Before Catholic Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All-Ireland Sean Brady was criticising illusions while speaking ironically from Knock. He spoke in American at a plastic paddy festival and conflated materialism with secularism again, he's done this a number of times in the past year and its really pissing me off.
There was clear evidence that "many people are getting tired of the emptiness and stress of a life built predominantly on secular and consumerist values".Brady says Ireland's secular project has failed reg required, version of the article/speech here.
This is a letter I wrote in response.
Materialism not secularism
I really object to how Mr Brady keeps conflating consumerism/materialism with secularism. It is an insult to all non-religious in Ireland. They might be the two noted trends of the modern era but I don't see the direct connection between them.
Consumerism is laziness, gluttony, conformity and pliableness. Is this secularism? To me secularism means thinking for ourselves and fully comprehending the outcome of our actions on others, it is a sign of Ireland's maturity that we increasingly do so rather then depend unquestionably on authority, His organisation is the prime example in Ireland of an authority having too much power over people and abusing its position, socially, politically and in relation to child abuse. He seems to pine for that era and wants to compete for influence with the mass media rather then see us more worldly aware.
By suggesting Northern Ireland should reduce it corporation tax to the same level as our own he goes against reports from CORI who question whether our low corporation tax shares the wealth fairly and provides us proper levels of social and public services. His concern for our emptiness and stress ignores that it is the relentless pace needed for the low tax Celtic Tiger which has made us live to work rather then work to live. He even suggested in his speech that financial institutions have social and moral authority?
To me the secular project is separation of church from state which some mistake as having as been complete, but with 90% of primary schools still run by the Catholic church an unconstitutional monopoly through lack of choice in education still exists.
Earlier in the year the Taoiseach warned against 'aggressive secularists' although he still hasn't come up with any examples of any but I think I can warn Mr Brady of influence from aggressive materialists like Mr Ahern.
I was quite hoping that the letter would get used, I rewrote it a couple of times, perhaps it was too long, although I see now that they did put in letters about the article arguing over whether the editors should have not used long title like archbishop in a headline :?
P.S. I don't get why the Irish Times insist that you should include your name and address with the letter for it to be printed in the paper. It doesn't add or detract from my point to have my name there or not. I'm sure it must have comeback on some people badly at some time.
check out atheist.ie
Bock is on first name/pet name terms with the Archbishop already. StoB suggests Brady shouldn't blame everything on religion (or lack of it), and points out the ills aren't that new. Paige H treats the speech with the respect it deserves That's Ireland points out the superstitions aren't that new or different to his, the only new thing I see is the tarot cards ability to advertise as entertainment while religions cannot yet.