Tag Archives: Kerry

Christian Politicians on the Wrong Side of History

20 Apr


Church State

Some politicians in Ireland want Church and State to intersect

Why should the Irish people care that some Kerry councillors want to erect a crucifix on the wall of their chambers? Who does it really affect? After all, most other people in Ireland are Christian like them, although I assume that the Kerry councillors aren’t just Christian in the nominative sense and, unlike most other people in Ireland, actually make more than a few cursory visits to the pew every year.

But Irish people shouldn’t just care about what’s happening in Kerry, they should be angry about it too. For one reason it shows that ‘liberal’ Ireland still has to dust off some of the residue of its past. But for another and more important reason it shows that some Kerry councillors, whether aware of it or not, want to contravene the liberal democratic values of not just Ireland, but of all Western democracies that value religious freedom and equality, and that should make Irish people very angry indeed.

The church has no place in the state and it’s for its own benefit that it doesn’t. The fundamental truth, unknown by the councillors, is that a religiously neutral state is the chief guarantee of religious freedom and religious pluralism. The United States has one of the most religious societies in the Western world but its strict separation of church and state means that it’s also its most secular state. Thomas Jefferson said that “erecting a wall between church and state is essential in a free society”, and no state guarantees religious freedom and equality as much as The United States.

I assume that such an archaic action is a reaction to the weakening of the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland. Indeed, it was reported that at least one councillor said that they were tired of apologising for their religion. Although I believe that in the near future, the Church will further apologise for its position on HIV/AIDs and its treatment of homosexuals (just as it has for mass rape, torture, murder, slavery and the persecution of other religions) such is its need to stay somewhat current with the rest of civilisation. The councillors may be tired still.

But I digress, regardless of how moral or immoral the Roman Catholic Church may be is not what’s most important. What is most important is that neither the Roman Catholic Church nor any other faith has a place in the state. And there should be no exception, not even if, as one of the Kerry councillors said to justify, “the vast majority are of Christian faith.” The appeal to majority is not just a fatuous one it is fascistic too. It is an appeal that theocrats in Islamic states make at the expense of Christians, Jews and other religious minorities who are pushed to the margins of society because they are not the majority.It is an appeal that betrays incredible ignorance.

At the end of the cold war the academic Francis Fukuyama declared the ‘End of History.’ What Fukuyama meant was the debate between liberal democracy and communism was over-liberal democracy won. The same is true of the debate on secular democracy and theocracy-secular democracy won. The Kerry councillors should be mindful that they, like the communists, are on the wrong side of history.



World News Today

31 Mar

Here are the biggest stories in the news today, 31st March 2014

US urges Russia to withdraw troops

US Secretary of State John Kerry has urged his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov to pull Russian troops back from the border with Ukraine. The two met in Paris yesterday for talks in an effort to resolve the ongoing crisis between Russia and Ukraine. An estimated 40,000 Russian troops have been deployed to the border with Ukraine in what experts say is part of a strategy by Russia to exert greater control over Eastern Ukraine, which, like Crimea, has a large ethnic Russian population. For more go to Reuters.

North and South Korea exchange artillery fire

North and South Korea have exchanged artillery fire across their western sea border. South Korean sources claim they responded after North Korean shells landed in their territorial fires. There were no reports of any casualties on either side. The incident comes just days after North Korea threatened to conduct a “new form” of nuclear threat. For more go to the BBC.

Climate Change a threat to humankind says IPCC

A United Nations reports has warned that climate change poses a threat to global food stocks, and to human security. The report from UN’s intergovernmental panel on climate change (IPCC) was a three year joint effort by more than 300 scientists and runs to more than 2,600 pages. The report concluded that climate change could lead to war and force people from their homes if not addressed. For more go the Guardian.

Also in world news today;

Hollande’s Socialists pummeled in local elections

Search continues for MH370

Congress investigates federal oversight on GM

London workers uncover Black Death victims