From Ruth Gledhill of The Times of London:
The President of the United States is coming under growing pressure to withdraw from a public speaking event at a Roman Catholic university in an escalating row over his backing for abortion and stem cell research.
Conservative Christians are protesting against an invitation to Barack Obama to speak at a Catholic university because of the US President's enthusiasm for policies that go against Catholic belief, such as [abortion and] federal funding for embryonic stem cell research.
President Obama is due to deliver an inauguration address at Indiana's Notre Dame University, one of the top 25 universities in the US, on May 17.
But senior Catholic lobbyists have launched a campaign to bar him from the ceremony in protest at his liberal views . . .
Bishops who are protesting include the Right Rev Thomas Olmsted of Phoenix, who described the invitation to the President as a "public act of disobedience" and "a grave mistake".
The Right Rev John D'Arcy of the diocese which contains the university, said he will boycott the ceremony.
Bishop D'Arcy said: "President Obama has recently reaffirmed, and has now placed in public policy, his long-stated unwillingness to hold human life as sacred.
"As a Catholic University, Notre Dame must ask itself if by this decision it has chosen prestige over truth."
A coalition of conservative student groups has also come out against the event.
Please state your reasoning behind the theme of your post arguing that a different religious belief between the President and a private citizen is grounds for claiming that citizen is disrespecting America.
A person's religious belief is a very deep and sacred thing. When your religion is pro-life and a school that is related to your religion, is very much the face of your religion to many people, invites someone who is anti-life, pro-choice and infanticide supporting to be a commencement speaker and on top of that, to offer them a honorary degree, it is your duty to speak out in defense of your religion and against that person. Regardless of if that person is the President or not.
This is an outrage to the Catholic community and trying to hide behind the 1st Amendment is cowardly and stupid.
Rescind the invitation!
I frankly can't think of a modern American President who has been accorded more respect and been granted more deference than President Obama.
My respect for him as President of the United States is related to my respect for the Office of President and my belief in our democracy and our Constitution.
I've simply stated the facts about the President and his position. Since when is that disrespectful?
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