Archive for the ‘Notre Dame’ Category

Moralist-in-Chief Obama is President Above-It-All

May 22, 2009

Put Barack Obama in front of a teleprompter and one thing is certain — he’ll make himself appear the most reasonable person in the room.

Rhetorically, he is in the middle of any debate, perpetually surrounded by finger-pointing extremists who can’t get over their reflexive combativeness and ideological fixations to acknowledge his surpassing thoughtfulness and grace.

By Rich Lowry
National Review

This is how Obama, whose position on abortion is indistinguishable from NARAL’s, can speechify on abortion at Notre Dame and come away sounding like a pitch-perfect centrist. It’s natural, then, that his speech at the National Archives on national security should superficially sound soothing, reasonable, and even a little put-upon (oh, what President Obama has to endure from all those finger-pointing extremists).

 But beneath its surface, the speech — given heavy play in the press as an implicit debate with former Vice President Dick Cheney, who spoke on the same topic at a different venue immediately afterward — revealed something else: a president who has great difficulty admitting error, who can’t discuss the position of his opponents without resorting to rank caricature, and who adopts an off-putting pose of above-it-all self-righteousness.

Read the rest:
http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=M
DZmY2Q1OTYxMmQwNWI0ZjJiNmQy
YjU4ZjkxMTdlNmU
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Related:
Bush Waterboarded Three Terrorists; Obama Shot Three Pirates — War is Hell


Obama might leave his moralizing and judgment of others up to men of the cloth…..Like his Pastor “God Damn America” Wright…no, wait….

President Barack Obama holds his hand outstretched during a ...
Moralist in Chief Barack Obama apparently blesses and thanks the graduates of Notre Dame….Sunday, May 17, 2009. Center is board of trustees chairman Dick Notebaert.(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Obama and Abortion: I Support all Points of View Just Not Life

May 21, 2009

Summoned to Notre Dame to address the graduating body, our President waded right into the abortion debate by offering this courageous assessment:  “the fact is that at some level, the views of the two camps are irreconcilable. Each side will continue to make its case to the public with passion and conviction. But surely we can do so without reducing those with differing views to caricature.”

This typical politician’s way out — I promise to respect you as I defeat you — is perhaps the best we can hope for on most matters. Say, on global warming we disagree, but we can decide to respect the good faith of the guys who think the cars and light bulbs are burning up the world. It may sound idiotic, it may lead to a destruction of our economy, it may upend civilization as we know it, but what the hey, we can be civilized about this. There must be some nicer way of telling someone you think he is an idiot.

But how can we be expected to apply this to abortion?

Read the entire essay:
http://spectator.org/archives/2009/05/21/civil-lies

Notre Dame, Obama, Abortion: Wallowing in Vanity, Selfishness

May 19, 2009

Most graduation speeches are a mix of piety and optimism designed to ease students smoothly into real life.  The best have humor.  Some genuinely inspire.  But only a rare few manage to be pious, optimistic, evasive, sad and damaging all at the same time.  Father John Jenkins, C.S.C., Notre Dame’s president, is a man of substantial intellect and ability.  This makes his introductory comments to President Obama’s Notre Dame commencement speech on May 17 all the more embarrassing.

By Archbishop Charles Chaput
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Let’s remember that the debate over President Obama’s appearance at Notre Dame was never about whether he is a good or bad man.  The president is clearly a sincere and able man.  By his own words, religion has had a major influence in his life.  We owe him the respect Scripture calls us to show all public officials.  We have a duty to pray for his wisdom and for the success of his service to the common good — insofar as it is guided by right moral reasoning.

We also have the duty to oppose him when he’s wrong on foundational issues like abortion, embryonic stem cell research and similar matters.  And we also have the duty to avoid prostituting our Catholic identity by appeals to phony dialogue that mask an abdication of our moral witness.  Notre Dame did not merely invite the president to speak at its commencement.  It also conferred an unnecessary and unearned honorary law degree on a man committed to upholding one of the worst Supreme Court decisions in our nation’s history: Roe v. Wade. 

In doing so, Notre Dame ignored the U.S. bishops’ guidance in their 2004 statement, Catholics in Political Life.  It ignored the concerns of Ambassador Mary Ann Glendon, Notre Dame’s 2009 Laetare Medal honoree – who, unlike the president, certainly did deserve her award, but finally declined it in frustration with the university’s action.  It ignored appeals from the university’s local bishop, the president of the U.S. Catholic bishops’ conference, more than 70 other bishops, many thousands of Notre Dame alumni and hundreds of thousands of other American Catholics.  Even here in Colorado, I’ve heard from too many to count.

