To Speak or Not To Speak?

In Uncategorized on April 19, 2009 at 1:22 PM

On the blog post, Obama’s a Protestant… and? I made this statement, “So… the life loving fighting Irish aren’t supposed to hold their country’s President accountable for his defense of  the Genocide of the American Unborn simply because he is a protestant. That seems shallow to me.” This was commentary on the philosophy or reasoning behind Notre Dames’ President’s remarks, saying that because he’s a Protestant not Catholic we don’t have to hold him accountable to our beliefs on abortion. It was not saying that he should be outcasted from speaking to any Christian circles.

This is the comment that catalyzed this blog, 

“Although I do see the concern you have brought up, I also don’t see why President Obama should be outcasted from speaking to any Christian circles. He’s not the pastor of the university, he’s the guest speaker. I passionately disagree with Obama’s views on abortion, but at the same time, is he giving a speech on abortion? No, he’s giving a commencement speech, period. The number one problem that people see with Christians today is judgement, and saying Obama shouldn’t give this speech because of his views on something he’s not talking about is only putting that stereotype into concrete. I feel this situation is being blown way out of proportion. He’s our president, he has been placed above us and we need to respect our authority and not shun him from all Christianity.”

I agree with everything here. I do not feel that either side is right in this Notre Dame (blown out of proportion) controversy over this commencement speech. Inviting Obama is good, protesting is good. With that said, I would not have invited our President to speak, not that there’s anything wrong with it, but only for the sake of the graduates. The commencement ceremony and speech belongs to the graduates and if I were the University’s President I would avoid controversy surrounding a commencement speech.

I see only good coming from inviting people with opposing views to speak at any other setting. Like the forum Rick Warren’s church, Saddleback, held with McCain and Obama was absolutely terrific. Notre Dame, a place that is against abortion, inviting our President, a leader who is for abortion, would produce much needed good. But with a commencement ceremony, controversy should be avoided for the sake of the graduates.

  1. If it’s blown out of proportion, why bother posting about it? And how is a controversy going to hurt the graduates? The President is giving a speech at the school; I doubt there’s going to be a large student population that dislikes that kind of notoriety.


      check that out, people are opposing this commencement. Like I’ve already said, controversy can be a good thing but my personal opinion is to avoid controversy at a commencement ceremony. Just simply an opinion, neither right nor wrong…

      Also, I blogged about this because 1) It has to do with Obama, abortion, and people peacefully assembling in protest & 2) this blog is for my COMM 289 class and i’m graded on how many posts I make… this won’t hurt 🙂

  2. In response to the Anonymous writer, the students of Notre Dame are outraged about the President speaking at their graduation, so I’m not quite sure if there was sarcasm in your response. The controversy is not going to hurt the graduates personally but they will always have that overshadowing that special day in their lives (especially if people start booing or anything abbsurd like that). Having Obama speak at their school doesn’t bring them noteriety. The majority of what he has been doing so far in his term of office has been speaking, so according to that definition of notoriety, then Jay Leno and Jon Stewart are notable people to look up to (I’m laying on sarcasm pretty hard).

    That’s the news and I’m outa here

  3. Yeah, I’m sure having the President of the United States coming to their school to speak will cast a huge shadow over the students’ graduation experience. If I didn’t agree with him, it would really be upsetting for the leader of the free world visiting my college. (Oh, there’s the sarcasm, since you apparently feel the need to spell it out, I will too.)

    The small number of in-school protests going on doesn’t reflect the views of the entire student body; most of the controversy has been generated by off-campus sources. I wouldn’t speak for the college if I were you, since you don’t seem to have a clear understanding of the environment there.

    And suggesting that all Obama has done is speak? You also make clear you don’t comprehend the duties of the President and the actions involved with the office. Frankly, you don’t seem to know what you are talking about. No sarcasm there whatsoever.

  4. The President speaking at an event doesn’t cast the shadow; however, the controversy surrounding it does. He stands for many things that the Catholic population strongly feel against. I’m not saying he shouldn’t speak at this University, but I am agreeing with prustice on this,
    “The commencement ceremony and speech belongs to the graduates and if I were the University’s President I would avoid controversy surrounding a commencement speech.”

