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Challenging Religious Privilege

NSS Blog & Opinion

Living better together: French secularism risks being destroyed by political ambition

Living better together: French secularism risks being destroyed by political ambition

Posted: Thu, 25 Aug 2016 11:43 by Terry Sanderson

Despite occasional conflicts, France's tradition of secularism has served both social cohesion and religious freedom well. Terry Sanderson argues that misusing secularism for political aims risks undermining both.

Religious privilege undermines abuse victims’ access to justice

Religious privilege undermines abuse victims’ access to justice

Posted: Mon, 22 Aug 2016 10:40 by Richard Scorer

Richard Scorer, a specialist child abuse lawyer at Slater & Gordon draws attention to organisations seeking more lenient treatment over child abuse-connected matters because they are religious and makes the case for no concessions being given.

Conflating abuse with criticism of Islam risks a return to a UK blasphemy law

Conflating abuse with criticism of Islam risks a return to a UK blasphemy law

Posted: Thu, 18 Aug 2016 12:50 by Benjamin Jones

The BBC and Demos have published an accidental case-study in why we should all stop using the meaningless and sinister word 'Islamophobia'.

Governor’s perspective: beware an increasingly assertive religious ethos in ‘Church schools’

Governor’s perspective: beware an increasingly assertive religious ethos in ‘Church schools’

Posted: Tue, 16 Aug 2016 11:35

The NSS is regularly contacted by governors and staff at Church of England schools who are pressured to promote a more rigorous 'Christian ethos'. Here's one governor's account of increasing religiosity at their local school.

The House of Lords and religion

The House of Lords and religion

Posted: Fri, 12 Aug 2016 10:29 by Keith Porteous Wood

The Parliamentary recess provides welcome respite from the frenetic activity of the political battles being fought out in the chamber and corridors, allowing us to stand back and have a wry look at the institution itself, writes Keith Porteous Wood.

Sharia, security and the church: dangers of the British Home Office inquiry

Sharia, security and the church: dangers of the British Home Office inquiry

Posted: Tue, 09 Aug 2016 14:16 by Gita Sahgal

Does the UK's Sharia Review resemble the sharia 'courts': secretive procedures and discriminatory advisors? Are the Home Office and the Church ignoring conflicts of interest and evidence of discrimination?

Living better together: What role do Muslims have in building a secular UK?

Living better together: What role do Muslims have in building a secular UK?

Posted: Tue, 09 Aug 2016 10:54 by Tehmina Kazi

When people learn I run a secularist charity, many are confused about what secularism means and its consequences for non-Christians in the UK, writes Tehmina Kazi of British Muslims for Secular Democracy.

What do pupils need to know about religion?

What do pupils need to know about religion?

Posted: Tue, 02 Aug 2016 10:06 by Stephen Evans

In recent years faith communities have amplified their demands for a better understanding of religion in the private and public sector. But what do pupils need to know about religion by the time they leave school?

Living better together: secularism and cohesion

Living better together: secularism and cohesion

Posted: Fri, 29 Jul 2016 09:41 by Stephen Evans

Later this year the NSS will mark its 150th anniversary with a special conference around the theme of 'living better together'. Campaigns director Stephen Evans explains why the time has come for people of all faiths to stand together in supporting secularist principles.

Living better together: Muslims and active integration

Living better together: Muslims and active integration

Posted: Mon, 25 Jul 2016 14:42 by Maajid Nawaz

On the theme of living better together, Maajid Nawaz argues that identity policing has further marginalised Muslims and that Britain was wrong to not expect minorities to embrace liberal values.

Press regulator rules ‘honour’ killings are not Islamic

Press regulator rules ‘honour’ killings are not Islamic

Posted: Thu, 21 Jul 2016 15:41 by Benjamin Jones

The press regulator has issued a troubling ruling that the Mail Online must state that Islam "does not support" 'honour killings'. Why is IPSO giving religious rulings to protect the reputation of Islam?

Book review: 'Christian Nation' by Frederic C. Rich

Book review: 'Christian Nation' by Frederic C. Rich

Posted: Thu, 21 Jul 2016 15:24 by Alastair Lichten

Alastair Lichten explores the themes of identity, resilience and redemption in Frederic C. Rich's counterfactual dystopian novel and the defence of secular democracy.

Church documents expose an even bigger cover-up than suspected in the Peter Ball case

Church documents expose an even bigger cover-up than suspected in the Peter Ball case

Posted: Tue, 19 Jul 2016 12:40 by Richard Scorer

The recent release of more internal Church of England documents relating to the Peter Ball case exposes an even bigger cover-up than previously suspected, writes specialist abuse lawyer Richard Scorer.

When is a community school not a community school?

When is a community school not a community school?

Posted: Wed, 06 Jul 2016 10:44 by Alastair Lichten

Religious organisations are pushing for an increased role in non-religious community schools. This seriously risks blurring the line between faith and community schools, writes Alastair Lichten.

Church and State united in denying religious freedom to young people

Church and State united in denying religious freedom to young people

Posted: Tue, 05 Jul 2016 11:55 by Keith Porteous Wood

NSS executive director Keith Porteous Wood writes on the union between church and state that is denying freedom of religion to young people – in defiance of the United Nations and human rights.

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.

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