Teaching children to “procreate with God”
The Catholic Bishops have introduced a new course in what is effectively catholic sex and morality education, to be taught along with the state syllabus in Social personal and Health Education in primary schools around the country.
They say the new course is based on the teachings of Jesus Christ, and will be delivered within a moral framework that reflects the teachings of the Catholic Church. It includes teachings such as: “Puberty is a gift from God. We are perfectly designed by God to procreate with him.”
The NCCA is updating syllabus SPHE at present. Any updated course will be delivered according to the ethos of the school. As most schools are under the patronage of the Catholic church it is Catholic moral and social education of no moral and social education at all.
But all children have a Constitutional right to a basic moral and social education without attending religious instruction. Atheist Ireland will continue to lobby to have this right vindicated. Please join Atheist Ireland as a member and help us to maintain this important work.
– Secular Sunday Editorial Team
Chun ár gcuid feachtais a leathnú agus a neartú, tá sé beartaithe ag Éire Aindiach níos mó úsáid a bhaint as an Ghaeilge.
Ba mhaith linn meitheal a eagrú, chun cuidiú le:
- Polasaithe agus feachtais Éire Aindiach a phlé ar an raidió nó ar an teilifís
- Cuidiú le doiciméid ghaeilge a scríobh
- Bualadh le polaiteoirí chun stocaireacht a dhéanamh
Táimid i mbun aistriúcháin a dhéanamh ar dhoiciméid polasaí faoi láthair, agus teastaíonn cabhair uainn le aistriúchán agus profáil. Más maith leat bheith páirteach san iarracht seo, cur ríomhphost chugainn ag email@example.com.
To broaden and strengthen our campaigns, Atheist Ireland have undertaken to make more use of the Irish language.
We are looking to assemble a group of volunteers, to help with:
- Discussing our policies and campaigns on radio or tv
- Helping to write documents in Irish
- Meeting with politicians to lobby them
We are in the process of translating policy documents at the moment, and we need some help with translating and proofreading. If you would like to assist with this effort, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Atheist Ireland News
Catholic Bishops circle the croziers with new Sex and Morality Education course
As the NCCA is updating the syllabus for Social, Personal, and Health Education (SPHE), the Catholic Bishops are circling the croziers by introducing a new course called ‘Flourish’ in publicly funded national schools.
Flourish is officially Relationship and Sex Education, and in practice is Catholic Sex and Morality Education. It is to be taught, along with syllabus SPHE, in the vast majority of schools in Ireland where the local Catholic Bishop is Patron.
What does the course include?
The Catholic Bishops state in the course’s vision that:
“In delivering such a programme the Catholic school aims to provide a framework based on the teachings of Jesus Christ and reflecting the dignity of each person created in the image and likeness of God.”
“The SPHE curriculum for primary schools determines what children will learn in terms of RSE as part of a spiral curriculum. The Catholic school must consider these topics within a moral framework that reflects the teachings of the Church.”
The introduction to ‘Flourish’ says that when discussing LGBT issues:
“The Church’s teaching in relation to marriage between a man and a woman cannot be omitted.”
The strands and themes include:
For Junior classes, under Safety and Protection: “God will help us as we try to keep ourselves safe.”
For Senior classes, under Growing and Changing: “Sex is a gift from God… Puberty is a gift from God. We are perfectly designed by God to procreate with him.”
Under Myself and the Wider World, Junior Infants are told: “I have friends. Jesus is my friend.” Senior Infants are told: “Sometimes I need help. I ask for help. I can always ask for God’s help.”
One lesson on Keeping Safe includes the following:
“Together we will say the ‘Angel of God’ prayer: Angel sent by God to guide me, Be my light and walk beside me, Be my guardian and protect me, On the path of life direct me. Amen.”
Saying prayers together is not education. It is the practice of religion.
Nonreligious families must send their children to these schools
The Vision section of the course also states that:
“In Share the Good News: National Directory for Catechesis in Ireland, inculturation is seen as a very important principle for Catholic Religious Education. We live in a culturally transformed Ireland which is reflected in the modern classroom, made up of children from a diverse range of countries and religious beliefs. The assumptions of yesteryear in terms of faith formation within the family no longer stand. In many cases, the classroom will be the first, and possible only, place that the child considers their actions in terms of the teachings of the gospels.”
