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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 protected] and it will be considered for inclusion in the blog.

The Church and the Lisbon referendum (David Quinn)

Labour TD Sean Sherlock is upset because anti-Lisbon leaflets claiming (wrongly in my view) that the promised EU protocols will not protect Ireland against abortion etc have been put on display in two churches in the diocese of Cloyne.

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Who is my father? (David Quinn)

A few more thoughts on the new Law Reform Commission document, ‘Legal Aspects of Family Relationships’. As is well known, one in three births now take place outside marriage. What is less well known is that in 20 per cent of those cases the identity of the father is not recorded on the child’s birth cert.

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Unmarried fathers and their rights (David Quinn)

The Law Reform Commission has published a new consultation paper called ‘Legal Aspects of Family Relationship’ which, among other things, deals with the rights, or lack thereof, of unmarried fathers, and others who are involved in the care of children, for example, grandparents.

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The dire consequences of neglecting family breakdown (Tom O'Gorman)

Melanie Philips has a trenchant piece on the Daily Mail website in response to a call from the head of Barnardo's UK, Martin Narey, for social workers to intervene earlier where families are clearly chronically dysfunctional.

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Safe sex or have sex? (David Quinn)

Tonight in Cork city the recently graduated sixth years of St Vincent’s Catholic girls’ school will be holding their debs. The men accompanying the young women to the event will find an unusual item on their side-plates; a complimentary condom. Safe sex, or an invitation to have sex?

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Iona Institute on Prime Time (Tom O'Gorman)

Last night, RTE's Prime Time programme dealt with the issue of the Government's same-sex Civil Partnership Bill. Iona Institute director David Quinn debated same-sex campaigner Ailbhe Smyth. You can watch their discussion here .

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Sexual revolution a bad deal for the poor (Tom O'Gorman)

Here is a useful comment piece from Ed West, a commentator on the Daily Telegraph website.

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Pay gap between men and women “immoral”? (David Quinn)

The 22 per cent pay gap between British men and women is “morally wrong”. So says the head of the UK’s Equality and Human Rights Commission, Trevor Phillips.

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Questions for Gordon Brown (Tom O'Gorman)

In a recent radio interview with Premier Christian Radio, Prime Minister Gordon Brown appeared to make soothing noises about Christians in public life.

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‘Sexist’ Sweden, environmentally-friendly marriage (David Quinn)

The CSO has issued a report today called ‘Measuring Ireland’s Progress’. It is full of detail on a whole range of issues from unemployment to the environment. Here are just a few things that struck me after a quick read of it, but to summarise; Sweden at first glance appears to be very sexist, but isn’t, and marriage is environmentally friendly.

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Amsterdam doesn’t like hosting the World Congress of Families (David Quinn)

Liberal cities are also anti-family cities. Show me a city with a high tolerance level for in-your-face porn, drugs, prostitution and so on and I’ll show you a place where you don’t want to bring up kids.

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I used to dislike stay-at-home mothers. Now I am one. (‘Fiona’)

A few years I was spending upward of €15,000 per annum on putting two children full-time in a creche. I was earning pretty good money and resented it when stay-at-home mothers got any concessions. I felt that I had to work, like my husband, to pay a big mortgage etc.

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State doesn’t like stay-at-home mothers (Tom O'Gorman)

Last week, the Central Statistics Office (CSO) released figures showing that, contrary to media reports, demand for childcare places is much smaller than we thought. Despite this, State policy continues to discriminate against stay-at-home mothers, and a new policy shift is about to make this even worse.

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The truth is finally revealed about child-care (David Quinn)

When the Kildare and Meath by-elections took place in 2005 we were led to believe that the single most pressing issue facing the country was the huge cost of child-care.

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Promote marriage, save on health..and the planet (David Quinn)

A major study released this week shows that divorce or the death of a spouse substantially increases the chances of ill-health in adults, even when they remarry.

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Time Magazine wakes up to marriage breakdown (Tom O'Gorman)

Time Magazine has a story this month highlighting both the perilous state of marriage in the US and the damage it causes.

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Canadian State attacks religion. Again. (David Quinn)

Attacks on religious believers under the guise of ‘human rights’ continue unabated. We keep tabs on these stories in the news section of our website. The sheer number of such cases is now frightening.

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Prominent academic: "Pope is right on AIDS and condoms" (Tom O'Gorman)

You may remember that, some months ago, the Pope was embroiled in a controversy after he pointed out that condom distribution wasn't the solution to the AIDS epidemic.

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Rethinking cohabitation (David Quinn)

The number of Irish couples who cohabit has soared by 400 per cent in just 10 years to about a quarter of a million people in total. Cohabitation is mostly a prelude to getting married. Most of those who don’t marry break up instead. Very few people cohabit as a long-term alternative to marriage, not in Ireland at any rate.

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Secular approach to sex education keeps on failing (Tom O'Gorman)

If insanity can be defined as doing the same failed thing over and over again and expecting a different result, then the secular strategy for tackling teen sexuality and pregnancy has to be one of the most insane policies around.

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"If I were asked to design a system for making sure that children's basic needs were met, we would probably come up with something quite similar to the two-parent ideal...The fact that both parents have a biological connection to the child would increase the likelihood that the parents would identify with the child and be willing to sacrifice for that child, and it would reduce the likelihood that either parent would abuse the child.."

Sara McLanahan and Gary Sandefur, "Growing up with a single parent: What hurts, what helps."