More Pro-Lifers Join Protests Over Notre Dame's Obama Invite

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By Katherine T. Phan, Christian Post Reporter
April 9, 2009|7:58 am

More pro-lifers are joining the growing protests over Notre Dame's invitation to President Obama.

Randall Terry, founder of Operation Rescue, a pro-life group in Chicago, led demonstrations on Tuesday in front of the offices of Richard C. Notebaert, chairman of Notre Dame Board of Trustees, and Arthur R. Velasquez, who is a member of the Board of Fellows.

Terry is demanding that the school rescind its invitation to Obama as commencement speaker and dismiss the school's president, the Rev. John Jenkins.

The goal of the protest is to "create such a political mudpit that the presidential advisors would advise him not to speak," Terry told The Christian Post after the event.

He also said the dismissal of Jenkins is appropriate because "his moral compass is broken."

"To have the most famous Catholic university in the western hemisphere to invite the chief proponent of child killing in the western hemisphere is tantamount to the rape of catholic orthodoxy and sociology," said Terry, who has published his demands at www.stopobamanotredame.com.

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The protest comes on the heels of a student-led prayer rally the University of Notre Dame on Palm Sunday. A coalition of student groups, ND Response, asked the university to withdraw its offer to award an honorary doctor of laws degree to Obama at the May 17th event. The group is also protesting the commencement invite but believes a rescission would be "disrespectful" to the president.

Terry attended the Notre Dame event but thought the rally was "anemic."

"It's tragic that they would respect the president's feelings more than the 50 million babies that have lost their lives to abortion," he remarked.

On Tuesday, about two dozen people joined the pro-life activist outside Notebaert's office while a dozen came to the protest outside Velasquez's office.

Velasquez said he would take a very strong message back to school officials, according Terry.

Many pro-life supporters, including at least 19 Catholic bishops who came out against Obama's invitation, have cited the president's abortion policies, including his repeal of Mexico City Policy, which prevented American tax dollars from funding organizations that promote abortion overseas, and his repeal of a federal regulation against embryonic stem cell funding, as reasons for their outrage.

A man wearing an Obama mask at the protest sported red-painted hands to symbolize the "innocent blood shed" through abortion while holding a sign reading "Thank you for confirming me."

Demonstrators also held a sign posing the question: "Would the school invite Pilate to speak after he condemned Christ?" Terry used the upcoming Easter weekend as inspiration for the banner.

"Jesus said whoever does unto the least of these, he does unto me," commented Terry, who designed the banner. "Obama is condemning Christ when he authorized the death of the innocent with our money in Africa and China. So the university has not only betrayed the Catholic Orthodoxy, it has also betrayed Christ."

Terry will be in Washington D.C. on Good Friday, the day Pilate condemned Jesus Christ, to rally more pro-life advocates to join the Notre Dame protest. He plans to also organize similar protests in Los Angeles and Modesto, Calif., and Dallas and Fort Wayne, Texas.

 

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