God and the Constitution

Constitutional protections

Sir, – Brian O’Brien (Letters March 21st) sees the Enoch Burke saga as a clash between a legal system based on rationality and sound judgment, on the one hand, and a dwindling minority of citizens who believe in God, on the other. The Constitution is therefore due a “complete overhaul” so as to reflect this new age of putative enlightenment.

As someone who, like Enoch Burke, believes in God, I have to say that I am terrified at such a prospect.

The existing constitutional protections have not, so far, protected Mr Burke from disproportionately harsh treatment by the establishment, but the Constitution may eventually come to his aid, and may offer protection to other conscientious objectors as well. Remove these constitutional protections, and we have the appalling vista of, for example, doctors being removed from their jobs for refusing to carry out abortions, or parents having their rights to educate their children taken away from them.

One of the extraordinary things about modern Ireland is that nearly all the extremism comes from the left of the political spectrum, while the media and political establishments keep insisting that it comes from the right. – Yours, etc,




Co Waterford.

Sir, – God and the Constitution are well matched. Neither live up to their obligations. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 24.