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The real issue

Letter to the Editor | Wednesday, April 22, 2009

In regards to commencement, it strikes me that some people may be missing the point.

The issue at hand here isn’t about race (I acknowledge and appreciate the significance that this country has finally elected a President who is African-American). It’s not about political party (I am not registered with either Democrats or Republicans, but usually opt for whatever candidate I think will be best for the job). The issue is not about refusing to engage the outside world or refusing to dialogue. It’s also not about being extremist (I think that showing pictures of aborted infants is disrespectful to the lives of those little ones).

The issue here is that regardless of his race or political party, the policies that President Obama has supported are not in keeping with some of our most fundamental beliefs on life as Catholics. This is not just a “single issue” but the most basic of issues! For example, I have done a lot of volunteer work with people in the community with developmental disabilities (such as down syndrome, cerebral palsy, etc.) The rate for abortion of a child with down syndrome is around 90 percent. How can we serve those who are poor, or suffering, if we don’t first establish their basic right to life? President Obama also supports the conscience clause, which would force Catholic medical providers to provide abortions or lose federal funding. That doesn’t seem to be in keeping with Catholic teaching, does it?

President Obama has good qualities, and I acknowledge that some of his policies are in line with Catholic Social thought, but some of his policies go against our most basic beliefs as Catholics. They fail to defend the lives of the weakest of the weak. These babies grow up to be the very ones we serve (like my dear friends with disabilities). Why is it that we find it so easy to dismiss those little ones as a single issue? This is not just a single issue … it is the issue. This is not about being open to listening to different ideas, but being willing to defend those who are the weakest members of society.

Michele Sagala


Lewis Hall

April 22