Sometimes all one can do is laugh. Sometimes one just has to thank the gods they don’t believe in for having been born a cisgender straight man. Sometimes you find yourself looking at the capital ‘A’ atheists and wonder, just wonder if perhaps…

Our Dáil, in its infinite wisdom voted to make it mandatory for TDs to stand for a prayer at the beginning of every session. The Ceann Comhairle (The Speaker) will recite a prayer, followed by a 30-second period of reflection. A sop to the heathens I assume. Those TDs who do not stand face possible expulsion from the chamber. As I laugh, I’m checking the calendar. Yep, it is 2017.

The thing is, if this act of symbolic sectarianism with menaces, was an isolated incident, then one could simply laugh it off. It is so patently absurd it deserves both ridicule and patronising indulgence. But it isn’t an isolated incident. It isn’t the only occasion when Roman Catholic sectarianism is allowed free rein in this country and its institutions.

At noon and at 6 p.m. our national broadcaster transmits the Roman Catholic call to prayer, The Angelus. It’s irksome in isolation, but added to the rest it becomes burdensome.

In certain county and city council chambers across the country, councillors have voted to have crucifixes on display. That councils are supposed to serve all in that district doesn’t matter to those who require ostentatious displays of their Roman Catholic piety.

To become President, a High Court judge or sit on the Council of State one must swear a religious oath. It’s in the Constitution.

If one’s child is trying to get into an oversubscribed school, that school is allowed discriminate on the basis of religion. And if that school does accept your non-Catholic child, it’s up to the parent to look after the child during the religious indoctrination parts of the school day.

And they own the schools. They actually own the schools.

If you are a religious organisation that owes the State millions of euro for having abused people entrusted to your care, you don’t have to worry about bailiffs seizing your assets. You may get the odd letter and meaningful look, but you are perfectly entitled to ignore such lip quivering.

If you think the law should treat living women as being the equal of the foetuses they may be carrying, you get to have the Constitution altered so that a dozen women must flee this Roman Catholic paradise every day for medical care in the UK.

If you think the law should treat living women as being the equal of the foetuses they may be carrying, you are entitled to set up agencies that lie to those women. There is no law to protect vulnerable women from your religiously inspired lies.

If you think same sex relationships are all icky and against your thin-skinned god you get to hate on same sex relationships while not being called homophobic. Because that might hurt your feelings and the feelings of your thin-skinned godling.

And if someone treats you and your thin-skinned goldling the same way you treat people in same sex relationships you get to cry foul because blasphemy is not just a sin it’s against the law. Because your thin-skinned godling and his thin-lipped worshippers need protecting from words.

If you own strategically important land, the State will build a hospital for you and allow you to own that hospital. Some sap farmer in the way of a motor way will see his land compulsory purchased so quick he won’t know what hit him.

And they own the hospitals. They actually own the hospitals.

And worse than the laws, the land, the discrimination, the sectarianism, the hypocrisy and the sense of entitlement, is that they get to feel hard done by because not everyone is grateful for their death-grip on this country. Thank fuck and thank their petty godling that I’m straight, male, have no children, don’t have any ambition to rise to high office or low office to be frank, don’t watch RTE and am relatively healthy, because at least I’m spared the majority of their parasitic sanctimony.

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