Before I get to that, I watched an excellent documentary today on Snagfilms (which is such a cool site). My pal Marc had recommended it to me a while back, after I wrote about the Berlin Wall. This documentary, "After the Fall," includes interviews with people from both East and West Berlin, and they discuss their feelings about the Wall and its eventual destruction. To me, the most poignant, and somewhat unsettling, remarks made came from a reverend (is it wrong for me to say that he had dreamy eyes?) who said that the night the border was opened, he was watching people go over the Wall...but he couldn't bring himself to do it. He memorized their names, because he thought the border would close again, and he wanted to be able to tell someone what had happened to them. He said that the Wall was as much in his mind as it was a physical presence. It made me think about barriers that we erect in our own minds...there might not be anything physically stopping us, but the Wall in our head can be every bit as impenetrable as one that we can touch.
Anyhoo, if you're interested, give it a look. It's an hour long, so if it's something that doesn't really interest you, there's not much point in watching it!
So why am I wishing my life away and looking forward to May 18th? Because it's one day after President Obama gives the commencement speech at Notre Dame, and all this brouhaha should be over! Randall Terry will pack up and take his lapdogs with him, and get out of our town and our state. I haven't written about it much lately, because I was hoping it would die down, but it's a big topic on CNN and other national news sources lately.
However, the difference in what these media outlets are reporting and the truth of reality is vast. The media talks about PROTESTS HELD ON CAMPUS. Earlier this week, a group of students held a prayer vigil. It was quite peaceful, and I think calling it a "protest" was a little misleading. There was an actual protest later in the week, led by Randall Terry and his evil henchmen, so that really was a PROTEST HELD ON CAMPUS.
Twenty-six people showed up. Yeah. 26.
Randall Terry and his malicious minions also staged a protest in Fort Wayne on Friday. The diocese office urged people not to attend, stating that it was Good Friday and a time to focus on Christ's crucifixion, not on such protests. It was "poorly timed," they said. Five local people showed up early, followed a few hours later by Randall Terry's assistant and three others. That would make a total of, let's see [getting out calculator, punching buttons]...NINE. Nine people at this protest.
It is really burning my bacon that this asshole Terry is trying to make it look like he's speaking for everyone around here, and the media is portraying this as a huge deal in northern Indiana, with people up in arms and protesting, rioting in the streets, cats and dogs living together...it's not happening, folks. There are people upset, yes. There are people that are not happy with the decision, yes. I'd say that the majority of people are fine with him giving the speech, and those that aren't are voicing their opinions fairly peacefully. This dickweed Terry rolls into town and feels that it's his personal mission to tell us how we should feel. He has vowed to make this a "political mud pit" for President Obama. I really hope that at some point he crosses the line into threatening behavior so we can toss him in the slammer. I'm all for the right to protest peacefully in order to get a point across, but this numbnuts doesn't care about discourse or discussion. He just wants to stir up trouble.
Soon, I'll tell you how I really feel about him. I promise.
In the meantime, Bishop D'Arcy has issued a statement urging all Catholics and others of good will to stay away from "unseemly and unhelpful" demonstrations against our President, Notre Dame, or Father Jenkins. He goes on to state, "The Notre Dame community is well-equipped to supervise and support discussions and prayer within their own campus....Let's all work towards a peaceful graduation experience for the class of 2009 at our Beloved Notre Dame."
Do you think that was Bishop D'Arcy's way of telling Randall Terry to get bent? I think so. The Bishop also met with Father Jenkins and called it a "positive" meeting. I think everyone can handle this without Terry's help, and in fact, he's not doing his cause any favors. Hey, Terry? Go home. Seriously. You are not welcome here.
At least Arizona State took a little of the focus off of our community, with the story that they weren't going to confer an honorary degree upon the President...but then there was talk that they might, so I'm not sure of the latest. In reading about it, it's all cool. It seems that they weren't planning on giving any honorary degrees this year (although I wonder if there isn't more to it), and it's their school, their choice. Notre Dame's policy is to give honorary degrees to guest speakers, especially someone as eminent as the President.
Ah well, the Masters is coming on, and I'm hoping to see Tiger come storming back today. Oh, and I have a special Easter picture for you. I used to put this up on my locker at work every year around this time. We often had groups of schoolkids coming through for tours, and as one group gathered in the central area of the department, right by the lockers, we noticed some of them giggling at something they saw there. We realized later that they were giggling about this picture. What can I say? I guess I'm just a corrupter of youth.