Careful With That Axe, Ben




Same sex marriage.

And large blade-based slaughter.

Take it away Iona Institute’s Ben Conroy

But can the state really guarantee this right? Let’s look at a couple of examples.

One of the people who’s pretty convinced that the right to a mother and father means nothing is journalist Vincent Browne. But imagine if a mad axe-man were to sneak into the TV3 studios of an evening and kill Vincent and his unfortunate panel stone dead.

The state could certainly prosecute the man after the fact: but that would be no good to Vincent. His right to life would stand thoroughly un-vindicated.

The example need not be so drastic: people have accidents, get ill, grow old. In the end, the right to life is completely unguaranteeable.

What’s that you say? The state can’t absolutely guarantee any right, but it can do whatever is reasonably possible to ensure rights are vindicated? Precisely.

How can the state preserve Vincent Browne’s right to life in the mad axe-man scenario? It can employ police officers to keep an eye out for masked men with large blades; it can pass laws making it illegal for people to carry axes on the street; it can disincentivise the axe-man from going on a murder spree using the threat of prison.

It can also take more indirect measures: trying to ensure that as many children as possible grow up in circumstances that minimise their chances of becoming axe-wielding maniacs; using the law as an educator to help create an anti-axe-murder culture. In fact, the state doe all of these things!

So it makes perfect sense to talk about vindicating rights even when that can’t be done with certainty. In fact, if you can think of any right that can be guaranteed with 100% of the time, I’d love to hear from you, because I can’t.

Right so.

Is the right to a mother and father meaningless? (Ben Conroy, The Iona Blog)

Thanks Fluffy Biscuits.

82 thoughts on “Careful With That Axe, Ben

    1. Jordofthejungle

      Utterly depressing that Breda O’Brien and her husband Brendan Conroy who spends his days monitoring RTE ready to complain to the BAI, have co-opted their own children. Ben and his sister may have had every tenet of Catholicism drummed into them from birth but placing Ben as an Iona intern is unfair, unnecessary and unedifying to put it mildly.

      1. scottser

        the article has all the signs of someone doing a job really badly in the hope they won’t be asked to do it again. ben really wants to be a danacer but his folks won’t let him – every night he goes home, watches ‘footloose’ and cries himself to sleep.

  1. Mister Mister

    What in the actual fook did I just read ?

    We should give these apparent crazed axe murderers the address of the Iona Institute and let them work their magic there.

  2. concernedobserver

    “So it makes perfect sense”.

    It certainly does.

    Th best response Iona is to just let them talk – as much as they like, wherever they want, whenever they want. Every statement they release just confirms their idiocy.

  3. Medium Sized C

    Just so we are all clear, what he is saying here is perfectly sane and reasonable logic.
    But it is misapplied and used in a thoroughly stupid argument which is perfectly interchangeable with its own counter argument.

    To be clear you could apply the same logic in arguing for the right of homosexuals to marry and adopt.
    You could apply the same logic, almost the same text, in any argument for or against any existing or proposed legal right.

    1. rotide

      What occured to me was exactly that. His argument made perfect sense to me. Very well reasoned.

      I just have absolutely no idea what he’s talking about. I assume it’s something to do with the gays.

      1. scottser

        garda – ‘is that a big blade you’re carrying there’?
        axe man – ‘ah, it is guard, i was just holding it for someone, they’ve just gone to the shops for a minute’
        garda – ‘you’re not off looking to kill vincent browne are ya?’
        axe man – ‘not at all guard, no.
        garda – ‘cos you know, the state can’t absolutely guarantee any right, but it can do whatever is reasonably possible to ensure rights are vindicated. on your way now.’

      2. Cluster

        It’s always something to do with the gays: either that or abortion. Ben’s gift for reasoning and rigourous logic (I’m being kind) doesn’t permeate at all to other areas of his brand of the Roman Catholic faith. I am minded of Betrand Russell who quipped that “when the intensity of emotional conviction subsides, a man who is in the habit of reasoning will search for logical grounds in favour of the belief which he finds in himself”. Conroy nurtures a hostility to same-sex marriage inculcated by parents and religion and as such he will appreciate, search for and devise any ground or logic that confirms this. Conroy is immune to the errors of his logic, less anxious to understand reality, lived-experience and daily life and anxious to convict his detractors of not giving due credence to his super-sensible “real world”.

