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Religious discrimination in Ireland

category national | miscellaneous | opinion/analysis author Thursday February 14, 2008 18:22author by Irish Nationalist Report this post to the editors

The truth about religious discrimination in Ireland.

Some people claim that Ireland is guilty of religious "apartheid", as if there were separate beaches for people of different faiths - the apartheid regieme in South Africa had separate beaches for people of different races.

However, the truth is quite different. Yes, there are religious schools, but that is a result of tolerance. Demanding these schools be closed is intolerant.

In fact, there is an industry devoted to persuading Irish people that they are so bigoted in terms of religion that they should be deeply ashamed of themselves. It is based, not surprisingly, in Dublin 4, home of the elite.

Catholicism is denigrated as a "gutter religion" by those in Dublin 4, while the nationalists of the north are told they are "intolerant" for not allowing the Orange Order to march through neighbourhoods.

Some of those Dublin 4 types screaming "intolerance" take their cue from the American Civil Liberties Union, an organisation with a
history of representing neo-Nazis and the KKK.

Others take their cue from Richard Dawkins, a scion of the British Establishment who has written about Northern Ireland as if religion was the only cause.

It is clear that they have no interest in working class Irish people.

author by Mike - Judean Popular Peoples Frontpublication date Thu Feb 14, 2008 20:25Report this post to the editors

Give us ONE example from recent times of any notable person demanding the CLOSURE of religious schools ?

While lots of people (quite rightly) call for the withdrawl of tax payers money from such schools but thats an entirely different matter.

Related Link: http://www.edkrebs.com/herb/petoons25/arxkdbdy0.jpg
author by Donpublication date Thu Feb 14, 2008 23:35Report this post to the editors

Ivana Bacik is very anti-religion. She thinks all religious schools should be closed down. Also, the Catholic puts more into funding than the gov, so thats not possible.

author by escaped from the Brotherspublication date Fri Feb 15, 2008 01:28Report this post to the editors

Catholic primary schools, nearly all of them run by lay teachers, have coped well with the huge influx of asylum seekers and children of immigrant workers. There are children of different religions and none happily installed in small town schools and big city ones. Many are from Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe. The problem caused in part of north Dublin is resulting from government policy on dispersal of asylum seekers. The authorities placed a lot of foreigners there probably because housing became available. The Dept. of Education hadn't anticipated the influx, so the existing schools couldn't cope, and principals operated a policy of siblings and baptised pupils to be admitted first. The newspapers have reported, since the initial hooha about discrimination, that two schools will now operate pilot quota systems. But the ball is in the court of the government. It's gotta build extra schools in problem catchment areas, and fast.

In rural parts over the years immigrant "new agers"and alternative farmers have sent their children to small protestant schools (to keep their kids away from the sight of religious symbols and plaster statues) and seem to have been happy, although some conservative teachers there have felt uncomfortable about the nonparticipation of agnostic kids in bible study classes and things.

The problem doesn't seem to affect posh places in cities. It's largely a problem among the working class and petit bourgeoisie.

author by Mike - Judean Popular Peoples Frontpublication date Fri Feb 15, 2008 18:04Report this post to the editors

"She thinks all religious schools should be closed down."
Where/when exactly does/did she say this. What were her exact words ?

"Also, the Catholic (sic) puts more into funding than the gov, so thats not possible".

Of course its possible. The state could start funding the education system properly tomorroww morning if they wanted to. Then they could either buy out the Churchs interest or (preferably) set up a nationwide network of properly funded state schools while phasing out state funding for all other schools over say a 15 year period.

author by Mike Novackpublication date Fri Feb 15, 2008 22:35Report this post to the editors

"........although some conservative teachers there have felt uncomfortable about the nonparticipation of agnostic kids in bible study classes and things........."

I suspect that the source of some of the opposition to the system of dual schools, Catholic and Protestant is assumptions like the above. To be sure, these kids opted out of "bible studies and things" MIGHT be the children of agnostics --- but they might well be believers of some religion OTHER than either Catholicism or Protestantism.

