Monday, March 23, 2009

Right-Wing Group Calls on Notre Dame to Cancel President Obama Commencement Address

the whole story here (it's really good!):

March 22, 2009

Is the "Catholic" Pro-Life Action League an anti-American organization that, like GOP leader Rush Limbaugh, wants President Barack Obama "to fail?"

An obscure Right-Wing Chicago-based radical group calling itself the "Pro-Life Action League" and its national director, Joe Scheidler, are calling on respected Notre Dame University President, Rev. John Jenkins, to withdraw his invitation to President Barack Obama to deliver a commencement address there on May 17. President Obama, a Democrat, is the first African American elected President of the United States. Obama won election in an enormous landslide victory over his war-mongering conservative opponents John McCain and Sarah Palin. He took the Oath of Office just two months ago as record numbers of Americans and well-wishers around the world watched in hopeful anticipation.

Our nation is fighting the war on terrorism at home and abroad plus two horrific wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. American soldiers are sacrificing their lives for their country, and thousands have already died for our freedom. Americans are suffering the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression with record unemployment and record bankruptcies. Our educational and healthcare systems are breaking at the seams with thousands of kids dropping out of school, while many more of the poor and destitute lack the health care coverage they need to fight disease. So instead of helping to solve these problems, conservative leaders such as GOP spokesperson (and prescription drug abuser) Rush Limbaugh and some weirdo irrelevant self-appointed "Catholic spokesperson" Joe Scheidler, are publicly and repeatedly hoping that our Black President, Barack Obama, "fails" during his Presidency.

This, in my opinion, is treason. We all know that President Obama inherited the economic, health care, and education problems we are all suffering now from conservative Republican George W. Bush and a conservative Republican Congress that held control for most of Bush´s eight years in office. Where was the "pro-life" movement during the Bush Administration when we needed a Constitutional amendment to ban abortions? Where was the "pro-life" movement during the Bush Administration when we needed a Constitutional amendment to ban the death penalty? Where was the "pro-life" movement during the Bush Administration when we needed a stimulus for universal health care to help our poor? Where was the "pro-life" movement in the U.S. when Pope Benedict called on Catholics to oppose the war in Iraq? Answer: nowhere. Why would any Catholic oppose President Obama, the first African American elected as Commander-in-Chief? For Catholics, on the issue of abortion, let´s face the facts: For eight of the last ten years, Republicans controlled the White House, U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, the majority of the courts, the majority of state legislatures, and the majority of Governorships. During their many years of complete GOP control, Republicans SAID they were opposed to abortion, but did absolutely NOTHING to stop or reduce the number of abortions in the United States. Republicans had their chance on the issue of abortion and did NOTHING. When Democrats took control of Congress in the early 1960s, they held control for over 40 years. Democrats now hold a comfortable majority in both the U.S. House and Senate. The majority of seats up for re-election just two years from now are mostly Republican. The Republican Party brand is at its worst reputation since President Hoover (also a Republican) led the nation to the Great Depression. That´s why many in the GOP think the Republican Party should change its name – to re-brand itself. So, as a consequence of complete Republican Control in Congress and the White House, there was no Constitutional amendment to eliminate abortions, little to no proposed legislation to curtail abortion, and only LIP SERVICE to the many conservative Catholics who used to be a part of the Republican base – but who have now left the party to become Independents. We al know that most mainstream Republicans hate Catholics (and Mormons) anyway. We all know that the Republican Party base will never nominate a Catholic to be President because the Republican Party base (which is almost entirely Southern Baptist and Evangelical) believes that the Pope is the "anti-Christ." They hope the Pope "fails," too. That´s why the majority of elected officials who happen to be Catholic are members of the Democratic Party. Like President John F. Kennedy, the first Catholic elected to that office, they are Democrats. Why? Because Democrats care not just about keeping abortions rare and safe, Democrats care about education, health care, the environment, and the economy. Republicans, on the other hand, care little about these issues and care most about helping the rich – at the expense of the middle class and poor.

... Most of the pro-life, pro-Christian lobbyists who worked with the White House during the Bush years, believe that the Bush Administration gave them lip-service and cared little about pro-life and Christian ideals. Reflecting upon the Bush years in the White House, the pro-life, pro-Christian leaders often say that the Bush Administration approached them with distain, indifference, and ridicule.The Bush Administration and the GOP are happy to have pro-life members vote for them during elections, knowing that after they take office and do nothing to help the pro-life movement, those voters have no place else to go.


Brian said...

