When Notre Dame University made the decision to invite President Obama to be the school’s commencement speaker and to award him an honorary doctoral degree in law, many Christians and students responded by signing a petition for Notre Dame to rescind this offer. Despite the resistance, Notre Dame moved forward with its announcement that they will move forward with their invitation and the award that will be given to Obama.
Now Obama could talk the skirt off a nun. He is a great speaker. JFK with a tan. So, I understand fully the allure of asking the President of the United States to speak at a prestigious university such as Notre Dame. The thing is…this is a predominantly Christian/Catholic student body with strong feelings in opposition to the pro-choice stance that President Obama takes. This invitation is a violation of their beliefs. It is quite possible that a student chose to go to Notre Dame with the expectation that the school would uphold their Christian standards. The fact that by Tuesday morning there were 50,000 signatures should have sent a message that the student body was not happy with this choice.
The petition stated:
“It is an outrage and a scandal that ‘Our Lady’s University,’ one of the premier Catholic universities in the United States, would bestow such an honor on President Obama given his clear support for policies and laws that directly contradict fundamental Catholic teachings on life and marriage,” says the Cardinal Newman Society petition to Fr. Jenkins.
“Whatever may be President Obama’s admirable qualities, this honor comes on the heels of some of the most anti-life actions of any American president, including expanding federal funding for abortions and inviting taxpayer-funded research on stem cells from human embryos,” says the petition.
“The honor also comes amid great concern among Catholics nationwide about President Obama’s future impact on American society, the family, and the Catholic Church on issues such as traditional marriage, conscience protections for Catholic doctors and nurses, and expansion of abortion ‘rights,’.
The petition directs the president of the University to observe a document entitled “Catholics in Political Life” that was approved in June 2004 by the U.S.C.C.B. This document was drafted under the direction of Cardinal Francis George, now the president of the U.S.C.C.B., Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver, and then-Bishop Donald Wuerl, who is now the archbishop of Washington, D.C.
“The Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles,” says the bishops’ statement. “They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.”
Fr. Jenkins commented that he had asked President Obama to speak so that they would be able to interact with the president and perhaps even influence him in this area. On top of the commencement speech, the catholic university will also honor him with a degree from their university. A pro-Obama man commented that the university needs to be representative of both sides, but this is a university with religious affiliation. Doesn’t it have the right to be biased. Isn’t our faith biased? Jesus came to bring the sword. The truth is the truth and it divides us. Our faith is not p.c. There is a difference between being close-minded and being rooted in truth. This university has a loyalty to its students and to it’s faith and doctrine. It is a tragedy that it is violating all of these.
On a side note…In the United States alone, there have been over 50 million children killed by abortion since it was legalized. I was Schindler’s List the other day and was shocked by the number 6 million. People wonder why abortion is such a BIG issue for Christians, most of the time in a mocking way (I havew been one of these people before). 50 million. Yeah I would say it is number one. If I lived during the time of the Holocaust, and the murder of 6 million was not number one on my list, I would be surprised. God has really opened my eyes on this issue. When I look in the eyes of my God, I do not want to be found to be a person that did not stand in strong opposition to this massacre.