Religion

Marquette University Trying to Fire Prof for Criticizing Pro-Gay Instructor

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Marquette

Marquette University is moving forward with its plan to fire a tenured professor over his criticisms of an instructor who wouldn't let any of her students speak out against gay marriage in class. The controversy is interesting for a couple reasons—a Catholic university is essentially punishing a professor whose views on gay marriage are perfectly aligned with church doctrine, for one thing—but most notably, raises important questions about the institution's commitment to academic freedom.

The professor, John McAdams, is known for espousing politically conservative views. He wrote on his blog about a situation involving an instructor named Cheryl Abbate who had told one of her students not to express opposition to gay marriage in class because that opinion was offensive. Abbate considered McAdams' blog post a mischaracterization of her position, according to Inside Higher Ed.

Soon enough, the university took action—against McAdams. Dean Richard Holz suspended him pending a review of his conduct and ordered him not to set foot on campus. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education has listed all the ways in which Marquette's actions violate the university's own adjudication and free speech policies:

In a January 30 letter calling for McAdams's immediate reinstatement, FIRE cautioned Marquette that unilaterally suspending McAdams for the opinions expressed on his blog violated his freedom of speech and academic freedom. FIRE also pointed out Marquette's multiple violations of faculty policies, noted its public insinuations that McAdams constituted a threat to campus safety, and highlighted the severe threat to free speech posed by Marquette's claim that McAdams was directly culpable for the actions of unknown individuals who allegedly harassed or threatened Abbate after reading his blog.

While this isn't a First Amendment case—Marquette, a private institution, is legally entitled to play thought-police if it wants—it is an open-and-shut case of academic muzzling. But Marquette administrators are undeterred, and have begun the process to revoke McAdams' tenure and fire him. This is a serious step backward for an institution that purports to value free and robust dialogue.

And though I don't agree with the Catholic Church's unlibertarian stance on gay marriage, it seems more than a little silly for an ostensibly Catholic institution to kick a professor off campus for defending this position. But perhaps deference to sensitivity is a superseding religious doctrine.

Hat tip: Peter Bonilla / FIRE

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  1. …an instructor named Cheryl Abbate who had told one of her students not to express opposition to gay marriage in class because that opinion was offensive.

    I’m guessing that university officials were looking for a reason to get rid of McAdams anyway. But if Abbate did actually do what she’s accused of doing, more than just conservative colleagues should be calling her on it.

    1. …more than just conservative colleagues should be calling her on it.

      The operative word there being should. Won’t happen though. The campus radicals either think it’s all permanent from now on or they’re not thinking beyond the immediate.

      1. “The operative word there being should. Won’t happen though. ”

        Certainly not now, since it’s become a Firing offense.

  2. I oppose the Catholic Church’s unlibertarian stance on apple pies. Those bigots probably think apples are the only fruit that qualifies for a pie to be rightly labelled an “apple pie”. We should celebrate pie diversity and promote pie equality. Pies made with peaches should not have to endure the discriminatory appellation of “peach pie”. A pie made with peaches is just as legitimate as apple pies (more so, even!). We can’t just continue to use outdated definitions created by racist white males regarding what is and isn’t an apple pie. Thank Darwin we have Federal Judges who will use the 14th Amendment to address this inequality issue.

    Now I’ve worked myself up. I’m going to have to go to a Christian bakery and tell them to make me an apple pie, but substitute peaches instead of apples. If they refuse, I’ll sue them.

    1. This may be one of the dumber things ever said on Reason that wasn’t said by Tony/Dunphy/Shreek/Tulpa.

      1. That’s a pretty high bar to clear.

        1. Well, it was pretty dumb.

          1. Reading it over, I’d say it leaned more “verbose”.

      2. Do you not remember Hercule all caps man?

        1. He was awesome. I don’t know what that was, but I don’t think dumb is quite the word.

    2. So peaches are homosexual apples?

      1. I alway thought they were homosexual tangerines. Who knew?

      2. Millions of peaches. Peaches for me.

        1. But not for ther?

          1. Thee. Damnit.

      3. That sounds about right, actually.

  3. “This is a serious step backward for an institution that purports to value free and robust dialogue.”

