The Iona Blog

Same sex marriage not analogous to inter-racial marriage: author

Here is an interesting article about the claim made by campaigners for same-sex “marriage” that their campaign is analagous to the civil rights struggle in the US. The author, Thomas M Messner, says that the analogy breaks down for a couple of reasons. “Marriage is not fundamental to our “existence” and “survival” merely because it...

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Fatherhood never more needed, but never more under threat

This article on fathers and fatherhood by sociologist Dr Gordon Finley contains a lot of food for thought. It makes the point that there are now multiple threats to fatherhood, but concentrates on three: male unemployment, divorce, and non-marital childbearing. Male unemployment today is higher than female unemployment and female educational attainment is higher than...

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Politicians tell Church to ‘know your place’

In the last week, two senior politicians, Justice Minister Dermot Ahern, and Green party leader, John Gormley, have effectively told both the Church, and by extension, religious believers, to ‘know your place’. In an interview with The Irish Times, Minister Ahern reiterated his view that politicians must leave their religion to one side when legislating...

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Adults’ rights trump children’s concerns in AHR practice, says Irish Times columnist

Last Saturday, Breda O’Brien dealt with the issue of Assisted Human Reproduction (AHR) in her column in the Irish Times. She makes the point that the AHR industry here is completely unregulated here, and that, because children conceived through sperm or egg donation have no right to know who their biological parents are, there is...

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Why religion will make a comeback

Last Thursday night in conjunction with The Irish Catholic we hosted Dr Eric Kaufmann who addressed an audience of about 120 people on the topic of his latest book, ‘Will the Religious Inherit the Earth?’ Kaufmann (himself on the secular (but moderate) side of the religious/secular divide) believes that predictions of the eventual secularisation of...

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Waters takes O’Rourke to task over children’s rights poll

Yesterday on this blog Tom O’Gorman attacked Mary O’Rourke for smearing any and all critics of the proposed children’s rights referendum without so much  as pausing to consider their arguments. (So much for reasoned debate). Today John Waters makes much the same point in his Irish Times column. One passage in his column is particularly...

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O’Rourke smears those with questions on children’s referendum

Fianna Fáil TD Mary O’Rourke, who chaired the Oireachtas committee which produced the proposed wording for the children’s referendum, has slammed possible opponents of the wording as “the forces of old”. It isn’t the first time she has attempted to get her smears in first. Actually, her latest remarks represent a slight dialling down of...

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A liberal grandee questions the sex revolution

First it was Raquel Welch denouncing the legacy of the Pill. Now Dame Joan Bakewell, a long standing liberal campaigner, has admitted that Mary Whitehouse, a noted campaigner against sexual and violent television programmes, was actually right to worry about the sexual revolution of the 1960s. In an article in The Radio Times, Dame Joan...

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Our politicians and freedom of conscience

The Civil Partnership Bill was back at Committee stage yesterday (Thursday) and the issue of a conscience clause was once again considered and dismissed for the usual spurious reasons. Justice Minister Dermot Ahern told the Committee that “members of the public service (with) issues from their religious beliefs” have to “put those aside on the...

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Parental input key to teen sexual behaviour: Irish Times columnist

Breda O’Brien’s Irish Times column on sex education last Saturday contained a lot of food for thought and is well worth a read. Perhaps the most interesting point she makes is that, contrary to popular opinion, what parents say about sex has a major influence on teenagers and their sexual behaviour. She writes: “For example,...

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