NSS Opinion

Schools should be liberated from the compulsion of worship

Schools should be liberated from the compulsion of worship

Posted: Thu, 16 Sep 2021 by Stephen Evans

As a bill to reform collective worship progresses in parliament, Stephen Evans argues that the time has come for lawmakers to recognise that laws mandating worship have no place in modern Britain. Read More »

Tags: Collective worship

Major reform is needed to ensure equality and fairness in marriage law

Major reform is needed to ensure equality and fairness in marriage law

Posted: Mon, 13 Sep 2021 by Russell Sandberg

Marriage law in England and Wales has failed to keep up with changing social realities. Russell Sandberg, the author of a new book on the topic, calls for change to put couples – not religious institutions – in control. Read More »

Tags: Marriage

Why can’t charity regulators tackle child abuse in faith groups?

Why can’t charity regulators tackle child abuse in faith groups?

Posted: Mon, 13 Sep 2021 by Megan Manson

An inquiry's report has highlighted the barriers which regulators face in dealing with child abuse in religious charities. Megan Manson says this should prompt reforms – including in how charity law deals with religion. Read More »

Tags: Charity, Child abuse

Baitul Futuh mosque

Indonesia mosque attack is a reminder that Ahmadi Muslims’ human rights need defending

Posted: Thu, 09 Sep 2021 by Kunwar Khuldune Shahid

After a mob attacked an Ahmadi Muslim mosque in Indonesia and anti-Ahmadi rallies took place in Pakistan, Kunwar Khuldune Shahid says the failure to defend this marginalised group has far-reaching implications. Read More »

Tags: Human rights, Islam

Upset girl

Fundamentalists are still being given too much of a free pass on child abuse

Posted: Wed, 08 Sep 2021 by Richard Scorer

The IICSA inquiry's latest report on child abuse in religious organisations and settings provides welcome evidence of significant problems – but is still too light on much-needed solutions, says Richard Scorer. Read More »

Tags: Child Abuse, Jehovah's Witnesses

Charles Bradlaugh in parliament

Charles Bradlaugh’s legacy is well worth celebrating

Posted: Wed, 01 Sep 2021 by Bob Forder

Bob Forder reflects on the key achievements of the NSS's founder, ahead of the restoration of his grave. Read More »

Tags: History

Jehovah's Witnesses hall

The child abuse inquiry has been too deferential to the Jehovah’s Witnesses

Posted: Wed, 25 Aug 2021 by Lloyd Evans

Next week the IICSA inquiry will publish a report into the Jehovah's Witnesses. This can only be damning. But the inquiry hasn't gathered the evidence needed to root out abuse within the organisation, writes Lloyd Evans. Read More »

Tags: Child Abuse, Jehovah's Witnesses

Girl at school gates

Locked in and locked out: how faith schools restrict families’ choices

Posted: Wed, 25 Aug 2021 by Alastair Lichten

State funding of faith schools means many families are left without suitable schools. The narrative that faith schools are justified on the grounds of choice should be confronted, says Alastair Lichten. Read More »

Tags: Admissions, Faith Schools

Afghan Taliban spokesman

The Taliban takeover is part of a wider threat to secular liberal democracy

Posted: Thu, 19 Aug 2021 by Stephen Evans

Stephen Evans argues that secular liberal democracy is the antidote to the totalitarian Islamism offered up by the Taliban – so we need to do a better job of defending it. Read More »

Tags: Religious freedom, Secularism

Children in class

It's time to move on from religious education

Posted: Tue, 17 Aug 2021 by Keith Sharpe

RE has become a subject in search of a purpose. There are better approaches to learning about the diversity of beliefs, and better uses of time than using outdated legislation to perpetuate it, says Keith Sharpe. Read More »

Tags: Education, Religious education

Michael Higgins

Heads of state shouldn’t have to swear religious oaths

Posted: Fri, 13 Aug 2021 by Chris Sloggett

A challenge to Ireland's religious presidential oath should be supported – and prompt questions across the Irish Sea, says Chris Sloggett. Read More »

Tags: Church & State, Head of state, Oath

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, Opinion Out Loud, 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

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