Dear Editor, When I was visiting Dublin during the Christmas holidays, I was astonished to see large billboards with pictures of cows and chickens and such slogans as ‘It’s not a personal choice if someone is killed’.
Apparently paid for by a vegan organisation, these ads try to drive home the idea that choices that result in the deaths of another living being – or another living being that’s not a plant, at any rate – are utterly unacceptable.
It’s hard to get beyond the irony of such adverts running at a time when Ireland is launching into a new era of abortion on demand. Do those who pay for, who run, who support these adverts even think about the reality of what our Government is trying to enable? Yes, of course there are those who will claim a human foetus is not a person – however they choose to define a person – but surely we can all agree that it’s a living human being, a unique living human being?
The vegans are right, of course, at least in part. Putting aside the suggestion that the life of a cow is somehow equivalent to the life of a human being, it is indeed not a personal choice if someone is killed – or, at least, it’s not a personal choice anyone should make or respect. Our Constitution used to recognise that fact, and it’s hard not to wonder whether anyone would have tried running the current advertising campaign during last year’s referendum debate.
It might, at any rate, have been interesting to see posters showing a 12-week-old human in the womb accompanied by the words ‘it’s not a personal choice if someone is killed’.
Belfast, Co. Antrim.
Would your columnist have reconsidered emigration?
Dear Editor, I’m afraid I couldn’t help but smile at Mary Kenny’s article on disappearing nations and the other side of emigration (IC 3/1/2019). Ms Kenny has a point, of course: it goes without saying that emigration deprives some countries of their people, and the figures she gives for population decline in the Baltic states are sobering.
She is right too to compare the situations facing Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia now to that which faced Ireland from the 1950s on, but it is perhaps worth asking ourselves how the struggling Ireland of decades past would have coped without the safety valves offered by England and America; our 1980s dole queues were notoriously huge, and would have been even worse if our friends and relatives hadn’t gone abroad.
Many of those who left made a point of helping family they’d left behind, and over recent decades Ireland has gained further through our diaspora having provided us with an impressive global network for work and investment. It may well be that those who come to our shores now will be in a position to help their countries of origin someday too, and if we help them to do so we’ll just be passing on the kind of benefits from which we ourselves have gained.
The real irony in all this, though, is that Ms Kenny herself, I understand, emigrated from Ireland years ago. Does she feel that her presence across the water has added to Britain’s “richness and diversity”, but that she somehow deprived Ireland of her talents when she first took ship for England?
And would she have refrained from emigrating if she had been told that her departure would be Ireland’s loss?
New year’s day was calamitous
Dear Editor, I beg to differ with Minister Harris’s introduction of abortion services on January 1 as a “momentous day”. The grave injustices yet to be inflicted on unborn babies in this country can hardly be described in such a fashion. Abortion cannot be classified as healthcare. Why? Because it simply isn’t, despite the many valiant attempts to disguise it as such. “A procedure intended to end the life of a foetus”, as in our current legislation, has only one objective and that is to end an innocent life. For the 733,632 people who voted last May to protect the unborn baby, January 1, 2019 was far from momentous – rather calamitous.
Clontarf, Dublin 3.
Give Christmas back to Jesus
Dear Editor, Of course they know it’s Christmas however for many people Jesus is no longer the reason for the season and they have taken Christ out of Christmas.
In fact Jesus is no longer invited to attend most of his birthday parties. It seems that around 50% of the Christmas cards now in circulation are all secular ones depicting Santa, snowmen, robins, holly etc.
It is surely time for us to bring Jesus back for the Christmas celebrations so what can we do as active Christians?
May I suggest that in mid-November that religious cards supporting a Christian children’s charity should be made available for sale at all churches and in Catholic schools. The clergy should strongly recommend their parishioners to buy these cards and send them to their families, friends and neighbours.
It is surely time to light up Christmas for Jesus.
Liam de Paor,
Carrickane, Co. Cavan.
Sr Wendy’s great example
Dear Editor, I was disappointed to read in your paper that the wonderful Sr Wendy Beckett has died (IC 3/1/2019), and have since heard several people – not all of whom are friends of the Church, by any means – speaking fondly of her and with admiration for her work in sharing the joy of art. Nuns and sisters get a constant bad press nowadays, but more people like Sr Wendy, who stand out as positive and joyous examples of religious life, might help to change this depressing tendency.
Raheny, Dublin 5.