Today, of course was the day that President Obama gave the commencement address and received an honorary degree from the University of Notre Dame. Here is what I wrote in an email to Father Jenkins, president of Notre Dame:
Dear Fr. Jenkins:
I urge you to rescind the invitation to President Obama to speak at Notre Dame's commencement this year. During his short time in office, President Obama has been relentless in spearheading assaults on human life and dignity as regards the Mexico City policy, embryonic stem cell research funding, and health provider conscientious clauses, as well as the potential for passing the "Prevention First" bill or the "Freedom of Choice Act." Please do not both embolden him in these pursuits and cause scandal and confusion among the Catholic faithful. God has made you the shepherd of an important Catholic institution, and your flock needs you to stand up for the most vulnerable in our society, and to firmly and loudly oppose such devaluing of human life and constriction of religious liberty. Otherwise, some day Notre Dame will simply become just another school reflecting contemporary cultural values, indistinguishable from secular universities, and the university's Catholic trappings will be but tokens of a forgotten purpose, like walking into a room and not remembering why you went there.
While we must voice our objections to President Obama and Fr. Jenkins, we must do so in charity and reason and temperance, and that part I agree with in President Obama's speech today. We must also take comfort in Jesus' words to his disciples in the "farewell discourse" in the Gospel of John:
Let not your hearts be troubled; believe in God, believe also in me. (John 14:1).
Let us put our trust there.