You ask: "why would any Catholic oppose President Obama"

Maybe because of his 100% pro abortion record that he achieved from NARAL in every year he was a legislator and his 0% rating from NRLC.

Maybe because of his promise to sign FOCA on the first day after becoming president.

Maybe because of his failure to ever vote one time against the particular evil that is partial birth abortion.

Maybe because of his failure to even vote for a bill that protected infants who were born after botched abortions.

Maybe because of his opposition to a bill that would notify parents if their minor daughter had an out of state abortion.

While I will not defend the Republican Party of the last eight years, Bush did give us two staunchly pro life Supreme Court justices. One of two more in that mode and Roe V Wade would be in serious trouble, but you know that Obama will only appoint radical pro abortionists to the judiciary.

I think you are also behind the times when you state that evangelicals believe the Pope is the anti Christ. Over the last 25 years, there has been much cooperation between Catholics and Evangelicals including Southern Baptists.

Please read:

max said...

I don't have to hope for Obama to fail, he is well on his way of doing that all by himself.

Without his trusty teleprompter he's a bumblin, stumblin fool!

I will treat him with the same respect Pres. Bush received from the "loyal" opposition.

Katherine said...

The Administation is having its ups and downs, but the great majority of the American people are standing with the President. New polls show Obam creaming any of the likely GOP presidential candidates, winning over 400 electoral votes.

phlojd said...

I think the charge of treason made in the article is ridiculous. I defend their right to make statements even more ridiculous such as when they ceaselessly compare Obama to Hitler. Let them show off their silliness and march with similar placards at Notre Dame.

And puleeze stop with the FOCA nonsense already. And the nerve of criticizing this president for using a teleprompter when every president for the past several decades has used one -- the guy graduated from Harvard with good grades, much better than the Cs Bushie II got at Yale via daddy's donations. You guys lost because he is so articulate and such a great speaker -- and you accuse him of "bumblin and stumblin." You have no credibility. Don't you get it? And you keep shooting yourselves in the foot and detracting from the pro-life cause. But you just don't get it. It's so freaking sad it makes me want to cough up my cookies.

shiloh said...

The best thing the Dems and Obama have going for them is the Reps and the religious right wingnuts continual refusal to grasp reality ie no rational opposition!

As I have said repeatedly, Republicans, keep doing what you're doing and enjoy the wilderness! for the next (8) er (16) years.

Re: the article, yes indeed, hypocrisy is the key word!

The election is over people and America has spoken clearly. Republicans do yourself a big favor and let it go, just let it go!

A wise man once said, when you are in a hole, stop digging ...

take care, blessings

Brian said...

"You guys lost because he is so articulate and such a great speaker"

You are exactly right as to the reason "we" lost. Unfortunately we live in an age where people prefer sizzle and symbolism over substance.

Obama has absolutely no administrative or executive experience and is by far the least qualified president we ever had.

The fact that you and so many others fell for this man based on his style and what you perceive to be some sort of superior intellect without any facts to back you up just shows how much we live in an "Entertainment Tonight, Us Magazine celebrity obsessed world."

I have no problem with people who voted for Obama because they believe he is right about the issues or they think the Democratic Party's platform is the right course for this nation.

My problem is with people who try to tell me a vote for Obama is actually the most "pro life" or most Christian vote when all the evidence says it is the opposite.

Max said...


The best thing Republicans have going for them is Obama and the Democrat congress. Lets see what happens in 2010.

As far as letting it go, I don't think so. Ragging on Obama is way too much fun.Did the left let it go after Pres Bush was elected twice? If you want hypocrisy look in the mirror.

Betty said...

Right now, Obama is at 3:1 in his approval ratings, the Republican prospect for a win in the 2010 Senate elections look nil and ther eis no indication the Democrats will lose ground in the House.

Looks like the Republicans are screwed. Oh, well, at least you have Rush as your great leader!

shiloh said...

Max said...


The best thing Republicans have going for them is Obama and the Democrat congress. Lets see what happens in 2010.

As far as letting it go, I don't think so. Ragging on Obama is way too much fun.Did the left let it go after Pres Bush was elected twice? If you want hypocrisy look in the mirror.

hmm, ragging on him 'cause he knows how to use a teleprompter lol yea that one might be amusing to me if I was still in kindergarten!

Actually I let it go, np. Max, I try to look at the whole picture. In the final analysis, Gore losing in 2000 and Kerry losing in 2004 was the best thing that ever happened to the Dem party, although not all that great for all the dead and wounded soldiers and civilians in Iraq, I digress.

