School ethos or religious discrimination
Is questioning employees or job candidates on their religion school ethos or religious discrimination. Joe Humphreys writes in the Irish Times 21st January 2015 that “the Catholic Church’s main spokesman on education has defended the right of its schools to question employees on whether they support the school’s religious ethos during interviews”. Well is the Pope Catholic?
What does Fr Michael Drumm think that teachers in search of scarce jobs are going to say?
Interviewer “Do you agree with the school ethos?”
Interviewee “Yes, although I would prefer to treat all children equally and not discriminate on grounds of sexuality, race, colour, creed or ethnic background.”
Interviewer “OK, we’ll let you know then. Next!”
Would Fr Michael Drumm be protesting is the discrimination was against Catholics? Once again I refer you to my previous rhetorical question about the Pope’s religion.
Interviewer “Do you agree to discriminate against Catholics?”
Interviewee “Would that not be against the law?”
Interviewer “Oh no, discrimination on the basis or religion is legal in Ireland in schools, hospitals, charities, government jobs, planning requirements, in fact quite a lot of places. ”
Interviewee “OK, but if its legal it doesn’t mean I have to do it.”
Interviewer “Well you have to agree that you could do it if you wanted to…..”
Its absurd in 2015 that primary schools are still 99% controlled by bishops and churches, along with most secondary schools, many hospital boards, many charities, that these employers are legally allowed to opt out of equality legislation, that religious oaths are required for government jobs. Its time to end denominational schools which are not really faith schools at all (does a single one of them have an ethos that says simply “we are a faith school”). They are primarily sectarian schools controlled mostly by different Christian sects – they are either Catholic schools or Protestant schools – and therein lies the problem – sectarian discrimination.
The Irish Times article can be viewed here