        Then again I use the word “logic” loosely here – it makes eminent sense but just falls down dramatically when he applies it to the gays, those all-powerful, demonic slayers of society and child-snatchers.

      3. Medium Sized C

        If you read the article, he means to dismiss the argument that the right to a mother and father cannot be enforced.

        If you read the article it looks a lot more like some sort of mania.

  4. JimmytheHead

    The ramblings of a mad man, or wait what is it christians say again? oh yes “speaking in tongues”…

    Vinnie B should be investing in a new home security system methinks.

          1. scottser

            amazing the results you get by locking a child under the stairs for 10 hours a day, screaming at him ‘if you touch yourself, you’ll burn in hell’.

  5. Llareggub

    I think what this exposes here, is the passive aggressiveness nature of Iona. They like to give the impression that nice caring people. The above verbal vomiting gives some insight into the messed up mind that is Ben Conroy’s.

      1. PPads

        You haven’t been up north so, they don’t do the passive bit. Iona aren’t some great big force of spiritual enlightenment and logical intellect, they are a media crew who make a living spouting half baked reactionary bullshit. And now we have an intern. I would love to have processed that application.

        I really wish Mary McAleese would give them a slap, or a bishop, or anyone else who really speaks for people of faith who have concerns about equal marriage.

  6. Stephanenny

    Why do they say “for religion and society” – they’re for Catholicism and Society. Like are any of them not Catholic? Some religions support abortion and same sex marriage so are they supporting them too? Why can’t these guys ever just say they’re against these things because of their religion? I could respect that. What I can’t respect is constantly lying to us and saying they’re concerned about children. They’re not or they’d be arguing for better adoption law, more foster parents, better education, increased child benefit etc. And what annoys me more is that this won’t affect religious marriage. It’s purely a civil marriage issue. That’s it. Sweet eff a to do with religion.

    It must be so exhausting to be so false all the time.

  7. Godwin's Law Police

    To be fair, he put on this disclaimer: “NB This post is likely to run afoul of the Problem With Misinterpreting Analogies. So no, I am in no way, shape, or form comparing axe-murder with a child being denied a mother or father. I am using a deliberately silly and over-the-top example to illustrate a principle about guaranteeable rights.”

    You know it’s well over the top when they actually admit it themselves. That’s like getting American Republicans to admit taxes are necessary.

  8. Mani

    Amateur. Shur you’ll never get Vincent with an axe. Stake through the heart, or a silver bullet is yer only man.

  9. shane conneely

    Also there is an explicit right to life in the constitution, article 40.3.2 that the state is required to vindicate, I didn’t spot the the Oedipal/Electral rights to have one’s parents

  10. ZeligIsJaded

    Ben’s just expressing himself.

    Like a toddler smearing his own mess on the wall.

    And good luck to him

  11. Godwin's Law Police

    Just over a year ago, the Institute lost a member through an act of extreme violence. It’s been discussed elsewhere on Broadsheet that the Institute is not a large organisation. This would surely have been on the writer’s mind this month?

    Which doesn’t excuse or improve the arguement in any way, but might explain the mindset.

    1. JimmytheHead

      Eaten alive by a “homeless man who was lodging with him at the time” who conveniently stayed around until the police showed up.

      Still waiting for this story to come back with an extra bit on the end.

  12. ahjayzis

    I shudder to think what kind of warped individual Ben might have become without the tender care of his sainted mother.

    ‘Come on now Ben, finished your alphabetty spaghetti and come with mammy and we’ll throw eggs at single mothers down the post office AS OUR DARK LORD AND HIS HANDMAIDEN DAVID QUINN COMMANDETH’

  13. Drogg

    Arrrrgggggghhhhhhhhhhhh! why the fupp do my posts keep getting deleted nothing i have said has been untrue of defamatory?

