Sunday, May 17, 2009

President Obama offers emotion not reason, argument not dialogue

During commencement exercises at the University of Notre Dame, President Obama said, "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."

Pro-life people have no problem engaging in respectful dialogue Mr. President. But apparently your administration does. As explained here, your administration attempted to define the pro-life movement as follows: "A movement of groups or individuals who are virulently anti-abortion and advocate violence against providers of abortion-related services, their employees, and their facilities. Some cite various racist and anti-Semitic beliefs to justify their criminal activities."

What is that if not a caricature Mr. President? With all due respect to your office, your hypocrisy is showing sir.

I would encourage readers of this Blog to read my previous post which may be found here and to ask yourselves: is president Obama really interested in dialogue? Or is he more interested in maintaining his own views than in the pursuit of truth?


John Ansley said...

President Obama said he would like both camps (pro-life and anti-life) to find "common ground." But there is no such common ground. The Didache says that there are two ways: a way of life and a way of death. It makes no mention of a third way; that of compromise with the culture of death.

We are a People of Life. We have chosen life. Those who embrace abortion embrace death. The death of the soul, of the spiritual life.

MichaelD said...

The "common ground" is life. And in this life we choose to stand with the goats or the sheep.

Ted Loiseau said...

Shame on those who gave Obama a standing ovation.

ShrewsburyCatholic said...

Obama says he doesn't think the discussion over abortion should go away and yet when the Pope tried to bring up the subject he didn't want to discuss it. Obama is two-faced in my opinion. As for ND, that university's Catholic identity is in question more than ever.

Derek said...

Trinity Washington President is calling pro-lifers who demonstrated at Notre Dame "religious vigilanties" who are filled with hate. Also calls the demonstrators an "embarassment to the Church." Ms. McGuire is an embarassment to the Church and should be removed from office.

Notre Dame Protesters Rebuked From Afar

In Graduation Talk, Trinity Washington President Decries 'Religious Vigilantism'

By Tom Jackman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, May 18, 2009

The controversy surrounding the appearance of President Obama at the University of Notre Dame's commencement ceremonies reverberated through at least one local Catholic graduation yesterday, with the president of Trinity Washington University denouncing the "religious vigilantism" of those who opposed Obama's visit and calling their protests "an embarrassment to all Catholics."

The remarks by Trinity President Patricia McGuire were among the speeches given at graduation ceremonies big and small across the region. The speakers included White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, who addressed 5,000 George Washington University graduates on the Mall; federal appeals court Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III, who was at the University of Virginia; and former NBC news anchor Tom Brokaw, at the College of William and Mary.

At Washington College on Maryland's Eastern Shore, a senior from Rydal, Pa., was awarded the nation's largest undergraduate literary prize, more than $68,800, for his portfolio of poems, critical essays and creative nonfiction.

The protests and prayer vigils at Notre Dame inspired McGuire to devote nearly all of her speech to the uproar over an invitation by a Catholic institution to a president who is pro-choice on abortion.

Speaking on Trinity's campus in Northeast Washington, McGuire said that "a half-century of progress for Catholic higher education is at risk of slipping back into those insular, parochial pre-Vatican II days" when academic freedom was not valued within the Catholic Church.

"The real scandal at Notre Dame today is not that the president of the United States is speaking at commencement," McGuire said. "The real scandal is the misappropriation of sacred teachings for political ends. The real scandal is the spectacle of ostensibly Catholic mobs camping out at Notre Dame for the specific purpose of disrupting the commencement address of the nation's first African American president. This ugly spectacle is an embarrassment to all Catholics. The face that Catholicism shows to our new president should be one marked with the sign of peace, not distorted in the snarl of hatred."

McGuire continued, "The religious vigilantism apparent in the Notre Dame controversy arises from organizations that have no official standing with the church, but who are successful in gaining media coverage as if they were speaking for Catholicism. . . . They have established themselves as uber-guardians of a belief system we can hardly recognize. Theirs is a narrow faith devoted almost exclusively to one issue. They defend the rights of the unborn but have no charity toward the living. They mock social justice as a liberal mythology."

McGuire's remarks were met with applause from the audience of about 3,500, Trinity spokeswoman Ann Pauley said.

On the Mall, Emanuel stayed away from the controversy and discussed lessons he had learned in his tumultuous political career and in other parts of his life.

Emanuel told the story of slashing his finger as a "pretty reckless" 17-year-old, then going swimming in Lake Michigan before having it treated. He got gangrene, seven infections and a 105-degree fever and found himself in a 96-hour battle "between life and death." Five other patients who were with him in the intensive care unit died, Emanuel said.

