biden and Pelosi. They could have easily attacked the leadership of the Pro-Life movement for what amounts to rank opportunism. The fact that they have not is actually rather irritating to those of us who would like them to make a stronger case. Magdalena, I have actually put the question of smoking as a life issue to my local bishop through his pro-life office director. So far, I have not received a response. My point in raising the question is not to equate the two, but to get the movement to think from a new perspective. What some hard core pro-lifers refuse to examine is what they would propose or not propose for the role of the government. Looking at how banning abortion and banning smoking are similar would be a useful exercise, although I can see why you would not want to go there. Additionally, whether abortion is equivicated with smoking or not, asking whether smoking is or is not a life issue is still worthy of consideration. BTW, I am old enough to have been Cathecized in my youth with the Baltimore Cathecism, thank you very much.
8 years 8 months ago
Mr. Winters, Before writing again: 1. Review paragraphs 2270-2275 of the Catechism. 2. Paragraph 118 of the ''Compendium of Social Doctrine of the Church'' and 3. Paragraph 22 of ''Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship."
8 years 8 months ago
Actually, Kevin, there is nothing to "convince" Obama of. Rather, it is incumbant upon the Pro-Life movement to actually offer and advocate for proposals to change existing law. Until it actually has a proposal to make a change, there is no need for a teaching moment. The movement needs to change its focus. It is scandalous to condemn pro-choice politician for defending the status quo if you have not first offered a change to it.
8 years 8 months ago
A man had two sons. He said to the first, ''Put an end to child sacrifice.'' The first son said ''No, parents should be free to make their own decisions.'' So he went to the second, as said ''Put an end to child sacrifice.'' The second son said ''Yes, Yes, everyday Yes,'' but for 35 years never really did anything signficant to stop it. Meanwhile, the first son tried and did many things to help struggling parents make the right decision, but was consistently opposed by the second son, who was unwilling to spend any money for poor, struggling people who might have made bad decisions. Which son did the will of the Father? Why is there so often a dichotomy between ''Catholic'' and ''Christian?'' How can we hear the gospel every Sunday and not understand it? How can we as a Church who claims to know the Father act exactly like the Scribes and Pharisees? Even they knew who was doing the will of the Father.
8 years 8 months ago
I case you have not noticed, you are beginning to sound like a shill for Mr. Obama and the Democratic Party. You are quite ready with epithets like "He ranted. He did not offer a conversation or even an argument, he threw out slogans, and vulgar slogans at that, despite the fact that he is one of the least vulgar men I have ever known. What is it about President Obama that makes the right wing so crazy, so uncharitable, so frothing-at-the-mouth unreasonable?" Perhaps the "left wing" which is so deaf, so imperceptive of the results of Mr. Obama's policies.
8 years 8 months ago
Michael, Your bias is so obvious that you sacrifice any and all credibility.
8 years 8 months ago
Mr. Bindner: You can look up the data yourself. I have and here are the approximate numbers in the US: Abortions per year in the US: 1.0 to 1.4 million Smoking related deaths per year in the US: 0.4 million Now scientist like to put value on life based on productivity. The productivity losses annually for abortion are many factors greater than for smoking. It would be nice if people would not throw around statistics without at least doing some fact-checking.
8 years 8 months ago
"the Pharisees will be with us always. You will be able to find them on Graduation Day protesting" And he also said they are crazy, uncharitable... Talk about using slogans and political rhetoric. Can you say anything more typical than accusing those you disagree with of being pharisees. Your own column would be judged wrong by such a standard.
8 years 8 months ago
Mr. Winters, Before writing again: 1. Review paragraphs 2270-2275 of the Catechism. 2. Paragraph 118 of the ''Compendium of Social Doctrine of the Church'' and 3. Paragraph 22 of ''Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship." Obama needs to be un - invited. Vivat Jesus, Dave
8 years 8 months ago
I feel as if you have missed the boat here. Foremost we (Catholics) are defenders of life. How can we truly be against abortion, stem cell research, etc. and be supportive of a man who is actively changing policy without regard for human life? This link will provide the truth about how 'active' the President has been regarding abortion, stem cell research, etc. since he came into office. This may help you to see why 'we are foaming at the mouth'. (Interesting image albeit a tad theatrical). http://www.lifenews.com/obamaabortionrecord.html
8 years 8 months ago
Can you imagine if George Bush or Donald Rumsfeld were invited? Mike Winters, would be leading the liberal cavalry against such an invite, citing Catholic teaching like a modern day Loyola. We would witness mass protests and angry pie throwing. Then again, is anyone surprised that the man Mike voted for is praised for bombing innocent people by remote control; is defended for wasting money on embryonic stem cell research that will lead to no cures and only death?
