Face-Off At Notre Dame

Update: Here's the text of President Obama's speech.

The crazies are out in force today at Notre Dame to protest President Obama's delivery of the commencement address and receipt of an honorary degree.

Some sanity abounds.

Memo to protesters: If you really are pro-life, and believe that killing is wrong, how about starting with protests against the death penalty?

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    Obama's commencement (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by oldpro on Sun May 17, 2009 at 02:53:21 PM EST
    address got off to a brilliant start...acknowledged the abortion issue and engaged it head on.  Well done, all in all.

    A few interruptions, a few hecklers but mostly a respectful and enthusiastic audience and a welcoming faculty/administration response.  The president of Notre Dame, under fire and economic threat from alums, also did a fine job in an extremely touchy situation for him.

    What really prompted him to talk about (5.00 / 2) (#32)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sun May 17, 2009 at 06:39:04 PM EST
    abortion at a college commencement, though? It seems grossly out of place for the event.

    Because that's the issue that he (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by gyrfalcon on Sun May 17, 2009 at 07:42:00 PM EST
    was being protested on.  He did very well to address it head-on rather than pretend it wasn't there.

    I agree (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by easilydistracted on Sun May 17, 2009 at 08:13:24 PM EST
    He didn't shy away.

    But this is God's School, right?

    I disagree (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sun May 17, 2009 at 10:07:17 PM EST
    These young people are embarking on their lives and there are so many words of wisdom that don't need to spark off controversy. It seems Obama was inappropriately using this podium for his personal political attention.

    The creators of "wedge" issues (none / 0) (#8)
    by Militarytracy on Sun May 17, 2009 at 03:38:53 PM EST
    made a lot of this furor fashionable.  Facing the wedges is eventually going to give the whole "wedge creating system" a wedgie.  I'm glad that he has handled this event in this manner!  That's about ALL I'm glad about where he's concerned too lately!!!!

    Were they (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Jen M on Sun May 17, 2009 at 03:33:50 PM EST
    harrased by police?

    made to stay in a fenced in area waaay over there?

    told to leave?

    Heh (none / 0) (#9)
    by Militarytracy on Sun May 17, 2009 at 03:40:12 PM EST
    Once again the big fair is going to be in the fall :)

    The protesters were not (none / 0) (#18)
    by gyrfalcon on Sun May 17, 2009 at 04:20:13 PM EST
    members of the ND community.  I presume they were not allowed anywhere near the commencement itself.

    Was it on public or (none / 0) (#26)
    by Wile ECoyote on Sun May 17, 2009 at 04:50:00 PM EST
    private property?

    Notre Dame campus (5.00 / 2) (#40)
    by gyrfalcon on Sun May 17, 2009 at 07:50:53 PM EST
    is private property.  They could get onto the campus because it's not walled off, but ND is I believe entirely within its rights to keep them out of the commencement itself.

    Regarding the poll... (5.00 / 2) (#72)
    by kdog on Mon May 18, 2009 at 10:22:52 AM EST
    that says the majority is pro-life now...Isn't is possible for someone to answer they are pro-life, but oppose the prohibition of abortion?

    Being pro-life is fine and dandy...it is when pro-lifers look to criminalize and prohibit abortion that we have a problem....I'm curious to know roughly how many self-described pro-lifers support the criminalization of abortion.

    We need to discontinue (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by MyLeftMind on Mon May 18, 2009 at 05:21:59 PM EST
    using the description "pro-choice."  Choice implies simplicity or flippancy in the decision to end a pregnancy.  What we are really standing for is access to legal, safe and affordable abortion and the right for a woman to be the final say in decisions about her own body. This is about reproductive freedom, not just reproductive choice.

    What we're opposed to is forced pregnancy, and we need a good word or catch phrase that identifies that concept. Obama has shown here at the commencement and elsewhere that he is willing to acknowledge the disagreements and confront the abortion issue.  At this point, we could do our cause a favor by trying to direct his discourse on the subject.  One way would be to coin a new phrase that encapsulates our opposition to forced pregnancy.

