The Iona Institute is a very conservative catholic think- tank, founded in Ireland. The lobby group claims to promote the place of (straight) marriage and religion in society. They also “wish to defend the existence of publicly funded denominational schools in Ireland”. This is in response to an upcoming vote which aims to make a decision on who should run Irish primary schools. At the moment an overwhelming 96% of Irish primary schools are run by the church.
There was much celebration on Facebook today as The Irish times announced that the Iona Institute’s Youtube channel had been removed by Google. Google were apparently unwilling to make their reasons for doing so public but Iona director David Quinn made an accurate guess as to why. He correctly deduced that the reason for removal probably had something to do with their “Pro- heterosexual marriage” ad below:
Celebrations were cut short as the ad was later reinstated.This was presumably because the institute harped on about how “extremely unfair” it is that they “have to be singled out like this”. This argument creates no pity and is like a KKK member complaining because he’s been banned from hiding behind white sheets. Of course just like the members of the now infamous and much despised Westboro baptist church, the Iona institute can take refuge in the right to free speech.
The thing that I find most eerie about the Iona ad is that essentially it has the same message as the Westboro Baptist Church but it’s the delivery that sets this anti-gay campaign apart. It’s delivery is calm and almost trendy. My attention was first drawn to this ad by a friend who’s studying to become a graphic designer. She was also disgusted by the message but said that the graphics used for the video were amazing so Iona are obviously self aware enough to know that the aggressive bible bashing approach is frightening people off.
Another unnervingly calm argument that they make is that every child ‘deserves’ the right to both a mother and a father, they make it sound as though to deny them this ‘basic right’ is along the same lines as denying them water or shelter. I will admit that a child with a traditional set of parents will stand out less in school but there is no evidence to suggest that they are therefore guaranteed a flawless and superior upbringing.
This calm and amiable approach makes the Iona institute more dangerous, their madness is less conspicuous making them a bit of a snake in the grass. They try to counteract any potential arguments before they begin by stating “every unique situation should be treated in a unique way and that’s not discrimination”. By just stating that something ‘is so’ does not make it so. They are discriminating.
Of course there have been some comeback arguments made in response to the Iona institute video and the makers of this video have demonstrated the same calm(ish) style of debate, adopting a mocking tone but I think it does a fantastic job in revealing the Iona institute for what they really are. Discriminatory and a bit mad.