Holier than Thou

From CBS News:

President Barack Obama’s planned commencement address at Notre Dame has prompted outrage from students and activists upset that the Catholic university has invited a pro-choice politician to its campus. The controversy has generated headlines and with them consistent debate in the media about whether or not the president should show up at all.

But the situation is less controversial than it may seem from all the chatter over the past few weeks. Indeed, it seems that the most vocal opponents of the president’s visit only represent a small minority of the college community.

Original DVD cover.

On a national level, a new survey finds a markedly similar response: A majority of Catholics, some 60 percent, say that Notre Dame should not rescind its invitation to Mr. Obama, according to a Quinnipiac University national poll released Thursday. Thirty-four percent of those surveyed thought the university should go back on its decision.


The numbers are nearly identical among the general population. Fifty-six percent of U.S. voters say the invitation should stand while 31 percent believe that it should be pulled. The similarity would suggest the opposition to the president’s address is grounded more in ideology than religion.

While conservative groups and abortion rights opponents have gobbled up the lion’s share of attention around the invitation, the announcement that the president would speak at graduation has been well received by the majority of students.


The student groups who do plan to demonstrate against the university’s decision are pledging to be decorous in their protests. The most dramatic actions are mostly consigned to outside agitators such as Alan Keyes, the conservative political activist, and Randall Terry, the author and anti-abortion activist.


At the root of the protests is Mr. Obama’s support for abortion rights and, to a lesser extent, embryonic stem cell research. The strongest objections are being voiced by the most partisan members of the Catholic community; other Catholics, both on campus and throughout the country, are less doctrinaire in their positions on those issues than the coverage of the controversy might have led one to think. Many students who were enthusiastic about the president’s visit to campus said that while they disagreed with the president’s views on abortion, they felt that his policies, particularly those relating to social justice and poverty, were reflective of their faith’s emphasis on humanitarianism.


Catholic leaders have been divided over the proper response to Mr. Obama’s speech. Most voiced opposition to the president’s position on abortion, but others lauded him for voicing support for finding ways to reduce the number of abortions that take place each year. On CBSNews.com’s “Washington Unplugged” this week, James Salt, communications director of Catholics United, and Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League, clashed over the Obama invitation. Both men believed that Mr. Obama should be allowed to speak, but Donohue, whose group has opposed to Notre Dame’s decision, felt that the university should have refrained from bestowing an honorary degree on somebody who differed with the church on abortion.

“I don’t think it’s possible to find somebody who’s a greater champion of abortion rights,” said Donohue. “He’s diametrically opposed to the Catholic Church’s teachings on an issue which we consider to be intrinsically evil.”

Salt agreed with Donohue’s opposition to abortion, but said that such a stance ignored the work the president was doing to try to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and reduce poverty.


Salt and Donahue [sic] were both relatively restrained compared with the anger expressed by Randall Terry, who has been in Indiana since April with a group he organized called Stop Obama Notre Dame. He says that he is committed to turning the graduation into a “circus.”

Never one for understatement, Terry says that he believes that the university’s decision to invite the new president is a crime and that conferring an honorary degree on Mr. Obama is a sin. To show his displeasure, he and other protestors have been picketing university entrances while holding graphic images of aborted fetuses. Both Terry and Keyes have been arrested; they say that they hope they will be able to not just disrupt the ceremony, but to get Notre Dame to cancel the speech.

Though they are bound to attract media coverage, it’s important to note that Terry’s protests are completely divorced from the ones being organized by campus groups.

Side note: The diary was put together last night, before the speech. I’m by no means an Obama cheerleader, but I watched the speech today, and it was excellent.

Another side note: When I copy a movie from the internets, I crop it to get rid of the borders. Then I will usually size it so that it’s either 475, if I’m going to add a border, or 500 pixels. The length is determined proportionately by Photoshop.Β  When I cropped this one, it measured 666 pixels high!Β  😈


Filed under abortion, Afghanistan, Barack Obama, Catholicism, humor, Iraq War, Media, movies, parody, politics, Republicans, snark, Wordpress Political Blogs

29 responses to “Holier than Thou

  1. The big O even brought up the “A” word in his speech–abortion!!! So there!

    I always wonder about those rabid anti abortion people…. are they so committed as to actually help single parents- like with disabled kids, or struggling financially, doing free childcare, or providing funds for healthcare, education, housing etc… or does their fiery opinion end with the vocal protests?
    It is one thing to be opposed to abortion, it is another to actually help & support those who have children and are in desperate need of help.

    • fran,
      i always wonder how many of them or their wives or girlfriends or daughters have had abortions. remember bob barr, one of the most hard-core rethugs? he was always waving his arms and decrying abortion, but he paid for his wife’s abortion in 1983.

    • Fran –

      “It is one thing to be opposed to abortion, it is another to actually help & support those who have children and are in desperate need of help”

      I once spoke to a former member of Operation Rescue, who now runs a shelter for poor single mothers, who said exactly that. He was giving a speech about abortion and said, “I don’t want your help if you’re not going to be there to help the mother change diapers, pay for baby food, and wipe noses. Are you really pro-life or are you just anti-abortion?”

      You’re right, too many people stop their concern for life at birth.

  2. Our prez has no problem confronting controversy. He never fails to impress me (at least so far).

    • i was very impressed with the speech today. he didn’t sidestep the issue. i especially liked the part about those who oppose stem-cell research vs parents of kids who are sick and might be cured through the research.

      i was watching cnn, and there was some ass from the eternal network or some crap like that. frederica whatsherface was the anchor, and she never asked the moron how he could object to the destruction of embryos when they are being used in research, but he didn’t say a word about those who have the embryos created, knowing that they would never use them all (octopussy mom excluded). the hypocrisy is stunning.