For context, ‘inculturation’ in Catholic theology is a process of engagement between the Christian Gospel and a particular culture. Pope John Paul II’s New Evangelisation strategy applied this to cultures that were traditionally Catholic but are now becoming more secular.
It is clear from this that the Bishops are aware that minorities both religious and nonreligious have no option but to sent their children to publicly funded national schools under the patronage of the Catholic church. They see this as an opportunity to indoctrinate children from minority backgrounds.
Why on earth would non religious parents want their children taught moral and social values based on the supposed teachings of a god? There is no balancing of rights here, but the tightening of control to ensure that the Catholic Church can continue to evangelise and indoctrinate. Read more…
Calling concerned teachers
If you are a teacher and concerned about unwanted religious influence contact Chris at email@example.com
List of Atheist Ireland Submissions
Buy this book “Is My Family Odd About Gods?”
**Schools Special Offer**
As Covid continues and schools start back online, Atheist Ireland are offering the book ‘Is my family odd about gods‘ free (excluding postage and packaging). This means that you can get this book for the total price of 10 euro. This offer is aimed at families with school going children, who would like to read this book during their online school term. This offer is limited to one book per family unit and for postage within Ireland only. Read more…
Have you noticed that your school and your teachers may tell you one thing about religion, while some of your friends and family may have different ideas about god?
If you think that this is a little odd, then this book is for you. Buy this book here.
Lessons about Atheism
Atheist Ireland has published a set of free lesson plans about atheism for children aged 8 and up. We welcome feedback, which we will use to develop the lessons. You can download the lesson plans here
Be Good without Gods
Atheist Ireland ‘Good Without Gods’ Kiva team members have made loans of $31,450 to 1091 entrepreneurs in the developing world. You can join the team here. Before you chose a loan, make sure you do not support religious groups. You can check the loan partner’s social and secular rating here.
Atheist Ireland’s ‘notme.ie‘ is a place where people can publicly renounce the religion of their childhood. Currently there are 1832 symbolic defections. Many share their reasons for making a public symbolic defection which you can read here.
Petition on Schools Equality PACT
Atheist Ireland currently runs one petition – The Schools Equality PACT. This seeks to reform religious discrimination in state-funded schools. Currently this stands at 4,052 Help us reach it’s target of 5000. Please sign and share this petition if you haven’t already done so. Thank you.
Tell us what you think
Have you any feedback that you would like to give us on the Secular Sunday newsletter. What are we getting right? What could we improve on? Is there something you would like to see included? Drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please consider joining or re-joining Atheist Ireland
Atheist Ireland is an entirely volunteer run organisation. We receive no grants or government funding to continue our campaign work. We rely entirely on membership fess and donations.
Annual membership is nominal; €25 waged, €10 unwaged/student and €40 for family membership. Please consider becoming a member. Membership means:
- You can help to build an ethical and secular Ireland.
- You have a say in determining policy and electing officers.
- You can attend members meetings and our AGM.
- You will have access to our members only Facebook group
- Your membership fee will go towards supporting our many campaigns.
You can join Atheist Ireland here.
Thank you for your continued support
Atheist Ireland Committee
A year in jail for Nigeria’s ‘atheist with a cause’
By Louise Dewast
Amina Ahmed is tired. Day and night, she waits by her phone for news of her husband, languishing behind bars in northern Nigeria for close to a year. Eight months after she married Mubarak Bala, a self-proclaimed atheist she met online, in an intimate ceremony, he was detained by police on April 28, 2020, and taken to an unknown destination. Read more…
Raise awarness on blasphemy law abuse
Opinion and Media
Material on atheism, secularism, human rights,politics,science etc. collected from media and the blogosphere from Ireland and beyond; used without permission, compensation, liability, guarantee or implied endorsement. We aim to include a variety of diverse opinions and viewpoints.
