Professor Maguire’s excuse for backing out of his commitment to debate me is dishonest for at least two reasons:
1. He has previously made, in public, an argument for abortion that is not theological. Specifically, he argued that, even if human, the unborn is not a person, which means the unborn are not citizens deserving of equal protection. This is an argument based on the 14th Amendment. Clearly, he is stepping into the constitutional arena, despite his claims to remain safely on theological ground.
2. In the 1990s - at Marquette University, no less – Professor Maguire debated the issue of capital punishment. Unsurprisingly, he took the anti-death penalty side. Later, he was also featured on a Marquette panel arguing specifically in favor of government run-health care. In neither case did he debate a theological issue from a strictly theological position relying strictly upon his theological training.
The fact that Professor has no special degree in criminology reveals his mendacity. What degree would specifically qualify him to oppose the death penalty? And why invoke the lack of a criminology degree – selectively, mind you – in order to get out of debating a criminologist on abortion? And, since he has held himself out as an expert on health care why not debate abortion? Isn’t that a health care issue?
Of course, Maguire lacks two things that are worth noting. He lacks a degree in any health care related discipline. He also lacks the courage to defend his views against a worthy opponent. Since Professor Maguire obtained his doctorate when I was only four years old, he has had plenty of time to prepare his arguments on abortion. This issue is obviously meaningful to him. That is why he speaks to friendly audiences in support of abortion-choice.
Of course, Professor Maguire has a right to abort a debate we have been planning for nearly nine months. But he does not have a right to be respected for his intellectual honesty and moral consistency. Those traits of his have not yet fully formed. And tenure protects him from presenting viable arguments outside the womb some call the Ivory Tower.
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