NSS Opinion

George Pell

Cardinal Pell’s conviction has been overturned – but there are uncomfortable moments to come

Posted: Wed, 08 Apr 2020 by Keith Porteous Wood

Australia's top court has overturned the conviction of the Vatican's former treasurer for sexually assaulting two boys. But that doesn't necessarily mean it's plain sailing from here for him, says Keith Porteous Wood. Read More »

Tags: Australia, Catholic Church, Child abuse

Plague protection oil

Charities can’t sell snake oil. Or can they?

Posted: Tue, 07 Apr 2020 by Megan Manson

If we want to protect vulnerable people from being duped into buying 'miracle cures' from religious charities we should start by reforming charity law, says Megan Manson. Read More »

Tags: Charity, Healthcare

Church closed during coronavirus outbreak

Secular attitudes and laws are assets against coronavirus

Posted: Fri, 03 Apr 2020 by Chris Sloggett

Religious fanaticism is hindering the fight against coronavirus across much of the world. But in Britain claims to religious exceptionalism are thankfully relatively isolated, says Chris Sloggett.

This Sunday, as the eye of the coronavirus pandemic came looming... Read More »

Tags: Freedom of religion or belief

NSS at home

Stuck at home? Here’s how you can learn about and support secularism

Posted: Fri, 27 Mar 2020 by National Secular Society

Most NSS supporters will now be confined to their homes over the coming weeks. But there's still plenty you can do to learn about secularism and promote our campaign for secular democracy. Read More »

Tags: Secularism

Worried woman

Northern Ireland’s new abortion guidelines are welcome but should have gone further

Posted: Fri, 27 Mar 2020 by Dr Antony Lempert

As the government publishes a framework for the extension of abortion rights in NI, Dr Antony Lempert welcomes politicians' belated willingness to defend women's right to choose but laments several missed opportunities. Read More »

Tags: Abortion, Northern Ireland, Reproductive rights

Trevor Phillips

Trevor Phillips’s suspension is another blow to robust public debate

Posted: Wed, 11 Mar 2020 by Chris Sloggett

You don't need to agree with everything Trevor Phillips has said about Muslims or Islam to be concerned at the attempt to render his ideas beyond the pale, says Chris Sloggett. Read More »

Tags: Freedom of Expression, Islam


Don’t let religious interests make divorce any harder than it needs to be

Posted: Thu, 05 Mar 2020 by Chris Sloggett

The Church of England and its supporters are opposing plans to make it easier for couples to divorce without assigning blame. Chris Sloggett says parliamentarians should resist their lobbying. Read More »

Tags: Marriage


Most Brits don’t pray. It’s time for our institutions to stop imposing worship

Posted: Tue, 03 Mar 2020 by Megan Manson

As figures show most people in Britain never pray, Megan Manson says institutionalised prayer has no place in our parliament, councils, schools or public ceremonies. Read More »

Tags: Collective Worship, Council Prayers, Parliament, Prayers, Remembrance

Can chaplaincy ever be fit for the 21st century?

Can chaplaincy ever be fit for the 21st century?

Posted: Mon, 02 Mar 2020 by Dr Antony Lempert

A report highlighting the institutional bias towards Christianity in NHS chaplaincy services should prompt us to ask whether taxpayers should fund chaplaincy in the health service at all, says Dr Antony Lempert. Read More »

Tags: Chaplaincy, NHS

Clasped hands

Faith groups should practice without preaching when helping the vulnerable

Posted: Thu, 20 Feb 2020 by Megan Manson

As a report shows some religious groups are helping survivors of modern slavery without proselytising, Megan Manson says public sector bodies must ensure all organisations that provide services adopt similar policies. Read More »

Tags: Charity, Evangelism in schools, Public services

BBC Big Questions debate on Islamophobia

Don’t let religious advocates define the boundaries of acceptable thought

Posted: Thu, 20 Feb 2020 by Chris Sloggett

A BBC debate on defining 'Islamophobia' was a reminder of the risks of giving too much ground to religious identity politics and empowering 'community groups' to police public discussion, says Chris Sloggett. Read More »

Tags: Freedom of Expression, Islam

Faith schools sign

Denying a judicial review over a faith school’s expansion was a lamentable decision

Posted: Fri, 14 Feb 2020 by James Brunt

After he was refused permission for a judicial review against Vale of Glamorgan Council, James Brunt says its decision to expand a faith school was based on dubious methodology and defied reasonable logic. Read More »

Tags: Education, Faith Schools, Wales

Cardinal Philippe Barbarin

The Cardinal Barbarin case highlights the need for well-drafted mandatory reporting laws

