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Challenging Religious Privilege

NSS Blog & Opinion

Even the chief architect of the expansion of religious schools is now having doubts

Even the chief architect of the expansion of religious schools is now having doubts

Posted: Wed, 01 Apr 2015 14:00 by Terry Sanderson

With the public, of all faiths and none, increasingly recognising the problems caused by faith schools, NSS president Terry Sanderson calls out politicians who complain about religious separatism on one hand while deliberately promoting it on the other.

Why would a teenager want to join the Islamic State?

Why would a teenager want to join the Islamic State?

Posted: Sat, 21 Mar 2015 09:00 by Gijsbert Stoet

Gijsbert Stoet, a Reader in Psychology at the University of Glasgow, considers why so many teenagers have sought to join the Islamic State. He identifies sensation seeking, identity, and unchallenged religious beliefs as three root causes.

Je suis Michael Overd: this obnoxious street preacher is a canary in the coalmine for free speech

Je suis Michael Overd: this obnoxious street preacher is a canary in the coalmine for free speech

Posted: Fri, 20 Mar 2015 10:53 by Benjamin Jones

A street preacher has been charged for giving a "religiously aggravated" sermon, and was told by a police officer that he wasn't allowed to offend anyone. Benjamin Jones warns of the danger posed to civil liberties if the state continues to police free expression.

Should taxpayers be paying for the Church’s leaking roofs?

Should taxpayers be paying for the Church’s leaking roofs?

Posted: Fri, 20 Mar 2015 10:40 by Keith Porteous Wood

Keith Porteous Wood argues that with the Church Commissioners sitting on a £4bn surplus, the Church of England should not be receiving additional public funds for fixing church roofs, and should concede to abolishing Chancel Repair Liability without compensation.

Why did the CPS abandon investigation into Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor?

Why did the CPS abandon investigation into Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor?

Posted: Thu, 19 Mar 2015 12:28 by Alistair McBay

As the full scale of the British Establishment's cover-up of child sex abuse becomes apparent, Alistair McBay argues it is time for the Crown Prosecution Service to make public its reasons for dropping the investigation into Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor 12 years ago.

Council prayers: none so deaf as those that will not hear

Council prayers: none so deaf as those that will not hear

Posted: Tue, 17 Mar 2015 12:19 by Alastair Lichten

Those who regard the imposition of religious values and practices in secular spaces as benign should be more aware of their privilege, argues Alastair Lichten.

There is no widespread discrimination against Christians in the workplace

There is no widespread discrimination against Christians in the workplace

Posted: Fri, 13 Mar 2015 13:29 by Terry Sanderson

NSS president Terry Sanderson challenges the notion that Christians are widely discriminated against in the workplace, and calls for fairness, justice and common sense.

Eric Pickles' 'evangelical charter' on its way to becoming law

Eric Pickles' 'evangelical charter' on its way to becoming law

Posted: Thu, 12 Mar 2015 14:27 by Stephen Evans

A small group of Christians in parliament are changing the law to give councils the power to introduce their meetings with prayers. Stephen Evans argues that the right to freedom of religion should always be balanced by the right to be free from religion.

The Church, gratitude and the erosion of innocence

The Church, gratitude and the erosion of innocence

Posted: Wed, 11 Mar 2015 11:13 by Conor

A parent writes about the problem of innocuous children's activities run with a hidden religious agenda, and defends his right to raise his children how he wishes, without organisations using playgroups as a cover for proselytising to children.

The Christian Legal Centre makes another attempt to gain privileges for Christians in the workplace

The Christian Legal Centre makes another attempt to gain privileges for Christians in the workplace

Posted: Mon, 02 Mar 2015 13:46 by Terry Sanderson

The Christian Legal Centre's latest 'discrimination' claim follows a familiar pattern – but its use of dissembling tactics shouldn't be permitted to manipulate a change in equality laws, argues Terry Sanderson.

Charlie Hebdo: a perspective one month on

Charlie Hebdo: a perspective one month on

Posted: Wed, 18 Feb 2015 13:54 by Sadikur Rahman

25 years after the Rushdie Affair, one month after the atrocities in Paris and days after the attack on a free speech seminar in Copenhagen, Sadikur Rahman looks at what lessons free expression activists and opponents have taken.

Is the Christian immune from plane crashes?

Is the Christian immune from plane crashes?

