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Marquette Tribune, April 11, 2007

Scholars should raise ire
Editorial criticized Maguire for simply doing job

By Daniel Downes

I would like to voice my extreme disappointment with the recent editorial, "Stop raising ire, Maguire."

First, I found the ad hominem attacks against professor Daniel Maguire to be sophomoric and unprofessional. The editorial actually compared a distinguished theologian to a 6-year-old child throwing a tantrum. Maguire is a past president of the largest society in the field of religious ethics and author or editor of 14 books and many articles. He lectures at universities throughout North America, as well as Europe and Latin America.

How is it that he has his character attacked while "Brother Ron," a man who advocates the murder of homosexuals, has a front-page article and has yet to receive any admonishment from your paper?

According to a U.S. bishops' conference in Baltimore in 2006, only 4 percent of Catholic couples practice natural family planning. Given this information, it would appear that Maguire's stance on birth control seems to be in accordance with an overwhelming majority of Catholics and Catholic theologians.

Contraception is a major issue in the Catholic Church today, especially in Africa regarding condom use. Theologians such as Maguire are not rubbing anything in the face of the Magisterium as you claim, all they are attempting to do is foster serious debate.

Regardless of your views on contraception or abortion, only a fool would claim that they are black-and-white issues.

In conclusion, I feel that your opinion toward Professor Maguire threatens the Marquette mission of "contributing to the advancement of knowledge."

Marquette is not a seminary, nor is it Bob Jones or Oral Roberts University. It can be a strong, Catholic, Jesuit university while still having faculty and students with views that contrast from the Catholic hierarchy's (the Fair Wisconsin student organization being an example).

Raynor Library has a copy of Richard Dawkins' "The God Delusion," which states that all religion is basically "nonsense." Does having that book lessen Marquette's Jesuit identity? Of course not. Does having Dan Maguire on faculty lessen Marquette's Jesuit identity? Of course not.

Whether or not you agree with his views, it is Maguire's duty to raise ire ­- as a scholar and a Christian.

Daniel Downes is a junior in the College of Arts & Sciences.

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