    Rather, it’s a serious step forward for an institution that values whipping its employees and students into PC conformity and cannot tolerate free and robust dialogue.

    1. Glory, Glory, Hallelujah!
      Progressivism marches on!

  4. Money is pretty much the only way to get colleges to change behavior. Alumni need to pledge to NOT give. No open, fair process, no private contributions, but, possibly Marquette alumni are fine with this behavior.

    1. Yes. There is one upside to the job market going to shit. Students no longer look at a college degree as a guarantee of a good job. When they did, they put up with this kind of bullshit because it didn’t matter if they learned anything. They just needed the piece of paper. Now that is no longer true. You are going to see students less tolerant of indoctrination and less willing to pay for colleges that provide more indoctrination than actual skills. That will serve to defund a lot of this nonsense.

    2. This is one reason I attend alumni luncheons, so I can speak out if my school did something this crazy.

    3. I’m sure as hell not OK with it. The school will know why my decision not to donate has just about become permanent.

  5. I’ll actually express some caution.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if a putatively Catholic college promoted heresy. But some of the claims against this professor are that he committed defamation against the graduate assistant. If this is so, punish him for *that,* in accordance with the faculty handbook’s procedures – don’t punish him for giving offense, or other speech-restricting reasons.

    If they narrow the hearing to focus on whether the prof committed reckless defamation, then I’m cool. It’s the extra pile-on which I question, as well as the question of whether the university is following its own Faculty Handbook.

  6. This woman was a teaching assistant in the philosophy department.

    McAdams, an associate professor of political science, wrote a blog post accusing a teaching assistant in philosophy of shutting down a classroom conversation on gay marriage based on her own political beliefs. His account was based on a recording secretly made by a disgruntled student who wished that the instructor, Cheryl Abbate, had spent more time in class one day on the topic of gay marriage, which the student opposed.

    So she spends an entire class talking about gay marriage and then told her student to stop voicing opposition to it because it was “offensive”. Basically, she thought the point of the class was to indoctrinate the students on the wonders of gay marriage not consider or debate the issues involved. How very philosophical of her.

    1. Sounds like the student with forbidden opinions was the only one who got offended. Serves him right for having ungood thoughts.

    2. ” Basically, she thought the point of the class was to indoctrinate the students on the wonders of gay marriage”

      Well, duh.

  7. But what if was an anti-vaxxer?

    1. you let them speak and then laugh at them.

  8. I did find something kind of bizarre about FIRE’s response:

    Second, Marquette is a Catholic institution. Its mission states, for example:

    Our Catholic identity is expressed in our choices of curricula, our sponsorship of programs and activities devoted to the cultivation of our religious character, our ecumenical outlook, and our support of Catholic beliefs and values.

    Any viewpoint-based discrimination would be inconsistent with its statement that conflicts of opinion are “essential,” but given Marquette’s explicitly Catholic identity, hostility towards Catholic viewpoints is just bizarre.

    Why does Catholic doctrinal purity at Marquette have to do with FIRE’s mission?

    1. Because a school’s mission statement and other statements like that can serve as effectively a contract to its employees. It is a bit like an employee handbook. If Marquette spends its time espousing its commitment to free inquiry, its employees at some point get a legal right to rely on that. They can’t just decide one day “we don’t really mean that.”

      1. So if Abbate was the one being fired for promoting same sex marriage that would be okay with FIRE because it’s consistent with the school’s Catholic identity?

        Mentioing the church’s official teachings on same sex marriage just seems like an unnecessary tangent to me.

        1. It depends. If the Church never said anything about its professors being required to tow the Catholic Lion and always talked about free inquiry, she absolutely would. If however they always said “we support free inquiry within the frame work of Catholic dogma”, she would be SOL.

