Thousands of pro-life Catholics have called on Father John Jenkins, President of Notre Dame University, to rescind his invitation to President Barack Obama as commencement speaker this Sunday. The faithful are offended that the University is bestowing an honorary Doctor of Laws on a president whose policies, political and judicial appointments are the most pro-abortion of any president in history.
Few really expected Jenkins to do so. But what should Obama have done?
Notre Dame University bears the name of the mother of the Lord Jesus Christ, a wonderful, courageous, and wise woman. The only recorded advice that Mary ever gave concerned her Son: "Whatever He says to you, do it."
As professed followers of Christ, the conduct of Jenkins and Obama seems contrary to Mary's advice.
The questions for Jenkins are:
- "A house divided against itself cannot stand." If you can welcome the most pro-abortion president ever to the campus of Notre Dame, why have you had faithful, pro-life priests and laymen arrested for praying and engaging in peaceful protest on the campus?
- "No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money." Why are you conferring a Doctor of Laws degree on a man whose policies violate God's laws? How much money has this prestige cost Notre Dame thus far?
- Why are you violating the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops by giving Obama a platform and honorary degree: "The Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions."
The questions for Obama:
- Wouldn't it have been more honorable to remove yourself as speaker and end the strife in this religious community? How can you accept an honorary degree as one who "is inspiring this nation to heal its divisions of religion" when your presence at Notre Dame creates such acrimony?
- How do you reconcile your pro-abortion policies with your professed belief in Christ and Scripture?
- "When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: ‘Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!'" Aren't you glad this teen-age mother didn't think she was being "punished with a baby"?
- "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." Why aren't the unborn included in your "audacious hope for a brighter tomorrow"?
- "Do not murder." How do you justify denying innocent unborn children due process of law while making certain that suspected terrorists enjoy constitutional rights?
- "Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven." You may not feel that you owe any of us an explanation for your anti-life policies, but you'd better be prepared to give one.
- "Rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter. If you say, "Behold, we did not know this," does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it, and will he not requite man according to his work?" Apparently, the point at which a baby gets human rights is still above your pay grade.
From 1989-1992, I represented hundreds of pro-life activists who were arrested in southern California for peaceful civil disobedience at abortion clinics. My clients included priests, evangelical pastors, homemakers, nuns, doctors, truck drivers, teachers, construction workers, every day, rock-solid Americans who believe that pre-born human life should be defended all the way to jail. Some were arrested for doing nothing more than standing on a public sidewalk to offer information, medical care and housing to women approaching an abortion clinic. Some were sued for defamation by the largest private abortion provider in California because they dared to call him "a baby killer."
Truth is a defense against defamation. The abortionist admitted under cross-examination that he pulled human heads, arms and legs from the wombs of aborted women. Even so, he also claimed that knowing when human life begins was above his pay grade.
Seeing abuse and arrest at abortion clinics is nothing new. Watching it happen to pro-life people on the campus of the nation's foremost Catholic university is beyond comprehension.
Every professing Christian should heed Mary's advice. That includes the man who runs the University named for her and the president who claims to care about empathy and ending religious strife.
Jan LaRue is an attorney and frequent contributor to American Thinker.