Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Huzzah! Success! (of sorts)

Since the publishing of my post called(admittedly quite poorly) “Criticism of the Borrisokane Community College Prayer Service.” I have not received an apology from the school, but have had success in gaining some attention, conscious raising if you like. I'm not saying this for the sake of gloating (Although there is that), but rather because I feel the question is an important one, and we should be discussing it. There are a number of questions to be raised, but first: the boasting.

I requested that Atheist Ireland share my blog, and I also asked for advice. Gabrielle Monaghan, a journalist who found out about this via twitter requested an interview on Thursday. The article which included excerpts from the interview was published in the Sunday times on the 21st. Here’s a link to the article, but you can't get the whole thing if you aren't a paying customer: The mention of the Irish human Rights Commission in the article is because I made a complaint after Jane Donnelly, education officer of atheist Ireland recommended it. Midlands 103 also interviewed me, and I'll share the podcast whenever it is released. For now, here is the homepage: I also got abused by some bigoted idiots here: and there was a slightly more reasonable discussion here:

There are certain two things that I should clarify, namely:
1. V.E.C. Schools aren't secular, they have Christian ethos but are supposed to make space for non-Christians. Remember that the V.E.C. Schools are the closest thing to state schools, receiving funding, from the tax payer, to preach. The “Teach don't Preach” campaign run by atheist Ireland continually shares news relating to the innate stupidity and sometimes bigotry that arises from this sort of stupid system.
2. I have had a long discussion with my principle about this, and I have to say feel a lot more disgusted at the compulsion of attendance, not less. He made points concerning, among other things, the fact that its nice to have the school community together at the start of the year, that they do at least now have a representative of the Anglican sect or church. I won't bother returning fire on either of these questions for two reasons, namely that it is unfair to attack him without his ability to defend himself, and because my objections should be immediately obvious.

I would like it if my principle apologises, not personally to me but to the school as I acknowledge, I was not the only one to ask to be elsewhere during this event. I have been in touch with the human rights commission on this, and although nothing is decided, I will accept an apology as sufficient and request that the Human Rights Commission take no further action on this.

1 comment:

  1. Well done so far Nathan. I will share this blog on the AI facebook page.

    The Principal (not principle ;-) ) will of course not change his view. I would recommend to file a complaint with the ombudsman for children. It is a pretty straight forward procedure. I went through it with my son (he was 4 at the time) when the school taught him prayers against our specific wishes. We also had media attention (up to television) and hope that your case will go the same distance.

    We also got lots of bigotry and even some threats, ignore them, keep your head high. They know that they fight a losing battle and that is why they react like that.

    Thank you for the good work you are doing.

    Martijn Leenheer