Thursday, April 9, 2009

Representative Kimble's Open Letter on Obama - Notre Dame Controversy

Dear President Father Jenkins,

As a 1985 graduate of Notre Dame, I have many fond memories of my time spent in our lady's hallowed halls. Since graduating I have always remained proud of my alma matter and I have applied the moral training that I received at Notre Dame to my career in public office. As a member of Congress I am often called on to make tough moral decisions and it is my faith and the influence of Notre Dame and Ronald Reagan that allow me to make the tough choices.

It is for this reason I am writing to you to protest in the strongest terms your decision to have President Obama speak at this year's Commencement Ceremony. A graduation speaker must uphold the values of the University he is speaking at and President Obama does not do this.

I remember my own graduation very vividly. When El Salvadoran President Juan Napoleon Duarte spoke to us, we knew that he was approaching us as a fellow Catholic and Notre Dame alumnus and that his faith had carried him through difficult times. When those nuns were murdered in his country by right wing death squads under his leadership he must have felt awful, but like Job in the Bible he persevered to continue fighting against socialism and for Catholic ideals in El Salvador.

My grandfather graduated from Notre Dame in 1942 and while World War II was in everybody's thoughts, it was speaker J. Edgar Hoover who told the graduates about a world where law and order would be strictly enforced. This was another moral man who spoke with the convictions of our beautiful university. What Obama must understand is that the decision of Earl Warren (Commencement Speaker 1957) and his Supreme Court in Roe vs. Wade is an anathema to Catholic teaching

Through the years, Notre Dame has had war heroes like William T. Sherman and politicians like President Bush speak at graduations and they have always been men of the highest character. How hypocritical is it of our great university to now ask somebody like Obama, who is quite probably secretly a Muslim, to speak. To go from a great fighter of socialism in Juan Napoleon Duarte to a socialist like Obama in the span of just 25 years is distressing and I fear for the future of Notre Dame. I am suspending my $20 annual contribution until this matter is rectified and a new football coach is hired.

Representative Jack Kimble (Class of '85)

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