Answer All Questions


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Sheila Armstrong tweetz:

I’d ask if this was a joke, but I think I already know the answer.

121 thoughts on “Answer All Questions

  1. Don Pidgeoni

    Ergh. Funny how my religion classes at school were perfectly able to teach it without getting all culty.

    1. Odis

      Yeah why bother to write her a letter when you can grass her up to Youth Defense or some crowd like that?

      1. Don Pidgeoni

        Hmm, what do you get per impregnanted 15 yr old? I mean, if its worth my while…

    1. Gers

      ^ this. Nothing wrong at all here and more to the point OP says “Bullying”? Get out of it.

    2. Bob

      I don’t remember “how to force your religious beliefs onto others” being part of any Religion class I ever had.

      1. newsjustin

        The “friend” asks you for advice.

        Also, the only bullying is in the person’s judgemental tweet. There’s scope in that question to express ones own views on abortion (consequences, alternatives).

      2. Lu

        Funny, because it was a pretty formative part of my entire education. And before you say it, I went to a local NS followed by a Community School.

        1. newsjustin

          I went to a convent school followed by a CBS school and I can honestly say, I don’t recall abortion ever being mentioned.

          I’m not just saying this to be controversial. It just goes to show the wide variety in how the topic is/was handled.

          1. Ms Piggy

            were you in an all-boys’ school? Cos I’d imagine it gets mentioned a LOT more in girls’ schools.

      3. manolo

        Obviously some people did get it down their throats and so they think it is ‘normal’.

        1. Brionic

          If they got it down their throats, there wouldn’t be any need for an abortion now would there? Think manolo, think.

    3. Otis Blue

      Seems more like a Catholicism exam to be fair.

      Religion is a broader church, so to speak.

    4. Niall

      Religion class can be very useful: when they teach comparative religion. Teaching a single ethos is dogma, and shouldn’t be allowed in a state funded school.

  2. Quisling

    This is completely opposite to my own views, which were formed no thanks to my convent school, but I do have to say that a Catholic religion class has a right to teach its own dogma. The kids figure this out fairly quickly, answer the question – easy ‘A’.

    1. Barry the Hatchet

      This position would hold more weight if the Catholic Church didn’t control an overwhelming majority of schools. Alternatives are not easy to come by.

    1. Mani

      Penile or vaginal stigmata or what Christ referred to as ‘the bad dose’ Latin translation ‘janotti’

  3. ivan

    5th year in secondary school?

    This is an OPTIONAL subject at this stage, isn’t it? I mean, I don’t like what I’m seeing here, but it’s not like it’s something that a student would be unaware of before deciding they’d rather do this than Physics, right?

    1. Quisling

      Ivan, since they made Religion a Leaving Cert subject, there are lots of people choosing it – easy points.

        1. Malta

          Well, do they require them to take it as an exam subject? I did religion in 5th and 6th year but it was kinda touchy feely discussions.

    2. Cian

      My allegedly interdenominational VEC school forced very Catholic religion classes on all in LC. Unless you got excluded for refusing to agree with the doctrine…

      1. ivan

        I think from my time doing religion, er, twenty years ago in school, we were timetabled for classes but there were no exams or anything. And this was a school run by priests. Almost progressive, now that I think of it, but there you go.

        given time of year, this is an end of term ‘test’…rather than a state sponsored exam, but there *is* a Religion exam you can do for ‘easy’ points, right? I think the more worrying thing would be if that class of dogma was taught for a state exam

        This up there is obviously a problem for *that* school – i don’t belittle it – but at least it’s not, AFAIK, nationwide…

    3. Róisín

      I finished school in 2007- before religion was an exam subject I think. Three hours of religion every week, even in May of 6th year. Also we were taught abortion was murder (no exceptions) and the pill gave you cancer.

      There was a mixed vocational school in the town but the convent school had better teachers, facilities and exam results. Since I left school a mixed community school (which recently expanded) in a nearby village got a lot of our town’s kids.

  4. Ms Piggy

    From an educational point of view, what this exam paper indicates is a truly enormous intellectual failure to understand the difference between learning about religions and the nature/history of religious belief, and being indoctrinated to believe in one particular set of those beliefs with (I deduce from this exam) no sense of critical distance or alternative view. That public money should be paying for this in 2015 is absolutely disgraceful.

      1. Ms Piggy

        was that a reply to me? If so, I don’t see how that addresses my main point. Religion in public schools should not include any element of a student’s personal beliefs, as this paper is clearly designed to elicit.

