Irish doctor with too many thoughts, too little time and a blog that's supposed to check in on reality.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

The Predatory Wasp of the Christian Fundamentalists is Out to Get Us!

Maman Poulet is fact finding again.

Based on her previous attempts at this, I wasn’t expecting any great emphasis on facts.

For example she dismissed Professors Patricia Casey and Linda Waite as wingnuts not so long ago – a difficult claim to make in isolation, as at the time, one of their “opponents” in the Zappone-Gilligan case was Professor Daniel Maguire, a man well known for his own brand of fictional moral theology. She also dismissed Dr Finola Kennedy for being a mouthpiece of the Legion of Mary, ignoring her academic and professional qualifications for her appointment to the Working Group on Domestic Partnership – I was expecting a similarly detailed post on each member of the working group but was destined to be disappointed.

This time, in what is fated to be one of the most boring “watches” in the Irish blogsphere, she is letting loose with the “David Quinn watch”.

David Quinn, like most journalists, has moved between 4 papers in the last 6-7 years - not exactly a flighty career trajectory. Unusual among many Irish commentators (Vincent Browne, for example) he has principles based on a world view and remains fairly true to them. Quinn has now moved on to a new venture – the Iona Institute. The Iona Institute is fairly upfront about its aims - it’s dedicated to the strengthening of civil society by making the case for marriage and religion. It also helpfully provides a list of patrons and directors with minibiographies.

Hardly nation threatening stuff.

Suzy of course disagrees – she’s expecting Michael McDowell to go after Iona with a big stick. Why?

Well, as any self-respecting Irish liberal knows, anything resembling a conservative view point is always funded by American christian fundamentalists. (And of course the funding is always secret)

The possibility that something like Iona might be funded by Irish donors – business people or ordinary people – is simply inconceivable (although in this case, I suspect, very true)

It’s funny how seldom we see claims that oganisations like the KALcase fund or the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (picked at random!) are being funded by shady revenues from an Elton John single.

Suzy also stoops to easy (and lazy) ridicule describing the research Iona intends to do in inverted commas and mentions the word “fiction” a lot.

Her hysteria about a new Irish organisation, honest about its aims and structure, headed by a man, David Quinn, whose opinions are well known and to my mind, well articulated seems rather excessive. Especially when dialogue about the issues the Iona Institute are interested in, is pointless in the echo chamber that Suzy seems to prefer.

(post title is a tribute to the great Sufjan Stevens – whose Christmas albums are still keeping me enthralled)


Anonymous annette said...

I also wrote a piece on Iona but I'm delighted that at last their policy position has been clearly articulated. I don't agree with them, but I respect their right to exist. I now want to see some balance in discussions when "experts" in this area are called for in media interviews. Their "research" is also extrardinary if you know anything about research methodologies.

January 10, 2007 11:35 a.m.  
Anonymous JizzyPie said...

Even if the group were being funded by American "fundamentalists"(translation: anyone who upholds the traditional JudeoChristian understanding of sexual morality) what would be the problem? Many Irish think-tanks are funded by Americans and if American individuals feel compelled to fund Irish Christian conservative organizations, then let them. It ain't a crime. In fact, I think this institute is exactly what Ireland needs right now. Irish conservatives have had liberalism shoved down our throats for long enough. Mr Quinn should not be discouraged by the comments of 'Maman Poulet'. Any think-tank that calls for sexual restraint will automatically be considered repressive and 'Catholic' by the liberal elite.

January 11, 2007 6:29 p.m.  
Anonymous EWI said...

Any think-tank that calls for sexual restraint

Mmm, kinky :) You didn't see this kind of thing back in the days of the Freedom Goys, I can tell you.

On a more serious note, Annette is correct. The "research" of this "institute" will be on a par with the old FI, I fear, and with the desired end result informing any "findings".

Auds, you've poo-pooed an American involvement behind this, but you yourself have shown what kind of thing is going on beneath the general notice of society, with that trip over to join up with American religious fundamentalists a while back. How can you then claim otherwise?

February 01, 2007 5:09 p.m.  
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