President Obama Shocked and Outraged

In a statement released Sunday evening, Obama said, “I am shocked and outraged by the murder of Dr. George Tiller as he attended church services this morning. However profound our differences as Americans over difficult issues such as abortion, they cannot be resolved by heinous acts of violence.”

Newsflash, I agree with the President, although I’m pretty sure the president’s comment on this situation will not help calm things, and if anything I think it causes increased tension between the Pro-Life and Pro-Choice camps. As someone who considers them self Pro-Life I would also like to know where his shock and outrage is about the 50 million lives that have also been murder since Roe v Wade. Their lives were just as important as Dr. Tiller’s. But they were not allowed to live beyond their first 9 months.

We are all God’s children and just by that fact means that all life is valuable. The president was correct a few weeks ago in saying that the viewpoints between the Pro-Choice and Pro-Life groups are irreconcilable. Which means from time to time, as long as their are people performing “legal” abortions, theses types of tragedies will continue. Unstable people with deep seeded convictions are bound to snap do bad things from time to time. It doesn’t mean it’s right, but unfortunately I don’t know how it can be stopped in a free society. Dr. Tiller had been shot before and considering he had been recently being acquitted of legal charges along with the election of the most pro-abortion president ever, this doesn’t really come as a shock. What comes as a shock is that it happened in a church and during a Sunday service. What comes as a shock is that the president is shocked. What comes as a shock is that people really think that providing abortions services helps women. You don’t help women by killing their child.

God have mercy on us and may there be an end to abortion in our country.

Dr. Tiller Shot Dead

The New York Times and KAKE News of Wichita, KS are reporting the death of Dr. George Tiller this morning. It’s been reported that he was shot to death when entering his church (Reformed Lutheran Church) this morning around 10am by a white male who fled the scene in a light blue Ford Taurus guessed to be in his 50s or 60s. The plates are traced to a vehicle in Merriam, KS.

I believe this to be wrong and it does not help the Pro-Life cause. The abortion issue will not go away by murdering abortionists and it will make it more difficult to overcome in my opinion. This course of action is no better than murdering an unborn child. We should all pray for mercy for Dr. Tiller as well as pray for the lives he has affected. Murder is wrong in all cases.

Lord we are a fallen people, have mercy on us, have mercy on all of us. Amen

A Sunday Homily Request

I saw this little YouTube clip over at Jimmy Akin’s blog. I say Amen to Brother Piper. I think it would be nice to hear a homily like this every now and then, but I don’t. Instead I drive out the church parking lot each Sunday viewing all the Obama stickers.

Update: But I do get to receive the Body & Blood of our Lord every Sunday. This beats any preaching that can be heard.

TLC Should Be Ashamed

I just got done writing the TLC/ a letter asking them to pull the show John & Kate Plus 8. You can do that same at Viewer Relations. My wife and I had been regular viewers of the show up until last Monday. We were shocked to see that TLC would air what they did all for ratings, as they obviously knew the state of the family’s affair. TLC is complicit in exploiting those 8 kids. If they want to do a show on a marriage going south then so be it but take the kids out of the picture. With everything that has happened since the last season of the show I can’t believe John, Kate, or TLC would continue with the show. If you’ve ever watched the show I ask you to write TLC and to say a prayer for the Gosselin’s
I wanted to write to tell you how utterly disappointed I am in TLC going through with airing last Monday’s episode of John & Kate Plus 8. The Gosselin’s are obviously in a much different situation now than in past seasons. The show is not the same nor will it ever be, and TLC should be ashamed at airing a train wreck. There are more important things in life than ratings. Your core audience for the show will leave you and you will be left with vultures and gossip seekers watching each week. For the sake of human decency you should cancel the show and allow the Gosselin’s to work through this troubling time without recording it for the rest of the world to see up close. Please make the right decision and pull the show.

John 6:54 & Family
City & State

Pro-Choice is Pro-Abortion

I wanted to put up my response to a reply comment over at The Catholic Key Blog that Pro-Choice doesn’t mean Pro-Abortion. I fundementaly disagree. As long as Catholic’s think its okay to support legal abortion because illegal abortions caused deaths of women who tried to procure them then we will have legal abortion in the United States. Just think of how many more deaths have occured in this country because of legal abortion.

This approach to making something legal because people are going to do it anyway just doesn’t hold water. Do you give your child and their friends alcohol or drugs because they are going to do it anyway? Do you allow your child to have sex with their boyfriend or girlfriend at your house because they are going to do it anyway? Do we allow pediphiles freedom to do as they wish because they think it’s okay to molest children? The answer is NO! If something is wrong then it’s wrong and we need to act accordingly.