    How about something as simple... (none / 0) (#82)
    by kdog on Mon May 18, 2009 at 07:08:31 PM EST
    as anti-prohibition or even pro-liberty?  "Forced pregnancy" sounds to me like some maniac artificially inseminated an innocent women without her knowledge or something.

    I made the mistake of watching (none / 0) (#1)
    by nycstray on Sun May 17, 2009 at 02:04:02 PM EST
    some Sunday chatter. Steele and Kaine. Something about how a new poll shows there are more pro-life vs pro-choice. I listened for a bit longer, but when Steele said he would like Kaine  to join the Republicans  because they are both pro-life, pro-biz, pro-2nd amend, I switched to the food network. Thanks for the heads up. Will avoid reports on the crazies if possible :)

    Apparently alot of (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by jondee on Sun May 17, 2009 at 02:54:50 PM EST
    the "pro-life" crowd would split the difference by suffering the little ones to born and then raining cluster bombs down on some of them.

    Well......gosh.....if that's God's plan... (none / 0) (#4)
    by oldpro on Sun May 17, 2009 at 02:57:20 PM EST
    Ugh.....you've got mimicing (none / 0) (#7)
    by Militarytracy on Sun May 17, 2009 at 03:35:58 PM EST
    the logic down solid.

    Logic was always my strong suit. (none / 0) (#61)
    by oldpro on Mon May 18, 2009 at 12:06:55 AM EST
    Cna someone (none / 0) (#15)
    by Socraticsilence on Sun May 17, 2009 at 04:17:45 PM EST
    tell me when we became "anti-second amendment" or "anti-business" I mean last time I checked despite wingnut persecution fantasies the Democratic Party isn't in favor of gun confiscation and the forced nationalization of all private industry, just sensible regulation of each.

    It's not so much what Dems are for or against (none / 0) (#29)
    by nycstray on Sun May 17, 2009 at 05:23:48 PM EST
    it's Steele making the Dem Chair sound like a (wing)nut and he doesn't do much to correct that . . . .

    I guess at some point over the past 8 yrs, sensible regulation turned into wingnut persecution fantasies, I think it was a progression. They kept talking and "we" did little to change the perception they put out. It's called the result of spinelessness. Oh, and "we" also help them along by moving to the center right and putting pro-lifers in charge of the party.


    The major problem Republicans face (none / 0) (#67)
    by samtaylor2 on Mon May 18, 2009 at 07:29:42 AM EST
    Is that the prisoners took over the prison.  Thus wignut ideology stopped being political hubub and started being the ideology of the party itself.

    I wonder (none / 0) (#22)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun May 17, 2009 at 04:36:38 PM EST
    if this isn't going to give Obama a reason to appoint a pro life judge. I think that's what he really wants anyway and he can use this to do what he wants.

    He wouldn't dare (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by andgarden on Sun May 17, 2009 at 04:37:55 PM EST
    Let's put it this way: I commit to not voting for him next time if he does that.

    Well (none / 0) (#25)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun May 17, 2009 at 04:45:24 PM EST
    he's already shown numerous times that he doesn't really care what voters want. I think he cares more about evangelicals than others.

    A slightly different take ..... (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by NYShooter on Sun May 17, 2009 at 09:08:35 PM EST
    He doesn't care what traditional, life-long, progressive, Democratic voters think. Once he did the math, and calculated he could wake up, and whip up the 21st. century version of the Mickey Mouse club; uneducated, mindless, adoring, and worshipful acolytes in sufficient "Community Organizer" numbers; who needed us?

    p.s. As an avid, past member of the M.M. Club, my apologies to Mickey.


    In his search for middle ground (none / 0) (#27)
    by oculus on Sun May 17, 2009 at 04:50:04 PM EST
    between right to life and woman's right to choose I'm afraid he will favor the former.  Plus he doesn't want a fight in the Senate, for some reason unfathomable to me.  I'll be haunting his every public appearance, though, if he does this.  DFARVW, my foot.

    I'll be right next to you with (5.00 / 2) (#62)
    by oldpro on Mon May 18, 2009 at 12:10:10 AM EST
    my Hillary pro-choice/Impeach Obama sign.

