Marquette University has moved to suspend and then fire Professor John McAdams for backing a student who tried to defend man-woman marriage when a leftist teaching assistant shut the student down.
In the fall of 2014, junior faculty member Cheryl Abbate told a student, who secretly recorded the exchange, that his defense of man-woman marriage was an unacceptable topic in her ethics class and compared his views to racism. 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.” And then she told the student he should drop the class.
On this very popular blog, Professor McAdams outed the incident and charged the teaching assistant 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.”
A firestorm ensued that pitted the academic freedom of McAdams against the leftist pieties of the officially “Catholic” institution.
The teaching assistant is said to have gotten mean emails, though she was hailed as a liberal hero and went on to a tenure track position at another university. McAdams was brought up on charges.
It was announced this week 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.”
The ever quotable and crusty McAdams compared the demand to the “Inquisition, in which victims who ‘confessed’ they had been consorting with Satan and spreading heresy would be spared execution.” He called the demand a violation of “black letter guarantees of academic freedom embodied in University statutes.”
He also charges the university president with dishonesty since the faculty panel did not require such an admission of guilt or an apology. McAdams said such a statement from him would amount to a “loyalty oath” and he says he will not submit.
He also referred to Marquette’s “Catholic mission” as nothing more than a “marketing gimmick.”