Recently, militant Catholic David Quinn blocked me on Twitter. Mr. Quinn was defending the reputation of the Catholic Church[CC].
Here’s the text of my ‘offending’ tweet:
Wrong. The CC is global and Ireland was a particularly good breeding ground for brutal priests and nuns who obeyed orders without question.
I’m an atheist so it might be thought a block was to be expected but in fact myself and Quinn have engaged in various twitter discussions over a number of years without a block in sight.
His decision to block me is all the more puzzling because just nine days later he wrote an article in the Sunday Times extolling his virtues of tolerance.
He was writing about a matter of which both of us are in full agreement, the hilariously stupid decision of the Trinity College Historical Society to cancel an invitation to atheist Richard Dawkins to speak at the college.
Quinn strongly believes, as I do, that Dawkins should not have been banned, that free speech, no matter how controversial, is paramount.
To demonstrate his unlimited respect for free speech Quinn quoted some views held by Dawkins.
That raising a child as a Catholic can be compared to sexual abuse.
That the Catholic Church is a disgusting institution.
That the god of the Old Testament is a genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.
Obviously, Quinn does not agree with these views but, because of his [apparent] respect for freedom of speech he’s prepared to defend Dawkins’ right to express them.
The decision by the Trinity Historical Society to cancel Dawkins’ speech was, according to Quinn:
Another example of cancel culture, which seeks to deprive people of platforms when their views are deemed offensive to certain groups.
So why, I ask, did Quinn ‘cancel culture’ me from his twitter link for making a relatively benign [and truthful] comment?
Hypocrisy, I suspect, is the answer. In public Quinn pretends to be a hero of tolerance while in private he deletes those who challenge his beliefs, just as his Catholic Church has been doing for centuries.
Anthony Sheridan is a freelance journalist and blogs at Public Enquiry.