John Carey’s views on the role of Religion in Society.

The questions below were posed by Atheist Ireland and will be published on www.atheist.ie.

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?

I think it is very important that the government should fund schools which are run on a secular basis. It is no longer acceptable to expect that every child in Ireland is Catholic.  Nor is it necessary that every national school should have a catholic priest on the management board. Priests (usually) do not have children.

2.      Would you support a referendum to remove religious references from the Constitution?

In my opinion, the whole Constitution needs to be totally rewritten in order to separate Church from State. The current Constitution is outdated, lacking any provision for the many changes which have occurred in Irish society over the decades. A new Constitution should reflect the Irish people's needs in relation to secularism, women's equality, children's rights, father's rights, gay rights, multiculturalism, and so on.


3.      Do you believe that blasphemy should be a criminal offence? No.

4.      Would you support legislation to prevent hospitals from having a religious ethos?

Yes, while acknowledging the invaluable services to health carried out by religious orders in Ireland over the years, it is time that hospitals should be run by the State for all of the people of the State equally. Presently, services for women especially, are governed and directed by religious ideals rather than serving the needs of the patient.

5.      If elected, would you vote to ensure that religious bodies are treated the same as other organisations under equality and employment legislation?

Yes, why not? The law of the land should apply to all.

6.      Do you believe that religions should have to pay their fair share of tax on income that does not come from charitable activities?

Most definitely. The State's tax laws should obviously apply to a multi-national corporation as large as the Catholic Church, and in this particular case, we wouldn't have to fear that it would pull out of Ireland as a result. 

7.      If you wish to provide a brief general statements of your views on the future development of secularisation in Ireland, or to highlight any previous comments you have made on related issues, please do so.

Just to repeat that I would support a referendum on the writing of a new Irish Constitution.


 



 

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