In the 1960s our Supreme Court developed a theory that the Constitution guaranteed unenumerated rights to citizens in addition to those rights explicitly mentioned in the 1937 text.
The court held that these unenumerated rights fell to be identified by the courts by reference to what was implied by the “Christian and democratic” nature of the Irish State.
What the term “Christian” meant in that context was never tied down. Whether it involved basic Christian philosophy concerning the equal worth of all individuals and the moral imperative of charity in all human dealings was never clarified.
Whatever about theology, it still seems that the great majority of Irish people would consider themselves to be philosophically Christian in the foregoing sense. That raises questions about the relationship of Irish society to non-Christian beliefs, whether ancient or comparatively modern.
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