It seems that there is no end of stories that show how entrenched Catholicism is in Irish politics (and parts of the society). Two weeks ago the scandal about the religious order that might own the new National Maternity Hospital and will probably enforce the catholic ethos for procedures that are carried out in the hospital, was in the media headlines. This week the Dail debate and vote about a daily prayer raised eye brows and baffled people.
As before, I want to point out that I am raised catholic, would still define a version of catholic inspired spirituality as my religion and go to mass without any feeling of guilt despite my total and complete objection to ANY influence of any church on the state.
Any kind of faith or belief should be a completely private matter and has absolutely no place in a political or state context. A state has to be neutral and should be at a home for followers of all or religions or none.
However, things are different in Ireland and the clocks are running a few hundred years behind, it seems. This week the Dail decided that they would stick to the daily (catholic) prayer and that they would force members of the Dail to stand up. In addition they added a 30 second silence to the prayer.
Apart from the fact that no religion-specific (catholic or otherwise) prayer has a place in a parliament in 2017, the chosen prayer is utterly clumsy and outright nonsensical. This is how it goes:
“Direct, we beseech Thee, O Lord, our actions by Thy holy inspirations and carry them on by Thy gracious assistance; that every word and work of ours may always begin from Thee, and by Thee be happily ended; through Christ Our Lord. Amen.”
Come on, who would talk in that language nowadays, can they not at least use modern language?
But even if it was a modern prayer, it has no place in a parliament. Give the members of the parliament another minute so that they can whisper their prayer to themselves in quiet or in a prayer room or similar. Once they have prayed for help (and boy do they need it!), then they can come in to the parliament.
Only in the Catholic Banana Republic called Ireland, 97 out of 133 members of the parliament would vote in favour of keeping a discriminating Catholic prayer.
…and by the way, stuff like this is NOT helping Christianity, instead it does exactly the opposite!