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Towards a secular State?

Cruimh

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THE EUROPEAN COURT of Human Rights (ECHR) will today rule on a challenge to the wording of the presidential oath in Ireland, which currently requires those elected to swear to “almighty God”.

The Constitution states that the President when entering office must make a declaration “in the presence of Almighty God” about their promise to fulfil their duties and maintain the constitution.

The challenge over this constitutional requirement for the President and a body that advises the president is being taken by TDs Roisin Shortall and John Brady, Senator David Norris, former CEO of Barnardos Fergus Finlay and Trinity College Dublin Chancellor David McConnell.

The applicants claim the declarations required by Article 12.8 and 31.4 of the Constitution “exclude conscientious non-Christians, non-believers and those who do not wish to violate their consciences both from the office of President and from membership of the Council of State”.
So - Is it important? Especially with the disillusionment of people with the behaviour of religious bodies and the general abandonment of the religious attitudes of our ancestors?

Memories of the Fuss over taking that other oath in the 1920s - an "Empty Formula" or does it just show that Bunreacht has passed its sell by date, and religion and the protection of religious bodies should have no place in the constitution?
 

milipod

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So - Is it important? Especially with the disillusionment of people with the behaviour of religious bodies and the general abandonment of the religious attitudes of our ancestors?

Memories of the Fuss over taking that other oath in the 1920s - an "Empty Formula" or does it just show that Bunreacht has passed its sell by date, and religion and the protection of religious bodies should have no place in the constitution?
If you don't want to you shouldn't have to.
 

CarlDoyle

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Memories of the Fuss over taking that other oath in the 1920s - an "Empty Formula" or does it just show that Bunreacht has passed its sell by date, and religion and the protection of religious bodies should have no place in the constitution?
The constitution requires that the words are said, not that they are believed. Having said that, we want a President who respects the constitution. It is less than ideal if an elected President has to figure out a mental workaround.
 

ruserious

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Bollix to they who rejected this.

Now, remember my friend The Angelus. 😅
 

CarlDoyle

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Their reason does not gel with me.
This is the "standing" problem. Only people who are affected by a law can bring cases about it.

You would need someone who was actually in a position to give the oath.

I think their point that as politicians, it affects their career path and plans is at least a reasonable attempt to do that. They are more likely to be President than random citizens.

Someone who was appointed to the Council of State could bring a case once they were offered a place but before they gave the oath.

I guess someone who was nominated to be on the ballot in a Presidential election could also maybe bring a case, and the winner of the election could too. It would be hard for someone in that situation to actually win though.

Heh, I wonder if a former President could bring a case on the basis that their rights were violated.
 

Cruimh

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This is the "standing" problem. Only people who are affected by a law can bring cases about it.

You would need someone who was actually in a position to give the oath.

I think their point that as politicians, it affects their career path and plans is at least a reasonable attempt to do that. They are more likely to be President than random citizens.

Someone who was appointed to the Council of State could bring a case once they were offered a place but before they gave the oath.

I guess someone who was nominated to be on the ballot in a Presidential election could also maybe bring a case, and the winner of the election could too. It would be hard for someone in that situation to actually win though.

Heh, I wonder if a former President could bring a case on the basis that their rights were violated.
Does something only become objectionable when it becomes applicable, not in its own right?
 

hollandia

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So - Is it important? Especially with the disillusionment of people with the behaviour of religious bodies and the general abandonment of the religious attitudes of our ancestors?

Memories of the Fuss over taking that other oath in the 1920s - an "Empty Formula" or does it just show that Bunreacht has passed its sell by date, and religion and the protection of religious bodies should have no place in the constitution?
Yes, it's extremely important. I'm very jealous of the French attitude to laïceté, a concept they hold extremely strongly.

Any "Christian" feeling this is some sort of last stand needs to refer to Matthew 22:21.
 

Cruimh

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Yes, it's extremely important. I'm very jealous of the French attitude to laïceté, a concept they hold extremely strongly.

Any "Christian" feeling this is some sort of last stand needs to refer to Matthew 22:21.

And Matthew is also the basis for the Quaker refusal to take oaths

Matthew 5:34–37.
 

cumulonimbus

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The point of an oath isn't really one about religion in my view but actually that the person who makes it intends to be true to their word. Oaths certainly predate the 19thC the UK oath of allegiance to the crown has origins as far back as the 13thC and oaths were taken very seriously in fact the breaking of an oath was even enough to cause conflict or invasion. I don't see the point of nitpicking about some turn of phrase myself it's not going to change society overnight.
 

Cruimh

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The point of an oath isn't really one about religion in my view but actually that the person who makes it intends to be true to their word. Oaths certainly predate the 19thC the UK oath of allegiance to the crown has origins as far back as the 13thC and oaths were taken very seriously in fact the breaking of an oath was even enough to cause conflict or invasion. I don't see the point of nitpicking about some turn of phrase myself it's not going to change society overnight.
A different way of looking at it - should the word of someone chosen to be President not always be trustable - if he or she can only be trusted if he or she has sworn an oath, then why should anything said be trusted?

