Should a pro-choice president speak at what is perhaps America’s premier Catholic university, Notre Dame? That’s a point of contention recently among students and alumni. President Obama has been invited to speak at the May commencement — as a number of sitting presidents have done — but because he’s pro-choice, some of the Fighting Irish are fighting back, as MSNBC reports:

In today’s edition of the student newspaper, The Observer, letters to the editor, which are usually reserved for debates over the color of The Shirt or whether it’s proper to chant “Sucks” at sporting events — was expanded to cover a lively debate over whether Obama should be speaking.

“Obama choice unacceptable,” read one headline, and “Obama a disgrace” shouted another.

The point of contention? The president’s record on issues related to abortion, the majority of which clash with the strict anti-abortion stance of the Catholic Church. An online petition has sprung up urging people to voice their complaints to Father John Jenkins, president of the university.

Apparently many Notre Damers think that toeing the line of Catholic doctrine is a prerequisite for anyone to speak at their precious, godly school. Oddly enough, however, none of them objected (that I’ve been able to discover) to George W. Bush having spoken at the Joyce Center in 2005, despite his having orchestrated a war in Iraq — which the Roman Catholic Church has condemned! Where were these doctrinaire folks, back then? I think we’re seeing an example of “issue-picking” rather than a genuine effort to uphold Catholic values.

To his credit, Notre Dame’s president, Fr John Jenkins, is going ahead with the Obama appearance anyway, as US News & World Report tells us:

The University of Notre Dame’s president is defending his invitation to President Barack Obama to deliver this year’s commencement address in the face of mounting protests from antiabortion Roman Catholics.

Of course, there are ancillary groups latching on to this controversy for their own reasons. USN&WR goes on to report:

Operation Rescue founder Randall Terry has joined the opposition to Obama at Notre Dame, with a new website and vows to organize commencement day protests …

Yes, that’s the same Randall Terry who — with the cooperation of ardent religionazis in Congress — orchestrated the deplorable Terri Schiavo fiasco. He’s also the same “family-values” warrior, abortion opponent, anti-gay crusader and marriage defender who 1) divorced (yes!) his first wife; 2) had not one but two daughters get knocked up; 3) one of whom converted to Islam; 4) had a son who turned out to be gay; and 5) disowned him for coming out of the closet.

Yeah, that Randall Terry. Nice guy, huh?

At any rate, it’s astounding how people who love to declare that they stand on principles … e.g. Roman Catholic doctrines … will do so only in some cases, while in others they look the other way. It’s also astounding that there are people who truly believe that the mercenary-minded rabble-rouser and attention-whore Randall Terry actually believes any of the tripe he’s selling … !

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