Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Marquette’s Selective, Dishonest List of “Resources” On Our Case

When Marquette, on its own website, gives its side of our suit against the university, we expect it to be biased. But sometimes the bias is so blatant as to defy belief.

The case, remember, involves a graduate instructor (Cheryl Abbate) who told a student who wanted to oppose gay marriage in a class discussion that:
  • “some opinions are not appropriate, such as racist opinions, sexist opinions”
  • “do you know if anyone in your class is homosexual?” . . . “don’t you think it would be offensive to them”
  • “you don’t have a right in this class to make homophobic comments.”
  • “In this class, homophobic comments, racist comments, will not be tolerated.”
This was a clear case of academic intolerance, quite typical of colleges today. It was also ironic, since the student simply wanted to defend the Catholic Church’s position on the issue. We blogged about it, a huge brouhaha ensued, and Marquette proceeded to attempt to fire us.

Bizarre Moralizing

So Marquette has a website of “resources” on the case. Some of Marquette’s rhetoric is almost nausea inducing. For example:
The website emphasizes Marquette’s Guiding Values and how they have influenced the university’s position and actions in response to this case.
This from a university which claims to be Catholic, but has fully embraced the gay agenda, and the transgender agenda. This from a university that not only invited Angela Davis (who proudly claims to be a communist) to campus, but paid her a fee that (according to speaker agencies’ online statements) must be well into five figures.

Even worse, they lauded her on a Marquette web page, on Twitter, and in the introduction to her talk.

Things like this are a better guide to Marquette’s real “guiding values” than any unctuous rhetoric.

Suppressing Information

But one particularly egregious example of bias comes at the bottom of the page, where they note:
Recent amicus briefs for the McAdams vs. Marquette have been filed by:
  • Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC)
  • National Association of Manufacturers (NAM)
  • Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU)
  • Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (WAICU)
  • Marquette University Academic Senate
One might think that nobody supports our case, given that list. But on the website of WILL, the public interest law firm that represents us, is a link to every document submitted to the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

Who has supported us, that Marquette will not tell you about?
  • Great Lakes Justice Center
  • Foundation for Individual Rights in Education
  • Law and University Professors and Academics
  • State of Wisconsin
  • National Association of Scholars
  • Thomas More Society
Interestingly, all the briefs supporting Marquette are from parties with a vested interest in employers being able to fire employers who cause “trouble” for their organizations. It is puzzling, however, why business organizations see any threat in this case, since our argument is not that any employee anywhere has free speech rights on the job, but rather than Marquette has promised us those rights in our contract. The vast majority of businesses don’t do that.

It may be relevant here that three Directors of Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce — Jon Hammes, Todd Adams and Peggy Troy — are also trustees of Marquette University. Anyone with even a slight knowledge of American academia will know that trustees, many of them being business people, have been completely ineffective in tempering intolerant political correctness on campuses. Thus the suppression of conservative speakers (sometimes using violence and disruption), curricula that are essentially indoctrination, the stripping of due process from males accused of sexual assault and so on, never meet any effective opposition from trustees.

Perhaps this is because business types, in their business jobs, are themselves used to pandering to the forces of political correctness. Thus they have to embrace (at least rhetorically) gender and racial “diversity,” the gay and transgender agendas, and “sustainability.” This is the price of being left alone to make money. They are not used to resisting.

The American Association of University Professors

Also not listed on the Marquette website is the brief of the American Association of University Professors. That organization supported the Marquette Faculty Hearing Committee’s claim that we should be suspended for one or two semesters. But the AAUP harshly criticized Marquette’s earlier suspension of this blogger, and also rejected Michael Lovell’s demand that we issue a grovelling apology in order to be reinstated. Those two things kept it off Marquette’s list.

The AAUP, it seems, views “academic freedom” as a collective right that faculty have, but not a right that individual professors have. If faculty as a group will not support the free expression of a particular academic, then neither will the AAUP. This means that faculty out of tune with the reigning orthodoxy in academia are at risk.

The organization did insist that since the Faculty Hearing Committee did not say we should have to issue any apology, Lovell had no right to demand one.

Conclusion

It’s terribly revealing that Marquette would do this, but not unexpected. Marquette has been unable to tell the truth about why Cheryl Abbate left Marquette, whether Abbate received threats, or whether we linked to her contact information.

The rhetoric about “Guiding Values” contrasts sharply with the reality of an institution run by visionless bureaucrats who pander relentlessly to the noisy forces of political correctness on campus, trash vast swaths of Catholic teaching, and try to suppress dissenting voices.

The Jesuits who founded the place would be appalled. Anybody who thinks a Catholic university is a good idea and has been paying any attention is appalled.

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1 Comments:

Blogger ThomistCat said...

It’s called the “hermeneutics of play,” or, creating a “narrative” or “story,” or whatever postmodern terms happen to be used. Writing is not about truth, but about power among trendy PC academics. This being the case, writing is devoted to empowering a political agenda, not to telling the truth. The end justifies the means, a crass utilitarianism, is embraced as a principle by progressive academics. They can creatively—in the service of power—not tell the truth and be lauded by colleagues. At least the ones who matter.

4:55 PM  

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