The Iona Blog

The waxing and waning of religion in Dracula

By David Quinn

Over the New Year, the BBC ran a new three-part version of Dracula. It was unusual to say the least. Dracula was played as ironic, post-modern, cynical and smart-alecky. Van Helsing, his nemesis, was no longer a man but (wait for it), a nun. And not just any old nun, but an atheist nun, at...

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Two liberal humanists battle it out over the Christian legacy

By David Quinn

Human rights arose because of Christianity. No, they arose despite Christianity. This debate has been given added impetus with the publication last year of ‘Dominion’, by the historian Tom Holland. Holland is a non-believer, but a sympathetic one. His book traces the ways in which Christian beliefs have shaped Western civilisation, including the development of...

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Minister Harris attacks a Catholic parish for being Catholic

Minister for Health Simon Harris has attacked a parish in Tullamore for a stating that IVF is incompatible with the Catholic faith. In doing so, he has stepped far outside his role as a Government Minister. He needs to mind his own business, which is precisely what some people have been telling the Church to...

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Our political leaders’ Scrooge-like attitude towards Christmas

By David Quinn

Christmas comes around and our political leaders issue their Christmas messages and every Christmas they fail to mention the specifically religious and Christian meaning of the season.  It is very peculiar, and childish. It is indicative of the stunted nature of Irish political development, a long and unhealthy reaction to the years of Catholic dominance...

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The inaccurate accurate tests for foetal abnormalities

Whether you are pro-life or pro-choice you will want couples to receive accurate information about the health of the baby they are expecting. A terrible case that occurred in Holles Street earlier this year shows that some of these tests are not as accurate as advertised. In this instance, a chromosomal abnormality was detected where...

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Our teenagers are doing badly spiritually says OECD report

By David Quinn

Every year the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development issues its PISA report that details how 15-year olds around the world are doing in school. Academically, ours are doing pretty well, relatively speaking, as our media reported a couple of weeks ago. What was not reported, however, is that they are doing much more badly...

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Dominion: how Christianity has shaped even its critics for the better

By Dr Angelo Bottone

In his new work “Dominion; The Making of the Western Mind“, historian Tom Holland highlights the gigantic and often unacknowledged role Christianity has played in shaping Western civilisation. That includes shaping the thinking of some of Christianity’s greatest critics. Often, when they attack Christianity, they are drawing on Christian values without even knowing it. Holland,...

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Dr Peter Boylan needs to correct his book on the abortion debate

Maria Steen of The Iona Institute and pro-choice campaigner, Dr Peter Boylan, had a high-profile, much-commented on clash when they appeared on RTE’s Clare Byrne Live a couple of weeks before last year’s abortion referendum. In his recent book ‘In the Shadow of the Eighth’, Dr Boylan gives his account of the campaign and the...

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Why we have forgotten persecuted Christians overseas

By David Quinn

Last week, Aid to the Church in Need Ireland launched the organisation’s new report ‘Persecuted and Forgotten’ which examines the persecution of Christians across large tracts of the planet including the Middle East, Nigeria, China, India, North Korea and Vietnam. It is estimated that 80pc of all acts of religious persecution or discrimination are conducted...

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The HSE-backed researcher who wants ‘ethical’ porn taught in schools

By Dr Angelo Bottone

Is ‘porn literacy’ something we should be teaching in schools? If so, at what age? What is ‘porn literacy’? Is there such a thing as ‘ethical porn’? To what extent will these things be part of the planned new Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE) course? For clues, we might look to Kate Dawson who is...

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