NSS Opinion

Council meeting

Prayers aren't appropriate in the public realm

Posted: Thu, 25 Jul 2019 by Stephen Evans

As Brighton's new mayor comes under fire for abolishing prayers at council meetings, Stephen Evans argues that Britain's growing indifference to religion should prompt a rethink of religion's public role. Read More »

Tags: Council prayers, Prayers

Crying baby

Charity law shouldn't support infant genital cutting

Posted: Tue, 23 Jul 2019 by Megan Manson

The existence of religious charities that support and facilitate infant circumcision demonstrates the urgent need to reform charity law, argues Megan Manson. Read More »

Tags: Charity, Circumcision

Repeal blasphemy laws

Why won’t the government condemn the existence of Pakistan’s blasphemy laws?

Posted: Thu, 18 Jul 2019 by Chris Sloggett

Ministers keep condemning the "misuse" of Pakistan's blasphemy laws in response to parliamentary questions. But the 'misuse' of indefensible laws isn't the issue – the existence of them is, says Chris Sloggett. Read More »

Tags: Blasphemy, Freedom of Expression


Blasphemy culture mustn’t undermine freedom of the press

Posted: Thu, 11 Jul 2019 by Chris Sloggett

The press regulator is consulting on guidelines which will inform the way stories about Islam and Muslims are reported. It must not endorse taboos which shut down debate and harm social cohesion, says Chris Sloggett. Read More »

Tags: Freedom of Expression, Media

Same-sex relationship

Why are we letting faith schools stigmatise same-sex relationships?

Posted: Thu, 11 Jul 2019 by Megan Manson

Ofsted penalises schools that refuse to teach about LGBT people, but seems to ignore other schools that teach same-sex relationships are morally wrong. Megan Manson says this double standard needs to end. Read More »

Tags: Education, Faith schools, RSE

Doctor and patient

Doctors who favour legalisation of assisted dying deserve a hearing

Posted: Thu, 04 Jul 2019 by Dr Antony Lempert

As more doctors' groups consult their members on assisted dying and parliament debates the issue, Dr Antony Lempert says the challenge to the status quo, which is propped up by religious interests, is welcome. Read More »

Tags: Assisted dying, Healthcare

Prince William

Equality for LGBT people requires a secular head of state

Posted: Thu, 27 Jun 2019 by Chris Sloggett

Prince William's comments on supporting his children if they are gay should be treated with much less significance than the fact he is due to lead an established church which obstructs LGBT equality, says Chris Sloggett. Read More »

Tags: Church & State, LGBT rights, Monarchy

IICSA report is a damning indictment of Catholic Church’s handling of sexual abuse

IICSA report is a damning indictment of Catholic Church’s handling of sexual abuse

Posted: Thu, 20 Jun 2019 by Richard Scorer

The latest Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse report scotches once and for all the idea that Catholic safeguarding has been transformed, says Richard Scorer. Read More »

Tags: Catholic Church, Child Abuse

Transgender and intersex

What might Catholic schools teach about transgender and intersex people?

Posted: Fri, 14 Jun 2019 by Megan Manson

Megan Manson examines a new document outlining the Catholic Church's position on issues relating to sex and gender, and explains how this may lead to conflict in Catholic Schools. Read More »

Tags: Catholic Church, Education, Faith Schools, RSE

Sara Khan

Countering the threat to religious freedom and of religious extremism

Posted: Wed, 12 Jun 2019 by Sara Khan

Countering extremism requires a whole-society response to uphold and promote democratic norms and principles and encourage debate and dialogue, says the lead commissioner for countering extremism Sara Khan. Read More »

Tags: Extremism


Protecting children means challenging religious privilege

Posted: Fri, 07 Jun 2019 by Chris Sloggett

A report on child abuse in religious settings should prompt us to reconsider our relationship with religious institutions and their constitutional privileges and our wider attitude towards religion, says Chris Sloggett. Read More »

Tags: Child Abuse

Sexual freedom and secularism have always gone hand in hand

Sexual freedom and secularism have always gone hand in hand

Posted: Fri, 07 Jun 2019 by Stephen Evans

Stephen Evans says religious concerns weren't a good reason to restrict understanding of birth control in Victorian England and they aren't a good reason to undermine relationships and sex education today. Read More »

Tags: Education, Equality & Human Rights, LGBTQ Rights

Gay couple holding hands

A message to anti-LGBT campaigners: There is no hierarchy of equality

Posted: Thu, 06 Jun 2019 by Adrian Hyyrylainen-Trett

In modern Britain equality is protected and one person's protected characteristics can't be used to subjugate another. The sooner people from all faiths and none realise this the better, argues Adrian Hyyrylainen-Trett. Read More »