          It is really just a question of fairness. It is not fair for the university to tell its employees they are free to speak their mind and then fire the first one who says something they don’t like.

          1. Tow the the Catholic Lion? Love it, John.

        2. Yeah, it seems more like political pandering than legal rationale. Maybe they are trying to shake the trees of devout alumni or the local diocese?

        3. I think the distinction had to do with it being done on his blog as opposed to on campus? Idk

          1. Its hard to keep up with all the butthurt

  9. This sort of thing is actually making me less sympathetic to gay and transexual rights. I used to have a fairly “Whatever floats your boat” attitude, but increasingly there’s an unpleasant authoritarianism about all of this. It’s no longer “Let me do what I want,” it’s “All of you must act and speak and think about me in a way I determine.” And if you don’t and politely disagree, or utter one wrong word, or make the wrong political donation, then the howling mobs of The Offended descend and try to destroy your livelihood. Screw that.

    1. Well then you probably won’t like what I propose: Mandatory Gay Marriage. Every citizen must spend at least one year “gay-married” to another person of the same gender. They don’t have to have sex, but instead must engage in public displays of affection like holding hands and kissing, at least while in public. That way they can get a feel for what gay and lesbian couples go through on a daily basis, making them aware of the challenges faced by our gay/lesbian brethren/sistren.

      You can walk a mile in another man’s shoes, but when you dance for three hours in his thong, you really begin to get a sense of what’s going on with that man. Or at least his choice of detergent/softener.

      1. Thats called the drunken college years

        1. You were a BUG?

          1. I don’t know what that is but I’m guessing it’s gross.

            1. Bi Until Graduation?

              1. and I was right. I don’t know why anyone male or female would be attracted to a dude. Two chicks I totally get. If I were a chick I would totally be a lesbian.

          2. Jesse we should talk…….

            1. Have I made a terrible faux pas?

              1. No….but if this whole mandatory gay marriage for straights is implemented I’d at least like to shack up for a year with someone I wouldn’t have to strangle in their sleep over politics!

                (bats eyes!)

                1. Back off FISH!!!
                  /brandishes broken meth pipe

                  1. AC has all the good party supplies.

                  2. Awww. Florida Man says the sweetest things!

                    fish, I’d be delighted to help you out, but I don’t know if I’d count toward mandatory gay marriage for straights.

                    I’m certainly willing to give it a go though.

              2. I think he wants a subscription to your newsletter.

                Rawr.

      2. And no personal or religious exemptions, right?

        1. Hell no!

      3. Every citizen must spend at least one year “gay-married” to another person of the same gender.

        This is cisnormative! If two people decide that there marriage is gay, it should qualify as a gay marriage regardless of what physical or legal sexes are. My wife has just as much right to be a gay man as everyone else!

        1. That’s just a step too far.

          1. No, you’re freely allowed to consider it hedonistic all you like, but it’s Kosher as long as the total number of individuals involved is less than 2.

        2. My wife has just as much right to be a gay man as everyone else!

          That sentence took me three minutes to definitively deconstruct.

          Watch the mail for a bill!

            1. So was I….

      4. Personally, I think a bigger issue is society’s rejection of older white guys having sex with young Thai women. Or, young Latinas.

        I think that should be mandatory. A year of that. I’ll do my year right now, if that’s okay.

        1. Why would a white guy want to have sex with a Latina, young or otherwise?

          Nordic people are just better looking.

          1. I’m sorry, but we can’t tolerate such intolerance.

          2. Send all your Latina rejects my way.

          3. No accounting for taste, I suppose. I like women of many different phenotypes and hues.

      5. 600 milliblighters

      6. If everyone is gay married and forced to do pda’s, wouldn’t that just desensitize everyone to gay people’s plight?

    2. This sort of thing is actually making me less sympathetic to gay and transexual rights.

      I can sympathize with what you are saying a little bit. I for example, care less about breast cancer because of all of the pink “for the cure” crap.

