Author: Stephen Evans

Teachers shouldn’t be the victims of religious discrimination

Posted: Tue, 16 Sep 2014 by Stephen Evans

A Catholic diocese has made clear its intention to replace a headteacher, drafted in to save a failing school, because he isn't Roman Catholic. Stephen Evans argues that such discrimination would be totally unacceptable in almost all other areas of public life. Read More »

Tags: Discrimination, Faith Schools

Principles of secularism and equality must be defended

Posted: Fri, 22 Aug 2014 by Stephen Evans

Attempts to erode equality and undermine secularist principles must be challenged, argues Stephen Evans.

Those seeking to preserve or carve out additional privileges for Christianity in the UK appear buoyed by news that the Equality and Human Rights Commission... Read More »

Tags: Church & State, Equality & Human Rights

Ministerial role that promotes religion should have gone, not just the Minister

Posted: Wed, 06 Aug 2014 by Stephen Evans

As Eric Pickles takes over Baroness Warsi's ministerial responsibilities for promoting faith, Stephen Evans argues that the job should have gone, not just the minister.

In one of the more popular moves of her political career to date, Baroness Warsi this week... Read More »

Tags: secularism

Why the time has come to end compulsory worship in schools

Posted: Fri, 11 Jul 2014 by Stephen Evans

With the launch of a new petition calling on political parties to make the removal of the collective worship requirement part of their education policy, NSS campaigns manager Stephen Evans explains why the time has come to relieve schools of the obligation to provide worship. Read More »

Tags: Collective Worship, Education, Religious Freedom

School chaplains: the Church of England's latest plan to evangelise in schools

Posted: Tue, 03 Jun 2014 by Stephen Evans

With the majority church schools now employing Christian chaplains, Stephen Evans questions whether public money intended for education should be used to fund the Church of England's missionary work. Read More »

Tags: Education, Church of England

‘Halal hysteria’: Religious exemption from animal welfare law is the real issue

Posted: Thu, 08 May 2014 by Stephen Evans

Food retailers should be upfront about what they're serving up, but the main issue is one of animal welfare, and the religious exemption that allows animals to be slaughtered without being stunned, argues Stephen Evans.

Halal again hit the headlines this week,... Read More »

Tags: Religious Slaughter

Faith schools: whose education is it anyway?

Posted: Thu, 06 Mar 2014 by Stephen Evans

Education policy and practice should focus more on children's independent interests and building a shared society rather than pandering to religious groups motivated by self-preservation, argues NSS campaigns manager, Stephen Evans. Read More »

Tags: Education, Faith Schools

The Church of England’s unrelenting exploitation of the nation’s schools

Posted: Wed, 20 Nov 2013 by Stephen Evans

The Church of England's intention is clear. State funded schools will be regarded as churches – and serve as pulpits for evangelisation, argues Stephen Evans.

Parents and their children may have deserted the pews in droves – but that doesn't really... Read More »

Tags: Church of England, Education, Faith Schools

Secularism seeks to balance everyone’s religious freedoms fairly. Why would anyone oppose that?

Posted: Tue, 19 Nov 2013 by Stephen Evans

Despite the claims of its critics, secularism protects the freedom of conscience for all citizens, and welcomes believers and non-believers into the public square on equal terms, argues Stephen Evans. Read More »

Tags: Religion & Belief, Secularism, Equality & Human Rights

Evangelism in schools?

Posted: Fri, 11 Oct 2013 by Stephen Evans

A report published this week by the National Secular Society has shone a much needed spotlight on the activities of evangelical Christian organisations operating in our children's schools.

The report reveals a concerted effort from evangelical organisations... Read More »

Tags: Education

Egyptians are in urgent need of the protection secularism can offer

Posted: Wed, 14 Aug 2013 by Stephen Evans

Earlier this week a ten year old child was shot dead as she walked home through the streets of Cairo on her way home from Bible study.