Posted: Thu, 06 Feb 2020 by Keith Porteous Wood

The conviction of France's most senior Catholic cleric for failing to report child abuse has been overturned. Keith Porteous Wood says this should be a warning to those charged with responding to abuse in the UK. Read More »

Tags: Catholic Church, Child Abuse, France

Bishops' bench

The bishops’ bench is an affront to democracy. Let’s scrap it

Posted: Fri, 31 Jan 2020 by Stephen Evans

A new bill proposes to end Church of England bishops' automatic right to sit in parliament. This religious privilege is part of an unjust status quo and should be addressed, says Stephen Evans. Read More »

Tags: Bishops' bench, Church & State, Church of England

MPs swearing in

Our MPs now subscribe to many religious beliefs and none – it’s time to scrap parliamentary prayers

Posted: Fri, 31 Jan 2020 by Megan Manson

A religiously diverse new intake of MPs should prompt the removal of parliamentary prayers and the Church of England's privilege in our political institutions, says Megan Manson. Read More »

Tags: Church & State, Parliament, Prayers

Hands holding

The Church of England’s position on sex is yet another reason for disestablishment

Posted: Thu, 30 Jan 2020 by Keith Porteous Wood

The C of E's position that sex is only for heterosexual married couples is heartless, discriminatory and out of touch with the country it supposedly serves. Time to cut its ties to the state, says Keith Porteous Wood. Read More »

Tags: Church & State, Church of England, LGBT rights, Marriage

Collective worship

Promote religious freedom in schools: abolish the worship requirement

Posted: Wed, 22 Jan 2020 by Stephen Evans

A private member's bill to replace compulsory worship with inclusive assemblies should prompt the government to reform the archaic collective worship law, says Stephen Evans. Read More »

Tags: Collective worship, Education

Peter Ball

Let’s disestablish the church that covered up sexual abuse

Posted: Fri, 17 Jan 2020 by Keith Porteous Wood

Keith Porteous Wood says the shocking failings highlighted by the BBC documentary The Church's Darkest Secret show the need to separate church and state. Read More »

Tags: Bishops, Child Abuse, Church of England

Charlie Hebdo cover

Five years after the Charlie Hebdo murders, free expression on religion still needs promoting

Posted: Tue, 07 Jan 2020 by Chris Sloggett

Half a decade after the Islamist attack on cartoonists in France, Chris Sloggett says we owe it to the victims and those left behind to reject blasphemy taboos. Read More »

Tags: Blasphemy, Freedom of Expression

Sex education

Don’t let controlling ultra-Orthodox Jewish groups undermine sex education

Posted: Fri, 03 Jan 2020 by Stephen Evans

Sex education empowers young people. The government must stand up to those making faux religious freedom arguments in an attempt to stop them receiving it, argues Stephen Evans. Read More »

Tags: Education, LGBTQ rights, Orthodox Judaism, RSE

1944 Education Act event

The 1944 Education Act was a landmark law – but let’s reconsider the privileges it granted to religion

Posted: Wed, 18 Dec 2019 by Keith Sharpe

Three-quarters of a century ago an enduring piece of legislation secured free education for all – but gave churches substantial control over schools in return. Keith Sharpe says this settlement needs updating. Read More »

Tags: Collective worship, Education, Faith schools, Religious education

Dr Scott

Medical regulators shouldn’t let doctors push religion on patients

Posted: Tue, 10 Dec 2019 by Stephen Evans

The General Medical Council has decided not to pursue a case against a GP who was accused of pushing religion on a vulnerable patient. Stephen Evans warns against allowing this exploitative behaviour. Read More »

Tags: Healthcare, Workplace

Child praying

The requirement to hold collective worship in schools is crumbling and not worth saving

Posted: Thu, 05 Dec 2019 by Alastair Lichten

After two parents forced a school trust to provide an alternative to religious assemblies for their children, Alastair Lichten says the law which requires schools to hold acts of worship needs to change. Read More »

Tags: Collective worship, Education

Glove and scissors

The medical profession should protect all children from unnecessary genital cutting

Posted: Thu, 05 Dec 2019 by Dr Antony Lempert

Doctors in Britain should follow the lead of those who have declared ritual male circumcision a breach of medical ethics, argues Dr Antony Lempert. Read More »

Tags: Circumcision, Healthcare

Party logos

Election 2019: Secularism and the parties of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland

Posted: Wed, 04 Dec 2019 by Megan Manson

Megan Manson continues our election analysis of parties' policies on secularist issues. This time she examines the policies of the major parties of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Read More »

Tags: Democracy, Election, Equality & Human Rights, Freedom of Expression, House of Lords, Reproductive Rights

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