Source: the Irish Times
Ireland’s population has moved on from the church but our politicians have not
TDs Ruth Coppinger and Mick Barry hold signs saying “Separate church and state” during Dáil prayers. Photograph: RTÉ/Oireachtas TV
Ireland urgently needs to separate church and State, to protect equally everyone’s right to freedom of religion or belief.
The recent census showed that one in 10 of our population identifies as having no religion, more than all minority religions combined, and the real figure is probably much higher.Yet we have grown up with religious discrimination that is so prevalent that it is almost invisible, perpetuated by a nod and wink political ethos of religious subservience.
Until relatively recently, homosexuality was illegal, divorce was unconstitutional and the Virgin Megastore was fined in court for selling a condom.
Today, we still have religious oaths that prevent a conscientious atheist from being president, a judge, attorney general, taoiseach, tánaiste or chair of the Dáil or Seanad.