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Thread: Penal Laws 2012

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    Politics.ie Member galteeman's Avatar
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    Default Penal Laws 2012

    I was reading about Edmund Burke a while back and how his dad may have been a Roman Catholic pretending to be a Protestant in order to avoid the penal laws. His mother was a Catholic and it seems likely although it canít be verified with certainty that his father was also a Catholic who officially converted to Protestant in order to qualify as a lawyer. So it is possible that Edmund Burke himself may have been pretending to be a Protestant seeing as his people were RC.
    Anyway it struck me that back then the penal laws relating to education could have been easily overcome by the Catholics who could have received unofficial educations at home or in so called hedge schools or alternatively they could have received Protestant educations by pretending to be Protestants as may well have been the case for Edmund Burke. So I guess they would have got on with life in this way grinning and bearing things.

    The point is that while I considered these ins and outs it struck me that I also had to pretend my children were of a certain creed in order to educate them. In our case we pretend they are Catholics in order to get by in our local school and it seems to me that itís like the penal laws still exist. If we are not willing to pretend that our kids are Catholics then there are no other schools in the area that we live in within reasonable distance so they would have to get some sort of schooling outside the system. Sort of like the hedge schools of yore.

    I can live with this carry on as I know that we live in an imperfect world and it seems I am powerless to do anything about it anyway although it rankles a little sometimes.
    For example a few weeks back my daughter was told to construct a shrine in our house to a Catholic saint as part of the holy communion preparation and this annoyed me as I had already explained to her that saints were only superstition and that she should not pray to them etc.
    I know some of you are asking why she is making her first communion but believe me there is no way it can be avoided as everyone else in her class is doing it and it takes up a large part of the school day. We reckoned it would be cruel to single her out for making some sort of statement so as with all the rest we have to grin and bear it and carry on pretending.

    Is it right to have a situation which mirrors the days of the penal laws with enforced religious conformity on children in a republic in the year 2012? Can anything be done about this modern day penal law situation or should we simply grin and bear it like the Catholics of old?

  2. #2
    Politics.ie Member ManOfReason's Avatar
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    Ireland has school choice. If you don't like the Catholic school contact 'Educate Together' and they will give you information on how to setup an alternative type of school.
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    Politics.ie Member galteeman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by walrusgumble View Post
    1. Who is going to investigate whether anyone is really going to construct the vigil, the school? Have photo's to be taken?
    Nobody is taking photos.

    2. Why is your child receiving communion if you have such problems
    I already explained this in the op, everyone is doing it in her class and she is under tremendous peer pressure. Also it would be impossible for her to avoid the preparations as it takes up a lot of the school day.

    3. Since when was your life in danger for not conforming to a certain school of thought. Penal laws? This is the kind of hysterical tripe you would expect from the Irish Times or Sindo Life magazine
    Well I can assure you that I'm not hysterical just pointing out there are parallels in that people have to pretend to be Catholics just like some people had to pretend to be Protestants in those days and I think that people have no choice but to be dishonest in practice.

    4. If someone is actively seeking to participate in a Catholic cermony, ie Communion, and studies are required , it is hardly oppressive to be expected to do homework ie build a shrine , either way pretend that it was done and get over it.Not like you have never lied before .
    I don't like lying and my daughter would not actively seek to participate in something if she wasn't pressured or brainwashed. She is 8 years old.

    5. While you are perfectly within your right to express your views on your child and expect her to conform to them, it seems a bit harsh that she "should not" do x,y,z in order to suit you. Don't bother sending her to communion. You are rather up your own ass if you think people will notice that your daughter did not do her communion or even care.
    She will notice as she is under massive pressure.

    6. You have a complete free choice, but you are , needlessly to cowardly to stand by your firm beliefs. Either way, it in no way mirrors the penal law days.
    I wish I had a choice but there are no other schools available within reasonable distance and I can't afford to hire private teachers or teach them myself.
    Cowardly? hardly just an ordinary person who keeps their head down and gets on with an imperfect situation created by bigots.

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    Politics.ie Member galteeman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ManOfReason View Post
    Ireland has school choice. If you don't like the Catholic school contact 'Educate Together' and they will give you information on how to setup an alternative type of school.
    I have to set up my own school? No bother I'll do that right away.

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    Politics.ie Member Shpake's Avatar
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    I can see how important a festivity like that can be for the little ones. I can remember back (so long ago and far away) getting my photo taken in my first suit, going around from door to door on the road collecting my first communion money [still have it. Ha!] There was this shaggin bastard [proddie] who wouldn't give me any on principle... course I couldn't understand at the age of seven. Oh nostalgia just ain't what it used to be.
    Years and years later decades later I was surprised that in the old German democratic republic they made their own communist festivities for an atheistic state. One was called Jugedweih and I think it's something like confirmation or coming of age or something ... more for 14 and 15 year olds, where they put on their Sunday best and celebrate. What surprised me more is that it has survived the fall of the wall and people after 1990 still thought it necessary or desirable ... Maybe it's something like beauty competitions or all ireland championships... if that's what the people want, if that's what they need... why not.

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    Politics.ie Member stopdoingstuff's Avatar
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    I went to a Catholic school and there were Protestants, Muslims, and even a few atheists there. In fact, as I remember it, I was an outspoken atheist at the time and never had to attend anything remotely religious once my views were made known. I was treated with nothing but care and respect. It is not as if these places are monasteries or anything.

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    Politics.ie Member ManOfReason's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by galteeman View Post
    I have to set up my own school? No bother I'll do that right away.
    So you want existing schools to change to meet your personal requirements?
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    Politics.ie Member Sync's Avatar
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    Oh FFS stop being so pathetic. If your daughter doesn't want to make her communion because she doesn't believe in that stuff, show some balls and back her up. If she DOES want to do it, for whatever reason, back her decision and stop being such a schmuck.
    I'm living in America, and in America, you're on your own. America's not a country. It's just a business. Now f***ing pay me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sync View Post
    Oh FFS stop being so pathetic. If your daughter doesn't want to make her communion because she doesn't believe in that stuff, show some balls and back her up. If she DOES want to do it, for whatever reason, back her decision and stop being such a schmuck.
    The child should not be placed in a position of having to choose to be the odd one out - which is the reality in many small schools in rural Ireland. This really is so obvious it should not need constant repetition but religious indoctrination is not an educational activity and should have no part in the curriculum of any State school in a modern Western country.

  10. #10
    Politics.ie Member Sync's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sailor View Post
    The child should not be placed in a position of having to choose to be the odd one out - which is the reality in many small schools in rural Ireland. This really is so obvious it should not need constant repetition but religious indoctrination is not an educational activity and should have no part in the curriculum of any State school in a modern Western country.
    I agree. But this child isn't going to change that. So either back her decision to have communion or back her decision not to. Or just flee to the internet to bitch about it all.
    I'm living in America, and in America, you're on your own. America's not a country. It's just a business. Now f***ing pay me.

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