These were the words of Michael Hayden when he gave the commencement address at Franciscan University of Steubenville in 2012. I wrote a little something on this issue over here. A preview:
When granting the honorary degree to Hayden, Fr. Terence Henry explained that, “This year’s commencement speakers have distinguished themselves by defending our shores, protecting the sacredness of human life, and shaping our form of worship as Catholics.” My concern is that Hayden was not concerned enough about protecting the sacredness of human life. As he told Brian Williams: “We knew as bad as these people were, we were doing this to fellow human beings.”
“We were doing this to fellow human beings.” With its long and courageous history of standing up for human life, I would not like to see my Alma Mater come out on the wrong side of this one. I would like them to distance themselves from partisan politics and make a bold statement against torture. I would like to see them carefully follow the evidence, and if necessary, rescind the honorary degree. Just as the University erred on the side of moral caution when it dropped its requirement for student health insurance, an action that was surely not morally required, so I would hope that in this instance too it would err on the side of moral caution. And I hope that it will be bold again in looking for every opportunity to protect the sacredness of human life.