    And I'm NOT kidding.


    He is (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by lilburro on Mon May 18, 2009 at 10:00:36 AM EST
    as BTD says, very patriarchal on the issue.  

    That's when we begin to say, "Maybe we won't agree on abortion, but we can still agree that this heart-wrenching decision for any woman is not made casually, it has both moral and spiritual dimensions."

    Dimensions that are really none of his damn business, or anyone else's.


    There is little to no reason to think (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by Socraticsilence on Sun May 17, 2009 at 06:12:12 PM EST
    that Obama wont put a pro-choice judge on the Bench, its pretty clear here thinks that Congresses role in this is limited to judging competenecy not ideology, so I think he'll probably go middle of the road liberal- like Kagan, but he could push Sontomayer.

    That's (none / 0) (#34)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun May 17, 2009 at 06:52:35 PM EST
    what you think is middle of the road but does Obama agree?

    When confronted (none / 0) (#5)
    by Natal on Sun May 17, 2009 at 03:31:02 PM EST
    with this contradiction:

    "Memo to protesters: If you really are pro-life, and believe that killing is wrong, how about starting with protests against the death penalty?"

    What exactly is the response that they give when this is posed to them?

    I actually understand (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Jen M on Sun May 17, 2009 at 04:22:04 PM EST
    since I am against illegalizing abortion and against death penalty. Which is the mirror image of that stand.

    What I do not understand is the general tendency of pro-life types to be against decent sex education, availability of contraception for sexually active people, widely available pre natal health care, child care and education and training opportunities for single women, and food and health assistance for kids.  Things like that would reduce abortions far more than making it illegal.

    In short, they are not anti-abortion.


    You're right (none / 0) (#38)
    by gyrfalcon on Sun May 17, 2009 at 07:46:54 PM EST
    although there's generally a difference between Catholics and evangelicals on that.  But the strident evangelical anti-abortion crowd is out to control women, and particularly women's sexuality.  They're against birth control because they want pregnancy, and STDs, to be a punishment for having sex.

    Memo to You: (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by diogenes on Sun May 17, 2009 at 07:58:21 PM EST
    Why is it OK for people's moral positions on anti-death penalty or anti-torture to drive policy but not for people's moral positions on abortion to drive policy?

    That's a very good question (none / 0) (#56)
    by gyrfalcon on Sun May 17, 2009 at 09:25:33 PM EST
    But the answer to it is that the death penalty and torture are punitive, for one thing.  They're also clearly unnecessary.  Abortion has to do with all of us and our individual choices as human beings and citizens.

    Personally, I have no problem with people who genuinely think abortion is murder (as opposed to those who just want to control sexuality by using pregnancy as a punishment) wanting to ban it.  If I believed that, I hope I'd be on the barricades myself.  But I don't believe that, and therefore I think they are wrong and I fight them.


    I have no objection for (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by BackFromOhio on Sun May 17, 2009 at 09:41:25 PM EST
    those who like former Gov. Cuomo, think abortion is murder or vs. their religion, not having abortions themselves.

    I so agree (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by samtaylor2 on Mon May 18, 2009 at 07:36:11 AM EST
    I have no problem with someone who it anti-abortion who at the same time is willing to increase funding for adoption, prenatal care, post natal care, education, etc..  When I meet these people (and i have a few times) I have complete respect for them.  Those that are just pro birth (and generally won't even vote to increase prenatal care funding) they need to take a walk.

    They distinguish between (none / 0) (#59)
    by BackFromOhio on Sun May 17, 2009 at 09:42:59 PM EST
    innocent life (unborn fetus) commanding protection from abortion and non-innocent life, i.e., convicts, who do not merit protection.

    I thought only god judged who was (none / 0) (#65)
    by of1000Kings on Mon May 18, 2009 at 12:31:08 AM EST
    ready for death...

    guess that's not a christian view, though, only a non-christian view (people like myself, I guess)...


