Marquette University, the ostensibly Catholic institution of higher learning in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is seeking to suspend and fire a faculty member who supported a student who defended traditional marriage as defined by the Catholic faith. A “diverse” faculty committee has recommended that Professor John McAdams be suspended without pay as of April 1 through the fall of this year. He must also admit his “guilt” and apologize “within the next two weeks.” In its recommendation to the university president, the committee says that McAdams must acknowledge that his blog post of November 9, 2014, “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.”
The firestorm ensued when junior faculty member Cheryl Abbate told a student that his defense of man-woman marriage was an unacceptable topic in her ethics class and compared his views to racism. The student in question recorded the exchange. Abbate told the student, “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 told him to drop the class.
On his blog, McAdams charged Abbate with “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.”
While McAdams was brought up on charges by the university, Abbate was hailed as a hero by leftists and was given a tenure track position at another university.
McAdams compared the university’s demand to the “Inquisition, in which victims who ‘confessed’ they had been consorting with Satan and spreading heresy would be spared execution.” The university’s demand, he said, is a violation of the institution’s “black letter guarantees of academic freedom embodied in University statutes.”
According to McAdams, an apology on his part amounts to an inadmissible “loyalty oath” to which he will not submit. Marquette University’s stated “Catholic mission,” he said, is nothing more than a “marketing gimmick.”
On its website, Marquette University has a statement on campus "diversity":
As a Catholic, Jesuit university, Marquette recognizes and cherishes the dignity of each individual regardless of age, culture, faith, ethnicity, race, gender, sexual orientation, language, disability or social class. 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. Through our admissions and employment policies and practices, our curricular and co-curricular offerings, and our welcoming and caring campus environment, Marquette seeks to become a more diverse and inclusive academic community dedicated to the promotion of justice.
Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.