Did anyone else catch that sermon President Obama gave the other day? It was cleverly disguised as a commencement speech for the graduating class of Notre Dame. On May 17, amidst complaints and protests from Notre Dame alumni and other Catholics, Barack Obama received an honorary degree and gave such a moving, passionate speech that I honestly felt like I was sitting in church just by watching it on YouTube.
Petitions were sent, crowds gathered, and a few people even stood up in the middle of the speech to shout things like, “Abortion is murder.” Although, whoever would waste what I’m assuming are hard-to-come-by graduation ceremony tickets to spout personal dogmas and get a few seconds of TV time is obviously crazy.
The crowd was generally supportive of the president, applauding appropriately and even starting up a chant of “Yes we can!” in opposition to the interruptions of his speech.
As a Catholic, part of me sympathized with those protesters who did not interrupt the ceremony, but stood outside in order to exercise their first amendment rights. I understood that this group was doing what they believed was right – holding the Catholic belief that life begins at conception, they were protesting the death of babies. I think we can all agree that killing babies isn’t cool.
However, as a liberal and supporter of a woman’s right to choose (aka a “bad” Catholic), I happen to think that all the hullabaloo around the commencement speaker based on his rather diplomatic stance on a very touchy issue is just plain ridiculous.
Take, for example, one alumnus from Notre Dame: Michael Voris of RealCatholicTV.net, the Internet television station owned and operated by Notre Dame alumni. Voris has a very specific idea of who should be allowed to speak at commencement and what they should have to believe. Ridiculous fake tan and bad toupee aside, his beliefs alone are enough to make him one of the most absurd people I have ever seen.
During a clip called “The Vortex,” (a segment where “lies and falsehoods are trapped and exposed“) Voris identifies some “lies” about our president. He claims that Obama is not only “pro-abortion,” but that he has not done anything to positively further areas of racial equality, fighting poverty, health care, immigration, education, fighting infectious diseases and seeking peace. Oh, and all of these areas all somehow relate to fetuses.
Voris actually argues that fetuses are impoverished because they are completely dependent on their mothers and so, since President Obama supports a woman’s right to choose, he ignores poverty. He also argues that birth is a form of immigration since babies have to travel through the birth canal. He implies that while other borders should be closed, Obama wants to stop women from giving birth.
By the way, Barack Obama also apparently supports telling children that men should have anal sex with other men, and “refuses to tell expectant mothers the full impact of abortion.” Shame on you, Barack Obama, for being the sole secret-keeper of what abortion is and hiding it from all those women. He also helps “white abortionists kill black babies,” treats babies as an infectious disease (I don’t know how he ended up with Sasha and Malia then), and teaches that condoms are the answer. Hey, that last one actually sounds pretty good.
The irony is that if these protesters had taken the time to listen to the president’s speech, they would probably be feeling a little sheepish right now. Heck, I shouldn’t make assumptions, maybe they are. For all I know, Voris is drafting an apology letter for his hateful and, let’s face it, completely bull**** comments.
Obama spoke about the Golden Rule, being fair and respectful to those with differing opinions, and the maturity and responsibility with which the graduating class had handled the controversy around the ceremony. He urged us to find a way “to reconcile our ever-shrinking world with its ever-growing diversity” and to “find a way to live together as one human family.“
DANIELLE RAMIREZ wants everyone to know that she is not making this up. To see for yourself go to realcatholictv.net/ndobama and e-mail your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org.