Posted: Tue, 17 Feb 2015 15:44 by Alistair McBay

Alistair McBay reports on Scottish Calvinism's attack on secularism, and offers his reaction to the rhetoric and tactics of the Free Church of Scotland.

A duty to mock

A duty to mock

Posted: Mon, 16 Feb 2015 11:12 by Manfredi La Manna

Manfredi La Manna argues that the response to the Charlie Hebdo murders has exposed unpalatable truths in both the conservative and progressive camps.

Sharia law, apostasy and secularism

Sharia law, apostasy and secularism

Posted: Thu, 12 Feb 2015 14:45 by Gita Sahgal

Gita Sahgal argues that opposing religious fundamentalism is not a distraction from 'real' politics - the demands of social justice and civil liberties - but a pre-condition for achieving them.

The dishonesty of religious lobbying shines like a beacon

The dishonesty of religious lobbying shines like a beacon

Posted: Tue, 03 Feb 2015 11:59 by Terry Sanderson

NSS President Terry Sanderson argues that the churches have changed their lobbying tactics, and are trying to impose their doctrines through misdirection and 'slippery slope' arguments.

BBC Panorama, “the battle for British Islam” and the nonsense of “peaceful” or “violent” Muslims

BBC Panorama, “the battle for British Islam” and the nonsense of “peaceful” or “violent” Muslims

Posted: Thu, 22 Jan 2015 16:31 by Benjamin Jones

NSS communications officer Benjamin Jones argues that the problem of Islamism is obscured by politicians and others simplistically categorising Muslims as either 'peaceful' or 'violent'.

Rendering unto Caesar

Rendering unto Caesar

Posted: Mon, 19 Jan 2015 09:42 by Alistair McBay

The established Church throws stones from inside its Government-subsidised glass cathedral, argues Alistair McBay.

Charlie Hebdo Editorial: Je Suis Charlie Means Je Suis Secularism

Charlie Hebdo Editorial: Je Suis Charlie Means Je Suis Secularism

Posted: Thu, 15 Jan 2015 14:06

This is a translation of the editorial from the first Charlie Hebdo published since the Paris attacks. It is reproduced here in solidarity with Charlie Hebdo.

MPs want God at centre of local democracy

MPs want God at centre of local democracy

Posted: Thu, 15 Jan 2015 10:33 by Imran Khan

When Conservative councillor Imran Khan opted out of Christian prayers at council meetings he was subject to ostracization, abuse and deselection. He's urging MPs to keep sectarianism out of local politics by voting against the Local Government (Religious Etc. Observances) Bill.

British media fails the free speech test

British media fails the free speech test

Posted: Fri, 09 Jan 2015 16:30

The British print and media press's response to the Charlie Hebdo attack has involved victim blaming, obfuscation and self-censorship, argues Sadikur Rahman.

GP Taylor: Why faith has no place in our schools

GP Taylor: Why faith has no place in our schools

Posted: Thu, 08 Jan 2015 17:07 by GP Taylor

Many principled people of faith oppose religious privilege in state schools. Former Anglican priest GP Taylor makes an impassioned case for secularism as a basis for equally inclusive education.

NSS statement following Charlie Hebdo attack

NSS statement following Charlie Hebdo attack

Posted: Wed, 07 Jan 2015 19:25 by Terry Sanderson

Following the attack on satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, NSS president Terry Sanderson insists we cannot, as a society, place religion beyond the reach of satire or critical examination.

Churches, charity and the conferring of privilege

Churches, charity and the conferring of privilege

Posted: Tue, 06 Jan 2015 10:03 by Alistair McBay

There are many ways to do good, including campaigning for human rights and equality over discrimination and prejudice, but charitable work is not a bargaining chip for special privileges, argues Alistair McBay.

If we exempt ritual slaughter from animal welfare laws we open the door to far worse crimes

If we exempt ritual slaughter from animal welfare laws we open the door to far worse crimes

Posted: Mon, 05 Jan 2015 11:57 by Matthew Syed

Matthew Syed argues that the right to religious freedom is not an absolute right to do what you like, and that religious exemptions for ritual slaughter are a slippery slope into far worse crimes.

Law Society, religion and the law: reasons to be cheerful

Law Society, religion and the law: reasons to be cheerful

Posted: Tue, 23 Dec 2014 15:58 by Sadikur Rahman

The last year has seen a number of successful campaigns against attempts to impose religion in our secular legal system. Council member Sadikur Rahman looks at hopes for optimism in 2015.

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