Blogs & Opinions
Irish elections and referendums must be shielded from external influence
By Liz Carolan
In May 2018, anti-abortion activist Emily Faulkner landed in Dublin Airport. She and a group of fellow activists had held a fundraiser in her native United States to raise $10,000 to pay for travel and campaign materials. They had feared they would be turned away by immigration officials, but as she pointed out, it “turns out nothing we were originally planning on doing was illegal at all”. Read more…
An open letter to the AHA about Richard Dawkins
By Michael Nugent
I have written the following letter to the American Humanist Association. Please reconsider your decision to publicly withdraw from Richard Dawkins the Humanist of the Year award that you gave him in 1996. By doing this you are sustaining a pattern in recent years of people unjustly portraying Richard as something of a cartoon villain. You are of course entitled to publicly disagree with or dissociate from Richard’s opinions. Indeed, your executive director Roy Speckhardt wrote an article in 2014 that criticised both Richard and former AHA Honorary President Gore Vidal for what Roy called “arrogant atheism”. Read more…
‘Serious rebuke’ for RTÉ as God sketch complaints upheld
By Colin Coyle
The broadcasting watchdog has upheld ten complaints against RTÉ over a satirical sketch that depicted God as a rapist on its New Year’s Eve countdown programme.
RTÉ said yesterday it would broadcast a statement reflecting the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland decision before tonight’s Nine O’Clock News. The BAI found the sketch breached several of the principles of its code of programme standards. It is understood the findings represent a “serious rebuke” for RTÉ. Read online…
Northern Ireland First Minister: Faith-based teacher discrimination law ‘needs to be dealt with’
By Northern Ireland Humanists
An exemption to equality law allowing schools in Northern Ireland to employ teachers on religious grounds ‘needs to be dealt with’, Northern Ireland’s First Minister Arlene Foster has said. Northern Ireland Humanists – which has recently met with MLAs from across the political spectrum to inform them of the problems with this form of discrimination – has welcomed the comments.Responding to an oral question from UUP MLA John Stewart, Mrs Foster said the exception to the Fair Employment and Treatment (Northern Ireland) Order 1998 (FETO) needs to be reviewed, but that progress on this work had been ‘impeded by the current crisis and the pressure on staff and ministerial time’. Read more…
Poland activists urge people to think before ticking Catholic box in census
By Weronika Strzyżyńska
Activists in Poland are asking people to consider if they are truly Roman Catholic when filling out a national census, hoping a more accurate picture of the country’s makeup will challenge a government narrative of near-universal Catholicism.
In the previous census, completed a decade ago, 96% of respondents claimed they were Roman Catholic. Read more…
The Trick of Evocative Science Writing: “Books Do Furnish a Life” by Richard Dawkins
By Daniel James Sharp
In his previous essay collection, Science in the Soul, Richard Dawkins ponders why a scientist has never received the Nobel Prize in Literature—the only possible exception, Henri Bergson, was “more of a mystic than a true scientist”—since science, he argues, is a subject more than capable of sparking the imagination and inspiring talented penmanship. Read more…
Prime minister and state TV join national Bible reading day in Poland
By Ben Koschalka
Senior officials and public television in Poland yesterday took part in the Catholic church’s national Bible reading day. The prime minister was one of the patrons of the event, while the education minister announced plans to make biblical studies an academic discipline. Read more…
NSS urges repeal, not enforcement, of law on worship in schools
By The National Secular Society
The National Secular Society has urged the government to repeal the law requiring collective worship in schools in England after a minister said it would “investigate” schools which breached it. The NSS has written to schools minister Nick Gibb to urge him to clarify recent comments to parliament and repeal the law. Read more…
If you are a blogger or vlogger writing or talking about atheism, secularism, ethics, skepticism, human rights etc. and would like us to include your work here please email the link to email@example.com
Podcasts, Videos and Interviews
Do you host an Irish-based podcast on atheism, secularism, science, skepticism, human rights etc.? Let us know and we will link to it here.
News and views from Ireland and around the world. Sharing is not an endorsement.