A large crowd of students walked out of the Notre Dame commencement ceremony on Sunday in protest of the speaker, Vice President Mike Pence, who delivered a speech that mixed platitudes about bright, dream-filled futures with a lengthy rebuke of political correctness on college campuses.
As several dozen students in caps and gowns quietly exited the graduation ceremony, the vice president praised Notre Dame, one of the nation’s most prominent Catholic universities, as “a vanguard of freedom of expression and the free exchange of ideas.” Other schools do not measure up, he said.
“While this institution has maintained an atmosphere of civility and open debate, far too many campuses across America have become characterized by speech codes, safe zones, tone policing, administration-sanctioned political correctness — all of which amounts to nothing less than suppression of the freedom of speech,” he said. “These all-too-common practices are destructive of learning and the pursuit of knowledge, and they are wholly outside the American tradition.”
The protest began as Mr. Pence began his remarks at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Ind., where degrees were conferred on 2,081 students. Online video of the ceremony showed a large number of young people filing out of the stadium as the vice president began to congratulate the graduates and their families. Around them, the audience erupted into a mixture of boos and applause.
Luis Miranda, 29, a protester who graduated from a master’s program at Notre Dame, said the students who walked out objected to Mr. Pence’s role in the Trump administration as well as his record as an Indiana congressman and governor, when he opposed admitting Syrian refugees and rights for unauthorized immigrants and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
“Of course we welcome and support free speech on campus,” Mr. Miranda said. “But commencement is not a moment for academic exchange or political dialogue. It’s a celebration of all of our hard work.”
Protest organizers estimated that more than 100 people had walked out. On social media, many could be seen wearing rainbow pins or flags, which were also hung from windows around the campus as a symbol of gay pride.
The protesting students were praised on Sunday by several left-leaning national groups, including the gay media group Glaad and the group that organized the nationwide Women’s March in January.
The graduation protest was carefully planned weeks in advance by a student group called We Stand for ND, which posted explicit instructions for participants online (“Remember to stay respectful”) and even provided a map of the venue that highlighted specific exits and the best route students could take to reach them.
In a statement posted online last week, the organizers invoked Catholic social teaching and the example of Pope Francis, known for his ecumenical spirit and common touch, to explain their opposition to Mr. Pence and his politics.
“Pope Francis has bestowed upon the world a call to support Syrian refugees, to acknowledge and respect the humanity of sexual minorities, and to bring down all walls that separate us,” the statement said.
Full story at The New York Times.
“sexual minorities”???????????? What the???????????
Ron…Yeah …It’s shorthand. It’s a lot easier than saying gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, asexual etc. etc. Maybe we should call us “romantic minorities” or “affectional minorities” Just plain “queer” (different) is in vogue now but it makes some of us uncomfortable. I know a transgender woman who refers to “people like me” to describe herself. “Lesbian” works for me but..whatever.
How about simply “human being?” That is the best category– and it fits us all! There are millions of human beings, with various kinds of illnesses– including LGBT. Why tell anyone about it?? Why make it a political issue? Same thing, with cancer, tuberculosis, Alzheimer’s, (etc.); or football players with serious concussions– or returning soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan, badly wounded, perhaps incapacitated for life– and suffering with deadly cases of deep depression, suicidal tendencies, and PTSD!! We all need to follow our Catholic religion faithfully, lead morally-good lives, pray, and help others who suffer!
A neighbor’s daughter once confided to my Mom, that she was very depressed, seeing a psychiatrist, and taking anti-depressants. She said that she was deeply ashamed, because she discovered she was adopted, and her birth parents, who were severely dope-addicted, gave their baby up for adoption! The girl was crushed! My mother told her, life is not perfect, but she was so blessed to be born! Her parents were very sick people, and made a good decision, for her welfare! Try to forgive them, forget the past– and God can help her make a good future! Go back to church, and find God– and all will be okay!
Many times, people feel all alone in their suffering! And some feel a deep sense of shame, too! Suffering is sadly a part of life, as our religion also teaches. People don’t need “labels,” of “minority,” to make them sound like they don’t belong to the human race! Instead, they just need to be seen as a human being, like everyone else! Yes, a person with disabilities cannot do some things, that others can do. That is sadly true! However, one can cheerfully work around disabilities, accept them gracefully, lead a morally-good life, be very close to God — and help others, too!
Are you really telling vets that they should stop referring to themselves as vets, and instead call themselves “human beings”? or that cancer survivors should call themselves “human beings”?
Maybe we should have a Federal Department of Human Beings and do away with the Department of Defense, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the National Institutes of Health.
