NSS Opinion

A Christian theatre company promoted abstinence in my daughter’s school. It was worth challenging it

A Christian theatre company promoted abstinence in my daughter’s school. It was worth challenging it

Posted: Mon, 25 Jun 2018 by A Parent

A parent says it was important to challenge a school's decision to invite a Christian charity to perform a show with a pro-abstinence message under the guise of sex education.

Recently I received a letter from my daughter's school (a local authority-run comprehensive... Read More »

Tags: Education, Evangelism in schools, RSE

The British people deserve better than the fawning over Michael Curry

The British people deserve better than the fawning over Michael Curry

Posted: Thu, 21 Jun 2018 by Chris Sloggett

As a poll shows public ambivalence to a much-hyped sermon at the royal wedding, Chris Sloggett says the fuss around Michael Curry has distracted from an opportunity to ask critical questions about religion's public role.

In March the Independent Inquiry into... Read More »

Tags: Church & State, Church of England

It’s worth knowing why more Muslims are leaving faith behind

It’s worth knowing why more Muslims are leaving faith behind

Posted: Tue, 19 Jun 2018 by Fiyaz Mughal

A new book reveals a substantive movement of people choosing to leave Islam. Fiyaz Mughal, its co-editor, reflects on the stories it tells and the importance of mutual respect and empathy between Muslims and ex-Muslims.

I have worked with communities for over... Read More »

Tags: Ex-Muslim, Islam

God, Guys and Guns. A review of The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood

God, Guys and Guns. A review of The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood

Posted: Thu, 14 Jun 2018 by Emma Park

Emma Park on what Margaret Atwood's modern dystopian classic (and its TV adaptation) tells us about the relationship between theocracy, gender and self-identity.

The Handmaid's Tale is Margaret Atwood's contribution to the twentieth-century tradition of dystopian... Read More »

Tags: Reviews, Theocracy

Bishop Rachel’s prejudiced thinking highlights the problem of state-sponsored religion

Bishop Rachel’s prejudiced thinking highlights the problem of state-sponsored religion

Posted: Wed, 13 Jun 2018 by Stephen Evans

The bishop of Gloucester is entitled to question whether atheists can truly have deep love or hope, writes Stephen Evans. But the state shouldn't indulge the view that the religious are morally superior to others.

The bishop of Gloucester drew criticism this... Read More »

Tags: Christianity, Church & State, Church of England, Disestablishment

Religion and politics – the discrepancy at the heart of our schools

Religion and politics – the discrepancy at the heart of our schools

Posted: Tue, 12 Jun 2018 by Alastair Lichten

Schools are forbidden from promoting, showing favouritism to or discriminating on the grounds of partisan politics. Alastair Lichten asks why partisan religious beliefs are treated so differently.

Sections 406 and 407 of the Education Act 1996 (applying to... Read More »

Tags: Education, Faith Schools, Politics

Just how equal is marriage now?

Just how equal is marriage now?

Posted: Sun, 10 Jun 2018 by Megan Manson

After the NSS revealed the extra hassle and expense involved in arranging same-sex and non-religious weddings in England and Wales, Megan Manson calls for marriage to be made a civil affair in the eyes of the law.

The institution of marriage has radically transformed.... Read More »

Tags: Marriage, Marriage Equality

New guidance on the right to withdraw from RE in Wales – response

New guidance on the right to withdraw from RE in Wales – response

Posted: Wed, 06 Jun 2018 by Alastair Lichten

New guidance on managing parents' right to withdraw their children from religious education in Wales is largely common sense, says Alastair Lichten. But it downplays the confessional nature of some RE teaching.

The right to withdraw from RE is a difficult area... Read More »

Tags: Religious education, Wales

It shouldn’t be normal for pubs to conform to blasphemy codes

It shouldn’t be normal for pubs to conform to blasphemy codes

Posted: Wed, 06 Jun 2018 by Chris Sloggett

The brewer Greene King has taken the Saudi Arabian flag down from its World Cup displays after complaints from some Muslims that an Islamic symbol shouldn't be in a place which serves alcohol. Chris Sloggett responds.

Do you find the Saudi Arabian flag offensive?... Read More »

Tags: Blasphemy, Freedom of Expression, Islam

Section 28 was a shameful piece of legislation prompted by fake news

Section 28 was a shameful piece of legislation prompted by fake news

Posted: Wed, 23 May 2018 by Terry Sanderson

Thirty years after the government banned local authorities from 'promoting' homosexuality, Terry Sanderson reflects on the hysteria that prompted Section 28, the fear it caused and the backing religious fanatics gave it.

The struggle for gay rights in this... Read More »

Tags: Equality & Human Rights, LGBTQ rights

The government's U-turn shows the tide is turning against faith schools

The government's U-turn shows the tide is turning against faith schools

Posted: Fri, 18 May 2018 by Stephen Evans

The decision not to allow more faith-based admissions to new free schools in England is a big win, says Stephen Evans. But the expansion of faith schools is the wrong response to Britain's growing religious diversity.

The government's U-turn on its manifesto... Read More »

Tags: Education, Faith Schools, Fifty percent cap

How secularism cuts the Gordian knot in education

How secularism cuts the Gordian knot in education

Posted: Fri, 18 May 2018 by Megan Manson

Faith schools' approach to admissions and sex education reminds us that religious groups' interests often conflict with those of society. Megan Manson says the only answer to this is to separate education from religion.

When we tie religion and state together,... Read More »

Tags: Education, Faith Schools, RSE

We’ll all suffer if we let religion dictate how public servants do their jobs

We’ll all suffer if we let religion dictate how public servants do their jobs

Posted: Tue, 01 May 2018 by Chris Sloggett

Politicians have hung a coroner who stood up to religious groups out to dry, says Chris Sloggett. And they've revealed how foolish we are to indulge individualistic demands for state services to accommodate religion.

