NSS Opinion

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

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.

In January, Mr Valeriu Ghiletchi... Read More »

Tags: Equality & Human Rights, Europe

Australia shows the way in removing evangelists from schools

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

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.

Before Pierre Gassendi gave Epicureanism... Read More »

Tags: Islamism, Pakistan, Secularism

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

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.

The Church Times has been carrying a series of supplements over the last few weeks taking a "heath... Read More »

Tags: Church of England, Education

Publish and be damned

Publish and be damned

Posted: Sat, 08 Feb 2014 by Abhishek Phandis

The media's refusal to show the Jesus & Mo cartoon emboldens professional offense takers at the expense of inoffensive satirists –and seriously undermines the principle of free expression, argues Abhishek Phadnis.

The Danish scholar Jytte Klausen's... Read More »

Tags: Freedom of Expression

Vatican’s attack on its critics is a familiar tactic

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

Inadvertently, by their comments over the past day, Vatican officials are essentially proving what... Read More »

Tags: Catholic Church, Child Abuse, United Nations

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

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: Education, Multiculturalism

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

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

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: Catholic Church, Child Abuse

The God question: A tale of two adverts

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.

Further to my two previous blogs on the God Question which you can read here and here, I have... Read More »

Tags: Creationism, Education, Scotland

The President’s Broadcasting Year – behind the scenes

The President’s Broadcasting Year – behind the scenes

Posted: Thu, 19 Dec 2013 by Terry Sanderson

After a busy year as President of the National Secular Society, Terry Sanderson reveals some of his behind-the-scenes moments.

Being President of the National Secular Society is nothing if not unpredictable. And this year has been no exception.

Although we are... Read More »

Tags: Humour

Scientology’s dream comes true

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?

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

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.

"To be sure, Darwin's theory of evolution is imperfect. However, the fact that a scientific... Read More »

Tags: Creationism, Education, Scotland

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

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: Community Cohesion, Parliament, Public Services

Finding separation of church and state for New Zealand

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.

On 31 July this... Read More »

Tags: Church & State, New Zealand

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

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

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

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

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.

The Gideon Society must think that female pupils and teachers at our high schools have become a bit uppity... Read More »

Tags: Religious Observance, Scotland

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

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.

As the old idiom goes, throw enough mud and some of it will... Read More »

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

Baroness Warsi and her self-serving anti-secular agenda

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

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?

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".

A new DVD resource was launched this week at the Scottish Storytelling Centre that claims to... Read More »

Tags: Creationism, Education, Scotland

Job applications should not be a matter of faith

Job applications should not be a matter of faith

Posted: Fri, 01 Nov 2013 by A Teacher

A teacher's perspective on why faith schools should not be able to select staff and students based on their religion.

I am about to begin a role at a state-funded faith primary school, having had a successful start in teaching at an independent Catholic primary.... Read More »

Tags: Discrimination, Education, Faith Schools

Are we being bamboozled by this charming Pope?

Are we being bamboozled by this charming Pope?

Posted: Thu, 31 Oct 2013 by Terry Sanderson

Pope Francis may be charming – but he is part of a rehabilitation plan that depends on bamboozling us rather than delivering any real change, argues Terry Sanderson.

Am I being cynical or has the Vatican scored an amazing PR victory with Pope Francis?... Read More »

Tags: Pope

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