If there was any doubt that the leadership of Notre Dame University is confused about its Catholic identity, we need look no further than the presentation this week by Secretary of Defense Bob Gates to their annual commencement. Actually, the “Secretary of Defense” moniker is a bit of subterfuge. In reality, he is the Secretary of Imperial Violence, Slaughter, and Murder, but to actually refer to him in that way would be waaaaay too much truth in politics for this nation.
The sorrow and shame is compounded by the near-silence in the Catholic community over this event. Where were all those pro-life bishops who protested so strongly when the Tyrant Emperor Obama I was invited to speak at Notre Dame? As near as I can tell, there were no pro-life demonstrations at all to his speech. Yet. . . don’t all people, born and unborn, share in the right to life? Isn’t willing participation in an unjust war always and under all circumstances objectively evil? One can hardly assert that the Secretary of Violence Bob Gates himself himself has not been a willing participant in our unjust wars over the last decade.
As he stood before the students, those with eyes to see saw him surrounded by his multitude of victims. When he opened his mouth to speak, those with ears to hear heard the cries of the slaughtered, calling out to history for justice and remembrance. Wherever he goes, he is surrounded by the stench of death and rotting corpses. Outwardly he gives a pleasant demeanor, but inwardly he is full of corruption and “dead men’s bones”, as Jesus described the religious hypocrites of his era.
The invitation of the leadership of Notre Dame to the Secretary of Violence is a dark day in that institution’s history. If Dorothy Day were alive, surely she would return the Laetare medal that they awarded her. But she isn’t, so maybe the Catholic Worker movement should return it on her behalf to Notre Dame. If there is an official citation or document in the Catholic Worker archives at Marquette University about her award, it should be destroyed.