The Marquette Board of Trustees approved a motion put forth by President Michael Lovell and Provost Dan Myers to rescind the honorary degree conferred about comedian Bill Cosby in 2013 because he “engaged in behaviors that go entirely against our university’s mission and the Guiding Values we have worked so hard to instill on our campus.” Evidently campus leaders and faculty members showed “overwhelming support for the action.”
We wonder, might the administration, board of trustees, campus leaders and faculty also see a need to rescind the honorary degree conferred upon pro-abortion champion Congressman John Lewis in 2014? As we stated in our letter to Dr. Lovell and the Marquette Board of Trustees in August of 2014, Representative Lewis’s voting record has earned him a rating of 100% from NARAL Pro-Choice America and 0% from the National Right to Life Committee. His laudable efforts to advance the civil rights of African Americans is negated entirely by his work to deny the civil rights of the unborn, particularly given that abortion disproportionately affects the African American community. Congressman Lewis has also been an outspoken supporter of with the gay-activist political agenda in
direct opposition to Catholic teaching.
In its 2004 document Catholics in Political Life, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops states plainly, “The Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions” [emphasis in the original].
For Marquette to not only showcase Congressman Lewis as a keynote speaker but venerate him with an honorary degree gives scandal to students, faculty and the community by publicly demonstrating that Church teaching on the sanctity of life and sexual morality is readily ignored even by those who prominently claim the status of Catholic.
Rescinding the Cosby degree is culturally acceptable i.e. easy. Does Marquette have the courage to be Catholic as well?