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National Secular Society

Challenging Religious Privilege

NSS Blog & Opinion

A timid defence of free speech is no match for Islamism. We must do better.

A timid defence of free speech is no match for Islamism. We must do better.

Posted: Wed, 18 Nov 2015 14:40 by Benjamin Jones

Society needs a much more vigorous defence of free speech than the one we are getting, with the 'elite' of society in academia, religion and politics offering a feeble and timorous defence, writes Benjamin Jones.

Scottish evangelists identify Paganism as one of the “biggest threats to Western civilisation”

Scottish evangelists identify Paganism as one of the “biggest threats to Western civilisation”

Posted: Mon, 16 Nov 2015 15:14 by Alistair McBay

After the world suffered another grim reminder of the merciless Islamist ideology, the Solas Centre for Public Christianity warned instead that the re-emergence of Paganism in Scotland was one of the biggest threats to civilization, writes Alistair McBay.

Operation Christmas Child: Christian fundamentalism, gift-wrapped

Operation Christmas Child: Christian fundamentalism, gift-wrapped

Posted: Thu, 12 Nov 2015 14:39 by Stephen Evans

The Operation Christmas Child 'shoebox' appeal is a front for a project to convert children in predominantly Muslim countries to literalist Christianity. Parents should give it a wide berth, writes Stephen Evans.

Mammon, not God, should reign on Sundays

Mammon, not God, should reign on Sundays

Posted: Thu, 12 Nov 2015 09:57 by Oliver Kamm

Sunday trading laws frustrate free enterprise and fail to boost religion. It's time to scrap these petty, scolding restrictions, argues Oliver Kamm

Ted Cruz says the President of the United States should be “on his knees” before God “every day”

Ted Cruz says the President of the United States should be “on his knees” before God “every day”

Posted: Mon, 09 Nov 2015 16:29 by Benjamin Jones

Young Americans might be turning away from Christianity, but the American religious right is more audacious than ever – and their rhetoric about 'religious freedom' barely conceals their theocratic aspirations, writes Benjamin Jones.

Publicly funded services shouldn't be a platform to proselytise

Publicly funded services shouldn't be a platform to proselytise

Posted: Fri, 06 Nov 2015 10:27 by Stephen Evans

Any attempt to give faith-based organisations more room to discuss religion when running public services risks making their services less inclusive. Besides, public money shouldn't be funding evangelism, argues Stephen Evans.

Bishops show why Church and State should split

Bishops show why Church and State should split

Posted: Wed, 28 Oct 2015 08:16 by GP Taylor

The Church of England is now widely regarded as irrelevant in the political and secular society that it seeks to minister and its bishops have no right to be part of our legislature, argues best-selling author and former Anglican priest GP Taylor.

Some good news for free speech on campuses

Some good news for free speech on campuses

Posted: Wed, 21 Oct 2015 14:00 by Benjamin Jones

With too many instances of campus censorship to list, it's easy to be pessimistic about freedom of expression on campus, but there are a few promising signs of progress, writes Benjamin Jones.

The unreasonableness of ‘reasonable accommodation’

The unreasonableness of ‘reasonable accommodation’

Posted: Fri, 16 Oct 2015 11:56 by Stephen Evans

Calls to introduce a new workplace duty of 'reasonable accommodation' for religion and belief are a flawed solution to a problem that doesn't really exist, argues Stephen Evans.

God “is the man who saves people” – a parent discovers what Religious Observance in school has taught their child

God “is the man who saves people” – a parent discovers what Religious Observance in school has taught their child

Posted: Wed, 14 Oct 2015 11:51

A parent writes of their shock at discovering Religious Observance in the non-denominational Scottish school attended by their daughter, and gives their perspective on the problems caused by archaic Religious Observance rules in Scottish schools.

Peter Ball sex abuse case: 20 questions that must be answered

Peter Ball sex abuse case: 20 questions that must be answered

Posted: Wed, 07 Oct 2015 10:57 by Keith Porteous Wood

Any genuine inquiry into the handling of allegations of child sex abuse by Bishop Peter Ball must answer key questions about alleged cover-ups by the Church, police and CPS, argues Keith Porteous Wood

Warwick Student Union have now done the right thing – but universities themselves must step up to defend free speech

Warwick Student Union have now done the right thing – but universities themselves must step up to defend free speech

Posted: Mon, 28 Sep 2015 15:56 by Benjamin Jones

After taking relentless criticism on Twitter and Facebook, Warwick Student Union has reversed its decision to block Maryam Namazie from speaking on campus. Though the right decision has been made in the end, universities themselves must step up to defend free speech from puritanical student unions.

