NSS Opinion

The British people aren’t buying the fawning over Michael Curry

Posted: Thu, 21 Jun 2018 by Chris Sloggett

As a poll shows public ambivalence to a much-hyped sermon at the royal wedding, Chris Sloggett says the fuss around Michael Curry has distracted from an opportunity to ask critical questions about religion's public role. Read More »

Tags: Church & State, Church of England

It’s worth knowing why more Muslims are leaving faith behind

Posted: Tue, 19 Jun 2018 by Fiyaz Mughal

A new book reveals a substantive movement of people choosing to leave Islam. Fiyaz Mughal, its co-editor, reflects on the stories it tells and the importance of mutual respect and empathy between Muslims and ex-Muslims. Read More »

Tags: Ex-Muslim, Islam

God, Guys and Guns. A review of The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood

Posted: Thu, 14 Jun 2018 by Emma Park

Emma Park on what Margaret Atwood's modern dystopian classic (and its TV adaptation) tells us about the relationship between theocracy, gender and self-identity. Read More »

Tags: Reviews, Theocracy

Bishop Rachel’s prejudiced thinking highlights the problem of state-sponsored religion

Posted: Wed, 13 Jun 2018 by Stephen Evans

The bishop of Gloucester is entitled to question whether atheists can truly have deep love or hope, writes Stephen Evans. But the state shouldn't indulge the view that the religious are morally superior to others. Read More »

Tags: Church & State, Church of England, Disestablishment, Christianity

Religion and politics – the discrepancy at the heart of our schools

Posted: Tue, 12 Jun 2018 by Alastair Lichten

Schools are forbidden from promoting, showing favouritism to or discriminating on the grounds of partisan politics. Alastair Lichten asks why partisan religious beliefs are treated so differently. Read More »

Tags: Education, Politics, Faith Schools

Just how equal is marriage now?

Posted: Sun, 10 Jun 2018 by Megan Manson

After the NSS revealed the extra hassle and expense involved in arranging same-sex and non-religious weddings in England and Wales, Megan Manson calls for marriage to be made a civil affair in the eyes of the law. Read More »

Tags: Marriage, Marriage Equality

New guidance on the right to withdraw from RE in Wales – response

Posted: Wed, 06 Jun 2018 by Alastair Lichten

New guidance on managing parents' right to withdraw their children from religious education in Wales is largely common sense, says Alastair Lichten. But it downplays the confessional nature of some RE teaching. Read More »

Tags: Religious education

It shouldn’t be normal for pubs to conform to blasphemy codes

Posted: Wed, 06 Jun 2018 by Chris Sloggett

The brewer Greene King has taken the Saudi Arabian flag down from its World Cup displays after complaints from some Muslims that an Islamic symbol shouldn't be in a place which serves alcohol. Chris Sloggett responds. Read More »

Tags: Freedom of Expression, Blasphemy, Islam

Section 28 was a shameful piece of legislation prompted by fake news

Posted: Wed, 23 May 2018 by Terry Sanderson

Thirty years after the government banned local authorities from 'promoting' homosexuality, Terry Sanderson reflects on the hysteria that prompted Section 28, the fear it caused and the backing religious fanatics gave it. Read More »

Tags: LGBTQ rights, Equality & Human Rights

The government's U-turn shows the tide is turning against faith schools

Posted: Fri, 18 May 2018 by Stephen Evans

The decision not to allow more faith-based admissions to new free schools in England is a big win, says Stephen Evans. But the expansion of faith schools is the wrong response to Britain's growing religious diversity. Read More »

Tags: Education, Faith Schools, Fifty percent cap

How secularism cuts the Gordian knot in education

Posted: Fri, 18 May 2018 by Megan Manson

Faith schools' approach to admissions and sex education reminds us that religious groups' interests often conflict with those of society. Megan Manson says the only answer to this is to separate education from religion. Read More »

Tags: Education, Faith Schools, Sex Education

We’ll all suffer if we let religion dictate how public servants do their jobs

Posted: Tue, 01 May 2018 by Chris Sloggett

Politicians have hung a coroner who stood up to religious groups out to dry, says Chris Sloggett. And they've revealed how foolish we are to indulge individualistic demands for state services to accommodate religion. Read More »

Tags: Public services

Faith schools: why reducing the harm isn’t enough

Posted: Mon, 23 Apr 2018 by Alastair Lichten

We can mitigate the harm caused by faith schools in plenty of ways. But after the launch of the No More Faith Schools campaign, Alastair Lichten says the long-term battle is over the fact faith groups run schools at all. Read More »

