NSS Opinion

Had the Ashers ‘gay cake’ ruling gone the other way it would have seriously undermined equality law

Had the Ashers ‘gay cake’ ruling gone the other way it would have seriously undermined equality law

Posted: Fri, 28 Oct 2016 by National Secular Society

Despite the outcry following this week's Ashers 'gay cake' ruling, Northern Ireland's Court of Appeal delivered a clear and logical judgment. Read More »

Tags: Ashers, Equality & Human Rights

Review: The Battle for British Islam, by Sara Khan with Tony McMahon

Review: The Battle for British Islam, by Sara Khan with Tony McMahon

Posted: Thu, 27 Oct 2016 by Benjamin Jones

There are three million Muslims in the UK. The evidence shows they are becoming more religiously conservative, thousands are thought to have joined Islamic State; vast majorities would criminalise blasphemy and homosexuality. What hope is there?

'The Battle... Read More »

Tags: Islam, Reviews

Forced cutting of young boys’ genitals violates the most fundamental medical ethics

Forced cutting of young boys’ genitals violates the most fundamental medical ethics

Posted: Mon, 24 Oct 2016 by Dr Antony Lempert

Too often those who carry out forced cutting of young boys' genitals escape with gentle admonishment, rather than punishment commensurate with the severity of their actions, writes Dr Antony Lempert of the Secular Medical Forum. Read More »

Tags: Circumcision, Secular Medical Forum, Healthcare

The new UN Secretary General must not allow religion to override human rights

The new UN Secretary General must not allow religion to override human rights

Posted: Fri, 21 Oct 2016 by Keith Porteous Wood

UN Secretary General designate needs to ignore Catholic pressure to row back on Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights and Gay Rights, writes Keith Porteous Wood.

The former Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Guterres has been officially appointed as the next... Read More »

Tags: United Nations, Catholic Church, Abortion, Reproductive Rights

Advice for parents wanting to give the evangelical Operation Christmas Child shoebox scheme a wide berth

Advice for parents wanting to give the evangelical Operation Christmas Child shoebox scheme a wide berth

Posted: Wed, 12 Oct 2016 by Alastair Lichten

Alastair Lichten looks at the ethical, educational and efficiency case against the Samaritan's Purse Operation Christmas Child shoebox scheme. Read More »

Tags: Charity, Samaritans Purse, Casework focus, Christmas

The demonisation of Louis Smith: This is how a de facto blasphemy law works

The demonisation of Louis Smith: This is how a de facto blasphemy law works

Posted: Tue, 11 Oct 2016 by Stephen Evans

The castigation of a British gymnast for 'mocking Islam' is illustrative of a troubling return of blasphemy, argues Stephen Evans.

If you've been following the hounding of British Olympic gymnast Louis Smith this week, you'd be forgiven for forgetting that... Read More »

Tags: Stephen Evans, Freedom of Expression

Channel 4’s Dispatches reveals intimidating tactics of US-inspired anti-abortion campaigners

Channel 4’s Dispatches reveals intimidating tactics of US-inspired anti-abortion campaigners

Posted: Thu, 06 Oct 2016 by Dr Antony Lempert

Dr Antony Lempert of the Secular Medical Forum reacts to Channel 4 Dispatches' programme that showed the shock tactics UK anti-abortion campaigners are importing from America. Read More »

Tags: Abortion, Healthcare, Secular Medical Forum, Reproductive Rights

The biter bit: Church of England suffers from Chancel Repair Liability

The biter bit: Church of England suffers from Chancel Repair Liability

Posted: Wed, 05 Oct 2016 by Ed Moore

The legal requirement to repair church chancels has surprisingly started to impact the Church Commissioners. Here's what they did about it.

The National Secular Society has long campaigned to remove Chancel Repair Liability (CRL), which dates back to the time... Read More »

Tags: Chancel Repair Liability, Church of England

Inclusive education: divisive faith schools are the elephant in the room

Inclusive education: divisive faith schools are the elephant in the room

Posted: Fri, 30 Sep 2016 by Stephen Evans

NSS campaigns director on why progressives of all political and religious stripes should unite in opposing Theresa May's plan to open a new wave of divisive 'faith schools'

As an advocate for secular education, my hopes were raised momentarily this week when... Read More »

Tags: Education, Faith Schools, Fifty percent cap, admissions

Church of England or Chancellor of the Exchequer: who’s setting the agenda?

Church of England or Chancellor of the Exchequer: who’s setting the agenda?

Posted: Mon, 19 Sep 2016 by Ed Moore

NSS treasurer Ed Moore writes on the blurred lines between church and state when it comes to taxpayer funding for church repairs, and the vast sums of money being sent from the Treasury to the Church of England.