Tags: Education, Equality & Human Rights, LGBTQ rights, RSE

Nurse and patient

Praying on the vulnerable

Posted: Fri, 24 May 2019 by Stephen Evans

A ruling that a nurse was not wrongly dismissed for repeatedly evangelising was unsurprising, says Stephen Evans. Healthcare professionals must be prepared to set aside their personal beliefs at work to protect patients. Read More »

Tags: Christianity, Healthcare, Workplace

Birmingham protests

The anti-RSE campaign has echoes of the Rushdie affair

Posted: Thu, 23 May 2019 by Yasmin Rehman

As the campaign against relationships and sex education spreads and grows increasingly aggressive, Yasmin Rehman says politicians' pandering to intolerance will be a disaster for LGBT people, Muslims and wider society. Read More »

Tags: Islam, LGBT rights, RSE

Pope’s latest PR offering on clerical abuse should fool no one

Pope’s latest PR offering on clerical abuse should fool no one

Posted: Fri, 10 May 2019 by Keith Porteous Wood

By only obligating officials in the Roman Catholic Church to report cases of clerical abuse internally, the pope's latest decree on child abuse falls a long way short of what is necessary, argues Keith Porteous Wood. Read More »

Tags: Catholic Church, Child Abuse

IICSA inquiry logo

The C of E can’t be allowed to keep shielding abusers from accountability

Posted: Thu, 09 May 2019 by Richard Scorer

A damning report from the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse has highlighted the need for independent oversight of the Church of England's safeguarding procedures and a mandatory reporting law, says Richard Scorer. Read More »

Tags: Child Abuse, Church of England


New guidance on independent schools: analysis of hard-line opposition and DfE concessions

Posted: Fri, 03 May 2019 by Alastair Lichten

The government has published new guidance on independent schools, amid systemic failings by independent faith schools. Alastair Lichten looks at what's changed and how the DfE has handled religious groups' demands. Read More »

Tags: Education, Independent schools

Theresa May speech

Britain needs to stand up for everyone’s religious freedom

Posted: Tue, 23 Apr 2019 by Stephen Evans

The appalling attacks in Sri Lanka again highlight the growing global persecution of Christians. But there should be no hierarchy of importance when it comes to protecting people from persecution, argues Stephen Evans. Read More »

Tags: Freedom of religion, Religious freedom, Terrorism

Advertising Standards Authority logo

The advertising regulator is pandering to religious offence-taking

Posted: Thu, 04 Apr 2019 by Chris Sloggett

As a regulator issues patronising advice to advertisers in the run-up to Easter, Chris Sloggett takes a look at its guidance on religious offence – and finds a deep and damaging aversion to freedom of expression. Read More »

Tags: Easter, Freedom of Expression

Jehovah's Witnesses Hall

The harm caused by Jehovah’s Witnesses shows charity law reform is urgently needed

Posted: Tue, 26 Mar 2019 by Lloyd Evans

The Jehovah's Witnesses organisation causes serious abuse and harm, says Lloyd Evans. Its charitable status should be revoked – and society should stop assuming religious organisations only have good intentions. Read More »

Tags: Charity, Jehovah's Witnesses

Religion and public benefit – why it’s time to rethink charity law

Religion and public benefit – why it’s time to rethink charity law

Posted: Fri, 22 Mar 2019 by Stephen Evans

An NSS report says 'the advancement of religion' should be removed as a charitable purpose. Stephen Evans says the law should align with public opinion and only support charities that deliver a genuine public benefit. Read More »

Tags: Charity, Church & State

Razor blade

Let’s face facts: FGM has something to do with religion

Posted: Thu, 14 Mar 2019 by Megan Manson

Politicians who insist female genital cutting has nothing to do with religion set a dangerous precedent that undermines campaigns to combat it and other religious harms, says Megan Manson. Read More »

Tags: Circumcision, FGM

Sudan flag

Sudan deserves a secular democracy

Posted: Wed, 06 Mar 2019 by Nahla Mahmoud

As protesters demand the end of Sudan's Islamist regime, Nahla Mahmoud says a secular democracy is the only way to protect the rights of the Sudanese people. Read More »

Tags: Democracy, Islamism


The government should stand up to parents who want religious opt-outs

Posted: Wed, 27 Feb 2019 by Chris Sloggett

Giving ground to religious groups' individualistic demands for opt-outs from relationships & sex education undermines children's rights and teachers' ability to do their job, says Chris Sloggett. Read More »

Tags: Children's rights & welfare, Education, RSE

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