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Opinions contained in The Iona Blog are not necessarily those of The Iona Institute. The Iona Blog is open to anyone who broadly shares the views of The Iona Institute. If you wish to post a comment on a relevant topic please email 200 – 400 words to info@ionainstitute.ie and it will be considered for inclusion in the blog.

Guess what? Abstinence programmes work (David Quinn)

There is hard evidence that in Africa abstinence and fidelity programmes are effective in the fight against HIV/AIDS. (See ‘The Invisible Cure’ by Helen Epstein).

04/02/10
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Breda O'Brien on parental choice (Tom O'Gorman)

In her column in the Irish Times on Saturday, Breda O'Brien of the Irish Times argued for denominational education, on the grounds of parental choice, pluralism and the overall quality of Catholic education.

02/02/10
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Bishop quotes Iona press statement on poll

Bishop Leo O'Reilly, who is head of the Catholic Bishops' commission on education, wrote a lucid and timely piece in the Irish Times yesterday, emphasising the importance of parental choice in response to a poll carried in that paper suggesting that a majority of people wished to see the State wholly take over Catholic primary schools.

29/01/10
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Some support at last for a conscience protection (David Quinn)

At last something approximating a debate took place in the Dail yesterday concerning the Civil Partnership Bill. Several Fine Gael deputies have now spoken up in favour of a conscience and/or religious freedom amendment of some sort including Damien English, Leo Varadkar, Lucinda Creighton, Seymour Crawford and of course, Sean Barrett.

28/01/10
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Democratic candidate to medical staff: No Catholics need apply (Tom O'Gorman)

The election of a Republican, Scott Brown, to the US Senate from the heavily-Democratic Massachusetts is the political equivalent of an tsunami.

21/01/10
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Liberals are not really for liberty or tolerance (Martin McQuade)

Professor Chai Feldblum, who was recently nominated by Barack Obama for one of the seats on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, basically wants people who don't share her views on sexual morality restricted from public life.

21/01/10
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Humanists and freedom of speech (David Quinn)

An article in today’s Irish Times asks a number of people what will replace the Church as our moral compass. For many people, of course, the Church will remain as their moral compass, or more accurately, Jesus Christ will remain as their moral compass.


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Attack on faith schools an attack on freedom, says Telegraph columnist

The Daily Telegraph's Benedict Brogan has a trenchant column in today's paper on New Labour's attack on faith schools.

14/01/10
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More than a piece of paper (Martin McQuade)

We are well used to the debate about marriage focusing on the potential harm that separation, divorce, cohabitation etc has on children. And rightly so, as all the evidence tells us that children reared outside of intact marriages are more likely to experience poverty, abuse, take drugs, become sexually active earlier, drop out of school etc. Not only is that bad for children there’s a knock-on effect to society too.

12/01/10
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Labour's attack on faith schools-Odone

Christine Odone's piece in today's Telegraph on the relationship between Labour and faith schools is a devastating account of how that party in the UK has conducted an ideological war against religious schools.

12/01/10
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UK politicians far bolder than Irish on marriage, religion (Tom O'Gorman)

Gordon Brown's statement to the effect that religious people should bring their convictions to the public square, including the political arena, is welcome. Yes, his Government's actions belie his words, but the fact that he has said is useful in terms of the wider debate about the place of religion in society.

07/01/10
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Cameron and Phillips on marriage (David Quinn)

Columnist Melanie Phillips has written a very cogent piece on David Cameron’s support for marriage. Philips’ argument is that Cameron is facing in two different directions at once. On the one hand he says he is for marriage, but on the other, he also espouses the kind of social liberalism that has so grossly undermined marriage in Britain, and is doing so here as well.

07/01/10
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Best interests of the child? (David Quinn)

Almost everyone agrees that when decisions about a child are being made, those decisions should be made in the child’s best interests. That’s the easy part. The hard part is deciding which decision, from a whole range of options, would best serve the child in a given case. For example, parents frequently disagree with one another as to the best course of action for their children.

06/01/10
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Polyamory: the next sexual frontier (David Quinn)

Polyamory is a term of fairly recent coinage that describes a situation whereby someone is in a sexual relationship with more than one person and all parties to the relationship know this.

05/01/10
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Former Minister suggests HSE guilty of "anti-adoption bias" (Tom O’Gorman)

Lost amid the coverage of the Murphy report when it came out at the end of November was a very interesting comment by Noel Ahern TD that there might be an “anti-adoption bias” at senior levels of the Irish Department of Health and of the Health Service Executive (HSE).

05/01/10
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Pro-marriage politics is winning politics is the message from Labour's U-turn

The news that Labour in the UK is about to perform what can only be described as an incredible U-turn with regard to family policy is good news for people who believe in an evidence-based approach to the family. Not because Labour are likely to implement any marriage-friendly policies in practice, but because it shows that backing marriage is not only sensible policy, but good politics.

30/12/09
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Justice McGuinness: realist or defeatist? (Tom O'Gorman)

The Law Reform Commission have proposed allowing teenagers to obtain contraception without their parents' knowledge. The proposal has been criticised by, amongst others, ourselves here at The Iona Institute, and the National Parents Council, for leaving parents out of the equation and letting down young people.

22/12/09
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In defence of parental choice: a selection of articles

A number of articles have appeared in the press in the last few days defending parental choice in education.

22/12/09
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Archbishop Chaput on the Manhattan Declaration

Archbishop Charles Chaput is one of America's leading defenders of the traditional family. In an interview with Catholic News Agency, he explains, amongst other things why he signed the Manhattan Declaration.

18/12/09
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Supporting marriage (Martin McQuade)

Those of us who support traditional marriage are regularly criticised by the liberal left as narrow-minded and intolerant. They say we are narrow-minded because we are blinkered to the realities of family diversity already in our society.

18/12/09
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"If I were asked to design a system for making sure that children's basic needs were met, we would probably come up with something quite similar to the two-parent ideal...The fact that both parents have a biological connection to the child would increase the likelihood that the parents would identify with the child and be willing to sacrifice for that child, and it would reduce the likelihood that either parent would abuse the child.."

Sara McLanahan and Gary Sandefur, "Growing up with a single parent: What hurts, what helps."