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Just embrace it

Letter to the Editor | Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I am a pro-life Roman Catholic, and as such, my first reaction to the announcement of President Obama as Commencement speaker was astonishment, followed closely by a desire to protest this decision. I signed the Cardinal Newman Society’s petition. But then I came to the realization that no matter how many people protest, the University is not going to rescind its invitation. That would be like slapping our nation’s president across the face. Petitioning Fr. Jenkins is fruitless; Obama’s coming is inevitable.

Instead, we should ask how we can bring good out of what may seem like a bad decision. Fr. Jenkins and many others have suggested that this will provide a “basis of an engagement” with Obama. But it will not do so unless we actively engage him. The massive support that has been garnered against the University should be redirected towards the true cause of its protest, namely, Obama himself. A petition should be speedily created to show Obama the magnitude of the opposition to FOCA here at Notre Dame.

Furthermore, we could ask Fr. Jenkins to make good on his promise of “engagement” with Obama. Giving a simple Commencement speech does not allow the president to engage in an intellectual discussion with our University. Jenkins should invite Obama to take part in an academic debate of pro-life principles while he is here at Notre Dame.

Joey Kuhn



March 23