Catholic institutions of higher learning have been in trouble ever since the Land O' Lakes statement orchestrated by Notre Dame's Fr. Theodore Hesburgh declared academic freedom on the part of Catholic universities.
For the most part, Catholic educational institutions that diverged from authentic Catholic teaching in the name of "academic freedom" didn't really do much to hide the fact that they were now courting dissident ideas. The Cardinal Newman Society has done yeoman's work in cataloging and grading Catholic universities based upon their fidelity to the Catholic faith, and we have one more for their files.
An anonymous tip from someone under the name "the Blue Bishop" provided dozens of pages of documentation to Church Militant, showing all sorts of homosexual activism on the campus of Marian University, located in Indianapolis, Indiana. In light of this information, Church Militant conducted its own investigation of the professors of the campus and discovered a haven of pro-abortion, pro-homosexual Marxists among the professors.
In this multi-part series of articles, Church Militant will expose the strong undercurrent of dissent that has spilled over into student life but hasn't yet quite made it to Marian University's recruiting brochures and fundraising appeals. This first article will give some background of Marian University and focus on the Department of Communication and the Department of History and Social Sciences.
Marian College was founded by the Sisters of St. Francis in 1937 and became a university in 2009. Marian not only identifies as a Catholic university, but stresses the importance of its Catholic identity as central to its educational philosophy and operation. On its front page, Marian University has a link to a page regarding the "Faith" of the university. Under the heading "The Importance of Faith," Marian University states:
Marian University's identity as a Catholic and Franciscan institution is grounded in Jesus Christ. Our faith is ever present and visible in the fabric of the educational philosophy and operation of the university. It guides the way faculty, administration, staff, and students relate to one another and how visitors are welcomed to campus.
Our Catholic and Franciscan identity guides what courses are offered, and the mode and purpose of the teaching and learning that occurs in the classroom.
It guides the activities and tone of campus life, and most importantly, guides the university's journey into a remarkable future.
Marian University is a special place. As a student, it is a place to learn about who you really are and become the person you've always wanted to be. As a teacher, you participate in an excellent academic environment where teaching and learning excellence merges with deeper values to create a challenging process of intellectual, spiritual, moral, and social development.
Despite Marian University's claim to develop Catholic moral and spiritual formation among the students, it didn't take long to discover that a strong undercurrent of homosexuality and Marxism runs among the professors.
The multicultural program, the theater director and the departments of social sciences, communication, theology and philosophy and English are all tainted by professors and staff who very openly promote ideas which are completely contrary to Catholic moral and theological teachings. In fact, Marian's dean of the College of Arts and Sciences was in a same-sex "marriage" until his "husband" died last year.
A site search of Marian University's website yields only three references to "LGBT," one of which comes from the university's fall 2011 magazine titled Building a Legacy with the tag-line, "Building a great Catholic university."
Page eight indicates that Dr. Bill Mirola, then the associate professor of sociology, gave a presentation titled "Creating an 'Alliance' at Marian University: Building a LGBT-student group in a Catholic University Context."
Mirola has been the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences since August of 2016. On Dr. Mirola's Facebook page, which identifies him as managing "Marian University College of Arts and Sciences," Church Militant discovered a series of posts offering condolences for the loss of his "husband," Dr. James E. LeGrand. One commenter wrote of Dr. LeGrand, "He was wearing lavender that day, and I yellow. We were fond of one another's style. Sending love and prayer to his husband William Mirola, mother, and children." LeGrand's obituary states very clearly that he "is survived by his husband Dr. William Mirola."
Another reference to "LGBT" found on the university's website linked to a profile page for Dr. Garren Gebhardt. His profile indicates that one of his interests includes "bias towards and comfort in using physical touch to diagnose and treat members of the LGBT community" and highlights three of his publications regarding the "LGBT population."
In 2016, a former male student filed a lawsuit against Marian University alleging sexual assault and sexual harassment perpetrated by Gebhardt. Despite reporting to the university in August of 2015 that Gebhardt "fondled the plaintiff's genitals," "sniffed the plaintiff's body, made sexual comments about his scent, invited him on lunch dates and exposed himself to the victim in a bathroom," the former student "alleges that Marian University officials ignored the incidents." The victim also alleges that Gebhardt failed him on a practical exam "for failing to submit" to sexual advances.
The third and final reference to "LGBT" on Marian University's website was a listing for the LGBT Alliance club. The club indicates that one of its intentions is to "promote an all-inclusive community at Marian University."
Reviewing the social media pages of many other faculty and staff revealed a culture of distinctly immoral and socialist ideologies.
The Communication faculty page for Marian University lists five individuals, three of which Church Militant found to be promoting distinctly un-Catholic things on social media.
Reverend George LaMaster, a Presbyterian, is the chairman of the Department of Communication. On the "likes" section of his Facebook page, he "likes" the following: Democratic Socialism Now, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Indiana and Kentucky, Socialist Party USA, Democratic Socialists of America, Indianapolis Socialist Party-USA, LGBT Books to Prisoners and Indianapolis PFLAG.
On Sept. 8, 2018, he posted a link announcing an upcoming "Dignity Mass."
On July 6, 2018 he posted a link to a New York Times article with the headline: "Can the Catholic Church 'Evolve' on L.G.B.T Rights?"
