NSS Opinion

Secularism in 2050: huge changes in population make a secular UK even more urgent

Posted: Fri, 10 Apr 2015 by Benjamin Jones

As huge demographic changes and the rapid increase in the Muslim population reshape religion in the UK, Benjamin Jones makes the case that secularism is the best guarantee of future freedoms for believers and atheists alike.

Tags: Islam, Church & State, Christianity, Multiculturalism, Statistics

Let’s stop confusing education with religious inculcation

Posted: Fri, 03 Apr 2015 by Stephen Evans

The blurring of the distinction between education and religious inculcation in British schools is preventing young people from receiving good quality objective education about religion and belief, argues Stephen Evans.

Tags: Education, Religious education, Faith Schools

Why we should stop saying ‘Islamophobia’

Posted: Thu, 02 Apr 2015 by Benjamin Jones

The bigoted views of Islamists and anti-Muslim demagogues must be challenged, but the term 'Islamophobia' only serves to confuse the issues and shut down debate, argues Benjamin Jones. Read More »

Tags: Islam, Anti-Muslim Bigotry, Freedom of Expression

Even the chief architect of the expansion of religious schools is now having doubts

Posted: Wed, 01 Apr 2015 by Terry Sanderson

With the public, of all faiths and none, increasingly recognising the problems caused by faith schools, NSS president Terry Sanderson calls out politicians who complain about religious separatism on one hand while deliberately promoting it on the other.

Tags: Faith Schools, Community Cohesion

Why would a teenager want to join the Islamic State?

Posted: Sat, 21 Mar 2015 by Gijsbert Stoet

Gijsbert Stoet, a Reader in Psychology at the University of Glasgow, considers why so many teenagers have sought to join the Islamic State. He identifies sensation seeking, identity, and unchallenged religious beliefs as three root causes.

Tags: Islamism

Je suis Michael Overd: this obnoxious street preacher is a canary in the coal mine for free speech

Posted: Fri, 20 Mar 2015 by Benjamin Jones

A street preacher has been charged for giving a "religiously aggravated" sermon, and was told by a police officer that he wasn't allowed to offend anyone. Benjamin Jones warns of the danger posed to civil liberties if the state continues to police free expression. Read More »

Tags: Freedom of Expression, Religious Freedom

Should taxpayers be paying for the Church’s leaking roofs?

Posted: Fri, 20 Mar 2015 by Keith Porteous Wood

In this week's budget the Government allocated a further £40 million funding to support "vital" roof repairs in Listed Places of Worship over the next two years.

Tags: Church of England, Chancel Repair Liability, Statistics

Why did the CPS abandon investigation into Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor?

Posted: Thu, 19 Mar 2015 by Alistair McBay

As the full scale of the British Establishment's cover-up of child sex abuse becomes apparent, Alistair McBay argues it is time for the Crown Prosecution Service to make public its reasons for dropping the investigation into Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor 12 years ago. Read More »

Tags: Catholic Church, Child Abuse

Council prayers: none so deaf as those that will not hear

Posted: Tue, 17 Mar 2015 by Alastair Lichten

Those who regard the imposition of religious values and practices in secular spaces as benign should be more aware of their privilege, argues Alastair Lichten.

Of course you wouldn't.

Tags: Council Prayers, Religious privilege

There is no widespread discrimination against Christians in the workplace

Posted: Fri, 13 Mar 2015 by Terry Sanderson

NSS president Terry Sanderson challenges the notion that Christians are widely discriminated against in the workplace, and calls for fairness, justice and common sense.

Tags: Christianity, 'Christianophobia', Equality & Human Rights, Workplace

Eric Pickles' 'evangelical charter' on its way to becoming law

Posted: Thu, 12 Mar 2015 by Stephen Evans

A small group of Christians in parliament are changing the law to give councils the power to introduce their meetings with prayers. Stephen Evans argues that the right to freedom of religion should always be balanced by the right to be free from religion. Read More »

Tags: Religious Freedom, Church & State, Secularism, Council Prayers

The Church, gratitude and the erosion of innocence

Posted: Wed, 11 Mar 2015 by Conor

A parent writes about the problem of innocuous children's activities run with a hidden religious agenda, and defends his right to raise his children how he wishes, without organisations using playgroups as a cover for proselytising to children. Read More »

Tags: Education, Childrens rights & welfare, Parents Perspective, evangelism in schools

The Christian Legal Centre makes another attempt to gain privileges for Christians in the workplace

Posted: Mon, 02 Mar 2015 by Terry Sanderson

The Christian Legal Centre's latest 'discrimination' claim follows a familiar pattern – but its use of dissembling tactics shouldn't be permitted to manipulate a change in equality laws, argues Terry Sanderson.

