The recent flap over President Obama's appearance at Notre Dame's commencement again exposes the Catholic ultra-right for what it is--hypocritical, self-righteous, and narrow-minded.
Anti-abortionists showed up red-faced, hell-bent and furious in South Bend over the weekend to protest Obama's visit to that Catholic "sanctuary" Notre Dame. Actually, there were fewer protestors than you might think (the rabid few gave TV cameras their Jerry Springer moment), and Notre Dame (no longer a football factory due to recent losing seasons) accepts students of all faiths, backgrounds, and nationalities. Polls show a large portion of the student body backs Obama and accepts pro-choice dogma. So it was a bunch of lunatic outsiders who invaded South Bend to howl their one-issue message to the world.
Why are these people hypocrites? Because they never protest the war in Iraq, and authentic church dogma is as much anti-war as it is anti-abortion. I respect those Catholics who oppose war as well as abortion; at least, they are consistent. But those who line up on the political right, for one reason and one reason only, to oppose a woman's right to choose, do so with full knowledge that they endorsing other political policies that fly in the face of the teachings of the Church. Apparently, they do this without the slightest flicker of conscience. For instance, Catholics who supported Bush because of his anti-abortion stance also supported his unholy war, his immoral torture of detainees, his defense contractors' death profits, his eroding of civil liberties, and his anti-human positions on right-to-privacy and health care issues. These conscienceless Catholics never objected to the Bush atrocities on these fronts...only on abortion. To die on the battlefield, in prison, or because you can't pay for health care is just too bad, but perfectly okay, I guess. Think about it...that means they ascribe to this crazy logic: the end of life matters only before it begins, not after it begins. It must be quite comforting to be a white, suburban, Republican Catholic oblivious to social concerns other than abortion.
Truthfully, anti-abortion hypocrites take their cues from an out-of-touch, hopelessly isolated Roman hierarchy led by a man once took his place in the ranks of the Hilter youth brigade. Come to think of it, if Hitler were still alive and were an anti-abortion candidate, the Catholic right would swarm to the polls to pull the lever for old Adolf.
(Note: Tim Fleming is a Catholic-educated writer living in the Midwest. His recent novel, Murder Of An American Nazi, is a work of historical fiction.)