This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," May 17, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
SEAN HANNITY, HOST: Joining me now is former presidential candidate Alan Keyes who has been at the forefront of this debate since Notre Dame announced its plans to honor President Barack Obama. Ambassador Keyes was actually scheduled to join us on Friday night's show, but he was arrested on campus during a protest — by the way, his second arrest. And Ambassador Keyes, thanks for being with us.
ALAN KEYES, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Glad to be with you, Sean. Thank you.
HANNITY: All right. So twice, you used the term earlier when speaking with Ainsley about "prostituting itself." Explain.
KEYES: Well, I think it was clearly an effort today to try to establish some kind of moral legitimacy for Obama despite the fact that he takes an extremist stand on child-killing that marks him as the focal point of evil with respect to this heinous destruction of innocent life in our world today.
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And for the university to honor him in the way that it has basically degrades and debases its claim to be a Catholic institution, sets a scandalous, bad example in word and deed for its students, for the Catholic community, for the world.
And by the way, the Vatican has spoken on this. Archbishop Raymond Leo Burke, who is a very high official — I think the highest appointed American at the Vatican — was at the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast. And he made an unequivocal statement in which he condemned the invitation and the degree and said what was happening at Notre Dame was the gravest scandal, meaning to say they were luring people into sin.
HANNITY: Ambassador, he got a fairly warm reception today by many although he was interrupted as we pointed out many times. If we look back at the last election, 54 percent of Catholics, according to exit polls, voted for President Barack Obama.
Now, not only does he support abortion — remember, while he was in the State Senate, you know, the infant — the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act which would literally guarantee medical care for aborted fetuses that lived. He was an outspoken critic of it.
KEYES: Well, that's right. That's why I referred to child-killing, because I think that the idea that he is for abortion is true. But it extends further than that and really represents the fact that we're talking about the murder of children.
He has also said that the one vote in the U.S. Senate he was most ashamed of was to vote to look into Terri Schiavo's situation. His conscience is so seared on this issue that he didn't want to get account of the facts that involved the unalienable right to life. So I think that is why it is so at odds with Catholic moral principles.
HANNITY: What do you make of the warm reception by many inside the Joyce Center? What do you make of the 54 percent of Catholics that voted for Barack Obama in spite of his position on embryonic stem cells and abortion?
KEYES: Well, I think the results at Notre Dame is just clear evidence that Fr. Jenkins and the board, the fellows, basically created an environment in which Catholic education is not taking place.
Because the idea that you can establish moral right and wrong by some sort of calculus balance between good and evil is an anathema to the teachings of the Catholic Church. The idea of good is related to God.
And Obama turns away from God's fundamental law of love on the respect for life. So he cuts off the very notion of law connected with God's love at its root. That means he's turned away from God and you can't pretend that he should ...
HANNITY: Ambassador —
KEYES: ... be honored for it, being learned in the law.
HANNITY: What does this mean for you in your view of your church? For example, the Catholic Church has been through one scandal we have discussed a lot, and I have been very critical of their handling of it. What does this mean for you as a Catholic? Does this make you question their moral strength?
For example, the Vatican — would you have preferred the pope speak out on this? He had the local bishops take a stand —
KEYES: Now, first of all, let's be clear. The pope is a head of state. It's very rare for one head of state to call another evil.
I think what he did was send the highest ranking American to give a clear and unequivocal objective statement about the conditions at Notre Dame that the fellows and the board had caused grave scandal, which means an injury to good morals, that is widely and publicly clear and that therefore causes a widespread bad effect in the community.
You couldn't say anything more clear than Archbishop Burke did and the fact that media people are trying to ignore this and say the Vatican was silent, shows how deeply important it was in point of fact, because it contradicts the idea that the Vatican just looked the other way on this. It certainly did not.
I am disappointed that having made the assessment Bishop D'Arcy didn't move forward to perform his obligation when faced with such a scandal, which is investigate and to assess just penalties that will either prevent the scandal or make sure it doesn't happen in the future.
And I and others are going to pursue a canonical lawsuit against Jenkins and the university for their violations of the cannon law ...
KEYES: ... particularly with respect to maltreatment of people like myself. And we're going to see whether we can get justice within the framework of the church.
HANNITY: We saw Norma McCorvey arrested. You were arrested twice here. Some issues were raised about the method of protesting. That was dolls in baby carriages with fake blood put on them. Do you think that's the most effective means of communicating your point?
KEYES: Well, in terms of making it clear what actually happens in a child killing, I think it was very clear and it's necessary. In the days when people campaigned against slavery or against lynching, they showed pictures of people who have been lynched. They showed the terrible beatings that people received and the effects.
You've got to confront people with the actual evil, not sanitize it — that's step number one. But even so, the illustration was quiet. We were praying the rosary when we went through the second time, it was a procession in honor of Our Lady.
And there was absolutely no reproach that could be brought against the manner in which these Christian people were trying to bear witness that would help to heal the lie that the board and the president and the fellows were perpetrating upon the community and the world.
HANNITY: All right. Ambassador, always good to see you. And by the way, glad you are out of jail. I would have helped bail you out, by the way, if you needed the money. I was there for you.
KEYES: Well, thank you, Sean.
HANNITY: Alright. Thanks for being with us.
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