Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Marquette: Gay Rights, Academic Freedom, Free Speech

What is happening at Marquette?

As the end of the year approaches and it's time to get out the checkbook for that annual donation, we have good reason to pause.

Political Science Professor John McAdams has documented some very troubling recent happenings that began in a Marquette University classroom.

Read: Marquette Philosophy Instructor: “Gay Rights” Can’t Be Discussed in Class Since Any Disagreement Would Offend Gay Students.

Cherly Abbate is a "doctoral student in the philosophy department at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin" and serves as the instructor for a philosophy class, "Theory of Ethics."

The problem: Abbate flat-out shut down discussion on gay rights, refusing to acknowledge a conservative student's perspective.

John McAdams writes:

A student we know was in a philosophy class (“Theory of Ethics”), and the instructor (one Cheryl Abbate) was attempting to apply a philosophical text to modern political controversies. So far so good.

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.”

The student, a conservative who disagrees with some of the gay lobby’s notions of “gay rights” (such as gay marriage) approached her after class and told her he thought the issue deserved to be discussed. Indeed, he told Abbate that if she dismisses an entire argument because of her personal views, that sets a terrible precedent for the class.

...Abbate explained that “some opinions are not appropriate, such as racist opinions, sexist opinions” and then went on to ask “do you know if anyone in your class is homosexual?” And further “don’t you think it would be offensive to them” if some student raised his hand and challenged gay marriage? The point being, apparently that any gay classmates should not be subjected to hearing any disagreement with their presumed policy views.

Then things deteriorated further as the student said that it was his right as an American citizen to make arguments against gay marriage. Abbate replied that “you don’t have a right in this class to make homophobic comments.”
Not surprisingly, the story went national.

I'm glad it did. Such an affront to free speech should receive attention.

Abbate's assumption that "everybody agrees on this, and there is no need to discuss it" is absurd.

Taking the topic off the table completely smacks of a reeducation camp in Mao's China.

Isn't Marquette a CATHOLIC university? I remember it used to be. I guess the Catholic identity is a little inconvenient. (Maybe if the Leftist faculty and authorities at Marquette ignore it long enough, it will just fade away. )

Abbate's argument that discussion can't occur because gay classmates shouldn't be subjected to hearing someone express any objection to gay marriage sets a standard that would stifle all discussion. The potential of someone taking offense to a topic is always there. It would be impossible to use that measure to determine what's off limits.

...The student first complained to the office of the Dean of Arts & Sciences, and talked to an Associate Dean, one Suzanne Foster. Foster sent the student to the Chair of the Philosophy Department, saying that department chairs usually handle such cases. The chair, Nancy Show, pretty much blew off the issue.

...So how is a student to get vindication from University officials who hold the same intolerant views as Abbate?
McAdams concludes:
Thus the student is dropping the class, and will have to take another Philosophy class in the future.

But this student is rather outspoken and assertive about his beliefs. That puts him among a small minority of Marquette students. How many students, especially in politically correct departments like Philosophy, simply stifle their disagreement, or worse yet get indoctrinated into the views of the instructor, since those are the only ideas allowed, and no alternative views are aired?

Like the rest of academia, Marquette is less and less a real university. And when gay marriage cannot be discussed, certainly not a Catholic university.

I have great respect for the student, fighting the good fight, not accepting being muzzled.

The notion that differing viewpoints will not be tolerated in some Marquette classes is extremely disturbing. 

It's also disturbing that McAdams is being attacked for exposing the truth.


Cheryl Abbate to Marquette: Silence Marquette Warrior

Politically Correct Marquette Faculty Attack Marquette Warrior

OK. Frankly, I'm tired.

I'm tired of fighting battles. I'm tired of hearing about battles being fought. I'm just really tired. Really, really tired.

But, such a glaring injustice as this needs to be addressed.

Shutting up students is not right. Shackling them intellectually is wrong.  Setting up politically correct barriers to oppress them is no way to enrich their minds.

McAdams points out:

All we did was to report, accurately, the inappropriate actions of Abbate in demeaning a student, and claiming that gay students should not be exposed to any arguments against gay marriage. It is true that, when the story went national, she was subjected to some nasty e-mails and blog comments (although nothing required her to read the blog with the nastiest comments).

But then we got nasty comments too. When one does something that gets national publicity, some jerks are going to say nasty things. Neither we nor anybody at Marquette can help that.

...If accurate reporting harms someone’s reputation, that is fair enough. And if accurate reporting harms Marquette’s reputation, that is also fair enough. The argument here seems to be that certain information needs to be concealed to protect reputations. No journalist would accept that. The rule should be “tell the truth and let the chips fall where they may.”
What should we do? Deny reality?


If the truth harms the reputation of an individual or a group of people or a university, then it does. That's the way the truth works.

Actions have consequences.

We're judged by what we do. We are what we do.

Deal with it, Marquette Leftists.

This Thought Police mentality at Marquette really ticks me off. It is so out of line. It's sad that Marquette has come to this, but it has.

Bottom line: The intolerance of the Leftists is maddening. Using their authority to attempt to silence students possessing views that run counter to the Leftist political agenda is disgraceful.

Why would I support an institution that operates this way, opposing free speech?

Write a check to the Marquette Fund? Really?

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