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National Secular Society

Challenging Religious Privilege

Tags: Politics

Was Tim Farron a secularist?

Was Tim Farron a secularist?

Posted: Thu, 15 Jun 2017 12:35

Tim Farron was a classic secularist, but found himself unable to reconcile his personal faith and his party's socially liberal positions and made his own choice, argues Terry Sanderson.

What happens next? Some thoughts on the election and the challenges to come

What happens next? Some thoughts on the election and the challenges to come

Posted: Fri, 09 Jun 2017 11:10

The dust is beginning to settle. Whether you're delighted, dismayed or just surprised by last night's results there are challenges and opportunities to come.

What do the main parties have to say on secular issues?

What do the main parties have to say on secular issues?

Posted: Thu, 18 May 2017 14:27

The Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat parties have all released their manifestos for the General Election. Read our analysis of what they say on issues from equality to human rights, Islamist extremism and education.

CofE talks to the electorate, but is anyone listening?

CofE talks to the electorate, but is anyone listening?

Posted: Mon, 08 May 2017 12:10

Religious leaders are free to speak out on politics, but they shouldn't expect their views to be given any special weight, and politicians shouldn't assume that clerics speak for anyone but themselves, argues Terry Sanderson.

As a nation we’re thinking about our future, here’s our secular manifesto for change

As a nation we’re thinking about our future, here’s our secular manifesto for change

Posted: Thu, 27 Apr 2017 10:45

Ahead of the General Election we're calling on political parties to embrace a series of secular reforms, drawn from our recently published secular manifesto, that make society, our education system, and the law fairer for all.

Prime Minister and CofE promote fake ‘war on Easter’

Prime Minister and CofE promote fake ‘war on Easter’

Posted: Tue, 04 Apr 2017 09:53

After several media outlets falsely claimed that the National Trust and Cadbury were 'airbrushing' Easter out of their Easter egg hunt, Terry Sanderson argues that the Prime Minister's involvement in this trumped-up propaganda exercise was the real disgrace.

A faith-based education system is deeply inefficient

A faith-based education system is deeply inefficient

Posted: Tue, 07 Mar 2017 12:27

Both the Government and the Labour Party have wilful blind spots around faith schools, and as the Government looks set to launch a new wave of faith schools amid an education funding crisis, how can such an inefficient system be justified?

Britain’s ‘Christian right’: seeking solace in a narrative of discrimination

Britain’s ‘Christian right’: seeking solace in a narrative of discrimination

Posted: Thu, 02 Mar 2017 11:21

The 'Christian right' in the UK may not be anywhere near as powerful as its US counterpart, but it still tries to exert influence on public policy, writes Steven Kettell.

Church of England bishops are more elitist than David Cameron’s cabinet

Church of England bishops are more elitist than David Cameron’s cabinet

Posted: Tue, 05 Apr 2016 12:35

A small, almost entirely Oxbridge-educated elite are given automatic seats in Parliament. How do we allow this to continue, asks Ed Moore.

Minister’s claim that secularism pushes Muslims towards ISIS is a shameless attempt to advance Christian privilege

Minister’s claim that secularism pushes Muslims towards ISIS is a shameless attempt to advance Christian privilege

Posted: Wed, 09 Dec 2015 12:38

Stephen Crabb MP, the Secretary of State for Wales, has said that secularism and "creeping intolerance" of religion "risks pushing more young Muslims into the arms of Isil". Benjamin Jones responds, debunking his nonsensical claims.

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

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.

‘Spiritual influence’, democracy and free expression

‘Spiritual influence’, democracy and free expression

Posted: Tue, 19 May 2015 09:51

Religious voting blocs and sectarian and divisive politics harm society and can undermine democracy. But are laws that potentially restrict free expression the answer? Alastair Lichten considers the charge of 'undue spiritual influence'.

After initial crisis, nation struggles on without  Minister for Faith

After initial crisis, nation struggles on without Minister for Faith

Posted: Thu, 14 May 2015 08:39

After initial panic and a constitutional and political crisis, the country is struggling on without a Minister for Faith. Benjamin Jones lambasts the Prime Minister for leaving this crucial role unfilled for so long.

Most Britons aren’t religious- but are religious ‘voting blocs’ wielding increasing power in our elections?

Most Britons aren’t religious- but are religious ‘voting blocs’ wielding increasing power in our elections?

Posted: Wed, 06 May 2015 16:46

Religious leaders are wielding disproportionate influence in this election. Benjamin Jones argues that this is likely to get worse, and politicians should resist the urge to treat religious people as blocs.

What do the minor parties have to say about secularism and religion?

What do the minor parties have to say about secularism and religion?

Posted: Tue, 21 Apr 2015 13:13

From the Wessex Regionalists to the Christian People's Alliance, the NSS presents some highlights on secularism and religion from the minor parties' manifestos.

Election 2015: Where the parties stand on secularist issues

Election 2015: Where the parties stand on secularist issues

Posted: Thu, 16 Apr 2015 16:28

Find out where the parties stand on collective worship, faith schools, multiculturalism, sex and relationships education, religion in society and a range of other secular issues.

Tower Hamlets and the Dangers of Communal Politics

Tower Hamlets and the Dangers of Communal Politics

Posted: Thu, 20 Nov 2014 11:28

With the embedding in of multiculturalism, communal, sectarian politics are becoming prevalent in many towns and cities with significant religious-ethnic minority communities. Rumy Hasan argues that many candidates now seek votes from people on the basis of their religion, ethnicity, and country of origin, rather than on political ideology.

New data revealed on 2015 voting intentions of non-believers

New data revealed on 2015 voting intentions of non-believers

Posted: Tue, 28 Oct 2014 14:45

The British Election Study (BES) has shed new light on the voting intentions of non-believers and religious minorities. Benjamin Jones explores the results and considers some of the potential long term consequences.

Miliband should keep his party away from priests

Miliband should keep his party away from priests

Posted: Wed, 03 Apr 2013 11:09

Ed Miliband's invitation to the new Archbishop of Canterbury was a mistake and a wrong turning in British politics.

An important lesson that politicians can learn from the American election

An important lesson that politicians can learn from the American election

Posted: Wed, 07 Nov 2012 13:54

If this election has told politicians one thing, it should be that they should listen to the voters and not to the religious lobbyists who are trying to write their doctrines into law.

We’re not in Kansas now: why targeting the “faith vote” is a hopeless cause in Britain

We’re not in Kansas now: why targeting the “faith vote” is a hopeless cause in Britain

Posted: Tue, 30 Oct 2012 14:19

The Tories plan to use the upcoming Corby by-election to "road test" an appeal to the "faith vote". Terry Sanderson questions whether a religious voting bloc even exists in the town – or anywhere in Britain for that matter.

The Tories will be watching how Republican’s religion-in-politics tactic plays

The Tories will be watching how Republican’s religion-in-politics tactic plays

Posted: Fri, 02 Mar 2012 12:15

If Santorum's tactic of overstating religion pays off, can we can expect a similar ratcheting up of the Pickles/Warsi "Britain is a Christian country" message here?