      But it is unfair to look at it that way. There are still plenty of people who do just want to be left to do what they want and who aren’t political activists who don’t deserve to get lumped in with the thought police. If you care about rights you have to care about everyone’s rights.

      Fuck the perpetually offended PC thought police crowd good and hard. But don’t make the same mistake they do in lumping together everyone on the “other side”.

    3. “I used to have a fairly “Whatever floats your boat” attitude, but increasingly there’s an unpleasant authoritarianism about all of this.”

      It seems that, without fail, any leftist cause turns into coercion of some sort or another, sooner or later.

  10. This is delicious. That is all.

  11. What is the point of tenure if not to protect politically incorrect academic inquiry?

    1. The point of tenure is to protect right thinking people from evil conservative politicians.

    2. That was my question. I thought tenure was pretty much a job for life, barring any real misconduct. Being able to say unpopular things is exactly what tenure is for. Or so I thought.

      1. It’s apparently been amended.

  12. raises important questions about the institution’s commitment to academic freedom.

    You knoooooooowww… you get a job with a religious institution… and… well…

  13. This is a first amendment issue as Marquette University has been, and continues to be, a recipient of millions of dollars of federal payola via student loans and other redistributive schemes.

    Let the first fucking moron scream, “ROADSzzzzz”.

    1. A university is not “private” if it benefits from, and lobbies for, subsidies.

      A truly private school would never, ever accept any federal payola.

      1. Don’t be stupid. There is no such thing as private property, because said institution used publicly funded roads during its construction, and any maint. that is regularly done.

        It uses a public water supply, breathes the air that the public EPA ensures is safe for us, and relies on publicly funded fire-fighting units, and a public army to prevent the King of England from taking it over.

        For all these reasons, private property is a delusion and you have no right to anything at all.

        1. Jim, you don’t get to have federal payola coming to you and then get to falsely proclaim that you are “private”.

          Truly private means that you don’t take the federal payola.

          What don’t you understand?

          1. What part of Marquette would have to resort to the state’s courts in order to enforce its profligate decision to fire this prof don’t you get?

            Why should I have to finance the enforcement of Marquette’s cultural Marxist decision?

            1. Ah, I was more making a joke about the progressive mindset on private property, not really critiquing your comment in particular. You are I are pretty close to lockstep in our thinking on most issues.

              1. But you sort of make a valid point too. It would be hard to find any company or institution that hasn’t gotten some tax funded assistance of some sort.

                Most universities are so heavily funded by the government, though, that Mike is probably right and it is silly to consider them truly private. But to a lot of people that would be more an argument for government taking over education more. The only real solution is to stop funding the schools and force them to survive or fail as truly public institutions.

          2. So any private company that contracts with the government is no longer private? What?

          3. I think you need to have your sarcasm detector re-calibrated.

            1. Sorry. It looked 100% legit.

              1. Shit, you weren’t talking to me.

                1. My anarcho-free enterprise-individualism was.

      2. A truly private school would never, ever accept any federal payola.

        Then, with the exception of one or two colleges, there is no such thing as a private university or college in this country. Where do you think each college gets millions in research funds every year? 99% of it comes from the federal government.

        1. The only quibble I have with your post is the percentage of funding – but I do not contest the essence of your point.

    2. Federal loans go to the student there is no reason to rationalize federal authority to interfere in school adminstration policies based on.the fact that some students receive federal aid.

  14. If I were McAdams, I would seek intervention by someone higher in the Catholic hierarchy than his superiors at Marquette.

    1. Father Coughlin?

      1. He was all about the “Social Justice”.

    2. I doubt praying will get him his job back.

      1. There’s no one between his superiors at Marquette and God? So, Marquette is run by the Pope? I didn’t know that. Interesting.

        1. I was joking about the fact that “seeking intervention” could have an alternate interpretation than usual in the context of a Catholic university.

