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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 firstname.lastname@example.org and it will be considered for inclusion in the blog.
Is standing up for conscience now a criminal offence in the West? The term “prisoner of conscience” may not have been invented by Amnesty International, but that organisation probably did more than any other to popularise it.
In case you didn’t know, Mary O’Rourke is an ‘agony aunt’ for The Irish Independent weekend magazine. This weekend, she was giving advice to a woman who had an abortion after a one-night stand.
There is increasing concern in the US that marriage is becoming an exclusively upper middle class phenomenon. In Ireland it is certainly increasing a middle class phenomenon. A recent paper by the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia showed that 44 percent of children of ‘moderately educated’ women are now born outside of marriage, up sharply from 13 percent in the 1980s.
When Irish commentators turn their attention to the family they like to assure us that the Irish family is basically in good shape and we have little to worry about, especially when compared with other Western countries. However, a new international study released last week suggests otherwise.
I came into work this morning only to discover that the Iona Institute’s YouTube account had been terminated. Yes, that was the word used, ‘terminated’. Yikes. An email from YouTube told us the reason was that we had violated YouTube’s ‘Terms of Service’. What in the world had we done to suffer such a fate?
Paris witnessed what must have been the biggest and most extraordinary demonstration ever in favour of the traditional family on Sunday. The best estimate is that 800,000 people took part. It was superbly well organised.
Defenders of religious freedom suffered a qualified defeat at the European Court of Human Rights today. Basically, the court found in favour of one person’s right to wear a cross to work, against another worker’s right to do so, and against two workers who have a conscientious objection to homosexual behaviour.
The French Government’s plan to introduce a 75pc tax on anyone earning above a million euro has been slapped down on unconstitutional. Why? The reason is because it favours two-income households over one income households. If you think this sounds a bit like tax individualisation in this country you’d be right.
Maria Steen of the Iona Institute (pictured) debates the Government's proposal to legislate for the abortion issue with Ailbhe Smyth of UCD, Veronica O'Keane of Trinity College and Dr Jaqueline Montwill of the Mayo Clinic on RTE's Prime Time.
“GP 'had scores of children illegally adopted' was the banner front page headline on the Irish Mail on Sunday. The report details how a Monaghan GP was involved in illegal adoptions. The report slams the doctor, Dr Irene Creedon, for allowing couples to falsely register children as their own.
The Iona Institute's new video setting out the case for man/woman marriage has 40,000 views. It was debated on Call Cooney on Q102 last week.
Last month, in the wake of UK government's announcement that it was set to press ahead with same-sex marriage, it was reported that senior Church of England figures were deeply concerned that the legislation would ultimately force them to conduct same-sex marriages. A piece by Ian Birrell, a former speechwriter for Prime Minister David Cameron, demonstrates why they were right to be scared.
Children’s Minister Frances Fitzgerald wants money diverted from Child Benefit into State-subsidised child care. She believes children will benefit, especially educationally, from this. However, research showing that children benefit from early child care is based mainly on children from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Maria Steen of The Iona Institute debates the Government's proposed abortion legislation with Choice Ireland's Sinéad Ahern on CNN's Connect the World with Becky Anderson.
David Cameron's (pictured) plan to introduce same-sex marriage may be still on track, but it has already brought deep fissures within his own party to the surface, and these divisions are only set to grow. He has been forced to grant his MPs a free vote, but that has not quelled the rebellion.
On Wednesday, columnist and author John Waters spoke to a packed meeting of the Iona Institute on the subject of ‘Ireland and the Abolition of God’. John said that Irish culture has created a situation in which it is impermissable to speak about God or transcendental truths in public..
Ruairi Quinn (pictured) will be noting again the amount of time spent teaching religion and Irish in our primary schools. The results of the latest international school literacy and numeracy tests conducted among 50 countries were released this week.
Divorce, cohabitation and births out of wedlock are all very high in Sweden. How do Swedish children fare as a result? Not bad at all, reckons renowned economist, Paul Krugman, and he credits Sweden’s lavish welfare state with this. But he’s wrong, as this blog by sociologist Brad Wilcox shows. In fact, by the time they are 15, Swedish children born out of wedlock are 75pc more likely to see their parents split up than children born within wedlock.
The Irish Human Right Commission has made a submission to the High Court in which it effectively calls for the legalisation of assisted suicide. They made the submission in a case involving a woman suffering from Multiple Sclerosis who is arguing that she has a human right to have someone assist her suicide.
And so the convention on our mercilessly caricatured Constitution has begun. The caricature of it is easy to spell out; it is a Catholic document heavily influenced by Archbishop John Charles McQuaid and it is utterly of its time. It is to be fervently hoped, therefore, that the Convention members had a good listen to the speech delivered by Justice Gerard Hogan on Saturday.
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