Thinking about religion...

Gobsmackingly dim comments on religion by a FG deputy here. Hard to know quite where to start... but let's just say that there has been more than enough blood spilt in Europe over state "recognition" of "faiths", some of it even on this island, that even the saddest case ought to get that it is a fairly basic right to practice the religion of your choice, and it is not up to the state to "recognise" it or not. In fact this was already true in 1871, when the census recorded among other things "an Idimite; a Reformer (a woman;) a ‘disciple of natural religion’, and another of ‘Positivism, or the religion of humanity;’ a philanthropist; a saint of no sect; a protestor against all priestcraft; a latitudinarian; a socialist; a Sabbatarian; a Buddhist; a Mussulman; a true Moslem; a Confucian; a Pagan". The census officials in the 1870s were ahead of Deputy Murphy in 2012 - no great surprise there, perhaps.

For a more serious understanding of the complexities of religion in Ireland, the inaugural conference of the Irish Society for the Academic Study of Religions will be held in Cork on May 25 - 6. The programme and paper abstracts are now available here.