Atheists and the Constitution


Sir, – Those of us who affirm as opposed to swear when required to do so in court, for example, know that we are making a promise to the State to support the rule of law when we undertake to tell the truth. It is also very much the case that the fear of the punishments prescribed for perjury, and the skill of cross-examiners, have been far more important in the past than the involvement of any deity in ensuring that the facts emerge. That would remain the case were oaths to be abolished.

Atheist Ireland, whatever quibbles a letter writer (November 15th) might have with its name, is correct.

Conscientious non-believers should be able to take public office without being obliged to indulge in hypocrisy because of the current requirement that they must solemnly invoke a belief in an esoteric entity to which they emphatically do not subscribe. – Yours, etc,


Windy Arbour,

Dublin 14.