        1. newsjustin

          It was. Just in response to your comment that there was no alternative view called for. It asks for alternatives in the question.

          Also, and importantly, there are almost zero “public schools” in Ireland. The vast majority are privately owned and run under a patron, etc.

  5. Malta

    I don’t see any problems with these questions being asked in an exam about Roman Catholicism.

    Potential problems arise in relation to (a) why are you sitting an exam in Roman Catholicism; and the answers expected.

    People, especially women of child bearing age, should know the answers to those questions, well the first three anyway. But they should know factual answers based on evidence based, peer-reviewed research, not the answers the church has decided on.

  6. bubbleandsqueak

    The other 2 questions on that paper

    1 (a) Name the stations of the Cross
    (b) Give two reasons why it is important to know them
    (c) If you had to write a short note about Lent to a non-Christian, what would you write?

    3 We are Caretakers not owners of the life that God has entrusted to us. It is not ours to dispose of (The Catechism of the Church) Write an essay on the above discussing the issues of Suicide, Euthanasia and Drug-taking.

    1. jeremy kyle

      “Give two reasons why it is important to know them”

      So I can pass this exam, can’t think of a second though.

  7. nellyb

    It’s like being annoyed with not getting a bacon sandwich on holidaying in Dubai.

    1. jeremy kyle

      Your friend confides in you that she is hungry, is considering a ham sandwich….

  8. tony

    What???? There is meat in this Big Mac? How dare you?
    Prejudice really becomes dangerous when those who hold it think they are actually on the right side!

  9. Elly Parker

    Answer: Well, luckily you’re only at 6 weeks, so we have 3 weeks to get on a ferry over to the UK to sort this out. The church may teach that life begins at conception, but since we have also studied science, we know that the development of life in the womb means that the baby cannot survive outside the womb until at least 24 weeks, so I’m pretty sure the church is wrong there, like the are on a lot of things.
    The consequences of the abortion mean that you will be able to get on with your young life like a normal person, instead of having to stay at home as a teenage mom (and probably get kicked out of your school once they know you are pregnant). The alternatives are dire and mean that your life will be pretty crappy for several years, and you’ll struggle to get time to study and get good qualifications so you can get a better job in life.


    1. scottser

      you forgot to mention that iona would pay her to have the baby, who then give it to a nice christian family to rear. but not the QUARES tho, oh no.

      1. Joe the Lion

        Or the bit about how to work two jobs to get the money for the two babies she already has and to buy drink for the drunken wife abusing fella

    2. newsjustin

      D- Elly. Critical flaw in your argument. You lazily (conveniently?) assume that ability to survive outside the womb marks the point at which life begins. A popular and convenient error that has no basis in fact or science.

      Must try harder.

      1. Lorcan Nagle

        Well, I have to say that I was always a staunch pro-lifer, but the sheer intolerance towards other people’s views that you’ve displayed here has made me change my mind. I’m defeinitely voting to repeal the 8th in any referendum

        1. Ultach

          Can’t have been too staunch if it only took three and a bit lines of pro-life argument to turn you pro-abortion. Or maybe you and Newsjustin have previous? And since when is arguing for a different point of view “sheer intolerance”? Bit touchy?

        2. newsjustin

          Local is having the Craig because he believes one can never ever change one’s mind on a topic.

          1. Lorcan Nagle

            I think I’ve just proven you wrong as I’ve changed my mind on the topic right here.

          2. newsjustin

            So you have Lorcan.

            And it’s an entertaining way to avoid tackling the real point of my post…which you obviously can’t.

          3. Lorcan nagle

            That’s very intolerant of my opinion. I thought you were all about that sort of thing.

          4. Joe the Lion

            It’s alive Justin in the sense that if you fry a dead eel on the pan it may jump around a bit in the fat.
            Why do you creeps insist on regulating and licensing the contents of female wombs?

        1. newsjustin

          Life does not begin at some (moveable) point at which a baby can survive outside its mother’s womb.

          1. Don Pidgeoni

            Says you. Not everyone thinks that a 2 day old embryo or a 16 week foetus is alive.

          2. Don Pidgeoni

            Except it doesn’t. You may have your idea about when it starts ie when an egg is fertilised but fairly sure most scientists would say thats an embryo not a life. Your opinion is not scientific fact.