  15. What I sent to Dean Holz on 12/18/2014

    Dear Dean Holz,

    As a fellow “Jesuit” trained alumni of St. Ignatius HS in Chicago AND Loyola University of Chicago, I am very disturbed
    upon reading of Mr. McAdams suspension.
    Aren’t the Catholic AND Jesuit teachings against Gay Marriage?
    Teacher to student: If you don’t support gay marriage, drop my class

    image

    Teacher to student: If you don’t support gay marriage, d…
    Students who oppose gay marriage are homophobic, according to an audio recording of a Marquette University instructor who went on to say that gay right issues cann…
    View on http://www.foxnews.com
    Preview by Yahoo

    http://www.foxnews.com/opinion…..-my-class/

    Are the 2 links I am talking about.

    Since the basis of Jesuit teaching is the Socratic method, being told by an ethics professor to, in essence, “zip your lips” if you don’t agree with me and drop my class is anathema to the Jesuit tradition that I was taught. Secondly,

    Ms. Abbate crossed that line.

    I would hope you would reconsider.

    BTW, I keep with the Jesuit tradition daily. I was born on his Feast Day, July 31st.

    Ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam,

    1. *discreetly scratches English off of list of things to major in at Loyola*

  16. Well, now we know what it takes for a tenured professor to get fired: make a politically incorrect* statement.

    *Political correctness isn’t real.

    1. I don’t think he’s been fired, just suspended.

      1. Marquette administrators are undeterred, and have begun the process to revoke McAdams’ tenure and fire him,

        Not yet, but they’re going to.

  17. Maybe my college experience was different because I majored in chemistry, but in what class would the subject of gay marriage even come up? And in what class would your opinion of the subject come up?

    1. Bio-chemistry?

      1. Hmm. They did talk about homocysteine.

    2. but in what class would the subject of gay marriage even come up?

      If I understand correctly, it was an Ethics class in which the discussion was about Rawls’s theory of justice. The instructor asked for real-world examples of the violation of Rawls’s 2nd principle of justice (basically equal opportunity) and someone mentioned gay marriage bans.

      *shrugs* Doesn’t seem that unusual to me.

      1. In my experience Ethics classes are a complete sham and waste of time.

        In my Aero Engineering degree I had to take “Values and Ethics”. I thought it would be case studies of various engineering accidents (Tacoma Narrows, the Challenger accident, etc.) and a discussion of any ethical lapses that occured leading up to the accident.

        Instead it was tought by an aging hippie who would divide the class up to debate various hot button topics such as abortion, gun control, euthanasia, etc. and giving out grades based on how far to the left you fell in your views. The further left, the higher the grade. FYI, I got a D. The only thing that saved me is I wasn’t an ROTC cadet. They got an automatic -2 letter grade penalty for being future baby killers.

        1. Ethics classes like that are a load of crap, I’m sure. As a branch of philosophy, it is rather important and interesting, though.

        2. and giving out grades based on how far to the left you fell in your views

          I had a class like that, but it was Bioethics. I wrote a paper where I explained Leon Kass’s arguments. Then I did what I thought I was supposed to do, detail where I think Kass was wrong and support my argument with evidence.

          Turns out, what I was supposed to do was to unthinkingly regurgitate how wonderful Kass and his bio-luddite views were. Silly me.

          1. Leo Kass W Bush’s favorite bio ethicist? Great example there HM! Lol

        3. At Memphis State engineering students needed a few hours of “ethics training”. It was satisfied by the prof offering up a few lectures on the do’s and don’ts for engineers in the real world.

          In one of the lectures the prof said that engineers shouldn’t take gifts from vendors including free meals.

          One of my classmates, who was a good looking woman, blurted out, “What pay for my own meal? Looking fine as I do? I haven’t paid for a meal since I was 13!” The prof got a deer in the headlamps look and just said “moving on …”

      2. Oh ok. Philosophy. I took a philosophy class in high school, but mainly we talked about what philosophers said and what they meant. Basically a history class. We didn’t do too much discussion of current events. I get it now though.

