Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Mary Ann Glendon is My Hero!

I find it very interesting that on the day that I am to write my inaugural column on “Exceptions and Compromise”, we have an exceptional example of what it means to not compromise in Learned Hand Harvard Law Professor, Mary Ann Glendon. If you have not had the opportunity already, please click here to read her letter to Notre Dame declining the acceptance of what was the prestigious Laetare award.

She declined the award, in part, because her upcoming acceptance of the Laetare Award at the commencement ceremony was being used by Father Jenkins of Notre Dame as a justification for giving Barack Obama a platform to speak at the Catholic university and an honorary degree at Notre Dame.  In other words, Father Jenkins was making an exception to the guidelines set by the U.S. Bishops, and he was using Mary Ann Glendon as a compromise.  Well it appears that exceptions and compromises are just getting Father Jenkins into more trouble.  Incidentally, I would love to have had a professor like here when I was in law school!

If every believer had the convictions of Mary Ann Glendon, we would not be in the predicament we are in today with the moral decline in this nation.  Your actions are a measure of your true beliefs, and your beliefs don’t become effective until you act on them.  When you are prepared to make exceptions and compromises to your beliefs, I submit that you never really believed them in the first place.

And now Father John Jenkins of Notre Dame has now announced that he will award the Laetare medal to “another deserving recipient.” 


That would not be a blessing, but a curse.  Who would want to accept this award after Mary Ann Glendon’s heroism?  Imagine the pressure they would be under and the boo’s they’d surely receive at their acceptance – the acceptance of a compromise.  If anyone else does agree to become a recipient this year, they will surely be “another deserving recipient” of the consequences of their compromise.

Bravo Ms. Glendon!  You are my hero!

For life,
Rebecca Kiessling

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