Seanad to vote today on adding reflection before prayer

Discuss church-state separation issues that are relevant in Ireland.
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MichaelNugent
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Seanad to vote today on adding reflection before prayer

Post by MichaelNugent » Thu Feb 23, 2012 6:54 am

Please contact as many Irish Senators as you can this morning and ask them not to vote today for another ‘Irish solution to an Irish problem’, which avoids facing up to the actual issue (in this case, of whether the State should pray and enforce praying), and leaves it to future politicians to address the issue properly.

Senators will be asked today to vote that they must stand for 30 seconds of silent reflection each morning, before they continue the current practice of praying to the Christian God, asking that god to direct their actions so that every word and work of theirs may begin and end with that god through Christ their Lord.

The objection to a daily State prayer is quite simple. Senators as individual citizens are perfectly entitled to pray as much as they want. But when a particular prayer is put on the formal agenda of the Senate, it then becomes the State itself that is both praying and enforcing prayer, and this infringes on the human right to freedom of conscience of both the Senators and the Irish people who they represent.

Surprisingly, the new proposal is being supported by Senator Ivana Bacik and Senator Ronan Mullen, and is being described as a compromise that includes everyone. Actually it is an entrenchment and endorsement of the State both praying and enforcing prayer, as the non-Christian Senators are still obliged to stand for the Christian prayer, which is also the only prayer or reflection that is formally read out publicly.

Senators Bacik and Mullen, as well as Fine Gael Senator Paul Coghlan, believe that the Seanad may adopt the new proposal without a vote, but Independent senator Fiach Mac Conghail has said that there should be respectful and healthy discussion on the recommendation which would reflect the divergent views of members.

Two weeks ago Atheist Ireland wrote this letter to the members of the Seanad Committee on Procedures and Privilege. This is the committee at which the compromise proposal emerged, which is now being put before the full Seanad today.

Please contact as many Senators as you can this morning to let them know your opinions on this issue before they vote today.

You can get a full list of Senators email addresses here.
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Re: Seanad to vote today on adding reflection before prayer

Post by Beebub » Thu Feb 23, 2012 12:20 pm

Done.

Thanks for the list of e-mails.

As many people as possible should do this. It's ridiculous. I'm surprised that Ivan Bacik is happy to along with this charade. I'm not at all surprised by Ronan Mullen being supportive. He'll be delighted that not only is the Christian prayer being retained, but it will mean it's here to stay. If they vote this nonense through, there's no way the issue will be looked at again.
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Re: Seanad to vote today on adding reflection before prayer

Post by Beebub » Thu Feb 23, 2012 1:43 pm

Got an interesting reply from David Norris:
Thank you very much for your email and enclosed article which I read with great interest. It is always good to hear both sides of an argument so please rest assured that I will bear the points raised in the article in mind when considering my contribution to the debate on the silent reflection proposed.
With best wishes
David Norris

P.S. I actually although a Churchgoing Christian am opposed to the prayer altogether as it is a piece of ritualistic humbug.
I simply replied to thank him for replying and giving it his consideration. I was tempted to reply to say that if he is opposed to it, the best thing to do would be to vote no, but decided agaisnt it as he already told me he'd think about it. Anyone else get a reply?

PS. I didn't enlcose 'an article', I just wrote him an e-mail with my thoughts on it.
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Re: Seanad to vote today on adding reflection before prayer

Post by Beebub » Thu Feb 23, 2012 3:39 pm

Prayer and momentary silent reflection approved unanimously.

With best wishes.

Senator Paul Coghlan
Pox. What a load of shite!
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Re: Seanad to vote today on adding reflection before prayer

Post by mkaobrih » Thu Feb 23, 2012 5:16 pm

He sent me the same - I got a nicer one from Norris though
P.S. I actually although a Churchgoing Christian am opposed to the prayer altogether as it is a piece of ritualistic humbug.
The church complains of persecution when it's not allowed to persecute.
MichaelNugent
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Re: Seanad to vote today on adding reflection before prayer

Post by MichaelNugent » Sat Feb 25, 2012 1:47 am

As mentioned above, the motion was passed.

Here is the debate transcript on the Oireachtas website.
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Re: Seanad to vote today on adding reflection before prayer

Post by Feardorcha » Sat Feb 25, 2012 11:52 am

"Such a parcel of rogues in a nation."
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Re: Seanad to vote today on adding reflection before prayer

Post by yellowfish » Sat Apr 07, 2012 10:07 am

This was not a debate it was a bit of banter between friends, there was no depth to the discussion, no discussion of the reasoning behind secularism.

This little segment is about the only time the views of non believers were mentioned, apparently they are insulting.

Senator Thomas Byrne:

On behalf of my party, I support the amendment to Standing Orders to allow for a period of 30 seconds of reflection. It is an acceptable compromise. It is fair to say this is not a burning issue around the country. I received fewer than a dozen e-mails this morning on it. One or two were very insulting but most were very balanced.

Senator David Norris:

In what way were they insulting?

Senator Thomas Byrne:

By referring to religion as a fantasy. This is very unfortunate. One hears this view expressed by some of the organisations involved in this area from time to time. It is very important that we have respect for faith and individual faiths. I support the principle of non-denominational Christian prayer at the commencement of proceedings and support the change to introduce the period of reflection
How else are we to describe the basis of religion from an Atheist view? What a pointless and expensive crèche this senate is.
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Re: Seanad to vote today on adding reflection before prayer

Post by aZerogodist » Mon Apr 09, 2012 2:59 pm

Senator Thomas Byrne:
One or two were very insulting .... By referring to religion as a fantasy.
There should be a crime for that sort of thing.
my phone dictionary wrote:Blasphemous adjective (of speech or writing about god, religion etc) irreverent and without respect
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