Irish Citizens Rank Religion Dead Last on List of Priorities

A recent survey conducted by the Community Foundation for Ireland offers a glimpse at what issues matter most to the citizens of the country and it’s pretty clear where their priorities lie (PDF):

Education, education, education, air, education, education, kids, education.

Not a bad list at all.

So you have to wonder what ranked lowest out of the 119 options presented to respondents:

Perhaps the most surprising finding was the ranking religion and spirituality which placed last of 119 issues facing citizens.

They care that much about education and not at all about religion…?

It’s like a bizarro version of the South.

(C’mon, Europe, you know you want to trade…)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Silver_fox-trot

    Well, if their government listens to them, I know where I’d want to move to next!

  • philipp

    and ireland is generally considered as one of the more religious countries in europe, to put this in perspective ;-)

    • Gus Snarp

      Yes, although I think this kind of study points out that they’re basically nominally Catholic, not really religious believers. They just can’t imagine saying anything on a survey other than “Catholic” when asked their religion, but they don’t really believe or place any real importance on Catholic doctrine. Somewhere out there is a video by some crazy Catholic who interviews Irish people and finds that they only go to church because they always have, if they go at all, and they really don’t think it’s important at all. Many say they don’t believe, but they still call themselves “Catholic”. The guy doing the interviews makes it seem terrible that they’re not real, true, and good Catholics and that Catholicism is losing Ireland. I found it entirely refreshing and hopeful for the world but wonder when they’ll drop the label. I won’t link to it because I don’t want to go down the rabbit hole required to find it.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=553145445 Gordon Duffy

        One person per household fills out the census. A lot of people complained the day after that their parents put them down as catholic against their wishes.

      • OverlappingMagisteria

        I’m an expert rabbit hole navigator. Heres the video with Michael Voris:

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=SaGj1rJdPKo#!

        • Alan Bloor

          Is it just me or does that sound like an innuendo?

        • Gus Snarp

          Yeah, that’s the one. <> That guy gives me the creeps.

        • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

          Muah ha ha! That’s hilarious!

    • Stev84

      Ireland used to be a Catholic theocracy, but the church has lost a huge amount of influence there in recent decades. And not just because of the child abuse scandals.

  • Veronica Abbass

    Too bad the title couldn’t say Religion Dead At Last!

    • pagansister

      Good one! :-)

  • ggsillars

    After centuries of overdosing on religion, Ireland is recovering nicely.
    I wish the US could have as effective a rehab program.

    • http://www.youtube.com/user/GodVlogger?feature=mhee GodVlogger (on YouTube)

      Ireland is certainly recovering from religion, but not nearly fast enough.

      They are one of the only non-Islamic modern countries with laws against blasphemy, they require a religious oath for the president, They let pregnant women die rather than provide a medically necessary abortion, a very high percentage of the schools are run by Christian organizations instead of by the secular government, etc.

      But there is hope on the horizon. Michael Nugent and Atheist Ireland are doing a terrific job. And a year or two ago this officially Catholic nation of Ireland actually closed down their diplomatic embassy to the Vatican.

    • pagansister

      I am incredibly proud of my ancestral home! Sounds like the Church is failing to get ANY point across religion wise. So good.

  • Cecelia Baines

    The only way this could have been any better would have been if Number One had been whisky….

    • McAtheist

      1. The quality of the whiskey system…..lol

  • Andrea

    But are they saying that they don’t care about religion? I doubt it. To me that reads as them thinking there is no problem with the religious status quo.

    • http://twitter.com/the_ewan Ewan

      Quite. What people list as ‘important’ in these sorts of surveys tends to be more what they think it’s important to do something about. No-one ever goes for (say) clean drinking water, not because they think it’s unimportant, but because it’s a non-issue.

  • http://twitter.com/TychaBrahe TychaBrahe

    And yet this is a country where abortion is illegal, to the point that a woman in the process of a miscarriage was allowed to die of septicemia rather than have an abortion while the fetus wasn’t quite dead yet.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/14/savita-halappanavar-death-irish-woman-denied-abortion-dies_n_2128696.html

  • http://www.facebook.com/mary.roleplayer Mary Smith

    As a Deist and partly Irish (I identify with my Irish roots personally myself) I say God bless Ireland for this! I almost wanna cry I’m so proud.

  • Kazrc@aol.com

    All of the above were made possible by religion. How ungrateful. Irish & U.S. culture reflects it. Judge Robert Bork (RIP) is right with his book “Slouching Toward Gomorrah”.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kieran.waldron.12 Kieran Waldron

    I am glad to see the support for the Catholic Church has slipped drastically in Ireland in recent years. This false Christian church needs to be boycotted because their teachings and practices contradict the Bible. If you want to know what the Bible really says on lots of issues, visit the following website and then click on each of the 20 headings in the left hand column:: http://www.biblelight.org/bs1.htm

  • http://www.facebook.com/kieran.waldron.12 Kieran Waldron

    I am glad to see the support for theCatholic Church has slipped drastically Ireland in recent years. This false Christian church needs to be boycotted because their teachings and practices contradict the Bible. If you want to know what the Bible really says
    on lots of issues, visit the following website, and then click on each of the 20
    headings in the left hand column: . http://www.biblelight.org/bs1.htm

    • Machintelligence

      So Irish Catholics are “not true Christians”? I’m sure this would come as a great surprise to them (the few that are left.)

  • Rationalist1

    It’s a bit like Quebec here in Canada. Within one generation, the quiet revolution occurred and the populace which was overwhelmingly Catholic and mass attending stopped. It when from about 90% attendance to about 10%. Quebec is now one of the most non religious provinces in Canada. Strangely the people stillidentify themselves as Catholic, but have nothing to do with the Church.


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