The Irish Times today published this letter from Atheist Ireland.

Madam, – From September 1st, the Charities Act 2009 has been offering State protection to the Roman Catholic Church, and only this one church, to sell Mass cards (Home News, September 1st). The legality of this Act is being challenged in the High Court, but for a reason that turns ethics upside down.

It is not being challenged to prevent people from selling claims of intercession with the creator of the universe to bereaved and vulnerable people. Instead, it is being challenged to allow a wider number of people to sell such unverifiable claims.

Such thinking exists in the realm of magic and superstition. It is like last year’s special offer by the Pope that, if you visited Lourdes during 2008, you would get a free “plenary indulgence” which would get you early release from a place called Purgatory after you die, and get you sooner to another place called Heaven.

In any other field of regulation, it would be seen as fraudulent to persuade sick or bereaved people to part with money in return for prayers or plenary indulgences. And the underlying purpose of a Charities Act is surely to protect vulnerable people, not to exploit them.

Atheist Ireland is a new advocacy group for an ethical and secular Ireland, free from superstition and supernaturalism, where the State does not support or give special treatment to any religion.

– Yours, etc,
Michael Nugent,
Chairperson,
Atheist Ireland

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I Lived in Dublin for 1.5 years, This sort of thing is very necessary in Ireland. The country is still heavily in thrall to the Roman Catholoc Church, but i suspect it will crash soon, as i got the distinct impression that the younger generation was only catholic by culture rather than belief.

-- Keep up the good work Michael.
Funny, my aunt in Ireland (may nature let her live to 100+) mentioned along with the scourge of drugs and robberies starting back when bush was elected...

she mentioned "I tried to go to one of the younger churches but they were too loud and flashy"
sure enough, same crap going on here in the states

things became so overrun in Ireland on top of the deregulation like we saw here
when the rivers subsided there the garbage was all up in the trees, sad enough

as for the trendy flashy megachurches; that's a trend I would like to see fail and just let the offspring of patato famines tend to their farms and not live in fear of foreign faith influence

I'll never forget the day I saw that priest on youtube say cathlolics should be ok with atheists
they (real educated ones) respect us. As for the pope and his man-boys, tough.

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