Marquette University, which bills itself as a Catholic institution, is moving to fire a professor who defended a student’s right to oppose same-sex marriage.
Professor John McAdams found himself under investigation by officials at the Wisconsin college in November 2014 after blogging on philosophy professor Cheryl Abbate. She allegedly said, “You don’t have a right in this class to make homophobic comments,” when a student disagreed with her.
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“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,” McAdams replied on his Marquette Warrior blog.
The university announced this week that McAdams will be suspended without pay from April 1 through the fall of 2016. He will also lose his job unless he admits “guilt” and apologizes “within the next two weeks,” Breitbart News reported Wednesday.
“After months of deliberations, the [investigating] committee issued a thorough 123-page report to my office in January regarding Professor McAdams’ actions,” Marquette President Michael Lovell wrote in a letter released March 24. “It is noteworthy to mention that the report provided a unanimous recommendation on a path forward regarding the issue under consideration.”
Concerned individuals may contact Marquette University President Michael Lovell by email or by calling (414) 288-7223.
McAdams’ shared the university’s demands in a March 26 blog post.
- Acknowledgement and acceptance of the unanimous judgment of the peers who served on the Faculty Hearing Committee.
- Affirmation and commitment that future actions and behavior will adhere to the standards of higher education as defined in the Marquette University Faculty Handbook, Mission Statement and Guiding Values.
- 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.
McAdams mocked the idea of a Catholic college punishing a professor for standing up for official teachings of the Catholic Church.
“These demands are reminiscent of the Inquisition, in which victims who ‘confessed’ they had been consorting with Satan and spreading heresy would be spared execution,” the professor said. “Is free speech a ‘guiding value’ of Marquette? Apparently not. Is protecting students who want to argue for Catholic teaching about marriage from bullying a ‘guiding value’ of Marquette? Apparently, it’s not either. The Philosophy Department treated the student with hostility when he complained. Marquette had no problem with that. Not only was Abbate not even admonished that she had erred, it was conveyed to her that she had done nothing wrong.”
McAdams, a tenured professor with over three decades of experience, told WBRC Fox 6 on Dec. 17, 2014, that he had lawyers ready for the day his job was threatened.
The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, a free-speech watchdog from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, lists Marquette as one of the worst colleges for free speech in the nation.