Obama’s Other Commencement

(photo: Reuters)

President Barack Obama yesterday delivered the commencement address at Arizona State University.

During his speech, the president joked about the controversy that erupted there over the secular college’s decision not to grant him an honorary degree, on the grounds that he had yet to accomplish enough as president to warrant that honor.

“I learned to never again pick another team over the Sun Devils in my NCAA bracket,” he said, referring to the school’s basketball team, CNN reported. “It won’t happen again.”

Said Obama, “President [Michael] Crow and the board of regents will soon learn all about being audited by the IRS.”

Given the depth of the public opposition among lay Catholics and their bishops to the scandal caused by Obama’s coming appearance on Sunday at the University of Notre Dame’s commencement, it seems unlikely Obama will try to dismiss the controversy at Notre Dame with a similar quip during his commencement speech there.

But his remarks yesterday at ASU highlighted an irony we’ve already noted at the Daily Blog: ASU declined to grant Obama the honor of an honorary degree on the grounds he hasn’t done enough to earn one, whereas Notre Dame is conferring the identical honor, even though Obama has done far more than enough, through his promotion of abortion, to disqualify himself from ever receiving such an honor from an authentically Catholic institution.

And for faithful Catholics, this irony is anything but a joke. It’s a scandal that has been denounced publicly by more than 70 bishops, the hundreds of thousands of lay Catholics who have signed the Cardinal Newman Society’s petition of protest, and the Notre Dame alumni who have withheld millions of dollars of donations to their alma mater because of the matter.