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National Secular Society

Challenging Religious Privilege

NSS Blog & Opinion

Religious belief is no barrier to criminality

Religious belief is no barrier to criminality

Posted: Thu, 09 Jun 2016 11:57 by Alistair McBay

A spate of media reports have suggested that criminals convicted of sex abuse feigned their religion. NSS Vice-President Alistair McBay argues that the media shouldn't seek to protect religion from criticism by misrepresenting these cases.

Faith in public services?

Faith in public services?

Posted: Thu, 02 Jun 2016 13:26 by Alastair Lichten

An increased role for religious organisations in the provision of public services would be disastrous for both the public and faith sectors, argues Alastair Lichten.

In modern Britain, tradition is no excuse for retaining religious privilege

In modern Britain, tradition is no excuse for retaining religious privilege

Posted: Fri, 27 May 2016 10:25 by Stephen Evans

News that those declaring themselves to have no religion have exceeded the number of Christians in England and Wales has again prompted questions about Christianity's privileged role in public life, writes Stephen Evans.

Invisible power: how the Catholic Church influences Italian politics

Invisible power: how the Catholic Church influences Italian politics

Posted: Thu, 26 May 2016 10:39 by Stefano Bonino

Italy's bill on civil unions is an important landmark in the history of successful and unsuccessful attempts by the Vatican to influence Italian politics, writes Stefano Bonino.

62% say there is “no place in UK politics for religious influence of any kind”

62% say there is “no place in UK politics for religious influence of any kind”

Posted: Mon, 23 May 2016 15:14 by Benjamin Jones

The overwhelming majority of Britons believe religion should not "influence" politics in the UK, and majorities of all religious believers except Muslims agree.

Did Christian charities really need twenty five years to complete a form?

Did Christian charities really need twenty five years to complete a form?

Posted: Thu, 19 May 2016 12:01 by Ed Moore

A little known piece of legislation allows Christian charities to avoid complying with charity law. Who benefits, asks Ed Moore.

The gay community should recognise and oppose its chief oppressor

The gay community should recognise and oppose its chief oppressor

Posted: Tue, 17 May 2016 15:02 by Terry Sanderson

While people of all faiths and none have campaigned for and against LGBTQ rights, the merger of religious and state power has always been the greatest threat to LGBTQ rights around the world and turns bigotry into discrimination, argues NSS president Terry Sanderson.

Furore over Islamic bus adverts is nothing but disingenuous propaganda

Furore over Islamic bus adverts is nothing but disingenuous propaganda

Posted: Mon, 09 May 2016 13:12 by Stephen Evans

Christian groups are being disingenuous and divisive in claiming unfavourable treatment over the decision to allow Allah adverts on buses, argues Stephen Evans.

Muddled-thinking on counter-extremism threatens free speech

Muddled-thinking on counter-extremism threatens free speech

Posted: Wed, 04 May 2016 13:31 by Benjamin Jones

Leaks ahead of the Government's latest counter-extremism drive show that they have failed to balance freedom of speech with the impossible objective set out to legally challenge Islamist ideas in the "pre-criminal space."

Faith schools add to the angst of school offer day

Faith schools add to the angst of school offer day

Posted: Mon, 18 Apr 2016 11:25 by Stephen Evans

National Offer Day is when many parents fall victim to religious discrimination or discover they've been allocated a religious school against their wishes. Stephen Evans argues that a move towards a secular education system might make school offer day a little less fraught.

Muslim support for theocracy, not terrorism, is the real threat to confront

Muslim support for theocracy, not terrorism, is the real threat to confront

Posted: Thu, 14 Apr 2016 14:40 by Benjamin Jones

The ICM poll on 'What British Muslims Really Think' shows clearly that widespread support for Islamic theocracy, not terrorism, is the real, long-term threat to British society, argues Benjamin Jones.

Church of England bishops are more elitist than David Cameron’s cabinet

Church of England bishops are more elitist than David Cameron’s cabinet

Posted: Tue, 05 Apr 2016 12:35 by Ed Moore

A small, almost entirely Oxbridge-educated elite are given automatic seats in Parliament. How do we allow this to continue, asks Ed Moore.

Scotland is a mosaic of religions and beliefs – but the research shows people turning away from politicised faith

Scotland is a mosaic of religions and beliefs – but the research shows people turning away from politicised faith

Posted: Thu, 24 Mar 2016 18:00 by Alistair McBay

Scotland is a mosaic of beliefs and non-beliefs where individuals are free to hold a belief, change it or not have one at all. But it's not hard to see why people are rejecting the organised and politicised aspects of religion, writes Alistair McBay.

