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A concerned response to the Oct. 29th Letter to the Editor

| Friday, November 5, 2021

The Oct. 29 Letter to the Editor, “An open letter to the Editor-in-Chief of the Irish Rover” by Sara Ferraro, responded to Mary Frances Myler’s Irish Rover article questioning Notre Dame’s stances on Catholicism and the LGBTQ+ community. However, in trying to refute Myler’s claims, Ferraro made some conflicting statements that concerned me deeply.

The open letter interpreted Myler’s rhetoric as evidence she believes she has “a greater grasp on the ‘capital T’ truth of life”. The interpretation leads Ferraro to make a scathing remark: “If you already know the truth in its entirety, why do you remain a student at this or any university? What do you have left to learn?”. Reading this for the first time, I was taken aback by the statement’s sheer bitterness and insulting nature. I have read Myler’s article, and while its rhetoric includes bold questions, I never received the impression that its author believed herself to be the pinnacle of truth. The article is a controversial argument, but it is not an act of superiority. I believe the Irish Rover article is a genuinely inquisitive, albeit extreme, look into Notre Dame’s Catholic identity. Myler does not claim to be all-knowing, and as readers, we should not assume she is trying to be.

The open letter continues its focus on Frances’ moral character by asking, “Why are you so afraid of learning and coexisting with people who think differently from you?” This, too, seemed to me an unnecessarily bitter response to her article. While the article is understandably hurtful to the LGBT community, to personally insult Frances with the claim she is “afraid” to “learn” and “coexist” is extreme.

The open letter’s boldest claim is near the conclusion: “I refuse to respond to your hate with further hate.” I found this statement significantly egregious; the letter already questioned why Frances bothers to attend Notre Dame, then asked why she is “afraid”. How are these bitter statements not “further hate?” The open letter concerns me because I come from a place where the LGBTQ+ community is often viewed as being self-righteous and condescending, and I fear the letter may inadvertently contribute to the stereotype. Ferraro raises good points in the open letter, but they may become lost in the bitter tone. My hope is that further discussions on LGBTQ+ topics may be held without bitterness, and we can appreciate each other in the fullness of our humanity.


Abigail Tobias


Oct. 29


The views expressed in this Letter to the Editor are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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