  3. Ram Venkatararam

    I think Fran summed it up tremendously well. And you’re right too, Nonnie, about the hypocrisy.

    It just seems to never stop and it’s not just limited to abortion (obviously).

    • ram,
      i don’t if it’s straight-up hypocrisy or an inability to see the nuances in an argument. things aren’t black or white, they are shades of gray. being morally opposed to abortion is fine. if that’s the way someone feels, then they should not have one. however, to judge a victim of rape or incest who has had an abortion is reprehensible and reflects a total lack of empathy.

  4. randyedye

    Rock on, visit my site on immagration http://randysright.wordpress.com/

  5. Jenn/jlms qkw

    excellent poster – love the flames!

    i just don’t understand why randall terry isn’t in jail on a long-term basis.

    oh, on that right to life poll? utah has new “right to life” license plates, with a little picture of a near-full-term infant in the womb . . . i told my husband i wanted one. then i wanted bumper stickers and license plate frames to “end the war” “shut down weapons mnfg” etc.

    • they passed a bill in the floriduhhhh legislature to allow jesus on state license plates. charlie crist said he wouldn’t veto it. he doesn’t see this as the state endorsing a religion, even though you can’t get plates with a star of david, a cresent, or a pentagram on it. they already have ‘choose life’ plates but not pro-choice plates. the stupid…it burns.

  6. As for license plates … I have this wacky idea …

    How about “Florida, the Sunshine State”? You know, I assume that the state nickname is fairly non-controversial. (I assume that the vampire population is low, so few enough people are anti-sunshine.)

    I generally think it’s a bad idea to use license plates for advocacy, especially if you’re going to get mad when the other side rebuts.

    Just a thought, you know?

    • wickle,
      crazy me, but i think license plates should be used to easily identify vehicles. in floriduhhhh, only a plate in the back is required. therefore, if someone wants to make a statement, political or otherwise, they are free to purchase a commercially-made plate for the front.

  7. jeb

    666? Really? I don’t know if the beast really wants to be associated with Alan Keyes.

    Randall Terry? Blech, I haven’t heard his name in so long I’d forgotten he even still existed. As for the argument, these nuts have to stop being allowed to frame it. No one is “pro-abortion,” that’s just absurd. I say that people who fight for a woman’s right to control her body and for the rights of all children are more pro-life than those who just want to legislate morality.

    Hopefully the Satanists will sue in Florida to be allowed to get their image on a plate.

    • jeb,
      charlie crist (i want to call him charlie crisp, because he looks like he was in the toaster for too long) was asked whether he would veto the jesus license plate, and his response was that someone who doesn’t like it doesn’t have to buy it. what about gay marriage them, charlie? if someone doesn’t like it, they they don’t have to marry someone of their own gender. he doesn’t seem to understand it’s a matter of choice and fairness. it’s not a matter of telling people that they don’t have to buy something that they don’t like or agree with when they don’t have the same opportunity to purchase something they do agree with. when do the ‘atheism rocks’ plates come out?

  8. Dusty

    The most dramatic actions are mostly consigned to outside agitators ~ This point should be driven home by everyone that blogs on this topic..more outside agitators than actual college students were involved in these protests.

  9. Dusty

    Oh, and Alan Keyes and Donohue can take a long walk on a very short pier..that blowhard bag o’ batshit. πŸ˜‰

    Love the 666 pixels! Irony..oh yeah!

    • the headline should have been: outside agitators attempt to fire up notre dame students, but only attract a handful. epic fail!

      • Dusty

        Did you see that at the beginning of his speechifying..when the inside protesters started to interrupt him..the whole place lit up with folks yelling..YES WE CAN! Loved it! πŸ˜†

        • is that what they were yelling? i couldn’t make it out, but i knew they were shouting over the protesters (all 2 of them! πŸ˜† ) i’m glad to know that the students at notre dame are not merely robots programmed by the pope or the church. rather, they think for themselves, and that’s a very good thing.

  10. I’d be fine with pro lifers if they were also against the death penalty and war, but they’re not.
    These people think they should have control over what a woman does with her body. These are the same phonies who cry for less government and fewer social programs.
    Obama diffused the hysteria and distinguished Notre Dame with his presence there.
    If the Catholic church was that relevant to today’s society, they wouldn’t be as desperately short on priests and nuns as they are now.
    Finally, if a fetus was a human being, then all miscarriages would require a death certificate and a proper funeral. Period.

    • zactly! the hypocrisy is stunning.

      my comments will have to be short. went to the doctor today, because my hand’s been killing me for the last few months. apparently, i must have smacked my hand somewhere, and there’s calcification. i have to tape my pinky and ring finger together for 6 weeks (and it’s already bugging the shit outta me) to see if that will fix it. in the meantime, typing is going to be very weird.

      • Dusty

        Damn chica, hope you find relief soon on the hand/finger front.

        Did they tell you too much time online? I have heard that in the last year. πŸ˜‰

        • thanks dusty! πŸ˜€
          i thought it was from too much computer (control V hurts like a mofo!!), but the doc said that wasn’t it. i had to have smacked my hand pretty hard. i remember smacking one of my hands and it being bruised, but i don’t remember if it was that hand in that spot. i think i’m gonna live, and the internets will rejoice when i am not as long-winded as i usually am. πŸ˜‰

  11. i just love reading your threads.

    ps i absolutely hate bill donohue – besides reeking hypocrisy – somehow there are plenty of other creepy things about him

    • dcAp,
      i hate him, too. he seems like the type who beats up kids because he got beaten up when he was little. i don’t know why any group would want him as their spokesperson.