Monday 20 January 2020

Atheism seems unconstitutional

JOHN Hedges ('Garda oath on bible is not right', Letters, February 22) makes an excellent point with regard to members of the garda reserve who graduated in Templemore and swore an oath on the Bible, and this in a multi-cultural, multi-faith and non-faith society.

Unfortunately, as Mr Hedges suggests, swearing an oath on a copy of the Irish Constitution is no better, as the preamble of the Constitution states: "In the Name of the Most Holy Trinity, from Whom is all authority. . . Humbly acknowledging all our obligations to our Divine Lord, Jesus Christ. . ."

And Article 44.1 reads: "The State acknowledges that the homage of public worship is due to Almighty God."

In addition, every person appointed as a judge under this Constitution must declare: "In the presence of Almighty God I do solemnly and sincerely promise. . ."

One wonders if this means being an atheist in Ireland today is unconstitutional?

Gary J Byrne
IFSC, Dublin 1

Irish Independent

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