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Open Letter from the Students of Georgetown University

This petition had 172 supporters

From February 29 through March 2, Rush Limbaugh repeatedly attacked Georgetown Law student Sandra Fluke for her testimony to Congress on new health care regulations. We, too, are students of Georgetown University. Although we differ in our political and religious beliefs, we stand united for respectful public discourse. We stand united for civility. We stand united for expressions of conscience.

While Limbaugh’s comments certainly deserve condemnation in their own right, the issue of public discourse transcends any one individual. Indeed, the political climate across the country has become increasingly toxic, and it is our shared responsibility to build greater tolerance. As President DeGioia rightly observed, “This is our moment to stand for the values of civility in our engagement with one another.” We must demand greater decency from our public officials, from our political commentators, and from ourselves.

The concept of Cura Personalis, “Care of the Person,” teaches us to appreciate each and every individual in our community for their unique insights and to embrace the whole person. Let us embrace the spirit of this guiding principle, and, in the face of hatred and discrimination, let us prefer empathy.

With this letter, we, the students of Georgetown University, renew our commitment as a community and as engaged citizens to the shared ideals of civility and constructive dialogue. We reject attempts to intimidate, silence, or marginalize any person or community through rhetoric and speech; and we pledge to promote inclusive discourse in our student government, student media, campus ministry, political advocacy organizations, and campus debate forums, as well as in our private engagement with one another.

Let us stand together to affirm the power of civility.

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