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.

 

Time to consider a ‘living wage’ for the ‘working poor’?

By David Quinn on June 24, 2014. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

Can the ‘working poor’ afford to maintain a family? Does being a member of the working poor make a person more likely to divorce? Does it make them less likely to marry in the first place? The answers are ‘no’, yes’ and ‘yes’ respectively. What is to be done? There is no easy answer, but we should look again at the concept of a ‘living wage’.

 

Bishop of Limerick outlines his vision of religious freedom

By Admin on June 18 2014. ~ Categories: Freedom of Conscience and Religion

The new Bishop of Limerick, Dr Brendan Leahy explains his vision of religious freedom. The talk was delivered before an audience of almost 200 people in the Strand Hotel, Limerick on June 18.

 

Polygamy and Same-Sex Marriage - The Questions Answered

By Ben Conroy on 12th June 2014. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

Peter Ferguson, who calls himself ‘Humanisticus’, has replied once again on polygamy and same-sex marriage, and asked the Iona Institute a few questions. I'll do my best to answer them here, and I think it might be wise to leave our blogathon at that. In truth, these points have been dealt with in numerous previous blogs on this website, but it won't hurt to answer them in one place and save Humanisticus a bit of Googling.

 

Some prominent atheists on free will and morality

By David Quinn on June 11, 2014. ~ Categories: Other

Many atheists (such as Richard Dawkins, right) do not believe in free will. They don’t believe in free will because they believe we, and our thoughts, are the products of matter and energy and nothing else and therefore have no more have free will than a robot, or a dog. This belief, needless to say, has enormous implications for the idea of moral responsibility because someone who does not have free will is not responsible for their actions.

 

The Tuam mother and child home reveals a warped form of Christianity

By Admin on June 6, 2014. ~ Categories: Religion and Religious Practice,Other

Almost 800 babies and young children died at Tuam mother and child home between 1925 and 1961. Two things were to blame, the very high child mortality rate at the time, and the social and religious attitudes then prevalent.

 

Got a 9-year-old “Tomboy” daughter? Maybe it's time for sex-change drugs!

By Frederik Bosch on 3rd June 2014. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family,Other

The NHS is to give children as young as nine years of age drugs in preparation for ‘gender reassignment’. As the Mail on Sunday reported, a treatment using hypothalamic blockers, “which halt[s] the onset of adulthood, is aimed at youngsters who believe they are trapped in the wrong body.”

 

'Modern families' feel less financially secure new survey finds

By Ben Conroy on May 27th 2014. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

There are few types of survey in this world more reliable than those carried out by insurance companies. When your company's continued existence depends upon the quality of your information, you tend to make very sure that your data is solid. So Allianz Insurance's “LoveFamilyMoney” study on the impact of family structure on financial wellbeing is sobering reading, despite the almost hilariously upbeat tone of the press release.

 

How about Irish Christians stand up for the Middle East’s Christians?

By Frederik Bosch on 23rd May 2014. ~ Categories:

I must have missed the reports on the protests and vigils outside the Sudanese embassy, after a pregnant Sudanese doctor was sentenced to death for the crime of apostasy. Perhaps they were all busily protesting the Nigerian embassy, calling for greater protection of that nation’s Christians, following the Boko Haram kidnappings. But I’m sure the tweeting by a stern-faced @MichelleObama will #bringbackourgirls in jig-time. Mmmm-hmmm.

 

All families matter - but marriage still deserves special protection

By Ben Conroy on 21st May 2014. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

The single parent support and campaign group, One Family, have released a new video called “All Families Matter.” Produced as part of their campaign to change the constitutional definition of the family, the video is pretty striking. It shows a single mother and her two children being denied a family ticket to the cinema because there's no father present; an unmarried couple with their children being refused a family suite at a hotel; anda gay couple and their daughter being denied access to a family movie on television.

 

Polygamy, same-sex marriage and children: the state of the evidence

By Ben Conroy on 16th May 2014. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

In my last post on polygamy and same-sex marriage, I noted that Peter Ferguson and Colette Browne, in coming up with coherent arguments against polygamy, ended up acknowledging that marriage is to a certain extent about child welfare I still wonder how this fits with a "love and consent" view of marriage - but it was good to see that both Browne and Ferguson were OK with banning polygamous marriage because of the less-than-ideal circumstances for children of being raised by three or more parents.