There was no excuse – none, except intellectual vanity – for the university to persist in its course. And Father Jenkins compounded a bad original decision with evasive and disingenuous explanations to subsequently justify it.

These are hard words, but they’re deserved precisely because of Father Jenkins’ own remarks on May 17: Until now, American Catholics have indeed had “a special expectation, a special hope for what Notre Dame can accomplish in the world.”  For many faithful Catholics – and not just a “small but vocal group” described with such inexcusable disdain and ignorance in journals like Time magazine — that changed Sunday. 

The May 17 events do have some fitting irony, though.  Almost exactly 25 years ago, Notre Dame provided the forum for Gov. Mario Cuomo to outline the “Catholic” case for “pro-choice” public service.  At the time, Cuomo’s speech was hailed in the media as a masterpiece of American Catholic legal and moral reasoning.  In retrospect, it’s clearly adroit.  It’s also, just as clearly, an illogical and intellectually shabby exercise in the manufacture of excuses.  Father Jenkins’ explanations, and President Obama’s honorary degree, are a fitting national bookend to a quarter century of softening Catholic witness in Catholic higher education.  Together, they’ve given the next generation of Catholic leadership all the excuses they need to baptize their personal conveniences and ignore what it really demands to be “Catholic” in the public square.

Read the rest:
http://townhall.com/blog/g/5f025fc4-4b6e-4da
a-b253-e9b52de356e4?comments=true&com
mentsSortDirection=Descending

Related:
Notre Dame Gives Obama “empty-headed rock-star worship”
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Obama Scored Big at Notre Dame; Shame on this University For Being “Used”
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Let’s Vote: Do Americans Want To Continue Abortion or Not?
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Obama’s Immaculate Deception on Abortion at Notre Dame
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Saying What’s Necessary to Win
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Notre Dame is In My Blood; Allowing ND To Be “Used” Offends Me

President Barack Obama holds his hand outstretched during a ...
Barack Obama apparently blesses and thanks the graduates of Notre Dame….Sunday, May 17, 2009. Center is board of trustees chairman Dick Notebaert.(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Notre Dame Gives Obama “empty-headed rock-star worship”

May 19, 2009

Now, back to Mr Obama, or Saint Barack as he perhaps ought to be known. I recently received a missive from a regular correspondent who writes in to abuse me, rather heavy-handedly, though often enjoyably rudely, every time I am uncomplimentary about Mr Cameron. Her latest epistle chides me for being unenthusiastic about Mr Obama, saying I have now been shown to be wrong about this – as if Mr Obama’s election victory over the decrepit, baffled John McCain cancels his faults and makes him right on everything. This is not, as it happens, an argument. But even so…

Some of you will have seen that Saint Barack ran into the first serious public hostility of his career on a visit to Notre Dame University, an old-established Roman Catholic college of some reputation, in South Bend, Indiana. The headline on this posting refers to the shouts which echoed across the hall as he addressed the student body and picked up an honorary degree, against the opposition of many American Roman Catholics. They are right to oppose these unjustified and mistaken compliments. I do not think Mr Obama seeks genuine compromise with this great Christian institution. I think on the contrary that he hopes to co-opt it into his machine, and compromise it so that it moderates its opposition to him.

I also do not think that ‘Yes, we can’ is much of a response to the accusations of abortion opponents. It reminds me of the general empty-headed rock-star worship which became such a feature of Mr Obama’s campaign. What, in this instance, does it mean? So far as I know Mr Obama’s attitude towards abortion is at the extreme end of permissive, as he will no doubt show when he picks his candidates for the Supreme Court, the USA’s potent and unelected third legislative chamber.

Read it all from Peter Hitchens:
http://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2009/
05/stop-killing-our-children-cried-the-heckler
s-yes-we-can-chanted-the-obama-fans.html?ITO=1490

Related:
Obama Scored Big at Notre Dame; Shame on this University For Being “Used”
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Let’s Vote: Do Americans Want To Continue Abortion or Not?
.
Obama’s Immaculate Deception on Abortion at Notre Dame
.
Saying What’s Necessary to Win
.
Notre Dame is In My Blood; Allowing ND To Be “Used” Offends Me

President Barack Obama holds his hand outstretched during a ...
Barack Obama apparently blesses and thanks the graduates of Notre Dame….Sunday, May 17, 2009. Center is board of trustees chairman Dick Notebaert.(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Obama Scored Big at Notre Dame; Shame on this University For Being “Used”

May 19, 2009

Seldom does dawn rise on an America where the morning’s New York Times displays a more intuitive grasp of a story than the New York Post. The coverage of Barack Obama’s commencement address at Notre Dame, however, was such a day. Where the Post headlined an inside spread with “Obama In the Lions’ Den,” the Times front page was dominated by a color photograph of a beaming president, resplendent in his blue-and-gold Notre Dame academic gown, reaching out to graduates eager to shake his hand or just touch his robe.

