Six Questions for Secular Voters

Atheist Ireland is writing to all election candidates asking their views on six questions that are central to building a rational, ethical society with a secular State that does not support any religion. We will publish the candidates’ replies before the election.

We also ask voters to ask their local candidates these six questions. Most of us will vote based on economic policies or party allegiance. If several candidates share your views on these issues, please choose the candidate that most supports a rational, ethical, secular Ireland. Ask them:

1. Will you work to reform the education system so that all children in your constituency can access publicly-funded schools which have no religious ethos?
2. Would you support a referendum to remove religious references from the Constitution, including the religious oath for the President and Judges?
3. Do you believe that blasphemy should be a criminal offence?
4. Would you support legislation to prevent state-funded hospitals from having a religious ethos that makes medical decisions based on religious beliefs?
5. Would you vote to ensure that religious bodies are treated the same as other organisations under equality and employment legislation?
6. Do you believe that religions, like other organisations, should have to pay their fair share of tax on income that is not used to fund charitable activities?

In the last Census, over a quarter of a million people either ticked the ‘No Religion’ box (186,000), or didn’t answer the question (70,000), or wrote in an answer that isn’t a religion (over 2,000). With the dramatic changes in Irish society since the last Census, we believe the figure today is much higher.

We also hope that many religious Irish people will want to practice their faith without seeking support from the State that discriminates against other citizens. Please vote to support a secular Ireland, where every citizen has the right to their religious beliefs, and where the State remains neutral on these beliefs.

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Michael Nugent

6 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Gavin Tobin January 26, 2011

    Michael,

    Will you publish replys by constituency as they come in?

    GT

  2. Avatar
    Sceptic January 27, 2011

    I see on the Mid West Humanists website they have a suggested question: “Do you favour the introduction of legislation to regulate abortion?”. How come Atheist Ireland doesn’t have the courage of its convictions to suggest the same rather than the rather fuzzy No 4 one?

  3. Avatar
    Michael Nugent January 28, 2011

    Gavin – Yes, we will do that.

    Sceptic – at our last AGM we decided that on complex ethical issues such as euthenasia and abortion, our position is that society should address these issues based on human rights and compassion, and applying reason to empirical evidence, and not on religious doctrines.

    We’re currently discussing (on the forum part of this website) having a members meeting about this with speakers who have different opinions.

  4. Avatar
    Gary January 28, 2011

    Whether there is actually an all-powerful God, it will not hurt a society to be God fearing. If a society is not God fearing that will be the ultimate judge, do you expect it to fear man who is less powerful? If you say that you can fear man who has no fear in a God, then that man will be your God.

  5. Avatar
    bipedalhumanoid February 01, 2011

    @Gary

    What an awful world it would be without god fearing citizens. We’d have murders, drug use, corruption, child rape… oh right…