First, from the John William Pope Center, “At Marquette, Honesty, Free Speech, and Tenure No Match for Political Correctness.”
Read the whole thing, but one key quote is:
One lesson we learn from this dispute is that faculty contracts and tenure are no shield against vengeful leftist academics. The Marquette administration should have immediately realized that McAdams was perfectly within his rights and told those who were calling for his head to go to their keyboards and argue with him. Instead, it chose to lead the mob.
Another lesson is that academic freedom is on thin ice, at least at some of our institutions. It’s particularly thin under the feet of students and faculty members who dare to contest politically correct ideas. If any Marquette professor had criticized McAdams for his views or the way he treated a student, there would have been no repercussions: no administrative rebuke, no banishment, no suspension, no threatened termination.
In fact, we have been attacked by leftist faculty
, and of course that was fine with Marquette.
But free speech on campus has become like the equality of animals in Orwell’s Animal Farm. All animals were supposedly equal, but, once the revolution took over, some were more equal than others. Similarly at Marquette, faculty members are supposed to have academic freedom, but some are more free than others.
Then we have the Weekly Standard
. Among many excellent observations
we have these:
One might expect [Abbate’s] sort of bullying from, say, a certain Mizzou ex-faculty member. But Marquette is ostensibly a Jesuit institution. Are views held by, for example, the pope out of bounds at a Catholic college? Because for all Pope Francis’s moves toward a less judgmental tone on social issues, he has not reversed the church’s position on same-sex marriage. Speaking last year in the Philippines, the pope said the family is “threatened by growing efforts on the part of some to redefine the very institution of marriage.” He warned that society was “tempted by confusing presentations of sexuality, marriage and the family.”
What could be more confusing than an ethics class at a Catholic university in which discussion of a church doctrine—defense of traditional marriage—is verboten?
Once upon a time, universities were animated by the classical liberal belief that learning and knowledge, let alone liberty, are best served by robust debate. As John Stuart Mill wrote, it “is only by the collision of adverse opinions that the remainder of the truth has any chance of being supplied.” Dogma is the alternative.
Marquette, its administrators, and faculty would be wise to recall how this inquisition started: An instructor told a student that a legitimate debate could not be held because it would cause offense. The college seems determined to compound the original error by punishing the professor who had the courage to call attention to this betrayal of intellectual freedom.
Labels: Academic Freedom, Catholic Mission, Cheryl Abbate, John McAdams, Leftist Intolerance, Liberal Intolerance, Marquette University, Michael Lovell, Political Correctness