Thursday, October 4, 2018

The Next Amendment

Most of the attention concerning the soon occur visit of the people to the polling booth has focused on the presidential election. There has been far less public reflection on the fact that there will be another vote taking place that day; one that will decide as to whether to remove the blasphemy provision from our Constitution or not.

No doubt some will shrug and say that is how it should be. 'The presidency is more important; and who cares about blasphemy anyway?' they may argue. That, I would suggest, is to take rather a blinkered view of the situation. Who our next president will be is, of course, of great importance. But whoever that person will be their tenure will be of a relatively short duration, and their powers while in office will be limited indeed. The Constitution, on the other hand, is the fundamental law of our land; changes to it can have far-reaching and unforeseen implications. They should not be made lightly. And they certainly should not be trivialised by burying it beneath a presidential election that was always bound to occupy the vast bulk of attention as both campaigns were being run in tandem.

Mind you, I find the whole push to remove blasphemy from our Constitution, shortly followed by the removal of the offence from our statue books, more than a little odd. There hasn't been a prosecution for it within living memory; yet still those arguing for it claim it is necessary so that |Ireland can be seen as a modern, secular state.

Secularism, of course, has its own form of blasphemy, political correctness; and anyone offending against it can and will be swiftly and severely punished by way of an online lynch mob baying for their blood … a mob whose demands are always quickly yielded to. So we'll still have 'laws' against blasphemy. They'll just be unwritten and there will be no appeal against them. And they will apply only to offences against whatever has to be in fashion with the politically correct crowd rather than against God and religion. Still, that's the world we live in. A bit strange when the vast majority claim to have some sort of religious affiliation every time a census is conducted.

And, of course, we can expect more of the same kind of amendments in the years to come. Because there are quite a few references to God and religion in our Constitution. And the secularists pushing for this amendment have made it clear that they want them gone as well. They won't be happy until the Constitution is scrubbed free of anything to do with the Almighty. And all of public life as well. Prayers before government meetings. Local clergy blessing the opening of a new town hall or school or the like. They'll want it all gone.

And it's hardly surprising. After all, anything to do with God and religion has become pretty politically incorrect … a blasphemy against secular sensibilities, if you will.

this article appears in this week's issue of the Kilkenny Reporter

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