President Obama has become enmeshed in controversy at both Arizona State University, where he gave a great commencement address earlier this week, and this weekend at Notre Dame University,Â one of the leading Catholic universities, where he will be delivering another commencement address.
The Arizona State controversy was over his not getting an honorary degree because it was argued that he has yet to accomplish enough to get such an award.
Obama handled this issue very well,Â first by teasing that the university administration would be audited,Â then thanking the university for establishingÂ a scholarship program in his honor,Â and then pointing out that everyone, including himself, should look at life as a constant striving for new accomplishments and improvement, a great message for him to deliver, not only to the university graduates,Â but to all of us.
The Notre Dame controversy is over his support of abortion rights, and the principled belief of many of the graduates, as well as undergraduates and faculty and staff of the university, that he should not have been invited at all to give the commencement address. because abortion is against Catholic doctrine, and to top it off, a new poll shows a majority of the public, for the first time nationally,Â are anti-abortion.Â Many graduates intend to boycott the event,Â which is their right.Â
But the question arises, should not freedom of speech and the ability to discuss differences of opinion,Â which I am sure he will have as a main part of his commencement address, be allowed?Â The answer is yes, and hopefully even those who boycott will at least want to hear or read how the President handles this issue.Â I have a feeling he will handle it with grace and sensitivity!