Christian country? Politicians should be careful what they wish for

Christian country? Politicians should be careful what they wish for

Posted: Wed, 23 Mar 2016 14:49 by Benjamin Jones

The demise of Anglican Christianity won't herald a uniformly secularised society, but a fractured country where the vast, non-religious majority contend with vocal religious minorities. Secularism must mediate this, argues Benjamin Jones.

Gender segregation: breaking the law to appease Islamism

Gender segregation: breaking the law to appease Islamism

Posted: Mon, 21 Mar 2016 16:13 by Chris Moos

The LSE and their Students' Union need to stop breaking equality legislation that is designed to protect students, and start listening to the Muslim women challenging gender segregation, argues Chris Moos.

Religious worship shouldn’t be a requirement of public office

Religious worship shouldn’t be a requirement of public office

Posted: Fri, 18 Mar 2016 10:47 by Stephen Evans

With an atheist mayor facing criticism for opting not to attend church services, Stephen Evans argues that elected officials shouldn't have to worship or feign religiosity in order to represent the citizens they serve.

Do we need ‘religious approaches’ to Human Rights?

Do we need ‘religious approaches’ to Human Rights?

Posted: Thu, 17 Mar 2016 16:29 by Keith Porteous Wood

Keith Porteous Wood offers a critical review of a new book that claims Human Rights owe their existence to religion – when the greatest modern threat to Human Rights comes from organised religion.

The surprising origin of Collective Worship in schools

The surprising origin of Collective Worship in schools

Posted: Thu, 10 Mar 2016 15:32 by Ed Moore

Collective worship has its history in a murky compromise between politicians and the church dating back to the Second World War – and it is long since time the arcane requirement was removed, writes Ed Moore.

Britain’s first women’s mosque: rise of girl power or a Muslim women’s ghetto?

Britain’s first women’s mosque: rise of girl power or a Muslim women’s ghetto?

Posted: Tue, 08 Mar 2016 14:38 by Aisha Nabi

Muslim women are no different to their Western sisters who fought their battle for equality decades ago, writes Aisha Nabi. Muslim women are fighting the same evil as Western sisters are today – sexism, but what is the best way of achieving gender equality?

For richer or poorer – where is the Church of England?

For richer or poorer – where is the Church of England?

Posted: Tue, 23 Feb 2016 11:55 by Ed Moore

Is the Church really as poor as it claims? Ed Moore, treasurer of the National Secular Society, considers the extent of the Church of England's considerable wealth.

Classrooms should be free from an overbearing religious ethos

Classrooms should be free from an overbearing religious ethos

Posted: Mon, 15 Feb 2016 12:43 by Stephen Evans

With the Church seeking to extend its influence over the management of schools, Stephen Evans argues that religious groups' demands shouldn't outweigh parental rights and children's independent interests.

Dan Walker’s creationism may be an affront to science – but he’s entitled to his beliefs

Dan Walker’s creationism may be an affront to science – but he’s entitled to his beliefs

Posted: Thu, 11 Feb 2016 16:04 by Benjamin Jones

The appointment of "young Earth" creationist Dan Walker to front BBC Breakfast has caused a considerable backlash, but unless and until his views interfere with his ability to present the news in a balanced and neutral way, he's entitled to his beliefs, argues Benjamin Jones.

The niqab in schools: An argument for prohibition

The niqab in schools: An argument for prohibition

Posted: Thu, 04 Feb 2016 11:42 by Sadikur Rahman

Sadikur Rahman argues that the case for banning full face veils in schools extends far beyond whether or not they present a barrier to learning.

Spotlight: This hard-hitting film salutes the journalists who exposed the power of a deeply corrupt institution

Spotlight: This hard-hitting film salutes the journalists who exposed the power of a deeply corrupt institution

Posted: Thu, 28 Jan 2016 12:48 by Keith Porteous Wood

Keith Porteous Wood previews Spotlight, the hard-hitting film which depicts the Boston Globe's investigation into the cover-up of child sex abuse by the Catholic Church.

Secularism protects us all. Let's embrace it.

Secularism protects us all. Let's embrace it.

Posted: Wed, 27 Jan 2016 11:57 by Stephen Evans

Britain today is one of the most religiously diverse countries in the world, with more non-believers than ever before. With society at risk of fragmenting along religious lines, secularism could be our salvation, argues Stephen Evans.

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