And I think religion does come into it as religion has been a huge part of the validation of a state. It is telling that Hitler sought the validation of the Vatican through the Reichskonkordat. Italy through the Lateran Treaties, Portugal and Spain also legitimised themselves through Konkordats. And one of the reasons for the turmoil of the years of the reformation and penal laws was the excommunication of Elizabeth I, the Bull Regnans in Excelcis, and the Vatican telling the Catholic people that their obligations and duty to their state and monarch were nullified.
 

CarlDoyle

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Does something only become objectionable when it becomes applicable, not in its own right?
I guess the idea is if none of the people that the law has an effect on object, then what is the problem.

It does ignore the fact that you can be affected in a general way. A person who decides not to make a run for the President due to the oath is affected, but wouldn't necessarily have standing.
 

Gatsbygirl20

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A different way of looking at it - should the word of someone chosen to be President not always be trustable - if he or she can only be trusted if he or she has sworn an oath, then why should anything said be trusted?

And I think religion does come into it as religion has been a huge part of the validation of a state. It is telling that Hitler sought the validation of the Vatican through the Reichskonkordat. Italy through the Lateran Treaties, Portugal and Spain also legitimised themselves through Konkordats. And one of the reasons for the turmoil of the years of the reformation and penal laws was the excommunication of Elizabeth I, the Bull Regnans in Excelcis, and the Vatican telling the Catholic people that their obligations and duty to their state and monarch were nullified.
What is the position in other countries with a similar legal system?

I remember during reports on the Oz trial in the Old Bailey , that a lot of the young hippies and bohemians refused to swear on the Bible, and that was accepted by the judge.
 

Outlander

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What is the position in other countries with a similar legal system?

I remember during reports on the Oz trial in the Old Bailey , that a lot of the young hippies and bohemians refused to swear on the Bible, and that was accepted by the judge.
You can choose to affirm rather than swear on the bible in an Irish court. My preference would be to remove the holy books.
 
Nov 29, 2018
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What is the position in other countries with a similar legal system?

I remember during reports on the Oz trial in the Old Bailey , that a lot of the young hippies and bohemians refused to swear on the Bible, and that was accepted by the judge.
Think the US has, I have a picture in my mind of Johnson being sworn in on plane bringing Kennedy's body back to DC.

France, as is to be expected in a secular Republic, does not.

 

Cruimh

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What is the position in other countries with a similar legal system?

I remember during reports on the Oz trial in the Old Bailey , that a lot of the young hippies and bohemians refused to swear on the Bible, and that was accepted by the judge.
In the UK MPs can affirm - this is a good read


Where 200 years ago all MPs would swear allegiance to the Crown in English, on the Authorised Version of the Bible, today they swear and affirm, in English, Welsh, Gaelic and Cornish, on (or ignoring) an array of scriptures, including the Koran, the Guru Granth Sahib, the Hebrew Bible, and the Christian scriptures in various languages and in Protestant and Catholic editions.

One MP on Tuesday - Kwasi Kwarteng - asked for the Book of Mormon, and the clerk seemed willing to go and have a root around for one, until it turned out he was joking. But there is an actual Mormon MP - Craig Whittaker. He made the same request, this time in seriousness, as Kwarteng, but the clerk did not have the Book of Mormon handy and, rather than hold up his colleagues, Whittaker opted instead for the Bible. MPs are even offered the opportunity to swear on the New Testament alone, an option of which George Osborne availed himself.
 

Cruimh

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Think the US has, I have a picture in my mind of Johnson being sworn in on plane bringing Kennedy's body back to DC.

France, as is to be expected in a secular Republic, does not.

It is quite interesting that Hitler included God in the Fuhrer oath, though at various times he denied the existence of God

Their armed services had to swear this on the death of Hindenburg

“I swear by God this holy oath, that I will render to Adolf Hitler, Führer of the German Reich and People, Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, unconditional obedience, and that I am ready, as a brave soldier, to risk my life at any time for this oath.”

Accompanying this dedication to the Führer and politicization of the military was the impact it had on military conscription, which Hitler introduced in 1935. There was no place for conscientious objectors or those refusing to utter the Führer Oath. Refusal now represented a high crime against not only Germany, but also the Führer himself. This placed one group, Jehovah's Witnesses, in a particularly difficult position.

Jehovah's Witnesses do not believe in swearing oaths to governments or any temporal power, recognizing only God as their ruler. By 1939 thousands of Jehovah's Witnesses had been arrested, tried by judicial authorities and incarcerated in prisons and concentration camps for refusing to take the oath and serve in the German army. At least 250 Witnesses were tried by military tribunals and executed for their actions.
 

Gatsbygirl20

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A young Traveller boy in my school was regularly in trouble for various misdemeanors

He always denied everything outright.

"I swear on the soul of my grandmother buried down in the ground last week, I didn't do it, Miss"

"I swear on the soul of my little brother buried down in the ground last month, I didn't do it," etc

A quick check would clarify that both grandmother or little brother were still happily alive and thriving.

But it sounded very impressive nonetheless.
 

soccop

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Temporally dislocated.
A young Traveller boy in my school was regularly in trouble for various misdemeanors

He always denied everything outright.

"I swear on the soul of my grandmother buried down in the ground last week, I didn't do it, Miss"

"I swear on the soul of my little brother buried down in the ground last month, I didn't do it," etc

A quick check would clarify that both grandmother or little brother were still happily alive and thriving.

But it sounded very impressive nonetheless.
Must have known Stephen Ireland


 

Cruimh

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