Atheists Have the Whip Hand
Militant atheists in Ireland are flexing their muscles–to considerable effect.
Although still a tiny minority, they are working hard to ensure that their own point of view comes to dominate the public discourse, that theirs is the “default position” which should always prevail in controverted issues. And they are making good progress in achieving just that..
Their latest triumph concerns people who donate their bodies for medical research. There is a plot in Glasnevin cemetery, administered by the three Dublin medical schools, with the following inscription: “Here lie those who have assisted us in the study of man. Pray O traveller for their souls that they rest in the peace of God.” Nothing offensive in that, I should have thought. It is be perfectly acceptable to both Catholics and Protestants–and why should atheists make a fuss about it?
Anne Holliday, wife of Michael Nugent of Atheist Ireland, who died in 2011, left her body to Trinity medical school for research–a very laudable stipulation. A few months ago the school contacted Mr Nugent to say his wife’s body was ready for burial. He then discovered the plot had a memorial stone with the above inscription, and asked them to change it, to remove the religious reference. Officials of the three Dublin medical schools met twice, in June and July, and discussed the matter. They decided on a “secular approach” so that the inscription will now read: “This ground is dedicated to the memory of all those who have contributed their bodies to medical education and research.”
So now the “inclusive” attitude is that religion should not be mentioned at all. The beliefs of those who, over the years, from religious motives, have left their bodies for research are not to be respected. Prayers which might have been offered for the repose of their souls may now not be offered at all, just in case a small minority of atheists, for some inexplicable reason, might be offended. This is an injustice.
A Farcical, Hateful Parade
More on that appalling decision by Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York to head up next year’s St Patrick’s Day parade, which is to include a group of militant homosexuals. Shortly after the news was announced, a Mgr Charles Pope posted the following blog post (which we have edited slightly) on the Archdiocese of Washington’s website.
The time for happy-clappy, lighthearted engagement of our culture may be nearing an end. Sometimes it takes a while to understand that what used to work no longer works. Let me get more specific. Now the St. Patrick’s Parade is becoming of parade of disorder, chaos, and fake unity. Let’s be honest: St. Patrick’s Day nationally has become a disgraceful display of drunkenness and foolishness in the middle of Lent that more often embarrasses the memory of Patrick than honors it. In New York City in particular, the “parade” is devolving into a farcical and hateful ridicule of the faith that St. Patrick preached. It’s time to cancel the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and… all the other “Catholic” traditions that have been hijacked by the world. Better for Catholics to enter their churches and get down on their knees on St. Patrick’s Day to pray in reparation for the foolishness, and to pray for this confused world to return to its senses. Let’s do adoration and pray the rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet unceasingly for this poor old world… [I]t’s time to stop wearin’ the green and instead take up the purple of Lent and mean it. Enough of the celebration of stupidity, frivolity, and drunkenness that St Paddy’s day has become. We need penance now, not foolishness. We don’t need parades…with people who scoff at our teachings, insist we compromise, use us for publicity, and make money off of us. We’re being played for (and are?) fools. End the St Patrick’s parade. Enough now, back to Church! Wear the purple of Lent and if there is going to be a procession, let it be Eucharistic and penitential for the sins of this age. For the sake of His sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world!
Later that day, the archdiocese removed the post.