It was precisely the message President Obama wanted to send: How bad can he be on abortion if Notre Dame is willing to honor him?

We cannot blame the president for this one. During his campaign for president, Mr. Obama spoke honestly about the aggressive pro-choice agenda he intended to pursue — as he assured Planned Parenthood, he was “about playing offense,” not defense — and his actions have been consistent with that pledge. If only our nation’s premier Catholic university were as forthright in advancing its principles as Mr. Obama has been for his.

Read the rest from the Wall Street Journal:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124269
063343832561.html#mod=rss_opinion_main

Related:
Let’s Vote: Do Americans Want To Continue Abortion or Not?
.
Obama’s Immaculate Deception on Abortion at Notre Dame
.
Saying What’s Necessary to Win
.
Notre Dame is In My Blood; Allowing ND To Be “Used” Offends Me

***********************

Opinion from the Washington Post

President Obama’s speech at Notre Dame yesterday is another sign that pro-lifers are slowly winning the political battles over abortion. It was not the speech of a man who is confident that his position is right and popular. It was the speech of someone who is trying to minimize a problem–which is what the association with abortion assuredly is for the Democratic party.

More voters have left the Democrats over abortion than have joined it. And the public has been moving in a pro-life direction for years. (The latest Gallup poll even has a majority of Americans calling themselves pro-life.) Obama wants to defend a status quo in which abortion is effectively legal through all stages of pregnancy and abortion policy is sealed off from democratic decision-making. He even wants to make taxpayers pay for abortion. So at Notre Dame, he handled the political difficulty deftly. He didn’t try to make the case for his views on abortion and related issues. He just plead for mutual understanding, civility, and the search for common ground. All of those are perfectly valid goals, of course, but they are also the ones you’d expect to see emphasized by the side that’s defending a politically dangerous position.

Pro-lifers often get annoyed when they see politicians with hard-line records in favor of legal and subsidized abortion talk, as Obama did, about how much he wants to reduce abortion. But that type of rhetoric, however little follow-through it generates, is itself a concession to the moral and political force of the pro-life case. The more politicians who favor unrestricted, subsidized abortion talk about what a tragedy it is, the more they undermine their own premises. If it’s such a terrible thing, why fund it? Why not allow states to try different methods of discouraging it, including restrictions?

Obama has handled the politics of abortion deftly. He is doing the best he can from a position of weakness.

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Let’s Vote: Do Americans Want To Continue Abortion or Not?

May 19, 2009

The hard political fact for abortion advocates is that in a society where words matter, the “pro-choice” movement is in reality what might be called the “no-choice” movement. Whatever else can be said about Roe v. Wade, the idea that a “woman’s right to choose” was freely chosen by Americans — as was true of every other basic right in the nation’s history — is fundamentally false. The American people have specifically been refused an opportunity to choose abortion policy. Instead, liberal activists chose to go through the courts. One suspects this is because abortion advocates fear an electoral result that in some fashion mirrors precisely the results Gallup has discovered — a majority opposed to the tenets of abortion as outlined in the judicial fiat that is Roe v. Wade.

Read the rest from the American Spectator:
http://spectator.org/archives/2009/
05/19/the-no-choice-president

Related:
Obama’s Immaculate Deception on Abortion at Notre Dame

Obama’s Immaculate Deception on Abortion at Notre Dame

May 19, 2009

We probably stand in the minority, believing that when it comes to a decision to kill or not kill a baby there should be no middle ground –as the president wants.

“We are guaranteed “life, liberty and” etc.  Without life and the protections afforded by the law to life, there can be nothing else.

No middle ground.

But Notre Dame offered and Obama accepted an honorary degree and an opportunity to speak — something Obama is eminently qualified to do.

Using lawyerly logic, he skipped right over the discussion of conception, and life, and the right to life and offered a “middle ground” —

Time Magazine’s Amy Sullivan likened Obama’s approach to “If you’re not with us, then let’s sit down over cookies and talk about it.”

