Saturday, May 16, 2009

OBAMA AT NOTRE DAME

I am adamantly against the president speaking at Notre Dame. I am a life-long Catholic and I follow the teachings of the Church. In other words, I am a conservative Catholic who is intolerant of any deviation from the teachings of the Church. That's that. End of statement. That was easy. Or was it?

The bone of contention is the president's stand on abortion and to a lesser extent, stem cell research. My feelings were pretty much sorted out on these issues and I felt good about my opposition. End of story.

I was reading the Catholic newspaper published by my diocese and my beliefs were taken to task. A letter to the editor asked this question, "When Antonin Scalia spoke at Notre Dame no one took him to task. He is an advocate of the death penalty and it is as surely against the teaching of the Church as abortion. Why the angst now?" The writer went on to imply that those who oppose Obama are racist. I'll let that one go, because it is beneath comtempt.

I thought, however, that's a great question. So I thought long and hard about it and came to a conclusion I feel comfortable putting forth as mine. I was a cop for 26 years civilian and four years in the military. I enforced laws for a living. I never thought about the laws themselves, I thought about doing my job. I enforced them without thought to their philosophy. Until the day I had to confront some abortion protesters at an abortion clinic.

Another officer and I began talking about our feelings about abortion. We both said we didn't believe in it and our religions were against it. We then thought about what we would do when confronted with protesters who believed as we did. I thought about it and came to the conclusion that I couldn't arrest someone for protesting against something I would have protested against too. Luckily, I had a sergeant who understood. He allowed us to have a post away from the front line. But I thought about my beliefs and what they meant to me.

The Obama controversy brought it forth in my mind. I am in favor of the death penalty. I am against abortion. When I was a cop I encountered really evil people and I believe there are those who are evil and cannot be saved. When I cease to believe that, I cease to believe in good and evil. That is in my mind and will not leave. It is a part of me.

When the Church tells me to condemn the death penalty I am vexed. My life tells me to obey the Church and I will. So now I must figure out how to obey. My career tells me to enforce laws. But I must collect my resources and enforce those laws that are the most important to society.

I would arrest a robber/rapist long before I would ticket a red light violator. My training tells me that they are the same, my common sense tells me they are not. Criminals that threaten society and all the ideals that those laws represent need to be stopped. Abortion kills people before they are born and before they have a chance to live. That needs to be stopped. The death penalty kills those who had a chance to live and blew it. They did something that is so against society that we can't contemplate it. They deserve to forfeit their life.

I feel comfortable to say this: When someone gives up the life given them by God by committing an act so horrible that civilized society condemns it, they deserve the ultimate punishment. How do I reconcile my beliefs as a Catholic with this statement?

My statement is that I enforced some laws more zealously than others. I went after robbers, burglars, murderers, and rapists harder than others. That is how the law was enforced by me and I'm good with it.

Abortion is murder, the death penalty is a red light violation. I'm at peace.

10 comments:

KIND AND GENTLE TRUTH101 said...

I'll say this here also law teacher so indulge me for being redundant.

John Ashcroft spoke at my oldest's graduation. There was a flier going around asking us not to applaud. I disagree with Mr. Ashcroft on many issues but he served his Country as governor, senator and Attorney General. He deserved to be treated with the respect so I claped when he was introduced. He gave a helluva good speech and at least 95% of the crowd gave him a rousing ovation afterward.

We can't agree on everything law teacher. You and I certainly will disagree on many things. But I will behave myself when visiting your site because you are a man of accomplishment and integrity from all I have seen.


To not allow the President to speak at Notre Dame would have been a terrible error in judgement. We cannot hide from those we have disagreements with. We can't pretend they don't exist. I'm Roman Catholic also. I've seen the bad that comes from demonizing others. Nobody likes killing fetuses. The thought of abortion is abhorrent to most of us. I believe there is room in our hearts to try and understand why some people feel they need to have abortions and work to reduce that number.

Law and Order Teacher said...

K&GT,
You are a class act. But I would question allowing someone to speak at your graduation that is in direct disagreement with the basic tenets of your church.

If he would speak at a open forum in which he could be questioned, that would be a great moment.