Hey folks, the Jewish kids, the Moslem kids, the Hindhu kids, the Buddhist kids, the Pagan kids, etc. etc. are NOT "agnostic just because they don't believe in YOUR choice of god(s).

Atheists --- DISbelieve in the existence of ANY god(s)..
Agnostics -- Don't believe for sure in ANY god(s).

Applying terms like these to people who simply don't believe in YOURS is religious bigotry.

author by escaped from the Brotherspublication date Sat Feb 16, 2008 01:03Report this post to the editors

I referred to the small village protestant schools where children of immigrant "new age" or alternative farming or other foreign parents settling in Ireland were enrolled. I had in mind those people from Britain and the continent who settled around the countryside several years before the influx of asylum seekers from the third world. They wanted to escape suburban mediocrity and came to what then was a fringe, economically stangant island where out migration had been a trend since the middle of the 19th century. Their children had a constitutional right to primary schooling (the constitution also gives parents a right to opt out and give kids homeschooling) so some kids were enrolled in local catholic schools, but in some localities where there was a struggling C of I school other parents, new agers or agnostics, had their children enrolled there. Such parents learned that rural Irish protestants take religious culture seriously - they and the teachers can be quiet, lawabiding conservative church-attending citizens. Quite unlike the social indifference from which the settlers came.

Obviously in the big towns where multinational asylum seekers and legal immigrant workers have settled since the celtic tiger gold rush started about twenty years ago there is a need for the government to build new schools to cope with sudden population surges.

author by Mike - Judean Popular Peoples Frontpublication date Sat Feb 16, 2008 14:38Report this post to the editors

Even if Protestant schools were a fully suitable alternative for Children of nonchristian parents it should be remembered that in many parts of Ireland there are few (if any) Protestant schools

author by escaped from the Brotherspublication date Sat Feb 16, 2008 15:15Report this post to the editors

Whether such schools were "suitable alternatives for nonchristian children" isn't my point. Suitability is a relative matter, relative to the cultures of european countries and suburban backgrounds of the concerned immigrant families. Immigrants from Europe or the third world must expect to find cultural difference in the country to which they immigrate. Some such parents didn't like the religious symbols and garish plaster statues in catholic primary schools; other parents got a jolt when they learned that the rural protestant schools took religion seriously. I am aware that many incomers found the architecture of buildings quaint and the teaching methods old fashioned regardless of the denominational tag of individual schools. Small numbers chose the constitutionally permitted homeschooling option. But they should have realised that Ireland at the time, thirty or more years ago, had yet to emerge from second rate economic status in Europe. And Ireland hadn't flirted, unlike England, with daft
curriculum experiments that downgraded traditional attention to grammar, spelling and basic numeracy.

Maybe you aren't intimately acquainted with rural Munster, Connaught or Ulster. I can assure you that while protestant primary schools are sparse in certain counties, you'd be surprised to come across small numbers of them scattered around a bit doing their best to serve dispersed communities in large catchment areas.

So are hindus, muslims and jews in Dublin and elsewhere complaining about religious discrimination in the basic schooling sector? I think it is a numbers problem centered somewhere in north Dublin that can and should be tackled by the state building its own schools where the needs are great. It's a problem largely affecting children in the lower income suburbs. Elsewhere the well-to-do middle classes manage better, thank you.

author by Mike - Judean Popular Peoples Frontpublication date Sat Feb 16, 2008 22:35Report this post to the editors

"Suitability is a relative matter, relative to the cultures of european countries and suburban backgrounds of the concerned immigrant families"

Since when did one have to be part of an immigrant family to be non-christian ?

