Bruce Arnold: We have just voted God out of the Constitution

Referendum has confirmed the rejection of the supervisory authority of natural law

Ballot boxes being emptied in Irish abortion referendum: The Supreme Court decided in effect that the People have an absolute power to make any laws they may please, even radically unjust and discriminatory laws. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne

Ballot boxes being emptied in Irish abortion referendum: The Supreme Court decided in effect that the People have an absolute power to make any laws they may please, even radically unjust and discriminatory laws. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne

One of the myths by which we live and organise our life in society is that there is a collective deity called “the People” which speaks to us through the ballot box, whose scripture is the Constitution and whose utterances are infallibly interpreted for us by the hierarchy of the courts.

Politicians are the priesthood of this deity and they worship daily at its altar, offering in sacrifice their personal beliefs and the needs of anyone not currently in favour with the People. They owe their political lives to this deity and they serve it in abject fear, always willing to sacrifice whatever it may demand.

The Irish Times
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