Monday, May 11, 2015
I concur with correspondent Dick Spicer, of Citizens to Separate Church and State, who asserts that the President’s religious oath is a violation of equal rights.
Spicer says that the Government is advocating ‘equal rights’ in the marriage referendum and, on the other hand, promoting religious discrimination in the Presidential-age referendum.
Its absurd that people are required to take an oath to an invisible God that no-one has ever proven exists. In Canada, last week, a secularist association won a high court action to prevent politicians saying prayers in parliament before sessions.
Chinese scientists have unearthed a fossil of an ancient ancestor of modern birds. It is the size of a pigeon, with bat-like wings, and lived approximately 160m years ago. In contrast, humans only came into existence half a million years ago. That is why the Chinese authorities encourage fossil seekers, as they believe the fossils prove the futility of all religions.
It’s now time that we had the separation of Church and State. The story of Adam and Eve is a fairytale that most clergy no longer believe.
Is it just me, or do the rest of your readers also find it incredible that the Government is, on the one hand, advocating ‘equal rights’ in the marriage referendum, and on the other, promoting religious discrimination in the Presidential-age referendum?
The religious oath required of Presidents (and judges) is being extended to a new generation who might aspire to high office.
This is so clearly a violation of ‘equal rights’ that it is hard to see how anyone could propose both at the same time, let alone vote for both.
Unless, maybe, the left hand won’t know what the right is doing?
Citizens to Separate Church & State
We had this Letter to Editor published in Irish Times today.
Sir, – I find it disturbing that the Government is proceeding with the “forgotten referendum” in the full knowledge that the Constitution Review Group (Whitaker, 1995), the All-Party Oireachtas Committee on the Constitution (1998) and the UN Human Rights Committee (Report on Ireland, August 2014) have recommended strongly that the religious oath that is required of the president-elect at installation in St Patrick’s Hall in Dublin Castle be amended by the uttering of a parallel “affirmation” as the candidate may choose.
The precise wording of the oath is set down in Article 12.8 of the Constitution. The wording of this oath can only be varied by a referendum. There is no substitute at present.
A Yes vote in the 35th amendment referendum will extend the stated religious oath obligation to approximately an additional 100,000 citizens in the 21-35 age range.
We know from surveys that young people are less religious, for want of a better word, so why are we perpetuating the dissimulation and hypocrisy that goes with the uttering of this oath?
I am voting No in this referendum and I call on citizens to follow suit to show the Government that they are putting the wrong amendment to the people. Amend Article 12.8 first. – Yours, etc,