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RTE says pro-life societies have no right to exist on Campus

Yesterday the Today with Seán O’Rourke radio programme brought Fr David Barrins into the studio as a follow up to an article published by the Irish Independent where the priest pointed out that pro-life societies were being denied the right to exist in University College Cork and in the University of Limerick.

On RTE’s website the segment was podcast as Bigotry and Religion . They could scarcely have picked a more appropriate title, given that RTE has, yet again, made it clear that what is meant to pass for impartial journalism is actually an increasingly belligerent intolerance of the right to express a pro-life view.

On the programme Fr Barrins said that Love Life, a pro-life student grouping in UCC, was repeatedly refused the right to register as a society, with various “spurious reasons” being offered to block them.

He added that the students had applied again and again over the course of two years and been refused over four different occasions, and that this obviously jarred with UCC’s slogan, ‘the home of independent thinking’, which was plastered about the college. He noted that more than 200 students – twice the number required – had signed up for the Love Life society in UCC.

Presenter Keelin Shanley was standing in for Seán O’Rourke on this occasion and she made it very clear that she was firmly on the pro-abortion-and-censor-the-pro-lifers side of the debate. Just in case she felt outnumbered in a one-to-one interview, Shanley brought along two equally indignant and intolerant sidekicks to hammer the point home.

They were Kathy Sheridan of the Irish Times, and Michael Nugent of Atheist Ireland, the organisation that gets riled up because people believe in God. So it was a three-to-one set up, with all three abortion supporters ready to rail against the wicked pro-life students who had the unbelievable nerve to want to have a society on campus.

Kathy Sheridan led the pack by saying that students were “so oppressed” by a pro-life groups and that pro-life students were not going about their work peacefully.

Keelin Shanley, (the impartial presenter), rushed to agree, tutting about the terrible pro-lifers.

Michael Nugent claimed that attempts to set up Atheist Societies was resisted in universities, and Kathy Sheridan said that people should “go about their faith quietly”. (Very good of you to allow that Kathy, we’ll just tug our forelocks here and give thanks for the permission.)

Fr Barrins then reminded the panel that UCC and UL had both refused pro-life societies and that other universities had refused Catholic societies.

Keelin Shanley, (the impartial presenter), all the while sounding increasingly indignant, then made this telling remark:

“It would seem that an awful lot of the societies that have not been allowed to form are in fact pro-life societies – and these are societies that are hugely controversial and have been linked to what many people would describe as unchristian acts in terms of intimidating people.”

Did you get that?  It’s a bit garbled but the point is clear: these are pro-life societies, not just religious folks who might want to pray, but people who think abortion is wrong. Clearly that’s a different matter, and oppression of their right of association and free speech is perfectly understandable.

This is a presenter on a taxpayer-funded TV station, full of liberal pundits who spend their time bleating on about free speech and diversity, saying its ok to censor people because they are pro-life and being pro-life is controversial. In other words, because she just doesn’t like them.

Don’t mind all the baloney about being unchristian and intimidation, that’s just thrown in to distract people; though some people would say that the whole raison d’etre of Atheist Ireland was to be unchristian.

Ms Shanley then went onto say that, really, priests like Fr Barrins couldn’t be complaining since they ran the show in Ireland for so long – an exalted position that Irish journalists now believe should be occupied solely by Irish journalists.

There really is an increasingly tiresome level of bigotry on display over at RTE.

One thing that might not have emerged from the segment was that the censorship of pro-life societies on campus is not coming from the rank and file student body, it’s coming from student unions, who are dominated by left-wing activists. However, it’s also coming from the authorities at the Universities and this is just appalling: a complete denial of free speech.

If this was happening to any other group of students the media in Ireland would be running story after story about censorship and bigotry and the need for inclusivity and diversity. The universities are embarrassing themselves by allowing this to happen.

On the upside, other universities have fared better, and Maynooth University’s pro-life society has organised successful pro-life stalls recently, with plans for more on other campuses across the country.

That won’t make them happy over in RTE. At this stage the national broadcaster really is a joke, but its a joke that my taxes and yours are paying for.

You can make a complaint about the bias in the program to the Broadcasting Authority here: http://www.bai.ie/index.php/br...

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