NSS Opinion

Misrepresenting concerns about Islam won’t make society more cohesive

Posted: Wed, 08 Jul 2015 by Benjamin Jones

Recent polling found that 56% of Britons think Islam poses a threat to democracy. However this finding has been misrepresented to suggest that British people think Muslims themselves are a "threat".

When asked, "does Islam (not fundamentalist groups) pose... Read More »

Tags: Islam, Community Cohesion, Statistics

When is a faith school not a faith school?

Posted: Wed, 08 Jul 2015 by Alastair Lichten

Academisation and the 'grey area' between faith and non-religious schools may allow even more schools to assume a religious character by stealth. To avoid this, we need a much clearer definition of 'faith school', argues Alastair Lichten.

The 1944 Education... Read More »

Tags: Education, Academisation

Catholic hierarchy stand by while nuns’ orders seek to obstruct justice for their abuse victims

Posted: Mon, 06 Jul 2015 by Keith Porteous Wood

Following the failed attempt to obstruct the historic child abuse inquiry in Scotland, Keith Porteous Wood exposes the continuing reluctance of the Catholic Church to face up to and pay for its crimes.

Two orders of nuns have sought and failed to frustrate... Read More »

Tags: Catholic Church, Child Abuse

Tim Montgomerie need not worry, secularism and tolerance go hand in hand

Posted: Thu, 02 Jul 2015 by Stephen Evans

There's nothing "anti-Christian" about a society that sets about dismantling historic religious privilege, argues Stephen Evans.

In a Times opinion piece about the power of forgiveness – so poignantly expressed in Amazing Grace, the former slave trader... Read More »

Tags: Religion & Belief, Christianity, Secularism

Academics call for greater sensitivity about religion in universities, but students suggest it’s not an issue

Posted: Fri, 19 Jun 2015 by National Secular Society

Some academics are giving undue prominence to religion and religious students- when the evidence shows they are exaggerating the scale of the 'problem' they describe. Read More »

Tags: Freedom of Expression, Education, Religion & Belief, Community Cohesion, Universities, Statistics

Faith schools: education’s sacred cow

Posted: Fri, 19 Jun 2015 by Stephen Evans

Faith-based schools have been part of Britain's educational landscape for a long time. But as Britain's religious outlook changes, the time has come for some people to come to terms with their fear or unwillingness to question them, argues Stephen Evans. Read More »

Tags: Education, Faith Schools

Preacher James McConnell faces prosecution for calling Islam “Satanic"- the state again tramples over free expression

Posted: Thu, 18 Jun 2015 by Benjamin Jones

Free speech for all is threatened once more by the senseless prosecution of another Christian preacher. His religious freedom is the same liberty that defends secularists, atheists, people of all religions and none. Read More »

Tags: Freedom of Expression, Islam, Christianity, Religion & Belief

Academic claims university atheists are “militant”

Posted: Thu, 18 Jun 2015 by Benjamin Jones

A paper published by the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education has claimed that atheists can be "militant" on university campuses, while describing religion as a "public good" and the exclusion of religion from the public sphere as "repressive." Read More »

Tags: Freedom of Expression, Education

Anti-Muslim bigotry and the problem, with ‘Islamophobia’

Posted: Thu, 11 Jun 2015 by Benjamin Jones

Islamists are again using the victims of anti-Muslim bigotry to advance their agenda. Once again, a British university has aided this project in a conference on 'Islamophobia' which undermined and demonised ex-Muslims as "McCarthyites".

Many, many Muslims are... Read More »

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

Don’t ban women drivers – ban faith schools

Posted: Sat, 30 May 2015 by Oliver Kamm

In a pluralist and diverse society, it's an invitation to ignorance for children to be segregated by their parent's religious affiliation – so why, asks Oliver Kamm, is the state entrusting the education of huge numbers of children to religious bodies? Read More »

Tags: Education, Faith Schools

Christian leaders need to prioritise their targets

Posted: Thu, 28 May 2015 by Benjamin Jones

It is tiresomely common to have some Christian leaders describing secularism as intolerant, bigoted, militant or aggressive. At a time when Christians are being met with genuine persecution around the world, Benjamin Jones argues that Christian leaders should prioritise their targets and drop their hysterical language. Read More »

Tags: Church & State, Islam, 'Militant' secularism

The Catholic Church is now paying the price for its past in Ireland

Posted: Tue, 26 May 2015 by Keith Porteous Wood

NSS executive director Keith Porteous Wood welcomes the Irish referendum result on marriage equality and argues that the Catholic Church's appalling recent history in Ireland shows it deserves to be discredited- as it now has been, by the overwhelming referendum "Yes" result. Read More »

Tags: Marriage Equality, Ireland

Time for Christians of goodwill to say “Not In My Name”