8 years 8 months ago
The comparison of abortion with smoking is, to me, stunning. Just stunning. And a perfect illustration of why the Church is so divided today. Because the quality of catechesis is so low, and our system of classical liberal education has collapsed so completely, that some people will actually make an argument of equivalency between abortion and tobacco use (and mean it seriously). Michael Binder, please ask your bishop whether abortion and smoking are on the same moral plane. As for Pharisees, I think you will find "them" not only outside the gate but also inside among the students graduating. The Cardinal Newman Society is a silly and annoying organization, I agree, but their petition as of Monday at 8 o'clock had 40,722 signatures (and that is since Friday afternoon). It is not just the fringe that has a big problem with this. I would like to think of myself as a very moderate Catholic but I think ND has made a HUGE mistake. Part of the problem is that Notre Dame is not hosting President Obama as a speaker to be engaged in dialog, instead it is HONORING him with a degree in law of all things. When Columbia invited Ahmadinejad of Iran to speak, they did not honor him with a degree in Judaic studies and make him commencement speaker, but instead engaged him in a different forum and critiqued his harmful world view (President Obama's understanding of human rights is just as inadequate). That is the stand Notre Dame should have taken, which would have changed the focus from personalities to ideas. Unfortunately they did not, it is too late now, and I think ND will come to regret making the offer and President Obama will come to regret accepting.
8 years 8 months ago
Michael, your entire post is a smug ''I thank Thee Lord that I am not like other men'' stance. Jack, neither son did the will of the father. The first son only tried to impose his own will on the parents. He refused to: notify the parents of underaged mothers, allow the mothers to have ultrasounds, allow son #2 to educate the mothers about the procedure and notify police when the underaged mothers were impregnated by adult predators. Son #1 also wanted to spend other people's money on his social agenda much like Judas wanted to sell another person's perfume and give money to the poor. Son number two failed to: challenge ''pro-choice'' politicians forcefully by running against them in elections, vote pro-life in every election and pray the rosary every day. Men who presume to know more about scripture than the Church that gave them scripture are the ones who have created any dichotomy between Catholic and Christian.
8 years 8 months ago
The bigger question, it seems, is why are some Catholics so excited about Obama? His policies run counter to Catholic teachings, and he's openly mocked religious people. So rail against what you call ''the Right Wing'' while embracing, cherishing, and celebrating someone that stands against the policies of the Church. Fete the False Prophet.
8 years 8 months ago
I'm also a Domer, and I received the news that the President would be speaking at Commencement with ambivalence. True, it is a great honor to the University to have any President of the United States as its commencement speaker. The ambivalence comes from the risk of scandal caused by appearing to endorse or downplay President Obama's outspoken antagonism to Church teaching on human life issues (e.g., Mexico City, ESCR). Indeed, I thought even you acknowledged his stem-cell edict as a strike against his administration. Further, FOCA appears not to be such a will-o-the-wisp as we all would like it to be. A version of it is advancing in the Illinois legislature as HB 2354 with virtually half (34/70) of the Democratic caucus listed as co-sponsors. I don't know the prospects for a federal statute, but pro-lifers should not be considered fools for taking the President at his word, particularly when Illinois Democrats think it is such a grand idea.
8 years 7 months ago
There is no "right wing" of the Catholic Church, nor is there a "left wing." These are political terms, not terms of faith. Either one believes the truths taught and proven through 2 millenia, or one does not. Who does not believe is no longer a Christian. Simple, concise and the truth. Why would the most recognized Catholic University in America invite and bring on campus an individual who, in less than 100 days in the CEO of Amercia office make his position of misunderstanding on human values and dignities a priority ? Wake up Catholic America, wake up Notre Dame!
8 years 7 months ago
Don, attacking the legislative program (or lack thereof) and blatant opportunism of the pro-life movement and the bishops who use the pulpit to support them is not attacking the faith. Tony, I was imprecise, it was a ruling, although rulings are transmitted in majority and concurring opinions. Regardless, there is no Obama policy that has caused these abortions to occur - only an unwillingness to appoint justices who would overturn federal supremacy in equal protection legislation in the name of stopping "judicial activism". Most would call that protecting and defending the Constitution and preventing mob rule at the state level. Before he is done, Obama will likely advance and sign legislation actually recognizing fetal rights at some stage in the pregnancy - a move that the right to life movement has been unwilling or unable to do. He will likely do more to protect the unborn than Bush ever did.
