IF you’re a fighting Irish fan, read this carefully. Readers, if you’ve graduated college, read this carefully. The University of Notre Dame recently invited a stalwart Conservative to speak at the commencement ceremonies for their undergraduates and graduate students, as far as I know. Pence is antigay, racist, sexist, and all things Conservative to the point of supporting an agenda that lines the pockets of Trump and the rich guys. Not good for a Catholic university that not only tried to deny Obama a speech, same commencement ceremony, but tried to stop the Vagina Monologues from being performed. Keep your rosaries out of our ovaries, women chanted through the streets of the “golden morning” and the ranks of the Irish were broken apart. The school should be teaching the following principles: Jesus came to call sinners, not the elite squadron of white nationals, which Pence is probably one of them; people should treat everybody respectfully regardless of sexual orientation or abilities or whatever; South Bend should be a more open and gracious community that spreads the word of God to all people, not just white people who can afford it, the number one in your high school class, etc. Danny, my brother, tried to go to the university of Notre Dame, but they rejected his application, knowing they did it to a son of one of their own, my dad, an alumnus of Notre Dame’s mechanical and aerospace engineering programs. My adopted father attended a school founded in the 1800s by a guy called Father Sorn, and I had my picture taken with a priest who was the principal of Notre Dame or the dean or whatever. He’s written a few books, and he seemed like a good guy. But Notre Dame seems to find itself in the news for all the bad reasons: for inviting controversy to its doors.
WHen I went to the University with my dad and some alumni and their children, I didn’t feel that I was doing it because I wanted to attend the school. Notre Dame is meant more for Catholic men than women, and the Catholic men who run the school think that women should be below them in some way. Holy Cross Junior College is a feeder school into the college of Notre Dame itself, where the famous Rudy attended to try to get into Notre Dame’s football team. I applaud Rudy for doing the things he did, and he became a legend at Notre Dame because he loved the team and God more than he did working the steel mills of Gary, Indiana, the armpit of the midwest. It is sad to say that not a lot of people understand this stuff. Rudy was a legendary figure in Notre Dame’s history, but Michael Pence, the Vice President of the United States, is not. If I were graduating Notre Dame, I would have walked out with the 100 students who did, and trust me, I would be doing it because Notre Dame is inviting someone who wants to cut welfare to disabled people, pit us against families with children already, and put in the dust the disabled people’s voices. Pence doesn’t care about us, and Jesus is not here to give his own commencement speech to the Fighting Irish graduates, but if he did, he’d be angry at Pence for passing anti-LGBTQIA legislation in the conservative state of Indiana. You can’t pass laws against gay people getting services for their weddings, same as you can’t do so to blind people trying to live normal lives without work, which is impossible to get in some areas of the country. I would never have lived in Indiana now that I know their services for the blind are absolutely horrific, and the only jobs offered are jobs at Bosma ASsociates Enterprises which is a sheltered facility. I would have probably been shut up in a group home, at the order of my parents, if I continued living in Florida. I could have had my ashes disrespectfully stored in a locker in storage, not at a funeral home, where they will have to lie in state for a while. A wake and a funeral are okay with me, but Trenton doesn’t want a funeral, a wake, or a celebration. But I want to celebrate his life because he gave me a lot of things, primarily the ability to safely write this post down.
Notre Dame University in South Bend, Indiana would not have offered me opportunities for work or to pay the bills. Religion doesn’t necessarily pay the bills. All that Catholic and religious teaching did was skew the purity myth around some more for me. Notre Dame is changing, and Michael Pence is and should not be welcome in the ranks of the fighting Irish. OF course, not everybody who goes to UND is Irish. ND has to reform its policy toward people with different conditions, and should help the blind find work outside Indiana because the services suck over there. They should also welcome LGBTQIA students with open arms, not a stupid Conservative with the eye for the rich, and disdain for the poor and disabled and unable to obtain a job. Notre Dame should know that Our Lady bore Jesus, nothing else, and did not contribute much else except that she was chosen as the model on which the church arose. Jesus might have instituted the Catholic church, but the papal lines have been traced and bigotry has been done in the Catholic church, and Jesus would never have liked what is going on in South Bend. Jesus would have taken the dregs of the college totem poll and given them a meal, perhaps at the altar with the Last Supper’s wood on it. While Notre Dame has a rich history and culture around the campus, it needs to acknowledge the students are the ones who need a wise choice of speech deliverer and not a Vice President who hates a certain class of people. The Fighting Irish should welcome all forms of expression, and leave the bigots at the door.