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Dublin: 18 °C Tuesday 29 July, 2014

Atheists criticise religion exam at student teacher college

Students at Hibernia College are given course notes which say atheism produced “the worst horrors history has ever witnessed”.

Image: AP Photo/Salvatore Laporta, Files

AN ATHEIST GROUP has called on a teacher training college to remove notes from its curriculum which say that atheism produced “the worst horrors history has ever witnessed”.

Atheist Ireland says the module on religion at Hibernia College is unfair on people who don’t believe in god or who are not Roman Catholic.

It has called on the college to revise the religion module in its HDip in primary school education to teach students in an “objective, critical and pluralistic manner”.

Students at the college who are training to become primary school teachers are given course notes during the module which say that “atheist humanism produced the worst horrors history has ever witnessed, namely Nazism, Fascism and Marxism,” according to Atheist Ireland.

Students are also expected to answer ‘True’ to the exam statement: “Atheist humanism produced the worst horrors history has ever witnessed”.

Atheist Ireland has called on the college to remove the statements from the course notes and examinations, calling them “disgraceful” and “untrue”.

“Hibernia College should not be teaching the disgraceful [coursework] that very few modern atheists are bothered about the causes of the worst atrocities in history, and that we feel anything is morally justified in the absence of gods,” the group said in a letter today.

In Ireland, we have got used to Roman Catholic educational institutions discrimination against atheists and against religion people who are not Roman Catholics. It is sad that we now find Hibernia College, a nonreligious educational institution, doing the same.

A call to Hibernia College had not been returned by this afternoon.

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