NSS Opinion

Invisible power: how the Catholic Church influences Italian politics

Invisible power: how the Catholic Church influences Italian politics

Posted: Thu, 26 May 2016 by Stefano Bonino

Italy's bill on civil unions is an important landmark in the history of successful and unsuccessful attempts by the Vatican to influence Italian politics, writes Stefano Bonino.

The last country in the European Union to recognise civil unions for same sex-couples,... Read More »

Tags: Catholic Church, LGBTQ rights, Italy

62% say there is “no place in UK politics for religious influence of any kind”

62% say there is “no place in UK politics for religious influence of any kind”

Posted: Mon, 23 May 2016 by Benjamin Jones

The overwhelming majority of Britons believe religion should not "influence" politics in the UK, and majorities of all religious believers except Muslims agree.

A ComRes poll commissioned by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association has found broad support for... Read More »

Tags: statistics, Islam

Did Christian charities really need twenty five years to complete a form?

Did Christian charities really need twenty five years to complete a form?

Posted: Thu, 19 May 2016 by Ed Moore

A little known piece of legislation allows Christian charities to avoid complying with charity law. Who benefits, asks Ed Moore.

Becoming an official charity provides a non-profit organisation with substantial benefits, especially freedom from many forms of... Read More »

Tags: Charity, Christianity

The gay community should recognise and oppose its chief oppressor

The gay community should recognise and oppose its chief oppressor

Posted: Tue, 17 May 2016 by Terry Sanderson

While people of all faiths and none have campaigned for and against LGBTQ rights, the merger of religious and state power has always been the greatest threat to LGBTQ rights around the world and turns bigotry into discrimination, argues NSS president Terry... Read More »

Tags: LGBTQ rights, Equality & Human Rights, Hindu Nationalism, Islamism, Christian Right, History

Furore over Islamic bus adverts is nothing but disingenuous propaganda

Furore over Islamic bus adverts is nothing but disingenuous propaganda

Posted: Mon, 09 May 2016 by Stephen Evans

Christian groups are being disingenuous and divisive in claiming unfavourable treatment over the decision to allow Allah adverts on buses, argues Stephen Evans.

Christian groups have reacted with faux dismay to news that buses around England will soon be displaying... Read More »

Tags: Freedom of Expression

Muddled-thinking on counter-extremism threatens free speech

Muddled-thinking on counter-extremism threatens free speech

Posted: Wed, 04 May 2016 by Benjamin Jones

Leaks ahead of the Government's latest counter-extremism drive show that they have failed to balance freedom of speech with the impossible objective set out to legally challenge Islamist ideas in the "pre-criminal space."

The latest offensive against 'extremism'... Read More »

Tags: Freedom of Expression, Extremism, EDOs

Faith schools add to the angst of school offer day

Faith schools add to the angst of school offer day

Posted: Mon, 18 Apr 2016 by Stephen Evans

National Offer Day is when many parents fall victim to religious discrimination or discover they've been allocated a religious school against their wishes. Stephen Evans argues that a move towards a secular education system might make school offer day a little... Read More »

Tags: Education, Faith Schools, admissions

Muslim support for theocracy, not terrorism, is the real threat to confront

Muslim support for theocracy, not terrorism, is the real threat to confront

Posted: Thu, 14 Apr 2016 by Benjamin Jones

The ICM poll on 'What British Muslims Really Think' shows clearly that widespread support for Islamic theocracy, not terrorism, is the real, long-term threat to British society, argues Benjamin Jones.

Much of the discussion about the "What British Muslims Really... Read More »

Tags: Islam, Statistics

Church of England bishops are more elitist than David Cameron’s cabinet

Church of England bishops are more elitist than David Cameron’s cabinet

Posted: Tue, 05 Apr 2016 by Ed Moore

A small, almost entirely Oxbridge-educated elite are given automatic seats in Parliament. How do we allow this to continue, asks Ed Moore.

In 2015 a widely debated report from the Sutton Trust pointed out just how many of David Cameron's new Conservative cabinet... Read More »

Tags: Church & State, Church of England, Politics

Scotland is a mosaic of religions and beliefs – but the research shows people turning away from politicised faith

Scotland is a mosaic of religions and beliefs – but the research shows people turning away from politicised faith

Posted: Thu, 24 Mar 2016 by Alistair McBay

Scotland is a mosaic of beliefs and non-beliefs where individuals are free to hold a belief, change it or not have one at all. But it's not hard to see why people are rejecting the organised and politicised aspects of religion, writes Alistair McBay.

Much is... Read More »

Tags: Religion & Belief, Scotland, Church of Scotland, Statistics

Christian country? Politicians should be careful what they wish for

Christian country? Politicians should be careful what they wish for

Posted: Wed, 23 Mar 2016 by Benjamin Jones

The demise of Anglican Christianity won't herald a uniformly secularised society, but a fractured country where the vast, non-religious majority contend with vocal religious minorities. Secularism must mediate this, argues Benjamin Jones.

A steady stream of... Read More »

Tags: Christianity, Secularism

Gender segregation: breaking the law to appease Islamism

Gender segregation: breaking the law to appease Islamism

Posted: Mon, 21 Mar 2016 by Chris Moos

The LSE and their Students' Union need to stop breaking equality legislation that is designed to protect students, and start listening to the Muslim women challenging gender segregation, argues Chris Moos.

Students and staff at the London School of Economics... Read More »

Tags: Equality & Human Rights, Universities, Gender Equality

Religious worship shouldn’t be a requirement of public office

Religious worship shouldn’t be a requirement of public office

Posted: Fri, 18 Mar 2016 by Stephen Evans

With an atheist mayor facing criticism for opting not to attend church services, Stephen Evans argues that elected officials shouldn't have to worship or feign religiosity in order to represent the citizens they serve.

