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Right kind of pride

Letter to the Editor | Thursday, April 16, 2009

Pride? Four years ago I was overcome with pride when my son was admitted to Notre Dame. His attendance here buoyed our extended family as everyone learned, and I re-learned, so many fine Irish traditions. We have long looked forward to graduation day as a celebration of his achievement and that of his classmates.

Our pride grew further when we learned the president, who so inspires the young and in whom we have all placed so much hope, would speak to his class at Commencement. Those who intend to protest the president’s presence ask too much of Notre Dame families. The pro-life movement has always asked us to ignore the distinction between sins that, because of broad societal consensus, are also condemned as civil crimes (like murder) and those (like abortion and adultery) that are not. They further demand that fealty to the Church’s official position on abortion be the only litmus test for our political leaders, regardless of that leader’s stand on other critical issues of life and death.

But the protestors seek yet one more thing here. They ask that we, who have with tears of pride and much sacrifice, cheered and consoled and supported our children these four long years, now turn this moment over to them in order to advance a cause. That’s pride, but not the good kind.

My answer is simple: No. May 17 belongs to my son and his classmates. They earned it. They are my only cause on that day.

Nick Simeonidis


Class of 1986

April 16