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Newsline 07 December 2012
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

Opinion | Thu, 06 Dec 2012

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.

NSS Speaks Out

The decision by the Scouts to review their oath brought the NSS much publicity this week, with interviews on Sky News, Sky Radio News, BBC World Service, Radio Five Live, BBC local radio stations in Bristol, Somerset, Three Counties, London, Humberside & Lincolnshire; also LBC in London. There was also an interview on the Spanish ex-pat radio station ITalk.

We were also quoted on the front page of the Telegraph and in The Guardian, Daily Mail, ITV, 9 News, Independent, Asian Image, City Talk, Sky News, AFP, CBN, Raw Story, The Sowetan (South Africa) and The Week.

Terry Sanderson was quoted in the Guardian on the topic of "What should be taught in RE?"

Scottish spokesman Alistair McBay had a letter in the Scotsman about assisted suicide.

Secularist of the Year: nominations invited

Our annual prize-giving event is on Saturday 23 March 2013 and tickets are now on sale. As usual, we are looking to Newsline readers to suggest suitable nominees to receive the Irwin Prize of £5,000. This is awarded to someone who has contributed something significant to the cause of secularism in the preceding year. Send your nominations, with a few words about why you think that person should win, to

Atheist parents with religious children

Blast! Films have an excellent reputation for producing high-quality, distinctive and innovative documentaries and dramas, uniting what we do is powerful story-telling that's honest, impactful and emotionally compelling.

With that in mind, they are researching a documentary series about liberal parents whose teenage or young adult children have different religious, political or cultural values to them.

They are particularly interested in speaking with atheist parents whose children (aged 15–25) have decided to explore a religion. If this is you and you would be interested in speaking with them for research purposes, please contact Clare Cameron on 020 7267 4260 or email

For more information about Blast! Films please visit the website.

Funny Women – female comics from yesterday and today

Join NSS President Terry Sanderson together with comedian and NSS stalwart Kate Smurthwaite as they explore the history of female comedy, and how it has developed over the years. The show is made up of generous clips of some of the funniest women who have ever entertained an audience. Prepare for a side-splitting evening – but note that the show contains strong language.

The Cinema Museum, 2 Dugard Way, (off Renfrew Road), London SE11 4TH, Thursday 20 December 7:30pm. More information and tickets.

From the web

Something we have known for a long time – there are more religious people in parliament than there is in the general population. See this BBC report: "MPs, politics, the church and doing God".

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