Last week, Michael Nugent of Atheist Ireland was supposed to speak to students at an all-girls Catholic school as part of a program to expose the students to a different perspective. The school had invited a Muslim speaker earlier in the year, so this talk was going to be along those lines.
But Nugent’s invitation was rescinded at the last second. School officials said they did “not wish to cultivate non-religious belief.” As if a short lecture and Q&A session was enough to undo years of Catholic schooling.
At least there’s some good news. Nugent says the school has invited him back:
Saint Dominic’s College in Cabra, the Catholic girls’ secondary school that cancelled its invitation for me to speak to its final year students, has now reversed that decision. The Principal brought the issue to the Board of Management, which has decided to honour the original invitation. We now have to arrange a new date.
It’s entirely possible this is less a change of heart than a desire to make all the bad publicity go away. Whatever the case, the students will finally get to hear the thoughts of someone who’s openly atheist and a national leader to boot. School officials shouldn’t have rescinded the invitation, but at least they’ve corrected their mistake.
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