Saturday 24 December 2011
Monday 19 December 2011
“weekly Mass attendance in Dublin is down to 14 per cent (164,000 out of a Catholic population of 1,162,000).”
“Correspondingly, there has been a large increase in those claiming to have ‘no religion’: up from 27 per cent of the population in 1993 to 43 per cent in 2009. This figure is much higher than the figure of 19 per cent who said they had no religion in the 2006 Census as well as previous ISSP surveys. The difference is partly due to the fact that the 2009 ISSP asked people first if they had a religion before asking what was their religion. In other surveys and the Census, people have simply chosen their religion from a list in which 'no religion' was an option.”
“When asked the census question ‘What is your religion?’, 61% of people in England and Wales ticked a religious box (53.48% Christian and 7.22% other) while 39% ticked ‘No religion’.But when asked ‘Are you religious?’ only 29% of the same people said ‘Yes’ while 65% said ‘No’, meaning over half of those whom the census would count as having a religion said they were not religious.”
Wednesday 16 November 2011
Again the 55's and older appear to prop up the figures. So how much of the population is that cohort as a percentage?
Looking at the CSO website in the 2006 census, they account for 20% of the total population (or 26% of everyone over 14 years old) while the 15-54 age group is 59% of the total population (or 74% of everyone over 14 years old).
Of course, as it's actually 77% of the over 54's that are Catholic, that means the older religious group corresponds to 20% of the total adult population of Ireland.
Saturday 12 November 2011
1. Except in rare circumstances, drowning people are physiologically unable to call out for help. The respiratory system was designed for breathing. Speech is the secondary, or overlaid, function. Breathing must be fulfilled, before speech occurs. 2. Drowning people’s mouths alternately sink below and reappear above the surface of the water. The mouths of drowning people are not above the surface of the water long enough for them to exhale, inhale, and call out for help. When the drowning people’s mouths are above the surface, they exhale and inhale quickly as their mouths start to sink below the surface of the water.3. Drowning people cannot wave for help. Nature instinctively forces them to extend their arms laterally and press down on the water’s surface. Pressing down on the surface of the water, permits drowning people to leverage their bodies so they can lift their mouths out of the water to breathe. 4. Throughout the Instinctive Drowning Response, drowning people cannot voluntarily control their arm movements. Physiologically, drowning people who are struggling on the surface of the water cannot stop drowning and perform voluntary movements such as waving for help, moving toward a rescuer, or reaching out for a piece of rescue equipment. 5. From beginning to end of the Instinctive Drowning Response people’s bodies remain upright in the water, with no evidence of a supporting kick. Unless rescued by a trained lifeguard, these drowning people can only struggle on the surface of the water from 20 to 60 seconds before submersion occurs.
NUMBERS 31: 7 And they warred against the Midianites, as the Lord commanded Moses; and they slew all the males. … 9 And the children of Israel took all the women of Midian captives, and their little ones, … Moses was wroth with the officers of the host, with the captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, which came from the battle. 15 And Moses said unto them, Have ye saved all the women alive? ... 17 Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. 18 But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.
And thirty and two thousand persons in all, of women that had not known man by lying with him.
Deuteronomy 20:13-15 13 When the LORD your God delivers it into your hand, put to the sword all the men in it. 14 As for the women, the children, the livestock and everything else in the city, you may take these as plunder for yourselves. ...15 This is how you are to treat all the cities that are at a distance from you and do not belong to the nations nearby.
Samuel 15:3 Now go and strike Amalek and utterly destroy all that he has, and do not spare him; but put to death both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.’”
God taught Israel that any assimilation to pagan idolatry is intolerable. It was His way of preserving Israel’s spiritual health and posterity. God knew that if these Canaanite children were allowed to live, they would spell the undoing of Israel. The killing of the Canaanite children not only served to prevent assimilation to Canaanite identity but also served as a shattering, tangible illustration of Israel’s being set exclusively apart for God.
Moreover, if we believe, as I do, that God’s grace is extended to those who die in infancy or as small children, the death of these children was actually their salvation. We are so wedded to an earthly, naturalistic perspective that we forget that those who die are happy to quit this earth for heaven’s incomparable joy. Therefore, God does these children no wrong in taking their lives.So whom does God wrong in commanding the destruction of the Canaanites? Not the Canaanite adults, for they were corrupt and deserving of judgement. Not the children, for they inherit eternal life.
So who is wronged? Ironically, I think the most difficult part of this whole debate is the apparent wrong done to the Israeli soldiers themselves. Can you imagine what it would be like to have to break into some house and kill a terrified woman and her children? The brutalizing effect on these Israeli soldiers is disturbing.
It's worth noting that being killed with a sword (perhaps beheaded) was at the time one of the quickest ways for the children to die (as opposed to suffocation/strangulation, starvation, disease or being torn apart by wild animals
Wednesday 20 July 2011
"The revelations of the Cloyne report have brought the Government, Irish Catholics and the Vatican to an unprecedented juncture. It’s fair to say that after the Ryan and Murphy Reports Ireland is, perhaps, unshockable when it comes to the abuse of children. But Cloyne has proved to be of a different order.
Because for the first time in Ireland, a report into child sexual-abuse exposes an attempt by the Holy See, to frustrate an Inquiry in a sovereign, democratic republic…as little as three years ago, not three decades ago. And in doing so, the Cloyne Report excavates the dysfunction, disconnection, elitism....the narcissism .......that dominate the culture of the Vatican to this day.