Jessi Boulus was the latest target of Islamist extremists who have targeted Egypt's Christian minority, holding them partly... Read More »

Tags: Egypt, Middle East, Islam

Why the Guides’ new Promise is something to be celebrated

Posted: Thu, 20 Jun 2013 by Stephen Evans

With the uproar over the Girlguides omitting 'God' from its new Promise; Stephen Evans blogs on why this is a step in the right direction. Read More »

Tags: Girl Guides

Woking: equal treatment vs. religious privilege

Posted: Wed, 05 Jun 2013 by Stephen Evans

This week, The National Secular Society launched legal action against Woking Borough Council over its policy of offering free parking to worshippers, while charging others.

Woking Borough Council, like Bideford Town Council before it, has come out fighting.... Read More »

Tags: Parking, Discrimination

Why are children being forced into faith schools?

Posted: Thu, 25 Apr 2013 by Stephen Evans

With the shortage of primary school places becoming more acute, NSS campaigns manager Stephen Evans draws attention to the scandal of families being left with no option other than to send their children to 'faith' schools. Read More »

Tags: Education, Faith Schools

Take part in the Scouts and Girl Guides consultations on the promise

Posted: Tue, 08 Jan 2013 by Stephen Evans

Despite describing themselves as "open and inclusive" organisations, both the Scouts and the Girl Guides currently insist that new members take a 'Promise' that includes a religious oath. However, this could all be about to change. Read More »

Tags: Scouts, Girl Guides

Census 2011: What has caused this massive flight from Christianity?

Posted: Tue, 11 Dec 2012 by Stephen Evans

What has happened in this country in the decade since the last census? What has caused this huge flight from religion? Read More »

Tags: Church & State, statistics

Why won’t the Government get serious about caste discrimination?

Posted: Wed, 28 Nov 2012 by Stephen Evans

Stephen Evans argues that it's time for the Government to stop dragging its heels and outlaw discrimination and harassment on the grounds of caste. Read More »

Tags: Equality & Human Rights, Caste

An important lesson that politicians can learn from the American election

Posted: Wed, 07 Nov 2012 by Stephen Evans

If this election has told politicians one thing, it should be that they should listen to the voters and not to the religious lobbyists who are trying to write their doctrines into law. Read More »

Tags: Catholic Church, USA, Politics, Obama, Romney

Time to rethink the Church's role in state education

Posted: Mon, 01 Oct 2012 by Stephen Evans

As head teachers put the Church's plan to intensify the religious input into lessons into action, Stephen Evans asks: isn't it time to rethink the role of religion in our public education system? Read More »

Tags: Faith Schools, Education

Time to challenge the religious slaughter of animals

Posted: Fri, 07 Sep 2012 by Stephen Evans

Freedom of thought, conscience and religion is an important right, but a qualified right, which means that an interference with the right can be justified in certain circumstances. Stephen Evans argues that ensuring the welfare of animals provides such a justification. Read More »

Tags: Religious Slaughter

Faith based welfare looms as local authorities ask 'Big Society' to feed the poor

Posted: Wed, 29 Aug 2012 by Stephen Evans

As the UK economy stagnates, church-run food banks are booming. But as local authorities draw up plans to refer people in need to food banks, Stephen Evans asks: should the welfare state force citizens to turn to the church in their hour of need? Read More »

Tags: Big Society, Charity, Public Services

The need for secularism in a superdiverse society

Posted: Thu, 10 May 2012 by Stephen Evans

The Westminster faith debates concluded last week with a debate on religious trends. According to the research presented, religion in the UK is changing, but not disappearing. Read More »

Tags: Church & State, statistics

The booming industry of religious chaplaincy

Posted: Fri, 30 Mar 2012 by Stephen Evans

Despite the parlous state of the UK economy, it appears chaplaincy is a boom industry. An ever increasing army of priests, pastors, rabbis, imams and laypeople are attaching themselves to secular institutions, largely funded by the taxpayer, to take the word of god out of places of worship and into our shared spaces. Read More »

Tags: Chaplaincy

MPs and Peers don’t eat halal – but what about the rest of us?

Posted: Fri, 06 Jan 2012 by Stephen Evans

The Daily Mail this week made much of the story that neither the House of Lords nor the House of Commons serve halal meat in their restaurants. The rest of us can be less sure. Read More »

Tags: Religious Slaughter