NSS Opinion

Alan Griffin

The C of E has serious questions to answer over the death of a gay priest

Posted: Wed, 28 Jul 2021 by Keith Porteous Wood

A coroner's report has laid bare the Church of England's cruel and scandalous handling of the case of Alan Griffin, who killed himself following unfounded accusations of child exploitation, says Keith Porteous Wood. Read More »

Tags: Child Abuse, Church of England, LGBT rights

Schools aren’t there to save the church

Schools aren’t there to save the church

Posted: Thu, 22 Jul 2021 by Stephen Evans

The Church of England's new evangelical missional strategy should lead us to question its entitlement to proselytise in schools, argues Stephen Evans. Read More »

Tags: Collective Worship, Education, Evangelism, Faith schools, Religious education

Children in class

Will the government protect the ethos of secular schools?

Posted: Tue, 13 Jul 2021 by Alastair Lichten

The Department for Education's protections for the secular community ethos of non-faith academies are inadequate. This enables a consolidation of religious control and undermines accountability, argues Alastair Lichten. Read More »

Tags: Education, academisation

Woman in niqab Afghanistan

Defending Muslim women’s rights requires a willingness to criticise Islam

Posted: Tue, 13 Jul 2021 by Kunwar Khuldune Shahid

Islamic scripture is being used to justify attacks on women's rights in many countries. Secular law is a crucial defence – and shielding Islam from criticism undermines efforts to assert it, says Kunwar Khuldune Shahid. Read More »

Tags: Islam, Women's rights

Holding hands over Bible

Helping the public shouldn’t mean pushing religion on people

Posted: Mon, 12 Jul 2021 by Megan Manson

A parliamentary group has removed provisions in its 'faith covenant' that prevent faith groups from proselytising when delivering public services. This leaves vulnerable people open to exploitation, says Megan Manson. Read More »

Tags: Opinion Out Loud, Public services

Naz Shah MP

Naz Shah’s argument on blasphemy should be rejected

Posted: Fri, 09 Jul 2021 by Chris Sloggett

The Labour MP has effectively called for a blasphemy law as she highlighted the "emotional harm" caused by depictions of Muhammad. Freedom of expression on religion mustn't be up for negotiation, says Chris Sloggett. Read More »

Tags: Blasphemy, Freedom of Expression

Children in class

Schools must be supported against religious bullies

Posted: Wed, 07 Jul 2021 by Alastair Lichten

Comments from Ofsted's chief inspector highlight the need to help schools resist efforts to shut down teaching which reactionary religious groups deem controversial, says Alastair Lichten. Read More »

Tags: Education, LGBT rights, RSE, Religious education

FE college

The Church of England’s offensive in FE colleges must be resisted

Posted: Mon, 05 Jul 2021 by Keith Sharpe and Chris Higgins

C of E proposals to increase its influence in FE colleges have little to do with education and more to do with reversing its declining numbers among young people, say Chris Higgins and Keith Sharpe. Read More »

Tags: Education, Further education

Welcome to Batley

The ugly Batley and Spen campaign showed the risks of indulging religious identity politics

Posted: Fri, 02 Jul 2021 by Chris Sloggett

Voters and politicians who value social cohesion and basic democratic principles should reject the trend of pandering to religious tribalism, says Chris Sloggett. Read More »

Tags: Democracy, Freedom of Expression

Toddler feet

All children should have the right to refuse circumcision

Posted: Fri, 25 Jun 2021 by Megan Manson

A judge has ruled that a boy who was taken into care shouldn't be subjected to non-consensual, non-therapeutic genital cutting. This is welcome, says Megan Manson - but every child should have similar rights. Read More »

Tags: Circumcision

Daughter comforts ill mother

Evidence and compassion should trump dogma in assisted dying debate

Posted: Thu, 24 Jun 2021 by Stephen Evans

As politicians again grapple with assisted dying, we should beware attempts to impose a religious worldview on those who want the option of alleviating their suffering, argues Stephen Evans. Read More »

Tags: Assisted dying, Healthcare

St Mary's University Twickenham

The expansion of Catholic influence at St Mary’s University threatens academic freedom

Posted: Fri, 18 Jun 2021 by Keith Sharpe

A pro-vice chancellor's remarks suggest the governance of St Mary's University, Twickenham is heading in an inappropriate direction. This shows the need to oppose religious control of universities, says Keith Sharpe. Read More »

