Blog Template Theology of the Body: Cute Obama at Notre Dame

Monday, May 18, 2009

Cute Obama at Notre Dame

We have seen quite the ruckus over this past weekend; our president addressed the commencement audience at Our Lady's erstwhile university in the measured, paternal, liquid intonations which we wished characterized more of our priest's sermons- and indeed, his remarks hovered on the homiletic. Our dear leader exhorted us to give the benefit of the doubt to the ideological opposition, to rediscover the joys of personal presence when the "paradoxes" and apparent "contradictions" of our social teaching that human life does in fact begin when it begins becomes too much for the weary world to comprehend. And, hooray, he had even prayed about this position! Praise be... (?)

In the aftermath, CNN has clucked condescendingly about how the earnest student protestors at yesterday's commencement may have to "discover the realities of controversy for the first time, now that they are graduated;" the footage has run, and we are on to another set of cleverly positioned stories on religion's encounter with reality ad nauseum. As for me, once I do as I've been told and get beyond his ideological positions to the person, here is what I'm left with: Obama is cute. I mean, the man is adorable. Our president is favored with a remarkably chiseled jaw and an earnest tilt of his well-proportioned features when he stands tall and broad behind his podium. We have a president and first lady who represent all the benefits of beauty, recently acquired affluence, and a first class education at all the appropriate places. Mrs. Obama is also really cute; she has glorious hair, and enviably defined arms, and a wardrobe designed by hipsters. So really, what more needs to be said? Once we have gotten beyond their personal positions, we might as well do as the president suggests and content ourselves with gazing fondly upon their pretty faces and be friends.

It remains however, that neither the president nor the first lady will allow us to forget who they are and how far they have come. It was the hallmark of this year's election cycle and inauguration that the USA can boast of two people who have come very, very far indeed; in their chiseled features and impressive academic credentials, we can see the ambitious evidence of a developmental process that has overcome old systemic weaknesses and barriers. Mrs. Obama, with her glorious hair, admirably alluded to the obligations attendent upon this kind of development in her own commencement remarks yesterday at the University of California at Merced, in which she urged the members of the school's small graduating class to give back to their communities:

"By using what you've learned here you can shorten the path perhaps for kids who may not see a path at all. I was once one of those kids. Remember that you are blessed -- remember that in exchange for those blessings you must give something back...You must reach back and pull someone up. You must bend down and let someone else stand on your shoulders so that they can see a brighter future."

I loved Mrs. Obama's words, but the sad fact is that the Obama regime is only enforcing the scandalous idea that the only people who deserve to be pulled up from the back, and seated on the shoulders of the prosperous, are those who are at such stages of development wherein we can see their potential to become cute, educated, and functional. How far is our culture really prepared to reach back, to judge from our president's positions? Certainly we are not ready to reach all the way back to the smallest people who at their earliest stages of development (pre-hair, pre-limbs, pre-cognition) need it the most. Unborn children are not particularly cute; in them we cannot yet see the ambitious evidence of a developmental process that can overcome old systemic weaknesses and barriers. Yet they are precisely the ones who must wait-on us- to see a brighter future.

Carry on, Mrs. Obama, and go to it.