Author: Terry Sanderson

The BBC is overdoing religion

Posted: Mon, 31 Jul 2017 by Terry Sanderson

New figures show that the BBC is devoting hundreds of hours of programming to religion each year. NSS president Terry Sanderson argues that more of its scarce resources should be spent elsewhere.

BBC1 - 88 hours (last year 92 hours)

Tags: BBC, Media, Statistics

Was Tim Farron a secularist?

Posted: Thu, 15 Jun 2017 by Terry Sanderson

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. Read More »

Tags: LibDem Party, Politics, GE2017

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

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 Sunday Times reported this week that the BBC has "decided to shut down its in-house religious affairs television production department."

So, does the Church have a point?

How much more time do they want?

Tags: BBC

Prime Minister and CofE promote fake ‘war on Easter’

Posted: Tue, 04 Apr 2017 by Terry Sanderson

Theresa May took time out from negotiating the future of our nation to become embroiled in a trumped-up publicity stunt contrived by the Church of England.

Tags: Christianity, Politics

Living better together: French secularism risks being destroyed by political ambition

Posted: Thu, 25 Aug 2016 by Terry Sanderson

Despite occasional conflicts, France's tradition of secularism has served both social cohesion and religious freedom well. Terry Sanderson argues that misusing secularism for political aims risks undermining both. Read More »

Tags: France, Events, Islam, Community Cohesion

The gay community should recognise and oppose its chief oppressor

Posted: Tue, 17 May 2016 by Terry Sanderson

While people of all faiths and none have campaigned for and against LGBTQ rights, the merger of religious and state power has always been the greatest threat to LGBTQ rights around the world and turns bigotry into discrimination, argues NSS president Terry Sanderson. Read More »

Tags: LGBTQ rights, Equality & Human Rights, Hindu Nationalism, Islamism, Christian Right, History

Secularism is on the front line

Posted: Fri, 18 Dec 2015 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.

Tags: Christmas, Secularism

Time for Christians of goodwill to say “Not In My Name”

Posted: Tue, 26 May 2015 by Terry Sanderson

Most Christians don't feel the need to be exempt from equality legislation in order to live their lives in accordance with their religious beliefs. Terry Sanderson says it's time they spoke out against those that do. Read More »

Tags: Equality & Human Rights, Ashers

The Christian “fired for praying at work” – here’s the other side of the story

Posted: Thu, 23 Apr 2015 by Terry Sanderson

The Christian Legal Centre's latest claim that one of its clients had suffered religious discrimination at work has been rejected by an employment tribunal in East London.

Much more.

This is how the tribunal judgment then describes what happened:

Tags: Equality & Human Rights, Discrimination, Healthcare

Even the chief architect of the expansion of religious schools is now having doubts

Posted: Wed, 01 Apr 2015 by Terry Sanderson

With the public, of all faiths and none, increasingly recognising the problems caused by faith schools, NSS president Terry Sanderson calls out politicians who complain about religious separatism on one hand while deliberately promoting it on the other.

Tags: Faith Schools, Community Cohesion

There is no widespread discrimination against Christians in the workplace

Posted: Fri, 13 Mar 2015 by Terry Sanderson

NSS president Terry Sanderson challenges the notion that Christians are widely discriminated against in the workplace, and calls for fairness, justice and common sense.

Tags: Christianity, 'Christianophobia', Equality & Human Rights, Workplace

The Christian Legal Centre makes another attempt to gain privileges for Christians in the workplace

Posted: Mon, 02 Mar 2015 by Terry Sanderson

The Christian Legal Centre's latest 'discrimination' claim follows a familiar pattern – but its use of dissembling tactics shouldn't be permitted to manipulate a change in equality laws, argues Terry Sanderson.

