NSS Opinion

French confrontation of church and state over gay marriage

Posted: Thu, 13 Dec 2012 by Catherine Le Fur

Catherine Le Fur on the intensifying debate in France over the French Government's plans to legalise same-sex marriage Read More »

Tags: Catholic Church, Marriage Equality, France

How to make “nones” disappear: a lesson in statistics from Northern Ireland

Posted: Thu, 13 Dec 2012 by Jill Farquhar

Jill Farquhar argues that the conflation of 'religion' with 'religious background' in the Northern Ireland census perpetuates the idea that the religion of our parents defines our own religious identity. Read More »

Tags: Statistics

Census 2011: What has caused this massive flight from Christianity?

Posted: Tue, 11 Dec 2012 by Stephen Evans

What has happened in this country in the decade since the last census? What has caused this huge flight from religion? Read More »

Tags: Church & State, statistics

Why it's important to add your voice to the Scout's consultation on non-believers

Posted: Thu, 06 Dec 2012 by Keith Porteous Wood

It was nearly five years ago that I went with a colleague to speak to Derek Twine, the chief executive of the Scouts, and his senior colleagues, to discuss the possibility of the Scouts being opened up to the non-religious. Read More »

Tags: Scouts

Cracks appearing in NHS, but chaplains sail on regardless

Posted: Wed, 28 Nov 2012 by Terry Sanderson

Terry Sanderson suggests prayer will be the only "treatment" available in hospitals soon as they close and go bankrupt. Read More »

Tags: Chaplaincy, Healthcare

Why won’t the Government get serious about caste discrimination?

Posted: Wed, 28 Nov 2012 by Stephen Evans

Stephen Evans argues that it's time for the Government to stop dragging its heels and outlaw discrimination and harassment on the grounds of caste. Read More »

Tags: Equality & Human Rights, Caste

The Malala Effect

Posted: Wed, 28 Nov 2012 by

Statement by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay on the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. Read More »

Tags: Equality & Human Rights, Gender Equality

Church and state need to be set free

Posted: Thu, 22 Nov 2012 by Simon Barrow

Simon Barrow explains why the recent Church of England vote against women bishops underlines the urgent need to keep religion independent of the state. Read More »

Tags: Church & State

Church of England’s establishment is well past its sell-by date

Posted: Wed, 21 Nov 2012 by Terry Sanderson

Terry Sanderson on how the vote at the General Synod to reject women bishops demonstrates why the establishment of the Church of England as an arm of the state is unsustainable in a modern, diverse society. Read More »

Tags: Church & State, Church of England

Acceptance of gay rights is an indication that USA is secularising

Posted: Mon, 19 Nov 2012 by Adrian Tippetts

Adrian Tippetts argues that if the GOP is to remain a serious force in US politics, a secular leadership capable of sidelining the extremist loons and offering rational, reasonable, constructive alternatives is urgently needed. Read More »

Tags: USA, LGBTQ rights

The new Archbishop should have no special say

Posted: Sat, 10 Nov 2012 by Oliver Kamm

Oliver Kamm says the Church is entitled to religious liberty and freedom of speech, but it is not entitled to a privileged hearing, nor is faith a source of strength. Read More »

Tags: Church & State, Church of England

An important lesson that politicians can learn from the American election

Posted: Wed, 07 Nov 2012 by Stephen Evans

If this election has told politicians one thing, it should be that they should listen to the voters and not to the religious lobbyists who are trying to write their doctrines into law. Read More »

Tags: Catholic Church, USA, Politics, Obama, Romney

The Church of England should act now if it wants to save its hospital chaplaincy service

Posted: Tue, 06 Nov 2012 by Terry Sanderson

Terry Sanderson calls on the Church to relieve the struggling NHS of the financial burden of chaplaincy services, and for them to set up chaplaincy trusts to provide the necessary funding. Read More »

Tags: Charity, Healthcare, Chaplaincy, Big Society, Church of England, public funding

Mr Cameron, the Big Society and the fundamentalists

Posted: Mon, 05 Nov 2012 by Terry Sanderson

Terry Sanderson on the undesirability of handing out public money to religious groups without strong controls in place. Read More »