Posted: Tue, 26 May 2015 by Terry Sanderson

Most Christians don't feel the need to be exempt from equality legislation in order to live their lives in accordance with their religious beliefs. Terry Sanderson says it's time they spoke out against those that do. Read More »

Tags: Equality & Human Rights, Ashers

A very confused and immoderate Moderator

Posted: Wed, 20 May 2015 by Alistair McBay

Alistair McBay examines the confused and immoderate arguments of the new Moderator of the Free Church of Scotland. Read More »

Tags: Church & State, Scotland, Education

‘Spiritual influence’, democracy and free expression

Posted: Tue, 19 May 2015 by Alastair Lichten

Religious voting blocs and sectarian and divisive politics harm society and can undermine democracy. But are laws that potentially restrict free expression the answer? Alastair Lichten considers the charge of 'undue spiritual influence'.

Many student unions... Read More »

Tags: Politics, Freedom of Expression, Community Cohesion

You can never kill ideas: an anonymous blogger on the deaths of secularists in Bangladesh

Posted: Thu, 14 May 2015 by Anonymous

Following the recent wave of assassinations targeting atheist and secular writers in Bangladesh, we publish the thoughts of a British secularist of Bangladeshi origin – and his message to their murderers. Read More »

Tags: Freedom of Expression, Islam

After initial crisis, nation struggles on without Minister for Faith

Posted: Thu, 14 May 2015 by Benjamin Jones

After initial panic and a constitutional and political crisis, the country is struggling on without a Minister for Faith. Benjamin Jones lambasts the Prime Minister for leaving this crucial role unfilled for so long.

While the Prime Minister set about appointing... Read More »

Tags: Politics

Most Britons aren’t religious- but are religious ‘voting blocs’ wielding increasing power in our elections?

Posted: Wed, 06 May 2015 by Benjamin Jones

Religious leaders are wielding disproportionate influence in this election. Benjamin Jones argues that this is likely to get worse, and politicians should resist the urge to treat religious people as blocs.

While the religious are declining as a share of the... Read More »

Tags: Politics, Multiculturalism, Secularism, Community Cohesion, Statistics

Cardinal Nichols’ conflation of secularism and religious persecution is self-serving and shameful

Posted: Sun, 03 May 2015 by Alastair Lichten

It's grossly distasteful to equate the persecution of Christians in the Middle East with the discomfort felt by some Christians in Britain at having to provide services in a non-discriminatory manner, argues Alastair Lichten.

Cardinal Vincent Nichols's recent... Read More »

Tags: 'Militant' secularism, Christianity, Middle East

It should be politically impossible for universities to enforce blasphemy laws

Posted: Thu, 30 Apr 2015 by Benjamin Jones

It should be politically toxic, publicly excruciating, there should be protests, and mass disruption to campuses when universities censor blasphemy. Where is the outrage?

The censors and reactionaries are at it again. The most recent case came from Bath. A... Read More »

Tags: Education, Blasphemy, Freedom of Expression

Secularist bequest upheld in court, in 1915

Posted: Fri, 24 Apr 2015 by National Secular Society

A landmark legal cases involving secularists took place a century ago. In Bowman v. Secular Society the relatives of a testator leaving money to the Society sought to have the will declared invalid on the grounds of blasphemy. Read More »

Tags: Blasphemy, Secular Society, History

The Christian “fired for praying at work” – here’s the other side of the story

Posted: Thu, 23 Apr 2015 by Terry Sanderson

The British media unquestioningly promulgates the false narrative of Christians being discriminated against in the workplace. Terry Sanderson looks at the latest case involving a Christian disciplined for subjecting a subordinate to unwanted and intrusive... Read More »

Tags: Equality & Human Rights, Discrimination, Healthcare

Allowing children to languish in illegal religious 'schools' is the bigotry of low expectations

Posted: Wed, 22 Apr 2015 by Stephen Evans

NSS campaigns manager Stephen Evans warns that growing numbers of unregulated religious 'schools' are badly letting children down, and argues that the rights of children to education should be prioritised. Read More »

Tags: Education, unregistered schools

What do the minor parties have to say about secularism and religion?

Posted: Tue, 21 Apr 2015 by Benjamin Jones

From the Wessex Regionalists to the Christian People's Alliance, the NSS presents some highlights on secularism and religion from the minor parties' manifestos. Read More »

Tags: Politics, GE2015

Irish same-sex marriage – is the Church trying to blackmail the state?

Posted: Fri, 17 Apr 2015 by Keith Porteous Wood

The Roman Catholic Church in Ireland has threatened to stop civil marriage registration if Irish law is changed to allow same sex marriages. Keith Porteous Wood argues that if it were to carry out its threat, it could inflict more harm on the Church than any... Read More »

Tags: Catholic Church, Marriage Equality, Ireland