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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 email@example.com and it will be considered for inclusion in the blog.
In debates about conscience rights something very strange has happened. The left, which used to champion conscience rights, is now frequently opposed to such rights. In a new article, American scholar Robert Vischer wonders why this has happened. He takes as his starting point the decision by President Obama to curtail the conscience rights afforded to health-care professionals by the Bush Administration in its last days.
Currently I am reading ‘Broken Promises: How the AIDS Establishment Has Betrayed the Developing World’ and it is a truly devastating expose of the AIDS industry in Africa. In particular, it indicts the industry for doing its utmost to ignore, or deny, or actively undermine and condemn efforts to persuade at-risk Africans to moderate their sexual behaviour either by abstaining from sex or sticking to one partner.
In the West we are doing our best to destroy our Christian heritage but in China, Chinese intellectuals are coming around to the view that it is precisely this heritage that has made the West so successful. Former editor of the Sunday Telegraph, Dominic Lawson, in a review of Niall Ferguson's new book, ‘Civilisation: The West and the Rest’, carries a quote from a member of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in which he tries to account for the success of the West, to date.
The High Court in Britain has effectively ruled that no-one who believes in traditional sexual morality can foster children. Adoption can’t be too far behind. This is the latest in a series of rulings intent on driving belief in traditional sexual morality underground.
Atheist Ireland sent a range of policy questions to political parties and individual candidates. Amongst the questions they asked were whether parties or candidates would support a referendum to remove religious references from the Constitution, whether they would support legislation to prevent hospitals from having a religious ethos and whether churches should pay taxes.
A new poll in The Irish Independent today shows a clear majority of the public are in favour of same-sex marriage. Sixty-one percent say they back ‘State recognition of same-sex marriages’, with 27 percent opposed. However, this support is likely to be very soft and would change rapidly in a referendum campaign.
The other day Eamon Gilmore was asked point-blank by a voter whether Ireland is ready for an atheist Taoiseach. His answer, in summary, was that religion is a private matter.
The Guardian website is the not the first place you would expect to see an acknowledgement of the uniqueness of traditional marriage. In fact, it's probably one of the last places you'd look. But this blog by Guardian political writer Michael White makes exactly that point.
Incredibly, and without any debate whatever, a new brand of the Morning-After-Pill, or ‘Emergency Birth Control’, has been made available in Irish pharmacies, without prescription, and to any age group.
With the general election campaign in full swing, voters for whom marriage, religious education and freedom of conscience are important issues need to inform themselves on the stances of the main parties on these issues.
A couple of weeks ago France’s equivalent of the Supreme Court found that the country’s ban on same-sex marriage did not violate the French Constitution. Vitally, it found that the principle of equality wasn’t breached because the State is entitled to treat different situations in different ways.
Writing in The Irish Independent last week, former chief economist for the Central Bank, Tom O’Connell, said one of the reasons no-one shouted ‘stop’ during the property boom is that the boards of the Central Bank and the Financial Regulator were stuffed with people who didn’t ask the hard questions.
Before becoming Prime Minister, David Cameron had many good things to say about marriage and the family. Since becoming PM, however, he has been disappointing in this regard. It is said this is because his Chancellor doesn’t care whether marriage is promoted or not, and his coalition partner, Nick Clegg is actively hostile.
Aggressive atheists like Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, and their media enablers like to claim that religion is “dangerous”, that it spreads prejudice and leads to societal division. Religion can have these effects, as can other ideologies and philosophies, including atheism, but there is lots of evidence to knock down such claims
The Family Platform is an EU body with a brief to review and research the situation of the family across the EU and recommend policy. The other day, it issued a major new report called ‘Foresight Report: Facts and Precondition of Wellbeing of Families’. As might be expected, the document is shot through with politically correct presuppositions about the family.
The BBC reports today about two Brazilian women who each gave birth to a baby boy in the same hospital but were sent home with the wrong child. The BBC calls it “every mother’s nightmare”. The mistake came to light a year later and the women swapped their children following a court order.
The US State Department has rowed back on its controversial decision to remove the terms ‘mother’ and ‘father’ from passports and replace them with ‘Parent A’ and ‘Parent B’. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (pictured) presumably ordered the pull back to avoid the political damage that would presumably have resulted.
Under the Civil Partnership Act, a civil registrar can go to prison for up to six months for refusing to officiate at a same-sex civil partnership ceremony on conscientious grounds. A court in Saskatchewan this week took a more nuanced approach than our Government. So did gay rights supporter, John Culhane.
Iona Institute director, David Quinn, appeared on RTE’s The Spirit Level on Sunday to debate the ethics of surrogate motherhood and Assisted Human Reproduction more generally. The debate takes place near the beginning of the show and lasts about 15 minutes.
What does a mother tell her child when she has conceived that child via donor sperm, that is, when she has deliberately decided to raise her child alone and without a father?
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