NSS Opinion

Secularist bequest upheld in court, in 1915

Posted: Fri, 24 Apr 2015 by National Secular Society

A landmark legal cases involving secularists took place a century ago. In Bowman v. Secular Society the relatives of a testator leaving money to the Society sought to have the will declared invalid on the grounds of blasphemy. Read More »

Tags: Blasphemy, Secular Society, History

The Christian “fired for praying at work” – here’s the other side of the story

Posted: Thu, 23 Apr 2015 by Terry Sanderson

The British media unquestioningly promulgates the false narrative of Christians being discriminated against in the workplace. Terry Sanderson looks at the latest case involving a Christian disciplined for subjecting a subordinate to unwanted and intrusive... Read More »

Tags: Equality & Human Rights, Discrimination, Healthcare

Allowing children to languish in illegal religious 'schools' is the bigotry of low expectations

Posted: Wed, 22 Apr 2015 by Stephen Evans

NSS campaigns manager Stephen Evans warns that growing numbers of unregulated religious 'schools' are badly letting children down, and argues that the rights of children to education should be prioritised. Read More »

Tags: Education, unregistered schools

What do the minor parties have to say about secularism and religion?

Posted: Tue, 21 Apr 2015 by Benjamin Jones

From the Wessex Regionalists to the Christian People's Alliance, the NSS presents some highlights on secularism and religion from the minor parties' manifestos. Read More »

Tags: Politics, GE2015

Irish same-sex marriage – is the Church trying to blackmail the state?

Posted: Fri, 17 Apr 2015 by Keith Porteous Wood

The Roman Catholic Church in Ireland has threatened to stop civil marriage registration if Irish law is changed to allow same sex marriages. Keith Porteous Wood argues that if it were to carry out its threat, it could inflict more harm on the Church than any... Read More »

Tags: Catholic Church, Marriage Equality, Ireland

Election 2015: Where the parties stand on secularist issues

Posted: Thu, 16 Apr 2015 by National Secular Society

Find out where the parties stand on collective worship, faith schools, multiculturalism, sex and relationships education, religion in society and a range of other secular issues. Read More »

Tags: Politics, GE2015

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.

By 2050, 1-in-9 Britons will be... Read More »

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.

The Supreme Court of Canada recently ruled... Read More »

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.

Tony... Read More »

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.

Recently, there have... Read More »

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

Keith Porteous Wood argues that with the Church Commissioners sitting on a £4bn surplus, the Church of England should not be receiving additional public funds for fixing church roofs, and it should concede changes to the law on Chancel Repair Liability... Read More »

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.

You may regret clicking this link. If you did you may well have heard 10 seconds of silence. The... Read More »

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.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has published the results of its research... Read More »

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.

So, here we go again. Another evangelical... Read More »

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.

Another European city, this... Read More »

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.

The reaction of the Church of England and the Catholic Church to the debate... Read More »

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'.

On 12 January, BBC Panorama featured British Muslims campaigning for a... Read More »

Tags: Islam, Freedom of Expression, Secularism