NSS Opinion

Secular values, not religion, make us a tolerant society

Posted: Sat, 29 Mar 2014 by Oliver Kamm

When trying to reach reasoned and compassionate judgments, religion is frequently a source of confusion rather than light, argues Oliver Kamm. Read More »

Tags: Equality & Human Rights, Secularism

Diversity? No, the Law Society’s Sharia guidance has created division

Posted: Thu, 27 Mar 2014 by Charlie Klendjian

Charlie Klendjian, secretary of the Lawyers Secular society, argues that the Law Society, a secular organisation representing solicitors in a secular legal system, has gone beyond its remit and created division with its Practice Note on sharia wills.

Read More »

Tags: Law, Religious Law

Why it would have been invidious to put the Mormon Church on trial

Posted: Thu, 27 Mar 2014 by Terry Sanderson

Terry Sanderson clarifies the threat to freedom of religion and belief when secular courts rule on theological matters.

Last week we reported a decision by a judge at Westminster Magistrates' Court not to hear a case of alleged fraud against the Mormon Church... Read More »

Tags: Mormonism, Church & State, Religion & Belief

Gender segregation: Universities and Student Representatives continue to fail their students miserably

Posted: Wed, 26 Mar 2014 by Chris Moos

In reflection of the anniversary of the first publicised case of forced gender segregation at a British university, Chris Moos gives an update on the present situation within British universities. Read More »

Tags: Education, Campus, segregation, Religiousity policing

Sharia law is well and truly operating in the UK – thanks to the Law Society

Posted: Fri, 21 Mar 2014 by Sadikur Rahman

Sadikur Rahman, of the Lawyers Secular Society, fears a practice note issued by the Law Society could compromise the Code of Conduct for solicitors and increase the application of Sharia law in the UK. Read More »

Tags: Sharia, Law

The English Catholic Church and the Sex Abuse Crisis

Posted: Wed, 19 Mar 2014 by Richard Scorer

In England, Catholic leaders have fostered the impression that the English church has been relatively scandal-free, and that such problems as did exist were eliminated by the Nolan reforms. A new book by Richard Scorer, head of the abuse unit at Slater & Gordon lawyers, interrogates that claim. Read More »

Tags: Catholic Church, Child Abuse, Reviews

We must give up our faith in religious schools

Posted: Fri, 14 Mar 2014 by Philip Collins

If social integration is the aspiration, we should start in schools and remove faith schools' right to religious selection, argues Philip Collins. Read More »

Tags: Education, Faith Schools

Pope's first year of papacy has been a failure on child abuse

Posted: Thu, 13 Mar 2014 by Keith Porteous Wood

This week marks the first anniversary of the election of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina as Pope Francis. But as far as far as child abuse is concerned, it's just business as usual at the Vatican but with better PR, argues Keith Porteous Wood. Read More »

Tags: Catholic Church, Child Abuse

No, Mr Clegg, there is no "liberal dilemma" when animal rights and religious beliefs conflict

Posted: Wed, 12 Mar 2014 by John Stephenson

Nick Clegg's reasoning behind his opposition to a ban on Kosher and Halal slaughter is inherently contradictory when set aside his views on LGBT rights, argues John Stephenson, who says when animal rights and religious beliefs conflict, it is religion that needs to be shown the door. Read More »

Tags: Religious Slaughter

The bishop’s fantasy secularism

Posted: Tue, 11 Mar 2014 by Terry Sanderson

This week the Catholic Bishop of Portsmouth, Philip Egan, gave a lecture at King's College in London in which he launched a full frontal attack on secularism. But the secularism the Bishop denounces, argues Terry Sanderson, is simply a figment of his imagination. Read More »

Tags: Catholic Church, Secularism

Faith schools: whose education is it anyway?

Posted: Thu, 06 Mar 2014 by Stephen Evans

Education policy and practice should focus more on children's independent interests and building a shared society rather than pandering to religious groups motivated by self-preservation, argues NSS campaigns manager, Stephen Evans. Read More »

Tags: Education, Faith Schools

Is the Religious Right responsible for America’s fading allegiance to religion?

Posted: Wed, 26 Feb 2014 by Terry Sanderson

Terry Sanderson on the Religious Right's baneful attempts to desecularize the United States with a raft of "religious freedom" bills.

