NSS Opinion

Collective worship

Promote religious freedom in schools: abolish the worship requirement

Posted: Wed, 22 Jan 2020 by Stephen Evans

A private member's bill to replace compulsory worship with inclusive assemblies should prompt the government to reform the archaic collective worship law, says Stephen Evans. Read More »

Tags: Collective worship, Education

Peter Ball

Let’s disestablish the church that covered up sexual abuse

Posted: Fri, 17 Jan 2020 by Keith Porteous Wood

Keith Porteous Wood says the shocking failings highlighted by the BBC documentary The Church's Darkest Secret show the need to separate church and state. Read More »

Tags: Bishops, Child Abuse, Church of England

Charlie Hebdo cover

Five years after the Charlie Hebdo murders, free expression on religion still needs promoting

Posted: Tue, 07 Jan 2020 by Chris Sloggett

Half a decade after the Islamist attack on cartoonists in France, Chris Sloggett says we owe it to the victims and those left behind to reject blasphemy taboos. Read More »

Tags: Blasphemy, Freedom of Expression

Sex education

Don’t let controlling ultra-Orthodox Jewish groups undermine sex education

Posted: Fri, 03 Jan 2020 by Stephen Evans

Sex education empowers young people. The government must stand up to those making faux religious freedom arguments in an attempt to stop them receiving it, argues Stephen Evans. Read More »

Tags: Education, LGBTQ rights, Orthodox Judaism, RSE

1944 Education Act event

The 1944 Education Act was a landmark law – but let’s reconsider the privileges it granted to religion

Posted: Wed, 18 Dec 2019 by Keith Sharpe

Three-quarters of a century ago an enduring piece of legislation secured free education for all – but gave churches substantial control over schools in return. Keith Sharpe says this settlement needs updating. Read More »

Tags: Collective worship, Education, Faith schools, Religious education

Dr Scott

Medical regulators shouldn’t let doctors push religion on patients

Posted: Tue, 10 Dec 2019 by Stephen Evans

The General Medical Council has decided not to pursue a case against a GP who was accused of pushing religion on a vulnerable patient. Stephen Evans warns against allowing this exploitative behaviour. Read More »

Tags: Healthcare, Workplace

Child praying

The requirement to hold collective worship in schools is crumbling and not worth saving

Posted: Thu, 05 Dec 2019 by Alastair Lichten

After two parents forced a school trust to provide an alternative to religious assemblies for their children, Alastair Lichten says the law which requires schools to hold acts of worship needs to change. Read More »

Tags: Collective worship, Education

Glove and scissors

The medical profession should protect all children from unnecessary genital cutting

Posted: Thu, 05 Dec 2019 by Dr Antony Lempert

Doctors in Britain should follow the lead of those who have declared ritual male circumcision a breach of medical ethics, argues Dr Antony Lempert. Read More »

Tags: Circumcision, Healthcare

Party logos

Election 2019: Secularism and the parties of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland

Posted: Wed, 04 Dec 2019 by Megan Manson

Megan Manson continues our election analysis of parties' policies on secularist issues. This time she examines the policies of the major parties of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Read More »

Tags: Democracy, Election, Equality & Human Rights, Freedom of Expression, House of Lords, Reproductive Rights

Party logos

Election 2019: Where do the major parties stand on secularist issues?

Posted: Thu, 28 Nov 2019 by Megan Manson

Megan Manson studies the main UK-wide parties' election manifestos – and says religion will continue to be a dividing force in UK politics during the next parliament. Read More »

Tags: Circumcision, Democracy, Education, Election, Equality & Human Rights, Extremism, FGM, Forced marriage, Freedom of Expression, House of Lords, Marriage, Public Services, RSE, Religious Freedom, Religious Slaughter, Reproductive Rights

Faith school signs

Why the blind spot when it comes to faith schools?

Posted: Fri, 22 Nov 2019 by Stephen Evans

Politicians need to end their fetishisation of faith schools and face the fact that a religiously divided education system is unfit for the future, argues Stephen Evans. Read More »

Tags: Education, Faith Schools

Donation box

Most new faith based charities do nothing but promote religion. Time to reform charity law

Posted: Tue, 19 Nov 2019 by Megan Manson

An Islamic organisation which condones extremist messages was among charities which registered on questionable grounds in October. The bar for religious groups to become charities is set too low, says Megan Manson. Read More »

Tags: Charity

RE symbols and pupils

This isn’t the time to end the right to withdraw from RE in Wales

Posted: Thu, 14 Nov 2019 by Alastair Lichten

The Welsh government is considering removing the parental right to withdraw from religious education. Alastair Lichten argues that despite potential benefits, reforms don't go far enough to justify ending this longstanding right. Read More »

