Tuesday 19 July 2011

A big difference between Irish and American Religosity

A final look at the Irish Catholic Bishops Conference summary of the 2008 European Values Study shows up how religion or lack of it is not an impediment to political office in the Republic of Ireland. This contrasts with the US where presidential hopefuls seem to outvie each other in their declations of religosity (of the right sort, obviously).

The following statements and tables are taken from the summary document:
[Republic of Ireland (ROI); Nothern Ireland (NI)]

‘Politicians who do not believe in God are unfit for public office’

That is, 85% of Irish Catholics in the ROI would not have a problem with an atheist politician. Indeed nearly two-thirds would take exception to you having a problem with that.

‘Religious leaders should not influence government decisions’

 83.2% of Irish Catholics in the ROI either agree or don't have an opinion, with 60% actively believing that the Church should stay out of politics.

'I have my own way of connecting with the Divine without Churches or religious services'
[on a scale of 1 to 5]
This one should give the Church pause and should also make the Establishment realise that the Church does not have the hearts and minds of all those it claims.  Only 13% of Irish Catholics in the ROI rely on the Church for their spiritual guidance while 60% effectively bypass the Church in their relationship with God. These sound more like Protestants than Catholics!

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