One secular oath for all

Can you imagine if the Irish Constitution favoured atheism in the same way as it currently favours religion?

Imagine if the preamble began with the words “In the name of atheism, we the people, acknowledging the nonexistence of gods, do enact this constitution.”

Imagine if our President and judges had to swear an oath that began “In the absence of any gods” and that ended with the phrase “May my atheism direct and sustain me.”

Imagine if our Taoiseach and Tánaiste, and the chairs of the Dáil and Seanad, also had to swear an atheist oath in order to take office.

Imagine if our Constitution included an article that began: “The State acknowledges that public praise is due to atheism. It shall hold atheism in reverence, and shall respect and honour atheism.”

Imagine if our parliament started every day with by reciting: “May our actions be directed by our atheism, so that every word and work of ours may always begin and end in atheism.”

Imagine if religious parliamentarians complained, and were told they could have thirty seconds of silence to think privately about their religion.

Imagine if the default oath in our courts was that you were asked to swear as an atheist to tell the truth, and that you had to openly object to that in order to avoid doing it.

Imagine if the Juries Act exempted representatives of atheist bodies, but not of religious bodies, from jury duty.

Now, all of that sounds outrageous. And it would be outrageous. But it is just as outrageous in the current circumstances, where all of these things apply, but the other way around.

Why do some people believe that their religion is more important than our atheism? The Irish State certainly should not believe that.

We need a secular State, that treats everybody equally regardless of our religious or non-religious beliefs. That requires removing all religious oaths and prayers from our State activities.

If you agree, please join Atheist Ireland and help us to bring about an ethical secular Ireland.

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