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March 24, 2009

Obama honoris causa

I've always thought it was dopey for Catholic institutions of higher learning to bar on-campus appearances by prominent people who are pro-choice--sort of the spiritual equivalent of sticking your fingers in yours ears and shouting la-la-la-la. But it's not clear to me that giving President Obama an honorary degree, as Notre Dame proposes to do, is the same thing. An honorary degree is, well, an honor--in a way, to cite Tom Reese's example, that Cardinal Egan's invitation to the Al Smith dinner is not. As a non-Catholic, I can think of various reasons for Notre Dame to honor Obama. And I can think of reasons for it not to. There is, in short, something here to fight about. And they're fighting about it.

(Originally posted at Spiritual Politics.)