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Opinions contained in The Iona Blog are not necessarily those of The Iona Institute. The Iona Blog is open to anyone who broadly shares the views of The Iona Institute. If you wish to post a comment on a relevant topic please email 200 – 400 words to [email protected] and it will be considered for inclusion in the blog.
Judging by the end-times rhetoric employed by some journalists, bloggers and Twitterati in response to the US Supreme Court's decision on Hobby Lobby, one might be forgiven for thinking that contraception had been banned nationwide, fundamentalist corporation owners authorised to micromanage their employees' sex lives, and women declared second-class citizens.
Can the ‘working poor’ afford to maintain a family? Does being a member of the working poor make a person more likely to divorce? Does it make them less likely to marry in the first place? The answers are ‘no’, yes’ and ‘yes’ respectively. What is to be done? There is no easy answer, but we should look again at the concept of a ‘living wage’.
The new Bishop of Limerick, Dr Brendan Leahy explains his vision of religious freedom. The talk was delivered before an audience of almost 200 people in the Strand Hotel, Limerick on June 18.
Peter Ferguson, who calls himself ‘Humanisticus’, has replied once again on polygamy and same-sex marriage, and asked the Iona Institute a few questions. I'll do my best to answer them here, and I think it might be wise to leave our blogathon at that. In truth, these points have been dealt with in numerous previous blogs on this website, but it won't hurt to answer them in one place and save Humanisticus a bit of Googling.
Many atheists (such as Richard Dawkins, right) do not believe in free will. They don’t believe in free will because they believe we, and our thoughts, are the products of matter and energy and nothing else and therefore have no more have free will than a robot, or a dog. This belief, needless to say, has enormous implications for the idea of moral responsibility because someone who does not have free will is not responsible for their actions.
Almost 800 babies and young children died at Tuam mother and child home between 1925 and 1961. Two things were to blame, the very high child mortality rate at the time, and the social and religious attitudes then prevalent.
The NHS is to give children as young as nine years of age drugs in preparation for ‘gender reassignment’. As the Mail on Sunday reported, a treatment using hypothalamic blockers, “which halt[s] the onset of adulthood, is aimed at youngsters who believe they are trapped in the wrong body.”
There are few types of survey in this world more reliable than those carried out by insurance companies. When your company's continued existence depends upon the quality of your information, you tend to make very sure that your data is solid. So Allianz Insurance's “LoveFamilyMoney” study on the impact of family structure on financial wellbeing is sobering reading, despite the almost hilariously upbeat tone of the press release.
I must have missed the reports on the protests and vigils outside the Sudanese embassy, after a pregnant Sudanese doctor was sentenced to death for the crime of apostasy. Perhaps they were all busily protesting the Nigerian embassy, calling for greater protection of that nation’s Christians, following the Boko Haram kidnappings. But I’m sure the tweeting by a stern-faced @MichelleObama will #bringbackourgirls in jig-time. Mmmm-hmmm.
The single parent support and campaign group, One Family, have released a new video called “All Families Matter.” Produced as part of their campaign to change the constitutional definition of the family, the video is pretty striking. It shows a single mother and her two children being denied a family ticket to the cinema because there's no father present; an unmarried couple with their children being refused a family suite at a hotel; anda gay couple and their daughter being denied access to a family movie on television.
In my last post on polygamy and same-sex marriage, I noted that Peter Ferguson and Colette Browne, in coming up with coherent arguments against polygamy, ended up acknowledging that marriage is to a certain extent about child welfare I still wonder how this fits with a "love and consent" view of marriage - but it was good to see that both Browne and Ferguson were OK with banning polygamous marriage because of the less-than-ideal circumstances for children of being raised by three or more parents.
An interesting new book has just come out called ‘Why Science Does Not Disprove God’. The author is Amir Azcel and in an article in The Wall Street Journal a few days ago he describes how many scientists initially resisted the Big Bang Theory, especially those predisposed towards atheism.
In her new book, Gender Hurts, the radical feminist Professor of Sexual Politics at the University of Melbourne Sheila Jeffreys claims that gender disorders like “gender dysphoria” are only problems because we have gender at all. So, while Facebook now offers 56 genders (sadly, still one less variety than Heinz beans, but give them time), Jeffreys wants none. Indeed, Jeffreys describes “gender” as placing girls in a “sex caste,” behind “bars of a cage.”
A couple of weeks ago David Quinn blogged in response to news that three lesbians in the US have ‘married’ one another. He issued a challenge – asking if the essence of marriage is consent, then why shouldn’t this ‘throuple’ be allowed to get legally hitched? A couple of people took up the challenge, including Colette Browne in the Irish Independent and blogger Peter Ferguson, also known as ‘Humanisticus’...
The Journal.ie recently carried a story that the CSO has released census data going back to 1864.The press release from the CSO noted that marriage rates had remained remarkably stable since 1864. This is on the face of it more or less what Fintan O’Toole argued when he attacked the Iona Institute for claiming that marriage was in decline in Ireland. The CSO statistics, of course, do not lie - but they do give a very misleading picture if you read them without some knowledge of Irish History - and particularly the Great Famine.
In a guest blog, JP Valerand argues that Soviet subversive agent Yuri Bezmenov's description of the USSR's method of demoralising its populace could be a guide to understanding the last few decades of Western society.
The effective sacking of Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich for supporting traditional marriage continues to provoke reaction. The latest and most notable is a statement signed by supporters of same-sex marriage who believe that what happened to Eich is a step too far. Meanwhile, Spiked editor, Brendan O’Neill, comments on the statement and says that the Eich incident is not a one-off but rather is part of an ideology intent on crushing anyone and everything that still believes in the traditional family and traditional sexual morality
The CSO has just made available its annual reports on births, deaths and marriages covering the years 1864-2000. Looking at the marriage figures only, they tell us that Ireland’s marriage rate has been remarkably consistent over the period, consistently low that is.
The always worthwhile Theodore Dalrymple (pictured) has added his tuppence worth to the discussion about the de facto sacking of Mozilla's Brendan Eich for donating to a campaign in favour of traditional marriage. He says that Eich fell victim to the notion that 'repressive tolerance' must not be tolerated.
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