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Challenging Religious Privilege

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The demonisation of Louis Smith: This is how a de facto blasphemy law works

The demonisation of Louis Smith: This is how a de facto blasphemy law works

Posted: Tue, 11 Oct 2016 20:25 by Stephen Evans

The castigation of a British gymnast for 'mocking Islam' is illustrative of a troubling return of blasphemy, argues Stephen Evans.

Channel 4’s Dispatches reveals intimidating tactics of US-inspired anti-abortion campaigners

Channel 4’s Dispatches reveals intimidating tactics of US-inspired anti-abortion campaigners

Posted: Thu, 06 Oct 2016 13:14 by Dr Antony Lempert

Dr Antony Lempert of the Secular Medical Forum reacts to Channel 4 Dispatches' programme that showed the shock tactics UK anti-abortion campaigners are importing from America.

The biter bit: Church of England suffers from Chancel Repair Liability

The biter bit: Church of England suffers from Chancel Repair Liability

Posted: Wed, 05 Oct 2016 12:42 by Ed Moore

The legal requirement to repair church chancels has surprisingly started to impact the Church Commissioners. Here's what they did about it.

Inclusive education: divisive faith schools are the elephant in the room

Inclusive education: divisive faith schools are the elephant in the room

Posted: Fri, 30 Sep 2016 11:40 by Stephen Evans

NSS campaigns director on why progressives of all political and religious stripes should unite in opposing Theresa May's plan to open a new wave of divisive 'faith schools'.

Church of England or Chancellor of the Exchequer: who’s setting the agenda?

Church of England or Chancellor of the Exchequer: who’s setting the agenda?

Posted: Mon, 19 Sep 2016 13:55 by Ed Moore

NSS treasurer Ed Moore writes on the blurred lines between church and state when it comes to taxpayer funding for church repairs, and the vast sums of money being sent from the Treasury to the Church of England.

Facilitating more religious segregation in faith schools can only harm social cohesion

Facilitating more religious segregation in faith schools can only harm social cohesion

Posted: Mon, 12 Sep 2016 16:30 by Stephen Evans

In a move devoid of any common sense, Theresa May's government looks set to capitulate to the demands of religious groups by relaxing admissions rules for faith-based academies, allowing them to select all pupils along religious lines.

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.

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