the logical fallacy of isolating and overemphasizing questionable issues while ignoring or distorting the fundamental and absolutely essential ones
President Barak Obama's recent address to the graduating class of 2009 at Notre Dame University demonstrated precisely WHY he should not have been invited to be the Commencement Speaker in the first place. Yes, as President of the United States of America he deserves every honor and respect due his office. When he walks into a room, American citizens should stand as a sign of respect for our Commander in Chief. As a pro-abortion politician, however, he should NEVER be invited to any Catholic college or university campus as the Commencement Speaker. PERIOD. He can visit any campus as President of the USA but the unique and distinct honor and privilege of speaking to graduating seniors is something reserved to those whose values reflect the moral teachings supposedly upheld by all Catholic educational institutions.
It is wonderful that the first African-American has been elected to the highest office in our nation. Someday, we'll also have the first woman, the first Hispanic, the first Jew, and even the first Italo-American. In all these cases, however, it is not the race, gender or ethnic background which matters, rather, it is their qualifications for the job. Competency is colorless, genderless and transcends all cultures and backgrounds. Speaking to graduating college seniors at Commencement is an HONOR not a right. It is something bestowed to someone whose VALUES and MORAL PRINCIPLES coincide and support the very institution extending the invitation to speak. While is a lot of agreement and compatibility with President Obama's position on a variety of issues, there is one serious point of departure. More than a mere discrepancy, his vigorous pro-abortion rights stand and decisions totally invalidate his appropriateness to be Commencement Speaker.
While he waxed and waned the graduates, the faculty and the parents in South Bend, President Obama also demonstrated the oxymoron of his very presence on a Catholic campus. The right to LIFE is a fundamental natural and inalienable right. It comes from human nature and is rooted in the Natural Law. It is not a creation or effect of civil law. The Constitution does not give us our human rights, rather, it PROTECTS what we possess by virtue of being a human person.
He told the graduates that the economy and the environment are important issues for all Americans. What about the right to life? What good is a sound economy and a safe environment if an unborn baby cannot be guaranteed his or her right to live and grow up in that same world?
Here are the crucial parts of his speech:
Those who speak out against stem cell research may be rooted in admirable conviction about the sacredness of life, but so are the parents of a child with juvenile diabetes who are convinced that their son’s or daughter’s hardships can be relieved. The question, then, is how do we work through these conflicts?
Is it possible for us to join hands in common effort? As citizens of a vibrant and varied democracy, how do we engage in vigorous debate? How does each of us remain firm in our principles, and fight for what we consider right, without demonizing those with just as strongly held convictions on the other side?Nowhere do these questions come up more powerfully than on the issue of abortion.
As I considered the controversy surrounding my visit here, I was reminded of an encounter I had during my Senate campaign, one that I describe in a book I wrote called The Audacity of Hope.
A few days after I won the Democratic nomination, I received an email from a doctor who told me that while he voted for me in the primary, he had a serious concern that might prevent him from voting for me in the general election. He described himself as a Christian who was strongly pro-life, but that’s not what was preventing him from voting for me.What bothered the doctor was an entry that my campaign staff had posted on my Web site — an entry that said I would fight “right-wing ideologues who want to take away a woman’s right to choose.” The doctor said that he had assumed I was a reasonable person, but that if I truly believed that every pro-life individual was simply an ideologue who wanted to inflict suffering on women, then I was not very reasonable. He wrote, “I do not ask at this point that you oppose abortion, only that you speak about this issue in fair-minded words.”
Fair-minded words. After I read the doctor’s letter, I wrote back to him and thanked him. I didn’t change my position, but I did tell my staff to change the words on my Web site.
And I said a prayer that night that I might extend the same presumption of good faith to others that the doctor had extended to me. Because when we do that — when we open our hearts and our minds to those who may not think like we do or believe what we do — that’s when we discover at least the possibility of common ground. That’s when we begin to say, “Maybe we won’t agree on abortion, but we can still agree that this is a heart-wrenching decision for any woman to make, with both moral and spiritual dimensions. So let’s work together to reduce the number of women seeking abortions by reducing unintended pregnancies, and making adoption more available, and providing care and support for women who do carry their child to term. Let’s honor the conscience of those who disagree with abortion, and draft a sensible conscience clause, and make sure that all of our health care policies are grounded in clear ethics and sound science, as well as respect for the equality of women.”
