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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 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.”
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’...
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.
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.
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
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 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.
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?
An alliance of public figures has accused British Prime Minister David Cameron of “fostering division” within the UK by claiming that Britain is still a “Christian country.” Writing a letter published in the Daily Telegraph, these intellectuals and politicians claimed that Cameron’s message will have “negative consequences for politics and society.” Cameron’s crime? Well, for one, he described Jesus Christ as essentially a forerunner of the welfare state, whereby the Conservative party’s “Big Society” initiative was continuing Jesus’ work.
In a recent issue of The Irish Catholic I wrote a piece strongly criticising the de facto sacking of Brendan Eich as CEO of Mozilla. Eich was shown the front door because he once made a donation to a campaign in favour of traditional marriage. In turn it was pointed out to me on social media that my stance seemed in direct contradiction of my support of Section 37 of the Employment Equality Act which allows religious organisations not to employ anyone who would undermine their ethos.
Last week the Community Relations Council in Northern Ireland published its latest Peace Monitoring Report. It found that Catholic schools continue to outperform State schools at all levels of society.
A new survey of birth ratios has been launched by the British government recently, “amid fears that sex-selective abortions are taking place in Britain.” Earl Howe, a UK health minister, “wants to ‘monitor the situation’ and ‘remain vigilant’ following evidence that some doctors in the UK are carrying out selective abortions.” This is old news. The Daily Telegraph uncovered these practices in 2012. And the British Director of Public Prosecutions’ response? “There may be circumstances, in which termination of pregnancy on grounds of fetal sex would be lawful.” Nice to know the DPP is protecting the weak and vulnerable.
Slate magazine is famous for publishing contrarian writing, and the piece they recently published by Reihan Salam certainly fits the bill. What, after all, is more contrarian than saying “me, and people like me, should pay far more tax?” The category Salam belongs to, and the one which he believes should be taxed more heavily, is childless people.
Our wise ideologues are never short on assurances that every last one of their society-changing initiatives are brimming with “guarantees” and “safeguards.” The obvious one is abortion. In 1996, Bill Clinton said “abortion should not only be safe and legal, it should be rare.” In New York in 2012, more African-American babies were aborted than were born. Ah – the Ratchet Effect upon morality. Euthanasia is a more recent controversy. Under the guise of individual choice for the sick, and compassion from the healthy, lobbyists have fought hard to get euthanasia on the statute books. Again, “guarantees,” “safeguards,” “safe,” “rare” – we’ve heard these promises before.
Children's Minister Frances Fitzgerald's recent proposal to give adopted people greater access to information about their biological parents is a genuinely good idea. If they don't run afoul of the constitutional right to privacy, Minister Fitzgerald's proposals could end up helping many adoptees to trace their roots and discover their origins. So I'm curious as to why the same government currently advocating common-sense reforms like these, which acknowledge the importance of the natural ties, is simultaneously planning to pass a family law bill that almost completely ignores them?
David Quinn was on the Sean O'Rourke programme yesterday discussing childcare with Roisin O’Hara, who juggles work with having four small children; Evanna Boyle, also a mum of four who gave up work as a solicitor to mind her kids at home; Independent Senator Jillian Van Turnhout and Theresa Heaney, Chairperson of the Mothers’ Alliance Ireland. They discussed parental leave, child benefit, and whether the state should be picking sides in favouring working mothers over those who choose to stay at home.
The first same-sex marriages took place in the UK over the weekend. Brendan O'Neill, the editor of the online magazine, Spiked, has an article today asking a very pertinent question: how did support for gay marriage become the conventional wisdom so quickly? It hasn't been all that long since same-sex marriage was barely thought of or proposed by anyone, (it was even a minority position among LGBT activists). But now it has become an absolute article of faith for anyone who wants to be called a ‘liberal’.
There's a great guest post over at the Washington Post's Volokh Conspiracy blog from Prof. Michael McConnell of Stanford university, taking an in-depth look at the Hobby Lobby religious freedom case currently before the US Supreme Court.
Alan Shatter has other things on his mind these days to be sure, but the other day he still managed to provide a written answer to a question from Mattie McGrath on whether religious schools will still be allowed to teach that marriage is between a man and a woman in the event of same-sex marriage being passed here.
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