Paul Kengor wrote for the Weekly Standard:

“This should have elicited gasps from an educated audience. After all, one of Obama’s first acts as president–on January 23, the day after the annual March for Life in Washington–was signing the Mexico City policy. That means that groups like International Planned Parenthood will be subsidized with taxpayer dollars to perform and promote abortion overseas–to vigorously push for legalization, at all stages of pregnancy, in countries that have banned the procedure. Under relentless assault are nations like Mexico itself, home of Our Lady of Guadalupe, an image every faithful Catholic knows.This unique form of American “foreign aid” was notably excluded from President John Jenkins’ reverential statement glorifying Obama’s commitment to human rights.”
http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Arti
cles/000/000/016/521dmows.aspColumnist

Charles Krauthammer said on “Special Report with Bret Baier” on Monday night, “Obama pulled it off.”

Pass the cookies.

In the courtroom of the Catholic Notre Dame, students and faculty hailed their new savior as the articulate leader he is.

But to us, in the minority, there is blood on the president’s hands…..And we should know by now not to judge by his words but by his actions.

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By Cal Thomas
The Washington Times

Put aside the question of whether a distinctly Catholic institution like Notre Dame should award an honorary degree to a man who stands against any restrictions on abortion. Put aside the notion of academic freedom, which liberals favor as an intellectual premise, but rarely practice when it comes to conservative speakers, whom you very rarely see at the lectern at any U.S. commencement ceremonies this time of year.

Focus, instead, on President Obama’s remarks and whether he is serious, or can be made so, about actually reducing the number of abortions in America, which, according to the National Right to Life Committee, has reached 50 million since its legalization in 1973.

Don’t put aside, however, the argument that there is only one reason to even want to reduce the number of abortions and that is that what is being killed, terminated, evacuated (choose your term) is, in fact, human life.

At Notre Dame, the president gave an eloquent and well-crafted speech, full of Christian rhetoric and self-deprecating humor. He made a strong case for civility in the abortion debate, but curiously noted the advance in civil rights legislation came only after confrontation, some of which turned violent. Without that confrontation, he seemed to suggest, there might not be laws that liberated blacks and made it possible for him to become president.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/20
09/may/19/obama-at-notre-dame/

Notre Dame’s Betrayal

May 17, 2009

In recent weeks, liberal pundits have rallied to the defense of the University of Notre Dame, which plans to honor President Barack Obama with an honorary law degree on Sunday. The award has been protested by 74 Catholic bishops and more than 360,000 Catholics signing The Cardinal Newman Society‘s petition at NotreDameScandal.com.

Washington Post Columnist E.J. Dionne suggests that “the Catholic right’s over-the-top response is rooted at least as much in Republican and conservative politics as in concern over the abortion question.” Fox News Channel’s Alan Colmes complains, “So while Obama speaks about bringing people together, and the plurality of religious practices that make a great nation, it’s some of those who oppose him who use religion to divide.”

By Patrick J. Reilly
president, Cardinal Newman Society

Catholic groups and publications that have fawned over Obama and other pro-choice politicians–like Catholics United, Catholic Democrats, National Catholic Reporter and the Jesuits’ America magazine–also hypocritically accuse Notre Dame’s critics of political motives. But these voices of the left are guilty of exactly what they have accused faithful Catholics of doing: abusing religion to score political points.

 

They consistently describe the Notre Dame controversy in reference to politics, but it is not about politics. It is about a Catholic university’s betrayal of the Catholic bishops and lack of consideration for Catholic moral teaching. It is precisely about putting faith ahead of politics and secular prestige.

The individuals responsible for creating this debacle are the president of Notre Dame, Father John Jenkins, and the university’s trustees–not President Obama, not Notre Dame’s critics, and certainly not the dozens of outraged bishops.

In 2004 the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a statement which reads, in part: “The Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.”

Such a mandate from the bishops’ conference is rare, but it was more than justified, following numerous commencement scandals at Catholic colleges and universities for more than a decade. Since 1993 these have been documented by The Cardinal Newman Society, which seeks the renewal of Catholic identity in Catholic higher education.

And there is nothing political or partisan about it.

A few years ago, we raised concerns about pro-choice presidential hopeful Rudolph Giuliani at Loyola College in Baltimore; just like Notre Dame’s bishop, Cardinal William Keeler of Baltimore criticized the choice and refused to attend the commencement ceremony. When we raised the same concerns about Hillary Clinton at Marymount Manhattan College and Eliot Spitzer at Marist College, both New York institutions chose to admit that they were no longer Catholic institutions.

Catholic principles don’t change with party affiliation, and all serious Catholics would be happy if abortion and other intrinsic evils were opposed by both Democrats and Republicans.

Likewise, we would be thrilled if both parties–and all Catholic universities–would embrace the Church’s just war principles, social justice teachings and commitment to subsidiarity.

