When Mike McKillen’s granddaughter came to help him in till the garden, it was such a great and delightful experience for him. However, as they worked, there was a small creature that wiggled out of the earth. To the displeasure of the 72 year-old professor, the 5 year-old girl said that the worm was made by God. Mike did not like the idea that his granddaughter had been brainwashed to believe that everything was created by God. He did not want his granddaughter to be indoctrinated.
However, most of the children in Ireland are educated through Catholic aid. Over 90 percent of the schools in the country are run by the Catholic Church, a fact that people like Mike have little control over. But, since the population of liberals and secularists is daily increasing in Ireland, the control that the Catholic Church has long had over the Irish society is slowly diminishing.
The last census in Ireland in 2011 indicated that non-Catholics had risen in number. Even though the vast majority of the people was associated with the Catholic church, over 5 percent of the population (around 277,000), described themselves as agnostic, atheists, or lapsed. This number represented an increase of over 50 percent since the last census was performed in 2006 and is certainly expected to rise in subsequent census exercises. Moreover, the high number of migrants to the country has led to an increased number of people who identify themselves as Buddhists, Hindu, Pentecostal, Orthodox, or Muslim.
The change in the demographics of Ireland, social attributes, and religious beliefs has affected the Catholic Church and the nation as well. These two have been intertwined since Ireland was separated and the Southern part freed from British rule in 1922. The Catholic Church has been holding unyielding views on baptism, divorce, abortion, homosexuality, marriage, and use of contraceptives. All these views have been under constant attack and challenges from the rising religions.
However, in spite of the fact that the power of the pulpit is fading away, especially among the current generation, the church has remained steadfast to its initial call. When a referendum was conducted, a whopping 62 percent of the Irish voted their approval of same-sex marriages. This made Ireland to be the first country in the globe to uphold same-sex marriage through a national referendum. However, the church in Ireland still remains strong in various spheres such as reproductive issues and education.
Ireland went to the polls on February 26, 2016, in an election that was mainly dominated by issues about crime and the economy. Candidates who sought political power were also put to the test regarding their stance on religious education. Moreover, they were resolutely asked if they would be in the forefront to help repeal the abortion ban that has almost become universal.
Certainly, the citizens are hungry for change in social status and liberalization, even though a better word would be a normalized status. Ireland has in fact become more tolerant and liberal. Most of the sermon that despise same-sex marriages are not as popular today as they were in the past.