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.
The student argued against gay marriage and gay adoption, and for a while, Abbate made some plausible arguments to the student — pointing out that single people can adopt a child, so why not a gay couple? She even asked the student for research showing that children of gay parents do worse than children of straight, married parents. The student said he would provide it.
So far, this is the sort of argument that ought to happen in academia.
But then things deteriorated.
Certain Opinions BannedAbbate 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.”
She further said she would “take offense” if the student said that women can’t serve in particular roles. And she added that somebody who is homosexual would experience similar offense if somebody opposed gay marriage in class.
She went on “In this class, homophobic comments, racist comments, will not be tolerated.” She then invited the student to drop the class.
Which the student is doing.
Shutting People UpAbbate, 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.
As Charles Krauthammer explained:
The proper word for that attitude is totalitarian. It declares certain controversies over and visits serious consequences — from social ostracism to vocational defenestration — upon those who refuse to be silenced.Of course, only certain groups have the privilege of shutting up debate. Things thought to be “offensive” to gays, blacks, women and so on must be stifled. Further, it’s not considered necessary to actually find out what the group really thinks. “Women” are supposed to feel warred upon when somebody opposes abortion, but in he real world men and women are equally likely to oppose abortion.
The newest closing of the leftist mind is on gay marriage. Just as the science of global warming is settled, so, it seems, are the moral and philosophical merits of gay marriage.
To oppose it is nothing but bigotry, akin to racism. Opponents are to be similarly marginalized and shunned, destroyed personally and professionally.
The same is true of Obama’s contraception mandate.
But in the politically correct world of academia, one is supposed to assume that all victim groups think the same way as leftist professors.
The “Offended” CardGroups not favored by leftist professors, of course, can be freely attacked, and their views (or supposed views) ridiculed. Christians and Muslims are not allowed to be “offended” by pro-gay comments.
(Muslims are a protected victim group in lots of other ways, but not this one.)
And it is a free fire zone where straight white males are concerned.
Student Seeks RedressThe 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 Snow, pretty much blew off the issue.
Interestingly, both Snow and Foster have been involved in cases of politically correct attacks on free expression at Marquette.
Foster took offense when one of her colleagues referred to a dinner which happened to involve only female faculty as a “girls night out.” He was reprimanded by then department chair James South for “sexism,” but the reprimand was overturned by Marquette.
Snow, in a class on the “Philosophy of Crime and Punishment” tried to shut up a student who offered a response, from the perspective of police, to Snow’s comments about supposed “racial profiling.” The student said talk about racial profiling makes life hard for cops, since it may make minorities hostile and uncooperative.
Snow tried to silence him, claiming “this is a diverse class.” This was an apparent reference to two black students in the class, who were, Snow assumed, likely offended on hearing that.
The majority of the class, contacted by The Marquette Warrior, felt the comments were reasonable and relevant, but Snow insisted that the student write an apology to the black students.
So how is a student to get vindication from University officials who hold the same intolerant views as Abbate?
ConclusionThus 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.