Friday, May 15, 2009

Life Links 5/15/09

The New York Times has an article on Obama and abortion which discusses his attempts to straddle the issue (at least with his rhetoric) and his upcoming appearance at Notre Dame. The end of the article has this interesting quote from Doug Kmiec:
Douglas W. Kmiec, a constitutional scholar and former Notre Dame professor who was an outspoken critic of abortion when he worked for Presidents Ronald Reagan and the elder George Bush, said he had been advising the White House to use the speech at the university on Sunday to tackle the controversy head on, with the president making the case that “we already have agreement, we both respect life, we both view abortion as a moral tragedy.”
Does Obama really view abortion as a moral tragedy? If so, why does he want our tax dollars to pay for these moral tragedies?

The Spanish government (which is currently run by the Socialist Party) has approved plans to change Spain's abortion law to allow unrestricted abortions up to 14 weeks. The current abortion law is Spain is rarely enforced because of a mental health loophole.

Gerard Bradley discusses Notre Dame's decision to honor Obama in the National Review.
It is easy to see the appeal of Obama to Notre Dame. Our country has one president, and he is giving only three commencement speeches this year. One is traditionally at a service academy; this year, at Annapolis. Notre Dame (along with Arizona State) won the prize coveted by almost every university.

So far, Bishop D’Arcy seems to be on the right track: Notre Dame chose prestige.

That is nothing new. Prestige — as measured by U.S. News rankings, academic peer recognition, NIH grants, endowment size, New York Times mentions — has been the gold standard at Notre Dame as long as I have been here. Notre Dame’s Catholic identity has largely become the preserve of campus ministry and, to some extent, of the rules governing student life. On the academic side — in research, teaching, publishing, and the hiring and retention of faculty — the truths of the Catholic faith are missing in action. Notre Dame’s central academic aspiration has nothing to do with Catholicism. It is the Association of American Universities, a group of 62 American research schools — none of them Catholic — that Notre Dame is desperate to join....

At the heart of the matter is the immorality — the sin — of scandal. Scandal is, basically, leading others into sin, in this case by clouding others’ understanding of the truth about abortion. Here, we are talking about the scandalous effects portended by America’s leading Catholic institution when it honors the most pro-abortion president in history. The atmosphere at graduation will be festive, and a packed house will rock it with a standing ovation for Obama. Notre Dame dignitaries and faculty will be photographed beaming as Obama extends his hand to a smiling Jenkins. It will be a visual spectacle of the first order.

This celebration will weaken the belief of some present that abortion is always wrong. For some and perhaps for many, what was before the commencement a conviction that abortion is objectively immoral will become a conviction after that “abortion is wrong for me (I think), but there is reasonable disagreement about that, and everyone has to make that decision for herself, or himself.”

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