The Iona Blog

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.


More evidence of trouble in the Swedish paradise

By David Quinn on 22nd November 2013. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

In practically every sphere from gender equality to poverty reduction, Sweden seems to top the world league. But there is growing evidence that all is not well in the Secular Paradise. For example, a 2006 investigation by the Swedish government reveals that in regard to mental health problems among teenagers, Sweden fares more poorly than 11 comparable European countries.


Alan Shatter’s Brave New World of ‘intentional parents’

By David Quinn on 19 November 2013. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

Justice Minister Alan Shatter’s planned reform of family law is about as far-reaching and radical as it is possible to get. Out goes any notion that the natural ties are important. Out goes any notion that having a loving mother and a father has any special value. In comes the notion of the ‘intentional’ parent.


China’s brutal one-child policy doesn’t get the attention it deserves

By Tom O'Gorman on 18th November 2013. ~ Categories: Other

China's One Child Policy, which often involves forcing women to have abortions against their will, must rank as one of the most barbaric social policies anywhere in the world. Even if you support abortion it is an appalling attack on women’s genuine reproductive rights.


Why are so many thirty-somethings dissatisfied with their love lives?

By Admin on 15th November 2013. ~ Categories: Other

This week The Irish Independent has been publishing the results of a survey of the attitudes of Ireland’s thirty-somethings. One of the more interesting things it reveals is that only 60pc of them are happy with their love lives.


Doublethink which deprives children of their biological fathers

By Tom O'Gorman on 12th November 2013. ~ Categories: Other

Last Friday, RTÉ Radio One aired a programme, Pregnant on My Lunchbreak, about a woman, 'Angela', who decided to become pregnant using donor sperm from a Danish clinic, Cryos. In Denmark, sperm donors are allowed anonymity, so Angela's little boy or little girl will grow up without a father, by design, or without any knowledge of his or her father.


A surrogacy and an adoption case reveal the Government’s double standards

By Tom O'Gorman on 11th November 2013. ~ Categories: Other

The Government have refused to recognise an Irish couple's adoption of a young Mexican girl, because it did not meet the strict requirements of the Hague Convention on international adoption. But when a similar case arose where the parents obtained a child through surrogacy in India, the State took a very different approach.


When a child’s right to a mother is trumped by ‘tolerance’

By Tom O'Gorman on 9th November 2013. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

David Quinn, in his column in the Irish Independent this week, poses the question, “Does the ‘right’ of two men to have a child trump the child’s natural right to be raised by a mother?” He points out that the answer virtually the entire political establishment now gives to this question is an emphatic ‘yes’.


The ‘marriage equality’ leader in The Irish Times spectacularly misses the point

By David Quinn on 7th November 2013. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

There is a leader in The Irish Times today in favour of ‘marriage equality’ that is particularly philosophically illiterate. It seems to have no understanding whatever of why the institution of marriage has ever had special status historically and tellingly offers no definition of marriage at all.


A child can’t have two biological mothers. ‘That’s your opinion’

By Tom O'Gorman on 5th November 2013. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

Last week, David Quinn appeared on the Today with Sean O'Rourke show to debate same-sex marriage with Waterford Labour TD Ciara Conway. During the debate, David pointed out the blindingly obvious, namely that where a child has two parents of the same sex, only one can be the birth parent. Ms Conway's reply, oddly, was that this was only David's "opinion".


Convention recommends replacing blasphemy with incitement to hatred provision

By Admin on 5th November 2013. ~ Categories: Religion and Religious Practice,Freedom of Conscience and Religion

The Constitutional Convention has recommended removing the offence of blasphemy from the Constitution, and replacing it with a new provision prohibiting incitement to religious hatred against minority groups. They also voted to strengthen existing incitement to hatred legislation.


A divorced father tells his story

By A divorced father on 2nd November 2013. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

I am a divorced parent of three children. I work full time on earnings about 20% above the 2012 average industrial wage. I separated in 2002 and was “married but living apart” until 2011 when legally divorced.


David Quinn debates same-sex marriage on Today with Sean O'Rourke

By Tom O'Gorman on 31st October 2013. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

David Quinn debated Waterford Labour TD Ciara Conway on RTE's Today with Sean O'Rourke earlier today as the Government prepares to announce a referendum on the subject.


Does Eamon Gilmore believe in motherhood and fatherhood?

By Tom O'Gorman on 29th October 2013. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

The news that Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore wants to see legislation introduced that will allow same-sex couples to adopt before a referendum on same-sex marriage is instructive in a number of ways. First, it tells us just how scared the Government is of the argument that children have a right to a mother and father. It does not want this argument to be part of the debate on redefining marriage.


State flouting the presumption of innocence with its seizure of children

By Admin on 26th October 2012. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

The big story this week was the seizure by gardai of two children from their Roma families on suspicion they did not belong to those families. It turned out that they did.


Submission to the consultation on how to make denominational schools more ‘inclusive’

By Alan and Kate Whelan on 24th October 2013. ~ Categories: Schools and Education

Parents of primary school children have been invited to respond to proposals by Expert Group of the Forum on Patronage and Pluralism aimed at making denominational schools more ‘inclusive’. Following is a slightly abridged version of a response to this invitation by parents Kate and Alan Whelan.


A new study shows lower graduation rates for children from gay and lesbian families

By David Quinn on 22nd October 2013. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

A new study from Canada has found that High School graduation rates among children raised by same-sex couples are considerably lower than among children raised by opposite-sex married couples. The study is much bigger and more robust than studies claiming that children raised by same-sex couples turn out no differently than children raised by their married, opposite-sex parents.


How divorce and remarriage can alienate children from their aging parents

By Tom O'Gorman on 19th October 2013. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

An aspect of divorce that is little talked about is the difficulty remarried people can encounter when trying to persuade their grown-up step-children children to help look after their aging parents.It shows how the way in which divorce and remarriage can alienate children from their parents, even to the point where they won’t help their new step-parents to look after them in old age.


Architect of Britain's abortion law horrified at sex selective abortions

By Tom O'Gorman on 17th October 2013. ~ Categories: Other

The architect of Britain’s abortion law, Lord David Steel, is horrified by the fact that sex selective abortions take place on the strength of it. It was widely assumed that sex-selective abortions were illegal under Lord Steel’s 1967 Abortion Act. However, the British DPP has deemed otherwise.


Your signature is needed to stop EU funding of embryo research

By David Quinn on 15th October 2013. ~ Categories: Freedom of Conscience and Religion

Some years back, with the support of Ireland, the European Union agreed to fund embryonic stem cell research. Now a petition is about to the sent to the European Commission that will oblige it to reconsider this funding.


David Quinn discusses the Iona Institute with Sean Moncrieff

By Tom O'Gorman on 12th October 2013. ~ Categories: Other

On Wednesday, Iona Institute director David Quinn went on Newstalk to discuss the work of the Institute and some of its key concerns, including the health of marriage with presenter Sean Moncrieff. You can listen to the discussion in full here.


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