Monday, May 18, 2009

Will Obama At Notre Dame Be the Selma, Alabama Of the Pro-Life Movement?

On March 21, 1965, 3,200 civil rights protesters marched from Selma, Alabama singing "We Shall Overcome" and heading for Montgomery. Their numbers grew to 25,000 when they eventually reached Montgomery. Selma had been the scene of a two year effort to register black voters and desegregate public lunch counters.

Many people look to that march, the culmination of the civil rights movement's protests and its courage in the face of violence and retaliation in Selma, as a turning point in American history. For many Americans at that time, the denial of Blacks' civil rights was the defining moral issue of the age. This courageous minority eventually captured the imagination of the nation and brought about fundamental reform. To this day, there are individual Americans of my generation who look back at the March from Selma as life changing. It certainly was nation changing.

Notre Dame University honored President Barak Obama with a Doctor of Laws and its choice of him as its commencement speaker. Many Catholics saw this honoring of a man whose actions contribute to further deaths of the unborn as a dishonoring of the charism of the premier Catholic University in America.

Two thousand five hundred protesters gathered at the Grotto for prayer and in the quadrangle for mass and a peaceful protest. Many more protested outside the campus and scores were arrested on Notre Dame's campus. Among the arrests were eighty year old Father Father Norman U. Weslin founder of Lambs for Christ, Alan Keyes, and Norma McCorvey. Norma McCovey is the "Jane Roe" the plaintiff in Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that abolished America's abortion laws.

Many people, indeed most people, in America do not view abortion as the defining moral issue of our age. That is true of most people who identify themselves as Catholics. History often has a very different perspective from that of the majority in any given time and place. It would be ironic if America's first Black President occasioned the protests that history looked back on as the Selma, Alabama of the Pro-Life movement: the turning point in the nation's treatment of its most vunerable citizens' civil rights.


Anonymous said...

Sorrowfully, I think not.

“Without a free press and the right of assembly, it is impossible not merely to appeal to outside opinion, but to bring a mass movement into being, or even to make your intentions known to your adversary.”

George Orwell, “Reflections on Gandhi”

IMO: Today, you have a biased press. Our 80 y.o. priest (God Bless Him!) was arrested for praying the Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary on the blood-sodden grounds of the University of Our Lady. If it weren't so tragic, it would be farce.

Plus, only dead democrats (not unborn) can vote in this country.

Dr. Malcolm C. Harris, Sr. said...

I was surprised at the coverage in the secular media: a good deal of the truth got out. Certainly people who never knew who Norma McCovey was discovered that "Roe" is against Roe v. Wade. ["Doe" is too, incidentally.] The Old Media may be dying, but the rank and file in them are more open to alternatives than were the narrowly parochial practitioners that Spiro Agnew attacked thirty years ago. Always be the best Christian you can be when you deal with them.

Put your trust in the triumph of Truth and continue the race! The true source of our Hope is not in the White House, but ruling on the right hand of the Father. Even if we sometimes feel we are Sisyphus pushing that rock up the hill, keep pushing!