          3. Lorcan Nagle

            So in the day since Justin’s intolerance drove me away from my totally honest Pro-life stance I’ve done some reading.

            In 1983, the Irish medical system preferred to let a pregnant woman die of cancer than give her chemotherapy

            In 1992, the Irish state placed a teenage girl on a no-fly list to prevent her traveling to the UK for an abortion after she became prengant as a result of rape by her neighbour

            Almost 3 years ago, a hospital let a woman die from septicemia rather than abort her brain-dead foetus.

            Less than 12 months ago, an asylum seeker, another victim of rape who met the restrictive conditions of the protection of life during pregnancy act was kept wrapped up in red tape until she could no longer be given an abortion, preferring to deliver a barely viable foetus via c-section – exacerbating both the mother’s mental and physical scars, and giving the child a 5% chance of surviving to aulthood without severe health issues, and only a 20% chance of living to the age of 3.

            Less than 6 months ago a brain-dead woman who was pregnant was kept on a ife support machine against the wll of her family.

            Beyond that, since Justin’s intolerant post, roughly 10 women have had an abortion in the UK, listing an Irish address. Others may have listed British addresses, but there’s o way to track it. Other women may have obtained the so-called abortion pill online an managed to smuggle it past customs.

            An unknown number of women want to have an abortion tonight, but can’t afford to travel, or are not allowed to leave the country, don’t know about the pill, are in abusive relationships or another circumstance that limit their options, don’t know what their options are, or have been shamed into accepting their circumstances against their will.

            And that’s without getting into the reasons for their abortions – for many it’s a health issue, like Shiela Hodgers who was denied chemotherapy, or because they’ve discovered that the foetus has a fatal abnormality and it’s just a countdown until it’s stillborn, or because they’re too young to start a family, or they can’t afford to have children, or they just don’t want to have a baby. When a woman wants to have an abortion, it’s almost always the right choice for her, and psychological research backs that assertation up. Arguing about what exact point that a developing foetus becomes a human is nowhere near the important part of the problem – that Irish women are suffering every day as a result of our laws.

            What I learned in the last 20-odd hours is that the current abortion laws are unjust, not just because they prevent sick women from getting the healthcare they need in Ireland, but because they prevent the poor, the disenfranchised, asylum seekers, and those in direct provision from getting the healthcare they get at all. Our Irish solution to an Irish problem is a solution for the rich and the middle class only.

            So thanks, Justin. Your intolerance has opened my eyes to a complex, nuanced and ultimately horrible aspect of Irish society, and I’m going to do my bit to fix it

          4. newsjustin

            That’s good for you Lorcan. Fails to address the single point I made regarding Elly’s post. But good for you.

          5. Lorcan Nagle

            Sealioning doesn’t suit you Justin. What happened to all your concern for both sides to be tolerant and show respect?

          6. newsjustin

            Why is my argument bollix Joe? Do you agree with Elly that a foetus isn’t alive until it can survive outside the womb?

          7. newsjustin

            It’s funny, Lorcan, how quick the conversation turns to sealioning or trolling when people can’t or won’t answer questions.

          8. Lorcan Nagle

            Now Joseph, don’t you know that we’re meant to be tolerant of Justin’s opinion?

          9. Joe the Lion

            A fetus (/ˈfiːtəs/; plural “fetuses”), also spelled foetus or, archaically, faetus,[1] is the term used to refer to a prenatal mammal or other viviparous vertebrate between its embryonic state and its birth. The 2008 Britannica Concise Encyclopedia defines it as the “[u]nborn young of any vertebrate, particularly mammals, after it has acquired its basic form.”[2]

          10. Joe the Lion

            There is no sharp limit of development, age, or weight at which a fetus automatically becomes viable.[25] According to data from 2003–05, survival rates are 20 to 35 percent for babies born at 23 weeks of gestation; 50 to 70 percent at 24 to 25 weeks; and over 90 percent at 26 to 27 weeks.[26] It is rare for a baby weighing less than 500 gm to survive.[25]

            A being isn’t alive before it’s born Justin

          11. newsjustin

            Delightful Joe. But lacking even the most basic understanding of biology. And you call me a creep…

          12. Lorcan Nagle

            Can’t imagine why anyone woul say you’re sealioning, Justin. Inconcievable

        2. rotide

          Didn’t Joe The Lion’s post above completely disprove Ellys point?

          Lorcan, you completely and utterly failed to address Justins assertion, but don’t let that stop you from grandstanding.