Tags: Education, Religious education, Wales

Parliament

Don’t let religious sectarianism tear our democracy apart

Posted: Thu, 14 Nov 2019 by Chris Sloggett

Chris Sloggett says the major parties in the current election campaign are indulging Britain's division into religious tribes – and we should urgently ask how we can move past this. Read More »

Tags: Democracy, Election, Freedom of Expression

People

We should expect the religious to follow the same laws as everyone else

Posted: Thu, 07 Nov 2019 by Chris Sloggett

In response to a targeted criticism of the NSS for campaigning to end non-stun slaughter, Chris Sloggett says the principle of one law for all is worth upholding. Read More »

Tags: One law for all, Religious Slaughter

Ballot box

Election 2019: pledges that should be in the parties’ manifestos

Posted: Tue, 05 Nov 2019 by Stephen Evans

As the UK's political parties consider their manifestos for the upcoming election, Stephen Evans outlines a series of secularist pledges they should include to advance freedom, fairness and equal citizenship. Read More »

Tags: Assisted Dying, Caste, Charity, Church & State, Circumcision, Collective worship, Election, Faith Schools, Freedom of Expression, Public services, Religious slaughter, admissions

IICSA

The Catholic Church’s snub to the child abuse inquiry speaks volumes

Posted: Fri, 01 Nov 2019 by Stephen Evans

The Holy See's refusal to fully assist the UK's sexual abuse inquiry reveals unchangeable deficiencies within the church and highlights the need for a new mandatory reporting law, says Stephen Evans. Read More »

Tags: Catholic Church, Child Abuse

By the Grace of God

'By the Grace of God' shows the need to hold the Catholic Church accountable on child abuse

Posted: Fri, 25 Oct 2019 by Keith Porteous Wood

Keith Porteous Wood says a film highlighting the struggle to bring a senior Catholic cardinal to account for covering up child abuse is a sign that the Vatican's wall of silence cannot hold. Read More »

Tags: Catholic Church, Child Abuse, Reviews

School sign

Education in NI shouldn’t be a tug of war between religious interests

Posted: Fri, 25 Oct 2019 by Alastair Lichten

A report has called into question religious control over the curriculum and ethos of Northern Irish schools. Alastair Lichten says it should prompt a re-evaluation of the segregated, inefficient system which exists now. Read More »

Tags: Education, Northern Ireland

Church & state

Time to stop pretending we have a ‘national church’

Posted: Fri, 18 Oct 2019 by Stephen Evans

As affiliation to Anglicanism continues its rapid decline the Church of England's privileges are increasingly unsustainable, says Stephen Evans. Let's disestablish the church and embrace a secular state. Read More »

Tags: Church & State, Church of England, Statistics

Department for Education

Anti-RSE campaigns: guidance is welcome, but schools need more support

Posted: Tue, 15 Oct 2019 by Alastair Lichten

The government has published new guidance for schools facing disruption from religious groups who oppose LGBT-inclusive education. Alastair Lichten welcomes the gesture but says the substance doesn't go far enough. Read More »

Tags: Education, RSE

Secularism is a feminist issue badges

Secularism is a feminist issue

Posted: Mon, 14 Oct 2019 by Megan Manson

Ahead of the FiLiA 2019 conference this weekend, Megan Manson argues that secularism is a crucial ingredient in campaigns for women's equality. Read More »

Tags: Gender Equality

Sarah Mullally

Don’t take lessons on democracy from Church of England bishops

Posted: Fri, 04 Oct 2019 by Chris Sloggett

The bishop of London has lamented the state of British democracy while delivering a sermon at the annual judges' service. Perhaps someone should point out the undemocratic nature of her own position, says Chris Sloggett. Read More »

Tags: Church & State, Church of England, Democracy, Law

Operation Christmas Child

Operation Christmas Child: Does its charity benefit the public?

Posted: Wed, 25 Sep 2019 by Megan Manson

Samaritan's Purse is again launching its Christmas shoebox scheme in parts of the UK. The harm done by Operation Christmas Child should prompt a rethink of this Evangelical group's charitable status, says Megan Manson. Read More »

Tags: Charity, Samaritans Purse

Ephraim Mirvis

The chief rabbi has made an anti-democratic attempt to shut down criticism

Posted: Wed, 18 Sep 2019 by Chris Sloggett

The chief rabbi has asked secularists to stop campaigning against practices such as faith schools and infant circumcision. His apparently polite request should be firmly rejected, says Chris Sloggett. Read More »

Tags: Circumcision, Faith Schools, Freedom of Expression

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