NSS Opinion

The Chancel Repairs Bill 2014 (more interesting than you might imagine)

The Chancel Repairs Bill 2014 (more interesting than you might imagine)

Posted: Thu, 04 Sep 2014 by Michael Hall

Michael Hall reflects on the importance of Lord Avebury's bill to abolish chancel repair liability and places it in the context of privilege and inequality.

I am delighted that Lord Eric Avebury has moved the first reading in the House of Lords of the Chancel... Read More »

Tags: Chancel Repair Liability

Secularism, today, now

Secularism, today, now

Posted: Thu, 04 Sep 2014 by Marieme Helie Lucas

Ahead of an historic conference on the Religious-Right, Secularism and Civil Rights in London this October, Algerian secularist, Marieme Helie Lucas calls on secularists everywhere to mobilise to counter the rise of the Religious-Right – and to urge... Read More »

Tags: Equality & Human Rights, Events

Grievous nonsense

Grievous nonsense

Posted: Wed, 27 Aug 2014 by Terry Sanderson

The narrative that Christians are somehow persecuted in the UK – which the Daily Telegraph and former Attorney General Dominic Grieve were happy to promote this week – is a dishonest appeal for privilege, argues NSS president Terry Sanderson.

To... Read More »

Tags: 'Militant' secularism, Council Prayers

Principles of secularism and equality must be defended

Principles of secularism and equality must be defended

Posted: Fri, 22 Aug 2014 by Stephen Evans

Attempts to erode equality and undermine secularist principles must be challenged, argues Stephen Evans.

Those seeking to preserve or carve out additional privileges for Christianity in the UK appear buoyed by news that the Equality and Human Rights Commission... Read More »

Tags: Church & State, Equality & Human Rights

No such thing as a ‘faith child’

No such thing as a ‘faith child’

Posted: Tue, 19 Aug 2014 by John Sargeant

The state and society undermine children's rights, when they treat them as an extension of their parents' religious identity, argues John Sargeant.

Adults are extolled in the Christian tradition to be childlike in their acceptance of the faith. Jesus says:... Read More »

Tags: Childrens rights & welfare

Don’t merge human rights with religion, even in Africa

Don’t merge human rights with religion, even in Africa

Posted: Fri, 15 Aug 2014 by Achieng Maureen Akena

Political religion, particularly that exported from the US, is impeding the struggle for universal human rights in Africa and the two must be kept separate, argues Achieng Maureen Akena.

Earlier on open Global Rights, Indian journalist Parsa Rao argued that... Read More »

Tags: Africa, Equality & Human Rights

What chance do Yazidis have against group too brutal for al Qaeda?

What chance do Yazidis have against group too brutal for al Qaeda?

Posted: Thu, 07 Aug 2014 by Maajid Nawaz

Quilliam Co-Founder and Chairman and National Secular Society honorary associate Maajid Nawaz gives his thoughts on the crisis in North-West Iraq.

The terror group ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) which has shortened its name to "Islamic State" or "IS",... Read More »

Tags: Islamism

Ministerial role that promotes religion should have gone, not just the Minister

Ministerial role that promotes religion should have gone, not just the Minister

Posted: Wed, 06 Aug 2014 by Stephen Evans

As Eric Pickles takes over Baroness Warsi's ministerial responsibilities for promoting faith, Stephen Evans argues that the job should have gone, not just the minister.

In one of the more popular moves of her political career to date, Baroness Warsi this week... Read More »

Tags: secularism

Talking to God: the corporate religious challenge to a pluralist, progressive Europe

Talking to God: the corporate religious challenge to a pluralist, progressive Europe

Posted: Fri, 01 Aug 2014 by Kenneth Houston

EU and UN 'dialogue' with civil society gives disproportionate weight to conservative religious voices at the expense of moderate and secular opinion, argues Kenneth Houston.

Corporate religion needs to hear the word 'no' more often from our politicians.

An... Read More »

Tags: Church & State, Europe, Gender Equality

Kerry County Council crucifix a challenge to religious diversity

Kerry County Council crucifix a challenge to religious diversity

Posted: Tue, 29 Jul 2014 by Dr Ronan McCrea

Following the erection of a crucifix in the newly renovated Kerry County Council chambers, Dr Ronan McCrea argues that the values of a particular faith should not be given predominance in State institutions.

The decision to erect a crucifix in Kerry County... Read More »

Tags: Church & State, Council Prayers, Equality & Human Rights

A parent’s perspective: a review of the ‘collective worship’ requirement is long overdue

A parent’s perspective: a review of the ‘collective worship’ requirement is long overdue

Posted: Fri, 25 Jul 2014 by Alison Fenwick

As a parent of a 6 year old daughter, Alison Fenwick argues that the obligation on schools to 'worship' impinges on her parental right to raise her child in accordance with her own beliefs.

I first became concerned about the status of the Christian religion... Read More »

Tags: Collective Worship, Education, Parents Perspective

The world must respond to the cry of Iraq’s Christians

The world must respond to the cry of Iraq’s Christians

Posted: Thu, 24 Jul 2014 by Lord Alton

Religious cleansing in Iraq is making a "hateful mockery" of international law which should protect people and uphold their freedom to follow our own beliefs, argues Lord Alton

The last Christian has now been expelled from Mosul. The light of religious freedom,... Read More »

Tags: Christianity, Iraq, Islamism, Religious Freedom

Why is the Law Society promoting Islamic rules and legal services?

Why is the Law Society promoting Islamic rules and legal services?

