T Nation

Notre Dame Sells Out


"Says Ralph McInerny, a philosophy professor since 1955: "By inviting Barack Obama to be the 2009 commencement speaker, Notre Dame has forfeited its right to call itself a Catholic University.... (T)his is a deliberate thumbing of the collective nose at the Roman Catholic Church to which Notre Dame purports to be faithful.

"Faithful? Tell it to Julian the Apostate."

McInerny calls Father Jenkins' invitation to Obama worse than the "usual effort of the university to get into warm contact with the power figures of the day. It is an unequivocal abandonment of any pretense at being a Catholic university."

An honorary degree, writes Catholic author George Weigel, is a statement that here is a man we should admire and emulate. But how can a Catholic university say that about a man who means to appoint Supreme Court justices who will keep constitutional and legal the systematic slaughter of the unborn that has taken 50 million lives in 35 years?"


Between the Gay Agenda being foisted on society and the murderous rampages of abortionists, humanity is hitting rock bottom and proceeding to dig.


Most religious institutions (Catholic Church, mainline Protestantism, many Evangelicals even) are rapidly capitulating to the ideology of secular humanism. Pope Benedict is right that Christians are going to have to embrace the role of being a vibrant and creative minority, instead of the (theoretically anyway) dominant culture.


Seems very very true. Interestingly though, it seems that Christianity always does best when it's a minority of people. It seems more authentic.


I could really give a shit less. They're a college that can do as it wants and invite who they please without fear of retribution.


The only problem is when they decide to use the label catholic, they then project their reflections on the religion as a whole. With their ties to the church, the pope/other Catholics at that point have every right to denounce ND's actions as un-catholic.


And Notre Dame has the right to tell him and them to stick it up their ass. They're not advocating abortion, all they're doing is allowing the fuckin President of the country to speak there. None of the Church's business.

The Church's days of power over politics and universities are, thankfully, over and done with. Although it's funny that the nazi pope still thinks anyone gives a shit.


Notre Dame has a tradition of inviting the new president to speak at their graduation ceremony during the president's first year in office. If they want to continue that tradition then they are going to be inviting people who don't agree with everything the Catholic Church purports in either social teaching or personal conduct.

I think that Obama meets the requirement of being someone to emulate, as being the president of the United States is a pretty impressive feat regardless of who that person is accomplishing that should grant them a great deal of respect.

Now, that doesn't mean he believes the same things the Catholic Church thinks good Catholics ought to believe in, but if that is your requirement then you will only be inviting a very small number of politicians to speak and you will have to abandon the aforementioned tradition


So I think Obama is a good person to emulate in the sense that 1)he made it the office of the President 2) in his personal life he upholds many Christian and Catholic values i.e. ostensibly a good father and a good husband. Being someone to emulate as a good Catholic doesn't mean that we have to emulate their ideas, it COULD, but it also could mean their personal conduct

Also Notre Dame is a Catholic University but let us not focus solely on the former and forget the latter. Universities, Catholic or otherwise should be inviting people with different viewpoints, viewpoints they (meaning the faculty, administration and student body) may disagree with.

Engaging in civil discourse with those who have different viewpoints or at least in this case listening to someone you may not agree with adds to your understanding and preferred to just listening to those who always agree with you.

This commitment to discourse is probably why Columbia invited Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to speak. Now they got a question period afterward but still does he reflect their views? No, but that's kind of the point of being a university.


I would agree if it was just any school. But it is a school that label's itself catholic uses catholic ordained teachers and probably has church funding (though I don't know that for a fact).

I'm sure Bush has been overlooked for speeches because of his political stances, is it wrong for schools to have done that? Apparently there was also student protest to Bush speaking there in 2001. I'm sure you're equally upset about that.


I agree that they should be engaging alternate viewpoints, but I don't think commencement is the place.

I also think becoming president in this day and age makes you someone I wouldn't want to emulate. I think you have to be pretty underhanded to get that far in modern politics.


First, no I don't think that Notre Dame receives money from the Catholic church.

Second- every teacher is not a Catholic at Notre Dame, nor are they all anti-abortion conservatives.

I'm sure many of the books they read, such as Chaucer or Rousseau or Villon or a plethora of others, go after the Catholic church or at least don't rely on its beliefs.

