> I still think that a great many non-religious people view abortion as A
> Bad Thing, though.
I'm not arguing with that - I just don't think that many non-religious people (outside Ireland) accept the right-to-lifers' made-up stories about abortion traumatising women for life.
> Why is there no 'aggresive secularism', of the left or the right?
Well, according to Bertie, there is. He condemned it in the same speech I referred to earlier (the one in which he reaffirmed the Church's role in the political system). Of course in his language it just means anyone who thinks the Church shouldn't have such a role.
> And if I read or hear the term 'parish pump politics' again in the
> media I am going to slap someone. I fear we get the politicans we
That is definitely true. One of the things that does my head in is people complaining about how little the Dáil sits. That is a legitimate issue, of course, but they never make the connection that the reason the Dáil only sits three days per week and barely over half the weeks per year is because the voters demand that they spend most of their time doing constituency work. People in this country (or at least in this State) really haven't got their heads around the fact that a legislator's job is to *legislate*, not to help them get their drain fixed or an extension to their school.
> > The abortion-as-contraception issue I think is different, and has more
> > to do with a limited degree of acceptance of foetal personhood
> Do you think there is a degree of acceptance of foetal personhood,
> however limited?
Erm, isn't that what I just said? :)