    Wouldn't they reply (5.00 / 2) (#66)
    by Bemused on Mon May 18, 2009 at 06:46:47 AM EST
      Hey, if you argue I'm inconsistent because i opposes abortion and support the death penalty, how do you defend your position of favoring abortion and opposing the death penalty?

      Wouldn't that then cause you to begin understanding the mistake  of conflating two issues? Or, would you have some disingenuous rationale for criticizing someone else's "inconsistency" while defending your own?


    probably have a hard time finding (none / 0) (#77)
    by of1000Kings on Mon May 18, 2009 at 03:07:24 PM EST
    too many people who say that they 'favor abortion'...

    just to start...

    I'm not pro-abortion, I'm pro-choice...I would love to see abortions limited or stopped, but I want it done the right way (education, addressing class differences/poverty, less contempt from both sides), not the wrong way (just passing a law and leaving it at that)...

    unfortunately that would take too much planning and thought from people who make up their minds after their preacher/priest makes up their mind...it's just easier to make everyone else in the world who doesn't live like you think they should into a criminal...seems to be the way we do things now looking at the incarceration numbers...


    you'd just be (none / 0) (#83)
    by Bemused on Tue May 19, 2009 at 07:45:01 AM EST
    digging the silliness hole deeper with that response.

      If you say, "I don't really support aborting pregancies, I just want it to be legal for other people to choose abortion when they determine that is the best choice in that specific case, but  I hope to end or reduce the number of them 'the right way,' through programs reducing unwanted pregnancies,"  the death penalty advocate would obviously throw it right back at you and say he too does not support executing people but wants it to be legal  for others to execute people when they determine that is the best solution in that specific case, but hopes to end or reduce the number of them the right way by reducing the number of murders.

      In the real world, both unwanted pregnancies and murders will continue to occur. At best, each might be somewhat reduced by social programs. As we have many thousand times more abortions than executions, it appears patently obvious to anyone paying attention to life around them that if abortion is a legal option there will continue to be many of them.


    Something from Leviticus (none / 0) (#10)
    by jondee on Sun May 17, 2009 at 03:50:27 PM EST
    or Deuteronomy about dashing their little ones heads upon the rocks -- in his holy name.

    No, no - those pro-lifers who support (none / 0) (#12)
    by Anne on Sun May 17, 2009 at 03:56:12 PM EST
    the death penalty will tell you it is not inconsistent with their belief that it is innocent life that cannot be taken...people who kill other people, or do heinous things to them, are not innocent and so death is quite appropriate.

    To be fair, I think there are those who are consistent in their view that killing is wrong - period - and do not support the death penalty, but the "innocent life" argument is the one I hear most often.


    And if that innocent (none / 0) (#13)
    by jondee on Sun May 17, 2009 at 04:06:22 PM EST
    life happens to be forced to grow up in veritable war zone, as so many of our inner cities are, or in dire poverty,that dosnt seem to be many in the pro-life movements concern.

    And by all means pay no attention to the pedophile in the cassock behind the curtain.


    Catholic doctrine is pretty clear (none / 0) (#16)
    by gyrfalcon on Sun May 17, 2009 at 04:19:24 PM EST
    on this, I believe.  Abortion (and destruction of embryos for stem cell research) is always wrong under all circumstances, even to save the life of the mother.

    The death penalty is strongly opposed, but with the acknowledgement that, like killing in war, it may sometimes be justified under some limited circumstances.  Doctrine does not, however, specificy what those circumstances are, leaving individuals free to decide it's OK whenever somebody's sentenced to the death penalty, apparently.


    Catholic opposition to death penalty (none / 0) (#24)
    by robrecht on Sun May 17, 2009 at 04:44:14 PM EST
    I think recent Catholic teaching in the past 40 years or so has been pretty consistent in its opposition ot the death penalty.  At least I wasn't aware of any exceptions.  Are you sure about that?

    That's what the Catholic (none / 0) (#39)
    by gyrfalcon on Sun May 17, 2009 at 07:49:05 PM EST
    theologians, both pro and anti-Obama, have consistently been saying on my Teebee the last couple weeks.

    Not the last part about being able to decide a death sentence is reason enough, that's just my interpolation of how it works in practice.  But that the death penalty, like war, is permissible under undefined extraordinary circumstances.


