Despite the fact that most Catholics haven’t even heard about the University of Notre Dame’s decision to invite President Barack Obama to speak at its commencement (and, of those who have heard about it, a majority support it) Alan Keyes and Randall Terry have spent the last few weeks camped out there, protesting, and loving every ego-stroking minute of it.
Both have already been arrested and have generally being making spectacles of themselves, with Keyes declaring yesterday that Obama’s speech “is as great a crisis for the Catholic church as the crisis that occurred some years back with the abuse.”
Never one to be outdone, Terry piped in today with his own hyperbole:
In South Bend, former Operation Rescue leader Terry has set up shop, scheduling rounds of protests. Followers stand at the university gates, holding up signs with photos of aborted fetuses. Last week, Republican gadfly Keyes was among 22 protesters arrested on trespassing charges.
“We want this to be a political mud pit for Obama,” Terry said. “Our mission is to tar him with the blood of the babies so he can never shake it between now and 2012.”
And now Keyes, Terry, and others are portraying themselves as martyrs as they seek to go over Notre Dame President Rev. John Jenkins’ head and demanding a meeting with his superiors in the Holy Cross order demanding a meeting regarding Jenkins’ “abuse of authority” for having them arrested in violation of God’s law:
“We are writing to seek redress of grievances we have suffered at the hands of a member of your order by abuse of his authority as President of the University of Notre Dame.”
1) He has scandalized us and other members of the community of the faithful by his role in the decision taken by the University of Notre Dame, in defiance of the explicit direction of Church leaders, to extend a scandalous commencement speaking invitation and honorary degree to Barack Obama, who has become the focus of abortion evil in the world today;
2) To cover this scandalous decision, he ordered the University Police to prevent us from fulfilling our obligation, under God’s law and the Church’s teaching, to witness to truth so that young souls affected by his scandalous action would not be lost through obstinate commitment to the sins it encourages;
To address these grievances, we respectfully request that you:
1) Immediately grant us a hearing so that we may formally detail the moral and material harm we have suffered at the hands of a member of your order;
2) Request and require that Father Jenkins, and any others of your order who may be involved with him in this matter, appear at the said hearing to respond to our charges against him;
3) Render judgment and immediate relief from the harm done to us, and others of the community of the faithful acting as we do, including but not limited to the immediate, public and complete withdrawal of all charges brought against us by the University before the civil authorities and the immediate cessation of all acts that persecute individuals witnessing to truth in accordance with divine law and the teachings and direction of the Church.