Tags: Public Services

Stonewall is right – the Cardinal is a bigot

Posted: Fri, 02 Nov 2012 by Terry Sanderson

After coming under fire for nominating Cardinal Keith O'Brien as "Bigot of the Year", Terry Sanderson defends Stonewall and agrees the Cardinal is a bigot, and that the award was appropriate and well-deserved. Read More »

Tags: Equality & Human Rights, Catholic Church, Marriage Equality, LGBTQ rights

We’re not in Kansas now: why targeting the “faith vote” is a hopeless cause in Britain

Posted: Tue, 30 Oct 2012 by Terry Sanderson

The Tories plan to use the upcoming Corby by-election to "road test" an appeal to the "faith vote". Terry Sanderson questions whether a religious voting bloc even exists in the town – or anywhere in Britain for that matter. Read More »

Tags: Politics, Conservative Party

Enticing children to evangelism with toys: Samaritan’s Purse shoebox scheme.

Posted: Thu, 18 Oct 2012 by Rebecca Sharkey

Rebecca Sharkey argues that a popular shoebox gift scheme run by evangelicals highlights the dangers of mixing humanitarian work with the promotion of a religious agenda. Read More »

Tags: Christmas, Education, Charity, Samaritans Purse, Evangelism in schools

Baroness Warsi needs to be challenged on her theocratic ambitions

Posted: Tue, 16 Oct 2012 by Terry Sanderson

Terry Sanderson argues that all this talk of Britain being a Christian nation is a fantasy employed by Baroness Warsi and other pious politicians to push forward their own religious agendas. Read More »

Tags: Church & State

Religion is shrinking: and it only has itself to blame

Posted: Wed, 10 Oct 2012 by Terry Sanderson

The perception that Americans are an overwhelmingly church-going, evangelically conservative people took another knock this week with the release of a poll from the Pew Research Centre. Read More »

Tags: Statistics, Religion & Belief

There can be no cultural get-out clause for child abusers

Posted: Fri, 05 Oct 2012 by Anne Marie Waters

It's official – raping children is wrong. Sometimes. It depends on the colour (sorry "culture") of the child being raped. Welcome to post-racism Europe. Read More »

Tags: Child Abuse

Time to rethink the Church's role in state education

Posted: Mon, 01 Oct 2012 by Stephen Evans

As head teachers put the Church's plan to intensify the religious input into lessons into action, Stephen Evans asks: isn't it time to rethink the role of religion in our public education system? Read More »

Tags: Faith Schools, Education

Politicians and “faith leaders” make a gruesome combination

Posted: Tue, 25 Sep 2012 by Terry Sanderson

While many will write it off as red meat being thrown to the raving fundamentalists on the back bench of the Tory Party, Terry Sanderson says the appointment of Baroness Warsi as "Minister for Faith and Communities" is potentially threatening for secularism. Read More »

Tags: Catholic Church, Church & State

Interculturalism: The new era of cohesion and diversity

Posted: Wed, 19 Sep 2012 by National Secular Society

In an important new book, Ted Cantle argues that multiculturalism, while seeking to protect minority communities and cultures, has led to a society of plural mono-cultures living alongside each other, where groups different than oneself are identified solely by their most visible characteristics. Read More »

Tags: Community Cohesion, Multiculturalism, Reviews

These imbecilic riots must serve to reinforce our commitment to freedom

Posted: Mon, 17 Sep 2012 by Terry Sanderson

It is estimated that throughout the Muslim world something like just ten to twenty thousand people have taken part in the rampages that have dominated the headlines for a week. Terry Sanderson says these few Islamist extremists must not lead us to to compromise our commitment to the values of democracy and freedom. Read More »

Tags: Freedom of Expression, Islam

NSS President's speech to Secular Europe rally

Posted: Sat, 15 Sep 2012 by National Secular Society

Terry Sanderson's speech to the Secular Europe rally: "It is time now for politicians to lose their fear of religious leaders, to accept that they can't corral their followers into a voting bloc, and to give the people what they want - a peaceful, tolerant and progressive society." Read More »

Tags: Equality & Human Rights