    I can't (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by Natal on Sun May 17, 2009 at 08:19:38 PM EST
    myself can't think of an extraordinary circumstance that would warrant the death penalty. Retribution in itself is not a reason. Perhaps if the person was an imminent threat and danger to others and society. But then there are high security prisons to isolate and restrain such people -- like Gitmo. I would really like to know what circumstances they were thinking of. But I've got a feeling they have no idea themselves and are just straddling the fence on the issue.



    Kenneth Allen McDuff (none / 0) (#49)
    by Rojas on Sun May 17, 2009 at 08:45:06 PM EST
    On the Contrary (none / 0) (#50)
    by CoralGables on Sun May 17, 2009 at 08:50:11 PM EST
    He could be the poster boy for life without parole.

    Could be (none / 0) (#51)
    by Rojas on Sun May 17, 2009 at 09:04:40 PM EST
    But you said you would really like to know what circumstances they were thinking of.
    I can assure you  the circumstances surrounding Kenneth McDuff were fresh on their mind.

    Strike that (none / 0) (#53)
    by Rojas on Sun May 17, 2009 at 09:08:24 PM EST
    But Natal said they would really like to know what circumstances they were thinking of.

    From the Catechism of the Church (none / 0) (#70)
    by jbindc on Mon May 18, 2009 at 08:42:34 AM EST
    2266 The efforts of the state to curb the spread of behavior harmful to people's rights and to the basic rules of civil society correspond to the requirement of safeguarding the common good. Legitimate public authority has the right and duty to inflict punishment proportionate to the gravity of the offense. Punishment has the primary aim of redressing the disorder introduced by the offense. When it is willingly accepted by the guilty party, it assumes the value of expiation. Punishment then, in addition to defending public order and protecting people's safety, has a medicinal purpose: as far as possible, it must contribute to the correction of the guilty party.

    2267 Assuming that the guilty party's identity and responsibility have been fully determined, the traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude recourse to the death penalty, if this is the only possible way of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor.

    If, however, non-lethal means are sufficient to defend and protect people's safety from the aggressor, authority will limit itself to such means, as these are more in keeping with the concrete conditions of the common good and more in conformity to the dignity of the human person.

    Today, in fact, as a consequence of the possibilities which the state has for effectively preventing crime, by rendering one who has committed an offense incapable of doing harm - without definitely taking away from him the possibility of redeeming himself - the cases in which the execution of the offender is an absolute necessity "are very rare, if not practically nonexistent."68


    So, the Catholic Church has been pretty consistent in its positions regarding both abortion and the death penalty.


    The Vatican's view? (none / 0) (#28)
    by caseyOR on Sun May 17, 2009 at 05:05:34 PM EST
    James Carroll, a writer and a former priest, writes in Salon about the Vatican's response or lack of response, to this "crisis" at Notre Dame.

    Carroll believes that the Vatican may have a closer grip on political reality than the ND protesters. He also discusses his views about the phenomenon of fundamentalism in the Catholic Church.

    I see the Catholic Church and its various policies with the particular cool, clear-eyed gaze that only a former Catholic can muster. The Church in which I grew up, the Church in which I was educated back in the '50s and '60s, was, in a way, a more liberal Church than the one we see today. It was still conservative in many respects, including the views about women and its gung-ho attitude toward war, but it was not so crazy as today. A big part of that was Vatican II and John XXIII, but that was not all of it.

    For example, I never heard any priest or nun claim, as Pope Benedict did, Church support for creationism (intelligent design). We were taught actual real science. Now, the American Church was not popular in Rome. it was thought to be too liberal and too willing to strike out on its own. John Paul II took care of that little problem.

    Even with those differences, though, I figured out in 6th grade that the Catholic Church and I were not a good fit. It was all downhill after that.


    "Cool clear eyed gaze" (none / 0) (#33)
    by CoralGables on Sun May 17, 2009 at 06:42:31 PM EST
    I don't believe my former Catholic eyes can muster that honest an approach.