8 years 8 months ago
Michael, thank you for keeping us posted. I never read Deal Hudson's blog - thank you for making sure I don't have to. On the topic of legal abortion, you are correct that Roe was no where close to being overturned. If Alito and Roberts had joined with Scalia rather than Kennedy on Partial Birth Abortion, you could not have said such a thing. Saner head will one day say that the Bush presidency was the turning point in making sure that Roe will stand the test of time, as it should. To judicially overturn Roe, the Court would have to end all prospect of judicial activism and federal supremacy on equal protection (which encompasses more than just abortion). I think some of the vitreol on Roe comes from the fact that those who wish to overturn it are in essence promoting an evil means (ending judicial protection of minority rights vis-a-vis state majorities). That can't be good for the soul.
8 years 8 months ago
While we are on the subject of abortion, let me draw a parallel between legalized abortion and legalized smoking. I support neither abortion nor smoking. If my daughter wishes to do either, I would be very pissed. I consider both to be life issues, in fact, smoking tobacco takes more lives than abortion. While there is a moral difference in that smoking is done to oneself rather than to another, the last time I checked the commission of slow suicide was not considered a moral act. Pro-life partisans need to ask themselves, if smoking is a life issue, why they seek to ban abortion and not smoking. The question becomes, what kind of state one wants to have. To do either, or both, one requires the same kind of police state. I would go further and say that to oppose banning abortion is in the same class of decision as to oppose banning smoking. If you look closely, the reasoning is the same. (BTW, Obama still smokes).
8 years 8 months ago
Yes!! God willing, You will find me outside the gates of Notre Dame protesting! I and many others were shocked that Notre Dame would invite this man, who now not only wants to make me pay for murdering the babies, but the elderly and infimred as well. For your information this is called Health Care Reform. I really do believe Notre Dame should lose its status as a Catholic University unless it chooses to follow Catholic Church teachings. Enough! Enough of following the Land O Lakes Statement of which Notre Dame was part of drafting. It certainly is one of the reasons our Catholics today do not know their faith.
8 years 8 months ago
There are some issues which are negotiable, and some that are non-negotiable. Where we set the tax policy is negotiable. The most effective way for the state to help care for the elderly and sick is negotiable. Abortion is not negotiable. It is not one issue among many. It is not a matter of political preference or prudential judgment. President Obama insists that the government (and by extension, my taxes) should fund the slaughter of innocent children. This isn't a dialogue, this isn't a critical examination of a differing view point, this is a Catholic institution choosing to bestow honors on someone who uses the force of the state to pay for the killing of children. It's sick.
8 years 8 months ago
It's not about being Right Wing - nor is it about being Progressive. It's about being a faithful witness to what the Church teaches and has always taught about the sanctity of life. Obama received the following score on NARAL Pro-Choice America's Congressional Record on Choice from 2005-2007: 100 percent. This is not the type of individual who should be given the platform to speak and awarded by a Catholic university. Notre Dame has gone out of its way to honor him. The fact remains that many Catholics feel compelled by their consciences and by the teaching of the Church to give witness to what they hold to be true: Abortion is the direct killing of an innocent human being. As a Notre Dame graduate, I am ashamed by the University's betrayal of its Catholic identity. I think distinguished Notre Dame philosophy professor Ralph McInerny says it best: if it is seriously wrong for a Catholic to support abortion, he asks: Is it any worse to celebrate such a politician as Barack Obama? So where does that put ND President Father Jenkins? McInerny argues: ''By inviting Barack Obama to be the 2009 commencement speaker, Notre Dame has forfeited its right to call itself a Catholic university. It invites an official rebuke. May it come.''
8 years 8 months ago
Mr. Binder, You offer some of the most fallacious, equivocal reasoning I have ever seen in order to justify the legality of abortion. Smoking is hardly similar to abortion in its ontology, and is nowhere near equal in its moral import. If you truly think that you have made a sound argument here then it seems that any claim will do if it allows you wag your condescending finger at those embarrassing "pro-life partisans". I also find your sense of irony lacking when you straight-facedly bewail the supposed damage to the equal protection clause in the event of Roe's being overturned. I can think of one class of people denied equal protection under the law as it currently stands now.
8 years 8 months ago
I'm shocked that a purportedly Catholic magazine can take such a position. Raving on and on about the evils of the "right wing", and ignoring the facts. Notre Dame wants to confer an honorary law degree on President Obama. Typically an honorary degree is conferred on someone who has made an important contribution in the field. Can you tell me what important contribution President Obama has made that is not a direct attack on Catholic teaching? Reversal of the Mexico City agreement? FOCA? Removal of conscience clauses? Federal funding for embryonic stem cell research? Appointing the most anti-life cabinet in history? Supporting not only partial birth abortion, but infanticide if the baby survives? To respond to another poster. Abortion is not like smoking. smoking is a poor personal choice which can lead to your own illness and death. Abortion is the murder of another human being who had no choice and who is innocent. You might as well compare working to slavery. Work is a choice, slavery is an indignity. America Magazine, SHAME ON YOU! You can be sure I will not be renewing my subscription or supporting you in any way.
