President Obama has agreed to serve as commencement speaker at Notre Dame's graduation in the Spring, where he will also receive an honorary degree (as is customary). The President's notable support of abortion rights has caused quite an uproar, with many in the Catholic community calling for Notre Dame to rescind its invitation.
President Obama is quite clearly pro-abortion, and that places him squarely on the other side of the question from the teaching of the Catholic Church. Notre Dame is ostensibly a Catholic University, and many see his speaking at graduation as a ceremonial "thumbing of the nose" at the church's pro-life teachings.
I disagree. While Notre Dame is a Catholic University, it is also an American University...and as such, it is a place where freedom of speech should be particularly well-protected (although conservatives on modern campuses sometimes don't receive this benefit). Mr. Obama is the freely elected leader of this nation, and while his views on abortion are inconsistent with the church's teachings, his obvious concern for social justice and human rights place him squarely in the mainstream of modern, liberal Catholic theology.
It is an honor for any University to have the President deliver the commencement address, even one with whom many might disagree.
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