Thursday, May 04, 2006

Commencement capades begin 

It's commencement time, and as usual we get two types of stories. One type is the political person who comes to speak who is disliked by some campus group that protests loudly, and the other are the commencement speakers who decide to use their fifteen minutes to espouse their political views. We haven't had commencement addresses for the latter just yet -- it's early -- but we have our first kvetching about a commencement speaker choice.

Boston College is inviting Condoleezza Rice to commencement this year, and two of BC's religion faculty are protesting her receiving an honorary degree. The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscriber link) has a copy of their email sent to the campus. While the Globe article says they have no problem with her speech, the letter says they "strongly disagree with the decision ... to invite her to address the 2006 commencement."
As a matter of moral principle, 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." This stands in disturbing contrast with the 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."
Other faculty on campus have recognized that she's the secretary of state and worthy of respect at any rate -- according to the Bostonist, the campus paper is bragging that BC got Rice and Harvard didn't. You have to wonder if any pro-choice commencement speakers have been invited to a BC graduation and if these two would complain.