Yes, Your Fellow Catholic! I am saying just that! A veteran never sees him or herself, as ONLY a “veteran,” and that’s all– and never BASES THEIR ENTIRE IDENTITY ON BEING A VETERAN!! That would be RIDICULOUS!! And to be a veteran, is not a big, violent political cause, either! All the men in my family were military veterans, and did many other things, too– served their Church, served their communities, etc. One, born in 1893, (died of cancer, in 1956) played baseball for the minor leagues, before WW I !! We are all just “human beings!” Not “labels,” not “political causes!”
P.S. Since when do Americans need all of these great, big, socialistic, bureaucratic government “departments,” to apply to, to finance their various needs?? Don’t you think that gets to be too ridiculous?? Maybe just for something like healthcare expenses, in the case of very serious, highly-expensive medical-care needs! But generally, all Americans should be able to take care of their own needs, and decide for themselves, along with their spouses and families! P.S. 2. Our education institutions, such as Notre Dame– collapsed, partly due to kow-towing to gvt. hand-outs!!
As most people know, if you apply for — and depend on— gvt. hand-outs, you are also required to abide by their regulations– which may contain some IMMORAL requirements, for Christians! Best to refrain from this evil!!
I recall a lovely lady at my parish church, in the mid- 1960s, who was helping with a church program, who would always refer to someone in careful terms, such as “the boy in the blue shirt,” or, “the girl in the yellow dress,” or “the man in the dark suit,” etc. — NOT– “the Mexican-American boy in the blue shirt,” or “the Black girl in the yellow dress,” nor “the homosexual guy in the dark suit,” etc. She was very caring about people, and made sure that everyone was made to feel cared about and welcomed, in a true Christian manner! I admired her! My loving Mother is the same way!
Nobody is seeing that vets, or cancer survivors, or LGBT people see themselves as “only” those things. We are all multi-dimensional human beings, all of us. yet somehow, all people ever see of me is my LGBT identity. Gee. Do you think they should start seeing me as a human being?
Yes, YFC, we are ALL human beings! How about the women who have mastectomies, or are bald, due to cancer, who feel ugly and unwanted, and returning vets in wheelchairs, with arms or legs missing, who feel ugly and unwanted, or children who are born mentally handicapped, blind or deaf, or have strange deformities?? The ignorant world is cruel– but Christ loves us, and He can show each of us how to present ourselves socially, with His Love and forgiveness, too! We belong to Christ, as Catholics– not to the ignorant, secular world!! The “Prayer of St. Francis” can be helpful!
P.S. I bet the group, “Courage,” can be very helpful! Many people of various races and ethnic groups in our country, also have lifelong struggles, feeling that they are simply not always well-accepted by others. But with God, all things are possible, and God can also bring great good out of every bad circumstance! We belong to Christ, as Catholics, not to the dark, secular world– and Christ loves us, and can show us the way, if we give Him the chance– and give Him our lives— as we can do nothing anyway– without Him!
P.S. 2.. I think the whole world was in great shock and disbelief, upon announcements of two actors– Rock Hudson and Richard Chamberlain– that they were “gay!” Unbelievable!! Same thing, when the Olympic star athlete, Bruce Jenner, announced that he was a “transgender,” turning himself into “Caitlin!!” So many women were totally shocked!! So, it just goes to show– you cannot possibly know about someone– unless you ask! And I think that kind of information, is personal, and NOBODY’S BUSINESS!!
Long ago, when I was in high school, I knew of a young, promising singer, who fell madly in love with her piano accompanist. Later, in college, I knew of another promising, young singer, who also fell madly in love— with her vocal coach! In each case, the young men that these young women fell in love with– were both homosexuals, but the ladies had no idea! They each said to their girlfriends, “oh, if only I went on a diet, and got real skinny, then maybe he would notice me! He doesn’t know I exist!” Then, when each one was told the truth– they wanted to “forever die of lovesickness!”
Concerning those who walked out of the ceremony, remember that Judas left early too…
“Love Trumps Hate” ???
and in this case by being educated into imbecility we may conclude that at Notre Dame
“Ignorance trumps Courtesy.”
Pope Francis would not walk out.
No, because this most political of popes would have been picketing outside the venue. Let’s hope he and President Trump have a fruitful meeting tomorrow.
An eyewitness told me that the number of actual grads who walked out were— at most—1-2 dozen: ND’s total annual graduating class is over about 2100 students.
The others who walked out were a few family members and friends, hoping to get a bigger response.
They were therefore less than 1%—just like the same ratio of extremist leftists who try to run the country, and dupe everyone else into going along.
The students who walked out ought to be ashamed of themselves. What an awful example they are giving to the world for having attended a ‘Catholic’ university. No students walked out at Liberty University when President Trump spoke. But then, what do you expect from a college which is Catholic in name only. I am sure Our Lady (Notre Dame) was Our Lady Of Sorrows for this terrible display of rudeness and barbarism.
It seems these students didn’t learn the virtue of humility during their time at Notre Dame.