John 6:54 says:

Where to start with this false notion that Pro-Choice is not Pro-Abortion. Being Pro-Choice allows for the opportunity to murder with legal immunity of being put in jail for your actions. To allow for the opportunity to murder makes someone Pro-Abortion in my mind. I’ll give you two examples that support the statement that Obama is Pro-Abortion and not the fluff term of Pro-Choice.

First in a campaign speech Obama referred to his two daughters and said “I am going to teach them first of all about values and morals. But if they make a mistake, I don’t want them punished with a baby,”

Second Obama as an Illinois State Senator was for killing the babies of botched abortions if they made it alive outside the womb. Do some research if you don’t believe me.

So when I say President Obama is Pro-Abortion I really do mean it. He supports it, he’s for it, he’d even suggest it for his own daughters.

Next to the question on how a “Pro-Life” person can support war & the death penalty. There is such thing as “Just War” and instances where the death penalty can be supported. I suggest reading the Catholic Catechism to come to a better understanding of the two issues. I think Todd states the death penalty issue well. I am opposed to torture, and until recently had not drawn a conclusion as to whether water-boarding qualified as torture. I have come to the conclusion that water-boarding is in deed torture and should not be used by interrogators. So if you don’t mind I will stick with my moniker of “Pro-Life”

As far as the GOP goes, I would be happy to vote for a Pro-Life Democrat if one ever existed on my ballot. So far it hasn’t happen for me in my 17 years of voting. I long for the day where I have a “choice” on my voting ballot as I’m definitely Pro-Choice when it comes to a voting ballot. Wouldn’t it be great if Catholics truly had a choice between Pro-Life candidates from multiple political parties? I hold out “hope” for that day.

God Bless.

Six Catholics and Counting

With today’s Supreme Court nomination and assumed confirmation of Judge Sotomayor it would bring the total of Catholic baptized jurists on the Supreme Court to a total of Six or 66%. (not to be confused with 666) Sonia Sotomayor has been desribed by the press as a “cultural” Catholic, in other words non-practicing.

Could the Holy Spirit be stacking the deck for a future change to US Abortion Law? We can only hope and we should pray that all the Supreme Court Judges can continually be called to a deeper conversion in their faith life to know, love, and serve God.

Also what does this say about Catholicism? Soon 6 of 9 Supreme Court Judges will have grown up with or are currently practicing the Catholic faith? Roberts, Kennedy, Scalia, Thomas, Alito, and now Sotomayor.

After doing some further research on Sotomayor today there may be some “hope” when it comes to the issue of Life, but as of now all signs point to Sotomayor supporting Roe v Wade althought it doesn’t apprear to be as much of a sure thing as I had thought earlier today.

Sotomayor has not directly issued any rulings on abortion but she has been involved in a few cases surrounding the abortion issue.

One could assume the Obama administration knows where she stands on abortion and is using this fact that she hasn’t ruled on abortion to get her placed on the court. But I’ll point to the glimers of “hope” in the nomination since Obama is all about hope.

Sotomayor participated in a decision that upheld the Mexico City Policy which prohibits sending taxpayer dollars to groups that promote and perform abortions in other nations. Unfortunately President Obama recently reversed that policy.

Judge Sotomayor also upheld pro-life policy by rejecting claims from a pro-abortion legal group that it violated the Equal Protection Clause because the challenge involved neither a suspect class nor a fundamental right. She then acknowledged the ability of the government to adopt anti-abortion policies, noting, the Supreme Court has made clear that the government is free to favor the anti-abortion position over the pro-choice position, and can do so with public funds.

At the same time, Judge Sotomayor wrote an opinion overturning, in part, a district court’s judgment against a group of pro-life protestors. Though not concerning abortion policy directly, the case is viewed as a stand against free speech for pro-life advocates.

Wouldn’t it be sweet irony if the most Pro-Abortion President ever, appoints the Judge the helps overturn Roe v Wade? While doubtful, it would be an example of how God overcomes seemingly large odds to apply His will.

Maybe with enough prayer and the right case, brought before the court, Abortion could be overturned. Please say a rosary and offer a Mass intention for Justice Sotomayor and the Supreme Court. God Bless

Sonia Sotomayor – Ugggg

MSNBC is reporting that Sonia Sotomayor will be nominated today for the Supreme Court. Another blow to the life of the unborn children. President Obama seems to have found another Pro-Choice Catholic. At least it’s confirmed she went to Catholic Schools. What were they teaching back then?

Say a Rosary today for the unborn and our Supreme Court.

President Obama's Address with GTM Commentary

Again Fr. Z style of commentary. If you were sitting with me during the President’s address the comments in red are some of the things you’d hear coming from me. The picture to the left is one of the low points in Catholic history. There is so much discussion that could take place around the presidents speach.

