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Time to build a republic of reason

In response to Mr O'Neill's letter 'In search of a moral compass', I feel compelled to question the need for the role of churches to be increased in Irish politics.

In the fight against greed and cronyism, which, he rightly mentions, grips the country, are the churches, especially with the Irish experience, really our best hope to combat this?

I feel that the theory that churches' involvement in politics might be beneficial has already been tested with less-than-stellar results: must we revert to the stranglehold of the Catholic Church, the church of the majority of the population, that was so damaging?

Would he advocate the American system where, despite the formality of separating church and state, in the year 2012 many of the candidates for the Republican presidential nomination have, apparently, been instructed to run by God?

Experience and history dictate that increased involvement would simply encourage more corruption, not less.

I do, however, share his disappointment that the demise of the Fianna Fail party has not led to significant change: we have yet to truly embrace a republic of reason and logic over a republic influenced by superstition; we have yet to teach our children that everything is worth questioning.

So rather than entering the new year praying for the restoration of a relationship between church and state, I encourage everyone to investigate both our own experience with a close relationship between church and state and that of other nations, and draw their own conclusions.

Denis Ryan
Wheatfield Road, Portmarnock, Dublin

Irish Independent