The newly elected Mayor of Totnes has... Read More »

Tags: Secularism, Church & State

Do we need ‘religious approaches’ to Human Rights?

Do we need ‘religious approaches’ to Human Rights?

Posted: Thu, 17 Mar 2016 by Keith Porteous Wood

Keith Porteous Wood offers a critical review of a new book that claims Human Rights owe their existence to religion – when the greatest modern threat to Human Rights comes from organised religion.

A book on 'Religious approaches to Human Rights' has just... Read More »

Tags: Equality & Human Rights

The surprising origin of Collective Worship in schools

The surprising origin of Collective Worship in schools

Posted: Thu, 10 Mar 2016 by Ed Moore

Collective worship has its history in a murky compromise between politicians and the church dating back to the Second World War – and it is long since time the arcane requirement was removed, writes Ed Moore.

There is a growing consensus among educators,... Read More »

Tags: Education, Collective Worship, Church of England, History

Britain’s first women’s mosque: rise of girl power or a Muslim women’s ghetto?

Britain’s first women’s mosque: rise of girl power or a Muslim women’s ghetto?

Posted: Tue, 08 Mar 2016 by Aisha Nabi

Muslim women are no different to their Western sisters who fought their battle for equality decades ago, writes Aisha Nabi. Muslim women are fighting the same evil as Western sisters are today – sexism, but what is the best way of achieving gender equality?... Read More »

Tags: Islam, Gender Equality

For richer or poorer – where is the Church of England?

For richer or poorer – where is the Church of England?

Posted: Tue, 23 Feb 2016 by Ed Moore

Is the Church really as poor as it claims? Ed Moore, treasurer of the National Secular Society, considers the extent of the Church of England's considerable wealth.

A recent news item on the BBC web site entitled 'Cash concerns for England's Anglican cathedrals'... Read More »

Tags: Church of England, church repairs, Statistics

Classrooms should be free from an overbearing religious ethos

Classrooms should be free from an overbearing religious ethos

Posted: Mon, 15 Feb 2016 by Stephen Evans

With the Church seeking to extend its influence over the management of schools, Stephen Evans argues that religious groups' demands shouldn't outweigh parental rights and children's independent interests.

In 2013 the former chair of the Church of England's... Read More »

Tags: Faith Schools, Education

Dan Walker’s creationism may be an affront to science – but he’s entitled to his beliefs

Dan Walker’s creationism may be an affront to science – but he’s entitled to his beliefs

Posted: Thu, 11 Feb 2016 by Benjamin Jones

The appointment of "young Earth" creationist Dan Walker to front BBC Breakfast has caused a considerable backlash, but unless and until his views interfere with his ability to present the news in a balanced and neutral way, he's entitled to his beliefs, argues... Read More »

Tags: Creationism, BBC

The niqab in schools: An argument for prohibition

The niqab in schools: An argument for prohibition

Posted: Thu, 04 Feb 2016 by Sadikur Rahman

Sadikur Rahman argues that the case for banning full face veils in schools extends far beyond whether or not they present a barrier to learning.

The niqab, or full-face veil, is once again in the news after the chief inspector of schools, Sir Michael Wilshaw,... Read More »

Tags: Education, Islam, Niqab

Spotlight: This hard-hitting film salutes the journalists who exposed the power of a deeply corrupt institution

Spotlight: This hard-hitting film salutes the journalists who exposed the power of a deeply corrupt institution

Posted: Thu, 28 Jan 2016 by Keith Porteous Wood

Keith Porteous Wood previews Spotlight, the hard-hitting film which depicts the Boston Globe's investigation into the cover-up of child sex abuse by the Catholic Church.

Spotlight, a film released this Friday (29 January), follows the Boston Globe's dogged... Read More »

Tags: Catholic Church, Reviews

Secularism protects us all. Let's embrace it.

Secularism protects us all. Let's embrace it.

Posted: Wed, 27 Jan 2016 by Stephen Evans

Britain today is one of the most religiously diverse countries in the world, with more non-believers than ever before. With society at risk of fragmenting along religious lines, secularism could be our salvation, argues Stephen Evans.

More than two thirds of... Read More »

Tags: Secularism

Welby praises “most orthodox” bishops since WW2 as UK gives up on the church

Welby praises “most orthodox” bishops since WW2 as UK gives up on the church

Posted: Thu, 21 Jan 2016 by National Secular Society

As the UK undergoes a "revolutionary generational change" away from religion the Archbishop of Canterbury has boasted that the Church's Bishops in the House of Lords are the "most orthodox since WW2".

Speaking during the fractious meeting of the Anglican Communion,... Read More »

Tags: Church & State, Church of England, Secularism, statistics

David Cameron is right to raise the integration of Muslim women

David Cameron is right to raise the integration of Muslim women

Posted: Mon, 18 Jan 2016 by National Secular Society

The hysterical response to David Cameron's proposals to help the most disadvantaged Muslim women learn English and improve their lot in life will do far more to alienate British Muslims than anything he has actually said.

According to Government figures 22%... Read More »

Tags: Islam, Community Cohesion

Bishop Ball case: Questions for Lord Carey

Bishop Ball case: Questions for Lord Carey

Posted: Mon, 11 Jan 2016 by Richard Scorer

With the release of some of the letters written in support of Bishop Ball during the 1992-1993 police investigation, particularly those written by prominent people, we're starting to see more clearly how Ball was protected, writes legal specialist on child... Read More »

Tags: Church of England, Child Abuse

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