Sunday, May 10, 2009

Alan Keyes Arrested At Notre Dame

Alan Keyes , a former Presidential candidate was arrested at Notre Dame University for joining a group of anti-abortion protesters who were upset at Barack Obama being invited to speak. Driving the protests was the fact that Notre Dame is a Catholic university. Some devout Roman Catholics feel that Notre Dame should not be honoring an individual who gave critical support to pro abortion legislation while in the Illinois legislature. During his time in the Illinois State Senate, Obama opposed passage of the Born Alive Protection Act, which is intended to protect infants born alive after an abortion attempt. World Net Daily quotes Mr. Keyes as follows.

"I will step foot on the Notre Dame campus to lift up the standard that protects the life of the innocent children of this and every generation," Keyes said in a statement prior to his arrest. "I will do it all day and every day from now until the Master comes if need be, though it means I shall be housed every day in the prison house of lies and injustice that Obama, Jenkins and their minions now mean to construct for those who will never be still and silent in the face of their mockery of God and justice, their celebration of evil."

Georgetown University, a Catholic university near Washington DC was also criticised for covering up religious symbols in a hall where Obama was to speak. The university was criticised for caving in on the issue. Additionlly, the advance team preparing for Obama's arrival was seen as heavy handed in asking a religious institution to be so self effacing.

The two episodes raise larger questions of how much a religious institution must compromise on its religious beliefs to get federal government money. Yeshiva University, which offers both religious and secular programs was roundly criticised for allowing gay student groups on the campuses of its affiliated medical school, Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Legal counsel for Yeshiva University advised the school that they could not refuse the gay groups the right to be active on campus of the university's secular division.

Fordham University is a Catholic university in the Bronx. They were able to refuse recognition to gay student groups. It would be interesting for religious schools and universities of all denominations to band together on legal matters of common concern. It is important that the religious label on a University have substantial rather than merely symbolic value. Covering religious symbols , inviting a political leader who has opinions and an agenda at odds with church teaching and allowing student groups at odds with the religious values at the core of a university's charter are a high price to pay for government funding.

Prayer has been banished from public schools. It now seems that faith is on shaky grounds in private institutions as well. It is a small but hopeful sign that some brave individuals are standing up and protesting this disturbing trend. Alan Keyes is to be commended for expecting Notre Dame University to defend its Catholic principles, and for being jailed in defense of the rights of the unborn. At a time when many are "going along to get along", Alan Keyes deserves admiration for going against the tide. Sphere: Related Content

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