Humanist Association Urges Vote to Remove "God" from Constitution

Country: Ireland

Date of incident: September 29, 2016

Category: Social Hostility / Intolerance

Attack against: Faith

Area of case: Anti-Religion or humanism groups / Private



The Association calls for the removal of any references to God in the Constitution, and to any clauses that require public officials to swear a religious oath upon taking office.

According to The Irish Times, to mark International Blasphemy Rights Day, the Humanist Association called on the Government “and all political parties, TDs and Senators, to repeal the blasphemy law, the 2009 Defamation Act, by supporting a referendum to remove references to God from the Irish Constitution”.
The preamble to the Irish Constitution reads: “In the Name of the Most Holy Trinity, from Whom is all authority and to Whom, as our final end, all actions both of men and states must be referred, We, the people of Éire, Humbly acknowledging all our obligations to our Divine Lord, Jesus Christ, Who sustained our fathers through centuries of trial.....Do hereby adopt, enact, and give to ourselves this Constitution.”

Article 12 of the Constitution requires that the President “shall enter upon [sic] his office by taking and subscribing publicly, in the presence of members of both Houses of the Oireachtas, of judges of the Supreme Court, of the Court of Appeal and of the High Court, and other public personages, the following declaration: ‘In the presence of Almighty God I do solemnly and sincerely promise and declare that I will maintain the Constitution of Ireland’.”

Under Article 34, judges are also required to swear: “in the presence of Almighty God I do solemnly and sincerely promise and declare that I will duly and faithfully and to the best of my knowledge and power execute the office of Chief Justice (or as the case may be) without fear or favour, affection or ill-will towards any [sic] man, and that I will uphold the constitution and the laws. May God direct and sustain me.”
Source: The Irish Times