Marquette’s Feckless Response When Confronted By Concerned Alum
One such alumnus shared the letter (it is obviously a form letter) he got in return.
President Lovell has asked me to reply on his behalf to your recent letter regarding Professor McAdams. While we have complied with your request to remove your name from our mailing lists, I would like to provide a fuller accounting than what has been disseminated in media reports. First, please know that your alma mater has not abandoned its Catholic principles and in fact has been guided by them during this challenging situation.
The principle at stake here has always been behavior, not free speech. The topic of marriage may have initiated the situation but it had nothing to do with subsequent events or the substance of what happened to our student. I have enclosed a recent paper that clarifies Marquette’s position, as well as Dr. Lovell’s “A Call for Decency” message. Online at http://today.marquette.edu/2016/04/faq/, you will find additional facts and endorsements and a link to an article from U.S. Catholic, one of the country’s most respected Catholic magazines. I think you will find this article compelling as it lays out facts and a viewpoint that have not been carried by most media outlets reporting on this story.
Let me reinforce, [redacted], that our Catholic, Jesuit identity is at the heart of all we do, our students are our central concern, and our guiding values and mission will not be compromised by political correctness. Marquette’s position is that without respect and decency, we cannot have robust discourse and intellectual inquiry — in short, we cannot be a great university. I hope you get a sense of this in the enclosed articles. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any additional concerns.
The dishonesty here would be comical, did this letter not come from a once-decent university that was really Catholic and really provided a Jesuit education.
Michael VanDerhoef, Jour ‘84
Vice President, University Advancement
Let’s take it piece at a time (Marquette’s statements in sans-serif type):
The principle at stake here has always been behavior, not free speech.But our “behavior” was a blog post. If a blog post isn’t speech, what is it? If speech that Marquette doesn’t like somehow becomes “behavior,” then academic freedom means nothing.
Dr. Lovell’s “A Call for Decency” message
Why the hostility? Quite simply, Marquette officials apparently agreed with Abbate that opposition to gay marriage should not be allowed to be expressed at Marquette.
a link to an article from U.S. Catholic, one of the country’s most respected Catholic magazinesThe liberal U.S. Catholic is in fact the only Catholic publication that has supported Marquette in this. As noted by the Louis Joliet Society:
A hastily assembled blog post on the website of a magazine called “U.S. Catholic” is not likely to persuade skeptics that there is anything “Catholic” in Marquette’s decision- making in this case, particularly given the reams of analysis and commentary to the contrary, much of it from weighty Catholic/Christian publications as well. (For starters, see here, here, here, here, here and here.)And then:
our guiding values and mission will not be compromised by political correctnessAgain, the Louis Joliet Society has a list of the things that Marquette has done that can only be characterized as politically correct. Among those they list:
- Gay and Lesbian Mass.
- Planned Parenthood advertising free STD tests in the Alumni Memorial Union.
- Bras, underwear, tampons, feminine pads, birth control pills, condoms and a vibrator on display in Marquette’s Alumni Memorial Union to promote the University’s eighth production of “The Vagina Monologues.”
- A Gender Regime increasingly hostile to Catholic teaching.
- Establishment of a full blown Marquette LGBTQ Center.
- Hosting a transgender conference on campus.
- Dishonesty regarding Marquette’s Transgender bathrooms.
- Special reception for LGBT alumni.
- Scholarships limited to gay and lesbian students.
- Handing out birth control to students.
- Replacing pro-life awareness activities with LGBTQ activities over the course of October, “Respect for Life Month.”
- Hypocrisy in honoring/rescinding honorary degrees.
- Recruiting staff for LGBTQ Resource Center in Gay and Lesbian magazine.
- Endorsing the notion that those who oppose gay “marriage” should be silenced.
Marquette’s position is that without respect and decency, we cannot have robust discourse and intellectual inquiry — in short, we cannot be a great university.
But of course, nothing about our blog post was uncivil — that is unless any criticism of the politically correct intolerant left is automatically uncivil.
That, however, seems to be what the Marquette administration believes.