President Obama’s Graduation Address to Notre Dame Students
May 17th, 2009

Thank you, Father Jenkins for that generous introduction. You are doing an outstanding job as president of this fine institution [Mr. President you do not have good judgment on what it takes to run a Catholic University], and your continued and courageous commitment to honest, thoughtful dialogue [providing a platform is not dialog] is an inspiration to us all.

Good afternoon Father Hesburgh, [how can you stand for this?] Notre Dame trustees, faculty, family, friends, and the class of 2009. I am honored to be here today, and grateful to all of you for allowing me to be part of your graduation.

I want to thank you for this honorary degree. [an absolute disgrace] I know it has not been without controversy. I don’t know if you’re aware of this, but these honorary degrees are apparently pretty hard to come by. So far I’m only one for two [Arizona St., even had better sense than Notre Dame in not giving Obama an honorary degree as he has not accomplished anything than being elected to office] , as President. Father Hesburgh is 150 for 150. I guess that’s better. Father Ted, after the ceremony, maybe you can give me some pointers on how to boost my average. [some how I don’t think your sticking around to chat]

I also want to congratulate the class of 2009 for all your accomplishments. And since this is Notre Dame, I mean both in the classroom and in the competitive arena. We all know about this university’s proud and storied football team, but I also hear that Notre Dame holds the largest outdoor 5-on-5 basketball tournament in the world — Bookstore Basketball.

Now this excites me. I want to congratulate the winners of this year’s tournament, a team by the name of “Hallelujah Holla Back.” [humor usually loosen’s a tense crowd, I wonder if all the aborted children were laughing] Well done. Though I have to say, I am personally disappointed that the “Barack O’Ballers” didn’t pull it out. Next year, if you need a 6-foot 2-inch forward with a decent jumper, you know where I live. [unfortunately we do]

Every one of you should be proud of what you have achieved at this institution. [except for Fr. Jenkins]

One hundred and sixty three classes of Notre Dame graduates have sat where you are today. Some were here during years that simply rolled into the next without much notice or fanfare — periods of relative peace and prosperity [and what’s wrong with peace and prosperity? Isn’t that what we should be striving for?] that required little by way of sacrifice or struggle.

You, however, are not getting off that easy.

Your class has come of age at a moment of great consequence for our nation and the world — a rare inflection point in history where the size and scope of the challenges before us require that we remake our world to renew its promise; that we align our deepest values [and what would those be Mr. President? a woman’s choice?] and commitments to the demands of a new age. It is a privilege and a responsibility afforded to few generations — and a task that you are now called to fulfill.

This is the generation that must find a path back to prosperity and decide how we respond to a global economy that left millions behind even before this crisis hit — an economy where greed and short-term thinking were too often rewarded at the expense of fairness, and diligence, and an honest day’s work.

We must decide how to save God’s creation from a changing climate [it’s required these days to have your green comment to show how much you care about the world, but not the unborn] that threatens to destroy it. We must seek peace at a time when there are those who will stop at nothing to do us harm, and when weapons in the hands of a few can destroy the many. And we must find a way to reconcile our ever-shrinking world with its ever-growing diversity — diversity of thought, of culture, and of belief.

In short, we must find a way to live together as one human family. [let’s start by not killing our family members before they make it out of the womb]

It is this last challenge that I’d like to talk about today.

For the major threats we face in the 21st century — whether it’s global recession or violent extremism; the spread of nuclear weapons or pandemic disease —do not discriminate. They do not recognize borders. They do not see color. They do not target specific ethnic groups. [but the unborn are a threatened class]

Moreover, no one person, or religion, or nation can meet these challenges alone. [Christ can] Our very survival has never required greater cooperation and understanding among all people from all places than at this moment in history. [Say this line 25, 50, & 100 years from now and it will still apply, it always applies]

Unfortunately, finding that common ground — recognizing that our fates are tied up, as Dr. King said, in a “single garment of destiny” — is not easy. [not we you want to make it okay to kill the unborn]

Part of the problem, of course, lies in the imperfections of man — our selfishness, our pride, our stubbornness, our acquisitiveness, our insecurities, our egos; all the cruelties large and small that those of us in the Christian tradition understand to be rooted in original sin. [Amen we agree on something]

We too often seek advantage over others. [abortion is just like that] We cling to outworn prejudice and fear those who are unfamiliar. Too many of us view life only through the lens of immediate self-interest and crass materialism; [these are the major reasons abortion exists] in which the world is necessarily a zero-sum game.