    Not sure exactly when I rebelled against my Catholic upbringing, but the first memory that led to my ultimate revolt was the 5th grade when informed by the nuns that my Jewish friend down the street wasn't going to heaven. Instead, if I remember correctly, he would be relegated to eternity in limbo. That didn't seem quite fair, and turned on the proverbial light bulb that got a ten year old to thinking...


    That is exactly what happened to me (5.00 / 2) (#35)
    by caseyOR on Sun May 17, 2009 at 07:10:34 PM EST
    In the 6th grade the priest came into out classroom, and on the blackboard he wrote "Outside the Church there is no salvation."

    He asked how many of use believed that statement. Some hands went up. He asked how many did not. Some hands went up.

    The priest then told us that we had to believe that statement because it was holy dogma. If we did not believe then were heretics. Once again, he asked who believed. A whole lot of hands went up. He asked who still did not believe. One hand went up. It was mine. Apparently, I was a 12 year old heretic.

    I refused to accept that my jewish friends from camp and the neighborhood would not be allowed in heaven. I refused to believe that my Methodist relatives (the Church insisted only Catholics got into heaven) would not be allowed in heaven.

    That was it for me. i was a marked child from that day on.


    About that gaze (none / 0) (#46)
    by caseyOR on Sun May 17, 2009 at 08:16:28 PM EST
    It may not be as cool and clear-eyed as I like to think. I certainly see things in myself that are part and parcel of that "cradle Catholic" thing.

    And I think there is a cultural aspect to growing up Catholic. My family is Irish-Catholic, and it can be hard to separate the Irish from the Catholic. The last time i visited my father before he died he told me that he did not believe in god, had reached that place as a very young man during his service in WW II. I asked why we were sent to Catholic schools and raised in the Church.  His response? "We're Irish; that's what we do."


    Oh this sounds so familiar (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by CoralGables on Sun May 17, 2009 at 08:39:59 PM EST
    I believe my final rebellion was as a junior in Catholic high school when I balked at the "have to have faith" line for my final time. In religion class I was told if I wasn't going to believe then I should leave.

    ...and that's what I did, which led to my parents being called in for the dreaded conference. When they got home I was informed that I was going to class, I was going to shutup, and I was going to go to church with the family every Sunday until I graduated... and then I could choose my own way. Then with a smile my mother said, but you are right that teacher is nuts.


    Same here....5th, 6th grade. (none / 0) (#63)
    by oldpro on Mon May 18, 2009 at 12:16:04 AM EST
    Over the hill.  Literally.  Every Sunday after that to play pinochle with my best friend and her grandmother.

    Don't you know? (none / 0) (#55)
    by NYShooter on Sun May 17, 2009 at 09:11:40 PM EST
    They speak to G*d. He said it's o.k.

    But only if they feel really, really,.....really bad about it.


    Well (none / 0) (#11)
    by Claw on Sun May 17, 2009 at 03:50:56 PM EST
    According to my niece and nephew (one whom is '09), most of this is AstroTurf.  Not ONE of the graduates walked out.  They all booed the one heckler; then drowned him out by chanting "We Are ND."  Well done, kids.  Both my father and I are ND grads, and it made me really proud to see the students (even the sorely misguided ones) behave so well.  No one's mentioned that the Catholic Neo-cons have hijacked the graduating seniors' commencement.  Real nice, guys.

    Half a dozen or so seniors (none / 0) (#14)
    by gyrfalcon on Sun May 17, 2009 at 04:15:58 PM EST
    boycotted the commencement and held their own prayer ceremony or something in the Grotto.  I know this because Fox News has interviewed every one of them several times each over the last few weeks, without ever once noting (that I saw anyway) that the student body is something like 70 percent in favor of having Obama speak and get the honorary degree.

    If you'd been getting your news only from Fox and then saw the commencement ceremony broadcast, you'd be mighty puzzled because you'd been told this was a heeuuugge controversy that was "tearing the campus apart," etc., ad nauseam.

    Instead, we got, yawn, another routine commencement.


