The referenda in NUIG on Choice and the Academic Boycott of Apartheid Israel are being opposed by a disturbing family from Castlebar.
The Burkes are seasoned campaigners outside the Dáil, opposing gay rights with placards quoting Leviticus and conflating medical statistics on HIV to ‘prove’ homosexuals invented AIDS.
Kathy Sheridan in the Irish Times of July 10th 2010 (behind paywall) featured the Burkes and their kids in a story about protest and demonstration outside the Dáil:
A glimpse at the placards – bearing such messages as “Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind. It is abomination. Leviticus 18:22” – sends a pony-tailed passer-by into a frenzy. He rushes back and forth in front of the group, yelling repeatedly: “Off the streets, Nazi scum!” The protesters stare ahead. Gardaí leave the man to make his own distressed protest until he veers into the traffic. Then they lead him away.
The placard holders are members of one big family. When challenged by a pinstriped cyclist, 21-year-old Enoch Burke takes him on. “Well, where does Aids begin?” asks Enoch, following up with HIV figures from St James’s Hospital, to “prove” that homosexuals started it. “God help you,” says the cyclist mournfully. Enoch, who declined a place in medicine at University College Galway, is one of 10 children – all with biblical names – of Sean and Martina Burke from Castlebar, Co Mayo.
His brother Isaac Isaac is in third-year science in Galway. Esther is working for her HDip. Ammi hopes to study languages. The family belong to no particular sect. “We’re just a Christian church,” says Martina.
How do she and Sean find the time to support their large family and stand all day outside Leinster House? Sean, she says, was a qualified electrician, “and does a lot of different things now”. Martina, a qualified secondary teacher, “still does private tuition” for exam students. “Of course there are a thousand other things we could be doing. I could cry coming up,” she says, “but there’s a lot of unrest in the country, and the politicians are not representing the people.”
The Bible sustains them on the three- to four-hour drive from Castlebar two or three days a week, before they stand tall with their placards for up to nine hours a day.
The parents of these unfortunate children run the website Campaign for Conscience and under that tagline they opposed the Government’s enactment of the Civil Partnership Legislation and brought legal action against the Minister for Justice and the Attorney General, claiming ‘ the Act violates the provision of the Constitution concerning the recognition of God as the source of all authority’ blah blah. It was thrown out.
Funnily enough, clicking on ‘who we are’ on their website gives you a ‘page not found’ error. This isn’t the only website associated with Ireland’s version of the Phelps Family (na bFeilpíní eatrom, if you like) for young Enoch got involved in the Presidential election in order to preserve us from a Gay getting elected. No doubt God would have been angry and smited our houses before the banks had a chance to repossess them!
The site David Norris 4 President has since gone offline but not before Enoch boasted that ‘93.8% of Voters Said No To A Homosexual President’.
Enoch (seen with his brother Isaac) is allegedly associated with the fringe Christian Solidarity Party, who you might remember complained during the 2011 General Election that their party logo on the ballot paper looked ‘like a bunch of nuts’. Unsurprisingly their bunch of nuts polled less than 0.1% and not a deposit was saved.
Driven by these sex-obsessed parents, it’s little wonder that the youngsters are carrying on against women’s rights. The following video appears to be Isaac Zebulun Burke (auditor of Life Society), although we’re open to correction, walking around NUIG ‘finding’ anti-choice and anti-Palestinian posters in various bins about campus. The double-referendum is on March 6th 2014 (Thursday) and one is hoping to overturn last year’s overwhelming vote by students in favour of reproductive choice, the other is asking students to approve the academic boycott already approved by some other students’ unions against Apartheid Israel.
While we encourage students to vote for a brighter tomorrow we’ll leave the last words with Bock the Robber in this humorous blogpost about the Burke Family and their obsession with Leviticus in the Bible.
As well as condemning homosexuals, Leviticus permits people to buy slaves and sell their own daughters. It points out that anything and anyone touched by a woman during her period becomes unclean. It requires that those working on the Sabbath should be put to death. It states that shellfish are an abomination, but it doesn’t specify whether they’re a worse abomination than gays, which leaves the way open for a law banning winkles and mussels. The God of Leviticus forbids hunchbacks, dwarfs, blind people and men with flat noses to approach his altar. This rules out half the aged clergy of Ireland. Likewise, Leviticus forbids us to use linen and wool in the same garment, and the intermingling of different cattle breeds, which is bad news for Teagasc and the Irish Farmers Association. It goes a step further than our recent blasphemous libel law, condemning blasphemers to death by stoning, a duty I imagine Mr and Mrs Burke would carry out with relish. It likewise requires the death penalty for killing a man (though not a woman). It forbids religious statues.