Teaching Assistant and StudentTeaching assistant Cheryl Abbate denied the right of discussion in class. She had written a list on the board including gay rights. Then she loftily dismissed this subject as not debatable. She stated that everyone agrees. But a student disagreed with some ideas about gay rights and wanted to debate it.
This happened in a philosophy class purported to teach applying philosophical ideas to topical political controversies. How do you teach this without a discussion?
When a student talked to her after class, he expressed that discussion was pertinent. She replied that his opinions weren't opportune. She said his ideas weren't suitable for discussion. In a class that is mainly composed of discussion and debate, what? Stop a minute and think, what?
Indeed, discussion is on target in a philosophy class, don't you think?
While Catholicism agrees with the Bible that homosexuality is a sin, it says the person should still be respected. It says every person should be accorded human dignity. This is in accord with the way Jesus treated sinners that others shunned.
Thus, the student that wanted discussion of a topic brought up in class had the right of respect from teaching assistant Cheryl Abbate. But she summarily dismissed discussing gay marriage. After class she told him someone might be offended by his opinions. You think that might ever happen in a topical philosophy class, duh?
Someone might be offended because he disagrees with gay marriage. But the Catholic Church doesn't allow or believe in gay marriage, yet the same opinion can't be expressed in class at a Catholic university. Maybe the 21st century is the Twilight Zone...
Abbate also suggested that he drop the class. Which he did. What's wrong with that suggestion? Just think about it. The usual reasons for dropping a class are the likelihood of a failing grade, illness or the student doesn't like the class. But why did he drop? If he didn't like the class, it is obvious why he disliked it.
John McAdams Banned (2014)Professor John McAdams comes to the rescue on his blog "Marquette Warrior." McAdams stalwartly spoke up for the student. He wrote searingly against the teaching assistant's muzzling of debate on gay marriage.
This valiant effort to support the student's right to debate was countered by banning the tenured professor of 37 years. They relieved him of his teaching and faculty activities. This information was delivered by a letter from Dean Richard Holz. McAdams isn't allowed on the campus during this inquiry of his conduct.
Investigation of his conduct...wait, what? At a supposedly Catholic university? It was founded as a Catholic institution but has gone astray. Why? Because a student doesn't have the right to oppose an idea he disagrees with in a class, and a professor apparently can't defend the student on his blog without reprisal from the university.
Marquette to Fire Professor (2015)According to the Academe Blog posted 02/04/15 Marquette University will fire Professor John McAdams. Dean Richard Holtz speaks of tolerance in his recent letter to McAdams. He says the professor has violated a tolerance policy. But McAdams has a right to express his opinions on his blog. The post states that the letter distorts the AAUP's statements on tolerance. But according to them, the professor should not be fired for writing or stating his opinions.
The Academe Blog post address is Academe Blog Post . The post explains the AAUP's statements and about the university's policies on academic freedom.