Mike Adams

“At Hamline, students collaborate with professors invested in their success. They are challenged in and out of the classroom to create and apply knowledge in local and global contexts, while cultivating an ethic of civic responsibility, social justice, and inclusive leadership and service.” – From the Hamline University website


Hamline University is not a liberal arts college as it claims to be. It is an illiberal arts college that has just disgraced itself in the national court of public opinion. Former Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer was hired to teach at the school but then abruptly canned by those who did not want even a single high-profile conservative faculty member. So much for the “civil and open exchange of ideas” Hamline promises to prospective students. It is nothing short of false advertising meant to lure students into an ideological echo chamber that will leave them deep in debt and shallow on exposure to controversial ideas.

Tom Emmer holds conservative views on taxes and health care reform but neither of those issues mattered in the eyes of those who wished to exclude him from the Hamline faculty. Hamline officials reneged on a job offer for one reason and one reason only: Tom Emmer has publicly stated his opposition to same-sex marriage. And the faculty will not tolerate such intolerance.

The view of some faculty members and some in the Minnesota media can be roughly summarized as follows: If Tom Emmer supports marital discrimination then he cannot claim to be a victim of viewpoint discrimination at the hands of Hamline progressives.

That sort of rationalization is dangerous, of course, because it knows no bounds. There was virtually no discussion of this issue on campuses until the late 1990s. The idea that everyone must jump on the same-sex marriage bandwagon in order to retain a job they have already been given is sure to kill any remnant of diversity that might be found on the campus of Hamline University. Imagine the strange variations of this kind of we-can-discriminate-against-you-because-you-advocate-discrimination logic:

1.)You support the African American Center therefore you cannot claim to be a victim of traditional marriage laws that exclude same-sex marriage.

2.)You support the Women’s Resource Center so you can’t complain that you were denied a job because you are black.

3.)You supported the firing of Tom Emmer so you cannot claim to be a victim of sex discrimination.

Mike Adams

Mike Adams is a criminology professor at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and author of Letters to a Young Progressive: How To Avoid Wasting Your Life Protesting Things You Don't Understand.