Harvard Professor Mary Ann Glendon Respectfully Upholds Family Justice

This week Professor Mary Ann Glendon made a very difficult decision to decline a very prestigious award from Notre Dame University because of her principles about fundamental justice for families and human life. Look at the letter Professor Glendon sent to Notre Dame.

Because of her stand for marriage, the principles that every child’s best interest is served by having a father and a mother married to each other, and her deep respect for human life, her devotion to integrity and principle outweighed her own self-interest. She could not share in Notre Dame’s decision to award the President, a champion of individual values that cut against life and family strength, a similar honor.

Furthermore, her concern for the example set by her actions dictated her final decision. The courageous stand taken by Professor Glendon reveals a refreshing principled approach to private implications of public life. Her actions in no way seek to control or interfere with an institution’s freedom to invite and engage in serious debate with whomever it wishes, but reveal character that upholds integrity at great personal cost. She writes “I am concerned that Notre Dame’s example could have an unfortunate ripple effect. It is with great sadness, therefore, that I have concluded that I cannot accept the Laetare Medal or participate in the May 17 graduation ceremony.”

Family restoration can only happen when people who believe in those strong values uphold them with their life decisions – from declining to accept an honor to upholding marriage and parenting – one decision at a time.

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