Thursday, April 2, 2009

Commenting on the Cardinal's Comments

They say that you should never talk about religion or politics when you're in a bar.

Luckily, I'm sitting in my kitchen.

Today, like most days, I'm flipping through my trusted (and currently in chapter 11 bankruptcy) Sun-Times, online (oops), when the headline screams at me: "Cardinal George: ND Obama invite an 'embarrassment'."

The article quotes the good Cardinal as saying it's an "extreme embarrassment," for the Golden Domers to have invited him to speak at this year's commencement.

Huh? We're talking about the current President of the United States, right?

Let's be perfectly clear on this. George W. Bush, was an extreme embarrassment.


He's a liar and a war criminal and a fear mongering you-know-what. Hopefully, he'll be prosecuted for these and other shortcomings at some point in the future.

Obama, regardless of where your support lies, hasn't been in charge long enough to have earned that distinguishing moniker.

Moving on.

Who does the Cardinal think he is, anyways? For a man in such a distinguished position of leadership, he's really set a poor example for all of the kiddies (what happened to love thy neighbor, he who is without sin, and all that jazz). I'm sorry if I offend anybody, as it is not my intention to do so (I might as well get the apology out before the fact, a true patriotic act, eh), but he's got some nerve. Especially as a man of the cloth.

First of all, if the POTUS (President of the United States) wants to speak at your behest, even if it were George II, it's an (gulp) honor. Kids start learning of the respect Americans hold for the Office of the President at a very young age. Even Catholic children. After all, being President puts you in more of an elite club than being in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. So if he, or someday she, is willing to come and speak at your school, or church, or mosque, then props to you.

Take that ball and run with it.

Don't, as an organizational leader, whine and cry and publicly denounce this event. Find the good and positive things to promote for all Americans, not just the Catholic ones. After all, our country is in a royal mess. I mean bad. I'm not telling you anything you don't already know. We, as a society, need to find common ground. Unity. What's best for the many, not for the few. We just don't need any more trivial and petty fighting among various American tribes.

This is the real embarrassment.

So what if Obama's views differ from Catholic beliefs? Some of mine are different, to be sure. So are many other peoples'. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that the previous Presidents who spoke there (Carter, Reagan, Bush I and II) had some different opinions on things good and evil as well.

He's. The. President.

Let's face it. In addition to being an extremely large religious group, the Catholic Church is a major corporation, and run accordingly (college football EXCLUSIVELY on NBC, anyone?). The Church even has had it's share of scandal and corruption embedded into it's makeup and reputation, just like other monster corporations (see Enron, AIG). These few statements, alone, weakens the proverbial moral compass that the Church possess. Plus, and most importantly, I'm quite sure that Notre Dame is very happy to allow students of any faith to attend their prestigious school.

So long as the tuition gets paid, that is.

Plus, Notre Dame has a proud (yes, proud) tradition of inviting a sitting (yes, sitting) president to come and speak. This is not an unusual event.

Cardinal George knows this, as does Cardinal Timothy Dolan, archbishop of New York, and the other archbishops who've jumped on the anti-Obama soapbox.

So really, what is the embarrassment really all about? Is it really about stem cells? C'mon. If Catholics really feel this way, as Cardinal George would suggest, then maybe he should figure a way to get Catholics out of America entirely. After all, if this issue of stem cell research goes so horribly against the tenets of the group that you are supposedly bound to, then you can't possibly feel good about being part of American society. So you might as well just go and live among people that don't see the value of such unbelievably unbelievable science.

Now there's a solution.

Since he's a prominent and major Catholic leader, perhaps that should be a responsibility he'd be willing to take on. He knows best, right? Maybe it will get him that Papal gig he seemed to have missed out on a coupla years ago.

So it goes...

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