 

The clash between atheistic faith and science

By David Quinn on May 14, 2014. ~ Categories: Other

An interesting new book has just come out called ‘Why Science Does Not Disprove God’. The author is Amir Azcel and in an article in The Wall Street Journal a few days ago he describes how many scientists initially resisted the Big Bang Theory, especially those predisposed towards atheism.

 

The evidence that boys and girls really are different

By Frederick Bosch on 12th May 2014. ~ Categories: Other

In her new book, Gender Hurts, the radical feminist Professor of Sexual Politics at the University of Melbourne Sheila Jeffreys claims that gender disorders like “gender dysphoria” are only problems because we have gender at all. So, while Facebook now offers 56 genders (sadly, still one less variety than Heinz beans, but give them time), Jeffreys wants none. Indeed, Jeffreys describes “gender” as placing girls in a “sex caste,” behind “bars of a cage.”

 

Further thoughts on whether polygamy should be legalised

By Ben Conroy on 10th May 2014. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

A couple of weeks ago David Quinn blogged in response to news that three lesbians in the US have ‘married’ one another. He issued a challenge – asking if the essence of marriage is consent, then why shouldn’t this ‘throuple’ be allowed to get legally hitched? A couple of people took up the challenge, including Colette Browne in the Irish Independent and blogger Peter Ferguson, also known as ‘Humanisticus’...

 

Why the fates of Donald Sterling and Brendan Eich cannot be compared

By Ben Conroy on 8th May 2014. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family,Freedom of Conscience and Religion

Much has recently been made of the effective sacking of Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich over his opposition to same-sex marriage, and rightly so. Even many SSM supporters blanched at the idea that the creator of Javascript could lose his job as head of a tech company simply because of his views on this question. But after the recent case of Donald Sterling, the basketball team owner who received a lifetime ban from the NBA after making a series of blatantly racist comments about black people, Eich's been taking renewed heat in the blogosphere and the press.

 

Think Ireland has a stable, health marriage rates? Try reading history

By James Hart on 7th May 2014. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

The Journal.ie recently carried a story that the CSO has released census data going back to 1864.The press release from the CSO noted that marriage rates had remained remarkably stable since 1864. This is on the face of it more or less what Fintan O’Toole argued when he attacked the Iona Institute for claiming that marriage was in decline in Ireland. The CSO statistics, of course, do not lie - but they do give a very misleading picture if you read them without some knowledge of Irish History - and particularly the Great Famine.

 

The slide towards soft totalitarianism

By JP Valerand on 6th May 2014. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family,Schools and Education,Religion and Religious Practice,Freedom of Conscience and Religion

In a guest blog, JP Valerand argues that Soviet subversive agent Yuri Bezmenov's description of the USSR's method of demoralising its populace could be a guide to understanding the last few decades of Western society.

 

Fighting for the freedom to dissent from the new ideological conformity

By David Quinn on 3rd May 2014. ~ Categories: Freedom of Conscience and Religion

The effective sacking of Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich for supporting traditional marriage continues to provoke reaction. The latest and most notable is a statement signed by supporters of same-sex marriage who believe that what happened to Eich is a step too far. Meanwhile, Spiked editor, Brendan O’Neill, comments on the statement and says that the Eich incident is not a one-off but rather is part of an ideology intent on crushing anyone and everything that still believes in the traditional family and traditional sexual morality

 

Ireland's marriage rate since 1864: consistently low (mostly)

By David Quinn on May 1, 2014. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

The CSO has just made available its annual reports on births, deaths and marriages covering the years 1864-2000. Looking at the marriage figures only, they tell us that Ireland’s marriage rate has been remarkably consistent over the period, consistently low that is.

 

The new climate of libertine puritanism

By David Quinn on 29th April 2014. ~ Categories: Freedom of Conscience and Religion

The always worthwhile Theodore Dalrymple (pictured) has added his tuppence worth to the discussion about the de facto sacking of Mozilla's Brendan Eich for donating to a campaign in favour of traditional marriage. He says that Eich fell victim to the notion that 'repressive tolerance' must not be tolerated.

 

Please explain why this ‘throuple’ can’t marry one another

By David Quinn on 25th April 2014. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

They call themselves a ‘throuple’ and they consist of three women who say they are ‘married’ to one another and are expecting a baby. A ‘throuple’, since you ask, is a variation on the word ‘couple’ but is made up of three people, not two. Now, here is my question to those who support same-sex marriage; if gender is not essential to the nature of marriage then why limit it to two people? Why not allow multi-partner marriages like this if more than two people are willing to commit to one another?

 

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