          “A being isn’t alive before it’s born Justin”
          I can’t believe the pro choice movement hasn’t made you its spokesman yet

          1. rotide

            he asserted that:
            Life does not begin at some (moveable) point at which a baby can survive outside its mother’s womb.

          2. Lorcan Nagle

            It’s very generious to call that an assertation. And I did address his point, just not in the way that you or he seem to want. So hey, how’s this:

            I find it very telling, and very sad that you and Justin seem to be obsessed wth definining when a spermatozoa/egg/zygote/gamete/foetus/child becomes an independent human lifeform, and you seem to be ignoring the actual social impact that Ireland’s abortion laws have on women in this country. It’s a technical discussion that’s better left to medical experts when the government is looking for advice on the exact abortion legislation that wll eventually be introduced.

            Since I last posted in this thread, another 10 women have had an abortion aborad, providing an Irish address on their admission forms. But just as importantly, there’s women in Ireland who need an abortion but can’t get one because our laws restrict their access, and they can’t afford the cost of travel or can’t smuggle the abortion pill into the country. That’s far more relevant to the debate.

  10. Chuckie

    So, a quick bit of research…

    Religious Education is a Leaving Cert subject, however, it is described as follows “Leaving Certificate religious education promotes tolerance and mutual understanding. It is a broad course which seeks to develop the skills needed to engage in meaningful dialogue with those of other or of no religious traditions.”

    That quote is from:

    That page also has the curriculum

    A quick word search of that syllabus gives no results for pregnancy, abortion, termination, euthanasia, or stations of the cross.

    So it would seem that the “Religion” being examined in the exam paper here is Roman Catholicism, and not the LC subject of Relgious Education. Presumably in a RC school. So this story boils down to a “Catholic school is Catholic” shocker.

    Would I want to attend said school, or send my offspring there? No way. But this isn’t a scandal. It would be a scandal if there are pupils in the school who would prefer to be attending a secular school, but did not have that option. There probably are such pupils, I accept.

    But this is not a #Repealthe8th issue, it’s an education issue. Not being able to identify the problem won’t get us anywhere.

  11. rotide

    Well this is a welcome return to frothing at the mouth about abortion after all the referendum fun

  12. browndogg

    Has everyone gone fooping mental?! I mean itza Catholic fooping Religious class, what else would you expect?
    And iffa Chick gets pregnant, well, she should bloody fooking keep the child as she knew the freakin’ risks, but no! Not in Ireland 2.0 where personal responsibility has been outsourced.

        1. Stephanenny

          By “rape line” do you mean “actual and horrible life experience” that dozens of women helped by the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre have been through?

  13. Frilly Keane

    How many marks are available?

    If its a 5 marker
    Or under

    Ignore it

    Sh1tty Sh1t school tho
    Do yerself
    And your girl
    A favour

    Get ou’ve it

  14. manolo

    Your friend confides in you that she became pregnant through immaculate conception and asks for your advice about what to do. Write a letter including the following points:

    – Explain the teachings of the church about immaculate conception (make it up when you can’t find it)
    – Explain what happened to the last known similar case
    – Explain how she can convince someone else to take over the father job

    1. EvilLover

      You might want to look up immaculate conception; it’s not what you think it is.

  15. custo

    FAO people who tweet stuff like this:

    lots of people are practicing catholics. I know, crazy right?

  16. peterandrefan44

    your false shock and outrage is sickening to me
    “ooh moy god oi nearly died when oi saw that question loike”

  17. DoubtingTomás

    Just pulled up last year’s leaving cert higher level RE exam. They didn’t even have religion as a subject when I was in school so I was a little confused by all this. It strikes me as odd that there’s a generation of children growing up thinking they are ‘good’ or ‘bad’ at religion.

    Having read the paper, it strikes me that it’s basically a heavy dose of Catholic catechism with enough ambiguity to accommodate those of the more mainstream branches of Anglican and Dissenter faiths and then a smattering of ‘oh and you should be aware other people believe stuff too’.

    Their definition of ‘world religions’ is incredibly limited when compared to the BBC’s:

    To me, and I’m not in fact an out and out secularist, this is more indoctrination than education and whatever syllabus this is based upon has no right to dub itself a subject worthy of inclusion in state examinations.

    You stay classy Marlborough Street.

  18. yourpoint

    An exam on Catholic teachings… what on earth do you expect. Bono and Mrs Brown on Leaving Cert English paper, now that is a major cause for concern.

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