Your point is well taken but I don't agree that the president would be the best spokesman at a university that is the flagship of Catholicism. That seems to flaunt the teachings of the Church.

At a public university, yes, at a private university, no. That's the difference.

I'm intrigued about your statement concerning "fetuses." Are they not children? I am also interested in your Catholicism. Have you checked out Archbishop Timothy Dolan, of NY? Interesting guy. Could there be a US Pope?

Thanks for the visit.

Z said...

If ever America produced a Pope, it would be Archbishop Dolan...you know how I feel about him, L&0! Glad you feel the same way.

I, too, believe the difference is the public v private school issue. There are people who go to that school because it reflects their beliefs; parents who send their children their as a kind of continuance in the moral compass they hopefully began building at home.... this is a direct slap in their faces.

This isn't just a president who believes in abortion, he believes in late term murder of a child who could live on its own were it born early. I am reminded of a blogging buddy who is against abortion and, recently, said "If that's not a baby in the womb, why do they call them PRE NATAL DOCTORS?" They're finding they can ascertain the gender at 8 weeks in utero now, too...that's quite something.
Anyway, I know we're not arguing abortion here..sorry!

But, I think that allowing the president to speak is a terrible error in judgment;
Kind and GEntle Truth 101; Of course we should try to reduce the number. Perhaps teaching that it IS a child they're carrying and not a refrigerator-to-be might help women not to 'feel' they 'need' abortions? I don't know. I like to think so. We meed to help them with counseling to consider adoption for their children, too.

I think it's difficult to have a president who so firmly and ideologically believes in abortion that he said his daughters shouldn't be ..what was the word.."punished" with a baby?

Law and Order Teacher said...

Z,
Thanks for the visit. You have made some great points. I go back to the private v. public argument. Your point is well taken. When parents send their children to a private school, they expect certain teachings. Catholicism is what it is. It's not a secret. Follow the teachings or find another religion.

ryanbiddulph said...

Excellent point about Scalia.

I am pro-life but believe that he had the right to speak at the school.

There is no different set of rules for the president than there is for the common citizen in this regard. Many people who support abortion have stepped foot on campus and you can be sure that they've had debates in the classroom. It is a college university after all.

Ryan

PRH....... said...

As you know I let my feelings about this known on my blog...as much as I despise Obama, and yes I despise him, the hoopla at ND is overblown...I would venture to say, 80% or more of the professors at South Bend feel the same way as Barry and are as far left as The One, in some cases more so.

KIND AND GENTLE TRUTH101 said...

My kids went to Catholic schools LAOT. I would be happy if the Dalai Lama visited and he doesn't believe we go to Heaven through the acceptance of Jesus Christ as Savior.

What if the Prime Minister of Israel was invited? Or any non Catholic for that matter. Notre Dame is a great institution of higher learning. If parents wanted their college age choldren to be shielded from views that differ from theirs they can send them to Liberty University.


Thanks for the forum Law and Order Teacher.
I will do my best to live up to the standards you have here.

Law and Order Teacher said...

Pat,
It may seem to be overblown, but I think it is a debate that needs to be public. Abortion is an abomination on society and we need to stand against it. That said, thanks for the visit.

K&GT,
Thanks for the visit. I don't think it is so much that Obama is POTUS, that's an honor any school would seek. The problem is with his vehement stand against most, if not all of the stands of the Church. And this is a Catholic school.

If he appeared in a discussion forum that would be a major step toward an open exchange of ideas. However, making a speech without any opposing viewpoint and worse yet receiving an honorary degree, in my opinion serves as imprimatur of his stands and denigrates the teachings of the bishops, cardinals, and the pope.

Again, thanks for the visit and the civility of your argument.

Ducky's here said...

Abortion is murder, the death penalty is a red light violation.

------------------------

It appears that you still leave yourself some room to interpret doctrine. I'm curious what your views are on the "just war" doctrine.

Smart money says you feel quite free to ignore it.

Law and Order Teacher said...

Ducky,
Your point is well taken. Now, just war is up for grabs. I don't know what that means and the bishops have made a statement. I wish I knew what the "just war" meant. I will abide by my church on this statement. I don't love war, especially this one. Those of us with experience in this direction are against war. I don't know what "just war" is. It is an exercise in academia. Define it for me, please.