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NSS Opinion

Church and state need to be set free

Church and state need to be set free

Posted: Thu, 22 Nov 2012 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.

Tags: Church & 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 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.

Tags: Church & State, Church of England

Acceptance of gay rights is an indication that USA is secularising

Acceptance of gay rights is an indication that USA is secularising

Posted: Mon, 19 Nov 2012 by Adrian Tippetts

Adrian Tippetts argues that if the GOP is to remain a serious force in US politics, a secular leadership capable of sidelining the extremist loons and offering rational, reasonable, constructive alternatives is urgently needed.

Tags: USA, LGBTQ rights

The new Archbishop should have no special say

The new Archbishop should have no special say

Posted: Sat, 10 Nov 2012 by Oliver Kamm

Oliver Kamm says the Church is entitled to religious liberty and freedom of speech, but it is not entitled to a privileged hearing, nor is faith a source of strength.

Tags: Church & State, Church of England

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 by Stephen Evans

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.

Tags: Catholic Church, USA, Politics, Obama, Romney

The Church of England should act now if it wants to save its hospital chaplaincy service

The Church of England should act now if it wants to save its hospital chaplaincy service

Posted: Tue, 06 Nov 2012 by Terry Sanderson

Terry Sanderson calls on the Church to relieve the struggling NHS of the financial burden of chaplaincy services, and for them to set up chaplaincy trusts to provide the necessary funding.

Tags: Charity, Healthcare, Chaplaincy, Big Society, Church of England, public funding

Mr Cameron, the Big Society and the fundamentalists

Mr Cameron, the Big Society and the fundamentalists

Posted: Mon, 05 Nov 2012 by Terry Sanderson

Terry Sanderson on the undesirability of handing out public money to religious groups without strong controls in place.

Tags: Public Services

Stonewall is right – the Cardinal is a bigot

Stonewall is right – the Cardinal is a bigot

Posted: Fri, 02 Nov 2012 by Terry Sanderson

After coming under fire for nominating Cardinal Keith O'Brien as "Bigot of the Year", Terry Sanderson defends Stonewall and agrees the Cardinal is a bigot, and that the award was appropriate and well-deserved.

Tags: Equality & Human Rights, Catholic Church, Marriage Equality, LGBTQ rights

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 by Terry Sanderson

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.

Tags: Politics, Conservative Party

Enticing children to evangelism with toys: Samaritan’s Purse shoebox scheme.

Enticing children to evangelism with toys: Samaritan’s Purse shoebox scheme.

Posted: Thu, 18 Oct 2012 by Rebecca Sharkey

Rebecca Sharkey argues that a popular shoebox gift scheme run by evangelicals highlights the dangers of mixing humanitarian work with the promotion of a religious agenda.

Tags: Christmas, Education, Charity, Samaritans Purse, Evangelism in schools

Baroness Warsi needs to be challenged on her theocratic ambitions

Baroness Warsi needs to be challenged on her theocratic ambitions

Posted: Tue, 16 Oct 2012 by Terry Sanderson

Terry Sanderson argues that all this talk of Britain being a Christian nation is a fantasy employed by Baroness Warsi and other pious politicians to push forward their own religious agendas.

Tags: Church & State

Religion is shrinking: and it only has itself to blame

Religion is shrinking: and it only has itself to blame

Posted: Wed, 10 Oct 2012 by Terry Sanderson

The perception that Americans are an overwhelmingly church-going, evangelically conservative people took another knock this week with the release of a poll from the Pew Research Centre.

Tags: Statistics, Religion & Belief

There can be no cultural get-out clause for child abusers

There can be no cultural get-out clause for child abusers

Posted: Fri, 05 Oct 2012 by Anne Marie Waters

It's official – raping children is wrong. Sometimes. It depends on the colour (sorry "culture") of the child being raped. Welcome to post-racism Europe.

Tags: Child Abuse

Time to rethink the Church's role in state education

Time to rethink the Church's role in state education

Posted: Mon, 01 Oct 2012 by Stephen Evans

As head teachers put the Church's plan to intensify the religious input into lessons into action, Stephen Evans asks: isn't it time to rethink the role of religion in our public education system?

Tags: Faith Schools, Education

Politicians and “faith leaders” make a gruesome combination

Politicians and “faith leaders” make a gruesome combination

Posted: Tue, 25 Sep 2012 by Terry Sanderson

While many will write it off as red meat being thrown to the raving fundamentalists on the back bench of the Tory Party, Terry Sanderson says the appointment of Baroness Warsi as "Minister for Faith and Communities" is potentially threatening for secularism.

