Marquette University has taken steps to revoke the tenure and fire professor and respected blogger, John McAdams because he stood up for a student who defended traditional marriage in an ethics class. The junior faculty member who taught the class, Cheryl Abbate, had banned discussion in her class and when the student asked her about it privately she told him to withdraw from her class. Ironic right?
It’s bad enough that this happens on any college campus, but Marquette is an ostensibly Roman Catholic institution and Abbate was teaching an ethics class. Apparently freedom of speech and freedom on inquiry do not conform to Ms. Abbate’s ideas about ethics. Her blog says that her areas of specialty are environmental ethics, feminist military ethics, and animal ethics. Um, ok, sounds fascinating.
The student, who has not been named, recorded Abbate’s response. She said:
“You can have whatever opinions you want but I can tell you right now, in this class homophobic comments, racist comments, and sexist comments will not be tolerated.”
She then suggested he drop the class.
How did we go from open discussion to no discussion to the professor telling him to drop the classs?
Perhaps that was what Professor McAdams was thinking when he heard about the exchange because he took to his blog, the Marquette Warrior and wrote exactly what he thought about Ms. Abbate’s actions and the position of liberal Marquette University. I mentioned it’s a Catholic university, didn’t I? Yep, I’m confused too.
Mr McAdams wrote in his blog,
“Abbate, of course, was just using a tactic typical among liberals now. Opinions with which they disagree are not merely wrong, and are not to be argued against on their merits, but are deemed ‘offensive’ and need to be shut up.”
“Of course, only certain groups have the privilege of shutting up debate. Things thought to be ‘offensive’ to gays, blacks and women and so on must be stifled.” McAdams said, “Groups not favored by leftist professors, of course, can be freely attacked, and their views (or supposed views) ridiculed.”
And so the backlash started. McAdams knew the consequences he face, even predicting that he would be fired. Since then he has been suspended (with termination proceedings pending), not allowed to interact with students, faculty, and staff, and has been accused of having the facts in this case wrong. The university also announced that a
“diverse” faculty committee recommended to the university president that McAdams be suspended without pay from April 1 through the fall of 2016 and that he lose his job unless he admits ‘guilt’ and apologized ‘within the next two weeks.’ Specifically, the demand is ‘Your acknowledgement that your November 9, 2014, blog post was reckless and incompatible with the mission and values of Marquette University and you express deep regret for the harm suffered by our former graduate student and instructor, Ms. Abbate.'”
Mr. McAdams refuses to apologize and has hired an attorney.
Ms Abbate has since moved on to the ultra-liberal University of Colorado, Boulder and is now on a tenure track.