Greetings from old Hibernia, a land where the saints are worse than the sinners and most of the sinners are too busy keeping up with their neighbors to have noticed. I just wanted to say hello and tell you a little about myself so that you would know what to expect in the future.
I’m Shane, but there are those who call me, ‘Daddy’. To a four-year-old girl (L.) and an eight-month-old boy (R.) I am a father, a bipedal jungle-gym and the man who can heal all wounds with Avenger themed band-aids. I’m married to an amazing American woman who ran away to Ireland with me and now has a stronger Irish accent than I do. Briefly, I would consider myself an agnostic atheist, a secular humanist and an intersectional feminist.
When I’m not attending tea-parties or arbitrating negotiations between Dinosaurs and My Little Ponies, I just about manage to scrape together enough free time to host The Science of Sarcasm. It’s a podcast about bad science in politics, culture and the media. For each show I interview activists, educators and scientists about their pet pseudo-scientific peeves and discover why everything we think we know about their field is probably wrong.
My posts on Grounded Parents will focus mainly on my attempts to help my children become adults who treat everyone equally and know how to think for themselves. These attempts will be taking place in a country that is just now learning to balance its new-found multiculturalism with its old-school Catholicism. To give you some idea of how lacking we are in the church/state separation department, consider the following. While the American constitution bars government bodies from any action pertaining to an establishment of religion, Ireland’s constitution opens with a prayer to the Holy Trinity. It also declares that:
That, my friends, was written over 140 years after America’s founding fathers drafted the 1st Amendment. Thanks in no small part to our government’s glacial pace in dragging Ireland’s political foundation into the 21st Century, a lot of this blog will be about our education system. The Irish education system rests on a belief-based framework, with parishes instead of school districts and Catholic priests heading 92% of school management boards. There are zero secular schools in my area, so I will have to do my damnedest to raise freethinking children in an environment where Reading, wRiting and aRithmetic join with the fourth R of Religion. I hope you find what I have to say either entertaining or enlightening and I look forward to meeting you all in the comments section.
P.s. There may also be cat pictures. (see below)