New constitution?

Discuss church-state separation issues that are relevant in Ireland.
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Irish Atheists and Humanists should make replacing the Irish Constitution a priority.

Poll ended at Mon May 07, 2007 9:48 pm

Agree
7
58%
Agree, but there are more important things
5
42%
Disagree
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 12
Boreas
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New constitution?

Post by Boreas » Mon Apr 23, 2007 9:48 pm

In the Name of the Most Holy Trinity, from Whom is all authority and to Whom, as our final end, all actions both of men and States must be referred,
We, the people of Éire,
Humbly acknowledging all our obligations to our Divine Lord, Jesus Christ, Who sustained our fathers through centuries of trial,
Gratefully remembering their heroic and unremitting struggle to regain the rightful independence of our Nation,
And seeking to promote the common good, with due observance of Prudence, Justice and Charity, so that the dignity and freedom of the individual may be assured, true social order attained, the unity of our country restored, and concord established with other nations,
Do hereby adopt, enact, and give to ourselves this Constitution.
Neesik
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Post by Neesik » Mon Apr 23, 2007 9:57 pm

Hi Boreas, and Image welcome to the forum.
Abstinence makes the Church grow fondlers.
bipedalhumanoid
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Post by bipedalhumanoid » Tue Apr 24, 2007 8:56 am

The constitution is biggoted and exclusionist. I can't think of a higher priority for a multi-cultural society. Of course it will be a long slog. Step 1 is to change the way people think. By then the dinosaurs running the country will be dead so we can skip step 2 and wah-la! 50 years on we get to step 3... referendum.
Colin
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Re: New constitution?

Post by Colin » Tue Apr 24, 2007 9:44 am

Boreas wrote:
In the Name of the Most Holy Trinity, from Whom is all authority and to Whom, as our final end, all actions both of men and States must be referred,
We, the people of Éire,
Humbly acknowledging all our obligations to our Divine Lord, Jesus Christ, Who sustained our fathers through centuries of trial,
Gratefully remembering their heroic and unremitting struggle to regain the rightful independence of our Nation,
And seeking to promote the common good, with due observance of Prudence, Justice and Charity, so that the dignity and freedom of the individual may be assured, true social order attained, the unity of our country restored, and concord established with other nations,
Do hereby adopt, enact, and give to ourselves this Constitution.
That is from the preamble and has no legal status. The real problem with the Constitution is Article 44 and in particular 44.1
Article 44.1 wrote:The State acknowledges that the homage of public worship is due to Almighty God. It shall hold His Name in reverence, and shall respect and honour religion.
Although Article 44.2 and its subsections do go some way to ensuring a secular society, rather than Catholic Ireland.
Article 44.2 wrote: 1° Freedom of conscience and the free profession and practice of religion are, subject to public order and morality, guaranteed to every citizen.

2° The State guarantees not to endow any religion.

3° The State shall not impose any disabilities or make any discrimination on the ground of religious profession, belief or status.

4° Legislation providing State aid for schools shall not discriminate between schools under the management of different religious denominations, nor be such as to affect prejudicially the right of any child to attend a school receiving public money without attending religious instruction at that school.

5° Every religious denomination shall have the right to manage its own affairs, own, acquire and administer property, movable and immovable, and maintain institutions for religious or charitable purposes.

6° The property of any religious denomination or any educational institution shall not be diverted save for necessary works of public utility and on payment of compensation.
Over all there is room for improvement in particular with the inclusion of a personal god, however since the fifth amendment, which removed the special position of the Catholic Church and the recognition of other named religious denominations, non belief is as protected as belief in the form of an unenumerated right. (Just as freedom of disassociation is a necessary corollary of freedom of association, freedom of disbelief is a necessary corollary of freedom of belief.)
CitizenPaine
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Re: New constitution?

Post by CitizenPaine » Tue Apr 24, 2007 2:58 pm

Article 44.2 wrote: 2° The State guarantees not to endow any religion.

3° The State shall not impose any disabilities or make any discrimination on the ground of religious profession, belief or status.

4° Legislation providing State aid for schools shall not discriminate between schools under the management of different religious denominations, nor be such as to affect prejudicially the right of any child to attend a school receiving public money without attending religious instruction at that school.
Thank you Colin for bringing this to our attention. I never read the constitution, which is a major oversight. I'm not a lawyer but a first glance at the above makes me wonder about the consitutionality of the following, which is happening as we speak:

(a) allowing a situation to exist where the children of non-believers are made to appear different in state primary schools when they have to be excused from Catholic indroctrination classes. Anything that makes a child appear atypical can be damaging for that child and

(b) excluding religions institutions from the provisions of anti-discrimination legislation, particularly where it relates to schools, on the grounds that the so-called "ethos" of the school has to be maintained.

CitizenPaine
The moving finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.

From the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam (FitzGerald version)
Boreas
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Re: New constitution?

Post by Boreas » Tue Apr 24, 2007 5:39 pm

Article 44.2 wrote:
3° The State shall not impose any disabilities or make any discrimination on the ground of religious profession, belief or status.


There is also an issue with the contradiction between the above and the oath set down for the President
Article 12.8 wrote: "In the presence of Almighty God I ,do solemnly and sincerely promise and declare that I will maintain the Constitution of Ireland and uphold its laws, that I will fulfil my duties faithfully and conscientiously in accordance with the Constitution and the law, and that I will dedicate my abilities to the service and welfare of the people of Ireland. May God direct and sustain me."
and 31.4 (Council of State) and 34.5 (Judges)

Put simply Atheists, or at least honest ones, are barred from these roles.

Constitution of Ireland
Colin
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Post by Colin » Wed Apr 25, 2007 2:38 am

You are allowed to affirm any oath. Otherwise non Catholics could not give sworn evidence.
Boreas
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Post by Boreas » Wed Apr 25, 2007 10:51 am

I'm not sure if that's true Colin.

You can use the Solemn Affirmation (one of the NSS first campaigns btw) when giving evidence in court but the oaths for President are set down in the constitution.
lostexpectation
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Post by lostexpectation » Sun Dec 07, 2008 6:07 pm

test
lostexpectation
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Re: New constitution?

Post by lostexpectation » Sun May 03, 2009 5:13 pm

remember
this thread

here the references to god
http://www.secularireland.org/wiki/inde ... of_Ireland


whether we do it at the same times as the lisbon vote we should campaign for referendum on basis that we have about 6 or 7 questions we need to put to the people, we could have the most per amendment cost effective referendum ever. not that i think cost is issue when it comes to our constitution.

remember how the death penalty and ICC referendums were held on the same day as Nice 1

or you could campaign to have it the same time as the UN children's rights bill, and partly frame as giving children the right not to have religion imposed on them http://www.childrensrights.ie/index.php

HAI details them too
http://irishhumanism.org/resources/HAID ... 070705.pdf

but doesn't go as far to nail down exactly what it would be replaced with anyone brave enough?

although somebody mentioned
Removing God from the Constitution would require a new constitution, or at the very least two seperate referendums, as there is no legal mechanism to amend the preamble.
so a two stage referendum campaign for that part would be fair, have one to enable the change then another to confirm it.
test
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