Joe Sobran says Tolstoy would understand the fickleness of most people's opinions, including how a "Catholic" university can bestow an honorary degree to a pro-abortion president:
In his tremendous novel War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy observes that some men “choose their opinions like their clothes — according to fashion.” He adds that no matter how derivative their views are, such men may hold those views with all the passion of partisans.
How true. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard people parrot clichés as if they were voicing their own hard-won, independent convictions. In college, I had more than one professor whose political ideas seemed to have been culled from the bumper stickers in an academic parking lot. (They weren’t grateful when I pointed this out.)
A free mind is a rarity, really. I was reminded of this sad truth by the news that Notre Dame University plans to award an honorary degree to Barack Obama this spring. The ostensible meaning of this gesture is that a Catholic university plans to honor our first black president. Seems simple, no? But another way to look at it is this: A nominally Catholic university is honoring America’s foremost apostle of abortion.
The devil must be cackling. As the great French poet Charles Baudelaire put it: “Satan’s cleverest wile is to make us think he doesn’t exist.” Most educated people nowadays assume he doesn’t exist, which makes them easy prey for him.
Read the rest