Speaking in the wake of Pat Rabbitte’s call for the church to play no part in the abortion debate, James Lawless, Fianna Fáil’s Naas Area Representative, has said the Minister’s intervention is untimely, intolerant and unhelpful.
“Thankfully we live in a society premised on free speech” said James. “It is the right of any individual or group to make their views known and to engage in public discourse” claimed James. “These rights are fundamental in democratic society in fact they are protected by the Constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights” according to James.
“Minister Rabbitte appears to believe the right to speak only applies to those that agree with him. This kind of faux-liberalism which preaches respect but actually shows no tolerance is completely out of place in a Minister of government. Thankfully we are past the days of shouting anyone down or dictating who does and who does not have the right to speak” continued James. “Let’s respect all views and welcome them to what is sure to be a contentious debate. Civic society and the church have every right to be involved in these debates and the wider a viewpoint is heard the better in my view. Minister Rabbitte would do well to practice some tolerance himself” concluded James.