Tags: Equality & Human Rights, Discrimination, Workplace

The dishonesty of religious lobbying shines like a beacon

Posted: Tue, 03 Feb 2015 by Terry Sanderson

NSS President Terry Sanderson argues that the churches have changed their lobbying tactics, and are trying to impose their doctrines through misdirection and 'slippery slope' arguments.

Tags: Christianity, Healthcare, Church of England, Catholic Church

NSS statement following Charlie Hebdo attack

Posted: Wed, 07 Jan 2015 by Terry Sanderson

The extremists try increasingly to terrorise us into silence and often the state conspires with them, blaming the victims for 'bringing it upon themselves'.

Tags: Freedom of Expression

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

Posted: Wed, 15 Oct 2014 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. Read More »

Tags: Secularism, Gender Equality, Ex-Muslim

Grievous nonsense

Posted: Wed, 27 Aug 2014 by Terry Sanderson

The narrative that Christians are somehow persecuted in the UK – which the Daily Telegraph and former Attorney General Dominic Grieve were happy to promote this week – is a dishonest appeal for privilege, argues NSS president Terry Sanderson.

Tags: 'Militant' secularism, Council Prayers

Commission to investigate religion’s role in society

Posted: Thu, 03 Jul 2014 by Terry Sanderson

A commission has set itself up to "take the temperature of Britain's relationship with religion". But with so many vested interests on board, Terry Sanderson questions how objective its findings will be. Read More »

Tags: Church & State, Christianity

Will the Equality Act be battered into submitting to religious exemptions?

Posted: Mon, 30 Jun 2014 by Terry Sanderson

Misleading reporting of individual cases and calls for "conscience clauses" feed into a false narrative of Christian persecution aimed at undermining the Equality Act, argues Terry Sanderson.

And we saw a classic example in the Daily Telegraph on Sunday.

Tags: Equality & Human Rights, Discrimination

It’s not only Islamists who have Trojan Horses

Posted: Fri, 27 Jun 2014 by Terry Sanderson

Those with a vested interest in the continuation of 'faith schools' have started their fight back against the growing number of critics, says Terry Sanderson.

Now, the apologists for 'faith schools' are coming back at them with a vengeance.

Tags: Education, Islam, Church of England, Faith Schools

Terry Sanderson’s speech to the Religious Freedom Conference, Chatham

Posted: Tue, 24 Jun 2014 by Terry Sanderson

On 21 June 2014, NSS President Terry Sanderson spoke at the Chatham Unitarian Church, about the importance of equalities protections and secularism to religious freedom. This is a transcript of his speech.

Baroness Hale asked:

She concluded

Tags: Equality & Human Rights, Freedom of Expression, Discrimination

A “religious ethos” is not why faith schools succeed – it’s selection that does it

Posted: Tue, 17 Jun 2014 by Terry Sanderson

Rather than a faith-based ethos, Terry Sanderson argues that it's selection that allows faith schools to outperform other schools – and calls for fairer admissions policies to ensure a level playing field for all.

Tags: Education, Discrimination, Faith Schools

Yes, “faith schools” really are the problem

Posted: Wed, 11 Jun 2014 by Terry Sanderson

Politicians are in denial over the problems caused by "faith schools" and religious influence in education, argues Terry Sanderson.

Ergo, let's have more faith schools.

Tags: Education, Faith Schools, Community Cohesion

BBC poll shows that religious people give more to charity than non-religious. Maybe...

Posted: Sun, 08 Jun 2014 by Terry Sanderson

Here we go again – the BBC has commissioned a survey that apparently shows that religious people are more likely to give to charity than non-religious people.

What the poll does not tell us is what the religious people donated their money to.

Tags: Charity, Statistics

The choice of when to die should be that of the individual – not religious leaders

Posted: Thu, 05 Jun 2014 by Terry Sanderson

Speaking from personal experience, Terry Sanderson argues that religious opposition to a new law on assisted dying causes needless suffering to the terminally ill and their families.

Up until now, it has. But that must change.

Tags: Assisted Dying