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National Secular Society

Challenging Religious Privilege

Tags: Secularism

Norway’s separation of Church and State: a work in progress

Norway’s separation of Church and State: a work in progress

Posted: Wed, 04 Jan 2017 15:37 by Keith Porteous Wood

Norway's supposed separation of Church and State, effective from 1 January 2017, is a very positive step, but it's still a work in progress, writes Keith Porteous Wood.

Living better together: secularism and cohesion

Living better together: secularism and cohesion

Posted: Fri, 29 Jul 2016 09:41 by Stephen Evans

Later this year the NSS will mark its 150th anniversary with a special conference around the theme of 'living better together'. Campaigns director Stephen Evans explains why the time has come for people of all faiths to stand together in supporting secularist principles.

Christian country? Politicians should be careful what they wish for

Christian country? Politicians should be careful what they wish for

Posted: Wed, 23 Mar 2016 14:49 by Benjamin Jones

The demise of Anglican Christianity won't herald a uniformly secularised society, but a fractured country where the vast, non-religious majority contend with vocal religious minorities. Secularism must mediate this, argues Benjamin Jones.

Religious worship shouldn’t be a requirement of public office

Religious worship shouldn’t be a requirement of public office

Posted: Fri, 18 Mar 2016 10:47 by Stephen Evans

With an atheist mayor facing criticism for opting not to attend church services, Stephen Evans argues that elected officials shouldn't have to worship or feign religiosity in order to represent the citizens they serve.

Secularism protects us all. Let's embrace it.

Secularism protects us all. Let's embrace it.

Posted: Wed, 27 Jan 2016 11:57 by Stephen Evans

Britain today is one of the most religiously diverse countries in the world, with more non-believers than ever before. With society at risk of fragmenting along religious lines, secularism could be our salvation, argues Stephen Evans.

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".

Secularism is on the front line

Secularism is on the front line

Posted: Fri, 18 Dec 2015 13:32 by Terry Sanderson

Terry Sanderson, the recently re-elected president of the National Secular Society, reflects on the challenges of the past year and invites our members and supporters to take an active role supporting our campaign work in 2016.

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 by Benjamin Jones

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.

Tim Montgomerie need not worry, secularism and tolerance go hand in hand

Tim Montgomerie need not worry, secularism and tolerance go hand in hand

Posted: Thu, 02 Jul 2015 16:39 by Stephen Evans

There's nothing "anti-Christian" about a society that sets about dismantling historic religious privilege, argues Stephen Evans.

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 by Benjamin Jones

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.

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.

Sharia law, apostasy and secularism

Sharia law, apostasy and secularism

Posted: Thu, 12 Feb 2015 14:45 by Gita Sahgal

Gita Sahgal argues that opposing religious fundamentalism is not a distraction from 'real' politics - the demands of social justice and civil liberties - but a pre-condition for achieving them.

BBC Panorama, “the battle for British Islam” and the nonsense of “peaceful” or “violent” Muslims

BBC Panorama, “the battle for British Islam” and the nonsense of “peaceful” or “violent” Muslims

Posted: Thu, 22 Jan 2015 16:31 by Benjamin Jones

NSS communications officer Benjamin Jones argues that the problem of Islamism is obscured by politicians and others simplistically categorising Muslims as either 'peaceful' or 'violent'.

Charlie Hebdo Editorial: Je Suis Charlie Means Je Suis Secularism

Charlie Hebdo Editorial: Je Suis Charlie Means Je Suis Secularism

Posted: Thu, 15 Jan 2015 14:06

This is a translation of the editorial from the first Charlie Hebdo published since the Paris attacks. It is reproduced here in solidarity with Charlie Hebdo.

GP Taylor: Why faith has no place in our schools

GP Taylor: Why faith has no place in our schools

Posted: Thu, 08 Jan 2015 17:07 by GP Taylor

Many principled people of faith oppose religious privilege in state schools. Former Anglican priest GP Taylor makes an impassioned case for secularism as a basis for equally inclusive education.

Secular conference created a sense of imminent and momentous change – and women will be the driving force

Secular conference created a sense of imminent and momentous change – and women will be the driving force

Posted: Wed, 15 Oct 2014 14:53 by Terry Sanderson

The passion of feminist secular activists from around the world at a recent conference inspired Terry Sanderson, who chaired a panel on religion in the state, law and politics.

Secularism and religious intolerance - an Ex-Muslim perspective on Karen Armstrong's essay

Secularism and religious intolerance - an Ex-Muslim perspective on Karen Armstrong's essay

Posted: Mon, 29 Sep 2014 15:17 by al-Razi

In a recent essay, Karen Armstrong diagnosed the secular impulse as a cause of religious intolerance and extremism. In a robust response, al-Razi says Armstrong's critique of secularism is a form of apologetics for fundamentalism and bigotry.

Ministerial role that promotes religion should have gone, not just the Minister

Ministerial role that promotes religion should have gone, not just the Minister

Posted: Wed, 06 Aug 2014 17:02 by Stephen Evans

As Eric Pickles takes over Baroness Warsi's ministerial responsibilities for promoting faith, Stephen Evans argues that the job should have gone, not just the minister.

Secularization is best thing that ever happened to religion

Secularization is best thing that ever happened to religion

Posted: Thu, 01 May 2014 11:02 by Douglas Todd

Douglas Todd argues that, properly understood, secularism is the best thing that has happened for modern religion and religious believers, and that secular societies can be breeding grounds for religious pluralism.

Why religions, too, would benefit from embracing secularism

Why religions, too, would benefit from embracing secularism

Posted: Tue, 29 Apr 2014 09:16 by Terry Sanderson

Secularism offers the best route to a society where people of all religions and none can live together peacefully. In a debate at the Nottingham Secular Society, Terry Sanderson argues the time has come for all religions to embrace secularism.

Secular values, not religion, make us a tolerant society

Secular values, not religion, make us a tolerant society

Posted: Sat, 29 Mar 2014 08:27 by Oliver Kamm

When trying to reach reasoned and compassionate judgments, religion is frequently a source of confusion rather than light, argues Oliver Kamm.

The bishop’s fantasy secularism

The bishop’s fantasy secularism

Posted: Tue, 11 Mar 2014 16:25

This week the Catholic Bishop of Portsmouth, Philip Egan, gave a lecture at King's College in London in which he launched a full frontal attack on secularism. But the secularism the Bishop denounces, argues Terry Sanderson, is simply a figment of his imagination.

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.

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.

Letters to editors: a useful tool for campaigners

Letters to editors: a useful tool for campaigners

Posted: Tue, 29 Oct 2013 15:17 by Terry Sanderson

Your local newspaper is a ready platform for you to debate and discuss secularism, writes Terry Sanderson.