Greta interviews two female Notre Dame (pssst! they’re Catholics!) students on their opposition to having President Obama speak at their commencement:

What else is going on?

  • Don Giant

    I’m just wondering where in the bible Christ exhorted governments to uphold Catholic doctrine. I’m also wondering where in the constitution the President is obligated to put a bishop’s opinion above that of the Supreme Court.

    I, personally, think abortion is a sin. But in this country it is not a crime. If the Church really wants to reduce abortions it should revise its’ archaic rules about birth control. It is a dirty secret amongst the religious right that the abortion
    rate peaked under Bush I and Reagan and decreased when the “immoral” Bill Clinton allowed citizens access to birth control info. The best data I have found indicates that 27% of women are Catholic. I suspect that Planned Parenthood has prevented far more abortions than the Cardinal Newman Society.

  • arran

    I was thinking along those same lines, IndianaDem. I’ve been stuck on the moral high ground those at ND have taken when bishops allowed pedophile priests to be quietly transferred to other parishes. I’ll never forget the priest who would call a young male student out of class for sex. Turns my old social worker/teacher stomach even now.

  • IndianaDem


  • IndianaDem

    Maybe Obama should politely decline the Notre Dame invitation. His acceptance might suggest tolerance of an institution that has been slow to deal with the abusers of children in its ranks, seems uncertain in its approach to anti-semitism, refuses to allow women to hold most of its positions of institutional authority, and would deny women authority and control over the reproduction cabilities of their own bodies.

    • I’mFedUp

      Oh please…first of all, Obama claims to be “Christian” in the first place. But, since I don’t believe that, and believe he is a member of an even more oppressive religion that certainly doesn’t love granting women any kind of rights, then your post is moot. He also doesn’t have the moral compass to speak at a college of people with dignity, respect and honor.

  • these poor kids being punished by having to sit through his speel..

  • Colleen

    My husband works at Notre Dame. They were inundated with calls the day this news got out–over 65,000 and counting. This is a tough issue. Most American catholics disagree with the church’s stance on birth control and many, think that abortion should be allowed to save the life of the mother and/or in cases of incest or rape. However, I still am not happy that the university has invited Obama. I’m glad my three have already graduated. Imagine having to sit through one of his speeches!

    • I’mFedUp

      I’m glad my three have already graduated. Imagine having to sit through one of his speeches!


  • I’mFedUp

    My father went to Notre Dame and Notre Dame Law School. I have to say, he is no longer with us but he too would have stopped his rather large donations if they invited that asshole. Again, not over the abortion issue, but because of what that pig is doing to our country. I’m glad that my WWII Veteran and decorated war hero father doesn’t have to see what is being done to America by this freak, and I sure as hell know he wouldn’t want him at his school.

  • Babs

    I have a friend at work, a ND alum who bleeds green like so many of them, and he is beside himself with this decision. He and a group of his friends, many of them quite wealthy, have already written letters to the school telling them their alum donations are going to stop if Obama is not disinvited. Wonder if this is happening elsewhere, seems as if this decision could cost the university big bucks if my friend is typical of many alums.

  • prose

    Notre Dame asked Jimmy Carter for Commencement speech and then Obama. It’s because both speak to their copperhead philosophy.

  • Sassy

    I read that the Catholic Church was speaking out against Sebelius as Health Secretary, because of abortion issues.
    The President gets a pass?
    Oh yeah, now I get it…his only importance is for a speech, not an action!

  • arran

    The religious right wants the pill, the patch, the shot, the ring, the IUD, and emergency contraception, 40% of birth control methods Americans use, to be classified as “abortion.”

    Here’s the link and embeded is a link to HHS’ director Michael Leavitt’s proposal last fall:

    I assume the HHS proposal is off the table for now, but these issues remain.

  • I’mFedUp

    I think they should protest him speaking there, but not over the abortion issue. How about protesting because he is destroying our country and is a lazy azz, America hating piece of crap?


    Did somebody invite Barack Obama or what?

    • beebop

      Please use your critical reading skills … if not here, then somewhere.

  • Tuppence411

    Maybe it easier for me to see the situation, being a life-long Catholic. During the campaign, Barky crossed a very bright line with the Catholic hierarchy. “Catholics for Obama” -with targeted precision- was undermining the moral teaching authority of the bishops in certain parts of the country in a very organized, concentrated way. Trust me. That will set off alarms. The Bishops maybe clueless on how to deal with many issues (child sexual abuse, domestic violence, sexuality); but a threat to their moral teaching authority? THAT they know how to handle. They have been doing it for 2000 years.

