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National Secular Society

Challenging Religious Privilege

NSS Blog & Opinion

Faith schools: whose education is it anyway?

Faith schools: whose education is it anyway?

Posted: Thu, 06 Mar 2014 14:33 by Stephen Evans

Education policy and practice should focus more on children's independent interests and building a shared society rather than pandering to religious groups motivated by self-preservation, argues NSS campaigns manager, Stephen Evans.

Is the Religious Right responsible for America’s fading allegiance to religion?

Is the Religious Right responsible for America’s fading allegiance to religion?

Posted: Wed, 26 Feb 2014 13:26 by Terry Sanderson

Terry Sanderson on the Religious Right's baneful attempts to desecularize the United States with a raft of "religious freedom" bills.

Fundamentalist Christians seek to use Council of Europe to entrench religious privilege

Fundamentalist Christians seek to use Council of Europe to entrench religious privilege

Posted: Tue, 25 Feb 2014 16:59 by European Humanist Federation

A new report from the Council of Europe which uses anti-discrimination rhetoric to justify discrimination and obscurantism, poses a potential threat to democracy and secularism in Europe, argues the European Humanist Federation.

Australia shows the way in removing evangelists from schools

Australia shows the way in removing evangelists from schools

Posted: Thu, 20 Feb 2014 12:37 by Terry Sanderson

With widespread apathy about what passes for religious education in schools, our classrooms are increasingly being used by religious groups to carry out their missionary work. Terry Sanderson explains how Australian parents have led the way in removing evangelists from schools.

Secular or bust

Secular or bust

Posted: Tue, 18 Feb 2014 16:22 by Kunwar Khuldune Shahid

Reflecting on the extremist wings of Pakistani politics and ideology, Kunwar Khuldune Shahid describes the dire need for Pakistan to place the secular narrative at the centre of its political agenda and mainstream media.

Church of England is kept alive only by its presence in our schools

Church of England is kept alive only by its presence in our schools

Posted: Thu, 13 Feb 2014 12:30 by Terry Sanderson

With the Church of England is on its last legs, it's about time its continued involvement in state education was called into question, argues Terry Sanderson.

Publish and be damned

Publish and be damned

Posted: Sun, 09 Feb 2014 13:38 by Abhishek Phadnis

The mainstream media's craven refusal to print the Jesus & Mo cartoon seriously undermines the principle of free expression, and will further embolden professional offense takers, argues Abhishek Phadnis.

Vatican’s attack on its critics is a familiar tactic

Vatican’s attack on its critics is a familiar tactic

Posted: Fri, 07 Feb 2014 11:08 by David Clohessy

After hearing the UN's scathing attack on its child abuse record, the Vatican's counter-attack against its critics is a familiar tactic, argues David Clohessy

Religion is not accommodated, it is privileged

Religion is not accommodated, it is privileged

Posted: Wed, 05 Feb 2014 14:56 by Anne Marie Waters

Anne Marie Waters reports on an event, held on 4 February, organised by the Cutting Edge Consortium, a group which campaigns against homophobia in religion, and looks at how far religious belief should be, and is being, accommodated in employment and public life.

Ethnic mixing is good for communities – so why are we discouraging it in schools?

Ethnic mixing is good for communities – so why are we discouraging it in schools?

Posted: Tue, 04 Feb 2014 12:37 by Terry Sanderson

Terry Sanderson reflects upon some recent findings on mixed communities and integration, and the implication of those findings for our education system.

Tony Blair’s ‘solution’ to religious conflict will simply make things worse

Tony Blair’s ‘solution’ to religious conflict will simply make things worse

Posted: Thu, 30 Jan 2014 12:39 by Terry Sanderson

In reaction to Tony Blair's recent reflections on religious conflict, Terry Sanderson reflects upon the dangers of Blair's promotion of the "us" and "them" mentality.

Catholic cognitive dissonance: Overlooking evil

Catholic cognitive dissonance: Overlooking evil

Posted: Thu, 23 Jan 2014 10:28 by Terry Sanderson

The UN's recent examination of the Holy See presented yet more evidence of the Catholic Church's responsibility for, and cover-up of, child abuse. Yet the Catholic majority remains persistently silent, argues Terry Sanderson.

The God question: A tale of two adverts

The God question: A tale of two adverts

Posted: Tue, 07 Jan 2014 14:05 by Alistair McBay

Alistair McBay examines the PR campaign behind an educational resource that seeks to bring creationism and intelligent design into the science classrooms of Scotland.