And I've already mentioned a few times how Gore and Kerry were god awful candidates. Just like Gore couldn't win his home state ?!? how does one go from a 90% job approval rating after 9/11 to 22% in some polls just before the election.

As I said, the last (8) years of Bush was the best thing that ever happened to the Dems and made it possible for a young, relatively inexperienced, bi-racial candidate to win the Presidency, going away!

Big picture, Max, big picture. The Dems hadn't won VA and IN since LBJ's landslide in 1964. Not a good trend for Reps. And just like the Dems controlled congress for (40) years ie 1954 to 1994, they now appear to be on another (40) year run thanx to cheney/bush. Even during Nixon's landslide in 1972 and Reagan's landslide in 1984, the Reps couldn't grasp control of congress from the Dems. So much for a center right country, eh!

btw, Obama is not on the ticket in 2010, which ironically should help the Reps ie low voter turnout, but the Dems are still primed to pick up 4/5 more Senate seats regardless. The Reps will have open seats in FL, OH, MO, NH, and maybe more.

The problem Reps are having, they really, really don't like being in the minority, sooo many incumbents are bailing ie deciding not to run for re-election and it's harder to find good candidates to run against Dem incumbents when your party just got wiped out! in the last (2) elections.

Dodd may have problems in CT getting re-elected only if the Reps can get a viable alternative to run against him. Dodd will still have the name recognition advantage and the $ advantage. Dodd is probably the only vulnerable Dem incumbent and he may still win re-election.

It's very hard to beat incumbents nowadays, which is why 2006 and 2008 are even more impressive for the Democratic party and their trouncing of Republicans. Thanx George!

Yes Virginia, there are no Reagan's on the horizon in the Rep party, but (2) years is an eternity in politics, so we can all just sit back and watch Reps continue to implode as their leader Limbaugh and his lemmings Boehner, Cantor, Bachmann, Jindal, Palin etc. continue to put their feet in their mouths and have no alternative rational political message!

take care, blessings

When you find yourself in the majority, it's time to pause and reflect! ~ Mark Twain

btw, just how did Bush do it lol ... go from 90% to 22% ;) If Obama's approvals are still 55% or higher, 2010 will be the hat trick for Democrats! :)


Brian said...

Betty, I wouldn't get too smug if I were you.

Maybe you aren't old enough to remember 1965, but here's a little history lesson.

The Republican presidential candidate, Barry Goldwater had gotten only 38% of the vote the year before. Democrats held 295 House seats and 68 Senate seats and 33 governorships.

Democratic voter registration was double that of Republicans. The Republican Party was in far worst shape than it is right now.

But in 1966, the Republicans started a comeback gaining 8 governorships and 47 house seats. Two years later Richard Nixon captured the White House and Republicans held the presidency for 20 of the next 24 years.

It is way too early to write us off.

Anonymous said...

Katherine's gagging on her Obama Kool-Aid - best to fast from that for at least 3 hours before receiving Holy Communion.

I love how this site canonizes John F. Kennedy!

Everyone forgets what was going on down at the White House pool while poor Jackie was up in the residence raising the children.

Or Teddy's extra-marital follies.

Or Bobby's.

And let's hear it for that other great Catholic Democrat politician, Father Drinan, who left his old district in the firm grip of Barney Frank, the Banking Queen.

Yes, the Democrat legacy to Catholicism - a rich heritage indeed!

Susan said...

To characterize this as the work of a "right-wing group" sorely misses the point. Are you actually following this story, Katherine? There are thousands and thousand of Notre Dame students and a significant number of student organizations on campus that are strongly objecting to this invitation. Keep up with the news, Kate!

Anonymous said...

This blog is a joke, right?

Kathy said...

If only it were, Christopher!

shiloh said...

Christopher Joseph said...

This blog is a joke, right?

Thanx for sharing!

take care, blessings

Anonymous said...

Christopher, it took a while for me to understand this, but these individuals who promote this site are quite serious but I would say in all charity: dilusional in their thinking...

Katherine said...

it represents a good majority of Catholics. Even bigger since election day; Catholics now supporting Obama by a 3:1 margin!

Susan said...

Dream on, Kate!

Kurt said...


Can you cite any polling data to the contrary?

Susan said...

Show us the polling data that proves it is true. Other than probably some nonsense from Catholics United???

Susan said...

Actually, Kurt, I found a poll on PEW that shows Obama's DISAPPROVAL rating among Catholics went from 14% in February to 28% in March. Bet you won't show this will you, Kate????