The strong too often dominate the weak, and too many of those with wealth and with power find all manner of justification for their own privilege in the face of poverty and injustice. And so, for all our technology and scientific advances, we see around the globe violence and want and strife that would seem sadly familiar to those in ancient times. [these last few lines sum up the presence of the abortion issue and embryonic stem cell research, we attack the unborn for our own gain whether it be economic, or physical]

We know these things; and hopefully one of the benefits of the wonderful education you have received is that you have had time to consider these wrongs in the world, [like abortion and embryonic stem cell research] and grown determined, each in your own way, to right them. [Amen]

And yet, one of the vexing things for those of us interested in promoting greater understanding and cooperation among people is the discovery that even bringing together persons of good will, men and women of principle and purpose, can be difficult.

The soldier and the lawyer may both love this country with equal passion, and yet reach very different conclusions on the specific steps needed to protect us from harm. The gay activist and the evangelical pastor may both deplore the ravages of HIV/AIDS, but find themselves unable to bridge the cultural divide that might unite their efforts. [well when one’s own actions causes these ravages it can cause a chasm]
Those who speak out against stem cell research may be rooted in admirable conviction about the sacredness of life, but so are the parents of a child with juvenile diabetes who are convinced that their son’s or daughter’s hardships can be relieved. [that doesn’t mean you kill someone else because they are small, very small, to “try” and heal your son or daughter, otherwise you destroy their own dignity as a human being]

The question, then, is how do we work through these conflicts? [by respecting and nurturing all life]

Is it possible for us to join hands in common effort? [not when you are killing others] As citizens of a vibrant and varied democracy, how do we engage in vigorous debate? How does each of us remain firm in our principles, and fight for what we consider right, without demonizing those with just as strongly held convictions on the other side? [unfortunately there may very well be demons on the other side of the debate, but a good question none the less]

Nowhere do these questions come up more powerfully than on the issue of abortion.

As I considered the controversy surrounding my visit here, [it’s good to hear President was forced to think about the issue of abortion] I was reminded of an encounter I had during my Senate campaign, one that I describe in a book I wrote called The Audacity of Hope.

A few days after I won the Democratic nomination, I received an email from a doctor who told me that while he voted for me in the primary, he had a serious concern [as he should] that might prevent him from voting for me in the general election. He described himself as a Christian who was strongly pro-life, but that’s not what was preventing him from voting for me. [it should have been]

What bothered the doctor was an entry that my campaign staff had posted on my Web site — an entry that said I would fight “right-wing ideologues who want to take away a woman’s right to choose.” [right to murder you mean]

The doctor said that he had assumed I was a reasonable person, [early in your political career I can see how he came to that conclusion, but could he today? I don’t think so] but that if I truly believed that every pro-life individual was simply an ideologue who wanted to inflict suffering on women, then I was not very reasonable. [the Dr. would be correct in my opinion]

He wrote, “I do not ask at this point that you oppose abortion, [he should have] only that you speak about this issue in fair-minded words.”

Fair-minded words.

After I read the doctor’s letter, I wrote back to him and thanked him.

I didn’t change my position, but I did tell my staff to change the words on my Web site. [as he realized he could get the votes of those waffling in the perceived middle of the issue of life]

And I said a prayer that night that I might extend the same presumption of good faith to others that the doctor had extended to me. Because when we do that — when we open our hearts and our minds to those who may not think like we do or believe what we do — that’s when we discover at least the possibility of common ground. [there is no common ground when it comes to a falsehood and an absolute truth, abortion is murder, that is an absolute truth]

That’s when we begin to say, “Maybe we won’t agree on abortion, but we can still agree that this is a heart-wrenching decision for any woman to make, [it’s heart-wrenching because it’s murder] with both moral and spiritual dimensions.

So let’s work together to reduce the number of women seeking abortions by reducing unintended pregnancies, [I believe here you mean to had out condoms and spread birth control which also causes abortion, and when it fails it puts someone on the path to either have an abortion or an unintended pregnancy] and making adoption more available, [making adoption more available Mr. President is something we can agree on, but now with same-sex marriages, which you say you oppose ,this issue becomes another landmine] and providing care and support for women who do carry their child to term. [I will agree with you again, twice in the same paragraph, maybe there is some common ground we can work for together]

Let’s honor the conscience of those who disagree with abortion, [then why are you trying to take it away] and draft a sensible conscience clause, [Mr. President I’m not sure what you mean by sensible] and make sure that all of our health care policies are grounded in clear ethics and sound science, [you mean like the sound science that life begins at conception] as well as respect for the equality of women.”

Understand — I do not suggest that the debate surrounding abortion can or should go away. No matter how much we may want to fudge it — indeed, while we know that the views of most Americans on the subject are complex and even contradictory — the fact is that at some level, the views of the two camps are irreconcilable.[well maybe he does have some logic] Each side will continue to make its case to the public with passion and conviction. But surely we can do so without reducing those with differing views to caricature. [I will admit I have and can be guilty of this, can I blame that on my fallen nature?]