The President’s Broadcasting Year – behind the scenes

The President’s Broadcasting Year – behind the scenes

Posted: Thu, 19 Dec 2013 15:03 by Terry Sanderson

Being President of the National Secular Society is nothing if not unpredictable. And this year has been no exception for Terry Sanderson...

Double-talk and betrayal put massive obstacles in the way of women’s rights

Double-talk and betrayal put massive obstacles in the way of women’s rights

Posted: Thu, 12 Dec 2013 20:30 by Anne Marie Waters

Using the language of freedom, Islamists are turning back the clock on women's human rights. Segregation in universities is just another example, argues Anne Marie Waters.

Scientology’s dream comes true

Scientology’s dream comes true

Posted: Wed, 11 Dec 2013 14:20 by Terry Sanderson

The Supreme Court has said that Scientology is a legitimate religion. This ruling undermines the automatic presumption that all religious groups are for the "public benefit", argues Terry Sanderson.

Catholic sex abuse scandal: how will Pope Francis make the Church accountable?

Catholic sex abuse scandal: how will Pope Francis make the Church accountable?

Posted: Wed, 04 Dec 2013 17:11 by Terry Sanderson

The Vatican's refusal to provide information requested by the United Nations on the alleged sexual abuse of children could mean Pope Francis's honeymoon period ends in ignominy, just like his predecessor, argues Terry Sanderson.

The God Question – a Trojan horse for Intelligent Design

The God Question – a Trojan horse for Intelligent Design

Posted: Fri, 29 Nov 2013 10:52 by Alistair McBay

Intelligent Design is back in shiny new packaging, labelled as 'evidence based and balanced' and getting into the science classrooms in Scotland, argues Alistair McBay.

Eric Pickles is doling out taxpayers’ money to ‘faith groups’ – where will it end?

Eric Pickles is doling out taxpayers’ money to ‘faith groups’ – where will it end?

Posted: Wed, 27 Nov 2013 15:20 by Terry Sanderson

Mr Cameron gave Eric Pickles permission with the "Big Society" project. But we are going to have to ensure that he doesn't make the Big Society into one where only "people of faith" can contribute or benefit, argues Terry Sanderson.

Finding separation of church and state for New Zealand

Finding separation of church and state for New Zealand

Posted: Mon, 25 Nov 2013 15:13 by Max and Meg Wallace

The New Zealand Census is telling us citizens are moving away from religious identification while the government still embraces it. It's time for constitutional separation of church and state to be openly discussed, argue Max and Meg Wallace.

Is the “Francis Effect” just a figment of Catholic wishful thinking?

Is the “Francis Effect” just a figment of Catholic wishful thinking?

Posted: Mon, 25 Nov 2013 13:00 by Terry Sanderson

Anecdotal reports of a rise in Catholic mass attendance since the arrival of the new Pope do not seem to be supported by systematically obtained data – at least in USA., blogs Terry Sanderson.

Baroness Warsi and the OIC

Baroness Warsi and the OIC

Posted: Mon, 25 Nov 2013 13:00 by Anne Marie Waters

Baroness Warsi's partnership with the OIC means it is only a matter of time before we are completely silenced in the name of religious freedom, argues Anne Marie Waters

The Church of England’s unrelenting exploitation of the nation’s schools

The Church of England’s unrelenting exploitation of the nation’s schools

Posted: Wed, 20 Nov 2013 12:32 by Stephen Evans

The Church of England's intention is clear. State funded schools will be regarded as churches – and serve as pulpits for evangelisation, argues Stephen Evans.

Don’t give in to the Gideons

Don’t give in to the Gideons

Posted: Wed, 20 Nov 2013 10:00 by Veronica Wikman

The Scottish Government must take action to remove the proselytising opportunity presented by religious observance in our schools, argues Veronica Wikman.

Secularism seeks to balance everyone’s religious freedoms fairly. Why would anyone oppose that?

Secularism seeks to balance everyone’s religious freedoms fairly. Why would anyone oppose that?

Posted: Tue, 19 Nov 2013 12:36 by Stephen Evans

Despite the claims of its critics, secularism protects the freedom of conscience for all citizens, and welcomes believers and non-believers into the public square on equal terms, argues Stephen Evans.