A parent’s perspective: collective worship and evangelism in schools

A parent’s perspective: collective worship and evangelism in schools

Posted: Thu, 17 Sep 2015 11:28

Even where parents have the option of a community school, securing a secular education can be difficult. One parent offers their perspective on negotiating appropriate boundaries which respect children's rights to form their own beliefs.

Assisted Dying Bill: The Church has no right to deny dignity in death

Assisted Dying Bill: The Church has no right to deny dignity in death

Posted: Thu, 10 Sep 2015 16:45 by Keith Porteous Wood

The media give too much weight to the views of faith leaders who have failed to deal with the central issue of assisted dying, which is alleviating the suffering of others, argues Keith Porteous Wood.

The media now say ‘Islamophobia’ without question; but insist on the “so-called Islamic State”

The media now say ‘Islamophobia’ without question; but insist on the “so-called Islamic State”

Posted: Thu, 10 Sep 2015 13:21 by Benjamin Jones

Reporting of the deeply troubling rise in anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim attacks demonstrates that the term 'Islamophobia' has, worryingly, been widely accepted by the media.

Sectarianism in modern Britain

Sectarianism in modern Britain

Posted: Wed, 09 Sep 2015 13:03 by Iram Ramzan

From Iranian dissidents fearing deportation after seeking asylum from theocracy, to ex-Muslims driven from their homes in Bradford, Iram Ramzan looks at some worrying examples of sectarianism threatening Britain's reputation for tolerance.

Let Ofsted inspect religious education in faith schools

Let Ofsted inspect religious education in faith schools

Posted: Wed, 09 Sep 2015 11:19 by Stephen Evans

Religious education should receive the same scrutiny as any other area of the curriculum – and be inspected by Ofsted, argues Stephen Evans.

The encroachment of reactionary Islamism in academic life

The encroachment of reactionary Islamism in academic life

Posted: Tue, 08 Sep 2015 11:05 by Stefano Bonino

Universities and academics seeking to challenge anti-Muslim prejudice should promote genuine Muslim human rights groups rather than unrepresentative Islamists seeking to advance their own reactionary agenda, argues Dr Stefano Bonino.

Students forced to lead prayers and made to attend Mass – the reality of faith schools for non-religious pupils

Students forced to lead prayers and made to attend Mass – the reality of faith schools for non-religious pupils

Posted: Thu, 03 Sep 2015 09:59

A Sixth Former gives a student's account of what it's like to attend a faith school if you aren't religious, and shows the reality of some faith schools for pupils who don't share the school's enthusiasm for religion.

The BBC is failing to respond to fair criticism of its religious output

The BBC is failing to respond to fair criticism of its religious output

Posted: Tue, 11 Aug 2015 16:21 by Keith Porteous Wood

The NSS has objected numerous times over the past half century to the exclusion of non-believers from Thought for the Day, but it now seems as though the BBC will not even consider objections to the programme, raising questions about how it handles criticism.

We need a Robert Conquest figure to demolish the pro-Islamist left

We need a Robert Conquest figure to demolish the pro-Islamist left

Posted: Thu, 06 Aug 2015 13:15 by Benjamin Jones

The late historian Robert Conquest exposed the true horror of Stalinism; and the 21st century badly needs a similar expose to break the pro-Islamist left away from their cruel sympathy with another totalitarian system, argues Benjamin Jones.

Christians shouldn’t put self-interest above Britain’s need to better integrate

Christians shouldn’t put self-interest above Britain’s need to better integrate

Posted: Fri, 31 Jul 2015 11:09 by Stephen Evans

The long history of Christian involvement in state education shouldn't stand in the way of a more integrated education system, argues Stephen Evans.

NHS pastoral care should be a non-discriminatory service for all

NHS pastoral care should be a non-discriminatory service for all

Posted: Thu, 16 Jul 2015 15:15 by Stephen Evans

If NHS Trusts want to provide pastoral care for all, then there is no rationale for restricting the role of chaplain to those of faith, argues Stephen Evans.

Quilliam is coming to Exeter- and here’s why

Quilliam is coming to Exeter- and here’s why

Posted: Thu, 16 Jul 2015 09:05 by Charlie Evans

The Quilliam Foundation promote a citizenship and human rights approach to tackling extremism. Charlie Evans is setting up the first Quilliam student group at Exeter University and hopes anyone who shares secular and liberal values will join this new student movement against political and religious extremism.

Why have I never taught a Jewish child?

Why have I never taught a Jewish child?

Posted: Tue, 14 Jul 2015 13:59 by Dennis O’Sullivan

Is this the way to unite society – with faith schools teaching the supremacy of their ideology and how wrong the rest of us are, asks Dennis O'Sullivan, a headteacher with thirty-five years of experience in education.

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