I ain’t your fig leaf

Notre Dame caused a flap when it invited President Obama (who might be more pro-abortion than any other politician in federal office) to speak at graduation.  To defend itself, Notre Dame released some talking points, including this:

- We have said from the start, that this invitation does not mean we agree with all positions the President has taken.  We do not condone the President’s positions on abortion and embryonic stem cell research.  We have crucial differences with him on issues of protecting human life.  Fr. Jenkins made that clear.

– But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t invite him to Notre Dame.  We can never change the President’s views unless he listens to us.  And how can we expect him to listen to us if we won’t listen to him?

– And President Obama won’t be doing all the talking. Mary Ann Glendon, the former U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican, will be speaking as the recipient of the Laetare Medal.

– We think having the President come to Notre Dame, see our graduates, meet our leaders, and hear a talk from Mary Ann Glendon is a good thing for the President and for the causes we care about.

Professor Glendon has (rightly) hit the roof at being a fig leaf:

A commencement, however, is supposed to be a joyous day for the graduates and their families. It is not the right place, nor is a brief acceptance speech the right vehicle, for engagement with the very serious problems raised by Notre Dame’s decision—in disregard of the settled position of the U.S. bishops—to honor a prominent and uncompromising opponent of the Church’s position on issues involving fundamental principles of justice.

Finally, with recent news reports that other Catholic schools are similarly choosing to disregard the bishops’ guidelines, I am concerned that Notre Dame’s example could have an unfortunate ripple effect.

It is with great sadness, therefore, that I have concluded that I cannot accept the Laetare Medal or participate in the May 17 graduation ceremony.

Good for Ms. Glendon.  It Looks like this particular clusterbungle will harass Notre Dame for some time. . .

This entry was posted in Excruciatingly Correct Behavior, The Right Words on by .

About Hubbard

I'm one of the contributors to FederalistPaupers.com. I would rather have a different name, like "Right-Wing Dorks," but this works. I live in DC, and keep an eye on current events. I don't have a political job--I'm just a paralegal--but I suppose I'm technically a beltway denizen. I'm a bookworm, so odds are a fair number of my posts will be about what I'm reading.

2 thoughts on “I ain’t your fig leaf

  1. Tom

    But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t invite him to Notre Dame. We can never change the President’s views unless he listens to us. And how can we expect him to listen to us if we won’t listen to him?

    I’d be very skeptical of any college’s ability to sway a president on a particular issue. I’m equally skeptical that any college would actually engage the commencement speaker on a controversial issue like this during the commencement.

  2. Apollo

    Yes, I’ve found that particular defense of Notre Dame to be strange. Perhaps its targeted toward those who have never seen a college commencement address? The whole thing is, I guess, supposedly about the speaker imparting his wisdom on the audience. If you’re lucky, the speaker says something useful. If you’re not, you get Bill Bradley talking about how old he is.

    But for Notre Dame to claim that Obama would be influenced by them was just goofy. And it’s quite embarrassing for such a symbol of American Catholicism to be used as a fig leaf by one of the most radically pro-abortion politicians in America. I’m glad Glendon refused to provide cover for Notre Dame, and I hope they fail to find a replacement. Alternatively, Doug Kmiec obviously has no shame in flacking for Obama on abortion; perhaps he could serve as recipient/stooge.

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