Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Contemplating Life Under the Golden Dome...

"Love your neighbor as yourself," the Bible tells us, but if you're a member of the Catholic hierarchy like Cardinal Francis George of Chicago or Bishop John D'Arcy of Indiana, love means never having your president speak at Notre Dame.

Or at least, not having President Obama speak - because he's a pro-choice guy and that doesn't swing with the Catholic pro-life doctrine. I'm sure they love the president like they love themselves - they just don't want to hear him speak on hallowed, Catholic soil.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Cardinal George apparently called Obama's selection "an extreme embarrassment."

In a statement, Bishop D'Arcy wants Notre Dame to ask itself "if by this decision it has chosen prestige over truth."

Thankfully, the president of Notre Dame has not caved to the pressure (yet.) I want President Obama to speak at Notre Dame - I want him to talk about the morality of the pro-life stance.

And by that, I'm not talking about the abortion issue at all. I'm talking about the fact that this group of graduates is about to enter the job market at a watershed moment in our history.

A focus on life is needed at a time like this - the life of each and every graduate. How will these graduates live and work and spend the rest of their days?

Will people graduating in the worst economy since the Great Depression even be able to get work?

As these students move forward into their life, I want President Obama to charge them to live morally - within the principles of the Bible they worship as Catholics. To do unto others as they would have them do unto them. To not covet the things that belong to their neighbors....

There's a thought. Let's ask those graduates to think twice before racing out to get the iPod, the car, the granite countertop, the copper gutters, the stuff that the neighbor has.

I want him to ask these students to live their lives knowing that money is the means, not the end. That if something doesn't add up, then it's probably not right. That maybe it's better to leave a job than to lose their soul.

I want the president to remind these students that a focus on fattening the bank book at the expense of reason and sound business practices might be at odds with their God's rules of order.

Notre Dame's class of 2009 are graduating into a storm of controversy, much of which is out of their control. For them - for all of us - there is more to the issue of "choice" than whether or not to have an abortion. Out in the "real world," these graduates will need to make moral choices every day. Like the institution from which they graduated, they will be called on to choose between "prestige" and "truth" on many occasions.

They will learn that life can be a slippery slope when you're in the middle of it.

I want the president to remind these students that a Notre Dame education, built on the foundation of morality provided by the Catholic Church, can be the key to success in this life - in so many ways. I want them to understand that the life they lead is their's to choose.

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