27th April 2012

“Hundreds of million of [Irish] taxpayers' Euros are spent on running Catholic hospitals each year. The State provides the vast bulk of the funding for these hospitals, and has paid, over the years for developments at these institutions. Yet much of the ownership and governance of these hospitals is still vested in religious orders or members of a clergy who have a less than glorious recent history in catering for the needs of the vulnerable in our society, in particular to the needs of children. In this respect, their moral authority to own and run hospitals must be questioned.”

Niall Hunter

7 Responses to “27th April 2012”

  1. R J Says:

    ya THINK ??????????

  2. Sinjin Smythe Says:

    This is yet another case in point for doing it the American way, where the people are free and organizations serve at the people’s pleasure.

    I can think of few examples that more clearly demonstrate the dangers of groups (religious, corporate, or political) and the devastating effects they can have when allowed to operate on an equal basis or above the rights of people.

    Were I Irish I’d petition my representative to expel the Catholic church from Ireland. They frankly haven’t proven they are good for Irish society, quite the opposite.

  3. archaeopteryx Says:

    Unfortunately, Sinjin, your representatives would metaphorically (or in some cases, I suspect, actually) fall to their knees in the presence of a roman catholic clergyman. Whether the representatives were religious or not, they would fear the effect on their chances of being re-elected if they stood up to these bullies.

    I think there’s a case to be made against politics as a career rather than a civic duty.

  4. Sinjin Smythe Says:

    Of course you are right Arch. The most receptive audience to what I’ve said is likely here where the aim is to ” interest, inspire or amuse atheists and agnostics”.

    Too bad for us, and them, that thinking analytically isn’t enjoyed by all?

    Analytic thinking can decrease religious belief, study shows

  5. Jeff Says:

    On the other hand, maybe Mr. Ryan will think again before trying to sell his budget proposal to Catholics.

    The following is an excerpt from a letter signed by 90 some faculty members at Georgetown U to Mr. Ryan in advance of his appearance there yesterday:

    “[W]e would be remiss in our duty to you and our students if we did not challenge your continuing misuse of Catholic teaching to defend a budget plan that decimates food programs for struggling families, radically weakens protections for the elderly and sick, and gives more tax breaks to the wealthiest few. As the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has wisely noted in several letters to Congress – “a just framework for future budgets cannot rely on disproportionate cuts in essential services to poor persons.” Catholic bishops recently wrote that “the House-passed budget resolution fails to meet these moral criteria.”

    In short, your budget appears to reflect the values of your favorite philosopher, Ayn Rand, rather than the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Her call to selfishness and her antagonism toward religion are antithetical to the Gospel values of compassion and love.”

    Every once in a while Christians do stand up for real Christian values!!!

  6. Sinjin Smythe Says:

    Ayn Rand’s characterization of selfishness as a virtue made for a provocative title that has been mischaracterized ever since the book The Virtue of Selfishness was originally published.

    It would hardly stretch anyone’s imagination why an author might choose a provocative title but of course that leads to the inevitable guessing what the book is about and for those who choose not to read it a lot of guessing incorrectly. The Virtue of Selfishness is NOT about how great it is to be selfish.

    Rather Ayn Rand’s The Virtue of Selfishness is about the virtue of pursuing your own interests, about being productive, about having something to contribute/trade in an age where so many don’t create.

    How this translates to a better society? Well were to to teach kids the value of producing, whether it be music, art, or machines, buildings, scientific discovery, et cetera we would be teaching them to embrace their interests. To develop their interests so they have something to trade on in this world.

    This is different from today, perhaps at least as much as it was different from Ayn Rand’s time: To many kids have their interests squelched, are told to fall in line, that their interests should be subordinated to some collective societal need. This leads to the mediocrity that persists today.

    Ayn Rand is at her core a socially progressive philosopher coming from a viewpoint of the individual, not the more common collectivist view. There is more than one way to be socially progressive.

  7. Jeff Says:


    The only problem with Ms. Rand’s philosophy is that found by Mr. Greenspan; i.e: the human psychology which leads to the consistent over-estimation of reward, and the even more consistent under-estimation of risk which leads inevitably to bubble / bust cycle that we have experienced since 2006. In a society whose sole motivation is self-interest, can you see anything which will compete with greed as the primary motivator? If that is the primary motivation for all members of society, then how do you contain the economic cycles in such a way as to prevent the out of control oscillation that we have just experienced?

    Sorry, but Ms. Rand is a dead end.