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National Secular Society

Challenging Religious Privilege

Tags: Church & State

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.

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.

Report from Australia: secularists score political parties on their levels of religious favouritism

Report from Australia: secularists score political parties on their levels of religious favouritism

Posted: Thu, 29 Aug 2013 13:00 by Meredith Doig

Meredith Doig, president of the Rationalist Society of Australia, reports on her country's continued privileged treatment of religion.

A right for one is a right for all

A right for one is a right for all

Posted: Tue, 30 Jul 2013 13:42 by Charles C. Haynes

Charles C. Haynes argues that the First Amendment of the United States Constitution must be vigorously defended from religious attacks.

Same Sex Marriage Act - time to separate religion from politics

Same Sex Marriage Act - time to separate religion from politics

Posted: Tue, 23 Jul 2013 09:44 by Keith Porteous Wood

The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill has passed with overwhelming support. It has done little more than re-brand civil partnerships, but symbolically its passing was a breath-taking moment of the zeitgeist, writes Keith Porteous Wood.

Better the muddle you know: Disestablishment and gay marriage

Better the muddle you know: Disestablishment and gay marriage

Posted: Mon, 03 Jun 2013 10:19 by Theo Hobson

A disestablished Church still has difficult issues to face, about how to relate itself to the liberal state, where to stand on homosexuality, and how to engage the world around it.

Bishops in the House of Lords – too political or not political enough?

Bishops in the House of Lords – too political or not political enough?

Posted: Fri, 10 May 2013 11:08 by Terry Sanderson

Despite calling on the Archbishop of Canterbury to hand over some of the seats occupied by bishops in the House of Lords, Frank Field appears to want clerics to get more involved in politics.

After Lord Carey’s attack, Prime Minister assures us that he is a good Christian

After Lord Carey’s attack, Prime Minister assures us that he is a good Christian

Posted: Thu, 04 Apr 2013 16:43 by Terry Sanderson

Still wincing from Lord Carey's attack, the Prime Minister David Cameron put out his own Easter message, assuring religious organisations that "As long as I am Prime Minister, they will have the support of this government."

Where there is state religion, there is less freedom

Where there is state religion, there is less freedom

Posted: Thu, 04 Apr 2013 13:17 by Elizabeth O'Casey

A recent paper by Professor Steven Kettell shows that state religion is consistently associated with lower levels of political and civil freedom, and suggests the secular model as the best means to protect and promote human rights and freedom.

Vicar calls for disestablishment

Vicar calls for disestablishment

Posted: Tue, 26 Feb 2013 13:32 by Terry Sanderson

An encouraging letter from a Church of England vicar advocating disestablishment of the Church appeared in the latest issue of the Church of England Newspaper.

There is no American-style Religious Right in Britain, but the general theo-political landscape is lurching rightward

There is no American-style Religious Right in Britain, but the general theo-political landscape is lurching rightward

Posted: Wed, 06 Feb 2013 10:50 by Terry Sanderson

A new report by the Theos think-tank throws some interesting light on the evangelical Christian groups that have pushed themselves to the forefront of religio-political activism in the past couple of decades.

NSS President’s Seasonal Message

NSS President’s Seasonal Message

Posted: Fri, 21 Dec 2012 09:50 by Terry Sanderson

As we prepare for the festive holiday, National Secular Society President, Terry Sanderson, reflects on the year past, and looks forward to the year to come.

Is it time to separate church and state in marriage?

Is it time to separate church and state in marriage?

Posted: Thu, 13 Dec 2012 12:50 by Norman Bonney

The on-going debate over equal marriage has highlighted our outdated and outmoded marriage laws. Is it time for secular reform?

Census 2011: What has caused this massive flight from Christianity?

Census 2011: What has caused this massive flight from Christianity?

Posted: Tue, 11 Dec 2012 13:45

What has happened in this country in the decade since the last census? What has caused this huge flight from religion?

Church and state need to be set free

Church and state need to be set free

Posted: Thu, 22 Nov 2012 19:05 by Simon Barrow

Simon Barrow explains why the recent Church of England vote against women bishops underlines the urgent need to keep religion independent of the state.

Church of England’s establishment is well past its sell-by date

Church of England’s establishment is well past its sell-by date

Posted: Wed, 21 Nov 2012 10:55 by Terry Sanderson

Terry Sanderson on how the vote at the General Synod to reject women bishops demonstrates why the establishment of the Church of England as an arm of the state is unsustainable in a modern, diverse society.