This week has seen a contrived controversy over the decision of cinema chains to not show an advert of the Lord's Prayer before the new Star Wars film – and the NSS has been vocal in defending the cinemas' right to refuse political or religious advertisements. While something of a lone voice at the start of the week, we have been joined by religious and non-religious commentators in questioning the Church's actions – particularly their claims that by declining an advert cinemas have threatened free speech, and the suggestion that they may pursue a case under the Equality Act, legislation from which the Church has its own exemptions.
If you value the work the NSS does speaking out on issues like this, please consider joining the Society today. We are a membership-led organisation, and this Saturday existing members are invited to attend our AGM – details of which were sent out in our recent Annual Report.
Opinion | Mon, 23 Nov 2015
The controversy over cinemas rejecting religious advertising appears to be another attempt to reignite the Christian victimisation narrative, argues Stephen Evans
News | Wed, 25 Nov 2015
The High Court has ruled in favour of three families who challenged the Education Secretary's exclusion of non-religious worldviews from the new RE GCSE syllabus.
News | Fri, 27 Nov 2015
A review into Religious Education has called for fundamental reform of the subject, so that teaching reflects "the real religious landscape" of the UK – with content including a "broad range" of religious and non-religious views.
Female governor made to sit “out of sight” of men during school governors’ meetings at Islamic school
News | Tue, 24 Nov 2015
Ofsted has released a damning advice note on the Bridge Schools Inspectorate, revealing shocking failures by independent Muslim and Christian schools.
News | Tue, 24 Nov 2015
The NSS has told top-level European officials of the positive role secular education can play in building a shared future and challenging religious intolerance across Europe.
NSS Speaks Out
The National Secular Society has been widely quoted by international, national and local media over the 'Just Pray' controversy, including by the New York Times and CNN. We gave over thirty radio interviews on the topic to BBC radio stations and Talk2MeRadio, and our executive director Keith Porteous Wood also appeared on BBC's Sunday Morning Live, while campaigns manager Stephen Evans discussed the advert on ITV's This Morning. The NSS also featured on BBC News and Channel 5 news. We were quoted by the Telegraph, Daily Mail, Mirror and Pink News in addition to a range of local newspapers.
Quotes of the Week
"The cottage industry of people claiming the church is some poor victimised minority group, persecuted by an intolerant secular mainstream, is in for another good quarter of growth. Except of course that it is the most unthinkable rubbish. The establishment church is not some silenced minority."
Ian Dunt, Politics.co.uk.
"If we don't want religion forced on adults in cinemas, then it's about time we stopped forcing it on children in schools as well."
Julia Hartley-Brewer, Telegraph.
Essays of the Week
If we're serious about free speech, we should say 'Je Suis Dieudonné.'
Brendan O'Neill, Spiked.