There seems to be something of a disconnect in America between the rising number of people who profess to have no religion... Read More »

Tags: Church & State, USA

Fundamentalist Christians seek to use Council of Europe to entrench religious privilege

Posted: Tue, 25 Feb 2014 by European Humanist Federation

A new report from the Council of Europe which uses anti-discrimination rhetoric to justify discrimination and obscurantism, poses a potential threat to democracy and secularism in Europe, argues the European Humanist Federation. Read More »

Tags: Equality & Human Rights, Europe

Australia shows the way in removing evangelists from schools

Posted: Thu, 20 Feb 2014 by Terry Sanderson

With widespread apathy about what passes for religious education in schools, our classrooms are increasingly being used by religious groups to carry out their missionary work. Terry Sanderson explains how Australian parents have led the way in removing evangelists... Read More »

Tags: Education, Evangelism in schools

Secular or bust

Posted: Tue, 18 Feb 2014 by Kunwar Khuldune Shahid

Reflecting on the extremist wings of Pakistani politics and ideology, Kunwar Khuldune Shahid describes the dire need for Pakistan to place the secular narrative at the centre of its political agenda and mainstream media. Read More »

Tags: Islamism, Pakistan, Secularism

Church of England is kept alive only by its presence in our schools

Posted: Thu, 13 Feb 2014 by Terry Sanderson

With the Church of England is on its last legs, it's about time its continued involvement in state education was called into question, argues Terry Sanderson. Read More »

Tags: Education, Church of England

Publish and be damned

Posted: Sun, 09 Feb 2014 by Abhishek Phadnis

The mainstream media's craven refusal to print the Jesus & Mo cartoon seriously undermines the principle of free expression, and will further embolden professional offense takers, argues Abhishek Phadnis. Read More »

Tags: Freedom of Expression

Vatican’s attack on its critics is a familiar tactic

Posted: Fri, 07 Feb 2014 by David Clohessy

After hearing the UN's scathing attack on its child abuse record, the Vatican's counter-attack against its critics is a familiar tactic, argues David Clohessy Read More »

Tags: Catholic Church, Child Abuse, United Nations

Religion is not accommodated, it is privileged

Posted: Wed, 05 Feb 2014 by Anne Marie Waters

Anne Marie Waters reports on an event, held on 4 February, organised by the Cutting Edge Consortium, a group which campaigns against homophobia in religion, and looks at how far religious belief should be, and is being, accommodated in employment and public life. Read More »

Tags: Equality & Human Rights

Ethnic mixing is good for communities – so why are we discouraging it in schools?

Posted: Tue, 04 Feb 2014 by Terry Sanderson

Terry Sanderson reflects upon some recent findings on mixed communities and integration, and the implication of those findings for our education system.

A large-scale study published in the journal Sociology has found that when people from ethnic communities... Read More »

Tags: Multiculturalism, Education

Tony Blair’s ‘solution’ to religious conflict will simply make things worse

Posted: Thu, 30 Jan 2014 by Terry Sanderson

In reaction to Tony Blair's recent reflections on religious conflict, Terry Sanderson reflects upon the dangers of Blair's promotion of the "us" and "them" mentality.

Writing in last Sunday's Observer, Tony Blair repeated his mantra that the 21st century's... Read More »

Tags: Religion & Belief

Catholic cognitive dissonance: Overlooking evil

Posted: Thu, 23 Jan 2014 by Terry Sanderson

The UN's recent examination of the Holy See presented yet more evidence of the Catholic Church's responsibility for, and cover-up of, child abuse. Yet the Catholic majority remains persistently silent, argues Terry Sanderson.

After the drubbing over child abuse... Read More »

Tags: Child Abuse, Catholic Church

The God question: A tale of two adverts

Posted: Tue, 07 Jan 2014 by Alistair McBay

Alistair McBay examines the PR campaign behind an educational resource that seeks to bring creationism and intelligent design into the science classrooms of Scotland. Read More »

Tags: Education, Scotland, Creationism

The President’s Broadcasting Year – behind the scenes

Posted: Thu, 19 Dec 2013 by Terry Sanderson

Being President of the National Secular Society is nothing if not unpredictable. And this year has been no exception for Terry Sanderson... Read More »

Tags: Humour

Double-talk and betrayal put massive obstacles in the way of women’s rights

Posted: Thu, 12 Dec 2013 by Anne Marie Waters

Using the language of freedom, Islamists are turning back the clock on women's human rights. Segregation in universities is just another example, argues Anne Marie Waters. Read More »

Tags: Gender Equality