Atheist Ireland has requested that an online teacher-training institution in Ireland remove offensive slides about atheism from its religion module for primary teachers.
Hibernia College's vice-president for academic affairs and knowledge management Dr Nicholas Breakwell told the Irish Times that “some offending slides identified by Atheist Ireland have been removed pending the annual review process” to which all courses at the college are subject.
He added that Atheist Ireland has been asked to prepare a module for the school “on atheism, what it believes and does not."
Atheist Ireland’s Michael Nugent and Jane Donnelly met Dr Breakwell and Dr Siobhán Cahillane-McGovern of Hibernia College last week to discuss their concerns about the way atheism is depicted in the module.
The module, which was prepared by retired professor of moral theology at Maynooth Fr Vincent Twomey, contained “untrue statements about atheism and at least two defamatory allegations," according to Nugent.
According to the module: “Atheism seems to be fashionable in Ireland at present. It is seen as rational, progressive and compassionate. But above all, it is ‘in’, not to mention convenient since, as Dostoevsky said in 19th century Russia, where it was likewise ‘in’, that if there is no God then anything can be justified.”
“What bothers very few of its latter-day exponents is the fact that atheist humanism produced the worst horrors history has ever witnessed, namely Nazism, fascism and Marxism, the latter alone responsible for some 100 million lives, according to The Black Book written by French ex-Marxists. Atheism is not a benign force in history.”