Prophecy and Notre Dame

Well, the President got a rock-star greeting from the graduating seniors at Notre Dame University, and much back-slapping from the president of the university.

Here is an institution named for the Mother of God to our nation’s most prominent apologist, facilitator, and advocate for the modern-day slaughter of the innocents.

I understand the requirement of our faith to show respect for the ruling authorities, which is clear from Christ’s words to “render unto Caesar”, and Paul’s admonition in Romans 13 to show respect for the governing authorities. But what went on yesterday in South Bend went far beyond mere respect, and went way into the boundaries of adulation.

Is this how the early Church Fathers would have related to Caesar? How about the Prophets — anybody recall back-slapping by Isaiah to Ahaz? All Christians are all called to be prophets by virtue of our Baptism and Confirmation. We certainly didn’t see much of that in South Bend on Sunday – except at the prayerful response meeting that was held on the campus by those who were opposed to the President’s anti-life policies.

What is it about this man who temporarily holds the office of President that merits this kind of reaction? Even if you are totally behind his domestic and foreign policy agenda, how can that possibly outweigh his absolute, unalterable commitment to legalized abortion? Remember, this is the man who said that he wouldn’t want his daughter “punished” with a child if she got pregnant out of wedlock — calling his own grandchild a “punishment”.

The Catholic blogger, Amy Welborn, puts the question this way:

That’s the basic question, with all of its many implications. Do you recognize the preborn baby, even in the midst of the complexities of its young life, dwelling within the body of another, living with her own complexities in a complex, pluralistic society – as “the least among us” worthy of civic protection or do you not?

It is abundantly clear from the President’s record, agenda, and statements that he does not view the pre-born baby as worthy of any civic protection whatsoever, and that he is fully committed to advancing the power of others to destroy those lives for any reason at all.

And remember, as with any politician, you have to pay closer attention to what the President does than to what he says. You have to realize that when the President speaks of reducing abortions, he’s talking about supporting bills like the “Prevention First Act”, which involves funneling money to Planned Parenthood, flooding the country with contraceptives, and polluting the minds of the youth with biased sex education. He does not support authentic measures to directly encourage women to keep their babies, like the Pregnant Women Support Act.

Sadly, I think the problem is that far too many Catholics just don’t care about abortion, or don’t care enough. Sure, many of them will say that they’re pro-life, but when it comes to doing anything about it, or saying anything about it, they’re nowhere to be found.

As Archbishop Charles Chaput has written:

If they cared, our political environment would be different. If 65 million Catholics really cared about their faith and cared about what it teaches, neither political party could ignore what we believe about justice for the poor, or the homeless, or the unborn. If 65 million American Catholics really understood their faith, we wouldn’t need to waste one another’s time arguing whether the legalized killing of an unborn child is somehow balanced out or excused by other social policies… We cannot talk about following St. Paul and converting our culture until we sober up and admit what we’ve allowed ourselves to become. We need to stop lying to each other, to ourselves, and to God by claiming to oppose personally some homicidal evil – and allowing it to be legal at the same time.

That’s prophecy, that’s what a modern-day Isaiah sounds like. And that’s what should have been said to Caesar yesterday in South Bend — and to the Catholics in attendance — in place of the standing fawning ovation and craven backslapping.

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