I spent the majority of my formative years in South Bend, IN. I was raised Catholic and attended Catholic school all my life until college. My high school was located across the street from Notre Dame and it would be safe to say that *most* of my teachers attended that institution of higher learning. In other words, I am familiar with Notre Dame, and I am deeply disappointed with all the bullshit that has been going on there since Obama was asked to be the commencement speaker.
Behold, Catholicism gets hip to youtube and ushers Fr. Corapi, a man with a resonant and authoritative voice, to blather their nonsense.
He claims the Church has “dishonored itself” by inviting Obama to be Notre Dame’s commencement speaker. HELLO, HE IS THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. Normally, as a liberal, I wouldn’t invoke the label of president to elicit a reverent stance towards anyone. Fight the power, right? But in the past 5 months, the label and institution of the presidency has been restored as a respectful one, as it is no longer inhabited by a village idiot who unbalanced the world with cruel and thoughtless policies. Never did American political life (among other things) tip so dangerously toward chaos than during the 8 years of GWB. But now at the helm of our still teetering realm, we have AN INTELLIGENT, COMPASSIONATE, THOUGHTFUL PRESIDENT.
But apparently Obama doesn’t just disrespect life, Fr. Copari says he is the first president to have an “obviously public and pernicious anti-life and anti-Catholic Christian bias.” What the hell is an anti-Catholic Christian bias? What does that mean? Copari and the Newman Center must have added the word “Christian” in there just to throw us all off balance.
That is clearly going too far. I can understand that Catholics might object to some of Obama’s positions, but wtf, Catholics, I always thought you (we!) had better sense than this! LOOK AT THE BIG PICTURE.
But maybe I am getting carried away, and the people at ND protesting the O man are just the fringe. After all, Obama received 7 more percentage points from the Catholics than fellow-papist Kerry did in 04. Catholics like Obama. We voted for him.
President Bush gave the commencement speech in May of 2001. Those were simpler times; he may have stolen the election, but it was another two years until he invaded a country and signified his ‘respect’ for life everywhere.
We are still in the midst of a torture scandal, in which our nation’s leadership (on both the right and left) failed to be forthcoming about interrogation policy in our terrorist prisons. This isn’t really big news as we’ve known that torture was going on for a while. But I can’t help but be scandalized that the Catholic Church is wasting its breathe dishonoring and making a fool of themselves by protesting Obama’s commencement speech, when they should be re-examining what it means to respect life, and where the Church’s priorities should lay. Like Bush, the Catholic Church has started to rely on culture wars to define Catholic culture. But if we want to foster a world where compassion, tolerance, and Christ’s love reigns, then we can all agree that torture, unjust war (to use the Catholic term!), and poverty degrade life in noticeable, impactful ways. I am pro-choice (though I have a nuanced view of abortion’s morality), and it is preposterous to devote so much energy to one wedge issue when there is so much more meaningful evil going on out there.
Catholics have a strong reputation for being crusaders for social justice, and I know that some Catholics believe that all injustice stems from abortion (the argument goes: if we cannot protect the innocent, who can we protect?!??!)
WELL WE CAN PROTECT THE PEOPLE WHO ARE ALREADY ALIVE. PLEASE DIVERT YOUR VITRIOL AWAY FROM OUR PRESIDENT AND TOWARD MORE LEGITIMATE CAUSES.