Recently I had a chat with one of my friends with more traditional values who said he feels there is very little room left for the conservative man in modern Ireland, he elaborated that the conservative way of thinking has become demonised by Marxist liberals who have lead to the erosion of Catholic values and the fabric of western society.
To conservative extremists Hitler was a liberal communist who lead a socialist party. Conservative extremists believe that Europe was founded on a Western principle of Christianity. Conservative extremists believe in conversion therapy. Conservative extremists believe in strict abortion laws. Conservative extremists are xenophobic in nature. Conservative extremists ignore all warnings about climate change. Conservative extremists do not want you thinking freely.
Although I have the greatest respect for someone’s decision to practice their faith I feel a lot less tolerant about people who use their faith as an excuse for conservative extremism. Ireland has a long history but to me it feels like we’re very much an infant country awaking from the slumber of church scandal and government corruption. I feel like we’re heading in the right direction but there is a lot of work to do and this conservative extremism is now the biggest threat to our future, it’s the biggest threat to our democratic republic.
Conservatism extremism isn’t about holding on to the past, or traditional values, although these things are often linked and conservatism in Ireland is often represented by rural accents which creates the perception that rural people are deeply conservative.
I mention this because there is a rural/city divide in this country and as a result there is often a difference of opinion. For instance someone from Boyle might think it’s a great idea to keep the emergency department in Roscommon Hospital open but someone from Rathdown might think it’s a better idea to close down all rural hospitals and build better roads to Dublin.
There are times when progressive ideas are not practical for people’s needs. That’s when people have the right to be conservative about their way of life, and this is how I know there is room for conservative thinking in an all inclusive modern Ireland.
However when conservative extremism dictates how we teach our children about sexual orientation, and when conservative extremism tells women what they can do with their bodies, and when conservative extremism equates equality with some communist conspiracy involving the Soros foundation that my friend is when you’re no longer someone under threat for having traditional values but someone who has been recognized for their fanatical views, opinions and laws. It is you Ireland has decided it has no place for.
(Image used is from couple.ie and the views expressed here may not reflect those of the photographer).