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Author: Keith Porteous Wood

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Assisted Dying: It is now a case of ‘when’, rather than ‘if’

Assisted Dying: It is now a case of ‘when’, rather than ‘if’

Posted: Tue, 11 Nov 2014 by Keith Porteous Wood

On Friday 7 November the Assisted Dying Bill was debated in the House of Lords. The executive director of the National Secular Society, Keith Porteous Wood, who attended last Friday's debate, reports back about the debate and the Bill's progress.

Tags: Assisted Dying

Pope's first year of papacy has been a failure on child abuse

Pope's first year of papacy has been a failure on child abuse

Posted: Thu, 13 Mar 2014 by Keith Porteous Wood

This week marks the first anniversary of the election of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina as Pope Francis. But as far as far as child abuse is concerned, it's just business as usual at the Vatican but with better PR, argues Keith Porteous Wood.

Tags: Catholic Church, Child Abuse

The RE Report – A missed opportunity

The RE Report – A missed opportunity

Posted: Fri, 25 Oct 2013 by Keith Porteous Wood

The RE Council's report has been well received. However, with the decline in church attendance and increasing evangelism in schools, Keith Porteous Wood argues vital opportunities to reform RE have been missed.

Tags: Education

Same Sex Marriage Act - time to separate religion from politics

Same Sex Marriage Act - time to separate religion from politics

Posted: Tue, 23 Jul 2013 by Keith Porteous Wood

The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill has passed with overwhelming support. It has done little more than re-brand civil partnerships, but symbolically its passing was a breath-taking moment of the zeitgeist, writes Keith Porteous Wood.

Tags: Church & State, Marriage Equality

Will the UN finally bring the Vatican to account for its child abuse crimes?

Will the UN finally bring the Vatican to account for its child abuse crimes?

Posted: Thu, 11 Jul 2013 by Keith Porteous Wood

As a United Nations Committee on children's rights confronts the Vatican on its abysmal record on clerical paedophilia and criminal cover-ups, Keith Porteous Wood describes his role in bringing the Holy See to account.

Tags: Child Abuse, Pope, Catholic Church

Unsatisfactory answers about Establishment

Unsatisfactory answers about Establishment

Posted: Fri, 10 May 2013 by Keith Porteous Wood

Keith Porteous Wood reports on Lord MacKay of Clashfern's Richard O'Sullivan Memorial Lecture on the subject "Does Establishment have a Future?" at the Middle Temple this week.

Tags: Church of England, Disestablishment

The CofE tries to spin its bad news. But it’s still bad news.

The CofE tries to spin its bad news. But it’s still bad news.

Posted: Wed, 08 May 2013 by Keith Porteous Wood

A closer look at the Church of England attendance figures, stripped of the spin, confirms the picture of continuing decline.

Tags: Church of England, statistics

Edward Leigh’s Bill to put religious conscience opt-out into Equality Act is doomed

Edward Leigh’s Bill to put religious conscience opt-out into Equality Act is doomed

Posted: Fri, 01 Feb 2013 by Keith Porteous Wood

Keith Porteous Wood on why Edwards Leigh's bill to amend the Equality Act to add "conscientious beliefs about the definition of marriage" as a protected characteristic alongside disability, sex, and sexual orientation should never make the statute book

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

Why it's important to add your voice to the Scout's consultation on non-believers

Why it's important to add your voice to the Scout's consultation on non-believers

Posted: Thu, 06 Dec 2012 by Keith Porteous Wood

It was nearly five years ago that I went with a colleague to speak to Derek Twine, the chief executive of the Scouts, and his senior colleagues, to discuss the possibility of the Scouts being opened up to the non-religious.

Tags: Scouts

It’s time to restore free speech – no-one has the right not to be offended.

It’s time to restore free speech – no-one has the right not to be offended.

Posted: Wed, 04 Jul 2012 by Keith Porteous Wood

Keith Porteous Wood explains why no-one has the right not to be offended, and no-one is entitled to have their feelings protected.

Tags: Freedom of Expression, Public Order Act

A message from Keith Porteous Wood of the National Secular Society and Simon Calvert of The Christian Institute

A message from Keith Porteous Wood of the National Secular Society and Simon Calvert of The Christian Institute

Posted: Wed, 23 May 2012 by Keith Porteous Wood

A week ago we launched Reform Section 5 with a press conference in the House of Commons. The reaction was exactly what we hoped for: within hours everyone was talking about how ridiculous it is to outlaw insults.

Tags: Freedom of Expression

Government to work with Church of England to promote more religious schools

Government to work with Church of England to promote more religious schools

Posted: Thu, 19 Apr 2012 by Keith Porteous Wood

During Education Questions in the House of Commons on Monday, Michael Gove, the Education Secretary (for England) intimated that the Government is working with the Church of England to bring about its ambition to open hundreds more church schools.

Tags: Faith Schools, Education

Religious education GCSE will lose its appeal when the exam is toughened up

Religious education GCSE will lose its appeal when the exam is toughened up

Posted: Fri, 03 Feb 2012 by Keith Porteous Wood

The Churches love to tell us how "popular" religious studies are in schools. Keith Porteous Wood suspects the popularity may have more to do with the course being ridiculously easy, rather than any desire for a deeper understanding of religion.

Tags: Education, RE

Executive Director’s Diary: Sharia, Civil Partnerships and Lords Reform

Posted: Fri, 16 Dec 2011 by Keith Porteous Wood

NSS Executive Director Keith Porteous Wood on a busy week of campaigning in Parliament.

Tags: Parliament, Sharia, Campaigns, Lords Reform

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