Friday, July 18, 2008

Thanks to Catholic College, It's "Doctor Obama"

U. S. Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., receives an honorary Doctor of Laws degree during the commencement program at Xavier University of Louisiana in New Orleans.

Among the many honors Senator Obama has received was an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Xavier University, a leading Catholic college. The degree was granted in 2006, nearly a year after Hurricane Katrina submerged Xavier University's campus under eight feet of water.
Speaking before one of Xavier's largest graduating classes, Senator Obama said
"Thanks for allowing me to share in your miracle."

Dr. Norman C. Francis, Xavier's president, and one of the nation's leading Catholic laymen conferred the degree on Senator Obama.

Obama noted that most commencement speakers tell graduates what to expect when they enter "the real world." But this is different," he said, adding that most in the room have already experienced the "real" world since Katrina.

The Democratic senator said he visited New Orleans and saw the "pictures of your campus after the storm — submerged classrooms and dorm rooms where books remained open as you left them."

He recalled hearing the stories of 400 students trapped on the roof of a building along with a handwritten sign that read 'Help us' after flooding blocked their escape from the storm-ravaged city.

He said he could give advice about overcoming challenges or about courage and perseverance but "you could probably teach the rest of us" about those things.
"Yours has been quite an education, an education in humanity brought by a force of nature," Obama said.

However, he said, those types of lessons can be unlearned.
"Time can heal and cloud a memory," he said. "But it's your responsibility to remember what happened in New Orleans and make it a part of who you are. Katrina might be the most dramatic test you take but it won't be the last."
Obama said the graduates would be forced to choose a path — one of detachment and indifference or one of involvement.

"The easiest thing is to do nothing at all. Turn off the TV, put down the newspaper and go about your busy lives. Remain detached and indifferent," he said. "But, if you choose to remember what happens when responsibilities are ignored and the buck is passed. ... That asks more of you. Not only to pursue your own individual dreams but also to perfect our collective dream as a nation."

Obama encouraged the graduates to "make this a nation where we are no longer unprepared to meet the challenges of time. Make this a nation worthy of the sacrifices of so many of our citizens. Take the second path.

"Katrina's not the end of tough times for New Orleans or you," he said.


Fat Kid said...

Are you kidding me?

Who gets the next honorary doctorate? Josef Mengele?

CatholicsForDemocracy said...

"Are you kidding me?

Who gets the next honorary doctorate? Josef Mengele?"

Inappropriate Nazi allusions aside, I do agree that it is problematic for Obama to receive an honorary doctorate from a Catholic institution.

I support Obama for the presidency. And I think his agenda will do much more to reduce incidents of abortion than will the agenda of his opponent. Moreover, I think his agenda will do much more to promote the quality of life for all and to provide opportunity for future generations than will the agenda of his opponent.

That having been said, Obama is on record for supporting the right of a woman to procur an abortion, whatever language he chooses to describe that support. For that reason alone, it is inappropriate for him to receive honors from a Catholic institution.

That does not mean, of course, he does not deserve the votes of Catholics to be the next President of the United States. It only means he does not deserve a place of special honor from Catholic intitutions.

Anonymous said...

Another "Catholic" college bites the dust.