Monday, 28 February 2011

Philosophers' World Cup

Well, the Greeks might not have won the economic argument with Germany. But the bail out does not extend to the realm of ideas:

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Stepping up the pressure on Fine Gael

With reference to my previous post regarding contacting the various parties via

I've been getting some feedback from various politicians: two from FG (including Enda Kenny's office) and one from FF. 

Surveying the political landscape, my hunch is that FG think they are benefiting from the relatively pro-life position they have adopted. Let's be honest, we all know that the economic debate is a non-issue because whoever gets elected is going to be towing the IMF/EU line. However, the pro-life dimension to this election has made it possible for FG to put some clear blue water between themselves and Labour.

Which brings me on to my next point. This is the standard response which FG seem to be e mailing to people:

Thank you for your mail and for making your views known. I am against the legalisation of abortion. Fine Gael will establish an all-party Oireachtas Committee, with access to medical and legal expertise, to consider the implications of  the recent ruling of the European Court of Human Rights and to make recommendations. Such a process would, we believe, be the best way of examining the issues in a way that respects the range of sincerely-held views on this matter. Fine Gael’s representatives will bring to the proposed all-party committee a clear commitment that women in pregnancy will receive whatever treatments are necessary to safeguard their lives, and that the duty of care to preserve the life of the baby will also be upheld. Fine Gael is opposed to research conducted on human embryos, but favours alternative stem cell research that does not involve human embryos such as adult stem cell and umbilical cord research.

Unfortunately this isn't good enough because Oireachtas Committees tend to be socially liberal. Also, as I have made clear to those TDs who have responded:

Only a commitment to oppose direct and intentional abortion, in all circumstances, from the moment of conception would be morally and legally sufficient. If you give the judges any leeway they will take it.
Fine Gael Clarifies Position on Abortion
This is a timely message from the LIFEZINE WEB SITE:

Ask Candidates to Protect the UnbornAs the General Election approaches, it is becoming clear that it will have decisive consequences for Ireland’s law on abortion. It is essential that candidates and political parties are made aware how much the Irish people care about the protection of unborn human life. You can raise this issue with your local candidates, and it will only take you a minute. Visit Opinionviewer today to send an email to every candidate in your constituency, asking them for a commitment to oppose legislation permitting abortion. Opinionviewer is an automated system that allows you to send simultaneous messages to all of the relevant candidates. The whole process takes less than sixty seconds. Surely you can spare that much time to help keep abortion out of Ireland.
David Quinn on the main parties...

This is a useful analysis of how the main parties stand in relation to some of the key moral issues affecting Ireland. However, why all the fuss about Denominational schools? After all, the 'Catholic' schools lost their ethos years ago and are probably largely counter-productive.

Monday, 21 February 2011

Fine Gael are currently on 37% and moving upwards (dramatically). The Independents are on 15% and so it is entirely conceiveable that they might be forming a government with them. In the light of the Labour Party's pro-abortion position the pro-life argument might be decisive in the run up to election day.

There is not much we can do; but there are things that we can do. If we don't feel up to phoning Radio stations then we can at least send e mails:

In the current climate a Fine Gael victory, with a couple of good indos, would be the least worst result. Given the perverse nature of the Left you can be sure that Labour would 'hard-wire' an abortion policy into any programme for Government. Furthermore you can be sure that if Fine Gael resorted to a coalition with them any pro-life 'convictions' would be 'modified' in the quest for power. It's therefore important that the FG lead increases.

More on the Labour Party's pro-abortion position:

Ireland- United for Life!:

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Quinn Slams Labour Over Abortion    
David Quinn, Director of the Iona Institute, has used his weekly column in the Irish Independent to argue that Catholics cannot in conscience vote for the Labour Party in the forthcoming general election, because a vote for Labour is a vote for abortion. He argues that “Labour party policy is pro-abortion. Therefore, on a very important issue Labour is utterly at variance with the beliefs of the vast majority of serious-minded practising Catholics. ” He accused Labour candidates who canvass for votes at churches of being “particularly cynical” since there is such a “profound gulf between Labour and the Catholic Church on [the abortion] issue.

Friday, 18 February 2011

Ireland United for Life!