8 years 8 months ago
Michael, thank you for alerting me to the petition - I will sign it ASAP. With regard to the concern many share over the Obama presidency, it's not the color of his skin, it's the content of his character.
8 years 8 months ago
No need to lay out the case against Obama's speaking at Notre Dame. The posting by Eric says it all. I find it interesting that Mr. Winters refers to those who follow the Magisterium's teachings as "this crowd of conservatives." Oh those conservatives, they mean well. If they could just not let those annoying Church teachings get in the way. Then they could be the kind of Catholic that can write for America and accept Obama as a great man, even if his record shows he'll do all he can to ensure that the truly innocent can be aborted up till nine months. Sorry. Did it again, i.e. discerned right from wrong. Must break that habit.
8 years 7 months ago
This debate should primarily lie with current and previous Notre Dame students and faculty and...noone else. Let the college invite who they want to speak (nobody's being forced to listen) and save the acute self-righteousness for a battle worth fighting.
8 years 8 months ago
I am fine with Mr. Bindner's tobacco analogy but lets carry it futher. Lets tax the heck out of abortion clinics and lets put em out of business with government-aided litigation.
8 years 8 months ago
Perhaps the author consider Catholics faithful to the teachings of the Church as right wingers? Come on guys! Now if the author believes in tradition that will make Bishop D'Arcy -one of the successor of the apostles a right winger-
8 years 8 months ago
The writer stated; "Of course, Dr. Glendon, like the University of Notre Dame, is a source of pride for all Catholics, not just for conservatives." I'm neither a political, social nor economic 'conservative'. I'm neither a Democrat nor a Republican [registered Independent.] I'm just Catholic. I have not viewed Notre Dame University with pride for over 25 years - but rather with shame. Over the last 25 to 30 years many Notre Dame grads of my personal acquaintance from all over the U.S. have gradually come to the conclusion that on many issues, Notre Dame is Catholic in just about name only. I've personally heard from over half a dozen of their alums here in my local area state that Notre Dame has now seen the last donation to their Alum and other funds --- till Notre Dame gets in step with at least the most teachings of the Catholic Church. [I personally don't see that happening any time soon.] And of course I'm not in the least surprised to see an article such as Winter's defending Notre Dame over this issue in America. [I'm Jesuit trained myself. LOL] As previously stated, I'm just Catholic. I can easily see the objective evil in a Catholic Unversity honoring any man who is openly and avowedly in favor of partial birth abortion. Even a child should be able to see the patent malevolence in Partial Birth abortion. As Christians - we are supposed to oppose evil - not honor its purveyors. Evidently Winters cannot see what the average child can usually see. Desmond
8 years 8 months ago
There is no 'right-wing' or 'left-wing' Catholics. This is merely a tool used by heterodox cafeteria-Catholics to distinguish themselves from those who are actually faithful to the teachings of the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church has always taught that abortion is morally wrong. From highly visible individuals such as Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI, or Mother Theresa all the way back to Justin Martyr or Irenaeus, they all stated that abortion was morally evil. It seems as though those who are truly pro-life are in good company. Those who claim to be Catholic, yet support legislation protecting a woman's right to murder the baby in her womb, will have some explaining to do when they stand before the throne of God on Judgment Day. So, like I said - there is no 'right-wing' or 'left-wing' Catholics; only orthodox Catholics and those who dissent into heterodoxy. Let's call it like it is.
8 years 8 months ago
Is this really a Catholic magazine? Have you read the Catechism of the Catholic Church? Do you follow the Pope? I am fed up being called a right wing Catholic because I follow the Majesterium of the Catholic Church and the Pope. Each one of us has a responsibility to protect life. When politicians and worse yet, priests and Catholic leaders try and dodge the abortion issue they mislead others and will be held accountable. President Obama is the most pro-abortion president we ever had - that is a fact! He should be respected as president but not honored by any Catholic institution.
8 years 8 months ago
Michael Sean Winters: It seems that you are personally opposed to the official teachings of our Catholic Church with regards to abortion, contraception, homosexuality and eugenics (which constitute the core beliefs or convictions of President Obama) because that's the only logical reason that you are so excited and joyful about President Obama giving the commencement speech at Notre Dame. It's no wonder, then! I can't help but be reminded of our Lord's saying about wolves in sheeps' clothing! May our good God shower you and President Obama with His merciful grace!

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