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.


Do daughters make parents more conservative?

By Tom O'Gorman on 23 December 2013. ~ Categories: Other

New York Times columnist Ross Douthat has an interesting piece about new research which suggests that parents with daughters are more likely to be conservative. Douthat believes that what might be driving this is the increased awareness that the culture which promotes commitment-free sex is damaging women more than men.


A definition of marriage that sounds like a business partnership

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

Last week the Australian High Court struck down a law in the Australian Capital Territory permitting same-sex marriage. It was a good decision, but with a considerable sting in the tail. It offered a definition of marriage that allows the Federal Parliament to define marriage in practically anyway at all.


Major new report shows RE not dragging down results in Irish schools

By John McBride on 16 Dec 2013. ~ Categories: Schools and Education

Earlier this month saw the publication of the PISA results by the OECD. These measure the performance of 15-year-old school pupils in reading, mathematics and science. The results badly weaken the case of those who say the teaching of religion in our schools is dragging down academic standards because Ireland ranks well in the tables.


A jolting display of anti-Catholic hatred in Argentina

By David Quinn on December 13, 2013. ~ Categories: Freedom of Conscience and Religion

Unnoticed and unreported by most of the world’s media, on November 24 a group of several thousand pro-choice demonstrators decided to descend on the Cathedral of San Juan Bautista in the city of San Juan, Argentina. What resulted is deeply disturbing to put it at its very mildest.


How chastity became a controversial ‘lifestyle choice’

By David Quinn on 12th December 2013. ~ Categories: Schools and Education

Pure in Heart is a Catholic organisation devoted to promoting chastity in schools. Among other things, this means waiting until you are married before you have sex. Needless to say, a lot of people today don’t like this message but this doesn’t mean Pure in Heart don’t have a right to teach it. However, some people seem to think otherwise.


Time we got serious about sex education

By Tom O'Gorman on 10th December 2013. ~ Categories: Other

Are some in the media beginning to understand that the sexual revolution isn't an unalloyed good? Today's Irish Independent ran a column by Sinead Moriarty suggesting that rising levels of STIs, abortion and depression among young people means we should look again at what our culture is telling young people about sex.


Case poses disturbing questions about power of local authorities

By Tom O'Gorman on 6th December 2013. ~ Categories: Other

John Waters has written an excellent piece in the Irish Times about the disturbing case of an Italian woman who was forced to undergo a Caesarian section and had her child forcibly removed and given up for adoption against her will. He writes: “A pregnant woman, who travels from one European country to another to undertake a training course, seeks help for a medical difficulty and wakes up in a hospital bed to find her baby girl has been removed by Caesarean section and taken into care.


The views of a man raised by a lesbian couple on gay adoption

By David Quinn on 4th December 2013. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

Marc Coleman had two interesting guests on his show on Sunday night arguing against gay adoption. One was Kate Bopp, a blogger who was also on Prime Time last week about the same issue. The other was Robert Oscar Lopez, a lecturer in English in the US who was raised by a lesbian couples and who very strongly believes in the right of children to be raised by a mother and father whenever possible.


UK Supreme Court ruling "draconian" says blogger

By Tom O'Gorman on 2nd December 2013. ~ Categories: Freedom of Conscience and Religion

Earlier this week, the UK Supreme Court ruled that a Christian couple, Peter and Hazelmary Bull running a bed and breakfast were not entitled to deny a gay couple the use of a double room because such an action amounted to discrimination.


Same-sex adoption debated on Prime Time, and a key admission

By David Quinn on 28th November 2013. ~ Categories:

On Tuesday night the issue of adoption by same-sex couples was debated on Prime Time in front of a studio audience. Dr John Murray representing The Iona Institute was one of the panellists. A key moment came when Dr Murray directly challenged Grainne Healy of Marriage Equality to say whether she believes having a mother and a father matters from the child’s point of view.


The outline of a comprehensive pro-marriage agenda

By Tom O'Gorman on 26th November 2013. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

Prior to the last General Election in Britain, then Tory leader, and now Prime Minister, David Cameron made great play out of being pro-family and pro-marriage. He boasted that bolstering families would be one of his priorities in fixing what he called “Broken Britain” and, specifically, he promised that he would, if elected, deliver a tax cut for married couples.


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".


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