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Dear Sir... Readers' Views (05/12/16)

Your letters, your views...

No one works just to pay taxes

People who work and pay taxes are treated as a virtuous. The assumption follows that they are more entitled to opinions and to be respected than people who are not in a position to pay taxes on a par with workers.

The non-tax payers are deemed to be of low worth and any attack made upon them is benignly accepted by tax-payers.

Who, in their right mind, volunteers to work to pay taxes? That is not what tax-payers are about.

They would gladly take the rewards of work — being able to buy interesting services and experiences, have greater material wealth — and not pay taxes. Let’s not pretend that altruism is conferred with an offer of gainful employment.

I object to the assumption that unemployed people should work for experience instead of wages, and that they should be punished if they refuse to do so.

Since when is experience a reward? Would a worker swap his pay for experience? I was unaware that the principles of the UK’s Modern Slavery Act of 2015 could so easily be dismissed that any working Tom, Dick, or Harry would be entitled to vote his unemployed neighbour into enforced labour for no wage.

You wouldn’t bully any other social group so casually, without ending up with a metaphorical, or legal, bloody nose.

Gabrielle Mullan
Cannon - Dale
Omagh
Co Tyrone

 

GAA unpatriotic not to fly the flag

It’s extraordinary for the GAA to say it may stop playing the national anthem and flying the national flag, the tricolour, at games, especially in this centenary year of the 1916 Rising.

The flag represents both orange and green traditions on this island. The anthem was the last song sung by volunteers fleeing the burning GPO into the safety of the adjoining lanes of history, in Moore Street, led by Michael Collins. He had been sworn into the IRB by none other than Sam Maguire.

What next on the GAA inclusivity agenda? Changing the name of its most famous trophy, perhaps?

Proinsias O’Rathaile
James Connolly Heron
1916 Relatives Centenary Initiative
Oxford Road
Ranelagh
Dublin 6

 

I will emigrate if Bertie returns

It is time to emigrate when I see the ‘Anorak Man’, Bertie Ahern, rejoining Fianna Fail!

Michael Leahy
Ballynoe Hse
Cobh
Co Cork
 

Bertie recall must be publicity stunt

“The Bert’s timing for a return would also chime with the times we live in”

said your writer, Michael Clifford, sardonically about the brass-neck Bertie Ahern returning to politics.

It all could be put down as a Christmas-fool prank by the Dublin Central Cumann, looking for press coverage.

For Bertie, neither shame nor cringe applies. The notion of such a comeback is risible.

In a strange way, though, it provides a parcel of levity .... a sort of black-humour blast before the razzmatazz of the festive season. Maybe that’s why this ‘news’ broke now i.e. to catch people off-guard while they were winding up for the Christmas.

‘Winding up’ is the key word here, of course.

I heard, years ago, of Bertie’s relentless ‘plámásing’ of the porters in the Mater Hospital, where he was then a duty-accountant. I suppose one has to start somewhere. So maybe that’s where he could start his comeback. I’m sure the Mater could do with an ‘experienced’ accountant in these days of fiscal squeeze.

The money’s only okay to start with, but you have the ‘pals’ over in Manchester and a few race-course outsiders to back.

Jim Cosgrove
Chapel Street
Lismore
Co Waterford
 

Drinking accounts for little water use

The report of the expert commission on water breaks down how we use this resource. I was fascinated by the percentages: 40% on personal washing, 21% on toilet flushing, 19% on clothes washing and dishwashing.

When I think about water, I think of drinking it and cooking with it, but they represent just 8% of the total. So, if you want to save water, forget about personal hygiene, wear unwashed clothes, and leave dishes dirty.

Water should be a given, for free, in an ideal world. It’s too important to be controlled by self-righteous rulers.

Kevin Devitte
Mill Street
Westport
County Mayo
 

Do not bow to UN on abortion issue

I’m baffled by the Government. In this centenary year of the heroes of 1916, Ireland doffs its cap to the UN, a body that cooperated with human rights abuses. After being roundly abused by the UN for Ireland’s pro-life laws, the then minister for health meekly thanked them.

To begin with, Ireland is under no obligation to obey UN orders. And, despite its attitudes, no UN treaty has ever endorsed abortion. Sadly, the UN, through the UN Fund for Population Activities, inter alia, became obsessed with abortion and population control. The Government should investigate UN involvement in the brutal compulsory sterilisation programme in India, the one-child policy in China, and with the foundations that pour millions into abortion promotion.

We cannot let a body like the UN dictate policy to Ireland, particularly in areas where Ireland has higher standards than the UN aspires to — respect for the value of all human life, whether healthy or handicapped. Granting €30,000 of public money to the woman who complained to the UN about Ireland’s abortion laws raises problems. Will this be also paid to the Irish Downs Syndrome babies aborted in England last year?

There were other options. The baby could have been carried to term. Other women do that and some have the pleasant surprise that their babies were either normal, or not as handicapped as feared.

John O’Reilly
Secretary Second Look Project
Merrion Square
Dublin 2

 

Abortion against the will of God

Your front page article (Bishops approve Pope’s letter to forgive abortion, Irish Examiner, November 22) was uplifting in its coverage of the latest apostolic letter of Pope Francis. He has extended the absolution of the sin of abortion to all priests.

This initiative is so typical of his pontificate. He tirelessly seeks to remove all obstacles obscuring the mercy of God, longs that all the faithful would come to think with the Church, and that, having experienced Christ’s mercy, they would to go out and be prophets, witnesses of His mercy in the world.

How unfortunate, therefore, that the concluding paragraphs of that article set out a misleading and inaccurate presentation of the Catholic Church, by saying:”The Catholic Church’s current stance on abortion dates back less than 150 years.”

While it is true that, over the last 150 years, the teaching of the Catholic Church has been increasingly presented in terms of human rights and with reference to knowledge gained through the life-sciences, it has been the consistent teaching of the Catholic Church that abortion is wrong, and, hence, sinful.

For example, ‘The Didache’, the earliest surviving Christian document — possibly contemporaneous with the New Testament — condemns abortion.

In articulating its message over the centuries, and in the absence of definitive scientific knowledge, the Church has availed of the various currents of thought in vogue, concerning when the sin of contraception ended, the sin of abortion (homicide) begins, and what happens in between, given that, here too, there can be an assault upon our human dignity.

The impression was also given in the article that the sinfulness of abortion is a matter of papal arbitrary injunction. Even if there were no pope, indeed, if Jesus had never come into the world, we would still know that abortion is a repudiation of our youngest and most vulnerable, as well as an unwillingness to live in the will of God, because it brings distress, disorder, and dissatisfaction to all who are complicit in, or know about, what has happened.

It is with this in mind that the Church has sought, in various ways, to assert both the gravity of the wrong involved and, at the same time, that the merciful embrace of God is there to be received by all who acknowledge their need of it.

It is in recognising our absolute unworthiness of the loving outreach of God that we make space in our heart for His love to transform us. Only the receipt of His mercy can ignite our faith and so make us capable of loving to the full.

Gearóid Duffy
Lee Road
Cork


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