"Don't be reckless with what you've been given," Emanuel said. "Take what you do and how you live your life seriously. It is that seriousness of purpose that I learned in that hospital bed for eight weeks, and I'm grateful for that lesson every day of my life."

Emanuel also talked about learning from failure, in particular his demotion from the job of White House political director under President Bill Clinton. "I refused to leave," Emanuel said. He stayed on, helping to pass legislation and "doing my best to prove that I could work well with others. And by the way, that's a work in progress sometimes. But that's the second lesson in life: Learn humility and wisdom when you stumble, because it will help you when you succeed."

In Chestertown, Md., senior William Bruce, 21, won Washington College's Sophie Kerr Prize as the graduating senior with the greatest literary promise. In addition to his poetry, Bruce said he had submitted a 90-page article on a survivor of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. He said he also wrote about his childhood experiences traveling to different churches with his mother, an ordained minister.

Susan said...

Patricia McGuire must be employing that "respectful dialogue" Obama spoke of. A dialogue where the culture of death propagandists insult pro-lifers and label us "criminals" and "vigilantes" but which complains when we merely speak the truth about abortion.


Anonymous said...

Do those that Trinity U.'s President McGuire regard as "religious vigilant(es) ... that have no official standing with the church ... [and] have established themselves as uber-guardians of a belief system we can hardly recognize" include the 79 U.S. bishops who joined the opposition to Notre Dame's honor for President Obama?

Also, that university has praised and honored two other pro-abortion politicians connected with the Obama administration:

Pelosi and Sebelius are examples of Trinity's Catholic education, president claims

Washington D.C., May 19, 2009 / 11:29 pm (CNA).- The President of Trinity University, Patricia McGuire, who at the school's Sunday commencement described pro-life critics of Notre Dame's decision to honor President Obama as "Catholic vigilantes” and "grand inquisitors," pointed to the pro-abortion politicians Nancy Pelosi and Kathleen Sebelius as good examples of the education provided by the Catholic university.

During her remarks at the Senior Luncheon on May 15, McGuire told the graduates of the Catholic university that "you will have a stunning opportunity to take a public leadership position that will also test your courage and conviction in ways you cannot imagine right now." "When she sat in this very dining hall 47 years ago, I’m quite sure that Nancy D’Alesandro didn’t imagine that she’d be Speaker Pelosi, one of the most important political figures at this moment in our national history. When she sat here 39 years ago, I’m sure that Kathleen Gilligan never imagined that one day she’d be called Secretary Sebelius at Health and Human Services," McGuire surmised.

According to the Trinity University president, "what motivated each of these Trinity leaders was a passion to make a difference in the public square. I’m sure that each, on a daily basis, has had to deal with issues they never learned about here at Trinity --reform of the health care system, the need to bailout the banks, the challenge of restarting the economy, the perilous condition of social security, the use of torture as a covert national policy, the future of the Supreme Court, the acute and sustained pressures from both right and left to develop law and policy over the central issues of the beginning and ending of life itself."

"How do Nancy and Kathleen and our other graduates know how to work through these hugely complicated issues?" McGuire asked.

"The whole point of a Trinity education is NOT that you leave here on graduation day with all of the answers. Of course not. The whole purpose of this great educational enterprise is that you will know how to analyze the questions, recognize the questions that you must ask without apology; that you will know how to distinguish the truth from mere puffery or outright deceit; that you will have the courage to be the voice that shouts out when all others are silent."

"You will not always be right; you will make mistakes. But mistakes are the risk of a life of action; you are called to the life of action, of advocacy, of assertive leadership on behalf of your families, communities and nation," McGuire said.

Anonymous said...

More on Trinity U.'s praising Mss. Pelosi and Sebelius as exemplary alumnae:

Catholic Trinity University Under Fire for Promoting Pro-Abortion Politicians
by Steven Ertelt Editor
January 30, 2008

Washington, DC ( -- Trinity University in Washington, D.C. is coming under fire from pro-life advocates for continuing to extol two of its pro-abortion alumnae, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius. Both politicians are Catholic but both have strongly supported abortions and resisted opportunities to protect life.

The Cardinal Newman Society told on Wednesday that Trinity University featured Sebelius’s Democratic response to President Bush’s State of the Union address on Monday.

Trinity President Patricia McGuire attended the speech, which pro-life advocates applauded for Bush's opposition to embryonic stem cell research and human cloning, as Pelosi’s special guest.

