More non-religious marriages, yet State schools still evangelise children

Last year 41% of Marriages in Ireland were non-religious. Year by year this figure is growing. Despite this, the Department of Education still seeks to evangelise children from these families into a religious way of life.

In addition, many children from non-religious families are left sitting at the back of the class if they try to exercise their Constitutional rights to not attend religion classes.

Successive Ministers for Education have failed to tackle this situation and continue to bury their heads in the sand.

The CSO figures read:

“In 2019, religious ceremonies accounted for 59.0% of all marriages.   There were 8,863 (43.6%) Catholic marriage ceremonies, 289 (1.4%) Church of Ireland ceremonies, The Spiritualist Union of Ireland performed 1,618 (8.0%) ceremonies and 1,220 (6.0%) couples opted for other religious ceremonies.   The majority of non-religious ceremonies were civil marriages which accounted for 31.6% (6,410) of all marriages; the remaining 1,913 (9.4%) couples had Humanist ceremonies.

The main aim of the State Religious Education course at second level is:

“Religious Education aims to develop knowledge, understanding, skills, attitudes and values to enable young people to come to an understanding of religion and its relevance to life, relationships, society and the wider world. It aims to develop the students’ ability to examine questions of meaning, purpose and relationships, to help students understand, respect and appreciate people’s expression of beliefs, and to facilitate dialogue and reflection on the diversity of beliefs and values that inform responsible decision-making and ways of living.”

Imagine if the main aim of any course was to enable children to develop knowledge, understanding, skills attitudes and values to enable them to come to an understanding of atheism and its relevance to life, relationships, society and the wide world?

If that happened, which of course it shouldn’t, we would never hear the end of it until it was resolved. It would correctly be seen as indoctrination and disrespecting the rights of religious parents and their children.

There needs to be a re-balancing of rights in our education system. If these numbers were in any other area our politicians would be moving to do something about this evangelising and discrimination.

Please put pressure on your local TDs to do something about the religious discrimination in the education system, and the fact that the state is evangelising minorities into a religious way of life.


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