Well away from public scrutiny, is this the nonsense the base of the “No” campaign is comforting itself with in the wake of its defeat in the recent referendum contest over marriage equality? Claims of an all-powerful conspiracy working in the shadows to impose “homo-fascism” upon the Irish nation? From the American Christian website Mass Resistance, expressions of dismay that all eligible citizens in Ireland were registered to vote in the plebiscite (these being the wrong type of voter, one presumes) wrapped up in some nicely misinformed spin:
“Even the national police force (Gardaí) has been employed in favour of the “yes” side by (among other things) giving students an easier path to voter registration than the general population.
Young people are 95% in favour of the proposal, whereas older people are the other way. One-stop voter registration desks were set up in Colleges, whereas the rest of the population had two or three stops to make. The same tables were laden with “vote yes” leaflets with backdrops of “yes” posters. This along with the input of trade unions, and professional organisations, the media, etc. has seriously skewed the democratic process.”
Unsurprisingly much of the output from this website reads like a primer for the debris of the Tea Party movement in the US and the above is a typical example. Heavy on the paranoia, light on the facts. However the allegations become ever-more ridiculous the further one delves into the darker corners of the Christian Right, as illustrated by this spurious, if related, post on the dismayingly popular Town Hall:
“I am an Irish citizen who voted and campaigned for a NO vote. For anyone who thinks we were negligent concerning the Gospel or in any other way, let me tell you some of what we were up against…
This news is devastating to the nearly 37.9% of us who voted NO, many of us born again Christians. We tried so hard to prevent it, but were up against every political party and up against millions of US dollars that were being poured into the yes campaign. American billionaire, Chuck Feeney alone contributed over $24 million. Every ‘civil rights’ group on the block was behind the yes vote. When NO vote campaign signs were posted in Dublin and other places, they were vandalised. Public media is supposed to allow 50:50 coverage for each side of a constitutional issue. This was blatantly ignored. The public police force was drafted in to support the YES vote and to register college students to vote, and they passed out YES badges to each student as they did so. And these things are only part of the story. The pressure was incessant and unbelievable. Even the ballot paper was biased. We argued that the term ‘marriage equality’ was biased, but yet that term made it on to the ballot paper.
Only the Iona Institute stood up for the No vote…
We have God on our side though. I believe He has allowed this to happen for His reasons. But we will have the ultimate victory.”
Which probably says more about the committed grass-roots activists of the “No” movement than anything else. While certain well-established media-savvy individuals were the (scarily litigious) public faces of the opposition to constitutional reform the foot soldiers on the ground were the ones motivated not by esoteric legal fears over definitions of family or the welfare of children but by scriptural literalism.
And they haven’t gone away, you know.