Tags: Equality & Human Rights, Discrimination, Workplace

Charlie Hebdo: a perspective one month on

Posted: Wed, 18 Feb 2015 by Sadikur Rahman

25 years after the Rushdie Affair, one month after the atrocities in Paris and days after the attack on a free speech seminar in Copenhagen, Sadikur Rahman looks at what lessons free expression activists and opponents have taken.

Tags: Freedom of Expression, Islam

Is the Christian immune from plane crashes?

Posted: Tue, 17 Feb 2015 by Alistair McBay

Alistair McBay reports on Scottish Calvinism's attack on secularism, and offers his reaction to the rhetoric and tactics of the Free Church of Scotland. Read More »

Tags: Christianity, Scotland, 'Militant' secularism

A duty to mock

Posted: Mon, 16 Feb 2015 by Manfredi La Manna

Manfredi La Manna argues that the response to the Charlie Hebdo murders has exposed unpalatable truths in both the conservative and progressive camps. Read More »

Tags: Freedom of Expression, Islam

Sharia law, apostasy and secularism

Posted: Thu, 12 Feb 2015 by Gita Sahgal

Gita Sahgal argues that opposing religious fundamentalism is not a distraction from 'real' politics - the demands of social justice and civil liberties - but a pre-condition for achieving them. Read More »

Tags: Freedom of Expression, Secularism

The dishonesty of religious lobbying shines like a beacon

Posted: Tue, 03 Feb 2015 by Terry Sanderson

NSS President Terry Sanderson argues that the churches have changed their lobbying tactics, and are trying to impose their doctrines through misdirection and 'slippery slope' arguments.

Tags: Christianity, Healthcare, Church of England, Catholic Church

BBC Panorama, “the battle for British Islam” and the nonsense of “peaceful” or “violent” Muslims

Posted: Thu, 22 Jan 2015 by Benjamin Jones

NSS communications officer Benjamin Jones argues that the problem of Islamism is obscured by politicians and others simplistically categorising Muslims as either 'peaceful' or 'violent'.

Tags: Islam, Freedom of Expression, Secularism

Rendering unto Caesar

Posted: Mon, 19 Jan 2015 by Alistair McBay

The established Church throws stones from inside its Government-subsidised glass cathedral, argues Alistair McBay. Read More »

Tags: Church of England, Disestablishment

Charlie Hebdo Editorial: Je Suis Charlie Means Je Suis Secularism

Posted: Thu, 15 Jan 2015 by Admin

This is a translation of the editorial from the first Charlie Hebdo published since the Paris attacks. It is reproduced here in solidarity with Charlie Hebdo. Read More »

Tags: Freedom of Expression, Islam, Secularism

MPs want God at centre of local democracy

Posted: Thu, 15 Jan 2015 by Imran Khan

When Conservative councillor Imran Khan opted out of Christian prayers at council meetings he was subject to ostracization, abuse and deselection. He's urging MPs to keep sectarianism out of local politics by voting against the Local Government (Religious Etc. Observances) Bill. Read More »

Tags: Church & State, Council Prayers

British media fails the free speech test

Posted: Fri, 09 Jan 2015 by Sadikur Rahman

The British print and media press's response to the Charlie Hebdo attack has involved victim blaming, obfuscation and self-censorship, argues Sadikur Rahman. Read More »

Tags: Islam, Freedom of Expression

GP Taylor: Why faith has no place in our schools

Posted: Thu, 08 Jan 2015 by GP Taylor

Many principled people of faith oppose religious privilege in state schools. Former Anglican priest GP Taylor makes an impassioned case for secularism as a basis for equally inclusive education. Read More »

Tags: Education, Faith Schools, Community Cohesion, Secularism

NSS statement following Charlie Hebdo attack

Posted: Wed, 07 Jan 2015 by Terry Sanderson

The extremists try increasingly to terrorise us into silence and often the state conspires with them, blaming the victims for 'bringing it upon themselves'.

Tags: Freedom of Expression