Open hearts. Open minds. Fair-minded words. [is your heart and mind truly open Mr. President or would that cost you some votes]

It’s a way of life that has always been the Notre Dame tradition. [where has Notre Dame been on the life issue? Civil Rights in the 60s, Yes, Civil Rights for the unborn since the 70s, No] Father Hesburgh has long spoken of this institution as both a lighthouse and a crossroads.

The lighthouse that stands apart, shining with the wisdom of the Catholic tradition, while the crossroads is where “…differences of culture and religion and conviction can co-exist with friendship, civility, hospitality, and especially love.” And I want to join him and Father Jenkins in saying how inspired I am by the maturity and responsibility with which this class has approached the debate surrounding today’s ceremony. [A “classy” Catholic would not have invited you to speak or to honor you]

This tradition of cooperation and understanding is one that I learned in my own life many years ago — also with the help of the Catholic Church.

I was not raised in a particularly religious household, but my mother instilled in me a sense of service and empathy that eventually led me to become a community organizer after I graduated college.

A group of Catholic churches in Chicago helped fund an organization known as the Developing Communities Project, and we worked to lift up South Side neighborhoods that had been devastated when the local steel plant closed.

It was quite an eclectic crew. [I can only imagine]

Catholic and Protestant churches. Jewish and African-American organizers. Working-class black and white and Hispanic residents. All of us with different experiences. All of us with different beliefs. But all of us learned to work side by side because all of us saw in these neighborhoods other human beings who needed our help — to find jobs and improve schools. We were bound together in the service of others.

And something else happened during the time I spent in those neighborhoods.

Perhaps because the church folks I worked with were so welcoming and understanding; perhaps because they invited me to their services and sang with me from their hymnals; perhaps because I witnessed all of the good works their faith inspired them to perform, I found myself drawn – not just to work with the church, but to be in the church. It was through this service that I was brought to Christ. [I can only hope in this instance that through the Church again you will see the value of life]

At the time, Cardinal Joseph Bernardin was the Archbishop of Chicago. For those of you too young to have known him, he was a kind and good and wise man. A saintly man. I can still remember him speaking at one of the first organizing meetings I attended on the South Side. He stood as both a lighthouse and a crossroads – unafraid to speak his mind on moral issues ranging from poverty, AIDS, and abortion to the death penalty and nuclear war.

And yet, he was congenial and gentle in his persuasion, always trying to bring people together; always trying to find common ground. Just before he died, a reporter asked Cardinal Bernardin about this approach to his ministry. And he said, “You can’t really get on with preaching the Gospel until you’ve touched minds and hearts.”[this is why there are crisis pregnancy centers]

My heart and mind were touched by the words and deeds of the men and women I worked alongside with in Chicago. And I’d like to think that we touched the hearts and minds of the neighborhood families whose lives we helped change. For this, I believe, is our highest calling.

You are about to enter the next phase of your life at a time of great uncertainty.

You will be called upon to help restore a free market [oh yes back to the economy] that is also fair to all who are willing to work; to seek new sources of energy that can save our planet [got to be green]; to give future generations the same chance that you had to receive an extraordinary education.

And whether as a person drawn to public service, or someone who simply insists on being an active citizen[for life I hope], you will be exposed to more opinions and ideas broadcast through more means of communications than have ever existed before.

You will hear talking heads scream on cable, read blogs [ I hope] that claim definitive knowledge [I try], and watch politicians pretend to know what they’re talking about. [Like President Obama, I like the line though]

Occasionally, you may also have the great fortune of seeing important issues debated by well-intentioned, brilliant minds. In fact, I suspect that many of you will be among those bright stars.

In this world of competing claims about what is right and what is true, have confidence in the values with which you’ve been raised and educated. Be unafraid to speak your mind when those values are at stake. [speak out for life]

Hold firm to your [Catholic] faith and allow it to guide you on your journey. Stand as a lighthouse.

But remember too, that the ultimate irony of faith is that it necessarily admits doubt. [does it?]

It is the belief in things not seen. It is beyond our capacity as human beings to know with certainty what God has planned for us or what He asks of us, and those of us who believe must trust that His wisdom is greater than our own.

This doubt should not push us away from our faith. But it should humble us. It should temper our passions, and cause us to be wary of self-righteousness. It should compel us to remain open, and curious, and eager to continue the moral and spiritual debate that began for so many of you within the walls of Notre Dame.

And within our vast democracy, this doubt should remind us to persuade through reason, through an appeal whenever we can to universal rather than parochial principles, and most of all through an abiding example of good works, charity, kindness, and service that moves hearts and minds.

