- Has Notre Dame students checked their "critical thinking" skills at the door? When critical thinking students "feel unsafe" around opposing political viewpoints America is in trouble. America is a public, political, theological, democratic, arena full of logical apologists who live in the real world. This latest college student rant is embarrassing and laughable at the same time.
Rather than deal with the protests and media attention of having President Trump speak, University President Father John Jenkins opted instead to invite VP Mike Pence as Fr. Jenkins didn’t “want the surrounding controversy to distract from the central purpose of commencement." (Click here for full article)
- The protesting campaign consists of students holding white boards featuring quotes from Pence that are "racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, offensive, or ostracizing" to members of the Notre Dame community.
The University of Notre Dame is America’s flagship Catholic University. The mission statement reads the Catholic identity of the university depends upon, and is nurtured by, the continuing presence of a predominant number of Catholic intellectuals. This ideal has been consistently maintained by the university leadership throughout its history.
Vice President Pence, was raised Catholic. He served as a Catholic youth minister and like most believers consistently works to unite Catholics and Evangelicals to promote the faith based on the Bible.
It is fitting that in the 175th year of the University it would recognize its native son who served the state of Indiana and now the nation the honor of this years commencement speaker.
Can you imagine a protest at The Islamic American University, one of the most renowned Islamic colleges in the US if Keith Ellison was asked to speak. Their mission statement is to educate Muslim students about the Quran as well as the deep rooted Muslim traditions, known as Sunnah. Islamic colleges are private institutions just like Catholic and Evangelical colleges each with deep rooted aspects of their faith.
Protesting Vice President Mike Pence from speaking at a "Catholic" University is as ridiculous as it would be protesting Islamic converted Keith Ellison from giving a commencement speech in America because of his conservative faith. Would students protest and call him homophobic or racist?
Keith Ellison is the first Muslim to be elected to the U.S. Congress. Islam is clear in its prohibition of homosexual acts. Islamic scholars cite the following for condemning homosexuality, based on their teachings of the Qur'an and Sunnah:
- It clashes with the "natural" order in which God created human beings
- It brings destruction of the family and the institutions of marriage
- It leads people to ignore God's guidance in other areas of life
I read this great commentary on Leviticus 9:1-11:47 by Rabbi Justin Goldstein. He states that communication is the foundation of community and we are literally having separate conversations. When seeking to establish a community grounded in values and decency, it becomes easy to view those who share a different perspective as an enemy or an adversary. Yet, the Jewish tradition comes and pushes us to see beyond this black-and-white dichotomy — to step into the gray and learn what discernible truths there may be even, or perhaps especially, in those viewpoints that contradict our own.
We give precedence to viewpoints to which we already adhere, and we find ways to dismiss those ideas that seem to contradict that which we already believe. We can see the breakdown of communication before our very eyes, it becomes all the more important to commit ourselves to open dialogue and communication grounded in decency and respect. Likewise we must remind ourselves that our communities are “shared by all or many,” and it is precisely in the gray area of these diverse viewpoints in which we will find, in the words of Pirkei Avot, the Divine Presence. (Click here to read the full article!)