Amen, amen I say to Daniele Crittenden

Many conservatives — especially those at National Review Online’s “The Corner” — are praising Glendon for her “leadership.” This isn’t leadership but the opposite: it’s burying one’s head in the sand. Here we have yet another example of religious conservatives opting out of engagement with the larger political culture, even that within their own church.

Even if you view President Obama’s stance on abortion — which this is about — as wrong, or even appalling, wouldn’t you want to take this opportunity to address the president directly — or as the old saying goes, “Speak truth to power?”

Notre Dame has not, after all, invited the head of Planned Parenthood, or a doctor who performs abortions, or even a pro-abortion activist, which the language of Glendon’s letter suggests.

Rather it has invited the president. Of the United States. For whom many Catholics and non-Catholics alike voted. Glendon’s words suggest that Obama may be president but he is not HER President, or the Catholics’ president — a highly divisive and anti-democratic sentiment.

Glendon should have accepted the award graciously, and seized this rare chance to articulate her principles directly to Obama. As the university rightly points out: it is a “good thing” to advance your causes with political leaders.

And it’s exactly the point I’ve made all along. I have the greatest respect for Ms. Glendon and for her principles, I wish she’d just take the time to share them with a President and inspire graduates as they leave the biggest Catholic University in the country.

I get Glendon’s point that she believe the University’s invitation is a slap to the Bishops (I would argue that allowing him to speak is not, but perhaps the honorary degree may be), but it’s happening anyway. There are so many people who have dismissed the Catholic voice in our country and I fear that she’s just made it easier for them to do so.


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0 thoughts on “Glendon’s Failed “Hail Mary””
  1. I as many Catholics have many mixed emotions on this ongoing Notre Dame saga. After placing much thought on this, you are right in your argument. I came across a quote from Pope Felix III that best describes why you are right.

    “Not to oppose error is to approve it, and not to defend truth is to suppress it, and indeed to neglect to confound evil men, when we can do it, is no less a sin than to encourage them.”
    – Pope St. Felix III

  2. If Obama had been invited to a debate with Glendon on the issue of the murder of babies it would have been the right move to invite and for her to accept. However, this invite was a direct slap in the face of the bishops, especially the bishop for that dioceses. She was right to reject the invite especially when she was clearly being used by Jenkins to deflect the rightous anger of faithful Catholics including over 50 bishops. To honor the worst abortion president in history is a disgrace.

  3. You say she ought to have taken the oppoturnity given to her to share her principles with the President. The problem with this is that Ms. Glendon would have had all of five minutes to do so, the total length of her acceptance speech. I think she’s articulated her principles quite clearly and directly in her refusal letter, and President Obama has to know of her letter. Her views on the matter likely got more attention than if she had accepted the medal.

    Also, she stated that a commencement address is an entirely inappropriate venue in which to address President Obama’s horrendous abortion record, and that this would be unfair to the graduates who should be celebrating a joyous occasion. College life is certainly meant for the discussion of major societal issues, but commencement day is not.

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