David Quinn: This intolerant secularism is a threat to liberty
AT its annual conference in April, Labour will debate probably the most obnoxious proposal to come before any party in a long time. It is contained in a document that is a swingeing attack on denominational schools. Senator Joe McCarthy of anti-communism fame would be proud of the recommendation. It says that senior civil servants in the Department of Education should be screened to ensure they are not "Catholics first and Irish second".
If Fianna Fail was to debate a similar motion at its ard fheis, calling for the screening of civil servants who might be "Protestants first and Irish second", there would rightly be uproar at the suggestion that to be Protestant is somehow to be less Irish. That is how we used to think. Has that suspicion now transferred to Catholics?
Aside from a report in this newspaper, there has been almost no reaction in the national media to the proposal before the Labour Party. This is very curious. At least three BBC programmes in Northern Ireland have run items on it. I was interviewed for one of them myself. But to the best of my knowledge, RTE hasn't bothered with the story at all.