When in 2009 the University of Notre Dame invited the newly inaugurated President Obama to deliver the commencement address and receive the customary honorary degree, university President Father John Jenkins welcomed him by saying, “He is a leader who has great respect for the role of faith and religious institutions in public life. He has said: 'Secularists are wrong when they ask believers to leave their religion at the door when entering the public square.' ”
Perhaps Father Jenkins thought he was promoting progressive dialogue in order to bring those with opposing philosophies together by inviting a president who had persistently supported abortion rights, or just maybe he, too, was drinking from the same batch of Kool-Aid as so many others who believed Obama was as close to that of a messiah-like figure as, say, Pope John Paul II.
But talk about inviting the fox inside the henhouse.
Now, just over three years hence, Jenkins and Notre Dame have joined the Roman Catholic dioceses in filing legal action against the Obama administration, thanks to the order issued by the Department of Health and Human Services ruling that religious institutions “have a one-year exemption before they must comply with the requirement under the Affordable Care Act that employers provide co-pay free coverage for contraception in their health insurance plans.”
By this act, Terry Jeffery wrote on Townhall.com, “He (Obama) directly attacked their freedom of conscience through a regulation that requires virtually all Catholic lay people to buy, and virtually all Catholic institutions to provide, health insurance plans that cover, without any fees or co-pay, multiple practices that violate the moral teaching of the Catholic Church.”
If three years of having the Obama administration in charge has taught us anything, it is that President Obama can be slicker than even “Slick Willie” Clinton himself. During the commencement speech, the president once again strutted his oratorical skills, showing how he could lure an audience over to his way of thinking.
But if one listened close enough and read between the lines, he laid out his true intent for all to hear. In one breath, he complimented the graduates and then declared, “Challenges before us require that we remake our world to renew its promise; that we align our deepest values and commitments to the demands of the new age.”
Personally, I think anyone who uses the terms “remake,” “deepest values” and “new age” in the same sentence should automatically be held suspect.
Then, to add insult to injury, he proclaimed, “In short, we must live together as one human family,” understanding of course that the “family” has been redefined by President Obama to include same-sex marriages, and if the children of the family are fortunate enough to actually have been born. Remember, Obama was the only Illinois state senator to speak against the Illinois Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, which stated that every infant who achieved “complete extraction” was afforded all the same “legal protection” as that of any other person.
And as pointed out by National Right to Life that during his run to the presidency against then-candidate Hillary Clinton “Obama supporters presented detailed accounts lauding his leadership in opposing legislation to ban partial-birth abortions and afford legal protections to born-alive babies.
As many Catholics have seen, President Obama's views are much more than just differing opinions on the subject of abortion. Rather, his administration is offering a systematic reproach against religious liberty, and not just against Catholicism but against all mainstream faiths. There are certainly many of the progressive persuasion who would sooner have those of faith be seen and not heard.
But fortunately, along with the legal action, church leaders are finding their voices in hope of stopping altogether the government attacks against religion.
As William Lori, chairman of the Bishops' Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty, pronounced, “We certainly have a right to raise our voice in the public square, to bring convictions of faith and reason to bear on the national debate.”
With the current tension that now exists between the administration and the Catholic hierarchy, those raised voices may very well be heard this coming November. For as columnist Michael Novak recently pointed out, “No Democrat since 1952 (except for Clinton in 1992) has won the White House without a majority of the Catholic vote.”
Ironically, in his Notre Dame speech, President Obama clearly stated, “When people set aside their differences to work in common effort toward a common good; when they struggle together, and sacrifice together, and learn from one another — all things are possible.”
Yet once again, we have come to witness our president show his willingness to say one thing and mean another. The only ones sacrificing in this case, are the unborn and those who believe in religious liberty.