Director of Precious Life Bernadette Smyth, joined Dana Rosemary Scallon and Kathy Sinnott, together with an all-island alliance of over thirty cross community groups, Ireland United for Life, to challenge party leaders and candidates in the forthcoming Irish General Election to give a binding election pledge to defend human life at all stages.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Labour Party Accused of ‘Rank Hypocrisy’ on Abortion

I listened to the Labour Party leader, Eamon Gilmore, on the Radio (RTE 1) recently and he made it clear that he wanted to see abortion legalised in order to protect the 'life and the health' of the woman concerned. What I really hate about Labour Party pro-aborts is that they they couldn't give a fig about a woman's health. They know that in virtually all cases direct and intentional abortion damages the health of the mother (psychologically and physically). The other thing is that they just don't have the courage of their convictions. If you were to ask them whether they were pro-abortion they would say no when in fact they would all vote for its introduction.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

 “Erin Go Braugh” (sic!)

Gerry Ryan and RTÉ’s Cocaine Cover-Up

I picked up this small piece from the Family and Life web site (

I have often wondered why top RTE presenters need to be paid so much. Well, in case you were wondering, it's important that they remain divorced both from truth and reality. As a result some of them, like Gerry Ryan, will have an expensive habit to feed. Keeping your head in the clouds can be a pricey business.

It's odd that dear old Gerry used to have a go at the old Drugs Barons since they partially facilitated his 'lifestyle'. It's also odd that he used to have a go at the clergy for facilitating child abuse when, of course, he partially funded an 'industry' which regularly facilitates murder:

The radio broadcaster, Gerry Ryan, was found dead in his Dublin apartment on April 30, 2010. The postmortem showed indications that cocaine and alcohol had killed him. However, the official report of the inquest was only made public on December 10 last year, and confirmed what many people had suspected. However, RTÉ was strangely silent about the cocaine habit of its once top star. He was one of our best, the station seemed to say, and—rightly or wrongly—we don’t want to hear anything bad about him.
It is very clear that RTÉ felt it necessary to engage in damage control over what must be considered a major scandal. After all, Gerry Ryan was one of their top performers, paid an astronomical yearly salary of €600,000, and, to cap it, is remembered for his uninhibited attacks during his radio programme on drugs and the drug bosses.
There are a few little questions that arise from Gerry Ryan’s actions. This was a man who presented himself as the fearless critic of hypocrisy and double standards, especially in the higher ranks of Church and State. He also used his celebrity status and morning radio programme to send out a strong anti-drugs message, even while spending part of his grand salary on feeding his cocaine habit. That might be considered hypocrisy in some quarters, but apparently not in RTÉ. More seriously, the revelation of Ryan’s double life will undoubtedly undermine the efforts of those working to dissuade young people from getting into drugs.
Cocaine is the chosen drug of the elite, and, judging by the report in the Sunday Times (20.12.'10) Ryan’s behaviour should not have been a complete surprise to his fellow workers.
Indignant at what he saw as RTÉ’s complicit silence, Gareth O’Callaghan, a prominent TV presenter and close friend of Gerry Ryan, spilled the beans, as it were. In an interview published in the Sunday Independent, he claimed that cocaine use is rampant in RTÉ. O’Callaghan is also a psychotherapist, specialising in anxiety and depression, and has first-hand knowledge of the effects of drug addiction. He revealed that Ryan was already an addict in 2003, and that other well-known figures in Montrose were regular coke consumers. He reiterated that Ryan’s cocaine use was common knowledge among friends and journalists.
The reaction to his revelations was predictable, denial from the station’s chiefs and indignation from its leading figures. Joe Duffy, another scourge of public corruption, stated that Ryan’s addiction “only inflicted harm on himself and not on anyone else”. Unbelievable! With its hand on its collective heart, RTÉ assured us that it knew nothing about cocaine use, and its silence was not a cover-up but done “largely out of respect for our late colleague and out of sympathy and respect for his family”, as Kevin Dawson, head of communications, put it.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Spot the Chalk and Cheese of Marriage

Family and Life have just posted an interesting article on the latest Central Statistics Office data relating to marriage.

Over 22% of marriages are now 'civil' affairs. Of course, if they take place between Catholics they enjoy State legality but not Ecclesiastical legality. Some of these marriages will also have taken place between people not eligible to be married in a Catholic Church.