Tags: Catholic Church, Church & State

Interculturalism: The new era of cohesion and diversity

Interculturalism: The new era of cohesion and diversity

Posted: Wed, 19 Sep 2012 by National Secular Society

In an important new book, Ted Cantle argues that multiculturalism, while seeking to protect minority communities and cultures, has led to a society of plural mono-cultures living alongside each other, where groups different than oneself are identified solely by their most visible characteristics.

Tags: Community Cohesion, Multiculturalism, Reviews

These imbecilic riots must serve to reinforce our commitment to freedom

These imbecilic riots must serve to reinforce our commitment to freedom

Posted: Mon, 17 Sep 2012 by Terry Sanderson

It is estimated that throughout the Muslim world something like just ten to twenty thousand people have taken part in the rampages that have dominated the headlines for a week. Terry Sanderson says these few Islamist extremists must not lead us to to compromise our commitment to the values of democracy and freedom.

Tags: Freedom of Expression, Islam

NSS President's speech to Secular Europe rally

NSS President's speech to Secular Europe rally

Posted: Sat, 15 Sep 2012 by National Secular Society

Terry Sanderson's speech to the Secular Europe rally: "It is time now for politicians to lose their fear of religious leaders, to accept that they can't corral their followers into a voting bloc, and to give the people what they want - a peaceful, tolerant and progressive society."

Tags: Equality & Human Rights

Hospitals axed, wages cut, frontline staff dispensed with – but Chaplains are sitting pretty

Hospitals axed, wages cut, frontline staff dispensed with – but Chaplains are sitting pretty

Posted: Sat, 15 Sep 2012 by Terry Sanderson

As our precious health services are falling one after another in the face of the recession, the Church must be very happy that the NHS is prepared to pick up the substantial wage bill for the clerics it should be paying for itself.

Tags: Chaplaincy, Healthcare

Oppose the Russian resolution on “traditional values” at Human Rights Council

Oppose the Russian resolution on “traditional values” at Human Rights Council

Posted: Sat, 15 Sep 2012 by European Women's Lobby

At the current session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, Russia has tabled a resolution seeking to promote "traditional values" as a basis for human rights. If this resolution is passed, there is no doubt that governments in future will use "traditional values" to restrict human rights.

Tags: Equality & Human Rights

Those census statistics explained

Those census statistics explained

Posted: Sat, 15 Sep 2012 by Terry Sanderson

A new book attempts to answer intriguing question about why 72% of English people identified themselves as Christian in the 2001 census when less than 10 per cent regularly attends a place of worship.

Tags: Census, Statistics

Are parliament’s theocrats about to have their day?

Are parliament’s theocrats about to have their day?

Posted: Mon, 10 Sep 2012 by Terry Sanderson

Has the recent reshuffle appeased the religious lobby and are parliament's theocrats about to have their day?

Tags: Church & State, Equality & Human Rights, Marriage Equality, 'Militant' secularism, Community Cohesion, Discrimination

Time to challenge the religious slaughter of animals

Time to challenge the religious slaughter of animals

Posted: Fri, 07 Sep 2012 by Stephen Evans

Freedom of thought, conscience and religion is an important right, but a qualified right, which means that an interference with the right can be justified in certain circumstances. Stephen Evans argues that ensuring the welfare of animals provides such a justification.

Tags: Religious Slaughter

Discriminatory acts have a moral significance

Discriminatory acts have a moral significance

Posted: Thu, 06 Sep 2012 by Dr Ronan McCrea

In this response to Joshua Rozenberg's piece on conscience exemptions from anti-discrimination legislation, Human rights barrister Dr Ronan McCrea argues that discriminatory acts have a moral significance beyond the deprivation of the relevant service.

Tags: Equality & Human Rights, ECtHR, Discrimination

Bishop Nazir-Ali gives a master class in hypocrisy and double-speak

Bishop Nazir-Ali gives a master class in hypocrisy and double-speak

Posted: Wed, 05 Sep 2012 by Anne Marie Waters

Anne Marie Waters argues that when it comes to freedom, prosperity and liberty, the men-who-live-in-palaces have got some serious questions to answer.

Tags: Equality & Human Rights

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