Churches within the Congregational Union of Ireland are based mostly in the north of the country and their theology is described in the Savoy Declaration of 1658. The recently published summary results from the 2016 Census of Ireland, show that there are only 68 Congregationalists in Ireland.
Although they are small in number, there are two separate Congregationalist wedding celebrants registered in the Irish State. The Civil Registration Service (CRS) records that there is one in Donegal and another one in Dublin. The rather obvious problems with the Irish law that governs how religions are registered in Ireland, have been highlighted by Atheist Ireland before.
Another interesting statistic in the summary results from Census 2016 in Ireland, is that there are 35% more Pastafarians in the country than there are Congregationalists. If we assume that Pastafarians get married at roughly the same rate as Congregationalists, this would imply that the 92 Pastafarians in Ireland might generate a demand for at least two Pastafarian wedding celebrants. When considering how the State should respond to this quantified demand for public services though, it is important to remember that the CRS has refused to register any Pastafarian wedding celebrants.
On their web site, the CSO states that the results of the Census are:
“… essential tools for effective policy, planning and decision making purposes.”
What is the point in the Irish State taking the trouble to count the number of Pastafarians in the country, if at the same time the Irish State is also refusing to provide the same public services to Pastafarians as it does to those of other faiths? The demand for public services among Pastafarians has been well demonstrated. In fact, during Maynooth Diversity Week in November 2016, a presentation by the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster discovered some demand for Pastafarian nuptials, even among the subset of students that happened to be present.
Pastafarian citizens in Ireland are being discriminated against by the State, purely based on their religious beliefs. There are 68 Congregationalists in Ireland, who believe that the “Elders and Messengers” of their faith were able to write down religious truth more than 300 years ago. There are 92 Pastafarians in Ireland, who believe that an American physics graduate was able to write down religious truth less than 30 years ago. Why are Congregationalists so special? Why would the Irish State assume that a group of Irish people inspired by Oliver Cromwell and the Puritans, are more likely to posses religious truth than a 35% larger group of Irish people, inspired by a physicist from the USA?
Atheist Ireland continues to campaign for a legal framework based on equality and human rights, which grants no special privileges to any person or group, based solely on the fact that they have supernatural beliefs.
National Committee, Atheist Ireland