On top of this, they have science programs. That alone should send the church screaming if they really were that interested.

So until they fire the non-catholics, ban all their books that promote free thinking, become subsidized by the church, or ditch their science programs- No, the church can fuck themselves.

Nice try, but that's not comparable.

It was the students who said it, and they have every right to bitch about who speaks there... especially when college kids are notoriously liberal and you propose to have that conservative blowhard douchebag stumble through a speech on their campus.

No, this is a group of cardinals who are so fucking high and mighty that they think they're more catholic than the pope, who apparently doesn't have much of a problem with Obama and welcomed him to have an open dialogue with the church.

In short, this is bullshit. Again.


Including certain books in a multi-year program is one thing; reading from them at the Commencement speech would be another thing. The latter would be more comparable to having an objectionable Commencement speaker. A matter of proportion.

Oh, come on.

Doesn't follow.

1) The Pope does not always directly intervene in these types of situations.

2) Welcoming Obama to have an open dialogue with the church and recommending him as a commencement speaker are entirely different things.


That is a pretty good point. But after this particular Commencement is finished, it might be best for Notre Dame to end this particular tradition.


A matter of proportion my balls. I'd say that the reading of books has a far larger effect on one's life then one fucking commencement speech no matter who it's given by.

And they should be allowed to read what the fuck they want- The Catholic Church DOES NOT run that university.

You conveniently skipped over my point about how they hire non-catholics who are undoubtedly opposed to at least some of the church's viewpoints. Shouldn't they be more worried about these heathens corrupting young impressionable minds?

I mean, after all, we wouldn't want them bucking systematic oppression and coming up with their own thoughts and ideals.

C'mon what? Since when does "My magic space god told me this" and "I proved this in a laboratory" not been completely contradictory?

Magic space god says no abortion though... oh wait, he doesn't. His "earthly representatives" say it's wrong. Yea, we should listen to that.

Again, this is a college we're talking about.

No, you're not following. That's not my problem.

As I recall he doesn't intervene in much at all except when the courts get involved.

Please, spare me.

Again, what's the fucking difference between having non-catholics teach classes and having Obama speak?

And for fuck's sake, I know you guys hate it, but he's the damn President. It's not like he's some bum they pulled out of a subway who wrote a pamphlet daming Christ.


That depends on the subject matter and how they present it. In some cases yes; in other cases, not so much.

Since we concur that there are patterns and laws that nature ordinarily follows, which can be explored through scientific experiments; but we do not agree that science can explain all things. Discovering these laws and patterns through scientific experimentation, documenting them, and teaching them does not contradict a belief that science is not the be all and end all of everything; nor does it contradict the belief that God can suspend or override the laws of nature whenever he so chooses.

If Obama is "the" Commencement speaker, this might send the wrong message about how much or how little importance the University attaches to certain matters. This would also be true in some cases where non-Catholics or even Catholics are teaching classes, depending on what the subject matter is and how it is being presented. But not in all cases.

I don't think I would have any misgivings at all about President Obama teaching a Calculus course at Notre Dame (assuming he knows Calculus).

I'm all in favor of giving respect to the office of the President. But this does not have to include having him give the Commencement speech at a Catholic University.

At this point I'm going to add that I am not even 100% sure that Notre Dame was wrong to invite President Obama to give the Commencement speech (note that further above I said this "might" send the wrong message about how much or how little importance the University attaches to certain matters). But I see substantial reason to doubt the wisdom of this decision. If it were up to me prior to issuing the invitation, I would have found somebody else.


Maybe they mistook him for a Kennedy?


I think this is good. The reason for it is that the student body sent around a petition in protest. If he comes, there will be protests and that is good. I want to see him in a hostile environment which is not favorable to him. That's exactly what he is going to get.

BTW, Chrstians are NOT minorities by any stretch in the U.S. They are by far the majority..


LOL. It is not. Did FauxNews tell you that?

The group supposedly leading the charge is the local insane abortion opponents. That's got, lets say, at the most, 30 people. Hell, double it, there's 60.

That's it. The rest is coming from people outside of Notre Dame.

Hostile? Sorry boss. The George W. days of angry, seething crowds greeting the President are over, at least for now.


I doubt that last part. At least for any long length of time.







Research be fore ye speaketh, lest ye look like a complete idiot.