        So shutting down opinions in a philosophy class seems especially asinine.

        1. So shutting down opinions in a philosophy class seems especially asinine.

          Again, the purpose is indoctrination, not education.

        2. I was a philosophy major and I fortunately quickly figured out which professors actually wanted you to think and which would grade you on how much you agree with them. So I ended up with a strange combination of Classics (mostly Plato), aesthetics and philosophy of mathematics. No hot button issues in sight.

    3. Sociology; human sexuality. And, since she’s in philosophy could be any number of classes

    4. I majored in chem at Marquette. 3 levels of philosophy and 3 levels of theology were still required for graduation. Seems a bit ironic in light of this debacle.

  18. BTW, I never got a reply to my e-mail.

  19. So I go to Marquette and have had Dr. McAdams as a professor. I’m also Gay, I wanna be sure that people know he wasn’t fired for being insensitive. In fact I’ve never been offended by him in my life. This was just one of many issues that he has been a part of. Additionally I want it to be clear that this article conveniently leaves out some important details. Cheryl Abbate didn’t say that people weren’t allowed to express their beliefs about same-sex marriage, she said she didn’t want the topic in general to be brought up in class because it was inflammatory. There were more relevant topics that could be discussed in relation to the topic. What Dr. McAdams did that broke the rules for what feels like the hundredth time was that he released her name to the public, and not the student in questions. All of this happened before she had a chance to defend herself, and she was subjected to harassment that one would expect by people opposed to what she supposedly said. Its easy to politicize this issue, but it was simply as case of repeated offenses. In fact as a proud libertarian I would be offended if someone recorded me without my knowledge at my workspace and gave it to the press which is what McAdams was in this case, something the student did. I’m a little upset that this publication that I usually enjoy would give such scarce details and deny the readers all of the facts. The credibility of this publication has been tarnished for me.

    1. Very interesting. Indeed, your take on the matter definitely changes things. It looks like the writer is basing everything on what FIRE has said and didn’t do investigative reporting (it’s a blog).

      1. “It looks like the writer is basing everything on what FIRE has said and didn’t do investigative reporting (it’s a blog).”

        He could email some other participants.

        Reason seems to have a slight problem accepting the stories they link at face value.

        1. The H&R blog has become a very important part of Reason. They ought to double-check stories at least to the extent of emailing the other “side.” The writers sometimes actually do this, so we know it can be done.

          And it’s not as if there’s deadline pressure. If the other “side” gets back after the post goes live, then the writer can always post an UPDATE.

    2. Cheryl Abbate didn’t say that people weren’t allowed to express their beliefs about same-sex marriage, she said she didn’t want the topic in general to be brought up in class because it was inflammatory.

      If that is what she said, then that seems a lot more reasonable. Keeping the discussion away from inflammatory topics is pretty reasonable when you want to discuss the ideas and not just have a big argument.

      I’m still not entirely sure that McAddams did something wrong (and you don’t make it clear whether he or the student gave the recording to the press). But I don’t have a lot fo information to go on.

      1. Well, I can imagine that my employer would be kinda pissed if an employe started calling out their coworkers by name in the press regardless of the accuracy of the allegations.

        1. If he makes a habit of that sort of thing, then I wouldn’t be surprised.

          1. But I question that it is appropriate to punish a professor for the content of a blog that he appears to do on his own time. Unless his contract says otherwise, he should be able to do what he wants, even if he is kind of a dick.

      2. ” Keeping the discussion away from inflammatory topics is pretty reasonable”

        Sure. Anything can sound ‘reasonable’ (or not) depending on how its characterized after the fact.

        There was a sort-of similar kerfuffle always going on @ vanderbilt in the 1990s, where there’d be a small % of evangelical christian students who would inevitably turn almost any classroom discussion around to whatever “Persecution of Christians-topic-du-jour” they could find a connection to, and one or two professors raised a stink by announcing at the beginning of the year = “This is Not Bible-Study 101”, and asking kindly to keep the Jeebus-talk to a minimum.