For if there is one law that we can be most certain of, it is the law that binds people of all faiths and no faith together. It is no coincidence that it exists in Christianity and Judaism; in Islam and Hinduism; in Buddhism and humanism.

It is, of course, the Golden Rule — the call to treat one another as we wish to be treated. [this rule would say we should not kill the “unwanted” baby or any baby, for I believe there was a time in your life Mr. President that you might have been an unwanted baby by more than a few yet your mother choose life] The call to love. To serve. To do what we can to make a difference in the lives of those with whom we share the same brief moment on this Earth.

So many of you at Notre Dame — by the last count, upwards of 80 percent — have lived this law of love through the service you’ve performed at schools and hospitals; international relief agencies and local charities.

That is incredibly impressive, and a powerful testament to this institution [a Catholic institution]. Now you must carry the tradition forward.

Make it a way of life. [Amen]

Because when you serve, it doesn’t just improve your community, it makes you a part of your community. It breaks down walls. It fosters cooperation. And when that happens — when people set aside their differences to work in common effort toward a common good; when they struggle together, and sacrifice together, and learn from one another — all things are possible.

After all, I stand here today, as President and as an African-American, on the 55th anniversary of the day that the Supreme Court handed down the decision in Brown v. the Board of Education.

Brown was of course the first major step in dismantling the “separate but equal” doctrine, but it would take a number of years and a nationwide movement to fully realize the dream of civil rights for all of God’s children.

There were freedom rides and lunch counters and Billy clubs, and there was also a Civil Rights Commission appointed by President Eisenhower. It was the twelve resolutions recommended by this commission that would ultimately become law in the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

There were six members of the commission.

It included five whites and one African-American; Democrats and Republicans; two Southern governors, the dean of a Southern law school, a Midwestern university president, and your own Father Ted Hesburgh, President of Notre Dame.

They worked for two years, and at times, President Eisenhower had to intervene personally since no hotel or restaurant in the South would serve the black and white members of the commission together.

Finally, when they reached an impasse in Louisiana, Father Ted flew them all to Notre Dame’s retreat in Land O’Lakes, Wisconsin, where they eventually overcame their differences and hammered out a final deal.

Years later, President Eisenhower asked Father Ted how on Earth he was able to broker an agreement between men of such different backgrounds and beliefs. And

Father Ted simply said that during their first dinner in Wisconsin, they discovered that they were all fishermen. And so he quickly readied a boat for a twilight trip out on the lake. They fished, and they talked, and they changed the course of history.
I will not pretend that the challenges we face will be easy, or that the answers will come quickly, or that all our differences and divisions will fade happily away. Life is not that simple. It never has been.

But as you leave here today, remember the lessons of Cardinal Bernardin, of Father Hesburgh, of movements for change both large and small.

Remember that each of us [including the unborn], endowed with the dignity possessed by all children of God, has the grace to recognize ourselves in one another; to understand that we all seek the same love of family and the same fulfillment of a life well-lived. Remember that in the end, we are all fishermen. [oh boy, thats your ending? “in the end, we are all fishermen”?]

If nothing else, that knowledge should give us faith that through our collective labor, and God’s providence, and our willingness to shoulder each other’s burdens, America will continue on its precious journey towards that more perfect union.

Congratulations to the Class of 2009, may God Bless you, and may God Bless the United States of America. [and how can he with the scourage of abortion]

Add your comments below on what you thought of the Presidents speach. GTM wants to hear from you.

Fr. Jenkins Address with GTM Commentary

They say the imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. So hopefully Fr. Z would be flattered that I copied his format of commenting on articles and speeches. Below are my some of my internal thoughts as I watched Fr. Jenkins introduce President Obama last Sunday. The speech below is word for word in the black. My comments are in the red.

Jesus said to “Love they neighbor as yourself” I’m trying hard to figure out how to accomplish that with these two. I think what is most scandalous, about the whole Notre Dame fiasco is that with as many people who were angered by the invite and the event is that there was absolutely no apology or recognition that some Catholics might be offended by the situation from Fr. Jenkins. Catholics and the larger Pro-Life community are justifiably angry with what has occurred.

Fr. Jenkins Graduation Address to Notre Dame Students
May 17th, 2009

President Obama, Fr. Hesburgh, Judge Noonan, Members of the Board of Trustees, Members of the faculty, staff, alumni, friends, parents, and most of all – the Notre Dame Class of 2009:

Several autumns ago, you came to Notre Dame from home….now Notre Dame has become home. And it always will be. For home is not where you live. Home is where you belong. You will always belong – and I pray you will always feel you belong – here at Notre Dame. [Hopefully Fr. Jenkin’s home will soon not be at Notre Dame]

You are … ND.

