Re "Obama tackles abortion debate," May 18, and "The shove-back of Notre Dame," Opinion, May 16
Whether members of the pro-life movement realize it or not, they now have a president who actually wants to do something about the number of abortions performed in America. However, if they fail to moderate their self-righteous, self- defeating tactics and continue to try to impose their will on those who disagree with them, without discussion or compromise, they will get exactly what they got from eight years of the pro-life-friendly Bush administration -- nothing.
Wake up: President Obama wants to reduce and, to the extent that it is possible, end abortions in America. But it is you who protest so vehemently and yet accomplish so little.
Obama is right; open your hearts and your minds if justice for the unborn is what you really seek.
What's there to dialogue about on the killing of innocent babies in the womb? Even the intentional killing of one is murder. That has been the unwavering teaching of the Catholic Church for centuries.
Multiply the one murder by millions, and what do you get? The most horrible holocaust imaginable.
Considering the way the church treated astronomer Galileo Galilei and evolutionist Charles Darwin, the bottom line of the controversy at Notre Dame University can be summed up in one basic question: Is the term "Catholic university" an oxymoron?
Chi Huu Do
President Obama delivered a well-scripted commencement address. But wasn't he the one who once said that words should mean something? Can one believe him? If so, what do his words mean when he says that he told his staff to "change the words" but he didn't change his "underlying position" on abortion?
There are thousands of abortions every day in the United States. I simply cannot open my heart and mind to someone who doesn't think precisely like me: that even one is wrong.
Park Ridge, Ill.
Patrick Reilly and the Cardinal Newman Society would have more credibility if they also opposed those who support war or deny healthcare to the poor. These are equally important Catholic positions.
The other morning, I turned to my Times eagerly, expecting to find mention of what so surprised me when I watched Obama's speech on television: the numerous times the Notre Dame audience had spontaneously and vociferously interrupted him with their applause.
That audience surely left the auditorium uplifted and reassured that their president would respect true differences of opinion, even on such controversial issues as abortion. Instead, I read more about the objectors who paraded outside the hall.
In his commencement address, our president did not evade the issue on everyone's mind or deal in platitudes -- he plunged right in, restating his views and telling anecdotes of positive encounters with Catholics and their views. I thought how fortunate we are to have Barack Obama to speak for all of us.
Ethel G. Booth