Sunday, May 17, 2009

Diogenes on Notre Dame's Decision

With Brant, I want to add my voice to the 70+ bishops and the great number of faithful Catholics who stand with them in expressing profound embarassment of Notre Dame's decision to grant President Obama an honorary degree at this year's graduation ceremony.

Polls and popular opinion mean little to me, after all, Jesus says, "Woe to you when all men speak well of you..." (Luke 6:26). That's not a warning too many politicians would want to embrace! Nonetheless, it is good to see that in a recent Rasmussen poll 60% of Catholics said that the University was wrong to honor the President and only 25% said it was right! In fact, the same poll even indicates that the majority of Americans agree that Notre Dame made the wrong move (52% disagreed with the decision, 25% thought it was good, 19% were unsure).

Not surprisingly, data from a Pew Forum poll indicates that the opinion among Catholics relates to fidelity to Sunday worship, i.e., those who go to church regularly were more likely to say it was wrong to honor the President, those who don't were more likely to support the school's decision.

I think the Catholic blogger who goes by the name "Diogenes" has put it best. I quote his post in full:

Imagine that a group of Americans began systematically destroying church buildings.

Now imagine that a leading political figure announced that, while he did not approve of the destruction, he would defend the right of individuals to destroy churches if they wanted to do so.

Two questions:
1. Do you suppose that politician would receive an honorary degree from Notre Dame?
2. Are we only concerned with protecting the temples made by human hands?

My colleague Martin Harold added a great follow-up: "And do you suppose that if that politician supported sending money over-seas to fund others destroying churches in foreign countries that politician would be similarly honored?"

I think not.


Anonymous said...

Did you have a chance to listen to the graduation speech? If you did. What do you think about the choice of having Obama as the plenary speaker?

Pet Shoppers Palace said...

I missed the speech, But I am hearing plenty about it now.

Michael Barber said...


I read the speech. My opinion is the same.

Anonymous said...

I think one of the saddest comments I read about this was from a student of Notre Dame who said that most of the students, faculty, and staff supported Obama, and because of that wanted the rest of the country to stop viewing the university as "conservative."