|Atheist Ireland Member
Joined: Wed Jun 04, 2008 1:50 am
Here is an expanded version of the above, with some more specific examples...Step 1: Secular Constitution
Oaths: Remove the requirement for the President, judges and Council of State to swear a religious oath in the presence of Almighty God (Arts 12, 31, 34), and for the President and judges to ask God to direct and sustain them (12, 34), and replace these with a single neutral declaration that does not reveal any information about the person’s religious beliefs. Step 2: Secular Education
God: Remove the references to all authority coming from the Holy Trinity and our obligations to our divine Lord Jesus Christ (preamble); powers of government deriving under God from the people (6); the homage of public worship being due to Almighty God and the state holding his name in reverence (44); and the glory of God (closing line).
Religion: Replace the Article about religion (44) with a new Article about freedom of thought, conscience and religion; remove the reference to the State honouring religion; and explicitly treat religious and nonreligious philosophical beliefs equally.
Expression: Remove the crime of blasphemy from Article 6, and revise the rest of Article 6.1.1 to explicitly give priority to freedom of expression.
Education: Remove the reference to the inalienable duty of parents to provide for religious education of their children, and revise the rest of Article 42 to facilitate the setting up of a State secular education system.
Other: Examine other Articles that have been unduly influenced by Roman Catholic teachings, such as the impact on the rights of women of the reference to the right to life of the unborn (40.3), and the references, in the section about the family, to women having a life within the home and mothers having duties in the home that might be neglected by having to work (41).
Establish a secular State education system, as the default education system that is open equally to all children, that makes no distinction between children based on religious beliefs, and that does not include faith formation within school hours. Step 3: Secular Lawmaking
Until this ideal is reached, ensure that nondenominational primary schools are widely available in all regions of the State, as proposed by the United Nations Human Rights Committee.
Ensure that all schools convey all parts of the curriculum, including religious education, in an ‘objective, critical and pluralistic manner’, as ruled by the European Court of Human Rights, as enshrined in the Toledo Guiding Principles, and as recommended to the Irish Government by the Irish Human Rights Commission.
Provide effective remedies for parents to vindicate, in practice and law, their human right to ensure that their children’s education is not counter to their convictions, as enshrined in Human Rights treaties and based on rulings of the European Court of Human Rights.
End the prayer that starts each parliamentary day which asks the Christian God to direct the actions and every word and work of our parliamentarians, through Christ Our Lord.Step 4: Secular Government
Examine all existing and future laws to ensure that there is one law for all, based on human and civil rights and not on religious beliefs.
Remove the law against blasphemy from the Defamation Act 2009.
Repeal Section 7.2(c) of the Equal Status Act 2000, which allows a school to discriminate on the grounds of religion, when admitting pupils, in order to protect its religious ethos.
Repeal Section 37.1 of the Employment Equality Act 1998, which allows a school or hospital to discriminate on the grounds of religion, when employing new staff and when dealing with existing staff, in order to protect its religious ethos.
Repeal Section 12.4 of the Employment Equality Act 1998, which allows certain colleges that train teachers or nurses to discriminate on the grounds of religion, when admitting trainees, in order to protect the religious ethos of the schools and hospitals who will employ them.
Repeal or amend Sections 5.2(e) and 6.5 of the Equal Status Act 2000, which allow a person to discriminate on the grounds of religion, in relation to providing goods or services or selling a premises or providing accommodation, when it is for a religious purpose, but not when it is for a nonreligious philosophical purpose.
Repeal or amend Sections 3.1(c) and 3.4 of the Charities Act 2009, which includes the advancement of religion as one of four listed charitable purposes; and presumes, unless the contrary is proved, that a gift for the advancement of religion is of public benefit; but does not provide in the same way for the advancement of nonreligious philosophical beliefs.
Repeal or amend Section 3.6 of the Charities Act 2009, which provides that the terms of a charitable gift for the advancement of religion shall be construed in accordance with the laws, canons, ordinances and tenets of the religion concerned; but does not provide in the same way for the internal rules of nonreligious philosophical bodies.
Repeal or amend Sections 98 and 247 of the Copyright Act 2000, which allow recordings to be played for free at non-profit events for the advancement of religion, but not at similar events for the advancement of nonreligious philosophical beliefs.
Amend Section 54 of the Civil registration Act 2004, which allows religious bodies to apply for members to be appointed to solemnize marriages for civil law purposes, but does not allow non-religious philosophical bodies to apply.
Ensure that neither the Government, nor any institutions of the State, nor any State-funded bodies, give preferential treatment or access to any organization or category of people, on the basis of their religious or nonreligious philosophical beliefs.Step 5: Secular Courts
Until this ideal is reached, ensure that nonreligious philosophical organizations are given the same treatment and access as are religious organizations.
Ensure that all aspects of Government are conducted consistently with the State’s international obligations on human and civil and other personal rights, with particular regard to the European Union, the European Convention on Human Rights, the OSCE, and the various United Nations treaties which Ireland has signed.
Remove the requirement for judges to swear a religious oath, and replace it with a single neutral declaration that does not reveal any information about the judge’s religious beliefs.
Remove the requirement for defendants, witnesses and jurors to choose between a religious or nonreligious oath, and replace these with a single neutral declaration (or a question asked by the judge) that does not reveal any information about the person’s religious beliefs.
Amend Schedule 1 of the Juries Act 1976, which provides that a person in Holy Orders, a religious minister or a member of a religious order is excusable as of right from jury duty.