CNS also says the college posts web site profiles of Sebelius, including a 2006 news release announcing her selection as head of the Democratic Governors Association, and a news release on TIME Magazine naming her a top governor.

"But nowhere on the Trinity web site is Sebelius’s support for abortion mentioned," Patrick Reilly, the president of the group, told
“It runs contrary to the very purpose of a Catholic university to applaud the pursuit of power for gravely immoral ends,” Reilly explained. “By deliberately associating itself with vocal advocates of what Pope John Paul II called a ‘Culture of Death,’ Trinity University has taken the low road.”

Instead of letting web site readers know that Sebelius has been billed the most pro-abortion governor in America by pro-life advocates in Kansas, it features comments from Pelosi calling her “an amazing political leader."

In 2003, Trinity honored Pelosi and Sebelius with honorary doctorates at a gala dinner, Reilly explained.

Trinity endured a barrage of criticism from pro-life groups when it hosted a special Mass for Pelosi on January 3, the day before she was sworn in as Speaker of the House.

Worse still, the celebrant of the Mass requested by Pelosi was Jesuit Father Robert Drinan, a former member of Congress who had supported abortion and defended President Bill Clinton’s veto of a bill to ban partial-birth abortion.

Of Sebelius’s pro-abortion views, Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City said in September 2006, “It is difficult to find a single instance, either in a procedural or substantive vote, where she acted in a manner that would afford unborn children the maximum protection."

Anonymous said...

From LifeSiteNews:

Obama's speech held out as a central thesis a false theology of faith. A central point in his speech was "faith" and its supposed inherent "doubt." He said: "Remember, too, that the ultimate irony of faith is that it necessarily admits doubt. It's the belief in things not seen. It's beyond our capacity as human beings to know with certainty what God has planned for us or what He asks of us … And this doubt should not push away our faith. But it should humble us. It should temper our passions, cause us to be wary of too much self-righteousness. It should compel us to remain open and curious and eager to continue the spiritual and moral debate."

The Christian vision of faith excludes doubt about the articles of the faith and does not admit it as Obama suggests that it "necessarily" does.

The Bible defines faith as "the substance of things to be hoped for, the evidence (or certainty) of things that appear not." (Hebrews 11:1)

The Catechism of the Catholic Church notes: "Faith is certain. It is more certain than all human knowledge because it is founded on the very word of God who cannot lie. To be sure, revealed truths can seem obscure to human reason and experience, but the certainty that the divine light gives is greater than that which the light of natural reason gives."

Cardinal Newman, while admitting intellectual difficulties with articles of the Christian Creed, never doubted the doctrines attached to them. He said famously: "10,000 difficulties do not make one doubt."

St. Bernard of Clairvaux distinguished between understanding, faith and opinion. He pointed out that opinion lacks certitude, but both understanding and faith have it. Understanding relies on reason, faith on authority. "A faith that lacks certainty is not really faith but rather opinion," he wrote.

Christians need never doubt the evil of abortion, or the immorality of sexual relations between two persons of the same sex. These are absolute and unchangeable truths taught by faith but also knowable by human reason - and therefore doubly certain.

Obama continued: "this doubt should remind us even as we cling to our faith to persuade through reason, through an appeal whenever we can to universal rather than parochial principles, and most of all through an abiding example of good works and charity and kindness and service that moves hearts and minds."

He delivered his answer to the puzzle of living in the world of diverse faiths. "For if there is one law that we can be most certain of, it is the law that binds people of all faiths and no faith together," he said. "It's no coincidence that it exists in Christianity and Judaism; in Islam and Hinduism; in Buddhism and humanism. It is, of course, the Golden Rule - the call to treat one another as we wish to be treated. The call to love. The call to serve. To do what we can to make a difference in the lives of those with whom we share the same brief moment on this Earth."

All committed Christians can agree on this point, but the result will not be what Obama is intending. Speaking as someone who was once on the proverbial 'other side,' who was living a lifestyle contrary to the Gospel, who was anti-life, I know that the most charitable loving thing Christians can do for those on the 'other side' is to love them enough to let them know that their behavior is harmful to themselves, and especially to their eternal salvation.

It is love to have the courage to tell the active homosexual that his behavior is harmful for him physically, emotionally and spiritually. It is kindness to tell the abortionist that God loves him and will forgive him if he'd only repent and stop the killing. It is an act of charity for the bishop to tell the errant pro-abortion Catholic politician that he may not receive Holy Communion until he repents of his support for abortion. The Golden Rule does not simply mean that we ought to suspend our faculties of judgment and accept error (a truly fatal error in the case of support for abortion) against our better judgment.

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