Introducing the Aggressive Secularist

July 7, 2007 at 12:59 am Leave a comment

Not so long ago, Bertie Ahern launched a bizarre attack on an imaginary enemy called ‘aggressive secularism’. Unidentified ‘illiberal voices’ were echoing through his paranoid mind, demanding that the State ‘become intolerant of religious belief and confine it, at best, to the purely private and personal.’ >>>


Conservative columnists soon joined in the attack.

Popster John Waters argued that secularism has led to ‘alcohol, drugs, rampant consumerism and sex crimes’. He cautioned those of us who disagreed that, without a religious dimension, ‘we are less than human’.

And David Quinn, whose omnipresence is almost godlike when the Irish media debate religion, argued that secularism was now ‘like a cult’ that ‘disenfranchises religious believers’.

Dáil Debate

Later, in the Dáil, Bertie elaborated on his belligerent bogey-men. They were ‘people who infringe on other people’s rights’ and ‘who tend to make contributions that denigrate the role of churches in modern-day society’.

These people, he fumed, stuck in his craw (he actually said that they ‘stick in my claw’, which is a wonderful image). But his central point was clear:

I do not like, agree with or support the secular State and I believe religion has a predominant role to play.

Dáil Archives

On a whim, I searched the Dáil archives and found an earlier mention of ‘aggressive secularism’. Two years ago Bertie Ahern (now there’s a surprise) had praised the recently-dead Pope John Paul II for ‘responding to materialism and aggressive secularism.’

The Vatican

As I was now in Vatican territory, I soon found another reference. Before becoming Pope Benedict XVI, Cardinal Ratzinger had also warned that the Church must defend itself against a new ‘aggressive secular ideology’.

And so it turns out that Bertie Ahern was not paranoid after all. He was merely parroting for political purposes the paranoia of the Popes.

New Superhero

But now that they have invented the mythical ‘aggressive secularist’ as their favourite enemy, it would be a shame for such a being to not exist.

From now on, I will on occasion leap into a telephone box and emerge clad in superhero outfit, wearing which I will pen posts under the name of the Aggressive Secularist.


I have since dropped this idea, as somebody else has put it into action on YouTube. Check out these videos by Aggressive Secularist and his alter-egos, 2 Leg Humanist and Arguments from God.


Entry filed under: Ireland, Politics, Religion.

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A blog by Michael Nugent

Welcome to my blog about living in the maddest country on earth. Please feel free to leave a comment.

I also write Bionic Bohs, a blog about following Bohemians football club in the 1970s.


Bionic Bohs

As mentioned above, if you like Irish football and/or cultural nostalgia, I also write Bionic Bohs, a blog about following Bohs in the 1970s.

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