“There is now an extraordinary situation where State-funded third-level colleges are openly advising would-be teachers that their career prospects depend on their religious faith.”
The hidden secular totalitarianism of this statement is what is “extraordinary”.
Fintan O’Toole’s proclaimed agenda – emphasised again in his Irish Times column today – is to deprive the citizen-parents of this country of one of their fundamental civil and human rights – that of being supported by the state in their work as primary educators of their children.
The Irish State funds third-level colleges to train teachers who will work in primary schools which the vast majority of the parents of this country wish to be “faith” schools, that is, schools in which their children will learn about their faith and grow in their knowledge of and commitment to the God whom that faith proclaims.
The State does this because it is the will of the people that it should do so. The details as to how to manage a fair distribution of scarce resources – given the religious denominations represented in the population – is another matter. But it does not lead us to a conclusion that the faith commitment of those staffing the schools is something irrelevant.
For that reason it would surely be extraordinary if teacher training colleges did not point out to their students that their commitment to a particular faith might be a factor influencing whether or not they might be successful in applying to a post in the majority of schools.
The day in which this will become irrelevant will the day in which schools will have given up on a responsibility which the majority of the citizens of this State have chosen to share with them, denying them their rights in the process. The rights of parents to have their children educated are primary. In this context, the rights of teachers to have jobs are secondary.
The anti-faith secularism of O’Toole and the militant new atheists is not just extraordinary. It is profoundly sinister and utterly cynical in the manner in which it is dressed up in the garments of righteousness.