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National Secular Society

Challenging Religious Privilege

Tags: Church & State

Welby praises “most orthodox” bishops since WW2 as UK gives up on the church

Welby praises “most orthodox” bishops since WW2 as UK gives up on the church

Posted: Thu, 21 Jan 2016 13:26

As the UK undergoes a "revolutionary generational change" away from religion the Archbishop of Canterbury has boasted that the Church's Bishops in the House of Lords are the "most orthodox since WW2".

National occasions need not be dominated by religion – as France’s commemoration ceremony so poignantly demonstrated

National occasions need not be dominated by religion – as France’s commemoration ceremony so poignantly demonstrated

Posted: Tue, 01 Dec 2015 14:36 by Keith Porteous Wood

France's recent ceremony for those killed in the Paris attacks was a moving demonstration that non-religious ceremonies are a powerful way to unite people regardless of faith or politics; it is something the UK could emulate for our own public ceremonies, writes Keith Porteous Wood.

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.

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.

Christian leaders need to prioritise their targets

Christian leaders need to prioritise their targets

Posted: Thu, 28 May 2015 12:59 by Benjamin Jones

It is tiresomely common to have some Christian leaders describing secularism as intolerant, bigoted, militant or aggressive. At a time when Christians are being met with genuine persecution around the world, Benjamin Jones argues that Christian leaders should prioritise their targets and drop their hysterical language.

A very confused and immoderate Moderator

A very confused and immoderate Moderator

Posted: Wed, 20 May 2015 15:15 by Alistair McBay

Alistair McBay examines the confused and immoderate arguments of the new Moderator of the Free Church of Scotland.

Secularism in 2050: huge changes in population make a secular UK even more urgent

Secularism in 2050: huge changes in population make a secular UK even more urgent

Posted: Fri, 10 Apr 2015 11:15 by Benjamin Jones

As huge demographic changes and the rapid increase in the Muslim population reshape religion in the UK, Benjamin Jones makes the case that secularism is the best guarantee of future freedoms for believers and atheists alike.

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.

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.

Remembrance Sunday should not be dominated by religion

Remembrance Sunday should not be dominated by religion

Posted: Thu, 06 Nov 2014 11:43 by Dan Snow

Historian, broadcaster and NSS honorary associate Dan Snow on the need for an inclusive and secular remembrance ceremony that better reflects the society it serves.

Free Church of Scotland attacks secularism and “sexual equality”; calls for Biblical principles in Scottish Government

Free Church of Scotland attacks secularism and “sexual equality”; calls for Biblical principles in Scottish Government

Posted: Thu, 23 Oct 2014 16:14 by Benjamin Jones

The Free Church of Scotland has labelled secularism "harmful to society". Benjamin Jones argues that secularism is in fact entirely impartial, and defends the rights of the religious and non-religious.

The Bishops, the Catholic vote and the Referendum

The Bishops, the Catholic vote and the Referendum

Posted: Fri, 10 Oct 2014 10:37 by Alistair McBay

Alistair McBay argues that a growing political alliance between the leadership of the Catholic Church in Scotland and SNP has implications which stretch far beyond the Referendum campaign and threaten to revive religious identity politics.

Principles of secularism and equality must be defended

Principles of secularism and equality must be defended

Posted: Fri, 22 Aug 2014 10:57 by Stephen Evans

Attempts to erode equality and undermine secularist principles must be challenged, argues Stephen Evans.

Talking to God: the corporate religious challenge to a pluralist, progressive Europe

Talking to God: the corporate religious challenge to a pluralist, progressive Europe

Posted: Fri, 01 Aug 2014 10:51 by Kenneth Houston

EU and UN 'dialogue' with civil society gives disproportionate weight to conservative religious voices at the expense of moderate and secular opinion, argues Kenneth Houston.

Kerry County Council crucifix a challenge to religious diversity

Kerry County Council crucifix a challenge to religious diversity

Posted: Tue, 29 Jul 2014 07:27 by Dr Ronan McCrea

Following the erection of a crucifix in the newly renovated Kerry County Council chambers, Dr Ronan McCrea argues that the values of a particular faith should not be given predominance in State institutions.

Commission to investigate religion’s role in society

Commission to investigate religion’s role in society

Posted: Thu, 03 Jul 2014 13:38 by Terry Sanderson

A commission has set itself up to "take the temperature of Britain's relationship with religion". But with so many vested interests on board, Terry Sanderson questions how objective its findings will be.

Embedded religious privilege triumphs on Scottish education issues

Embedded religious privilege triumphs on Scottish education issues

Posted: Mon, 12 May 2014 14:51 by Alistair McBay

National Secular Society's spokesperson for Scotland, Alistair McBay, argues that the Scottish Parliament's has helped entrench religious privilege in the country's education system.

Council prayers: Eric Pickles rewrites history again

Council prayers: Eric Pickles rewrites history again

Posted: Sat, 26 Apr 2014 09:33 by Terry Sanderson

Rather than being a voice for "moderation and reasonableness" over prayers at council meetings, the partisan and dictatorial Mr Pickles is pursuing an agenda to impose his religion on public life, argues Terry Sanderson.

The debate over David Cameron’s call to Christianity has taken a wrong turn

The debate over David Cameron’s call to Christianity has taken a wrong turn

Posted: Tue, 22 Apr 2014 14:49 by Terry Sanderson

Terry Sanderson argues that the debate over David Cameron's assertions that the UK is a "Christian Nation" has led away from the important question of whether it should be.


Cameron's courting of Christianity: divisive, inappropriate, cynical and shallow

Cameron's courting of Christianity: divisive, inappropriate, cynical and shallow

Posted: Sun, 20 Apr 2014 07:32 by Elizabeth O'Casey

Following David Cameron's call in recent statements for British Christians to be more evangelical, Elizabeth O'Casey questions the appropriateness of his comments and reiterates the need for a secular state.

The Big Society – to be run by churches - is Mr Cameron’s pipe dream

The Big Society – to be run by churches - is Mr Cameron’s pipe dream

Posted: Thu, 10 Apr 2014 17:00 by Terry Sanderson

In a speech to "faith leaders" gathered at Downing Street David Cameron said that his Government intended to see that religious groups play a much bigger role in influencing its policies.

Eric Pickles’ dictatorial disregard for the law is dangerous in a democracy

Eric Pickles’ dictatorial disregard for the law is dangerous in a democracy

Posted: Mon, 07 Apr 2014 10:28 by Terry Sanderson

Eric Pickles, the Dickensian-style Communities Minister, has announced that Britain is a "Christian nation" and anyone who disagrees needs to "get over it".

Being called a ‘fundamentalist secularist’ is an insult I would welcome

Being called a ‘fundamentalist secularist’ is an insult I would welcome

Posted: Thu, 03 Apr 2014 16:01 by George Gillett

George Gillett defends the fundamentals of secularism against the persistent attempts by some politicians and media commentators to misrepresent the term as a slur, to protect their own religious agendas in government.

Why it would have been invidious to put the Mormon Church on trial

Why it would have been invidious to put the Mormon Church on trial

Posted: Thu, 27 Mar 2014 12:31 by Terry Sanderson

Terry Sanderson clarifies the threat to freedom of religion and belief when secular courts rule on theological matters.

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.