On May 22, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will give Boston College's 2006 commencement address. In addition, the university will award her an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.
A letter is circulating the campus in an effort to petition Ms. Rice off campus, reflecting religious values versus foreign policy. This should be a non-starter and demonstrates how academics are using religion as a vehicle to promote their agenda. This campaign is transparently political and reflects more the signers' anti-American bias than their Catholic principles.
An open letter signed by approximately 150 faculty members, purports to protect "Boston College's commitment to the values of the Catholic and Jesuit traditions" and "the humanistic values that inspire the university's work."
The argument against Ms. Rice is Catholic and humanistic conviction, that all people are linked together in a single human family, and that all nations in our interdependent world have a duty to protect the common good of the entire human family. This premise disregards threats by leaders of North Korea, Iran and other countries who flaunt human rights abuse such as Sudan, Libya, China and Cuba.
The letter, "Condoleezza Rice Does Not Deserve a Boston College Honorary Degree," states two grounds for its position: "moral principle and practical moral judgment." The moral principle argument is simply stated: "Rice maintains that U.S. foreign policy should be based on U.S. national interest and not on what she calls the interests of an illusory international community," state Theology Department Chair Kenneth Himes and theology professor David Hollenbach.
The professors must believe a world community including tyrants is more important than self-preservation. “It takes a village”, is impractical on a macro scale and only works on a micro-community premise locally. Himes and Hollenback seemed to believe the United Nations, an impotent organization with rampant corruption and no moral compass best serve foreign policy management.
This is not only an attempt to insult Secretary Rice, it’s a misguided political rant aimed at the Bush Administration. Ms. Rice’s address will bring a positive spotlight on Boston College and the school should be honored in her presence.