  • wodiej

    They should protest and if it was me, I would just not go to the ceremony. You should always stand up for what you believe in whether it is popular or not. There is nothing more important than that, even the “prestige” of President and I use that term very loosely as I feel Obama is anything but that. I didn’t support Bush either and would have protested his presence at my commencement just as much.

    It goes beyond his abortion and infanticide stance which is truly appalling. His lack of integrity in his associations with numerous radical and immoral people should have been taken into consideration as well.

    What it all boils down to is there are just too many people who don’t give a shit about right and wrong, they want to be part of history by having Obama speak at their graduation-it’s the “American Idol”, do what’s popular mentality. Besides, how much prestige is there in watching someone speak from a teleprompter? Students supporting this have such low expectations.

    Even a college degree from Notre Dame cannot replace integrity.

    • Ferd Berfle

      What it all boils down to is there are just too many people who don’t give a shit about right and wrong, they want to be part of history by having Obama speak at their graduation-it’s the “American Idol”, do what’s popular mentality. Besides, how much prestige is there in watching someone speak from a teleprompter? Students supporting this have such low expectations.

      Even a college degree from Notre Dame cannot replace integrity.

      You’re right on this. Everything important to these sorts of people distills down to money, power, or prestige. Integrity, though, is priceless–it can’t be bought, sold, or bartered.

  • Sassy

    I’m grateful that these young women are willing to take a stand, even if they are ultimately over-ruled!
    We need to see more women who are ready to live by their convictions, for without them, this country will reflect the sexism of much of the rest of the world!

    • cynic

      The Church, of course, being devoid of any sexist tendencies… It seems to me that they might have a placed a few restrictions on the behavior of women, and a few restrictions on the positions of authority women are allowed to assume within the Church itself. Their proper place in the world is defined by their gender.

  • JRD

    The Jesuits at Notre Dame are radical loons. They always have been. They have alot in common with 0bama. He is a radical loon also.

  • arran

    Why don’t these students take this opportunity and challenge Obama’s views on abortion? Their closed minds as university students are what disappoint me.

    They also don’t consider some medical reasons to have an abortion.

    • wodiej

      abortions performed for medical reasons are very small. There are exceptions but not many. Kids can go have abortions through school advocates without their parents knowing. What kind of bullshit is that?

      There is no reason for the majority of abortions. Do they still sell condoms, birth control pills and even have the morning after pill?? And lets not forget abstinence, there’s a sure fire way of not needing an abortion.

      • andrew191

        95% of abortions are elective. Of the remaining 5%, only 1-2% are for medical reasons, the rest are due to rape, incest, etc.

      • cynic

        Do they still sell condoms, birth control pills and even have the morning after pill?

        So far as I know, the Catholic church still opposes all artificial means of birth control. They consider birth control pills, IUDS, and the morning after pill to be the moral equivalents of abortion.

        If they’re going to be consistent, maybe they shouldn’t have allowed any president to speak who hasn’t taken a clear position against all of those options. They would have had a problem with Hillary Clinton.

  • Tony

    It is a great honor to have the POTUS speak at your commencement, whether or not you like the person currently holding the office. The office is bigger than the person.

    The students should let him speak, in the long run, they’ll be glad they did.

    When he was president, Bush Sr came to my town to give a speech. This was 1992 and he was very unpopular. I did not know anybody who liked him, and in the weeks running up to the speech, I heard nothing but complaining from people that he was coming.

    But then on the day of the speech, everyone’s mood changed. Even the people who complained the loudest were excited to see him, even leaving work to just stand along the motorcade route and wave. It was the strangest thing.

    Anyway, I suspect something similar will happen at Notre Dame

    • wodiej

      I suspect many people just don’t have any values and are so enamored by prestige they don’t give a shit about beliefs or standing up for them.

      • cynic

        Consider the possibility that people who disagree with you might simply have different values.

        The religious right have not actually been authorized by God to speak on His behalf with the voice of divine authority. They only presume that they have been. This is much the same as their unseemly presumption that their own thinking exclusively defines love of country and what it means to be a patriot.

        They presume too damn much.

  • Tess

    This whole brouhaha could be avoided if Notre Dame invited the Teleprompter alone.

    • beebop

      Do we know TOTUS’ choice position? 🙂

      • Ferd Berfle

        Use a firewall when hooking up.

        • beebop


          sooooo good!

      • could be different.lets ask

  • Julia

    Catholic church and the Pope are taking a mad and wrong stance against abortion and preservatives and whatever sexual/reproductive/health issue. That’s very dangerous and the world is reacting against them France, Spain, German, UK, etc and many important international organizations are very upset so most probably all this mess with catholics/Notre-Dame/wonkish students is going to help him more than hurt him

  • cynic

    The following comment appeared Thursday in response to US News and World Report coverage of the story:

    Dear rest of the world,

    This is not your fight to fight. Last I checked, commencement is a ceremony for those who are graduating. It is the overwhelming opinion of students on campus that we should accept President Obama’s visit with pride and honor. Let’s not forget that he won the mock election at Notre Dame. The students want him; it’s our commencement, not yours. So please get back to your jobs, your families, or whatever else you occupy your time with. We no longer need bored, half-psychotic morons filling our school newspaper with threats. I’m sorry you couldn’t find anything else to do with your sorry lives.

