Sadia Hameed has a voice worth hearing

My friend Sadia Hameed is a spokesperson for the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain. She campaigns for women and girls who are victims of sexual assaults, forced marriages, domestic violence, so-called ‘honour’ attacks, genital mutilation, and persecution for blasphemy and apostasy.

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Freedom of Thought Report 2019 highlights blasphemy laws

It is important that Ireland completes the process of removing the crime of blasphemy from our laws as well as our constitution. The Bill designed to do this is currently at the Office of the Attorney General for formal drafting.

A report published today on the human rights of non-religious people warns the world is divided on blasphemy and apostasy laws, with many states still enforcing these laws, and several states actively tightening or introducing new ‘blasphemy’ legislation in the past few years.

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Government blocking Objective Sex Education Bill

The Government is using a procedure called a Money Message to block over 50 Bills that have been passed in the Dail by opposition parties, including Solidarity’s Bill to provide Objective Sex Education without interference by a school’s religious ethos.

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Support the making of Debutante, a short film

Debutante, a short film about religious control

Please support the making of Debutante, a short film about religious control and coming-of-age in a hostile environment. You can help to make it happen by contributing to the crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo.

The Jehovah’s Witnesses religion controls its members by restricting their sexuality and shunning them if they don’t keep to the rules. Kamila Dydyna, a Polish filmmaker based in Dublin, is making a short film about the devastating effect this can have on its victims.

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European Court challenge to religious oaths

Atheist Ireland supports the five Irish citizens who are taking a European Court challenge to the religious oaths that must be sworn by the Irish President, judges and members of the Council of State, which includes the Taoiseach, Tanaiste, Chairs of the Oireachtas, and others.

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God, Jesus, good, and suffering

Photo: Victory of Joshua by Poussin

This is the sixth post in my debate with David Quinn of the Iona Institute about the nature and source of morality. In this I am responding to David’s thoughts on why he believes that the Christian God exists, why God’s nature is good, and why does God cause or permit suffering.

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The blessing of the scooters

The Taoiseach attending the blessing of a new runway at Knock Airport reminded me of my favourite Irish blessing. In the 1950s Irish Mods queued up before a Catholic priest for the Annual Blessing of the Scooters.

It’s my favourite example of quirky Catholic Church influence on the early decades of the Irish State. Here are four more:

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Ho Ho Holy water

At Knock Airport the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar watched a Catholic priest splash holy water on a runway, in order to make it safer than other airport runways that did not have holy water splashed on them. Everybody present stood solemnly, blessing themselves.

Father Richard Gibbon then gave the Taoiseach some holy water to bring to New York next week as added protection when meets Boris Johnson. Everybody present laughed loudly and applauded. The Taoiseach jokingly asked should he throw it over Boris, and Father Gibbon said that he could.

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