NSS Opinion

Why we need a 21st century RE for all

Why we need a 21st century RE for all

Posted: Wed, 17 May 2017 by Stephen Evans

2018 marks the 30th anniversary of the Education Reform Act 1988 which saw the introduction of a national curricular entitlement for all pupils. One subject alone remains set apart from this - religious education.

What gets taught in religious education is... Read More »

Tags: Education, Religious education

The Catholic Church’s abuse scandal shows no sign of abating

The Catholic Church’s abuse scandal shows no sign of abating

Posted: Mon, 15 May 2017 by Richard Scorer

After forty years the Catholic Church is still more interested in protecting itself and its clerical culture than in truly eradicating child abuse, writes Richard Scorer.

"Organisational culture is a powerful force that guides decisions and actions. Leaders... Read More »

Tags: Catholic Church, Scotland, Child Abuse

Anglican stance on women and gays could trigger disestablishment

Anglican stance on women and gays could trigger disestablishment

Posted: Sun, 14 May 2017 by Keith Porteous Wood

Keith Porteous Wood argues that, with the CofE's hierarchy so at odds with the values on equality held by the country at large, an Anglican vicar is right to question its status as the 'national church'.

Andrew Foreshew-Cain, the first Anglican vicar to have... Read More »

Tags: Church & State, Church of England

Murdered for the ‘crime’ of blasphemy

Murdered for the ‘crime’ of blasphemy

Posted: Fri, 12 May 2017 by Anonymous

There has been an onslaught against secularists, atheists, ex-Muslims and countless religious minorities for 'blasphemy'. It's important to remember the individuals, and honour their lives and heroism.

In light of the recent press coverage around the trial... Read More »

Tags: Freedom of Expression, Islamism, Hindu Nationalism

Casework focus: community schools and religious takeovers

Casework focus: community schools and religious takeovers

Posted: Thu, 11 May 2017 by Alastair Lichten

Parents and staff regularly contact the NSS over concerns related to religious influence in their schools. Campaigns officer Alastair Lichten looks at a typical example of the casework we receive and what lessons can be learned.

A small rural primary school... Read More »

Tags: Education, Academisation, Casework focus

CofE talks to the electorate, but is anyone listening?

CofE talks to the electorate, but is anyone listening?

Posted: Mon, 08 May 2017 by Terry Sanderson

Religious leaders are free to speak out on politics, but they shouldn't expect their views to be given any special weight, and politicians shouldn't assume that clerics speak for anyone but themselves, argues Terry Sanderson.

The Church of England has published... Read More »

Tags: Politics, GE2017, Church of England

As a nation we’re thinking about our future, here’s our secular manifesto for change

As a nation we’re thinking about our future, here’s our secular manifesto for change

Posted: Thu, 27 Apr 2017 by National Secular Society

Ahead of the General Election we're calling on political parties to embrace a series of secular reforms, drawn from our recently published secular manifesto, that make society, our education system, and the law fairer for all.

As electioneering gets into full... Read More »

Tags: GE2017, Politics, Labour Party, Conservative Party, LibDem Party, UKIP

This is not a ‘Christian country’

This is not a ‘Christian country’

Posted: Tue, 18 Apr 2017 by Harry Small

Despite many remaining anachronisms in our constitution, the UK is not a Christian country in any meaningful legal sense: but politicians continue to repeat this myth.

Theresa May's father was an Anglican priest, as she likes to remind us frequently. And on... Read More »

Tags: Christianity, Church & State

The Catholic Church in Scotland is still playing the victim card to stifle criticism

The Catholic Church in Scotland is still playing the victim card to stifle criticism

Posted: Thu, 06 Apr 2017 by Alistair McBay

There is some lingering anti-Catholic bigotry in Scotland, writes NSS vice president Alistair McBay, but the Church is playing victim while supporting a segregated education system which can only worsen prejudice.

"As one brought up a Catholic, I know only... Read More »

Tags: Catholic Church, Scotland

Religious programming isn’t popular, and no amount of hounding from the Church will change that

Religious programming isn’t popular, and no amount of hounding from the Church will change that

Posted: Tue, 04 Apr 2017 by Terry Sanderson

The BBC still produces a considerable amount of religious programmes – but the numbers who watch it are so small they barely register in viewing figures. More religion on TV isn't what the public want, and it won't be good for the BBC, writes Terry Sanderson.... Read More »

Tags: BBC

Prime Minister and CofE promote fake ‘war on Easter’

Prime Minister and CofE promote fake ‘war on Easter’

Posted: Tue, 04 Apr 2017 by Terry Sanderson

After several media outlets falsely claimed that the National Trust and Cadbury were 'airbrushing' Easter out of their Easter egg hunt, Terry Sanderson argues that the Prime Minister's involvement in this trumped-up propaganda exercise was the real disgrace.... Read More »

Tags: Christianity, Politics, Easter

Caste discrimination: Fear of upsetting religious groups must not impede social justice

Caste discrimination: Fear of upsetting religious groups must not impede social justice

Posted: Fri, 31 Mar 2017 by Stephen Evans

Caste discrimination is the latest area where misplaced sensitivity could allow deference to religion to trump social justice, argues Stephen Evans.

The Government's recently launched consultation on caste discrimination reveals something very alarming. Despite... Read More »

Tags: Caste, Equality & Human Rights

Who is running Ireland – the Government or the Church?

Who is running Ireland – the Government or the Church?

Posted: Mon, 27 Mar 2017 by Keith Porteous Wood

The reach and power of the Catholic Church has waned considerably in recent years in Ireland. But there are troubling signs that its undue influence over the country is returning, writes Keith Porteous Wood.