  14. Brian S

    So what if a crucifix wielding lunatic comes at me on grafton street with pictures of abortions and Jesus and the like? Who do I call? Ghostbusters?

  15. Clampers Outside!

    Lunatics tend to dress them selves in more friendly attire.

    So Ben has gone and taken a notion / statement from the opposing side and made it into a black and white, down the line statement of fact, that the Yes side agree explicitly and outright in all circumstances that children do not have a “right to a mother and father” or “a right to a relationship with their genetic parents”.

    Which is total and utter rubbish.

    What Ben has done, is present himself and / or Iona Institutes arguments as the side with more nuance, subtlety and flexibility which anyone who has been following this will know is complete and utter nonsense.

    At no point does Ben discuss or mention how within Europe the trend is moving towards (and without state laws) the fact that adopted kids will have full rights to knowledge of who both parents are. There was a programme on about this on BBC (or Ch4 …it’s always one of them two) a week or two ago and the world’s biggest sperm donor bank (in Denmark or Holland I think it was) which currently has most of its donors registered anonymously is reporting big growth in non-anonymous donations and an even bigger growth in the number of requests for donors with histories. Add to that the growth the number of countries where anonymous donations are illegal.
    These growths, this policing of adoption, these developments in laws, I believe, will address many of the problems Ben speaks of.
    But sure it would only damage his arguement to mention them, because in fact Ben is, as said earlier, is far too black and white in his own side of the debate to see this coming down the line…. he is too resistent to change to see any of it as any good.
    He is of a closed mind.
    Black and white.
    The old way or no way.

    Sprayin’ your load of bile dressed up as reason with a disclaimer attached on the internets is just not doing it for me Ben.

    1. Clampers Outside!

      BTW ‘donors with histories’ or ‘non-anonymous’ basically means the donor has said they are willing to share who they are with a child that may come from the donation made.

  16. rotide

    So fluffybiscuits contributed this from his/her continued scanning of the iona website.

    You must be a more avid reader than some of their supporters.

    1. Clampers Outside!

      If someone had an interest group that actively campaigned to ensure you, Rotide, were not an equal citizen of the country, don’t you think you would make it your business to read everything on their website from beginning to end…..


      Never mind rotide’s bullcrap Fluffy, you stay informed of what those Iona muppets are up to.

  17. bobsyerauntie

    I actually feel sorry for this young fellah..
    His writing, and arguments are atrocious though..

    The irony is Breda O Brien’s consistently tries to convince us that she is not homophobic but merely trying to protect children (from what exactly?), yet it seems her own son (Ben) has been brainwashed into the same narrow minded, fearful, ignorant mindset which Breda has, surely that’s really harmful behavior on her part as a parent?.. Who’s protecting Ben from ignorance and fear based dogma? Nobody it seems..

    Ben needs an intervention..

  18. Mr. T.

    I would take that as an implied threat to my life if I was Vincent Browne.

    Then I would sigh and carry on.

    1. bobsyerauntie

      The Freudian slip in that youtube clip above, where Ben can’t remember who his mother is, then thinks he is his mother…speaks volumes..

      I really feel sorry for the fellah, he looks very young, and naive..
      totally brainwashed- probably too late for an intervention though.. looks like he’s already indoctrinated.

      You would have to wonder what kind of parent chooses to instill ignorance and fear into their own child..
      That video, and Ben’s delusional scribblings for Iona are examples as to why it’s not always the birth mother and father who are the best equipped to raise their own children… it’s bad parenting exemplified..

  19. Caroline

    Hey Ben, take a tip from your friendly cartoon debate troll, Mr Rhett R. Rick!

    Rhett’s here to help you find flaws in your argument! Where can they be?


  20. Padraig

    Sounds like young Ben has an axe to grind! LOLOLOLOLOL!!!

    but no, no…someone should maybe flag this with the Gardai. One could read it as an implied threat to Vincent Browne.

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