Tags: Education, Faith Schools, Admissions

The row over right of withdrawal highlights the need to reform RE

Posted: Fri, 13 Apr 2018 by Stephen Evans

Teachers from the ATL union have voted to demand a clampdown on parents selectively withdrawing their children from RE. But Stephen Evans says the right to withdraw should only be scrapped once the subject is reformed. Read More »

Tags: Education, Religious education

Bishops must be accountable – and not just to themselves

Posted: Fri, 23 Mar 2018 by Richard Scorer

Abridged version of the winding-up speech by lawyer Richard Scorer of Slater and Gordon, also an NSS vice president, at the IICSA inquiry's hearings into the handling of child sexual abuse in the diocese of Chichester. Read More »

Tags: Child Abuse, Church of England

What comes after The Silence of the Liberals?

Posted: Fri, 16 Mar 2018 by Chris Sloggett

Nick Cohen has skewered the hypocrisy of leftists who apologise for Islamic intolerance, says Chris Sloggett. To defeat it we must assert the value of free speech as the most precious right which citizens share. Read More »

Tags: Freedom of Expression, Islam, Reviews

We can’t build a shared society around segregated schools

Posted: Thu, 15 Mar 2018 by Alastair Lichten

Our education and schools officer examines the education proposals in the Government's new integration strategy and argues that they should lead to a wider discussion of children's rights and facing up to the religious segregation rife in education. Read More »

Tags: Education, Faith Schools, Community Cohesion, unregistered schools, Home schooling

Church dysfunctionality laid bare by child sexual abuse inquiry

Posted: Sun, 11 Mar 2018 by Keith Porteous Wood

As the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse turns its attention to the Church of England, Keith Porteous Wood says it must act on evidence which has highlighted the desperate need to hold the C of E to account. Read More »

Tags: Church of England, Child Abuse

What secularism means for African women’s rights and citizenship

Posted: Thu, 08 Mar 2018 by Dr Fatou Sow

In a long read for International Women's Day, Dr Fatou Sow says secularism is a feminist issue and reflects on its particular importance to women in Africa. Read More »

Tags: Gender Equality, Africa

Seven women who refused to be silenced by religious bullies

Posted: Thu, 08 Mar 2018 by Megan Manson

On International Women's Day, Megan Manson celebrates the stories of seven brave and determined women in the UK who religious hardliners have tried – and failed miserably – to bully over the past year. Read More »

Tags: Education, Extremism, LGBTQ rights, Sabbatarianism, Gender Equality

Male circumcision is an issue of religious freedom - and should be prohibited as such

Posted: Tue, 06 Mar 2018 by Dr Marika McAdam

Proponents of ritual genital cutting often claim a 'right' to religious freedom justifies their position. But individuals have rights, says Dr Marika McAdam – including the right to autonomy over their own foreskins. Read More »

Tags: Circumcision, Religious freedom

The C of E cannot be trusted to deal with safeguarding complaints in house

Posted: Mon, 05 Mar 2018 by Richard Scorer

On the first day of hearings into child sexual abuse in the Church of England, NSS vice-president Richard Scorer told an inquiry that protecting children requires independent oversight and mandatory reporting. Read More »

Tags: Church of England, Child Abuse

Religious freedom isn't a licence to violate others’ rights

Posted: Thu, 01 Mar 2018 by Stephen Evans

NSS CEO Stephen Evans explains why religious liberty is too important to leave to zealots to defend. Read More »

Tags: Circumcision, Healthcare

Sturgeon’s praise for Catholic schools will exacerbate Scotland’s tribal divisions

Posted: Wed, 28 Feb 2018 by Neil Barber

Catholic schools are no remedy for a society facing ingrained sectarian division, writes Neil Barber. In praising them Scotland's first minister has shown a willingness to sacrifice social cohesion to reach a block vote. Read More »

Tags: Scotland, Education, Faith Schools, Catholic Church

How cutting cultures deny dissenters their voice and identity

Posted: Fri, 23 Feb 2018 by Dr Antony Lempert

As Icelandic lawmakers consider whether to ban cutting infants' genitals for non-medical reasons, Dr Antony Lempert reflects on the ferocious backlash to the proposal in the UK. Read More »

Tags: Circumcision, Healthcare