Notre Dame, Obama controversy

“It seems that no matter how ridiculous the human race becomes, there’s always that extra event that makes Darwin turn in his grave. The most recent occurrence was the reaction of the Notre Dame community to the invitation of President Obama to speak at commencement.”

It seems that no matter how ridiculous the human race becomes, there’s always that extra event that makes Darwin turn in his grave.

The most recent occurrence was the reaction of the Notre Dame community to the invitation of President Obama to speak at commencement.

It just didn’t go over so well.

The prestigious Catholic university, well-known for both its academics and its athletics, isn’t new to this scenario. Due to its reputation as the best Catholic undergraduate school in the country and the many Fighting Irish fans that accompany its image, its commencement ceremonies have been host to numerous presidents-including President George W. Bush in 2001.

So it’s interesting that a much less controversial president is causing, well, a controversy. After all, the president, and 97 percent of the senior class say yes.

But the majority of Catholic America, including thousands of alumni, are berating the administration for its decisions. Oh, they have their reasons-after all, much of what Obama agrees with in terms of abortion and stem cell research is controversial to the teachings of the Catholic church.

I don’t understand it. These people have to be reasonably intelligent-especially the alums. Yet, for reasons unknown to that majority of the population, they feel the need to make the students of Notre Dame-and its president-look like idiots to the rest of the world.

What sort of university wouldn’t want the President of the United States to speak at their commencement? It’s not like Obama has all sorts of free time to just hang out and wait for someone to ask him to speak at a graduation. And if it’s his views which are the problem, well, the Catholic church is also against the death penalty, a belief of President Bush’s. Students peacefully protested by wearing black arm bands and choosing to not attend graduation.

Okay, okay. I realize the University of Akron isn’t affiliated with a religion, so it may be hard for me to understand where everyone’s coming from. I did, however, go to Catholic high school. I can’t see myself ever threatening to withhold money from them based on a commencement speaker whose views I didn’t agree with-even if it was George W. Bush. It’s an honor for someone that distinguished to appear, no matter what the politics.

Randall Terry, a pro-lifer and a 40-time ex-con who once sent an aborted fetus to President Clinton, temporarily moved to South Bend recently, with the intent to start a riot at graduation.

His first act of disobedience, according to Notre Dame’s student newspaper The Observer, was to schedule a meeting with a school trustee.

We held up large signs and we had a gentleman with an Obama mask, Terry explained. We put red paint on the cheeks of the Obama mask and all over his hands and then streaked the sign he was holding with finger blood, like a crime scene, and the sign he was holding said, ‘Thank you for confirming me.’

What?

It’s perfectly acceptable for alumni and students who are opposed to this make their disappointment known in a peaceful, respectable manner.

But drawing national attention to it? Due to these particular people, nuts like this feel free to show up at an important event at a highly regarded institution.

Not to mention, they are ruining the climactic graduation ceremony of hundreds of hard-working students.

We will make this a circus, Terry said. Somehow, I don’t doubt him.

But maybe next time, Obama will come to speak at the University of Akron instead.