I was listening to the briefing of the Press Sectary Mr. Gibbs. A reporter brought up the topic of President Obama going to Notre Dame to give the keynote address to the graduating class of 2009 and also receive an honorary degree of law. The reporter (whose name I missed) stated - and I confirm - that nineteen bishops and ten of the Holy Cross priest (teachers from Notre Dame) have requested that the President graciously decline the request and stay home.
I had something else planned that day anyway.
I’m going wade into this controversy at my own peril. I’m Catholic you see. I’m suppose to tote the line. If you are a public figure, your duty is to do everything in your power to prevent abortions and stop stem cell research. If President Barrack Obama was strictly president over religious zealots then I would agree; however, he is the leader of all America - of every stripe, shade, creed…and of course us Catholics too.
After the press conference, I let my fingers do some walking across the internet. According to the Notre Dame Campus Paper, 70% of the alumni didn’t want the President to give the key note address. This goes along with several other articles that I have read from Hugh Hewitt (Catholic Talk show host from S. Ca) and Randall Terry(spokesmen for Operation Rescue) all expressing their vehement disapproval. What’s really going on here? These journalists are using this event to further their own political goal at the expense of students and broader community. By the way 73% of the students, according to the campus paper, want President Barrack Obama to visit the campus. And 97% of the graduating class wants him to give the keynote address.
I wonder which 70% of the alumni were surveyed to get the answer the paper needed?
Here the students have a chance to live history. Need I remind all of us that most people pass through history living anonymous and straightforward lives; nonetheless, we all inherently recognize history in the making. And we all want to play even a small role at such times. When will these students have the next opportunity to be in the presence of the President of the United States? What will he inspire some of these graduates to do that no one else could?
Should the president come? Absolutely!
I scoff at such deliberately deceptive journalism. These people lose all credibility by acting they way they are. The lesson here is to beware the spin doctors who are willing to further their political agenda at any cost. I, for one, think the Fighting Irish Alumni are not accurately represented in this matter. Perhaps, some of you do too.