Katherine said...

Ha! Susan, you proved my point. If the President has a disapproval rating in the mid-twenties, as you say, that's about a 3:1 approval/disapproval.

Because I'm a sweetheart, I'll give you the measly 3% in the poll you found. See how generous I am?

Imagine, bragging that only 28% of the public agrees with you. Susan, you better find more than 28% to vote Republican in the next election. You are not even close, sister!!!

Kurt said...

Susan, you walked right into that one.

Katherine, very kind of you to give Susan the 3 points more for her side she found in a poll.

Susan said...

Sister??? That's a good one! Walk into it?? Kurt you are priceless!! I stick by my statement that his DISAPPROVAL rate is growing among Catholics. You can try and spin it anyway you want. Doesn't change the facts!! He is on his way DOWN!! HAHAHA!!

Brian said...

99.9% of Catholics could approve of President Obama, and it wouldn't change the fact that he is the most pro abortion president we've ever elected and that during his term he will nominate radical pro abortionists to the judiciary.

He is likely to set back the cause of reversing Roe V Wade for a generation.

Those are the facts and they can't be credibly disputed.

Katherine said...

Say what you want Susan. You've just proved my point that the President is at 3:1. I suppose from your side, scrapping up to about a quarter of the population is major feat for you.


You have every right to your opinion. A little Catholic theology for you. Calling something that is yet to happen a "fact" is soothsaying, which is a sin. You certainly are entitled to have every confidence your predicition will come true, but they are not facts until they happen.

Susan said...

Now you are calling Brian a sinner?? For soothsaying??? Yet you totally back an abortion supporter? Now that is a sin!

Betty said...

Boy, I feel better than Susan and her crew are only 28%. At that level, they are pretty impotent.

Konrad said...

I would say being reduced to 28% of the public is nothing to brag about.

phlojd said...

A disapproval rating of only 28% among Catholics? This was a Pew poll? Does anybody have the url for this one? If true, thank you so very much for this information, Susan. As hard as I find it to believe, it does closely approximate the 73% of students who support the invitation of Obama to Notre Dame. Amazing how a few obnoxious loudmouths (admittedly like I was in the 60s, only with a different political persuasion -- God forgive me for the arrogance of my youth) can make so much ado about nothing in the media. But it turns people against them, just like it turned the general public against Humphrey and McGovern.

Brian said...

So Katherine, I don't think I'm a soothsayer but if you doubt what I say are facts then you are calling your president a liar.

Obama said:

"On the 36th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we are reminded that this decision not only protects women’s health and reproductive freedom, but stands for a broader principle: that government should not intrude on our most private family matters. I remain committed to protecting a woman’s right to choose."

So if he remains committed to this "principle" than does it not logically follow that he will appoint pro abortion judges to the bench.

Brian said...

Katherine, I assume you will call the Cardinal a soothsayer:

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo has added his considerable voice to the effort to convince Rev. John Jenkins, president of Notre Dame, to withdraw the invitation, or failing that, the honorary degree:

"I find the invitation very disappointing. Though I can understand the desire by a university to have the prestige of a commencement address by the President of the United States, the fundamental moral issue of the inestimable worth of the human person from conception to natural death is a principle that soaks all our lives as Catholics, and all our efforts at formation, especially education at Catholic places of higher learning.”

The President has made clear by word and deed that he will promote abortion and will remove even those limited sanctions that control this act of violence against the human person."

Katherine said...


Where you go wrong is when you say it is a FACT that the President will nominate pro-abortion judges.

Given the sorry history of your own party on their failed promises to appoint pro-life judges, you should pick your words more carefully.

I am pro-life like you. I dont' view being pro-life to give one the liberty to use loose language.

Anonymous said...

I know Brian can defend himself quite well, but Roberts and Alito seem to be pro-life judges. Yes, there is a mixed history there on the Republican side. However, there is a clear indication that Obama will appoint judges not friendly to the pro-life movement.

Here is one example of an individual that he has nominated and hopefully will not be confirmed:

President Barack Obama on Tuesday, March 17th nominated U.S. District Judge David Hamilton to serve on a midwestern federal appeals court.

Hamilton has issued a controversial ruling on abortion, but was reversed by the very appellate court that he is nominated to.

In 2003, he struck down part of an Indiana law requiring abortion clinics to give women information about alternatives to abortion while in the presence of a physician or nurse 18 hours before the abortion procedure. Thankfully, the 7th Circuit court also reversed that decision.