The rape and torture of children were downplayed or ‘managed’ to uphold instead, the primacy of the institution, its power, standing and ‘reputation’. Far from listening to evidence of humiliation and betrayal with St Benedict’s “ear of the heart”......the Vatican’s reaction was to parse and analyse it with the gimlet eye of a canon lawyer.
The behaviour being a case of Roma locuta est: causa finita est. Except in this instance, nothing could be further from the truth.
A day post-publication, the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade met with the Papal Nuncio to Ireland, Archbishop Giuseppe Leanza. The Tánaiste left the Archbishop clear on two things: The gravity of the actions and attitude of the Holy See. And Ireland’s complete rejection and abhorrence of same. The Papal Nuncio undertook to present the Cloyne Report to the Vatican. The Government awaits the considered response of the Holy See.
...this is not Rome. Nor is it industrial-school or Magdalene Ireland, where the swish of a soutane smothered conscience and humanity and the swing of a thurible ruled the Irish-Catholic world. This is the ‘Republic’ of Ireland 2011.
A Republic of laws.....of rights and responsibilities....of proper civic order..... where the delinquency and arrogance of a particular version..... of a particular kind of ‘morality’..... will no longer be tolerated or ignored.
...those who have been abused can take some small comfort in knowing that they belong to a nation...[w]here the law - their law - as citizens of this country, will always supercede canon laws that have neither legitimacy nor place in the affairs of this country....
Cardinal Josef Ratzinger said “Standards of conduct appropriate to civil society or the workings of a democracy cannot be purely and simply applied to the Church.”
As the Holy See prepares its considered response to the Cloyne Report, as Taoiseach, I am making it absolutely clear, that when it comes to the protection of the children of this State, the standards of conduct which the Church deems appropriate to itself, cannot and will not, be applied to the workings of democracy and civil society in this republic.Not purely, or simply or otherwise. CHILDREN.... FIRST."
Tuesday 19 July 2011
The following statements and tables are taken from the summary document:
[Republic of Ireland (ROI); Nothern Ireland (NI)]
Some of the other stuff is very interesting. Only half of Irish Catholics believe in Hell and a quarter don't believe in Heaven! A tenth don't even believe in God. I don't remember re-incarnation being part of Catholicism but for a third of Irish Catholics it is...
So how important is God to Irish Catholics on a scale of 1 to 10? While it is definitely skewed to the high end, you have to ask yourself, if you were a good believing Catholic, would you not go all the way to eleven on this question?
So, in the Republic of Ireland, of those that self-identify as Catholic:
- Only half believe in Hell
- Only three-quarters believe in Heaven
- 10% don't even believe in God (sure that makes them atheists?)
- A quarter believe in an impersonal God (and 17% either are atheists or don't know what they think)
- Roughly half pray at least once a week, while about a third are doing well to pray once a year.
Tuesday 28 June 2011
Friday 24 June 2011
Sunday 19 June 2011
Monday 13 June 2011
"But is there not the uncomfortable worry that religion -- theology -- is always going to play second fiddle, having to give way in the face of science? ... It may be true that this is a one-way process, but in no way does this imply that theology is inferior."
Yup, it does kind of imply that actually.
Religion seems to have at least four stances with regard to science.
Science as heresy. See christianity's history in Europe with astronomy as a prime example. Arguably creationists fall in this category too, though I'm more thinking of when a religion has the temporal power to kill or imprison those it decides to define as heretics.
Science to be denied. Creationists are the prime example. Their strange twistings of science, but only of those parts that are problematical, are a wonder to behold. I look forward to somebody showing that something like gravity is incompatible with the bible and seeing how they deny that...
Science to be impugned. As religion surrenders its explaining power to science, it attempts to belittle science. The attitude is that science may be able to explain questions like how we came about, the laws of physics, how to fly, how to make effective medicine etc, but that they still hold authority over important questions like the kind of sex God wants to see in bedrooms around the world (He's a bit of a prude apparently). More seriously though, they try to claim morality and ethics as their own, disenfranchising anybody coming from a non-believing scientific background as having anything worthwhile to say about these subjects.
Science to be pwned. This is the attitude of those who realise the truth of science and so have to demonstrate that their religion already knew all of science before science existed. Thus we have Hindu Science and Islamic Science, amongst others no doubt. It is bizarre to read how the Rig Veda has amongst other things the correct value for the speed of light, while a new one to me, the Koran had geology sorted out long before Lyell et al did.
Sunday 12 June 2011
- Reform of education – it will make publicly-funded schools with a secular ethos available.
- Constitutional Review – will “consider the continued relevance of religious references in the Constitution”, whatever that means.
- Blasphemy – It should not be a criminal offence.
- Religious ethos of hospitals – no interest in addressing.
- Equality Law – agree that religious bodies should be treated no different to other bodies
- Tax – no intention to make churches pay their fair share of tax.
the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Dublin says that it “does not make use of baptismal registers for calculating the Catholic population of the Archdiocese of Dublin. It relies solely on the data from the Central Statistics Office, obtained through the census, by which citizens themselves choose to record, or not, their religious affiliation.”These numbers feed into decisions on funding for schools for example and if they can be used by the Catholic church to defend their control of most of our schools, they will be, even if the church knows they do not represent the number of genuinely devout Catholics (if we use regular mass attendence as a criteria).
If the census asked a less leading question than "What is your religion?", such as "How religious are you?", then we might get a better picture. Unfortunately Atheist Ireland was unable to get the question changed for the 2011 census. I think the census results will be published in July and it'll be interesting reading. However it is unlikely to be an accurate reading, as far as religion is concerned.