There are many fine Atheist, Agnostic, Pagan, Jewish (and even the odd Muslim) families who have been resident in Ireland for generations.

author by escaped from the Brotherspublication date Sat Feb 16, 2008 23:34Report this post to the editors

There has been a sprinkling of such rare flowers in the drab garden that was Ireland in the 1922-1970 era. They got their basic schooling around the corner like all others. The middle classes got something better. The lower classes took the boat to England, and having nothing higher than the Primary Cert (often not even that) had to take unskilled lowpaid jobs. Discrimination in schooling was based on income. Incidentally, in those years the sons of petit bourgeois jewish families - Clanbrassil Street and elsewhere - were enrolled without question in Christian Brother schools on the South Circular Road and Westland Row. They probably had the shit beaten out of them like their catholic schoolmates. No discrimination there.

author by Portiapublication date Wed Feb 27, 2008 22:13Report this post to the editors

Well the truth in the Dept of Justice- secret family courts is that the judge in my case feels it is not right for our children to associate with Alien Barbarian Buddhists..

So, we are progressing nicely I see.!!!!

Also MMM Hospital Drogheda asked " is there no hospital for his sort somewhere else."?? when asked the religion of the person in dire need of 50 stitches.

Oh yes, these experiences shed plenty of light on the truth of the situation.

author by Irish Nationalistpublication date Thu Apr 17, 2008 20:26Report this post to the editors

Mike, how do you expect a school to survive without funding from the Department of Education? I'm not talking about Belvedere College or Gonzaga, but the type of school that educates the vast majority of the pupils. The kind of school that we cannot afford to lose, because it will be hard to find places for pupils when the school closes.

Funding should not be withdrawn from these schools because they will close. It will lead to class sizes becoming unmanagable - more than fifty pupils per class.

author by Irish Nationalistpublication date Thu Apr 17, 2008 20:31Report this post to the editors

Read this column.

Related Link: http://archives.tcm.ie/westernpeople/2002/05/22/story62...2.asp
author by Irish Nationalistpublication date Thu Apr 17, 2008 20:57Report this post to the editors

Richard Dawkins claims that the troubles are due to religion - they are not - they are due to a colonial power in trouble when the natives don't want to be treated like dirt any more.

The story that it's all down to religion - or even partly down to religion - is just British propaganda. Richard Dawkins is of the British Establishment, so naturally, he follows their line on things.

Irish education is very tolerant - if it wasn't there would be cases taken to the Supreme Court.

author by Evolvedpublication date Thu Apr 17, 2008 23:21Report this post to the editors

Richard Dawkins is slated most of the time by the establishment. They want the masses to embrace religion and believe in god as this makes them easier to control, more accepting of their shitty lot in this life, whilst they dream of the next one in paradise in return for their being meek doormats in this one. Witness Tony blairs talks with god and all president bush's bullshit. It's political suicide to profess strong atheism. So leave Richard Dawkins out of this. He's cool!

author by Somapublication date Fri Apr 18, 2008 07:00Report this post to the editors

Opium is the religion of the people, and the drug barons are the blood priests who order executions of deviating dealers and smugglers.

author by Irish Nationalistpublication date Fri Apr 18, 2008 18:10Report this post to the editors

Richard Dawkins is a professor in Oxford University - you can't get much more Establishment that that.

His most recent book has sold extremely well, despite it being a book promoting atheism. Selling that well shows it is quite fashionable. Dawkins shows no sign of seeing that Northern Ireland is not a religiously-inspired conflict but one that results from colonialism.

author by Irish Nationalistpublication date Fri Apr 18, 2008 18:15Report this post to the editors

Your comparison of priests to drug dealers is something that could have come from Ian Paisley. Not all priests are deviants either - most aren't abusers.

Unfortunately there are still people using religious bigotry nowadays.

Have you read Brave New World by Aldous Huxley? Your screen name comes from it - it is about a dystopia that isn't religious.

author by Somapublication date Sat Apr 19, 2008 10:37Report this post to the editors

The drug barons demanding the death of deviant (welshing) dealers reminds me of pre-christian blood priests in the vanished Aztec, Mayan or Inca civilizations.

See: http://gallery.sjsu.edu/sacrifice/precolumbian.html

'Opium is the religion of the people' ironically reverses Lenin's notorious dictum as a comment on today'sdecadent postchristian celtic tiger Ireland. Citizens sleepwalk through their dysfunctional society as if sedated with soma.

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