“Do you reject the glamour of evil, and refuse to be mastered by sin? (From the Roman Catholic Rite of Baptism)
Apparently the Catholic folks at Notre Dame University have no more respect for the Baptismal vows they renew every Easter than their invited Commencement Speaker this year has for the Presidential Oath of Office. At this moment in time, Barack Obama is the living incarnation of the glamour of evil. His smiley tones and non-threatening manner mask a studied commitment to the promotion of the most deadly form of evil in the world today- the cult of abortion centered on the ritual of child sacrifice. Obama has moved with impetuous determination to prove his claim to the mantle of High Priest of the Worldwide Abortion cult. With Executive orders he has shifted the resources of the U.S. government behind the global implementation of abortion. He has declared open season on embryonic human life. He has appointed enthusiastic political and judicial acolytes of this cult of death to high positions in the Executive and Judicial branches.
Even before these actions there was no rational basis for pretending to doubt his absolute commitment to the evil of abortion for its own sake. There can be no other explanation for his opposition, while an Illinois state Senator, to the bipartisan effort in the legislature to end the heinous practice of infanticide against innocent babies- delivered in the course of an abortion attempt; wrapped in soiled linens; and left on a cart to languish without medical care or any human comfort until they died. His only real explanation for refusing to support an end to this abominable practice was the cold-blooded logic that any interference with the mother’s intention to kill the child would damage so-called abortion rights.
The Catholic Church teaches that abortion is objective evil of the most deadly spiritual kind. Obama embraces this evil for its own sake, without even the specious calculus of cost and benefit to cloak the true nature of his devotion. Except the Notre Dame University community consciously wishes to promote similar devotion in its students, there can be no valid explanation for their willingness to extend a platform to such a man. They cannot plead respect for his supposed High Office, unless they mean to suggest that it is consistent with Catholic teaching or the Lord’s example to put such worldly reverence above the reverence for God, and the sacred laws commanding respect for innocent human life. Human honor cannot redeem that which God abhors. It cannot clear away the stain and curse that mars it. Vox Populi, Vox Dei is no maxim for the Body of Christ.
Nor can apologists at Notre Dame point to any positions he takes, or worldly programs he promises that can offset the sacrifice of spiritual integrity his unapologetic support for the cult of child sacrifice entails. It may be that he has gained the whole world’s momentary adulation and tinsel honor. But as Christ spoke true, his soul is forfeit in the bargain, and the gain is as nothing compared to the cost.
Neither can they plead respect for the historic breakthrough his election supposedly represents. How can one who withdraws the protection of God’s ordained equality of rights from innocent, helpless children claim to represent the triumph of justice over the very evils, born of greed and passion, unleashed by disregard for that equality? The vicious heart of selfish passion that perverted the souls of slave masters or self-worshiping lynch mobs, is the same heart offered in service to the Father of lies and evil in the abortion cult.
In the literal sense therefore, Barack Obama is the incarnation of what the Catholic Church identifies as the epitome of evil in the world today. What Notre Dame has done puts the stamp of Catholicity upon him, as if there is no absolute contradiction between what he advocates and represents and what can honorably be presented from platforms that benefit from the auspices of the Church. A Commencement speech represents a word spoken at the beginning of a new stage of life. In the literal sense it represents a principle for thought and action. Are we seriously to believe that some morally truthful argument can be made that justifies presenting Barack Obama in a Catholic context, as one who speaks for decent moral principle? It is sophomoric to suggest that any good thing he promises, promotes or even implements can compensate for his declared war upon the very principle of goodness, which is nowhere more clearly at stake than in the law of love that shrouds, protects and sanctifies our reverence for innocent human life. What Catholic theology makes good the rationalization that good works somehow supply the deficiency of a spirit and will that in the innocent person of the child, defile and abuse the very image of God Himself?
Given the evil he represents, Notre Dame’s invitation to Obama is a slavish capitulation to the glamour of evil. Across America there are people of many different hues and denominations who devote themselves to the protection of innocent life, respect for the God-ordained family, and promotion of social justice in ways that conform with the principle of subsidiarity that respects human responsibility before God for the exercise of freedom His will for us makes possible. The world does not elevate them to platforms of power. Indeed it threatens them with punishment; ridicules and reviles their single-hearted devotion to Christ’s example; relegates them to what it believes are the dingy fringes of respectability and esteem. Yet where is Christ to be found more than in those willing to bear with him the cross of human anguish on the long climb toward Calvary and the sacrifice that redeems mankind from the burden of sin? Rather than give an honorable platform to an evil man the world admires, a Catholic institution would do better to offer students a voice that speaks from the depths of this redemptive anguish, with a heart that sees past the glamour and power of evil, to the truth that will someday repel and triumph over it.
In an era when the Catholic Church in America still reels from the damaging effect of leaders who seem to connive at what gives scandal to the faithful, this scandalous gesture of admiration and respect toward the man who best represents the temporary triumph of evil over America’s public life is a renewed scandal. As the first reeked of worldly fear and selfish licentiousness, this reeks of death and the prideful embrace of the doctrine that rejects the sovereignty of God in order to make man the master of life and death, right and wrong, hope and salvation. Catholics who abhor such scandal need to speak out. With one voice we should say to Notre Dame what Joshua said to the people of Israel: “If it does not please you to serve the Lord, decide today whom you will serve…” (Josue 24:15)
As a Catholic I earnestly pray to God, and ask of our Church leaders, that they make clear that this invitation cannot stand. If it stands, the scandalous lesson of subservience to human pride and power will lengthen the shadow of spiritual corruption that still haunts the Church. But if it is rebuked and withdrawn, every Catholic and Christian heart submissive to the sovereignty of God, as they bear witness to the affirmation of its truth, will be emboldened to speak and act with courage, even in the teeth of the whole world’s scornful power.
This may also be an opportunity to begin the work that may someday turn Obama’s heart from evil. Rather than confirm him in his present heedless service to objective evil, confront Him with the truth that there are Christian hearts that honor God above any man or human office. The seed planted by that confrontation will remind him of the true spirit of liberty. And it might someday grow up to impel him to repent of evil, who knows? With God, all things are possible.
UPDATE (March 22): Anyone wishing to help communicate opposition to Notre Dame’s action can sign the petition at this site sponsored by the Cardinal Newman society. All who appreciate the sponsorship of evil signified by Notre Dame’s invitation are welcome to sign, of course.
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