Posted: Fri, 18 Jul 2014 by Sadikur Rahman

After attending a seminar held by the Law Society on Islamic rules and legal services, Sadikur Rahman reflects upon the Society's desire to develop its members' knowledge of sharia law in the UK and questions how this contributes to Muslim people's freedoms.... Read More »

Tags: Law, Religiousity policing, Sharia

Why the time has come to end compulsory worship in schools

Why the time has come to end compulsory worship in schools

Posted: Fri, 11 Jul 2014 by Stephen Evans

With the launch of a new petition calling on political parties to make the removal of the collective worship requirement part of their education policy, NSS campaigns manager Stephen Evans explains why the time has come to relieve schools of the obligation... Read More »

Tags: Collective Worship, Education, Religious Freedom

Commission to investigate religion’s role in society

Commission to investigate religion’s role in society

Posted: Thu, 03 Jul 2014 by Terry Sanderson

A commission has set itself up to "take the temperature of Britain's relationship with religion". But with so many vested interests on board, Terry Sanderson questions how objective its findings will be.

A commission has set itself up with the task of "taking... Read More »

Tags: Christianity, Church & State

Will the Equality Act be battered into submitting to religious exemptions?

Will the Equality Act be battered into submitting to religious exemptions?

Posted: Mon, 30 Jun 2014 by Terry Sanderson

Misleading reporting of individual cases and calls for "conscience clauses" feed into a false narrative of Christian persecution aimed at undermining the Equality Act, argues Terry Sanderson.

Recently the vice president of the UK Supreme Court, Baroness Hale,... Read More »

Tags: Discrimination, Equality & Human Rights

It’s not only Islamists who have Trojan Horses

It’s not only Islamists who have Trojan Horses

Posted: Fri, 27 Jun 2014 by Terry Sanderson

Those with a vested interest in the continuation of 'faith schools' have started their fight back against the growing number of critics, says Terry Sanderson.

After the furore of the Birmingham Trojan Horse affair, a lot of commentators reached the conclusion... Read More »

Tags: Church of England, Education, Faith Schools, Islam

Terry Sanderson’s speech to the Religious Freedom Conference, Chatham

Terry Sanderson’s speech to the Religious Freedom Conference, Chatham

Posted: Tue, 24 Jun 2014 by Terry Sanderson

On 21 June 2014, NSS President Terry Sanderson spoke at the Chatham Unitarian Church, about the importance of equalities protections and secularism to religious freedom. This is a transcript of his speech.

The first problem I have is with a definition of "religious... Read More »

Tags: Discrimination, Equality & Human Rights, Freedom of Expression

Pope’s zero tolerance pledge on child abuse is not enough

Pope’s zero tolerance pledge on child abuse is not enough

Posted: Mon, 23 Jun 2014 by David McClenaghan

Words are not enough: David McClenaghan argues that if the Church wants to deal with its record on child abuse it must root out both the offenders and enablers.

The church must not only root out offenders but also those who have allowed crimes to happen by... Read More »

Tags: Catholic Church, Child Abuse

A “religious ethos” is not why faith schools succeed – it’s selection that does it

A “religious ethos” is not why faith schools succeed – it’s selection that does it

Posted: Tue, 17 Jun 2014 by Terry Sanderson

Rather than a faith-based ethos, Terry Sanderson argues that it's selection that allows faith schools to outperform other schools – and calls for fairer admissions policies to ensure a level playing field for all.

The headline in the Coventry Telegraph... Read More »

Tags: Discrimination, Education, Faith Schools

Schools and the failure of multiculturalism and multifaithism

Schools and the failure of multiculturalism and multifaithism

Posted: Tue, 17 Jun 2014 by Rumy Hasan

Rumy Hasan argues, faith based identity politics have contributed to an increasingly divisive school system, which undermines children's right to a broad, critical and tolerant secular education.

The spat between Michael Gove and Theresa May focuses on the... Read More »

Tags: Community Cohesion, Education, Multiculturalism

Yes, “faith schools” really are the problem

Yes, “faith schools” really are the problem

Posted: Wed, 11 Jun 2014 by Terry Sanderson

Politicians are in denial over the problems caused by "faith schools" and religious influence in education, argues Terry Sanderson.

The National Secular Society has been saying it for years – "faith schools" are a bad idea. And despite the events of the... Read More »

Tags: Community Cohesion, Education, Faith Schools

BBC poll shows that religious people give more to charity than non-religious. Maybe...

BBC poll shows that religious people give more to charity than non-religious. Maybe...

Posted: Sun, 08 Jun 2014 by Terry Sanderson

Here we go again – the BBC has commissioned a survey that apparently shows that religious people are more likely to give to charity than non-religious people.

If you look at the results, you see that the difference in charitable giving between believers... Read More »

Tags: Charity, Statistics

The choice of when to die should be that of the individual – not religious leaders

The choice of when to die should be that of the individual – not religious leaders

Posted: Thu, 05 Jun 2014 by Terry Sanderson

Speaking from personal experience, Terry Sanderson argues that religious opposition to a new law on assisted dying causes needless suffering to the terminally ill and their families.

The campaigning group Dignity in Dying has launched a campaign aimed at the... Read More »

Tags: Assisted Dying

The choice of when to die should be that of the individual – not religious leaders

The choice of when to die should be that of the individual – not religious leaders

Posted: Thu, 05 Jun 2014 by Terry Sanderson

Speaking from personal experience, Terry Sanderson argues that religious opposition to a new law on assisted dying causes needless suffering for the terminally ill and their families.

The campaigning group Dignity in Dying has launched a campaign aimed at the... Read More »

Tags: Assisted Dying

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