Today, President Obama spoiled graduation ceremonies for a more than de minimis number of University of Notre Dame students and/or their close family members by delivering the commencement speech and accepting an honorary degree. He did so to advance his political and ideological interests.
In fairness to Obama, these interests are considerable. Obama hopes to drive a wedge between the leaders of the Catholic Church and rank-and-file Catholics in order to substantially reduce Church leaders and their teachings as a moral force in the United States. Such a reduction, in turn, will remove a barrier to Obama’s left-wing agenda, especially his left-wing social agenda, just as the steep decline in the authority of Catholic Church paved the way the leftist agenda in certain European countries.
Under these circumstances, it’s difficult to blame Obama much for injecting himself into Notre Dame’s graduation ceremony. It is entirely reasonable and proper for him to seek to undermine Catholic authority, in furtherance of his interests, through lawful activitiy such as giving a speech and accepting a degree. Nearly all of the blame surely lies with Notre Dame for partnering with Obama in his mission, and thereby violating the command of the U.S. Catholic Biships not to honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles.
This command was not issued to be spiteful; it was issued because the U.S. Catholic Bishops understood the necessity of the command if the moral authority of the Church is to be preserved. Notre Dame’s leadership either didn’t understand this or didn’t care.
I’m told (but don’t know for a fact) that Notre Dame’s decision to honor Obama even though his actions on abortion deny fundamental Catholic moral principles is already having an adverse impact on alumni contributions to the University. That would strike this non-Catholic, non-alum as an entirely reasonable and proper response.
I’ll comment later on today’s specific events at Notre Dame.
JOHN adds: This site says they have accumulated over 364,000 signatures on a petition opposing Obama’s appearance at Notre Dame. That’s an astonishing number in the context of much smaller protests that, in recent years, have gotten a great deal of sympathetic press coverage.