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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.
In his column last week, Fintan O’Toole of The Irish Times tried to argue that the institution of marriage has not declined at all in Ireland. His chief piece of evidence was that the number of marriages in Ireland has actually gone up compared with a few decades ago. He overlooked many countervailing facts including the huge increase in the number of births outside marriage, the huge increase in cohabitation and the large increase in divorce and separation. But even the marriage rate itself isn't as simple as it appears.
The Catholic lay group Pure in Heart has been attracting criticism lately, some of which actually managed to mention them in the same breath as Holocaust deniers. The chief reason for the criticism is that they promote chastity. In his weekly column in The Irish Independent David Quinn defends Pure in Heart and specifically addresses criticism that what they teach is ‘offensive’ and ‘unrealistic’.
Do dads matter in the lives of their children? The authors of this article from The Atlantic are in no doubt that they do and that children often suffer when they don’t have a father who looks out for them. The authors draw on both evidence and stories to back up their argument. It’s a message that society badly needs to hear. In Ireland as in America, huge numbers of children are growing up without the benefit of a father.
Breda O'Brien was interviewed by Marian Finucane on her programme last Saturday about same-sex marriage and the 'homophobia'/RTE apology controversy. Breda discusses the implications of same-sex marriage for children's rights, and the personal impact of some of the hate mail she has received for her stance on the issue. The interview also discusses the work of The Iona Institute.
A new RTE/Sunday Business Post poll confirms the finding of an Irish Times opinion poll on same-sex marriage from a few months back, namely that support for the proposition stands in or around 75 percent. That’s a very big lead. However, this latest poll confirms what some commentators have suspected all along, namely that much of the support for it is soft.
The debate about homophobia and same-sex marriage was the subject of an item on BBC World’s Have Your Say programme. Rory O’Neill took part in a discussion with Caroline Farrow of Catholic Voices and Brandon Ambrosino, a gay writer who supports gay marriage but, in his own words, wants to “open up the conversation. I think when we throw out a label like ‘homophobia’ we stop the discussion before we can even have it.”
In his latest opinion piece in The Irish Times, Fintan O’Toole takes issue with The Iona Institute’s thesis that marriage in Ireland is in decline. On the contrary, says O’Toole, marriage “has proven to be far more robust than either conservatives or radicals ever imagined.” Unfortunately, Fintan can only make such a broad claim by ignoring lots of statistical evidence to the contrary.
Breda O'Brien was interviewed by Hugh Linehan today for the Irish Times' 'Inside Politics' podcast. She speaks in a very heartfelt way about the impact the vilification she has been subjected to by some people for disagreeing with same-sex marriage has had on her, as well as giving her thoughts on the whole controversy surrounding RTE's apology and 'homophobia'.
The Dominican Timothy Radcliffe would be no-one’s idea of a ‘conservative’ in theological terms or any other terms for that matter. In a very interesting blog on the issue of same-sex marriage that he wrote for the Guardian newspaper he welcomed “the wave of support for same-sex marriage”, but at the same time reaffirms marriage as we have it on the grounds that it celebrates real difference.
A few interesting developments in the ongoing debate about the uses and misuses of the word ‘homophobia’: First, Paddy Manning and our director David Quinn were on Prime Time opposite Senator Ivana Bacik and Brian Finnegan. Link here. For what it's worth, both Bacik and Finnegan agreed that opposition to gay marriage was not automatically homophobic.
Tuesday night’s episode of Tonight with Vincent Browne featured Kevin Brophy, the solicitor who represented The Iona Institute in our dispute with RTE, and Paddy Manning, a gay man who opposes gay marriage, discussing the use of the word ‘homophobia’.
On yesterday's edition of Newstalk's The Right Hook programme, George Hook won a victory for common sense, and for the real meaning of free speech. He told Senator Ivana Bacik that "If someone called me homophobic on television, I'd sue his ass off!"
In his column in The Irish Independent, David Quinn details some of the abusive and threatening emails received in the past fortnight by The Iona Institute and calls for a civil debate on same-sex marriage.
Minister Quinn wants faith schools to be more 'neutral'. But Irish education is built around the wishes of parents not the State.
On the Saturday Night Show last weekend, presenter Brendan O’Connor read out an apology to Breda O’Brien, The Iona Institute, and writer and broadcaster John Waters after a guest a fortnight before had accused all of the aforementioned parties of being ‘homophobic’
The brutal death of Tom O'Gorman has been in the headlines since news of what happened to him broke. Tom worked at The Iona Institute since its launch seven years ago this month. The thoughts and prayers of everyone at The Iona Institute are with Tom's family and friends. David Quinn, director of The Iona Institute, remembers his friend and colleague in the following short tribute piece.
Carissa Mulder, writing on the Public Discourse blog, has an interesting analysis of the contemporary threats to religious freedom. Mulder points out that, for most pundits interested in the subject, it appears that the homosexual lobby has posed the biggest threat to religious freedom.
Do government programmes promoting marriage actually do any good, and specifically do they help to reduce poverty? A new study seems to indicate the answer is ‘no’, and if that is so then pro-marriage programmes lose much of their justification. However, Professor Brad Wilcox in this blog challenges the study.
There is a growing body of research into the causes of happiness as this article from The New York Times points out. The research is allowing us to pinpoint what makes us happy and who is most likely to be happy. It appears that conservative women are most happy and liberal men are least happy.
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.
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