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Obama and Religious Higher Education

The University of Notre Dame invited President Obama to be the keynote speaker and receive an honorary doctor of laws degree at commencement on May 17. The invitation has created an uproar from conservative Catholics, since the President has taken executive actions that oppose the Catholic Church's teachings on life ethics. I interviewed Francis Beckwith, a professor at Baylor University who is spending a year as a visiting professor at Notre Dame.

I also posed similar questions to administrators who would be considered experts in religious higher education. Here are some more responses:

Richard Mouw, President of Fuller Seminary in California

My own sense is that commencements are for students and their families, and controversies should be avoided on those occasions. As a frequent commencement speaker, I am very much aware that people do not attend to hear the speaker, and that the best one can hope for is that the speech might have a line or so that sticks with the folks who attend. But ...

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