Raised in London by Irish Catholic parents, atheist-libertarian-Marxist Brendan O’Neill has found himself in the strange position of being a public defender of Catholics and traditional marriage. The Catholic Weekly has interviewed him.
“So I guess the reason I have become known as the atheist who defends Catholicism and Christians is because I find the new atheism to be a negative illiberal phenomenon, and I want to kick back against that.”
Readers may remember O'Neill from ABC’s Q&A in August 2015, where he was given a full two minutes of airtime to expose the “ugly, intolerant streak” he saw in same-sex marriage campaigns. “It presents itself as this civil rights issue,” he said “but same sex marriage advocates cannot tolerate dissent.”
One year on, and the editor of online current affairs magazine Spiked is again speaking against the muscular “thought policing” around the same-sex marriage issue.
“We have seen French riot police spraying pepper spray in the faces of those who oppose gay marriage, and we have seen people thrown out of their jobs for criticising gay marriage.”
One such person was Brendan Eich, co-founder and CEO of Mozilla Foundation, who resigned in April 2014 amid cries from LGBT activists for privately donating $1000 to Proposition 8, a traditional marriage campaign in California. Not without irony, Mr Eich has since become CEO of a company named Brave Software.
“I think the most terrifying case was in Ireland where a man, who transitioned into a woman, had his sex changed not only on his passport, but also on his birth certificate,” O'Neill said.
“I found this extremely Orwellian, because when he was a boy, those who said, “This is a boy” were telling the truth, and it was publically recorded on a public document."