It can be hard, viewed from afar, to try and... Read More »

Tags: Church & State, church repairs

Facilitating more religious segregation in faith schools can only harm social cohesion

Facilitating more religious segregation in faith schools can only harm social cohesion

Posted: Mon, 12 Sep 2016 by Stephen Evans

In a move devoid of any common sense, Theresa May's government looks set to capitulate to the demands of religious groups by relaxing admissions rules for faith-based academies, allowing them to select all pupils along religious lines. Read More »

Tags: Education, admissions, Fifty percent cap

Living better together: French secularism risks being destroyed by political ambition

Living better together: French secularism risks being destroyed by political ambition

Posted: Thu, 25 Aug 2016 by Terry Sanderson

Despite occasional conflicts, France's tradition of secularism has served both social cohesion and religious freedom well. Terry Sanderson argues that misusing secularism for political aims risks undermining both. Read More »

Tags: France, Events, Islam, Community Cohesion

Religious privilege undermines abuse victims’ access to justice

Religious privilege undermines abuse victims’ access to justice

Posted: Mon, 22 Aug 2016 by Richard Scorer

Richard Scorer, a specialist child abuse lawyer at Slater & Gordon draws attention to organisations seeking more lenient treatment over child abuse-connected matters because they are religious and makes the case for no concessions being given. Read More »

Tags: Child Abuse, Childrens rights & welfare, Catholic Church, Jehovah Witnesses

Conflating abuse with criticism of Islam risks a return to a UK blasphemy law

Conflating abuse with criticism of Islam risks a return to a UK blasphemy law

Posted: Thu, 18 Aug 2016 by Benjamin Jones

The BBC and Demos have published an accidental case-study in why we should all stop using the meaningless and sinister word 'Islamophobia'. Read More »

Tags: Islam, Anti-Muslim Bigotry, Freedom of Expression

Governor’s perspective: beware an increasingly assertive religious ethos in ‘Church schools’

Governor’s perspective: beware an increasingly assertive religious ethos in ‘Church schools’

Posted: Tue, 16 Aug 2016 by A Governor

The NSS is regularly contacted by governors and staff at Church of England schools who are pressured by their diocese to promote a more rigorous 'Christian ethos' - whether or not it's suitable for their school community. Here's one governor's account of increasing religiosity at their local school. Read More »

Tags: Education, Church of England, Faith Schools, Parents Perspective

The House of Lords and religion

The House of Lords and religion

Posted: Fri, 12 Aug 2016 by Keith Porteous Wood

The Parliamentary recess provides welcome respite from the frenetic activity of the political battles being fought out in the chamber and corridors, allowing us to stand back and have a wry look at the institution itself, writes Keith Porteous Wood.

With the... Read More »

Tags: Church & State, Parliament, House of Lords, Church of England, History

Sharia, security and the church: dangers of the British Home Office inquiry

Sharia, security and the church: dangers of the British Home Office inquiry

Posted: Tue, 09 Aug 2016 by Gita Sahgal

Does the UK's Sharia Review resemble the sharia 'courts': secretive procedures and discriminatory advisors? Are the Home Office and the Church ignoring conflicts of interest and evidence of discrimination? Read More »

Tags: Sharia

Living better together: What role do Muslims have in building a secular UK?

Living better together: What role do Muslims have in building a secular UK?

Posted: Tue, 09 Aug 2016 by Tehmina Kazi

When people learn I run a secularist charity, many are confused about what secularism means and its consequences for non-Christians in the UK, writes Tehmina Kazi of British Muslims for Secular Democracy. Read More »

Tags: Events, Islam, Community Cohesion

What do pupils need to know about religion?

What do pupils need to know about religion?

Posted: Tue, 02 Aug 2016 by Stephen Evans

In recent years faith communities have amplified their demands for a better understanding of religion in the private and public sector. But what do pupils need to know about religion by the time they leave school? Read More »

Tags: Education, Religious education

Living better together: secularism and cohesion

Living better together: secularism and cohesion

Posted: Fri, 29 Jul 2016 by Stephen Evans

Later this year the NSS will mark its 150th anniversary with a special conference around the theme of 'living better together'. Campaigns director Stephen Evans explains why the time has come for people of all faiths to stand together in supporting secularist principles. Read More »

Tags: Events, Secularism, Community Cohesion

Living better together: Muslims and active integration

Living better together: Muslims and active integration

Posted: Mon, 25 Jul 2016 by Maajid Nawaz

On the theme of living better together, Maajid Nawaz argues that identity policing has further marginalised Muslims and that Britain was wrong to not expect minorities to embrace liberal values. Read More »

Tags: Events, Community Cohesion, Multiculturalism, Religiousity policing

Press regulator rules ‘honour’ killings are not Islamic

Press regulator rules ‘honour’ killings are not Islamic

Posted: Thu, 21 Jul 2016 by Benjamin Jones

The press regulator has issued a troubling ruling that the Mail Online must state that Islam "does not support" 'honour killings'. Why is IPSO giving religious rulings to protect the reputation of Islam?

What business is it of the press regulator what interpretation... Read More »

Tags: Islam, Violence against Women

Book review: 'Christian Nation' by Frederic C. Rich

Book review: 'Christian Nation' by Frederic C. Rich

Posted: Thu, 21 Jul 2016 by Alastair Lichten

Alastair Lichten explores the themes of identity, resilience and redemption in Frederic C. Rich's counterfactual dystopian novel and its defence of secular democracy. Read More »

Tags: Church & State, USA, Reviews

Church documents expose an even bigger cover-up than suspected in the Peter Ball case

Church documents expose an even bigger cover-up than suspected in the Peter Ball case

Posted: Tue, 19 Jul 2016 by Richard Scorer

The recent release of more internal Church of England documents relating to the Peter Ball case exposes an even bigger cover-up than previously suspected, writes specialist abuse lawyer Richard Scorer. Read More »

Tags: Church of England, Child Abuse, George Carey

When is a community school not a community school?

When is a community school not a community school?

Posted: Wed, 06 Jul 2016 by Alastair Lichten

Religious organisations are pushing for an increased role in non-religious community schools. This seriously risks blurring the line between faith and community schools, writes Alastair Lichten. Read More »

Tags: Education, Faith Schools, Church of England, Academisation

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