NSS Opinion

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

Scientology’s dream comes true

Posted: Wed, 11 Dec 2013 by Terry Sanderson

The Supreme Court has said that Scientology is a legitimate religion. This ruling undermines the automatic presumption that all religious groups are for the "public benefit", argues Terry Sanderson.

It's not very often that you'll find me agreeing with Eric... Read More »

Tags: Religion & Belief

Catholic sex abuse scandal: how will Pope Francis make the Church accountable?

Posted: Wed, 04 Dec 2013 by Terry Sanderson

The Vatican's refusal to provide information requested by the United Nations on the alleged sexual abuse of children could mean Pope Francis's honeymoon period ends in ignominy, just like his predecessor, argues Terry Sanderson.

Did you know that the Pope ... Read More »

Tags: Catholic Church

The God Question – a Trojan horse for Intelligent Design

Posted: Fri, 29 Nov 2013 by Alistair McBay

Intelligent Design is back in shiny new packaging, labelled as 'evidence based and balanced' and getting into the science classrooms in Scotland, argues Alistair McBay. Read More »

Tags: Education, Scotland, Creationism

Eric Pickles is doling out taxpayers’ money to ‘faith groups’ – where will it end?

Posted: Wed, 27 Nov 2013 by Terry Sanderson

Mr Cameron gave Eric Pickles permission with the "Big Society" project. But we are going to have to ensure that he doesn't make the Big Society into one where only "people of faith" can contribute or benefit, argues Terry Sanderson.

It's becoming increasingly... Read More »

Tags: Parliament, Community Cohesion, Public Services

Finding separation of church and state for New Zealand

Posted: Mon, 25 Nov 2013 by Max and Meg Wallace

The New Zealand Census is telling us citizens are moving away from religious identification while the government still embraces it. It's time for constitutional separation of church and state to be openly discussed, argue Max and Meg Wallace. Read More »

Tags: Church & State, New Zealand

Is the “Francis Effect” just a figment of Catholic wishful thinking?

Posted: Mon, 25 Nov 2013 by Terry Sanderson

Anecdotal reports of a rise in Catholic mass attendance since the arrival of the new Pope do not seem to be supported by systematically obtained data – at least in USA.

The United States is home to the world's fourth-largest Catholic population, and,... Read More »

Tags: Catholic Church

Baroness Warsi and the OIC

Posted: Mon, 25 Nov 2013 by Anne Marie Waters

Baroness Warsi's partnership with the OIC means it is only a matter of time before we are completely silenced in the name of religious freedom, argues Anne Marie Waters Read More »

Tags: Freedom of Expression

The Church of England’s unrelenting exploitation of the nation’s schools

Posted: Wed, 20 Nov 2013 by Stephen Evans

The Church of England's intention is clear. State funded schools will be regarded as churches – and serve as pulpits for evangelisation, argues Stephen Evans.

Parents and their children may have deserted the pews in droves – but that doesn't really... Read More »

Tags: Church of England, Education, Faith Schools

Don’t give in to the Gideons

Posted: Wed, 20 Nov 2013 by Veronica Wikman

The Scottish Government must take action to remove the proselytising opportunity presented by religious observance in our schools, argues Veronica Wikman. Read More »

Tags: Religious Observance, Scotland

Secularism seeks to balance everyone’s religious freedoms fairly. Why would anyone oppose that?

Posted: Tue, 19 Nov 2013 by Stephen Evans

Despite the claims of its critics, secularism protects the freedom of conscience for all citizens, and welcomes believers and non-believers into the public square on equal terms, argues Stephen Evans. Read More »

Tags: Religion & Belief, Secularism, Equality & Human Rights

Baroness Warsi and her self-serving anti-secular agenda

Posted: Wed, 13 Nov 2013 by Terry Sanderson

Baroness Warsi, the Coalition's "Minister for Faith" is no friend of the National Secular Society. Why should she be? Her role is the very antithesis of secularism.

For a Government Minister whose brief is to promote religion in politics, she does not seem... Read More »

Tags: Religion & Belief

Change is overdue to our sectarian coronation – even the heir to the throne seems to think so

Posted: Tue, 12 Nov 2013 by Terry Sanderson

The day after we announced that we were seeking lawyers' opinions on the Human Rights implications of the coronation and accession oaths, one of which, for example, requires the monarch to uphold the "Protestant religion as established by law", the Daily Telegraph... Read More »

Tags: Coronation, Disestablishment, Monarchy

A search for truth, or a trojan horse for religion in schools?

Posted: Tue, 12 Nov 2013 by Alistair McBay

Alistair McBay questions the objectivity of a new educational resource that claims to "review, objectively and dispassionately, the case for the existence of God". Read More »

Tags: Education, Scotland, Creationism