Those seeking to politicize the Notre Dame honor have been touting a poll by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life that found strong support for Notre Dame’s honor to President Obama even among self-identified Catholics. However, a subsequent Rasmussen Reports poll found that Catholics oppose the honor by an overwhelming 60% to 25% margin.

Why the difference between the polls? Rasmussen first informed respondents of the U.S. bishops’ policy against Catholic honors to public opponents of Catholic moral teaching, while Pew framed the issue through a political lens as “criticism of Notre Dame by abortion opponents.”

Understandably most people don’t want issue politics to interfere with commencement ceremonies. But, as the Rasmussen poll accurately captured, the Notre Dame honor is not about politics and is properly understood within the context of Catholic teaching and the university’s Catholic identity.

It’s understandable that President Obama’s admirers want to shield him from the embarrassment of controversy. But when they impose politics on the Catholic Church, and demand that deference to President Obama take precedent over preserving the Catholic identity of Notre Dame, they only succeed in revealing their own biases.

Patrick J. Reilly is president of The Cardinal Newman Society, a national organization that works to renew and strengthen Catholic identity in Catholic higher education.

Archbishop: Notre Dame Made a Mistake; Protesters Should Be Peaceful, Prayerful, Pro-Life

May 16, 2009

The Most Reverend John J. Meyers, Archbishop of Newark, said today that Notre Dame made a mistake by awarding an honorary degree to President Barack Obama.

But he urged faithful catholics to use the moment as a teaching point on life, prayer and peace.

“The lesson to be taught is that Notre Dame and the Church are for life,” he said on Fox News Channel. “Notre Dame made a mistake in awarding the degree.  And protesters should be peaceful and prayerful in the protest.”

“This puts Notre Dame in a situation of self made stress,” Meyers said. “It is an awkward position.”

In other words, it’s an unforced error by Notre Dame: not the president.

Related:
Obama; Why Notre Dame?
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Notre Dame is In My Blood; Allowing ND To Be “Used” Offends Me

Shame On Notre Dame: Obama’s Honorary Degree Sounds Like Candidacy for Sainthood
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Georgetown Honors Obama, Not Jesus (There Can Only Be One Messiah….)

The University of Notre Dame says its invitation doesn't mean the university agrees with all of Obama's positions.

Obama; Why Notre Dame?

May 16, 2009

Tucker Carleson joined Fox News Channel this morning and opened with a question on the minds of many.  For Obama, why Notre Dame?

“Why Notre Dame?  It makes no sense.  He could give the commencement address at any college, why Notre Dame?” Carlson asked.

“Obama can be expected to address the controversy head on,” said NBC News correspondent John Harwood.

“He’ll talk about abortion,” Harwood said.  “He won’t stand up for Pelosi.”

For me it is a broader issue: could the leadership of Notre Dame be so dense not to realize that this was not just another president comming for commencement.  This was the North Star of Abortion for advocates of baby killing and stem cell research.

This has become President Obama’s commencement on abortion and the Catholic Church.  Lost here are the graduates, alumni and people of faith that love Notre Dame. 

Moreover, Notre Dame is now a campaign stop: just as the trip to Iowa on Earth day became a campaign stop and the trip to the Caterpillar factory to tout the stimulus became a campaign stop.

So our question here at Peace and Freedom is two-fold.  For Notre Dame: why Obama?  Why incite bad blood on graduation day?  Why give the pro-abortion president or any pro-abortion man or woman the Notre Dame stage on this day? 

And for Obama we think we know the answer: just being at Notre Dame means he is on a mission of middle ground outreach that is like an embrace to and from the Catholic Church. 
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Many Americans, especially non-Catholic Americans, see Notre Dame as the Catholic Church.  But in fact, Notre Dame is often criticized for being too overly liberal.

But for Obama, that aura of Notre Dame as the Catholic Church, is helpful.  Maybe even essential in future political battles.
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Notre Dame is a gift that fell into the lap of a calculating Obama political team.

Pro-life groups should make Obama regret his decision….

Notre Dame is being used.  Inviting Obama to Notre Dame at this moment is a matter of life and death.

Related:
Notre Dame is In My Blood; Allowing ND To Be “Used” Offends Me

Shame On Notre Dame: Obama’s Honorary Degree Sounds Like Candidacy for Sainthood
.
Georgetown Honors Obama, Not Jesus (There Can Only Be One Messiah….)

The University of Notre Dame says its invitation doesn't mean the university agrees with all of Obama's positions.

http://scaredmonkeys.com/2009/05/15/expected-20
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http://michellemalkin.com/2009/05/15/s
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