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May 15th, 2009
09:29 PM ET

Fighting Irish Battle Obama

Tensions are rising at the University of Notre Dame.  Many Catholics are angry that President Obama will be giving the commencement speech because of his positions on abortion and stem cell research.  Some clergy members are boycotting, many students are upset and anti-abortion activists have protested around the school's campus in South Bend, Indiana.

CNN will be covering the speech live on Sunday afternoon and we want to hear your opinion.  Was the Catholic University wrong to invite Obama to speak at their graduation ceremony?  Should the President be welcomed regardless of what he supports politically?  

Get in front of a camera and share your opinion on iReport, we may just use your video on air!!


Filed under: iReport
soundoff (65 Responses)
  1. janet

    try to find soemthing in common instead of hating for one thing .. it has to start somewhere. Even Pastor Rick Warren says and does this .. he works with people that he can work together on even if he doesn't agree 100% of where that person differs from him

    May 15, 2009 at 9:42 pm |
  2. Kendric Owens

    Just goes to show that neither higher education nor a moral high-horse preclueds ignorance.

    May 15, 2009 at 10:53 pm |
  3. Robert Benard

    I'm just a little curious; but first of all, do these hypocrites realize that the person they are boycotting just happens to be the President of the United States. Secondly, why are they spending so much time on such a trivial subject matter when Catholic Priest have been molesting little boys since the beginning of time....hmmm

    May 16, 2009 at 8:18 am |
  4. Sarah

    OBAMA GETTING AN HONORARY DEGREE AT NOTRE DAME IS A SLAP IN THE FACE FOR PRO-LIFE, CONSERVATIVES AND TOLERANCE IS NOT A GOOD EXCUSE FOR IT. I PRAY FOR OBAMA TO HAVE A REVOLUTIONARY CHANGE OF HEART. WE ARE AT ODDS WITH PEOPLE EVERY DAY, WE CAN BE COURTEOUS AND CIVIL IN OUR DAILY LIVES TO ONE ANOTHER. THAT DOESN'T MEAN I WILL 'HONOR' AND HOLD HIGH ANYONE I DISAGREE WITH ON SUCH A PASSIONATE SUBJECT AS TERRORISM OF THE WOMB. ON SOME THINGS WE CAN NOT COMPROMISE ON, BECAUSE THIS COMPROMISES OUR FAITH, WHICH COMPROMISES YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD. THEN WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT DO YOU REALLY STAND FOR ?? UNACCEPTABLE.

    SARAH, S.E. OKLAHOMA

    May 16, 2009 at 8:41 am |
  5. Andrew Tagg

    This issue is just another example of the hypocrisy of the pro-life movement. The Catholic Church has clear policy of the preservation of life which includes a clear objection to the death penalty. The problem with the pro-life movement it uses one aspect of the churches teachings. If Notre Dame is a true Catholic University, and as such sees itself in conflict with politicians who policies are in conflict with the Church, then it should have taken the same position in 2001 when Presidents Bush spoke, as it is doing with President Obama. President Bush's position on the death penalty was clear. In fact nearly all the presidents in the last 40 years were advocates of the death penalty. The hypocrisy of the so called Catholics and pro-life movement is clear. The Catholic Church has my respect as its position on the sanctuary of life is clear and not discriminate, its a pity some of its so called followers are not true to its teachings.

    May 16, 2009 at 8:55 am |
  6. Purple Spider

    The individual behind extending the President to speak and receive an "honorary degree" reprsesenting Notre Dame, obviously didn't care or didn't think of what the impact would be. Based on this President's beliefs of Abortion and Stem Cell Research, it goes against the church doctrine. Irregardless of how people react, they have a right to their religion, and in my opinion, the President is failing to show respect to the students who are strict Catholics.
    You may "be in the tank" for Obama, but this fiasco has gone too far in a negative direction and is taking up newstime, that could be spent in serious issues of this country!

    May 16, 2009 at 8:56 am |
  7. J. McNamara

    When the Pope visited New York and said mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral he gave Holy Communion to Rudy Guilini, married 3 times and who has officially stated his pro abortion, pro gay marriage positions.I don't not agree with abortion however this action against our President by a group of politically motivated US bishops to cherry pick this time to villify and disgrace the first black American president stinks of hypocrasy. This is a self made man who handles every situation in a Christian manner, always taking the higher ground. He is married to his first wife and by all accounts a great father. He is presently establishing a group in Washington to reduce the amount of abortions in the US. Where were these bishops, when for 25 years children were victimized in the Catholic Church . Where was there voice then.They were probably listening to Rush Linbaugh and Sean Hannity on the radio.

    May 16, 2009 at 9:28 am |
  8. Mr Dean n Seattle

    what I find interesting is how these people wrap their arms around pedifile priests yet protest a leader that suports a position to better the life of the elderly and disabled people who have chrippling diseases.
    can't they even think of taking care of Gods children after birth?

