Chilling Attack on Free Speech at University Threatening Non-Liberal Prof



In 2014, John McAdams a tenured professor at a Jesuit university was suspended and banned from campus for a blog post sticking up for a student who expressed his support of traditional marriage. This is at Marquette University, a bastion of political correctness aka cultural Marxism.

The university has now said that he has two weeks to apologize for his political views. He must apologize for his ‘guilt’. If he does not engage in this ‘compelled speech’ as outlined by a committee and the university’s president, he will be fired.

It is probably heading for court. Currently, the professor is protected by the First Amendment but if the Supreme Court tilts, that will change.

This is what happened:

Professor John McAdams wrote a blog post in 2014 chiding instructor Cheryl Abbate for trying to silence one of her students by telling him “some opinions are not appropriate.” The exchange was secretly recorded by the student and McAdams was able to hear what was said and included those quotes in his blog.

Abbate was reviewing political issues in her “Theory of Ethics” class but when she came to gay rights, she said everyone agrees and there is no need to discuss it. When a student tried to address it with her after class, she told him that racist and sexist opinions are inappropriate and he didn’t have a right to discuss “homophobic comments.” She told him to drop the course.

McAdams wrote in his post that she was using a typical liberal tactic to refuse to argue the merits of a topic and deem it offensive for the sole purpose of shutting down dissent.

Liberals get to decide what is offensive. Groups not favored by leftist professors can be freely attacked.

Abbate moved on to another university but has been lauded for her views which are clearly anti-free speech.

Charges were brought against McAdams by the university’s ‘diverse’ faculty committee. The end result is they want him suspended and then terminated unless he confesses ‘deep regret’ for damages to Ms. Abbate for basically doing nothing but expressing an opinion.

They wrote:

Your acknowledgement that your November 9, 2014, blog post was reckless and incompatible with the mission and values of Marquette University and you express deep regret for the harm suffered by our former graduate student and instructor, Ms. Abbate.

The committee itself did not demand an apology, however, and recommended a one or two semester suspension but it was the university President Michael Lovell who added that.

McAdams said he will not submit to a  “loyalty oath” and demanded an apology for the “Inquisition“.

The addition of a demand that we abase ourself and issue an apology and sign a loyalty oath to vaguely defined “guiding values” and to the University’s “mission” is obviously a ploy by Marquette to give the administration an excuse to fire us. They have calculated, correctly, that we will do no such thing.

But the ploy is absolutely transparent, and won’t mitigate the realization that Marquette is an intolerant, politically correct institution whose “Catholic mission” is nothing but a marketing gimmick.

And an institution whose administrators have badly miscalculated the costs of trying to silence a tenured faculty member who has caused them embarrassment by revealing misconduct at the institution.

The Catholic religion does not allow gay marriage, yet this Catholic university won’t allow discussion of it because it’s ‘homophobic.’ This case is not about gay marriage, it’s about the right to discuss it, it’s about free speech, academic freedom and forcing someone to apologize for his political views.

In the end, the truth is that the university won’t allow free speech if if differs from the leftists’ ideology.

In a radio appearance on March 25th, it became apparent that if someone responds badly to a story, the author of the story is held accountable and can be shut down. It’s a new standard for free speech.


In an interview last week with Wisconsin Watchdog on the Vicki McKenna Show, McAdams said Marquette has a way of quietly making noisy professors go away.

If you must adhere to floating standards reliant on opinions of any offended listeners’ opinion at the moment, how does a professor know what he or she can ever say?

Appearance on Fox in 2014.