NSS Opinion

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

Posted: Fri, 09 Jun 2017 by National Secular Society

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. Read More »

Tags: Politics, GE2017

We need to defend both our lives and our way of life

Posted: Thu, 08 Jun 2017 by Stephen Evans

Terrorist atrocities have a way of bringing the nation together, albeit temporarily. We need a glue to keep us together, to protect our lives and our way of life, writes Stephen Evans. Read More »

Tags: Community Cohesion, Terrorism, Islam

Irish National Maternity Hospital: “Keep your rosaries off my ovaries!”

Posted: Mon, 05 Jun 2017 by Keith Porteous Wood

The determination to give a hospital to a disgraced religious order, in spite of public outrage, is the very antithesis of secularism. But the episode has prompted calls for fundamental changes in the relationship between church and state, writes Keith Porteous... Read More »

Tags: Catholic Church, Ireland, Healthcare, Reproductive Rights

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

Posted: Thu, 18 May 2017 by National Secular Society

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. Read More »

Tags: Politics, GE2017, Labour Party, Conservative Party, LibDem Party, UKIP, GreenParty

Why we need a 21st century RE for all

Posted: Wed, 17 May 2017 by Stephen Evans

2018 marks the 30th anniversary of the Education Reform Act 1988 which saw the introduction of a national curricular entitlement for all pupils. One subject alone remains set apart from this - religious education. Read More »

Tags: Education, Religious education

The Catholic Church’s abuse scandal shows no sign of abating

Posted: Mon, 15 May 2017 by Richard Scorer

After forty years the Catholic Church is still more interested in protecting itself and its clerical culture than in truly eradicating child abuse, writes Richard Scorer. Read More »

Tags: Catholic Church, Scotland, Child Abuse

Anglican stance on women and gays could trigger disestablishment

Posted: Sun, 14 May 2017 by Keith Porteous Wood

Keith Porteous Wood argues that, with the CofE's hierarchy so at odds with the values on equality held by the country at large, an Anglican vicar is right to question its status as the 'national church'.

Andrew Foreshew-Cain, the first Anglican vicar to have... Read More »

Tags: Church & State, Church of England

Murdered for the ‘crime’ of blasphemy

Posted: Fri, 12 May 2017 by Anonymous

There has been an onslaught against secularists, atheists, ex-Muslims and countless religious minorities for 'blasphemy'. It's important to remember the individuals, and honour their lives and heroism. Read More »

Tags: Freedom of Expression, Islamism, Hindu Nationalism

Casework focus: community schools and religious takeovers

Posted: Thu, 11 May 2017 by Alastair Lichten

Parents and staff regularly contact the NSS over concerns related to religious influence in their schools. Campaigns officer Alastair Lichten looks at a typical example of the casework we receive and what lessons can be learned.

A small rural primary school... Read More »

Tags: Education, Academisation, Casework focus

CofE talks to the electorate, but is anyone listening?

Posted: Mon, 08 May 2017 by Terry Sanderson

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. Read More »

Tags: Politics, GE2017, Church of England

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

Posted: Thu, 27 Apr 2017 by National Secular Society

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. Read More »

Tags: GE2017, Politics, Labour Party, Conservative Party, LibDem Party, UKIP

This is not a ‘Christian country’

Posted: Tue, 18 Apr 2017 by Harry Small

Despite many remaining anachronisms in our constitution, the UK is not a Christian country in any meaningful legal sense: but politicians continue to repeat this myth. Read More »

Tags: Christianity, Church & State

The Catholic Church in Scotland is still playing the victim card to stifle criticism

Posted: Thu, 06 Apr 2017 by Alistair McBay

There is some lingering anti-Catholic bigotry in Scotland, writes NSS vice president Alistair McBay, but the Church is playing victim while supporting a segregated education system which can only worsen prejudice.

