Anthony Sheridan: A Chip Off The Old Block

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David Quinn (top) has blocked Anthony Sheridan (above) on Twitter

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.

21 thoughts on “Anthony Sheridan: A Chip Off The Old Block

  1. Lilly

    What’s your point? He’s not denying your right to express yourself by blocking you on Twitter. He’s entitled to tune you out.

  2. Micko

    What a tool. “He blocked me – he’s trying to cancel me”

    I mean what a load of rubbish about nothing.

  3. Gavin

    Nothing worse than someone moaning about being blocked from commenting on another person’s private account, grow up.

    1. ian-oh

      One day I’ll have a Twitter account and join in what appears to be clearly fun times and hi jinks.

      The anticipation is intense!

    1. Daisy Chainsaw

      Quinn isn’t the catholic church.

      And islam is as stupid as any other sky fairy belief system.

  4. Johnnythree

    One of the things I have learned during lockdown, as an atheist, is that surprisingly I have come to like David Quinn. Sure theres the whole religion thing and lots of odd viewpoints. But he is also a surprisingly rational guy with a very good take on lots of subjects. He is very balanced on the whole Corona thing and also on cancel culture, tolerance etc. The reason he probably blocked Anthony is that someone lurching across twitter with that kind of comment is unlikely to have any sort of ability to have a nuanced debate. Maybe Anthony could learn. like I did that even if you dislike someones take on things it is also possible to admire their other opinions.

    1. newsjustin

      I find him a bit too “deliberately” contrary for his own good. His just asking questions” about climate change and, more recently, COVID can be quite annoying. Its as if he pretty much believes the science of these things, but asks questions like he doesn’t.

      But, heh, good luck to him. I’m a bit contrary too.

    2. Lilly

      I knew him in passing years ago – possibly pre his Iona involvement – and thought him a very pleasant man.

    3. :-Joe

      I can clearly remember the time, as though it was very recently… when Dawkins was invited on to ryan derpidy’s radio program and the almighty quinn appeared out of nowhere to hijack the discussion and lay into Dawkins as though his ideas and opinions were some kind of evil existential threat to humanity itself…

      It was a another all too common example of church and state led attempted media brainwashing of the public and that pathetic, idiotic, disgusting piece of crap of a human being from the facist iona institute was all too happy with himself, being off his head and intoxicated with the arrogance of temporal power of the airwaves, chomping on the bit , frothing at the mouth to spearhead what can only be described as a premeditated ambush and a personal attack…

      A shameful, dishonest, hypocritical dullard of an eejit.. A fine example of intellectual potential pissed up a wall spraying back all over his own face and he still can’t help hiimself and come to some semblence of common sense.

      Even when Dawkins is censored, that gobshyte finds a way to exploit him once again…

      Good luck with your delusional thinking that he’s some kind of independant contrarian and a benign opposite opinion or point of view worth listening to…

      Have fun with it….

      :-J

  5. Harry

    I wish people would stop talking about Twitter. It has had such a putrid effect on journalism, both print and broadcast.

  6. Gerry

    David Quinn Blocked Anthony Sheridan on Twitter

    Oh … my … GOD!

    Hold the presses, we’re going to need a new front page for the Irish Times

  7. M

    Anthony has very selectively chosen to post his casual stereotyped tweet which had him blocked, without any context of the formal and well reasoned article which he was responding to. As such he only succeeds in making an ass of himself and highlighting his ignorance of respectful and appropriate dialogue.

    As others have stated in the comments, Quinn is tolerant but tolerance does not imply having to suffer the trolling of angry fools. I am disappointed this angry vitriol was selected for an otherwise well curated broadsheet.

    As an aside; despite years of enjoying broadsheet, this is my first contribution to the ever engaging and oft hilarious comments section, for which I would like to thank you all!

    1. Verbatim

      Bienvenue! Once you start you can’t stop… until you get blocked then you go onto Twitter to denounce BS…

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