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Challenging Religious Privilege


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Newsline 6 April 2018


The government should encourage the Church of England to wean itself off its financial support, not to become more attached to it. So we're disappointed that it has once again put its hand in its pocket to fund a pilot scheme for church repairs, because it doesn't appear to have taken the C of E's significant wealth into account.

In other news this week we have encouraging stories from Ireland and Australia as well as the details of the latest nonsense 'discrimination' case brought by the Christian Legal Centre. You can also watch some of the highlights from our recent Secularist of the Year event. And perhaps you'll enjoy the article we published to mark the rare coincidence of April fools' day falling on Easter Sunday.


News & Opinion


NSS: church repairs scheme inappropriate given C of E’s wealth

The NSS has said the government did not give the C of E's wealth enough consideration before launching a scheme to fund church repairs.


Ireland plans to end religious discrimination in school admissions

The NSS has said the DfE should follow the lead of Irish ministers who plan to end a rule which encourages faith-based school admissions.


Teacher sacked for saying gay child would go to hell loses in court

A tribunal has rejected claims of religious discrimination by a former teacher who was sacked after making anti-gay remarks to students.


Australian state considers making religious charities justify status

The Australian state of Victoria is considering a bill which would require religious charities to justify the benefits granted to them.


Six independent Islamic schools had serious failings, says DfE

Six independent Islamic schools in England had serious regulatory failings during recent inspections, according to new warning notices.


In case you missed it on Sunday...


NSS launches secular chocolate egg

The National Secular Society has launched a chocolate egg symbolising the disestablishment of the Church of England to counter growing confectionery-based proselytisation.


Other news

The archbishop of York and four other bishops are reportedly facing a police investigation for failing to report allegations of child sexual abuse.

The Charity Commission has stripped Ampleforth Abbey of responsibility for safeguarding amid concerns about its management of sexual abuse allegations against monks and teachers. The abbey runs a 200-year-old religious community on the same site as Ampleforth College in Yorkshire.

Secularist campaigners in Australia are resisting efforts to extend a school chaplaincy programme. Last month it was reported that Liberal MPs were lobbying senior ministers to renew and increase funding for the programme, which has been criticised for promoting evangelism. This video by Secular Public Education explains more.

To get all the latest news and views on secularism from the media in your inbox every morning, you can sign up to receive your daily media briefing.


Watch: Secularist of the Year 2018 highlights


Secularist of the Year 2018: videos

The major speeches from our recent Secularist of the Year event are now available on YouTube. We share these with thanks to Stephen Knight for his work producing them.


Read elsewhere


An Ohio bill would ban all abortions. It’s part of a bigger plan

Editorial, for the New York Times

Ohio lawmakers have proposed legislation to ban all abortions without exception. Even if the bill doesn't become law, it could pave the way for other, somewhat less extreme measures to pass.


How Pakistan's school textbooks mould its students’ skewed worldview

By Madiha Afzal, for Quartz

Textbooks in Pakistan assert the view that religion defines the country's role in the world and permeates politics, policy, and society.


Quotes of the week

"There is no point in reviewing how it is taught if schools will still be allowed to ignore it."
Irish politician Ruth Coppinger explains why she's promoting a bill to end a religious opt-out from teaching objective and factual relationships and sex education

"Ladies, please take your seat… and keep it!"
An advert blocked by the authorities in Israel this week, which was supposed to remind airline passengers it is illegal to make women move seats to accommodate ultra-orthodox Jewish sensitivities

See our quotes of the week archive...


Essay of the week

Punishing the powerless
By Khaled Ahmed, for Indian Express

Poor minorities are usually the target of Pakistan's blasphemy laws.


NSS speaks out

Our CEO Stephen Evans went on the Voice of Islam radio station to discuss Muslim identity in Britain.


Final tickets available for RE conference

Next Saturday (14 April) we're hosting a conference in central London exploring the future of religion and belief education in schools.

The last few tickets are available for just £10. You can get yours or find out more about the event now.


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