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A new series of The Meaning of Life is about to be screened on RTÉ, which can mean only one thing — a succession of anti-Catholic bigots will be given permission to display their ignorance of the religion they dismiss.
As a Catholic, by intellectual conviction, I have absolutely no problem with the teachings of my religion being debated, provided the debate/discussion is reasonable, informed, balanced and contextualised. Just as any other subject should be.
One extraordinary thing about this programme is that the guest is never a convinced and articulate Catholic. They do exist.
The UCD philosopher and son of Cork, Gerard Casey, comes immediately to mind. There are many others. Instead, we get the usual ‘I’m spiritual, but not religious’ waffle.
While the anti-Catholic tone is grating, it can be viewed as a backhanded compliment, in the context of Oscar Wilde’s adage that it’s better to be talked about than ignored. Still, it would be better to be talked about with a modicum of intelligence.
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