What Our Members Say
I have become convinced that secularism, rather than belief/unbelief is the real issue before us. Religion aint going away, but we can secure the public space for all with privilege for none
Tony, West Yorkshire
I discovered the NSS shortly after I began studying Politics in the Sixth Form, whilst researching pressure groups. I found the concept of secularism particularly interesting as i've always held similar beliefs and so I have decided to join to promote the cause of religious freedom and equality.
"I have been thinking of joining for some time but Baronness Warsi finally talked me into it. I am particularly concerned about faith schools. I try to express these views reasonably and do not see why they should be labelled 'strident' at the first opportunity."
"For them to deny access to some parts of that knowledge (redacting of exam questions on evolution by a faith school) purely for personal reasons is an inexcusable dereliction of their duty as educators. I was therefore very pleased to hear a later report that Ofqual had investigated the issue and made a definitive ruling in favour of children's education. When I later heard of the key role NSS played in this positive outcome, I felt it necessary to show my support for the great work you're doing. I feel proud to know that my membership money will now go towards future successes like the one mentioned above in the ongoing fight for a fair and secular future for us all."
"The NSS is Britain's front line defence against the vested interests of organised religion that damage our public institutions, not least in education and local government."
"As a retired head teacher, I have always been concerned by the requirement of schools to provide a daily act of collective worship. I read about the NSS's campaign to abolish this requirement and decided to add my voice."
Ray, Tyne & Wear
"I joined the NSS because after working in schools for over a decade I'm constantly baffled by the requirement for an act of collective worship to be held in schools, and by the teaching of RE with its heavy Christian bias and constant visits by people with a religious agenda. This is so unnecessary - in the 21st we should move on."
"Now I have a family and one of my kids will be starting school in September, I am concerned what's going to be taught to them. As part of the school selection process, I did check to make sure the school wasn't too religious and indeed focused inequitably towards just Christianity. I have no issues with schools "teaching" religions so long as they teach them all with equal balance. I would not send my children to a religious school as I don't want them to be exposed to evangelical practices when they are so young and impressionable."
Although I always believed in the NSS values and meant to join it was David Cameron's recent speech on religion the made me put my money where my mouth is and join. I'm against any sort of religious privilege but as a father of 2 young children the issue that infuriates me the most and what got me into the NSS is faith schools and the denomination admissions criteria and the blindingly obvious discrimination and lack of equality that the government fails to accept.
I am very keen on reforming RE in schools. My little grandson goes to a non-faith school primary, but since becoming an academy, the school seems to me to be trying to indoctrinate our children with religion.
Lesly, East Sussex
|"I joined NSS because I believe in religious freedom and freedom from religion. I want Britain to be a forward-thinking, fair and rational place to live for everyone and for future generations."|
Seeing how religious minorities, atheists and apostates are often routinely treated in theocratic countries is sickening. Every human being should have the right to their own thoughts, their own beliefs and their own religious choices. Provided that they do not impinge on other people's rights, people should be free to express their religious beliefs.
"I joined NSS because I sense that those who promote religious observance are becoming more strident, and I believe we need a stronger voice in opposition."
"My main motivation to join the NSS is to support the opposition to 'faith' schools, a highly divisive policy which seems to be supported by the majority of politicians from both the coalition and the Labour Party. We need a secular education system."
John, Tyne & Wear
"The Pope's attitude to secularists and atheists prompted me to join NSS. We are not all aggressive or militant. We just want justice and fairness."
"I am angry with what I view as the permitted brainwashing of children within our education system. Myself and my wife joined the NSS to help protect children from adults with religious and faith based agendas."
"Organised religion has had far too much privilege, power and protection for far too long. Humanity needs to evolve and the continued inclusion of superstitious beliefs in the affairs of state is not helping that process."
"I have come to appreciate that the NSS is often a lone voice of rationality in the wilderness that is dominated by religious dogma, bigotry and political manipulation."
"I strongly believe that religious laws should never be intertwined with state laws, in any shape or form. Whilst I believe that people should have the free will to practice whatever religion they wish, it should never interfere with the legal system, policy-making, and vital services such as education, health, and such like. I therefore support any actions that challenges religious organisations' campaigns to manipulate laws and services in accordance with their own biased belief systems/laws. Whilst I may not produce anything earth-shattering or revolutionary, I hope that my membership is enough to make a valid contribution to this important cause."
"As a medical student, what concerns me most is NHS funding for hospital chaplains."
Brendan, Lisburn, Co. Antrim
The only way I can see to build a tolerant and cohesive society is to have a secular state free from religion. It should work for and protect every one of its citizens whatever their beliefs.
I think all groups, religious, atheistic or agnostic, have enough common ground to be able to live together in harmony under secular systems of governance, law, welfare, education, etc.
I have long been convinced that the only way to fight religious extremism of all origins, and to protect the basic liberties of all citizens, is to work towards a a properly secular and democratic society, in which freedom of religious practice and expression (within the law) is safeguarded, but where the state takes no sides in religion save to ensure that it has no special privileges and cannot be forced on anyone.
"I refuse to have my children made to feel different by accepting the offer to 'opt out' of religious assemblies. I am joining the NSS because I find it reprehensible that faith plays such a large part in our education system."
"I was spurred on to join the NSS by the recent torrent of attacks on secularism by Baroness Warsi and assorted clerics, columnists and politicos. Last year I was revolted by the Pope's poisonous and mendacious claim that nazi Germany was the result of atheism."