Notre Dame, Notre SHAME!! By the way, if you are thinking of going to Target to buy a graduation card and gift for a special grad– instead, please do sign the #BoycottTarget on Twitter, at https://bit.ly/2q3wUnJ!!! Target is money-hungry and IMMORAL, with their new policy, of allowing men to go into Target ladies’ restrooms and fitting rooms, placing innocent women and children at great risk– and putting up great, big, immoral “Gay Pride” displays, with clothing ad accessories!!
Kudos to these students for respectfully exercising their First Amendment rights. While I do not necessarily agree with all of their reasons for so doing, they deserve affirmation for expressing their opinions. This is one of the many things that make America Great!
Making a public ceremony about themselves, you mean. Mere show-boating. If you detest the speaker that much, stay home! If my kid pulled that stunt, he could start paying his own insurance. That’s my free speech.
The “public ceremony” IS about themselves, silly! It is their own graduation. If it weren’t for themselves, the graduation public ceremony would never take place.
I am a veteran school teacher and I absolutely detest that selfish sort of behavior, YF (so-called) C. It’s to highlight the success of the class, not your personal podium. If you hate the invited speaker so much, you can stay home. That’s a witness and you still get your diploma and don’t mess up other folk’s day.
They went home, quietly, for crying out loud! They didn’t “mess up” any folk’s day. Nobody was denied a diploma. ANd you never answered my question: How is it that a graudation isn’t about the people graduating?
I doubt that Vice President Pence even mentioned anything about sexuality. That is as it should be.
I went to a public college graduation about a year ago, and it was so refreshing because no one had an agenda. It was all about how the students worked so hard to get where they were, and the good things they could do with their lives after graduation, and many of the students were from science departments. Nothing controversial was even mentioned.
Fred and YFC, don’t be ridiculous! The educational institution is granting them the privilege to enroll, and to study, and to receive their diplomas, granted by the institution, on its own terms! It is a PRIVILEGE, not a babyish “right,” to be accepted into an educational institution, attend classes, make good grades, and receive their diploma, with the institution’s name on it! And no– a kid is NOT OLD ENOUGH to “exercise his or her First Amendment rights” as an ADULT!! Their parents have the duty to pay for their education, a great PRIVILEGE!!–and they must study and learn, and have RESPECT!!
Did the institution that granted these graduates the “privilege” to enroll, who then took their maoney for four or more years, tell them that they had to bow down to a radically right wing vice president when they enrolled? After all, any contract requires that both parties participate.
Besides, your ridiculous, absolutely ridiculous claim that these students are not old enough to exercise first amendment rights as an adult is —- absolutely ridiculous. They are about 22 years of age. Fully adult. Able to vote, drive, serve in war. etc.
YFC, these are very spoiled students, too big for their britches, not even standing up in defense of their Catholic Faith, at their graduation ceremony! Their reasons for walking out are just nonsense, from a Catholic point of view! It is not like the University invited some horrible criminal, a child molester or abortionist– to give the commencement speech! These very spoiled kids need to learn to keep their disagreements to themselves, and politely sit through a commencement ceremony! It is a PRIVILEGE to be accepted into a school, take classes, do well, and graduate!
Notre Dame, Notre SHAME!! Notre Dame should be educating and graduating good, faithful, practicing Catholic students, for the future of our Church and our country! SHAME on Notre Dame!
Actually the deserve the boos they received…
Catholic institutions are supposed to educated people to be polite and Christian in their behavior. Walking out and protesting is not polite; it is something that Jesus would NOT have done. The snowflakes that walked out are a disgrace. Yes, Fred, we have freedom of speech, but this works only in a Christian, civilized society. Some forms of free speech are not only contrary to the Gospel, they are also sinful. Screaming foul language during Mass (and other events), walking around naked, doing certain private things in public are not allowed. These are exceptions to free speech. The snowflakes should be punished and reprimanded for being rude and boorish.
I once felt like walking out of a graduation when the “minister” thanked God for “our various sexual orientations”. Instead I lifted my head and refused to pray for that, and so did many others around me. Had I known that was going to happen, I would not have even attended the function, nor would the graduate have done so. She would have asked to get her diploma in the mail. Why does everything have to have an “agenda”? There is a time to keep ones temptations and sins to oneself.
I should clarify that this particular graduation was at a public college, too, not a private one, just as the other one I mentioned that was much better and non controversial.
Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons
– “All support should be withdrawn from any organizations which seek to undermine the teaching of the Church, which are ambiguous about it, or which neglect it entirely.
Such support, or even the semblance of such support, can be gravely misinterpreted.
Special attention should be given to the practice of scheduling religious services and to the use of Church buildings by these groups, including the facilities of Catholic schools and colleges.
To some, such permission to use Church property may seem only just and charitable; but in…