When Mary Hassell isn't appearing in court,... Read More »

Tags: Public services

Faith schools: why reducing the harm isn’t enough

Faith schools: why reducing the harm isn’t enough

Posted: Mon, 23 Apr 2018 by Alastair Lichten

We can mitigate the harm caused by faith schools in plenty of ways. But after the launch of the No More Faith Schools campaign, Alastair Lichten says the long-term battle is over the fact faith groups run schools at all.

I spent a lot of Friday reading though... Read More »

Tags: Admissions, Education, Faith Schools

The row over right of withdrawal highlights the need to reform RE

The row over right of withdrawal highlights the need to reform RE

Posted: Fri, 13 Apr 2018 by Stephen Evans

Teachers from the ATL union have voted to demand a clampdown on parents selectively withdrawing their children from RE. But Stephen Evans says the right to withdraw should only be scrapped once the subject is reformed.

A teaching union warned recently that... Read More »

Tags: Education, Religious education

Bishops must be accountable – and not just to themselves

Bishops must be accountable – and not just to themselves

Posted: Fri, 23 Mar 2018 by Richard Scorer

Abridged version of the winding-up speech by lawyer Richard Scorer of Slater and Gordon, also an NSS vice president, at the IICSA inquiry's hearings into the handling of child sexual abuse in the diocese of Chichester.

This has been the first opportunity for... Read More »

Tags: Child Abuse, Church of England

What comes after The Silence of the Liberals?

What comes after The Silence of the Liberals?

Posted: Fri, 16 Mar 2018 by Chris Sloggett

Nick Cohen has skewered the hypocrisy of leftists who apologise for Islamic intolerance, says Chris Sloggett. To defeat it we must assert the value of free speech as the most precious right which citizens share.

"I'm as interested in what isn't said as what... Read More »

Tags: Freedom of Expression, Islam, Reviews

We can’t build a shared society around segregated schools

We can’t build a shared society around segregated schools

Posted: Thu, 15 Mar 2018 by Alastair Lichten

Our education and schools officer examines the education proposals in the Government's new integration strategy, arguing they should lead to a wider discussion of children's rights and facing up to the religious segregation rife in education.

When we talk about... Read More »

Tags: Community Cohesion, Education, Faith Schools, Home schooling, unregistered schools

Church dysfunctionality laid bare by child sexual abuse inquiry

Church dysfunctionality laid bare by child sexual abuse inquiry

Posted: Sun, 11 Mar 2018 by Keith Porteous Wood

As the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse turns its attention to the Church of England, Keith Porteous Wood says it must act on evidence which has highlighted the desperate need to hold the C of E to account.

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual... Read More »

Tags: Child Abuse, Church of England

What secularism means for African women’s rights and citizenship

What secularism means for African women’s rights and citizenship

Posted: Thu, 08 Mar 2018 by Dr Fatou Sow

In a long read for International Women's Day, Dr Fatou Sow says secularism is a feminist issue and reflects on its particular importance to women in Africa.

I join this conversation as an academic researcher in sociology and an activist, as the Director of... Read More »

Tags: Africa, Gender Equality

Seven women who refused to be silenced by religious bullies

Seven women who refused to be silenced by religious bullies

Posted: Thu, 08 Mar 2018 by Megan Manson

On International Women's Day, Megan Manson celebrates the stories of seven brave and determined women in the UK who religious hardliners have tried – and failed miserably – to bully over the past year.

Religion is one of the key obstructions to... Read More »

Tags: Education, Extremism, Gender Equality, LGBTQ rights, Sabbatarianism

Male circumcision is an issue of religious freedom  - and should be prohibited as such

Male circumcision is an issue of religious freedom - and should be prohibited as such

Posted: Tue, 06 Mar 2018 by Dr Marika McAdam

Proponents of ritual genital cutting often claim a 'right' to religious freedom justifies their position. But individuals have rights, says Dr Marika McAdam – and for boys, they include the right to autonomy over their own foreskins.

In amending laws... Read More »

Tags: Circumcision, Religious freedom

The C of E cannot be trusted to deal with safeguarding complaints in house

The C of E cannot be trusted to deal with safeguarding complaints in house

Posted: Mon, 05 Mar 2018 by Richard Scorer

On the first day of hearings into child sexual abuse in the Church of England, NSS vice-president Richard Scorer told an inquiry that protecting children requires independent oversight and mandatory reporting.

Earlier today I addressed the Independent Inquiry... Read More »

Tags: Child Abuse, Church of England

Religious freedom isn't a licence to violate others’ rights

Religious freedom isn't a licence to violate others’ rights

Posted: Thu, 01 Mar 2018 by Stephen Evans

Increasing clashes between religious orthodoxy and secular liberalism highlight one of the most pressing challenges facing contemporary societies; how to manage the incredible religious and cultural diversity that exist within them. This throws up important... Read More »

Tags: Circumcision, Healthcare

Sturgeon’s praise for Catholic schools will exacerbate Scotland’s tribal divisions

Sturgeon’s praise for Catholic schools will exacerbate Scotland’s tribal divisions

Posted: Wed, 28 Feb 2018 by Neil Barber

Catholic schools are no remedy for a society facing ingrained sectarian division, writes Neil Barber. In praising them Scotland's first minister has shown a willingness to sacrifice social cohesion to reach a block vote.

Often referred to as "Scotland's shame",... Read More »

Tags: Catholic Church, Education, Faith Schools, Scotland

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