    Wow a whole half dozen (none / 0) (#17)
    by Socraticsilence on Sun May 17, 2009 at 04:19:45 PM EST
    that's like almost 1/4 of 1% truly the consensus against Obama is overwhelming (ignore the Yes We Can chants that were used to drown out a whackadoo).

    Are you sure (none / 0) (#30)
    by Claw on Sun May 17, 2009 at 05:38:47 PM EST
    They were graduating seniors?  I didn't hear anything about this on CNN and they were desperate to turn this into an enormous scandal.  I also wouldn't put it past FOX to "accidentally" label rising seniors as graduating seniors, or just get people from outside the University to say they were graduating. My sources (niece and nephew) say almost all the protesters aren't from ND.  I know a few grads protested silently by not clapping for Obama, or by wearing various symbols on their caps.  I think everyone was there, though.

    It's possible (none / 0) (#42)
    by gyrfalcon on Sun May 17, 2009 at 07:55:40 PM EST
    these people misrepresented themselves to Fox, but that's what they said.  They seemed perfectly sincere kids genuinely troubled by the whole business, so I don't think they were phony.

    It doesn't seem unlikely to me that half a dozen out of, what was it, 2,900 I think I read, graduating seniors would be fervent enough in their pro-life views (not to mention otherwise right-wing politically) to boycott.  Heck, I boycotted my own commencement for less fraught reasons than that!

    I have no doubt whatsoever, though, that these kids got egged on and assisted and co-opted by the outside pro-life groups.


    oddly enough, (none / 0) (#20)
    by cpinva on Sun May 17, 2009 at 04:22:54 PM EST
    abortion as a an issue for catholics, and the church, is a recent development. to listen to some of these people, you'd think jesus himself opined on the subject; he didn't, ever. the church itself never made a big deal out of it, until maybe 40 years ago.

    for them to claim this has always been church doctrine is, at best, ignorance of history, at worst, an outright lie.

    i'll give the protestor's the benefit of the doubt, and say that most think it has always been so. perhaps they should have paid attention in catholic school, as i was forced to do.

    Just for a reality check (none / 0) (#21)
    by andgarden on Sun May 17, 2009 at 04:34:57 PM EST
    America is a pro-choice nation, and has been for quite some time. Just last fall, South Dakota easily defeated an abortion ban. So would most states outside of the bible belt and Utah.

    If America is a pro-choice nation, then... (5.00 / 2) (#43)
    by diogenes on Sun May 17, 2009 at 07:56:30 PM EST
    If America is really a pro-choice nation then why do we have to sustain the dubious legal penumbras that set up Roe vs Wade?  Just declare that there is no CONSTITUTIONAL right to abortion and let the pro-choice nation pass laws legalizing abortion.

    Because the fundamental right to privacy (none / 0) (#52)
    by andgarden on Sun May 17, 2009 at 09:04:45 PM EST
    is important beyond abortion rights. Griswold and Lawrence, for example.

    Another good question (none / 0) (#57)
    by gyrfalcon on Sun May 17, 2009 at 09:30:39 PM EST
    and in some ways, I think those that argue for that are ultimately right in political terms.

    But the devastation to women's lives is too huge to go that way, IMHO.  While we're all waiting placidly for every state in the union, and particularly its pantywaist politicians, to become enlightened enough to mandate choice, women will die from illegal abortions and many more will have their lives, and often their families' lives, ruined by unwanted births.

    Unacceptable to me in terms of the human cost, even if it would be politically more palatable.


    Only a good question (none / 0) (#64)
    by andgarden on Mon May 18, 2009 at 12:21:17 AM EST
    if you accept the premise that the Constitution doesn't say what Griswold, Roe, Casey, etc. say it says.

    The question had to do with (none / 0) (#69)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon May 18, 2009 at 08:05:12 AM EST
    political strategy.

    And whether the right to privacy strongly implied in the Constitution (and I do believe it is) can clearly be applied to abortion isn't at all settled.  IMHO, it's a stretch.  And if you genuinely believe a fetus is life, the right to privacy simply doesn't apply.  You can no more kill someone in the privacy of your own home than you can in the middle of Main Street.