It is difficult to envisage now, but when the UK... Read More »

Tags: Catholic Church, Ireland, Child Abuse

Why are we still allowing religion to retard young people’s education and health rights?

Why are we still allowing religion to retard young people’s education and health rights?

Posted: Thu, 09 Mar 2017 by Stephen Evans

The Government's proposals on Relationships and Sex Education are a welcome step in the right direction – but religious opt outs mean many children will continue to be left behind, writes Stephen Evans.

The Government's move to make Relationships and... Read More »

Tags: Education, Faith Schools, RSE

The human rights of women and secularism go hand in hand

The human rights of women and secularism go hand in hand

Posted: Wed, 08 Mar 2017 by Alastair Lichten

On International Women's Day 2017 NSS campaigns officer Alastair Lichten reflects on the intersection of gender and religious privilege, and what the secularist movement can learn from IWD.

The theocratic mindset has always had a particular obsession with policing... Read More »

Tags: Gender Equality, Equality & Human Rights, Secularism

Mass grave full of children's remains at Catholic home reveals atrocities on a massive scale

Mass grave full of children's remains at Catholic home reveals atrocities on a massive scale

Posted: Tue, 07 Mar 2017 by Keith Porteous Wood

With the latest revelations about human remains in an Irish Mother and Baby home, Keith Porteous Wood, executive director of the National Secular Society, seeks answers about how such atrocities could have happened on such a scale, and what can be done now.... Read More »

Tags: Catholic Church, Child Abuse, Ireland

A faith-based education system is deeply inefficient

A faith-based education system is deeply inefficient

Posted: Tue, 07 Mar 2017 by Benjamin Jones

Both the Government and the Labour Party have wilful blind spots around faith schools, and as the Government looks set to launch a new wave of faith schools amid an education funding crisis, how can such an inefficient system be justified?

The Prime Minister... Read More »

Tags: Education, Faith Schools, Politics

Britain’s ‘Christian right’: seeking solace in a narrative of discrimination

Britain’s ‘Christian right’: seeking solace in a narrative of discrimination

Posted: Thu, 02 Mar 2017 by Prof. Steven Kettell

The 'Christian right' in the UK may not be anywhere near as powerful as its US counterpart, but it still tries to exert influence on public policy. This has become increasingly difficult as fewer Britons identify themselves as Christian. Steven Kettell finds... Read More »

Tags: Church & State, Christianity, Politics

Stop pharmacies refusing prescriptions for emergency contraception on religious grounds

Stop pharmacies refusing prescriptions for emergency contraception on religious grounds

Posted: Fri, 17 Feb 2017 by Keith Porteous Wood

With the regulator considering curtailing 'conscience' objections to contraception prescriptions, Keith Porteous Wood urges supporters to respond to the consultation in the interests of vulnerable patients.

The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) has launched... Read More »

Tags: Secular Medical Forum, Healthcare, Reproductive Rights

A judge’s decision to separate a transgender parent from her Jewish Orthodox children was deeply misguided

A judge’s decision to separate a transgender parent from her Jewish Orthodox children was deeply misguided

Posted: Fri, 10 Feb 2017 by Dr Antony Lempert

The decision to separate a transgender parent from her children gets to the heart of why faith-based harm is perpetuated and is frequently unchallenged, writes Dr Antony Lempert of the Secular Medical Forum.

A recent ruling in the Family Court of Manchester... Read More »

Tags: Law, Orthodox Judaism, Charedi, Religiousity policing

It’s time for an end to special religious privileges: we need a secular state

It’s time for an end to special religious privileges: we need a secular state

Posted: Wed, 08 Feb 2017 by Prof. Steven Kettell

Should the Anglican peers in the Lords be joined by religious leaders from other faiths? Ought the BBC be required to make religious programmes? Should religious groups enjoy more legal protection? The Commission on Religion and Belief in British Public Life... Read More »

Tags: Church & State, Secularism

President Trump: American theocrat

President Trump: American theocrat

Posted: Tue, 31 Jan 2017 by Alastair Lichten

Donald Trump may be America's latest 'atheist president', but his presidency has put Christian Nationalism at the heart of its policy agenda.

Modern theocracy whether of the Islamist, Christian Dominionist or Hindu Nationalist variety is about belief, but it... Read More »

Tags: USA, Religious right

Faith schools mustn’t be allowed to stymie young people’s sexual health and well-being

Faith schools mustn’t be allowed to stymie young people’s sexual health and well-being

Posted: Thu, 12 Jan 2017 by Stephen Evans

Political sensitivity about faith schools is getting in the way of providing evidence-based, age-appropriate sex and relationships education (SRE) to all children. We can't wait forever for the Government's proposals on SRE, writes Stephen Evans.

The latest... Read More »

Tags: Education, Faith Schools, RSE

A faith ethos is no magic solution for improving schools

A faith ethos is no magic solution for improving schools

Posted: Sat, 07 Jan 2017 by Alistair McBay

There are success stories and failures in schools of all types, including faith schools, despite what the churches would have people believe. NSS vice president Alistair McBay debunks the myth that 'faith school' is a byword for success.

2016 was another interesting... Read More »

Tags: Education, Faith Schools

Norway’s separation of Church and State: a work in progress

Norway’s separation of Church and State: a work in progress

Posted: Wed, 04 Jan 2017 by Keith Porteous Wood

Norway's supposed separation of Church and State, effective from 1 January 2017, is a very positive step, but it's still a work in progress, writes Keith Porteous Wood.

Both Norway and the United Kingdom have populations that are very secular in outlook, with... Read More »

Tags: Church & State, Norway, Secularism

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