Every week in Newsline we have a couple of quotes of the week on topics related to secularism. Please feel free to share these images.
Fri, 22 Jun 2018
Something else that makes a mockery of the system is the fact that we still have clerics legislating – the 26 bishops, or lords spiritual. The only other country that has clerics who legislate is Iran. I shall let it sink in that we are part of that.
By removing this provision from our constitution, we can send a strong message to the world that laws against blasphemy do not reflect Irish values and that we do not believe such laws should exist.
The best we can do for our children is to teach them to think for themselves, not tell them what to think.
Fri, 15 Jun 2018
I'd like an acknowledgement of the suffering these women have been through. A lot of it is tied up with the churches: it was under their authority that these things happened. Nothing can compensate for the loss, but an acknowledgement is what we need.
It is essential that children of all faiths or none, from a wide mixture of class, cultural and race backgrounds are educated together. Young children are naturally both curious and non-judgmental; when they meet as equals in the classroom they will learn mutual acceptance which will help create a more cohesive and less fearful society.
Fri, 08 Jun 2018
If, as well as the curtailment on their autonomy which this involves, [women] are carrying a foetus with a fatal abnormality or have been the victims of rape or incest, they are condemned, because legislation enacted in another era has decreed it, to endure untold suffering and desolation. What is that, if it is not humiliation and debasement?
Fri, 01 Jun 2018
What we've seen is the culmination of a quiet revolution that's taken place in Ireland for the past 10 or twenty years… The people have said we want a modern constitution for a modern country, that we trust women and we respect them to make the right decision, the right choices about their own healthcare.
It's hypocritical, degrading and insulting to Northern Irish women that we are forced to travel for vital healthcare services but cannot access them at home. We cannot be left behind in a corner of the UK and on the island of Ireland as second-class citizens.
If in doubt, better not let them enter.
Fri, 25 May 2018
What I find so disturbing about this debate is the heavy hand of the pious upon it. Behind them stand the serried ranks of a church that has shown itself undeserving of the respect it still expects and demands. From child abuse scandals to the cruel and demeaning treatment of unwed mothers and their vulnerable children, to the hypocrisy of a celibate clergy (who were often anything but) pontificating on how women should think and behave, Catholicism has imposed a legacy of shame and denigration that, in its harshness and misogyny, is worse than medieval.
It's so important that the government recognises the mistakes it made and guarantees it won't make them again… If I'd had inclusive and compulsory sex education at school, I don't think I'd be HIV positive today.
Fri, 18 May 2018
At a time when hate attacks against Muslims are having a serious impact on many people, let us try to ensure that obfuscation through the use of the term 'Islamophobia' does not take away from the real-world problems facing Muslims.
If the [sexual] act is not ordered towards creation, then it is not procreative and therefore it is not a legitimate expression of sexuality, as far as we are concerned.
Fri, 11 May 2018
You can't just choose one exhibit you think might offend someone and self-censor in that manner. It's sad and unwarranted, and it's also illegal.
We are a society which is still pandering to religious lobbies.
Fri, 04 May 2018
Unacceptable; against the natural order; objectively disordered; morally wrong.
When I wear robes, I have no religion.
Fri, 27 Apr 2018
Fanatical and deluded.
The bishop's apparent anger and energy might have been more productive at the time if it had been put into more serious investigation of allegations, as opposed to hostile rejection.
Fri, 20 Apr 2018
In the India where I grew up, memories of Gandhi, Tagore and Nehru were strong; the necessity of secularism was drummed into us. We knew that our politicians were largely venal, but it was still a country in which morality and humanity mattered. Now, journalists and writers who speak up against the undeclared war on Dalits, Muslims, poor people and women are trolled by cyber-mobs – if they're lucky.
If you criticise ideas, you challenge ideas, that's when you move a society forward. When you demonise people that's how you rip societies apart.
I am all too aware that these laws were often put in place by my own country. They were wrong then, and they are wrong now. As the UK's prime minister, I deeply regret both the fact that such laws were introduced and the legacy of discrimination, violence and even death that persists today.
Fri, 13 Apr 2018
This was never about protest. It was about small groups of strangers choosing to gather by our entrance gates where they could harass and intimidate women and try to prevent them from accessing healthcare to which they are legally entitled.
Don't let go, be the British bulldog, be tenacious. I would tell anybody out there to trust in the British justice system. Yes, it's crazily weird, but you will get justice.
Politics apart, this is horrible that some people would see this horrendous crime through a religious prism to gain some mileage. It's a new low and I don't know if we can stoop any lower after this.