Can Catholic education be “politically correct”?
The term implies that truth is less important than popularity. At its worst, political correctness becomes mob intimidation, as we have seen recently on several college campuses.
And that has no place in Catholic education.
John Garvey, president of The Catholic University of America, argues for choosing commencement speakers for their great virtue and example to students.
That’s the opposite of political correctness, which too often (and scandalously) conflicts with Catholic morality. (Read about President Garvey’s proposal in this week’s Report Card column.)
On the other hand, Dr. John McAdams accuses his former employer, Marquette University, of political correctness in his interview with The Cardinal Newman Society this week.
A judge recently sided with Marquette, which fired McAdams after he publicly criticized an ethics instructor at the university. According to McAdams, the instructor forbade a student from opposing same-sex marriage in class.
McAdams saw a teacher’s abuse of power and wanted to defend the student’s right to speak an unpopular truth. Moreover, the student was in agreement with Catholic teaching, which ought to be acceptable at a Catholic Jesuit university!
But here’s the irony: Marquette claims it fired McAdams to defend another student from McAdams, who abused his own authority as a professor. That’s because the instructor McAdams criticized happens to be a graduate student.
We think that McAdams has a strong case for appeal. But still, that won’t resolve the question of Marquette’s Catholic identity. Will the university protect students who speak truth in class? Will it require its instructors to teach and uphold truth?
That might not be popular. It’s certainly not politically correct.
But it’s essential to a faithful Catholic education.
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