Here’s the quote that jumped out at me in this piece by the Catholic Standard and Times concerning Michelle Obama’s visit to Villanova University:
Casey Dolan, a senior at Villanova and a volunteer at the rally, encouraged the protesters in their freedom of speech, but said she believed that “Villanova’s role as an academic institution should trump its role as a Catholic university.”
“I know our mission is based in the Augustinian tradition and Catholicism, but I would think, in this case, if Villanova has the opportunity to bring the community together, rally around the concept of politics and the presidential election, that should trump any pro-choice, pro gay-marriage or any other stance that Mr. and Mrs. Obama have,” she said.
What she means is that their presence should trump any issues she doesn’t particularly care about. Or she knows that the school has a Catholic history but she’s here now and everyone she knows agrees that we’re not so into that whole Catholic thing so we’ll put up a plaque or something but…it’s history.
Obama spoke to nearly 2,500 students and community members at the Jake Nevin field house. There was no opportunity for questions and answers afterwards. Of course not. You wouldn’t want Michelle Obama saying things she believes like she’s not proud of her country or something like that.
Of course, the university disavows any responsibility by saying that although the rally was organized by a registered student association calling itself “Villanova Students for Barack Obama,” according to school officials the university was in no way sponsoring or endorsing the candidate.
The Catholic university granted permission to the group because “the student engagement in the political process and the presidential election is a very positive educational learning experience for the students,” said Kathleen Byrnes, associate vice president for student life. “Because the engagement in the political process is an important part in a young adult’s development, we allow student groups to bring presidential candidates to campus. We would welcome any presidential candidate that a student group wants to bring.”
How about the nominee of the Nazi party? No? She must mean political people that are cool.
The decidedly uncool members of Generation Life, based in Oreland, were among the first to speak out against the Obama rally on campus. Judi McLane, director of Generation Life, said the organization did not oppose students becoming politically engaged, but rather, it opposed bringing to a Catholic campus Obama, who supports abortion on demand and partial birth abortions. As a state legislator he voted against an Illinois bill that would have protected infants who survive botched late-term abortions. [On the federal level, the Born Alive Infant Protection Act was signed into law in 2002.].
“Let’s say that there was a candidate who supported slavery — would you allow him to come on your campus as a way of promoting student involvement in the political arena?” McLane asked. “We have been so brainwashed into thinking that abortion is a political issue when it is a human rights issue. You would never allow someone on campus who supported killing Jewish people or supported killing African-Americans. It is so absurd. The killing of the unborn is the most important social ‘unjust’ issue that we have today.”
Amen to that. This is just a case of the people in the school and the people who run the school want to be cool. And among academic types, Obama is cool. The uncool people are the ones who have the indecency of pointing out that Obama favors baby killing.
So here you have a senior who says that the university’s academic role surpasses its role as a religious institution? Well I agree. It has. Villanova has clearly shunned its Catholicism in favor of being cool.