Michael Baumann is identified in the Communication faculty page as assistant professor of communication and assistant director of forensics. Baumann "likes" a number of pro-homosexual groups on his Facebook page.
But this shouldn't come as too much of a surprise, considering that Baumann is himself in a very open homosexual relationship.
On June 16, 2018, Baumann posted an anniversary celebration with his "boyfriend," Joseph Lese. In this post, which included a number of pictures of him with Lese, Baumann wrote:
It's our one-year anniversary today, and if I feel this way now, I can only imagine how I will feel 5 years from now. 10 years. 30. I hope other people get to feel this way at least once. I get to every day. I love you, Joseph Lese. You are kind, intentional, smart, creative, funny, woke, supportive, patient, generous, and just damn good-looking. I can't wait to share adventures for the rest of our lives together.
Kyle Kellam is listed on the Communication faculty page as assistant professor of communication and director of forensics. Kellam has a fairly long history of promoting homosexuality and same-sex "marriage" on his Facebook page.
In March of 2013, Kellam posted the red equal sign, the symbol of support for same-sex "marriage."
In June of 2013, Kellam posted about the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), right after the Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex "marriage," "DOMA Boh-bye. Bubyee! Good job, 'merica."
On June 27, 2013, Kellam posted a blasphemous and sacrilegious image recounting Gov. Mike Huckabee's comment on the Supreme Court's ruling and supposing a response from Our Blessed Lord. Governor Huckabee stated in a tweet, "My thoughts on the SCOTUS ruling that determined that same sex marriage is okay: 'Jesus wept.'"
The pretend response from the Son of God was, "Those were tears of joy you f***** nitwit."
These three professors are strong representations of the Communication Department of the university. But what we found in the History and Social Sciences Department was just as bad, if not worse.
The faculty page for the History and Social Sciences Department led us to the social media accounts of Pierre Atlas, Wesley Bishop, Adrianna Ernstberger and Amber Nelson. Below is a summary of our findings for each of these.
Pierre Atlas is a professor of political science and director of The Richard G. Lugar Franciscan Center for Global Studies. On Dr. Atlas's Facebook page, he "likes" Planned Parenthood Action, Planned Parenthood and has several posts promoting homosexuality.
On Oct. 22, 2018, Dr. Atlas derided the Trump administration's "move to disaffirm transgender people's identities in violation of their human rights," including the hashtag "TransIsBeautiful."
On Nov. 7, Dr. Atlas applauded the election of Indiana's "first openly gay lawmaker," saying, "Maybe now we can pass a hate crimes bill."
On Twitter, in January of 2014, Dr. Atlas states, "I've been in a heterosexual marriage for over 20 yrs. Explain how same sex marriage will undermine the sanctity of that? #MarriageEquality."
That same month, he posted that Indiana should "say no to the same-sex marriage amendment" which would have outlawed same-sex marriage.
In March of 2013, Dr. Atlas posted that the Defense of Marriage Act should be repealed.
In June of 2017, Dr. Atlas tweeted that he is proud to call Cdl. Joseph Tobin a friend, saying, "As Church shifts, a Cardinal welcomes Gays; They Embrace a 'Miracle.'"
Adrianna Ernstberger is MU's assistant professor in history and director of gender studies. In December of 2011, she posted on Facebook that she "likes" "I Vote Planned Parenthood Action."
Among her other "likes" on Facebook are: The Indianapolis National Organization for Women, Purdue University LGBTQ Center, 4000 Years for Choice, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Indiana and Kentucky and a host of other feminist organizations.
Wesley Bishop is a visiting associate professor of American history for Marian University. Bishop is actively and openly pro-homosexual on MU's campus and is a self-identified socialist.
In November of 2017, Bishop posted on Facebook an image of his "Official Socialist Organizer" card for the Democratic Socialists of America.
On Dec. 3, 2018, Bishop posted a pro-abortion, pro-contraception meme on his Facebook wall.
Bishop's "likes" on Facebook include: Indiana Trans Hivemind, Socialist Party USA, Russian Revolution Centenary, Communist Party of Indiana, CPUSA, LGBT Movement, Indy Pride, Purdue Queer Students Of Color, Chicago Socialist Campaign, Purdue University LGBTQ Center, NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio, Karl Marx, Democratic Socialists of America, In Defence of Marxism, Socialist, Communist Party USA, Support Freedom to Marry Ohio, National Organization for Women (NOW), Planned Parenthood Action, LGBTQ Victory Fund and Human Rights Campaign.
On Nov. 12, 2018, Bishop posted a picture he took of his door at Marian University which clearly has a "Trans Rights Are Human Rights" picture fixed to it.
Amber Nelson is Marian University's assistant professor of sociology. Among the "research interests" on her bio page, she lists "Gender and Health Rights as Human Rights." According to her posts on social media, these "human rights" include abortion and contraception.
In 2011, Nelson tweeted, "Tell pro-choice senators: filibuster the all-out attack on women!"
In October of 2017, Nelson retweeted the following promotion of Planned Parenthood and birth control originally posted by Hillary Clinton.
Clearly, Marian University has a very serious problem with faculty and staff holding personal and professional views that are completely at odds with the most basic tenets of Catholic moral and social teaching. In part two of this series, we will focus on Marian University's English Department, Theology and Philosophy Department, its multicultural program and its Theater Department.
Church Militant reached out to Mark Apple, Marian University's vice president for marketing communications, but received no response.