Understand — I do not suggest that the debate surrounding abortion can or should go away. No matter how much we may want to fudge it — indeed, while we know that the views of most Americans on the subject are complex and even contradictory — the fact is that at some level, the views of the two camps are irreconcilable. Each side will continue to make its case to the public with passion and conviction. But surely we can do so without reducing those with differing views to caricature.
Open hearts. Open minds. Fair-minded words.
. . .
In this world of competing claims about what is right and what is true, have confidence in the values with which you’ve been raised and educated. Be unafraid to speak your mind when those values are at stake.
Hold firm to your faith and allow it to guide you on your journey. Stand as a lighthouse. But remember too, that the ultimate irony of faith is that it necessarily admits doubt.
It is the belief in things not seen. It is beyond our capacity as human beings to know with certainty what God has planned for us or what He asks of us, and those of us who believe must trust that His wisdom is greater than our own.
I could not help rhetorically ask myself, how can one 'be unafraid to speak your mind when [your] values are at stake" while at the same time find common ground with those who claim the unborn have no right to life? Either abortion is evil or it is not. If evil, it must be opposed. The unjust killing of innocent human life is never justified. The ends never justifies the means. Was this not the rationale for the Nuremburg Trials after WWII?
For if there is one law that we can be most certain of, it is the law that binds people of all faiths and no faith together. It is no coincidence that it exists in Christianity and Judaism; in Islam and Hinduism; in Buddhism and humanism.
That ONE LAW is the Natural Moral Law which the Gentile knows by reason and which the believer knows by faith, according to Saint Paul. Neither Caesar nor the Senate can abrogate any citizen from it, according to Cicero. No President, no Congress and no Supreme Court can dissolve or distort, remove or alter the ethical principles governing every human being on earth from the beginning of time to the end of the world. Abortion was, is and always will be a grave moral evil. Original Sin and its after-effect of concupiscence have darkenend the human intellect, weakened the human will and disordered the human passions so that it sadly and regretfully took time for society to see the intrinsic evil of racism, slavery, apartheid and segregation. Now that their sinfulness have been recognized, they can never be reincorporated into civil society. Abortion and euthanasia are grave immoral evils since they target innocent human life with the ultimate natural threat, i.e., death itself. When death is intentionally imposed unjustly on innocent human life, it is MURDER plain and simple. How can there be common ground? Should Rosa Parks have given up her seat on the bus in the name of COMMON GROUND? Should Dr Martin Luther King, Jr not marched from Selma to Montgomery in order to gain common ground with those who espoused the legitimacy of racial segregation? Racism and segregation are moral evils which cannot be tolerated just to prevent discord. PEACEFUL CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE is what the heroes of the Civil Rights Movement embraced. They did not dilute their moral outrage nor did they restrain their legal opposition in order to foster 'common ground' with those who took the opposite position. Certainly, we can and must employ non-violent, peaceful and legal means of public discourse to express our disagreements. Civility and politeness need not be alien to our cause.
Nevertheless, President Obama tells graduates at a Catholic college that the abortion debate is simply IRRECONCILABLE. Would women be able to vote today had the Suffrage Movement just said that they had irreconcilable differences and we need common ground? The Pro-Life movement is no different from the Civil Rights Movement or the SUffrage Movement. Denying human beings their inalienable right to life can never be condoned or 'legalized'. Nazi Germany and Apartheid South Africa tried enacting immoral laws which denied human rights to human beings and yet they were as immoral as ever. Whether Congress, the Supreme Court, the President or any State Governor or Legislature enacts any so-called laws to contrary, human beings have intrinsic rights, like the RIGHT TO LIFE. Otherwise, if this is not the case, then we had no business condemning war crimes after WWII or any conflict.
Would a Jewish college have invited an Arab politician to speak at Commencement if he or she publicly espoused their belief that the State of Israel should not exist? Of course not. Why then, did an allegedly Catholic college like Notre Dame invite a pronounced PRO-ABORTION politican to speak at graduation ceremonies? This President has unraveled all the prolife progress done in a quarter century since Roe v. Wade by his signature and policies to make abortion available across the nation. SHAME ON YOU NOTRE DAME.