12 April 2009

Culture Truce

So apparently some Notre Dame alumni and sundry angry Cathos are getting all up in the University's grill about inviting Obama to commencement and granting him an honorary degree while he is so obviously godless in his defense of women's rights. Quoth one alumnus (and Reaganite) in the Times:

[I]t’s important to remember that Notre Dame is a Catholic institution. The school openly flouts the guidelines of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops when it bestows an honorary degree upon a president who supports something anathema to the faith: abortion. Catholic doctrine holds that life begins at conception; as a candidate, Mr. Obama said that determining when life begins “is above my pay grade,” not an answer at all. There is every sign that his administration has a pro-abortion orientation.

The moral conflict could not be clearer. But here’s a solution: Notre Dame should welcome President Obama as its principal commencement speaker but should not give him an honorary degree. You see, policy positions do matter when it comes to honorary degrees, because the degrees honor something.
Win-win right?

But I have the really perfect solution to this "problem." Obama should attend the commencement at Notre Dame, give a gracious but steadfast speech in support of the right to choose, and then decline the honorary degree from the University. That way, a Catholic University doesn't have to hold its nose while begrudgingly handing him a degree, Obama won't be tainted by owning a piece of paper granted by an institution that supports the oppression of women, and yet he will be able to display his magnanimous empathy for the sensitivities of a herd of reactionary morons.


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