The University of Notre Dame has a monumental problem and that is the man perched at the head of the university, Rev. John Jenkins. Rev. Jenkins decided to invite President Barack Obama to speak at the commencement ceremony today at Notre Dame. A firestorm has ensued due to the fact that Notre Dame is a Catholic institution and President Obama is a full supporter of slaughtering babies both inside the womb and, in some cases, outside the womb when they survive botched abortions. Several seniors will not attend the ceremony in protest and outside Notre Dame, protestors have been demonstrating for over a week. Several arrests have been made including those of Dr. Alan Keyes and Father Norman Weslin.
The issues for Notre Dame go deeper than just inviting the President to speak. Rev. Jenkins has written, “I am saddened that many friends of Notre Dame have suggested that our invitation to President Obama indicates ambiguity in our position on matters of Catholic teaching. The University and I are unequivocally committed to the sanctity of human life and to its protection from conception to natural death.” Rev. Jenkins has tried to defend the invitation by citing the University’s “long custom” of conferring honorary degrees to sitting U.S. presidents. He went on to praise the President’s policies on immigration and health care. He continued, “Ultimately, I hope that the conversations and the good that will come from this day will contribute to closer relations between Catholics and public officials who make decisions on matter of human life and human dignity. There is much to admire and celebrate in the life and work of President Obama.”
Personally, I am still searching for what exactly it is that I am suppose to admire and celebrate about Pres. Obama. We have no school transcripts or any writing other than self-serving biographies. Arizona State University did not present Obama with an honorary degree for those reasons I believe. And as a Christian, I refuse to celebrate a man who supports the holocaust on the unborn. I am not a Catholic, so I do not have a “dog in this fight”. But I do have an opinion on abortion and I know that it aligns with the teachings of the Catholic church.
“For you created my inmost being; and knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” Psalms 139:13-16 NIV
I believe that life begins at conception because that is what God has said in His Book. An unformed body is the egg and sperm together at conception. We are wonderfully made from start to end and not just some blob of tissue. To be lead in this country by a man who thinks that an ideology on abortion is “above his pay-grade” is sickening. I have no degree, but I know life and even when I was wishy-washy in my beliefs on this topic many years ago, I still knew that anything past the first trimester had to be murder. Even those that have the most flaccid opinions on abortion have to agree that infanticide is murder and our President when given the opportunity three to four times to support legislation that would protect born babies of botched abortions, chose not to grant that protection.
So the question becomes, is this Notre Dame’s attempt at prestige or just a tradition that was not carefully thought about in full? I am unable to fathom any reason for inviting this man to speak and the controversy and repercussions on the University are not worth it and already $14 million in alumni contributions have been lost.
I applaud the brave men and women protesting today and stand with them in spirit even as the media networks have committed to not air the protests and journalists like Amy Sullivan of Time claim that the protestors are “a small but vocal group of conservative Catholics.”