    Exactly (none / 0) (#75)
    by Slado on Mon May 18, 2009 at 01:01:06 PM EST
    At some point that life is a life and worthy to just as much protection under the constitution as the mother.

    As A Christian (none / 0) (#41)
    by CDN Ctzn on Sun May 17, 2009 at 07:52:09 PM EST
    and Pro-Choice advocate, I've had dialogue over the issue on a number of occasions with Pro-Lifers. I usually bring a few points into the discussion:
    1. Freedom of Choice is central to the teachings of Jesus.
    2. It is hypocritical to argue about the value of the life of a fetus (whose cognition is the subject of debate) and to totally dismiss the value of life of a Death Roll inmate (whose cognition is certainly not up for debate).
    3. When the Pro-Life camp starts to line up at Abortion clinics and offer to Adopt the child, pay for any medical expenses the Mother will incur and perhaps even house her through to term then maybe I'll begin to give their arguement a measure of credability. Until then, their pontificating on the value of life is cruel at best.

    See post below (none / 0) (#74)
    by Slado on Mon May 18, 2009 at 12:57:28 PM EST
    An unborn Fetus is innoncent in every way.  We can differ on when it is a being and when God actually puts a soal into it.   Since babies can live at approx 27 weeks then I feel comfortable in saying that at least by the 3rd trimester that fetus is a human being.

    We can get bogged down in the bio ethics of when a fetus is a person but at some time period pre-birth you must recognize that fetus as a person and at that time it is an innocent life.

    An innocent life is different from a death row inmante who has commited a terrible crime.  I am not a fan of the death penalty just like I'm not a fan of outlawing all abortions.  

    However for me it is quite easy to understand someone could be in favor of the death penalty and not in favor of abortion.   One life is innoncet and one is not.


    Didnt St. Augustine say (none / 0) (#78)
    by jondee on Mon May 18, 2009 at 03:08:20 PM EST
    in effect that there was no such thing as an "innocent life"?

    And no one on the (ostensibly) pro-life side still wants to answer the question as to why their movement gives such short shrift to lobbying for providing meaningful protections for "the innocent" once they're born in the form of economic security, safe neighborhoods, affordable child care etc As soon as anyone starts talking about redress in any of these grieviously deficient areas, 2/3 of the same pro-lifers will immediatly start jumping up and down and fulminating about increased taxes and creeping socialism; the ideal pro-life future seemingly being barrios in every U.S city with ten little urchins to a shack.


    so we decide who's innocent or not...thought (none / 0) (#79)
    by of1000Kings on Mon May 18, 2009 at 03:11:50 PM EST
    God did that...

    As someone with ND alumni in my (none / 0) (#73)
    by Slado on Mon May 18, 2009 at 12:48:54 PM EST
    family the view of most of ND alumni opposed to Obama is they had no problem with obama speaking at commencement but where "troubled" by the honorary degree.  

    They feel that ND could have made their point and still invited him to speak by not giving him the degree.    

    As to Jeralyn's memo the Church is very consistent in it's teachings.   It only recognizes the reality of states to use the death penalty in extreme circumstances and in those cases the person it is used against is not an innocent life.      

    An unborn fetus is innocent in every way.   I differ with the chuch when it comes to taking the life of the mother over the life of the innocent but the logic is crystal clear.   Innocent life in all forms must be protected.  Plain as that.

    Apparently (none / 0) (#80)
    by jondee on Mon May 18, 2009 at 03:12:50 PM EST
    those collateral Iraqi kids weren't innocent in every way.

    Thats interesting (none / 0) (#76)
    by catmandu on Mon May 18, 2009 at 01:01:33 PM EST
    However, CDN CTZN,
    Doesn't the belief in choice, and opposition to death penalty also equal hypocracy?
    Personally, I'm not Christian, Atheist, Hindu,
    or any other religious believer, so I really can
    support death penalty and pro-choice.
    After all, if you are cannot figure out how to take care of yourself, you cannot take care of anyone else.  If you cannot keep from killing other humans--you don't deserve to be around any other human.  Don't really care how its accomplished either.
    No hypocracy here.