May 16th, 2009
03:15 PM ET
11 years ago

Obama's Notre Dame speech backlash

(CNN) - University of Notre Dame senior Emily Toates, like many in the Catholic faith, is angry over her school's decision to give President Obama an honorary degree at this weekend's commencement.

She's doing something about it: skipping the event.

"I do not feel comfortable going and celebrating him as the university hands him an honorary degree - in a sense honoring his policies," Toates said.

On Sunday, Obama will become one of many sitting U.S. presidents to deliver the commencement address at the Catholic institution. The honor comes much to the chagrin of anti-abortion groups and Catholics protesting the president's pro-choice, pro-stem cell research views.

ND Response, an anti-abortion student group that Toates is working with, will boycott the graduation ceremony in protest. Other anti-abortion groups have started petitions against Obama's appearance and have plans to protest his visit to the South Bend, Indiana, campus.

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Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (81 Responses)
  1. Obama is a Mistake

    Many Catholics voted for pro-abortion Obama, and against Pro-Life McCain-Palin. Catholics had a clear choice, but they abandoned the rights of the unborn. Catholics empowered Obama to take the oath of office. It's too late to try to absolve their guilt, over a silly honorary degree.

    May 16, 2009 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  2. Barbara Independent in NY

    Go ahead miss your graduation ceremony. I'm sick to death of all the whining from the "anti-choice" nuts out there. I was raised Catholic and believe me I know a lot about the Catholic church. Why don't we see all this carrying on and protesting when the church is protecting it's pedophiles? Hypochrites!

    May 16, 2009 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |

    Typical Irish racist. Remember folks; before you preach to your Blarney Stone- The sign in the 1800's read: "No DOGS OR IRISH". Those folks you hate so much could at least get in the back door.

    May 16, 2009 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  4. Steve in Pa

    I wouldn't get too upset about a 'gift' to President Obama. He earned a 'real' degree from a University much higher on the pecking block. Notre Dame thinks that they have a monopoly on morality. You should see some of my picture from the class of 1997. Notre Dame co-eds need to evaluate the position in the university. Perhaps you should consider Saint Marys'. They will sew your 'gift' shut until you graduate.

    May 16, 2009 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  5. Heather

    Does this make sense? George Bush spoke there and he was steadfast for the death penalty. A policy in which the Catholic church also opposes...Where was the outrage then?

    May 16, 2009 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |

    what good is it going to do to not go? they will cover the contents of the speech by media. think of it this way. why are we in so many wars
    the anwser is pride and nolove that is why you hate Obama you want to hurt him. be a dido head with out of a mind of your own....

    May 17, 2009 03:15 am at 3:15 am |
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