        Naturally, the student groups complained about the oppression of the freedom of religion. There was a kid who was in both Political/Social Philosophy & Ethics courses with me, and he was guaranteed to whip the bible-quotes out at least once a week. It was a consistent source of amusement, particularly because the kid was super-smart and could hold his own against the profs.

        I question whether any topic is ‘inflammatory’ on its own – its more an issue of relevance, and how people react to the topic. Whipping out Creationism in an evolutionary-biology course = inappropriate. Talking about the contemporary role of the state in ‘validating’ social conventions like Marriage… in an Phil/Ethics course? seems entirely appropriate to me.

    3. “There were more relevant topics that could be discussed in relation to the topic”

      I see.

    4. “What Dr. McAdams did that broke the rules for what feels like the hundredth time was that he released her name to the public, and not the student in questions.”

      You are not allowed to refer to other professors by name @ Marquette?

      ” she was subjected to harassment that one would expect by people opposed to what she supposedly said”

      – ‘harassment’ is what people tend to call ‘public disagreement’ that they’d rather try and shut down rather than engage. If the teacher had a valid reason for telling students that they can’t talk about certain things, i’d think all it would require is stating what that reason is rather than claiming to be a victim.

      – and if ‘one would expect’ exactly the sort of reaction that has emerged, then how is it *harassment*, again?

      “I would be offended if someone recorded me without my knowledge at my workspace”

      – If the issue is that the professor was ‘recorded’ against her wishes, how is this a case of “what she supposedly said”? Did someone actually record her or not?

      – this statement almost makes sense if you pretend that the person in question is not a college professor, and the ‘workspace’ is not a classroom with paying students.

      So far the only thing being tarnished is Marquette’s reputation. I’m not sure you’re helping.

      1. “You are not allowed to refer to other professors by name @ Marquette?”

        The ‘professor’ here was a graduate student instructor iirc.

        “If the teacher had a valid reason for telling students that they can’t talk about certain things, i’d think all it would require is stating what that reason is rather than claiming to be a victim.”

        Because the kind of wing nuts that would harass someone over gay marriage (either side) tend to be rational and stop when given a good reason

        1. Stop harassing me you wing nut!

          1. If you don’t i’ll find out what school you attend and have you kicked out for your hurtful remarks!!!

    5. “Cheryl Abbate didn’t say that people weren’t allowed to express their beliefs about same-sex marriage, she said she didn’t want the topic in general to be brought up in class because it was inflammatory.”

      From the blog post that Dr. McAdams made:
      “She listed some issues on the board, and came to “gay rights.” She then airily said that “everybody agrees on this, and there is no need to discuss it.” ”

      It looks like the Instructor brought it up and then made the comment: “”everybody agrees on this, ”

      At that point she has said something patently untrue and made it a topic of discussion. To she went on to say: ” and there is no need to discuss it.”

      This is an obvious attempt to spike any future debate after she has already started a debate. This is pretty atrocious behavior for any teacher, let alone a University philosophy instructor.

      This is at heart a case of the philosophy instructor trying to indoctrinate instead of educate. Dr. McAdams was right to call her on it, and the school is wrong to attempt to fire him over it.

  20. This seems to be the post in question:

    http://mu-warrior.blogspot.in/…..y.html?m=1

    1. Here’s where I have a problem: students misrepresent and/or misunderstand profs all the time. If you’re going to trash someone in public you might at least ask them for their side