    May 16, 2009 at 10:17 am |
  9. Simone

    Most of these kids aren't as "anti-abortion" as they are little rich extreme right-wing raised spoiled brats, whose egos can't survive without a "cause". Too bad they can't put their money where their hypocritic mouths are by helping these pregnant women out with childcare expenses and education costs so they can AFFORD to have their babies! So much for charity and rendering to Ceasar which My Lord Jesus Christ taught. I'm so ashamed that these disrepectful thugs are representatives of My Lord's Church.

    God bless and heal.

    May 16, 2009 at 10:38 am |
  10. Leroy Curtis

    The Catholics are hypocrites in my view.An emryo has feelings and rights.A young boy has none.They allowed and covered up the abuse of young boys for years and are now critical of Mr.Obama because of his position on abortion and stem cell research,give me a break?you scar children for the rest of their lives,a Pope says he's sorry and thats it?Am I missing something?

    May 16, 2009 at 11:34 am |
  11. Patrick

    I don't understand why they are complaining about the president going to speak at Notre Dame. He was voted into office by the people who are now complaining. Just let him give the speech and go about your business

    May 16, 2009 at 12:42 pm |
  12. Judy Miller

    Where is the respect for the office of President?
    Where is the respect for this year's Notre Dame graduates?

    These students have worked hard; their families have sacrificed, and they deserve to enjoy their day - not have it co-opted by these single-issue radicals who give no quarter in their 'righteous anger'. The handful of graduates who agree with the issue can exercise their right to not attend their ceremony.

    Notre Dame Graduates of 2009 - Congratulations! You are indeed honored to have the President speak at your ceremony. Enjoy your day, and I sincerely hope your memories are not ruined.

    The strident screamers demean themselves and their cause,by this unseemly display.

    May 16, 2009 at 1:09 pm |
  13. J'me

    Does Notre Dame accept Federal Funding or grants? I don't see them not accepting money from the goverment.

    May 16, 2009 at 3:27 pm |
  14. Sophie

    Having Barack Obama as the commencement speaker and giving him an award could be equated with inviting David Duke to give the commencement address and receive an award from Howard University.

    May 16, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  15. Barbara

    Although this has me very angry I respect everyone's option to protest, to voice their opinion and to stand for their foundational beliefs. However, I am struck by the hypocrisy of the catholic church who moves pedophiles from parish to parish, denies the existence of homosexuality among the troops and finds celibacy the preferred alternative to realistic human requirement of affection; Something God seems to promote and is supported by the church. I do believe the Bible is a testament to the time it was written – politics rule no matter the belief.

    Side note: facebook is deleting this exact comment immediately from the wall of cnn.

    May 16, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  16. Carol

    It is incredible that this has been such a hot topic for the past week. It is not even an issue. Notre Dame is a private, relatively small school which didn't allow female students until the 1970's, in a small town of Indiana. Except for their football team and alumni support and school spirit, there isn't that much else as an attraction.

    It appears that many outsiders who were traditionally on the anti-abortion protests over the years have made this their hill to stand on. The news reporters are falling all over themselves reporting this non-story as a huge conflict., and making it sound as though the majority of students are against the President speaking. More accurate, responsible reporting would be appreciated.

    It hardly matters in the scheme of things. People have much more to think about and hopefully, do, rather than rant and rave about this one topic a person might have strong feelings about.

    I think Americans need to learn to debate respectfully and thoughtfully. The bishop and some students boycotting show poor sportsmanship. The obsessive Randall Terry anti-abortion supporters coming into South Bend during the commencement weekend is poor form. This is a graduation ceremony, not a political weekend. Find a more appropriate event to protest. If you aren't part of commencement, go home.

    May 16, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  17. Christina

    It is WRONG that Obama will speak at Notre Dame. I think Notre Dame should be embrassed by letting him speak.

    May 16, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  18. L G

    Question... What up about the molestation of children and pedifiles in the catholic church? When you adress these issues immediately and appropriately then you can make comments about a reputable president of the US adressing the "Gold Dome School"

    May 16, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  19. Frank Tiggs

    If these protests were actually based on so-called "catholic principles", then they should also be outraged that their two football championships that were coached by a protestant. and what about the outrage of inviting George W. Bush, who had ordered over 150 executions as Texas Gov. When certain people continue to show consistent inconsistency in their rationale to oppose this President, they are not being honest. We've seen this behavior demonstrated throughout the campaign, and I that suspect, we'll continue to see as long as we have a black President. As an African American, I have more respect for those who have the courage to say they don't like me because of who I am, than those who pretend to like me, but who oppose me with an uneven rationale. Eric Holder put it best; America is still, in many ways, a nation of cowards.

    May 16, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  20. mike sullivan

    To all REAL CATHOLICS who voted for Obama...SHAME SHAME SHAME.....All Catholics get out and stop him from getting near Notre Dame.

    May 16, 2009 at 5:52 pm |
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