1. Skip to content

National Secular Society

Challenging Religious Privilege

Barack Obama nominated for Secularist of the Year

The US President-elect Barack Obama is among the 19 people nominated to receive the next £5,000 Irwin Prize for Secularist of the Year. The surprise nomination follows Mr Obama’s strongly secularist speeches, in which he makes clear his support for a clear separation of the church and state.

Terry Sanderson, president of the NSS, said: “Mr Obama has a lot of expectations riding on him, and I am pleased he’s been recognised as a secularist in the classic American tradition. It promises a much more just society in the USA if he can sustain his principles under the inevitable pressure from the Religious Right. If he is named the winner, I’d love him to come and accept the prize at our presentation event – but I have a feeling he may be a little tied up with other things.”

The full list of nominations received, in alphabetical order:

Lord Avebury
Roy Brown
Nick Cohen
Pat Condell
Russell T Davies
Richard Dawkins
A.C.Grayling
Andy Hamilton
Dr Evan Harris MP
Johann Hari
Azar Majedi
P.Z. Myers
Barack Obama
Pragna Patel
Salvatore Pertutti
Rabbi Jonathan Romain
Flemming Rose
Ariane Sherine
Ibn Warraq.

Read more about who nominated them and why

Purchase tickets for Secularist of the Year 2009 (reduced rate for students)


21 November 2008


Published Fri, 21 Nov 2008