By Patrick Brogan
The recent census brings up some interesting questions, not least surrounding religion. Is Ireland becoming a less Christian nation?
Not really, no. The number of Catholics is going down and the number of those not following any religion is on the rise. This is not surprising. One of the biggest stories of the year is the Tuam babies. This not an isolated incident. The abuses of the Catholic Church have been well documented over the years, so there is no need to partake in a bit of Catholic bashing here.
Also, some commentators have made the case that gay marriage and abortion erode at long-standing Christain values in this country. What are Christian values, though? Values taken from Christ. While nobody can claim to know what he was thinking, it is clear that his life was dedicated to compassion and helping others. Others less well-off. This is more of a spiritual crisis rather than in the financial sense.
Jesus himself seemed opposed to organised religion, a point lost on most bible bashers. Spirituality does not come from a book, no matter how well meaning it or the author are. In this country, people seem to have become more aware of the needs of others and tried to help. There is more of a sense of community today, this in the face of bailouts and taxes that threatened to cripple this country and an uncaring government.
We may be less Catholic than we ever have been, but, ironically we are more Christian.
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