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Ireland: Lawmakers Move to Cut God References from Constitution

A group of lawmakers in Ireland wants to remove all references of God and Christianity from the Constitution, The Irish Sun reports.

Solidarity/People Before Profit are drafting a bill which calls for the deletion of the word God and all references associated with Him from the Irish Constitution.

“In a civilized society, people have a right to express and to hear ideas about religion. Medieval laws have no place in a modern secular Republic,” HAI campaigns director Terry Flynn claimed.

“We have an increasingly diverse society that’s evident in the census with more and more people not professing to any ­religion and an increasing number of minority ­religions,” said TD Ruth Coppinger.

The Irish Constitution has seven references to God, including a preamble which states: “In the Name of the Most Holy Trinity, from Whom is all authority and to Whom, as our final end, all actions both of men and states must be referred…”

Aside from removing any mention of God from the Constitution, the Humanist Institution of Ireland (HAI) also urged politicians to strip clauses which prevent non-religious people from assuming government positions “without swearing a religious oath,” The Irish Times reports.

Upon assuming office, the president and other public personages must declare: “In the presence of Almighty God I do solemnly and sincerely promise and declare that I will maintain the Constitution of Ireland.”

HAI also calls for the revocation of the 2009 Defamation Act which makes blasphemy a crime.

“In a civilized society, people have a right to express and to hear ideas about religion. Medieval laws have no place in a modern secular Republic,” HAI campaigns director Terry Flynn claimed.

Coppinger revealed that they have several bills associated with the separation of Church and State. “It would be important symbolically and say Ireland is modernizing, emerging from its historic negative link with one religion and sending a message to people of other religions that we are a pluralist society.”

Sources:
Theirishsuncom. (2017). The Irish Sun. https://www.thesun.ie/news/961603/constitution-to-be-stripped-of-any-mention-of-christianity-under-soon-to-be-proposed-bill/

Irishtimescom. (2017). The Irish Times. http://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/religion-and-beliefs/humanists-urge-vote-on-cutting-god-references-from-constitution-1.2810479

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