Marquette Warrior: Cheryl Abbate to Marquette: Silence Marquette Warrior

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Cheryl Abbate to Marquette: Silence Marquette Warrior

Cheryl Abbate is the Marquette Philosophy instructor who told a student who wanted to discuss gay marriage in class that any expressions of opposition would be “homophobia,” and further that any gay students who happened to be in class should be protected from hearing such arguments.

Our post generated a huge brouhaha, and eventually was the subject of an article in Inside Higher Ed.   According to the article:
Abbate, however, said she hoped Marquette would “use this event as an opportunity to create and actively enforce a policy on cyberbullying and harassment.” She added: “It is astounding to me that the university has not created some sort of policy that would prohibit this behavior which undoubtedly leads to a toxic environment for both students and faculty. I would hope that Marquette would do everything in its power to cultivate a climate where Marquette employees, especially students, are not publicly demeaned by tenured faculty.”
Thus Abbate adds “cyber bullying” to “offensive” and “harassing” and “racist, sexist and homophobic” to the repertoire of terms that politically correct academic leftists use to shut up people whose opinions they dislike.

If simply providing news coverage of an event that reflects badly on somebody is bullying, the Fox News website has been consistently bullying Barack Obama, and the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel doing the same to Scott Walker.

Abbate feels she has been demeaned, but was happy to demean a student by clearly implying that his views were homophobic and “offensive.” We reported that fact.  It was the facts that made Abbate look bad.

The “toxic environment” business is ironic.  Abbate created a toxic environment for the student by labeling his views on gay marriage homophobic.  There is no doubt that the “climate” feels better for politically correct students and faculty if their views and behavior are not allowed to be challenged.  In other words, when there is no diversity of opinion, or when diverse opinions are silenced.

In academia, politically correct people apparently get to attack and demean whomever they want, and then play the victim when their own behavior gets publicized.

Politically correct academics are so entirely convinced their own attitudes are righteous that they cannot accept people disagreeing with them, and even criticizing them.  It’s the result of an extremely inbred, narrow and parochial culture.

As an article on the website of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education notes:
Abbate and her defenders come off in the Inside Higher Ed article as believing it’s perfectly fine for them to silence students if they hold views based on sources they don’t like.
They apparently apply that standard to professors, too.

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Blogger Amy Haffner said...

Professor McAdams, regardless of Ms Abbate's personal or professional opinions about how to run her classroom, your abuse of your position to publicly lambaste her because you disagree is repugnant and lacking in professional ethic.
I ask you to look inside and evaluate if your actions are truly in support of Cura Personalis and the pursuit of academic knowledge, as is the Jesuit tradition, or perhaps merely in support of perpetuating your own view.

10:08 AM  
Blogger Badger Catholic said...


I ask sincerely, how could "Cura Personalis" support not discussing political/ethical issues in the classroom?

I mean, say Jesuit Hermann Busembaum's teaching on the rights of people to morally disobey a government that, for example, forces a Catholic priest to perform a gay marriage; do you think not only does he have to comply but he can't even discuss the matter? Or are you just saying that discussion of this particular incident in public is where you take issue? Or both maybe?


4:33 PM  
Blogger Amy Haffner said...

Hi Matt,

Yes, my comment is strictly limited to the behavior of a senior Marquette University faculty member publicly criticizing a fellow instructor by name. That behavior is not in the spirit of Cura Personalis.


10:22 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

“Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views.”

― William F. Buckley Jr.

5:59 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

My freshman year of college was back in 1974. The most heated discussions I have ever been a part of in my life came during that year of school. Slavery, women's rights and more were talked about, mocked, dissected and screamed across the room. No belief was taboo.

Probably the loudest debate came over what was then called "homosexual fairness." One girl took a pro-gay position and she spent an hour defending her position. Another girl said her view offended her religious convictions and it shouldn't be discussed in "polite society." She was then attacked for trying to close our discourse.

During those classes, we learned how to defend our beliefs and how to listen to differing views. I walked out of that class a different person, stronger, more focused and more confident.

But today, liberal kids can't defend their beliefs because professors stop the discussion before it starts and conservatives are told their positions are wrong by default. That's why when pressed on what they think, liberals start name-calling. "You're a sexist, homophobic Eurocentric dolt" they'll say.

I went back to college and finished my degree in 2012. There was no discussion, no opposing views, just the "take this as gospel or risk your grade" mindset.

10:35 AM  

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