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viewpoint

Obama’s ‘honorary’ degree

| Thursday, October 1, 2015

Some seven years ago, your University and President Fr. John Jenkins conferred an honorary degree on the United States’ most pro-abortion president. In response to well-earned criticism, Fr. Jenkins promised that this action would result in a dialogue with the President, presumably over such issues as abortion. I have yet to see or hear of any report issued by Fr. Jenkins as to the content of this “dialogue.” Perhaps The Observer could direct its journalistic endeavors to reach out to Fr. Jenkins for a response. I keep hearing, as the parent of an alumna, that Notre Dame is and was such a special place, and a wonderful Catholic institution. For me, I think the iconic Fr. Hesburgh put Notre Dame on a much different path. It was a path that led to President Obama’s “honorary” degree, though for what honor I do not know.

Mark S. Fenice

Sept. 25

The views expressed in this Letter to the Editor are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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  • Johnny Whichard

    Thank you.

  • Rufus

    . . . not to mention the honorary degrees given to Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, who were equally undeserving.

    • Johnny Whichard

      Equally undeserving? Obama has helped murder countless Americans in his term….over a million a year.

  • Steve

    I like that you pointed out that it was fr. hesburgh who put ND on a path towards academic greatness at the cost of their previous identity. ND cannot and will not be able to have it both ways. I, for one, hope they pull a georgetown and choose to let the catholic stuff come second

    • Johnny Whichard

      Okay, Steve….send your kids to Georgetown. If you don’t value life pre-birth, please leave! 🙂

  • Jake

    According to the Church, no one is without sin. Therefore, why give an honorary degree to anyone? Unless the Virgin Mary herself comes and speaks at Notre Dame, by your logic, no one is deserving of such an award.
    Why cannot we not simply accept the privilege of having such influential members of society, in line with the Church or not, on campus? What about Bush? Was the war in Iraq a notable part of his presidency that the Church would extol? Likely, no. However, people accepted his presence on campus and raised no qualms about the honorary degree bestowed upon him. I think you should reevaluate your grievances and truly examine if they’re consistent.

    • Johnny Whichard

      Abortion => 1 million murdered Americans a year. Please try in your own form of logic to equate that to the war in Iraq.

      • Jake

        You can’t simply form a hierarchy of evils. Is there some magical number of wrong doings inflicted by a person that the university should then no longer invite them to speak? Is the line placed at 100,000 deaths? Is that when an honorary degree is no longer acceptable? All president committ some evil in the eyes of the church. However, again, it’s the idea of open discourse that we foster here at ND. It’s the ability to have such incredible people on campus that makes ND so special.

        • Johnny Whichard

          Jake you really need to look into the history of Planned Parenthood. Go look at its founder…and tell me if that’s something ANY president should “support”. Obama has fought to keep the genocide of African Americans alive. Yes, war is evil…but mass murdering hundreds of thousands of African Americans a year is satanic. Anybody who supports Planned Parenthood should not be awarded an honorary degree by the Catholic hub of the Western hemisphere. I’m not defending Bush or any other president….I’m just saying Jenkins should have taken a stand against eugenics.

          • HolyHandGrenade

            Where is the line for sin being “satanic” or not?

            Also, source on the african genocide claim?

          • Johnny Whichard

            Google Margaret Sanger

          • HolyHandGrenade

            That’s unrelated to my request for a source

  • “I think the real test of a great university is that you are fair to the opposition and that you get their point of view out there. You engage them. You want to get students’ minds working. You don’t want mindless Catholics. You want intelligent, successful Catholics.”

    Father Ted Hesburgh to the “New York Times” in October 2006 on his support for the no-longer-in-existence “Queer Film Festival”, as reported in “The Observer”. Why “no-longer-in-existence”? The Festival was systematically legislated out of existence, even though supported by Father Hesburgh. Also from “The Observer”, Father Jenkins alluding to the Festival in a speech to students and faculty as President:

    “Precisely because academic freedom is such a sacred value, we must be clear about its appropriate limits. I do not believe that freedom of expression has absolute priority in every circumstance.”

    Question 1: Which sounds like words spoken by the president of a top-25 world-class university?

    Question 2: “Freedom of expression” is afforded an “abortion supporter” in President Obama yet squelched to artists exploring the nature of personal identity? Where’s the consistency there?

  • NDaniels

    We have tested the strength of the opposing arguments in regards to the Sanctity of human life from the moment of conception, and the Sanctity of marriage and the family as God intended and found they have no merit. Speciation occurs at conception, thus every son or daughter of a human person can only be a human person. Only a man and woman can exist in relationship as husband and wife; marriage cannot in essence be and not be existing in relationship as husband and wife. It is not unjust discrimination that only a man can be a son, brother, husband, father and only a woman can be a daughter, sister, wife, mother.
    The marital act is Life-affirming and Life-sustaining, and can only be consummated between a man and woman, united in marriage as husband and wife. No one should be coerced into condoning the engaging in or affirmation of sexual acts outside the marital act.
    Justice begins with respect for the inherent personal and relational Dignity of the human person, who, from the moment of conception, has been created in the Image and Likeness of God, equal in Dignity, while being complementary as a son or daughter.
    One cannot be securing our inherent Right to Life, to Liberty, and to The Pursuit of Happiness that can only be endowed to us from The True God, The Blessed Trinity, while denying that God Is The Author of Love, Life, and Marriage, simultaneously.