Georgetown's In-Kind Obama Donations

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In 2008, the faculty at the Jesuit Georgetown University in Washington, DC, gave $179,000 to candidate Barack Obama. Chronicle of Higher Education ranked Georgetown among the top ten academic donors to him. Georgetown's largesse continues to flow to the Obama campaign in 2012. In fact, the school's in-kind donations may be far more valuable than campaign cash.

Georgetown law school student Sandra Fluke is contributing activism to the campaign as a combatant in what Obama calls a GOP "war on women." And now more help is on the way: Last week Georgetown announced that its public policy institute will honor Kathleen Sebelius, one of the architects of Obama's contraceptive mandate, as a commencement speaker at graduation ceremonies on May 18.

Orthodox Catholics, still reeling from Notre Dame's conferral of honors on Obama at its 2009 graduation ceremonies, are outraged. The Cardinal Newman Society, which monitors secularized Catholic colleges and universities, is circulating a petition that says in part:

It is scandalous and outrageous that America's oldest Catholic and Jesuit university has elected to provide this prestigious platform to a publicly "pro-choice" Catholic who is most responsible for the Obama administration's effort to restrict the Constitution's first freedom -- the right to free exercise of religion -- while threatening the survival of many Catholic and other religious colleges and universities, schools, charities, hospitals and other apostolates.

Georgetown insults all Americans by this honor. The selection is especially insulting to faithful Catholics and their bishops, who are engaged in the fight for religious liberty and against abortion. The contrast is stark between Georgetown University and those faithful Catholic colleges and universities that have stood for faith and freedom.

The Cardinal Newman Society has petitioned Washington, D.C. Cardinal Donald Wuerl to block the invitation. Thus far he has declined. "Chieko Noguchi, director of communications for Washington's Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl, said the cardinal had no comment on Georgetown's announcement," reports the Catholic News Service.

The faculty at Georgetown seeks to help Obama not only by cheering his aides but also by rebuking his opponents. Congressman Paul Ryan, after merely showing up for a talk at Georgetown in late April, found himself on the receiving end of a blistering lecture on the meaning of Catholic teaching from professors not known for upholding it.

Moreover, these professors saw no irony in rebuking Ryan for an insufficient regard for "social justice" while they prepared to honor an HHS secretary famous for endorsing abortion, a far greater injustice than anything the congressman has proposed even under the most biased reading of his budget bill.

"Catholic Social Justice" is a euphemism for the creeping socialism of the Democratic Party. The popes of old would have found such an equation puzzling. Pope Leo XIII held that the greatest enemy of the poor were socialists.

Today, the greatest enemy of the weak, poor, and vulnerable are statists and secularists who favor a right to kill the unborn, a right to weed out the disabled through prenatal screening, and a right to kill off the elderly through euthanasia, all while they tout "economic reforms and regulations" that cost struggling Americans any shot at a new job.

Obama can count on the votes of professors at Jesuit Georgetown not only because they share his economic views but also because they champion his social ones. The Jesuit publication America has openly endorsed his HHS mandate. And recall that Georgetown professors rallied around Sandra Fluke as she demanded a right to subsidized contraceptives. Jesuit universities and colleges across the country openly host "condom awareness" days and welcome gay clubs on campus.

The Cardinal Newman Society is pressing Cardinal Wuerl to crack down on Georgetown. But that's not likely to happen. Wuerl has publicly said that he will continue to give Communion to Catholic Democrats, such as Nancy Pelosi and Kathleen Sebelius, who support a right to abortion.

In 2011, Cardinal Wuerl, revealing a reluctance to criticize Democrats, asserted that "there isn't a specific Catholic Church position" against gays in the military -- a statement which left critics of Obama's policies baffled, since it is no secret that the Church opposes the promotion of gay rights in the military.

In 1992, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith wrote that "there are areas in which it is not unjust discrimination to take sexual orientation into account, for example, in the placement of children for adoption or foster care, in employment of teachers or athletic coaches, and in military recruitment." The same priests and bishops who say the Church has no "position" against gays in the military simultaneously assert that she has an unfavorable view of Paul Ryan's budget.

It is this left-wing clericalism, which faculties at Catholic universities like Georgetown foster, that explains how Obama managed to win the Catholic vote in 2008 and could win it again in 2012.

George Neumayr, a contributing editor to The American Spectator, is co-author (with Phyllis Schlafly) of No Higher Power: Obama's War on Religious Freedom.

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