Notre Dame’s Betrayal of Faith

AmericanThinker | Selwyn Duke | Apr. 5, 2009

When John the Baptist said to King Herod, “It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother’s wife,” the price he paid was his head on a platter. He had spoken Absolute Truth to power in a time when power was absolute. It was the bravest of acts, the kind only undertaken by those very rare men for all seasons.

Lying in stark contrast to this is catholic (note the small “c”) Notre Dame University’s genuflection before Barack Obama, a man embodying the very antithesis of Catholic teaching.

As most are aware, the university extended an invitation to Obama to deliver a commencement address and, to make matters worse, will bestow upon him an honorary doctorate. This, despite the fact that Obama has distinguished himself as the most militantly anti-life president in American history. In fact, his support of abortion extends to the point of infanticide, and I speak of his, at best, indifference to the Born Alive Infants Protection Act. In opposing the Illinois version of this legislation — thereby signaling his willingness to allow newborn babies to die in soiled store rooms — he showed his true colors. That is to say, it’s not so much that the matter of when a baby gets human rights is above his pay grade; it’s that he is morally degraded.

Adding to his impressive pro-death resume, Obama has rescinded the Mexico City Policy, thereby allowing our tax money to be used to promote abortion in foreign lands. He is also using tax dollars to fund the harvesting of stem cells from nascent human life. And he endeavors to establish a policy that would force health-care workers to either be party to abortion or risk losing their jobs (“Freedom of Choice” Act).

But it isn’t just on life issues that Obama is found wanting. He also supports special rights for homosexuals (euphemistically called “gay rights”). Additionally, he apparently was a member of Chicago’s socialist New Party in the 1990s, an association he has never adequately disowned. This is relevant because embracing socialism is contrary to Catholic teaching. As Pope Pius XI said plainly in 1931, “No one can be at the same time a sincere Catholic and a true Socialist.” (In fact, the Church has long condemned socialism – here and here, for instance).


Now, here some will say that Jesus was also criticized for consorting with sinners and responded with that heavenly wisdom, “The healthy are in no need of a physician.” Yet this isn’t an analogous situation. More appropriate here is, “The unhealthy are in no need of a podium.” I would have no problem with anyone offering Obama counsel – he could certainly use it. I myself would be happy to talk with him if he asked; maybe I could muster shades of John the Baptist. But what Notre Dame is doing is quite different: It is honoring Obama by bestowing a doctorate upon him. Additionally, it is not giving him an opportunity to receive counsel but a forum in which to dispense it – and to malleable young minds at that.

Then there are those, such as the writers of this silly Los Angeles Times editorial, who accuse those on my side of hypocrisy, saying we were silent when pro-death penalty George W. Bush spoke at Notre Dame in 2001. Well, let’s examine this.

There is no equivalency between abortion and the death penalty or, for that matter, what is supposedly President Bush’s mortal sin, launching military campaigns. The Church teaches that while capital punishment is hardly ever necessary in modern societies, it nevertheless is the right of “legitimate temporal authorities” to determine when it is justifiable. The Church also promulgates Just War Doctrine.

There is no Just Abortion Doctrine.

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