    Have a fantastic day,

    A Notre Dame Student

    I agree. The majority of students who are graduating should be able to decide who speaks at their commencement. The angry minority has a right to their opinion–which they’ve certainly expressed far out of proportion with their numbers–but not to decide on behalf of everyone else. Most consider an appearance by the President of the United States to be an honor. Four of the past five Presidents have spoken at graduation ceremonies there. Nobody organized an effort to try to block the appearance of George W. Bush; I’m pretty sure the Catholic Church takes an entirely different view on the death penalty.

    PS: If the current Pope can let an unrepentant, holocaust-denying, anti-semitic priest who has openly endorsed The Protocols of the Elders of Zion back into the fold (former bishop Richard Williamson), surely they can put politics on hold long enough for a sitting President of the United States to deliver a non-political, inspirational address on commencement day.

    • John Smith

      Catholics Church is starting to take a very strong stance against abortion. I would not be surprised if BO will be uninvited. Plus, by May he will be the most unpopular president since Jimmy Carter.

      As a second thought, I think the students would be better off if they have a person who can actually give a speech and not just read off of a teleprompter.

    • beebop

      Uh …

      Did you catch that the commencement speaker is selected by faculty? Did you notice that these two young women are graduating? Do you understand the fundamentals of protest? No wonder there were so few significant Democrap protests against the “War in Iraq” … protesting is just too much freaking work, right?

      • Elizabeth

        The faculty selects from a list drawn up by students. So there is strong graduate input.

        I basically concur with Bishop D’Arcy that by choosing Obama while much less radical Pres Clinton was never invited the University has “chosen prestige over truth.”

      • cynic

        There were large protest marches and demonstrations across the country. They received minimal mainstream media attention and became non-events. Instead, the media chose to focus on a handful of personalities that could be used to discredit those taking an anti-war stance. Not supporting the invasion was un-American. If you spoke out loudly you were accused of sedition and treason. Remember?

    • Ferd Berfle

      surely they can put politics on hold long enough for a sitting President of the United States to deliver a non-political, inspirational address on commencement day.

      EVERYTHING That One does and says is colored by politics and he doesn’t inspire as his words ring hollow. You really need to find a new line of work or at least a new set of sermons.

    • C.S.

      Sounds like an ideological problem to me; they didn’t like Soertoro/Obama’s abortion stance and as a “religious” university they can protest someone coming in to give a speech they consider not appropriate. Look at it this way, I’m sure Quakers would not appreciate their schools inviting a pro-war speaker to their graduation ceremony.

      However, the Notre Dame student(?)quoted sounds like he/she doesn’t share the school’s religious philosophy so why are they attending and how does this person know he/she is in the majority when the students being interviewed talked about a coalition of Notre Dame groups forming to protest the speech.

      And this guy winning a mock election isn’t the very best reason to select him as a speaker but that’s another whole kettle of fish.

  • jyotinc

    I’m sure if you tell to BO he can’t bring his teleprompter, he’ll change his mind and make excuses not to come.

  • elise

    “White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Thursday that Obama believes everyone has the right to express their opinion, saying the president met last week with Chicago Cardinal Francis George and others to discuss topics Obama and the Catholic church are interested in.”

    This is the same Cardinal who sent Father Phleger on a two week vacation for his speech at TUCC, Obama’s Chicago church.

  • elise

    I don’t agree with these women about choice, but I’m happy they are opposing his speech. He played with this issue for two years, wanting to get the Catholic and Evangelical vote. I hope they will visibly and loudly protest his speech (if the invitation isn’t rescinded).

  • Lyn

    Good for them, I hope they don’t get too many threats from Bots for daring to speak out about the One.

  • TeakwoodKite

    As an aside to Mr. Johnson’s post on Bo’s “there there”Afghanistan

    Report: Logistics lacking for spec ops units

    Army Times.

    Equipment Shortages Undercut U.S. Special Operations Forces

    There also are other equipment shortfalls, analysts said. In particular, Green Berets lack individual portable radios. Special Forces teams typically are issued two per unit. “If you have 12 Green Berets, you need 14 radios” — one per Green Beret and two for vehicles so they don’t have to dismount radios, said Carstens. Small arms also are known to be in short supply, he said. In some cases, there aren’t enough rifles to go around.