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 info@ionainstitute.ie and it will be considered for inclusion in the blog.

 

Abortion bill a direct attack on freedom of conscience

By David Quinn on 4th May 2013. ~ Categories: Freedom of Conscience and Religion

The Government’s proposed abortion bill is first and foremost an attack on the right to life of unborn children. But there is another aspect of it that also deserves attention, namely its frontal assault on freedom of conscience and religion. Head 12 of the proposed bill deals with conscientious objection. (See full text below).

 

How two of our current debates may be normalising suicidal feelings

By David Quinn on 2nd May 2013. ~ Categories: Other

Ireland has a much higher suicide rate than was once the case. It is something we worry about as a nation. And yet at the same time we are having two national conversations which could well have the effect of ‘normalising’ suicide. One is the conversation about assisted suicide and the other is the conversation about suicidal thoughts in pregnant women.

 

Why family equality is a more logical aim than marriage equality

By David Quinn on April 30, 2013. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

The Iona Institute has argued for a long time that the logic of the equality argument when applied to the family is that no particular kind of family should be granted any special standing whatever, including marriage whether same-sex or opposite-sex. It appears that one the great doyennes of family diversity ideology, Professor Judith Stacey, agrees.

 

A reasonable accommodation found in conscience case

By Tom O\'Gorman on 27th April 2013. ~ Categories: Freedom of Conscience and Religion

This week's ruling in Scotland which found in favour of two midwives who insisted on their right to conscientiously object to taking any part in the abortion process is one that should be welcomed by all who think this freedom is important, whatever their views on abortion itself.

 

The growing marriage gap

By Tom O\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'Gorman on 23rd April 2013. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

Much has been written about the growing “marriage gap” in the US. Data increasingly shows that those in lower social groups are experiencing both higher levels of marital breakdown and lower rates of marriage overall. The same applies here Meanwhile, those who have third level education have seen marriage breakdown stabilise.

 

Who's really jumping ahead of the evidence in the same-sex marriage debate?

By David Quinn on 20th April 2013. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

In a number of our publications, including our submission to the Constitutional Convention on the issue of marriage, we have used (among other quotes) a very serviceable one from Child Trends, a US-based NGO. The quote is taken from a document called ‘Marriage from a Child’s Perspective: How Does Family Structure Affect Children, and What Can We Do about It?’

 

The Iona Institute at the Constitutional Convention

By Tom O'Gorman on 18th April 2013. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

David Quinn represented the Iona Institute at the Constitutional Convention last week. He took part in a panel discussion and explained why the distinctive nature of male/female sexual unions justifies a special and distinct social institution.

 

Ireland a step closer to rejecting the value of motherhood and fatherhood

By David Quinn on April 15, 2013. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

WHEN the Constitutional Convention voted in favour of same-sex marriage at the weekend, as was expected, Ireland took a step closer to rejecting the right of a child to have the love of both a mother and a father where such are available.

 

What's at stake at the Constitutional Convention this weekend

By David Quinn on April 12 2013. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

The Constitutional Convention debates same-sex marriage this weekend. In my Irish Independent column this week I set out the argument for not redefining marriage. The core question for the delegates: do they believe there are real and complementary differences between men and women and mothers and fathers that should be embodied in a distinct and special social institution?

 

How porn is misshaping teenagers’ view of sex

By Tom O'Gorman on 9th April 2013. ~ Categories: Other

A story from the UK last week suggested that by the time they reach 14, nearly all boys have accessed pornography. While we don't know the figures here, we can be sure that it is a growing problem in Ireland too.

 

The differences between the sexes: what science shows

By Tom O'Gorman on 5th April 2013. ~ Categories: Other

Are there any real differences between men and women apart from the obvious, physical ones, or have the differences all to do with the way we’re formed by society? This article by Professor William Reville in the Irish Times the other day sets out the precise scientific basis for why the sexual differences between men and women are not “socially constructed” but natural.

 

What the new survey of parental demand for schools tells us

By Tom O'Gorman on 3rd April 2013. ~ Categories: Schools and Education,Religion and Religious Practice,Freedom of Conscience and Religion

The Department of Education has published the results of a survey of parents in another 38 areas to find out how many want to send their children to a non-denominational school. Once again, there was a low response rate and little interest was shown in alternatives to Catholic schools.

 

On the uses of research in debates about marriage

By David Quinn on April 1 2013. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

The Iona Institute, among other pro-marriage groups, likes to use a number of studies to buttress its case that marriage should be given special status. It is obvious that marriage should not have special status unless there is something special about it. What is that something? The answer is the benefits it passes on to children.

 

Labour’s social issues agenda bombs in Meath East by-election

By David Quinn on 28th March 2013. ~ Categories: Other

Labour’s Eoin Holmes has done spectacularly badly in the Meath East by-election. Holmes ran in part on a social issues agenda. He made lots of noise about Labour’s stance on abortion and same-sex marriage, and had Ivana Bacik (pictured) as a prominent part of his campaign. It did him no good whatsoever.

 

French show how it's done with yet another massive pro-marriage rally

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

Last Sunday saw another mass protest against same-sex marriage in Paris. This video gives a good feel of the colour, atmosphere and sheer joie de vivre of the overall march.

 

Why do economists recommend college for its benefits but not marriage?

By Tom O'Gorman on 23rd March 2013. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

Why do economists strongly recommend schemes promoting higher levels of college education, but almost never promote schemes to incentivise marriage? After all, both are beneficial. It's an interesting question, posed by writer Megan McArdle in this blog.

 

Child-care as the cure for all our ills

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

More extravagant claims are being made for the benefits of child-care. For example, at a recent conference organised by pro-child care organisation, Start Strong, Fergus Finlay of Bernardos said Sweden’s comprehensive child-care system was responsible for its strong economy.

 

A gay man argues against gay marriage

By Tom O'Gorman on 15th March 2013. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

The website of the Constitutional Convention lists all the submissions made to date on the subject of same-sex marriage. Most of these, unfortunately, reflect only one side of the argument, that is the pro-same-sex marriage side.

 

Willingly and unwillingly teaching religion

By David Quinn on 12th March 2013. ~ Categories: Schools and Education,Religion and Religious Practice,Freedom of Conscience and Religion

The headline to the story in The Irish Times yesterday read, ‘Only 49pc teach religion willingly in schools’. What did this headline invite us to believe? It invited us to believe that the rest do so unwillingly. Nothing could be further from the truth. The INTO survey on which the report is based in fact found that only 10pc of respondents don’t want to teach religion.

 

Equality commissars take aim at religious freedom. Again.

By David Quinn on 9th March 2013. ~ Categories: Schools and Education,Religion and Religious Practice,Freedom of Conscience and Religion

Reports that the Government could back a Bill which would deny religious institutions the right not to hire people who could damage their ethos and to take “reasonable” action against those who do is very worrying for those of us who value religious freedom.

 

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