This is a response by Atheist Ireland chairperson Michael Nugent to Dick Spicer’s open letter to Atheist Ireland last week, followed by documentary evidence that the HAI does in fact promote the political cause of separation of church and state, contrary to the assertions made by the current HAI Board in order to sign up to the Civil Registration Act.
I respect the contributions that Dick Spicer and the current HAI Board members have made to the advancement of secularism in Ireland, and several of them are my personal friends. But I believe that they have lost perspective on this issue.
I have waited a week to respond, because I wanted to enable others to read Dick’s letter on its own merits, without me shifting the focus by immediately responding. I hope that we can tease out or differences reasonably.
Because Dick’s letter says very little about the Civil Registration Act itself, I have confined myself here to responding to the points that he made in his letter, which are largely about the political philosophies of Atheist Ireland and the HAI. These are important issues to discuss, as they go to the heart of this matter.