    May I ask how you know the students are not outraged with the president’s decision? On that note, how do you know the faculty are not outraged as well? I’m getting my feel for the views of the students by what the students are doing and saying about all of this, one good reference would be the link prustice included.

    Suggestion for future reference, don’t use “The DC Gossip” or any other blog as a resource. It’s just bad form.

    I know duties of President, and I am aware of what he has been doing in these first 100 days of office, few of which I agree with. However, I’m not always sure that Obama knows that appearing on talk shows is not included in his job description. I feel he is spending way too much time with all his tv appearances on ESPN, 60-Minutes, Today Show with Jon Stewart, and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, not to mention his two primetime news conferences within 65 days of eachother. I guess thats what a good demagogue and bad leader should do. My point was that having him speak doesn’t bring the university notoriety; there are many other incredibles things about the university do.

    Now that the discussion has sidetracked to the point of just bickering back and forth off-topic, in summary, I feel it is the graduates day. Notre Dame should have Obama speak just not on a day focused on the graduating students. Let him speak any other day, just not on the final day of these students college career (aka, avoiding the controversy in graduation guest speakers)

  5. Prustice, I apologize for this pointless bantering between me and this anonymous writer. I realize it is all poor etiquette but hey, at least you’re getting some action on your blog for your class, eh?

  6. I get my information from the amount of protest actually taking place at the school. A link to a group does not mean the group is substantial; its membership is rather diminutive. This is a manufactured controversy; just because the university has a Catholic affiliation and was founded on Catholic principles, does not mean it must follow dogma a century and a half later. We are in the 21st century, and a college’s founders don’t reflect the mission of the school in modern times.

    Speaking of demagogues, it seems as if you are willing to find fault with our President regardless of how he conducts his administration. Part of the “job description,” as you seem to think exists, involves selling one’s agenda to the people. One way of doing that is, say, being visible and open, and that means public appearances in the media. Are you honestly faulting the President for holding press conferences?

    I don’t find linking to a post which accurately captures the tone of this so-called “issue” bad form. It perfectly states my opinion on this, in particular this passage which I’m sure you didn’t read:

    “Notre Dame embarrassed itself by allowing Barack Obama, an abortionist with few other professional credentials besides all of those abortions, to speak to the students. Every decent Catholic school should settle for nothing less than Jesus himself as commencement speaker every single year.”

    I suppose I should point out this is satirical, in case you missed that. You once again prove your bias in this, rather than being objective, and this defense you attempt is laughable.

  7. You are missing my point, so I will state it again. ***I think Obama should speak at Notre Dame, just not on the day of the graduations, so as to spare the actual graduates the controversy overshadowing it.*** I will repeat that first part once more, I think Obama should speak at Notre Dame. Notre Dame has had a history of inviting newly elected presidents to their school to speak. President Clinton spoke at Notre Dame way back when, I think that is great. My point is timing. Bad timing. Have him speak at Notre Dame at another time.

    I feel you are misinterpreting what I am trying to say about this. I think it is fine for Obama to get his face out there and let the people know what is going on, but I also feel that spending his time on talk shows picking out NCAA brackets and comparing his bowling skills to the Special Olympics isn’t the best way of doing that. Also, I think the new President is playing the cards he was dealt as best as he sees fit, so I’m not trying to take away from that.

  8. I don’t need you repeating your point in order to understand it. I understand it, but that doesn’t change that it’s incorrect. As I have said repeatedly, the controversy is manufactured by outside sources, and despite the small group of students who choose to protest, there isn’t much conflict on this issue within the campus.

    No, I feel that you are misinterpreting what the President is doing. There’s no need to redefine what you’ve said. If you’re going to reduce the public face of the Obama administration to a gaffe on a talk show and one appearance filling out a bracket, you’ve got some more research to do.

  9. You continue to say that it is a controversy manufactured by outside sources, but where are your facts? You keep implying that this is a few students that got all flustered and the media just is feeding it and turning it into a big deal.

    I’m done with this discussion on my dissappointment with Obama doing so many talk shows. It’s irrelevant to the topic at hand, so it’s pointless to continue. You can have that conversation with someone else on another blog.


    ^ I’d say that’s plenty to show this movement is being fueled by outside interests.

    You’re the one who brought up the subject; sorry that you feel my response to your claim is pointless, and that the claim itself is as well.

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