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Wake up Americans

Observer Viewpoint | Thursday, November 11, 2004

Do you remember that day during senior year of high school when you got that fat envelope with the Notre Dame seal? Why were we the ones selected from a huge applicant pool? According to Admissions, it wasn’t because we were Catholic.

Instead, each of us showed that we were enthusiastic leaders, critical thinkers and difference-makers. Under this impression, I was upset to read Orlando Rubiano’s letter and hear his call for the entire Notre Dame family to define our views entirely in terms of Catholic teaching. Although not all Notre Dame students define themselves religiously as Roman Catholic, most, if not all, of us define ourselves politically as Americans.

Catholics strive to live according to Church teaching, but how many succeed? We must remember that there is more to Catholic doctrine than opposing abortion and upholding the sanctity of marriage. Among other things we, as Catholics, are called to humble ourselves to the Lord – often difficult to do – take no part in the seven deadly sins – I remind this campus that drunkenness is a form of gluttony – and love all our neighbors, regardless of their faiths. Until each of us can truly live according to all Catholic principles, we cannot expect non-Catholic Americans to live by them as well.

Rubino said that Sen. John Kerry’s stance on abortion was that of a coward. Although Kerry’s position may be weak from a Catholic viewpoint, from an American viewpoint, it is courageous. After all, since when is defending the constitutional rights of Americans a cowardly action? We are proud to call heroes the thousands of Americans who have given their lives defending our rights and freedoms, including freedom from religious tyranny. As we live our lives, I hope that we all remember that we were accepted into Notre Dame because of our ambition to change the world for the better. Each of us will, at one time or another, have the opportunity to do so. Let us use that time to make America, and the world, a better place for all people, not just those who agree with our Catholic beliefs.

Erin Burns


Farley Hall

Nov. 10