I have not blogged much on the Notre Dame business. It has been covered so much elsewhere. However, in the light of President Obama’s predictable remarks and some of the predictable responses, I thought it might be wise to critique the mushy unmanly thinking.
One atheist, if you can imagine, is even disappointed by the wishy-washy mush-headed response coming out of the “Vatican.” Actually, the L’Osservatore Romano is only a semi-official publication of the Holy See that covers the Holy Father’s activities and publishes many of his writings and spoken homilies and addresses of various kinds. The Italian edition of the paper is published daily and contains also a number of editorials from churchmen and prominent laymen. Thus, quoting an editorial from the paper and indicating that is the opinion of the “Vatican,” is not quite accurate.
Unfortunately, I have found that many European Catholics of good will, who are ostensibly pro-life, are under the spell of the One. Bush Derangement Syndrome coupled with Obama Messianism seems to be all the rage over there.
Obama talks a good talk and he seems to be building bridges, unfortunately the bridge between the culture of life and the culture of death is built out of little bodies of the aborted. The only common ground between life and death is silence. The dead are silent and the living who cooperate in death are silent.
So Obama recommends that we build common ground and consensus on areas where together we can make a difference:
So let us work together to reduce the number of women seeking abortions, let’s reduce unintended pregnancies. Let’s make adoption more available. Let’s provide care and support for women who do carry their children to term. Let’s honor the conscience of those who disagree with abortion, and draft a sensible conscience clause, and make sure that all of our health care policies are grounded not only in sound science, but also in clear ethics, as well as respect for the equality of women.” Those are things we can do.
Now, understand — understand, Class of 2009, I do not suggest that the debate surrounding abortion can or should go away. Because no matter how much we may want to fudge it — indeed, while we know that the views of most Americans on the subject are complex and even contradictory — the fact is that at some level, the views of the two camps are irreconcilable. Each side will continue to make its case to the public with passion and conviction. But surely we can do so without reducing those with differing views to caricature.
Open hearts. Open minds. Fair-minded words. It’s a way of life that has always been the Notre Dame tradition. Father Hesburgh has long spoken of this institution as both a lighthouse and a crossroads. A lighthouse that stands apart, shining with the wisdom of the Catholic tradition, while the crossroads is where “differences of culture and religion and conviction can coexist with friendship, civility, hospitality, and especially love.” And I want to join him and Father John in saying how inspired I am by the maturity and responsibility with which this class has approached the debate surrounding today’s ceremony. You are an example of what Notre Dame is about.
“Open hearts. Open minds. Fair-minded words.” That is something I would say–in certain contexts. But not here. I agree that we should not demonize those who disagree with us, but there can be no compromise on abortion. Catholics are hearing the hiss from hell when they listen to these sweet-sounding words spoken and honored at a Catholic University. The road from the Notre Dame to hell is paved with the bodies of dead babies. That is not a caricature. There is no common ground between heaven and hell.
Contradictory thought by its very nature is irreconcilable to the truth and therefore it should be jettisoned. The common ground line of reasoning in the context of a Catholic University’s dereliction of its responsibility is singularly unmanly and hellish. Those who believe in the culture of life are bound to fight for it or perish. There is no middle ground.
Here is some clear undimmed thinking on the question of President Obama and Abortion. Sounds like he might have voted for the man. I hope he has learned a lesson.