The Iona Blog

Why Labour in UK is bidding for religious vote

The public spat between Labour’s Secretary for Scotland, Jim Murphy and the leader of Scotland’s Catholics, Cardinal Keith O’Brien, over Labour’s apparent new respect for religion, is revealing at a number of levels. For a start, Mr Murphy’s suggestion that Labour is the natural home for religious values is, as Cardinal O’Brien suggests, wholly at...

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The ESRI’s pessimism on pro-marriage policies

A major report on the family in Ireland was issued by the ESRI yesterday. Called ‘Family Figures: Family Dynamics and Family Types in Ireland, 1986-2006’, it draws on Census data to paint a detailed picture of family type and structure today. It contains some of the same data that is contained in our own 2007...

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Children’s rights referendum

The wording (see page 15 on link) of a possible children’s right amendment has now been published. It is lengthy and complex and gives rises to immediate concerns that it might give the State more power than it really needs to protect children, power that has been abused in other jurisdictions. It is said that...

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Feb 18 2010 A novel defence of anti-blasphemy laws

A comment appeared in The Guardian (of all places) last month defending anti-blasphemy laws. The author makes the point that while the public is all for free speech, they place a much higher value on public order. In the past, we believed that respect for religion was vital to public order. Today, most people don’t...

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Why abstinence programmes are so strongly opposed

Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation has a useful piece on National Review Online about the recent study showing that teen abstinence education can work. He analyses the intense oppositions to these programmes by many sex educationalists. He says they are opposed to abstinence programmes for three main reasons: First, abstinence programmes teach that teens...

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Feb 12 2010 A liberal judge on religious freedom

Recently the Court of Appeals (the CA) in Britain found against civil registrar, Lilian Ladele, who refused to officiate  at a same-sex civil union ceremony on religious grounds. The case is now going to a higher court. But in its decision the CA did give some credence to the overall argument in favour of religious...

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Surrogacy Bill attacks child’s right to a mother and father

There is a Bill currently before in the Queensland State Parliament that will allow adults over the age of 25, including a single man or woman or same-sex couple to obtain ‘a child of their own’ using a combination of IVF and a surrogate mother. Opponents say the new law will permit adults, with the...

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Archbishop of Canterbury defends religious liberty

In his presidential address to the General Synod of the Church of England this week, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, defended religious freedom and asked how the right balance can be struck between freedom of religion and other rights. He was speaking against the background of the debate in Britain over the implications...

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Erich Honecker lives!

Breda O’Brien addressed the issue of conscience rights and the Civil Partnership Bill in her column in The Irish Times on Saturday. A lot of comments have been posted in response to it, of mixed quality and tone. Many of the pro-gay comments are abusive, which is to say, not very gay at all. Here...

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Working it out

Couples who are in unhappy marriages are faced with two opposing choices. Stay and work on their relationship in the hope that things will get better or separate in the hope of finding happiness elsewhere perhaps with someone else. But do couples who separate and/or divorce find themselves any happier than if they had decided...

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