In my four years as President of your University [four is enough after the events of this spring] – I have found that even among those who did not go to Notre Dame, even among those who do not share the Catholic faith, there is a special expectation, a special hope, [the word hope is strategically placed five times in the first minute of the address, and plays right into President Obama’s hands] for what Notre Dame can accomplish in the world. They hope that Notre Dame will be one of the great universities in the nation, [unfortunately it once was a great university, now they are just hoping to be] but they also hope that it will send forth graduates who — grounded in deep moral values – [if this means folks who think it’s okay to honor Pro-Abortionists you can keep your moral values especially if they are “deep”] can help solve the world’s toughest problems.

Their [not mine] hope is in you, the graduates of 2009.

That is a good place for hope [can we stop with the patronizing hope] to be. I have great confidence in what your talent and energy can accomplish in the world. But I have a special optimism for what you can do inspired by faith. [I pray it’s still Roman Catholic faith]

It is your faith that will focus your talents and help you build the world you long to live in and leave to your children. [if you choose not to abort them]

The world you enter today is torn by division [its been like this since the fall of Adam & Eve] – and is fixed on its differences.

Differences must be acknowledged, and in some cases cherished. But too often differences lead to pride in self [maybe you should look in the mirror Father] and contempt [by definition of the word contempt Fr. Jenikins has shown it to the Bishops] for others, until two sides – taking opposing views of the same difference – demonize [abortion is intrinsically evil so I’m sure there are some demons around] each other. Whether the difference is political, religious, racial, or national — trust falls, anger rises, and cooperation ends [my catechesis told me that I should never cooperate with evil, abortion is evil] … even for the sake of causes all sides care about. [if we all cared about the lives of the unborn “legal” abortion would not be the law of the land]

More than any problem in the arts or sciences – engineering or medicine – easing the hateful divisions between human beings is the supreme challenge of this age. If we can solve this problem, we have a chance to come together and solve all the others. [fallen human beings cannot solve this problem without the help of God]

A Catholic university – and its graduates – are specially called, and I believe specially equipped, to help meet this challenge. [this depends on their education, Notre Dame appears Catholic in name only these days]

As a Catholic university, we are part of the Church [then act like it] – members of the “mystical body of Christ” animated by our faith in the Gospel. [read it] Yet we are also – most of us – citizens of the United States – this extraordinary evolving expression of human freedom. We are called to serve each community of which we’re a part, and this call is captured in the motto over the door of the east nave of the Basilica: “God, Country, Notre Dame.” [This weekend it appears to be “Country, Notre Dame, God”]

As we serve the Church, we can persuade believers by appeals to both faith and reason. As we serve our country, we will be motivated by faith, but we cannot appeal only to faith. We must also engage in a dialogue that appeals to reason that all can accept. [How can you dialogue with someone who will not appeal to the scientific logic that life begins at conception?]

When we face differences with fellow citizens, we will be tested: do we keep trying, with love and a generous spirit, to appeal to ethical principles that might be persuasive to others – or do we condemn those who differ with us for not seeing the truth that we see? [Fr. Jenkins, I do not condemn you, but you have yet to demonstrate that you see the truth I do]

The first approach can lead to healing, the second to hostility. We know which approach we are called to as disciples of Christ.

Pope Benedict said last year from the South Lawn of the White House: “I am confident that the American people will find in their religious beliefs a precious source of insight and an inspiration to pursue reasoned, responsible and respectful dialogue in the effort to build a more humane and free society.” [did you miss his address to Catholic educators?]

Genuine faith does not inhibit the use of reason; it purifies it of and distorting self-interest. As it does so, Pope Benedict has said, “human reason is emboldened to pursue its noble purpose of serving mankind, giving expression to our deepest common aspirations and extending … public debate.”

Tapping the full potential of human reason to seek God and serve humanity is a central mission of the Catholic Church. The natural place for the Church to pursue this mission is at a Catholic university. The University of Notre Dame belongs to an academic tradition of nearly a thousand years – born of the Church’s teaching that human reason, tempered by faith, is a gift of God, a path to religious truth, and a means for seeking the common good in secular life.

It is out of this duty to serve the common good that we seek to foster dialogue with all people of good will, regardless of faith, background or perspective. We will listen to all views, [but we don’t have to provide the platform] and always bear witness for what we believe. Insofar as we play this role, we can be what Pope John Paul II said a Catholic university is meant to be – “a primary and privileged place for a fruitful dialogue between the Gospel and culture” ~ Ex corde ecclesiae, 3.34. [stop cherry picking lines and read the whole document in context]

Of course, dialogue is never instantaneous; it doesn’t begin and end in an afternoon. [unfortunately that’s all Notre Dame has Obama there for, an afternoon, so I guess this isn’t dialogue after all] It is an ongoing process made possible by many acts of courtesy and gestures of respect, by listening carefully and speaking honestly. Paradoxically, support for these actions often falls as the need for them rises – so they are most controversial precisely when they can be most helpful. [I will agree that the dialog surrounding abortion would not have happened over the last few months had Obama not been giving the commencement speech at Notre Dame. God can obviously pull good out of a bad situation, but it doesn’t mean we should cause bad situations so that God can prove Himself]

As we all know, a great deal of attention has surrounded President Obama’s visit to Notre Dame. [really?] We honor all people of good will who have come to this discussion respectfully and out of deeply held conviction. [so we are to respect a deeply convicted pro-abortionist at a Catholic university, because you assume he has “good will”?]

