In recent days, as you know, Rush Limbaugh has launched a vicious attack on a young woman, Georgetown University law student Sandra Fluke, for doing nothing more than expressing her opinion on the issue of American women’s access to preventive health care. Limbaugh’s comments are beyond disgusting. You can read them online but I won’t repeat them here.
To his credit and the credit of Georgetown University, John J. DeGioia, the President of Georgetown University today released this reaction to Rush Limbaugh’s attack on Georgetown student, Sandra Fluke for testifying on behalf of women at a Congressional hearing. DeGioia wrote:
In recent days, a law student of Georgetown, Sandra Fluke, offered her testimony regarding the proposed regulations by the Department of Health and Human Services before a group of members of Congress. She was respectful, sincere, and spoke with conviction. She provided a model of civil discourse. This expression of conscience was in the tradition of the deepest values we share as a people. One need not agree with her substantive position to support her right to respectful free expression. And yet, some of those who disagreed with her position--including Rush Limbaugh and commentators throughout the blogosphere and in various other media channels--responded with behavior that can only be described as misogynistic, vitriolic, and a misrepresentation of the position of our student.
In our vibrant and diverse society, there always are important differences that need to be debated, with strong and legitimate beliefs held on all sides of challenging issues. The greatest contribution of the American project is the recognition that together, we can rely on civil discourse to engage the tensions that characterize these difficult issues, and work towards resolutions that balance deeply held and different perspectives…
If we, instead, allow coarseness, anger -even hatred--to stand for civil discourse in America, we violate the sacred trust that has been handed down through the generations beginning with our Founders. The values that hold us together as a people require nothing less than eternal vigilance. This is our moment to stand for the values of civility in our engagement with one another.
John J. DeGioia
Read DeGioia’s complete message to Georgetown students here: http://www.georgetown.edu/message-civility-public-discourse.html
DeGioia got it right. No true American, Republican or Democrat, should disagree.
Think Progress and the Democratic National Senatorial Committee have petitions protesting Limbaugh’s remarks. Please visit these sites and show your support. We need to get people like Limbaugh off the public airways.
Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee
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