"As one brought up a Catholic, I know only... Read More »

Tags: Catholic Church, Scotland

Religious programming isn’t popular, and no amount of hounding from the Church will change that

Posted: Tue, 04 Apr 2017 by Terry Sanderson

The BBC still produces a considerable amount of religious programmes – but the numbers who watch it are so small they barely register in viewing figures. More religion on TV isn't what the public want, and it won't be good for the BBC, writes Terry Sanderson.... Read More »

Tags: BBC

Prime Minister and CofE promote fake ‘war on Easter’

Posted: Tue, 04 Apr 2017 by Terry Sanderson

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.... Read More »

Tags: Christianity, Politics

Caste discrimination: Fear of upsetting religious groups must not impede social justice

Posted: Fri, 31 Mar 2017 by Stephen Evans

Caste discrimination is the latest area where misplaced sensitivity could allow deference to religion to trump social justice, argues Stephen Evans. Read More »

Tags: Caste, Equality & Human Rights

Who is running Ireland – the Government or the Church?

Posted: Mon, 27 Mar 2017 by Keith Porteous Wood

The reach and power of the Catholic Church has waned considerably in recent years in Ireland. But there are troubling signs that its undue influence over the country is returning, writes Keith Porteous Wood.

It is difficult to envisage now, but when the UK... Read More »

Tags: Catholic Church, Ireland, Child Abuse

Why are we still allowing religion to retard young people’s education and health rights?

Posted: Thu, 09 Mar 2017 by Stephen Evans

The Government's proposals on Relationships and Sex Education are a welcome step in the right direction – but religious opt outs mean many children will continue to be left behind, writes Stephen Evans.

The Government's move to make Relationships and... Read More »

Tags: Education, Faith Schools, Sex Education

The human rights of women and secularism go hand in hand

Posted: Wed, 08 Mar 2017 by Alastair Lichten

On International Women's Day 2017 NSS campaigns officer Alastair Lichten reflects on the intersection of gender and religious privilege, and what the secularist movement can learn from IWD.

The theocratic mindset has always had a particular obsession with policing... Read More »

Tags: Gender Equality, Equality & Human Rights, Secularism

Mass grave full of children's remains at Catholic home reveals atrocities on a massive scale

Posted: Tue, 07 Mar 2017 by Keith Porteous Wood

With the latest revelations about human remains in an Irish Mother and Baby home, Keith Porteous Wood, executive director of the National Secular Society, seeks answers about how such atrocities could have happened on such a scale, and what can be done now.... Read More »

Tags: Catholic Church, Child Abuse, Ireland

A faith-based education system is deeply inefficient

Posted: Tue, 07 Mar 2017 by Benjamin Jones

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?

The Prime Minister... Read More »

Tags: Education, Faith Schools, Politics

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

Posted: Thu, 02 Mar 2017 by Prof. Steven Kettell

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. Read More »

Tags: Church & State, Christianity, Politics

Stop pharmacies refusing prescriptions for emergency contraception on religious grounds

Posted: Fri, 17 Feb 2017 by Keith Porteous Wood

With the regulator considering curtailing 'conscience' objections to contraception prescriptions, Keith Porteous Wood urges supporters to respond to the consultation in the interests of vulnerable patients.

The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) has launched... Read More »

Tags: Secular Medical Forum, Healthcare, Reproductive Rights

A judge’s decision to separate a transgender parent from her Jewish Orthodox children was deeply misguided

Posted: Fri, 10 Feb 2017 by Dr Antony Lempert

The decision to separate a transgender parent from her children gets to the heart of why faith-based harm is perpetuated and is frequently unchallenged, writes Dr Antony Lempert of the Secular Medical Forum.

A recent ruling in the Family Court of Manchester... Read More »

Tags: Law, Orthodox Judaism, Charedi, Religiousity policing

It’s time for an end to special religious privileges: we need a secular state

Posted: Wed, 08 Feb 2017 by Prof. Steven Kettell

The Commission on Religion and Belief in British Public Life set out 37 recommendations – which, argues Steven Kettell, are deeply problematic in a society where half the population say they have no religion. Read More »

Tags: Church & State, Secularism