United Nations to ask Ireland about secular issues raised by Atheist Ireland

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The United Nations Human Rights Committee has said today that it is to raise several secular issues with Ireland, which Atheist Ireland recommended in a submission to the United Nations in August.

The UN has today published the list of issues that it will ask Ireland about, under the fourth periodic review of Ireland’s obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

The UN is to ask Ireland about three specifically secular issues raised by Atheist Ireland – the religious oaths for Irish public office holders, discrimination against atheists and religious minorities in Irish primary schools, and the Irish law against blasphemy.

The UN will also ask Ireland about broadening access to abortion to guarantee women’s rights under the Covenant.

Atheist Ireland welcomes this report. We have consistently highlighted that discrimination against atheists and secularists in Ireland is not only socially and politically harmful, but that it is also a breach of our individual human rights of freedom of conscience, freedom from discrimination, equality before the law and the rights of the child.

Atheist Ireland will be making another formal detailed submission to the UN about these issues when Ireland appears before the Human Rights Committee in July 2014.

Meanwhile, we encourage all Irish citizens who face these discriminations to contact your TDs and Government Ministers, and ask them to ensure that Ireland complies with our international human rights obligations to atheists and other minorities.

Written By: Michael Nugent
continue to source article at michaelnugent.com

12 COMMENTS

    • In reply to #4 by rod-the-farmer:

      Howcum the UN can ask Ireland about a law against blasphemy, and not ask the same question of some/many/all muslim countries ?

      They do, but as long as those countries can point the finger at Ireland and say “they have a blasphemy law”, then they won’t consider it.

      I’ve said it here before, as long as Ireland has a blasphemy law, the only difference between Ireland and countries that execute people for blasphemy, is the severity of the punishment.

  1. Why does the UN not just get of the fence and (possibly by amending the Universal Declaration of Human Rights) state that everyone has a right to live in a country where there is no blasphemy law and criticism of religion is guaranteed by freedom of expression?

    • In reply to #5 by Stevehill:

      Why does the UN not just get of the fence and (possibly by amending the Universal Declaration of Human Rights) state that everyone has a right to live in a country where there is no blasphemy law and criticism of religion is guaranteed by freedom of expression?

      I assume the point of the UDHR is that they have a right to these things regardless of what country they live in. The UDHR includes

      Article 18.

      Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

      Article 19.

      Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

      Article 28.

      Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realised.

      There is no explicit freedom from blasphemy law clause but I would have thought Article 19 covers it.

      Michael

      • In reply to #6 by mmurray:

        In reply to #5 by Stevehill:

        I may have freedom of my religion, but others can still force me to do things that make sense only in the context of theirs — swear oaths, pray, refrain from working, pretend to respect historical or imaginary figures. Given that this sort of imposition is so common, it should be explicitly barred.

  2. I gather the US is not signatory to this process. The UN lectured Canada on its treatment of aboriginals. However, the PM rejected the complaints huffily. I watched a documentary a few weeks ago about the history of Ireland. I astounded at how violent the religious strife has been for so long. You would think measures needed to keep the peace between Catholics and Protestants would automatically cover atheists.

    The most important problem with Christians is the beatings and killings of gays. The root cause of this is religious leaders telling their flock it is virtuous to hurt gays. That has to stop.

    Oddly I have never heard of Christians beating up or killing suspected atheists in modern times. In polls, Christian strongly detest atheists, but they don’t seem moved to violence.

    • In reply to #7 by Roedy:

      I gather the US is not signatory to this process. The UN lectured Canada on its treatment of aboriginals. However, the PM rejected the complaints huffily. I watched a documentary a few weeks ago about the history of Ireland. I astounded at how violent the religious strife has been for so long. Y…

      There’s this guy hiking in Ireland when 2 other guys jump up and demand “Are you catholic or protestant?” He says “I’m an atheist”. And they demand “Are you a catholic atheist or a protestant atheist?” They need to roll big joints and mellow out.

  3. Roedy,
    You need to learn a lot more about irish history. The violence wasn’t so much to do with religion itself. It just happened to be more of a circumstantial issue. There were protestants who were nationalistic and catholics that were loyal to the crown. The issue was about who was in control of the country and the way in which certain parts of society were treated and discriminated against,and a few scumbags in the late 60′s sparked that off again. But there had been violence going back hundreds of yrs due to the monarchy treating Irish people like a lower class of human,let alone their own people ,and peoples throughout the entire British empire. And then there’s the whole William of Orange thing. Gets very complicated. You think the British monarchy are of British decent? Do some research. Don’t have the time to go into much detail…

  4. Of course the British ruling class fostered the religious strife in Ireland for years, for their own purposes. An example of divide and rule. Come the division of Northern Ireland and Eire in the 1920s, that policy spectacturlarly backfired.

    There are reactionaries on both sides, but the loathsome Cardinal Brady wins the Most Ugly Award in a run off with Ian Paisley and his ilk.

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