Saturday, May 29, 2010

In defence of ignorance

I’ve been dipping into Damian Corless’ GUBU Nation again. There’s always a bit of anti-intellectualism at work in every country, and it’s been no different in Ireland over the years. The following quote is from Oliver J Flanagan TD in an anti-contraception speech from 1971. Flanagan was first elected in 1943 with one of his first speeches an attack on Jews (‘There is one thing that Germany did, and that was to rout the Jews out of their country. Until we rout the Jews out of this country, it does not matter what orders you make. Where the bees are there is honey, and where the Jews are there is money’).

‘The Irish people should give serious thought to what the intellectuals of our Parliament have in store for them. The demand for change in the law in this regard is called for by professors, journalists, economists, the doctors of everything and of nothing. They regard themselves as having a monopoly of brains, ability and intelligence. They pride themselves with knowing all things for all men, but when it comes to the real essentials of life they are the most ignorant bunch you could imagine, as with all their intelligence they display great ignorance in relation to the law of God. While some of them profess to be Catholics they openly treat the teachings of Pope Paul IV with contempt, and laugh, sneer and jeer to try and belittle the advice and guidance given by the bishops of this country on a matter in which they have spoken for the good of the nation. God save Ireland from intellectuals … It is as well for the Irish people that there are in high places, a few poor ignorant men in public life, looked down on by the intellectual know-alls, but who are not afraid to stand up in defence of the law of God in a Christian country. … A computer must be fed with truth and correct material in order to produce correct results, and so it is with our conscience. ... Let us hope and trust that there are sufficient proud and ignorant people left in this country to stand up to the intellectuals who are out to destroy faith and fatherland and to replace the law of God and the law of the land with the law of the jungle. There is no such thing as a liberal Catholic ... and the sooner our people realise this to be a fact, the better for success and good luck to fall upon our country.’

Thank heavens for the few poor ignorant men in public life! Contraception was eventually made legal for married couples on prescription in 1979, from 1985 it could be bought by anyone over 18 in a pharmacy, and from 1993 condoms could be sold via a vending machine.

1 comment:

kathy d. said...

Wow, never heard of this guy--anti-Semitic, anti-intellectual and anti-birth control.

Gee, is he related to Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck and their friends back here in the U.S.A.

Yes, there are liberal Catholics! And intellectuals, too!