Most of the debate has centered on Notre Dame’s decision to invite and honor the President. [as it should be] Less attention has been focused on the President’s decision to accept.

President Obama has come to Notre Dame, though he knows well that we are fully supportive of Church teaching on the sanctity of human life, and we oppose his policies on abortion and embryonic stem cell research. [he has come because he knows he can divide the Catholic vote, which he must do in order to remain the President in four years]

Others might have avoided this venue for that reason. But President Obama is not someone who stops talking to those who differ with him. [Obama always talks, he just never changes his position]

Mr. President: This is a principle we share. [Obama only shares such principle with those who agree with him or who pander to him]

As the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council wrote in their pastoral constitution Gaudium et Spes: “Respect and love ought to be extended also to those who think or act differently than we do in social, political and even religious matters. In fact, the more deeply we come to understand their ways of thinking through such courtesy and love, the more easily will we be able to enter into dialogue with them.” [Fr. Jenkins maybe you should read the whole document and what it says about the life of the unborn and how it is to be protected]

If we want to extend courtesy, respect and love – and enter into dialogue – then surely we can start by acknowledging what is honorable in others.

We welcome President Obama to Notre Dame, and we honor him [in defiance of the Bishops of the Catholic Church] for the qualities and accomplishments the American people [and 54% of Catholic Voters who ignored the call of their Bishops] admired in him when they elected him. He is a man who grew up without a father, [by a mother who choose life verses an illegal abortion at the time] whose family was fed for a time with the help of food stamps — yet who mastered the most rigorous academic challenges, who turned his back on wealth to serve the poor, who sought the Presidency at a young age against long odds, and who – on the threshold of his goal — left the campaign to go to the bedside of his dying grandmother who helped raise him. [verses helping his mother obtain an illegal abortion at the time]

He is a leader who has great respect for the role of faith and religious institutions in public life. [that helped get him elected] He has said: “Secularists are wrong when they ask believers to leave their religion at the door [just leave behind their beliefs on the life issue] before entering into the public square.”
He is the first African American to be elected President, yet his appeal powerfully transcends race. In a country that has been deeply wounded by racial hatred – he has been a healer. [except when it comes to abortion]

He has set ambitious goals across a sweeping agenda [to expand abortion] — extending health care [read… abortion] coverage to millions who don’t have it, improving education [on how to get abortions] especially for those who most need it, promoting renewable energy for the sake of our economy, our security, and our climate.

He has declared the goal of a world without nuclear weapons and has begun arms reduction talks with the Russians.

He has pledged to accelerate America’s fight against poverty, [by killing its most defenseless] to reform immigration to make it more humane, and to advance America’s merciful work in fighting disease in the poorest places on earth. [by making abortions available around the world]

As commander-in-chief and as chief executive, he embraces with confidence both the burdens of leadership and the hopes [unfortunately not Pro-Life hopes] of his country.

Ladies and Gentlemen: The President of the United States.

I may be too harsh towards Fr. Jenkins and President Obama, and if I have been I ask for the Lord’s forgiveness, but all I can think about are the millions of unborn children who have been murder due to the apathy and approval displayed by the majority of those in our nation who have failed act in their defense.

US Bishops

I think it’s great that the Bishops of this country are starting to finally speak out in a unified voice on the issue of abortion. Last November a large # of Bishops spoke out letting people know that it was wrong to vote for a politician that was Pro-Abortion when there is a legitimate alternative that was not. Recently 77 Bishops & Cardinals spoke out against honoring President Obama at Notre Dame.

But what I want to ask is when are the Bishops going to stop just speaking out and start doing something? When will baring Pro-Abortion politicians from Holy Communion become the norm and not the exception? When will Catholic schools and hospitals truly follow Catholic teaching?

Again I think it’s great to for them to make statements as it is more than they have done in the past few decades, but as Catholics our faith is to present itself in our works. Statements are just that statements, but actions are what makes the difference.

Heavenly Father, please guide our Bishops, those that have succeeded the Apostles that you chose in the flesh. Help them lead the way so that your flock may safely reach your heavenly kingdom, Amen.