As Father Brian McKevitt OP points out: “What the Church offers is a union of a man and woman that is simply unbreakable, it is for life. Nothing short of death can end it. What the state offers is a union that can be ended if either person decides later on that he or she wants out. ... In this way a civil marriage resembles cohabitation, where either party is free to end the relationship and walk away.''

This is another example of how the Church offers a plan for social stability; whereas the modern Liberal State can do no such thing.

Spot the Chalk and Cheese of Marriage...    

Monday, 7 February 2011

Something you didn't know - South Armagh is an area of outstanding feminine beauty!

Well it was a long time in coming but this could give South Armagh a significant boost in terms of Tourist numbers. According to Dominic Bradley (MLA) an accurate translation would read:

‘Welcome to the Ring of Gullion – Area of Outstanding Feminine Beauty’.

DRD thinks Slieve Gullion lasses are the prettiest: Bradley

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Christian Anthropology v the Sexual Revolution

Sex is not a substitute for God. (Via A Conservative Blog for Peace.) In the words of Peter Kreeft:
The moral revolution is confined to sex. We are not allowed to steal another man's money without being put into jail, but we can steal another man's wife. You cannot betray your lawyer without being severely penalized, but you can betray your wife, and SHE is severely penalized. You cannot kill bald eagles or blue whales without being a criminal but you can kill your own children as long as you do it a second before the two blades of the scissors meet in the middle of the umbilical cord rather than a second after, or a second before the body emerges from the birth canal rather than a second after. What kind of logic is this?

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

'The Feminine Mystique and the Unattainable Dream of Sex Equality, plus some more controversial matters'

To say that Peter Hitchens commentaries on social issues are incisive would be an understatement. Not least so on this occasion. Be a Comely Maiden not a Feminist!:
This is a very interesting report about discrimination against Christians in Europe:

Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination against Christians in Europe

'The Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination against Christians is an NGO registered in Austria. The Observatory hosts a website which monitors and catalogues instances in which Christians and Christianity are marginalized or discriminated against throughout Europe. The Observatory focuses on Europe (European Union, EU accession countries, and wider Europe).'

Born of parents who never danced together

'I am a human being, yet I was conceived with a technique that had its origins in animal husbandry. Worst of all, farmers kept better records of their cattle's genealogy than assisted reproductive clinics had kept for the donor conceived people of my era. It also made me feel strange to think that my genes were spliced together from two people who were never in love, never danced together, had never even met one another.'
Varieties of Liberal Experience

William James famously wrote a book called Varieties of Religious Experience, a title Carl Sagan aped with his Varieties of Scientific Experience. I have been thinking recently how interesting it would be to read a book called Varieties of Liberal Experience, one that anatomised the different “flavours” of liberalism.
Liberalism is a fascinating subject.  It is too easy to simply decry it, or to lump all forms of liberalism together. But, of course, the term applies to very different philosophies—for instance, in America, what a European might call socialism is often called liberalism.

But what I find less interesting than abstract schools of thought are the forms liberalism takes in practice; how it is lived, the view of the world it entails in individual cases.

I thought about this when I was listening to Fintan O’Toole on the radio. I am not a fan of Mr. O’Toole, but he does seem to me one of the last “old guard” liberals in the country; someone who could easily have written for Sean O’Faoláin or Peadar O’Donnell in The Bell. That is, someone who has all the correct progressive opinions on subjects such as censorship, nationalism and religion, but who believes culture is important and retains—how to put it?—a certain gleam of the transcendent on their mental horizon. They tend to believe, for example, in the cultural significance of religion, in the importance of a national literature, and a certain tenderness towards tradition and the past. (Anthony Cronin is another example.)

When religion decays, as Matthew Arnold understood, the idea of the sacred lingers, but is invested in various substitutes for religion. First comes nationalism; next comes art and poetry and culture in general; after that, political emancipation and human rights; finally, science. The sequence may be slightly different, and the cult of different idols may overlap, but I think that is a fair description of the post-religious decline.

It seems to me that the hour of the Fintan O’Tooles is almost past and we are faced today with a much less gentlemanly, less cultured liberalism; one plunging towards scientism, where ideas such as dignity and equality and human rights will draw sniggers. And when that happens, someone might remember to write a book called The Birth and Death of Irish Liberalism.

Maolsheachlann OCeallaigh