      1. I’d like to withhold judgement until we could hear the supposed recording.

        1. The transcript of the recording is in the notice-of-firing letter he posted on his google docs account.

  21. Looks like the Church gives it at the other end too

    Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone this week created a firestorm of criticism when he released the archdiocese’s new high school teacher handbook. It contains a 2,000-word section calling for staff members ? in their professional and private lives ? to honor church teachings. He specifically cited opposition to abortion, contraception, homosexuality, artificial insemination, cloning and same-sex marriage, not to mention masturbation, fornication and pornography….The additions to the handbook ? and proposed changes to the teachers’ union contract specifying that they would “have a professional obligation not to act publicly to ‘contradict, undermine or deny’ the religious message that the school exists to proclaim and which they are hired to advance”

    http://www.sfchronicle.com/bay…..227.php#/0

    1. Catholic schools tend to be Catholic, who knew?

  22. Catholic universities are governed by Ex Corde Ecclesiae, by Pope St. Jonh Paul II.

    http://w2.vatican.va/content/j…..esiae.html

    Marquette links to that document on its Web page and also has the following in its mission statement:

    “Faith

    “As a Catholic university, we are committed to the unfettered pursuit of truth under the mutually illuminating powers of human intelligence and Christian faith. Our Catholic identity is expressed in our choices of curricula, our sponsorship of programs and activities devoted to the cultivation of our religious character, our ecumenical outlook, and our support of Catholic beliefs and values. Precisely because Catholicism at its best seeks to be inclusive, we are open to all who share our mission and seek the truth about God and the world, and we are firmly committed to academic freedom as the necessary precondition for that search. We welcome and benefit enormously from the diversity of seekers within our ranks, even as we freely choose and celebrate our own Catholic identity.”

    http://www.marquette.edu/about/mission.php

    1. The idea that Jesuits are today “governed” by anything resembling traditional Catholicism is . . . mistaken. The last generation of Jesuit instructors at the various Loyolas (and presumably Georgetown) are almost exclusively interested in liberation theology.

      They’re cultural marxists and little more, and they behave the way cultural marxists behave when they feel threatened by differing opinions, which is to say that they throw fabulous blanket parties.

      It should come as no surprise that non-progressive students would feel marginalized or that faculty members who call TAs on the carpet (plus a full department, which is what I suspect the real issue is–the outcast polysci professor criticized the philosophy dept as irresponsible & intolerant and stepped on a bunch of toes in the process) would be persecuted by administration to the point of attempting to fire him and risking a full-blown media firestorm, which seems to be what they’re going to get.

  23. But perhaps deference to sensitivity is a superseding religious doctrine.

    It is religious doctrine.

  24. I would suspect there is more to the story than this. Also, it seems a bit unfair for a tenured professor to be publicly criticizing a teaching assistant. Especially for something that may have just been a poor choice of words in an effort to move the discussion away from a controversial topic.

    Just for example, if I was teaching a class about conspiracy theories, I might not want to spend ALL DAY arguing about who killed JFK with some rabid JFK nut in the room. I might eventually say “Okay everybody, today’s class is about conspiracy theories, but WE”RE NOT GOING TO TALK ABOUT JFK. Or UFOs. Everyone got that?”

    1. “HazelMeade|2.5.15 @ 11:02PM|#

      I would suspect there is more to the story than this”

      As inarticulate-marquette-student suggested, it seems the guy who they’re trying to shitcan may have had something of a history of being dickish…

      …and that the student-teacher in question wasn’t *quite* the speech-nazi being made out.

      from the link-within-the-link, it seems that a lot of the complaint against the teacher was based on comments she made *after* the class to a specific student…

      “The student asked whether his opposition to gay marriage made him “homophobic” in Abbate’s view, and she said that certain comments would “come across” as homophobic to the class. The conversation ended somewhat abruptly when Abbate asked the student if he was recording the conversation. He said “no,” but admitted he had been recording it when Abbate asked to see his cell phone.”

      in philosophy classes there *does* almost always tend to be 1 or 2 jerks that want to endlessly have the same fucking debates and prevent the class from covering wider ranges of things.

      in any case, she still sounds like a twatwaffle for trying to teach ‘ethics’ but then refusing to even entertain unpopular opinions on issues of the day.

      1. Twatwaffle? Why not just Twaffle?

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