I’m Ruairí McNicholas, and I’m a Humanist residing in Galway, Ireland.
I’m 15 and attending Secondary School, so most of my ‘bitching’ is to do with religion in my school, Presentation College Headford.
The school is under the trusteeship of the Catholic Education and Irish Schools Trust, and is the trustee body for the voluntary secondary schools (Yeah, it’s written badly, It’smfrom our schools website) of the Daughters of Charity, the Presentation Sisters, the Sisters of the Christian Retreat, the Sisters of the Sacred Heart, the Sisters of Mercy… you get the idea.
I was baptised when I was born. This is a practice I disagree with; technically I was an atheist then, children don’t believe in anything at that age…
I was given the option of doing my Communion; unlike many children, my parents told me to think abut it first. This was my first step down the path of becoming a Humanist. I feel that encouraging children to make their communion and baptising them is used by the Catholic Church to try and get members and I disagree with it; I believe all religions should be explored and presented to children.
One thing I cannot stand is this:
I’d say there’s 750 students in my school. About 700 of those are Catholics. If all of them actually practised their religion and followed the rules, even just the ones that involve being nice to people, our school wouldn’t need detention. It would need a lot less rules and teachers standing on corridors. A lot less would be spent on the upkeep of lockers, that some students like to break. It would basically be a nice place to be. A lot of people make their communions and confirmations, get a load of money, and don’t practise it. I think the one thing Religion might have been good for, making society, well, nicer, has failed miserably. In fact, I’d say it’s made it worse.
I’m doing TY this year, which is basically a break from one big exam to the next, where you do projects and stuff, and hope to, promote, so to speak, humanism and free thinking. I want the minority of those students, about 10, to, instead of sitting at the back of the church when we go down, once every month (which is probably the only time most of them go…), to be able to go somewhere else. Being left in the class is an ‘insurance issue’, but we have a study wall where we’ll hopefully allowed to go.