Tags: Education, Universities

Woman wearing trousers

Charity law shouldn’t enable misogyny

Posted: Thu, 17 Jun 2021 by Megan Manson

A Christian organisation which pushes misogynistic messages, including by blaming women for rape, has registered as a charity. This highlights a widespread problem which needs legal reform to address, says Megan Manson. Read More »

Tags: Charity, Women's rights

Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds

The PM's Catholic wedding shows the need for a church-state divorce

Posted: Wed, 09 Jun 2021 by Megan Manson

In light of his Catholic wedding, Boris Johnson has handed over the duty of advising on the appointment of bishops. Megan Manson asks why the prime minister should have any business in church affairs in the first place. Read More »

Tags: Church and State, Disestablishment

Teenager in class

Requires improvement: Ofsted review shows need for a major rethink on RE

Posted: Wed, 02 Jun 2021 by Alastair Lichten

A review has highlighted significant problems with the way RE is taught. Alastair Lichten argues that it shows the need to ask fundamental questions about the purpose of education about religion. Read More »

Tags: Education, Religious education

Children in class

Is the C of E ashamed of discrimination in school admissions?

Posted: Fri, 28 May 2021 by Alastair Lichten

Research suggests the Church of England downplays the extent of religious discrimination in admissions to the schools it runs. Its embarrassment shows the need to end this practice, says Alastair Lichten. Read More »

Tags: Admissions, Discrimination, Education, Faith Schools

Batley Grammar School

The outcome of the Batley investigation is a surrender of liberal principles

Posted: Thu, 27 May 2021 by Stephen Evans

As an investigation into the Batley Grammar affair concludes, Stephen Evans says we should recognise the censorious precedent it has set. Read More »

Tags: Education, Freedom of Expression

Upset teenage girl

Parents’ religious wishes must not trump children’s safety and education

Posted: Thu, 20 May 2021 by Megan Manson

Every child has been withdrawn from sex education classes at an independent faith school. Megan Manson says the parental right of withdrawal is incompatible with children's right to an education that keeps them safe. Read More »

Tags: Education, Opinion Out Loud, RSE

United Nations flags

The religious threat to global human rights must be taken seriously

Posted: Thu, 20 May 2021 by Keith Porteous Wood

UN efforts to challenge violations of human rights should consider both oppressive laws which theocrats uphold in former colonies and efforts to impose similar agendas further afield, says Keith Porteous Wood. Read More »

Tags: Human rights, Opinion Out Loud, United Nations

Grotesque at Chester Cathedral

Faith universities are an anachronism

Posted: Fri, 14 May 2021 by Keith Sharpe

Churches continue to manage and govern several universities in the UK, enabling discrimination and creating tension between universities' academic purpose and the interests of those who control them, says Keith Sharpe. Read More »

Tags: Education, Universities

Newspapers

The drive for ‘religious literacy’ in the media would undermine press freedom

Posted: Wed, 12 May 2021 by Chris Sloggett

A parliamentary report has called for measures to promote 'religious literacy' in the media - including tighter regulation. Chris Sloggett says we should beware the risks of requiring journalists to tread on eggshells. Read More »

Tags: Freedom of Expression, Media

Batley Grammar School protesters

The DfE must show leadership when religious hardliners turn on schools

Posted: Thu, 06 May 2021 by Stephen Evans

The start of an investigation into the Batley Grammar affair raises questions over the government's willingness to ensure assertive religious voices don't dictate what happens in classrooms, says Stephen Evans. Read More »

Tags: Education, Freedom of Expression, Opinion Out Loud

Religiosity inspections National Secular Society report

Faith groups have no business inspecting schools

Posted: Fri, 30 Apr 2021 by Stephen Evans

Publicly funded school inspections which enable clerics to exert undue influence should have no place in a modern education system, argues Stephen Evans. Read More »

Tags: Education, Faith Schools, Inspections

Catholic priest

Regressive religious demands shouldn't hold sway over political decisions

Posted: Thu, 15 Apr 2021 by Stephen Evans

Much of a pre-election letter from Scotland's Catholic bishops highlights the risks of allowing religious dogma to dictate public policy, says Stephen Evans. Read More »

Tags: Abortion, Assisted dying, Catholic Church, Education, Election, Scotland

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