Author: Alastair Lichten
Posted: Fri, 20 Jul 2018 by Alastair Lichten
The Church of England's pretence that 'its' schools aren't faith schools is a dishonest attempt to avoid association with the unpopularity of faith-based schooling, and at odds with their actual policy, argues Alastair Lichten. Read More »
Posted: Tue, 12 Jun 2018 by Alastair Lichten
Schools are forbidden from promoting, showing favouritism to or discriminating on the grounds of partisan politics. Alastair Lichten asks why partisan religious beliefs are treated so differently. Read More »
Posted: Wed, 06 Jun 2018 by Alastair Lichten
New guidance on managing parents' right to withdraw their children from religious education in Wales is largely common sense, says Alastair Lichten. But it downplays the confessional nature of some RE teaching. Read More »
Posted: Mon, 23 Apr 2018 by Alastair Lichten
We can mitigate the harm caused by faith schools in plenty of ways. But after the launch of the No More Faith Schools campaign, Alastair Lichten says the long-term battle is over the fact faith groups run schools at all. Read More »
Posted: Thu, 15 Mar 2018 by Alastair Lichten
Our education and schools officer examines the education proposals in the Government's new integration strategy and argues that they should lead to a wider discussion of children's rights and facing up to the religious segregation rife in education. Read More »
Posted: Thu, 30 Nov 2017 by Alastair Lichten
As supporters of a new Bill aim to see home schooling in England registered for the first time, education and schools campaigner Alastair Lichten says children's independent rights must receive greater focus. Read More »
Posted: Thu, 23 Nov 2017 by Alastair Lichten
The latest report into the problems with religious education reiterates the need to start with a fundamental examination of the subject's purpose. But, Alastair Lichten wonders, do the proposals go far enough? Read More »
Posted: Fri, 10 Nov 2017 by Alastair Lichten
The myth of a culture war on Christmas may be comical and its claims endlessly debunked, but its promotion is part of a campaign for Christian supremacy, argues Alastair Lichten. Read More »
Posted: Thu, 05 Oct 2017 by Alastair Lichten
Ahead of Libraries Week 2017 Alastair Lichten argues that libraries' values of free expression and pluralism illustrate how a vibrant secular democracy should work. Read More »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 the defence of secular democracy. Read More »
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 »
Posted: Thu, 02 Jun 2016 by Alastair Lichten
Posted: Fri, 04 Dec 2015 by Alastair Lichten
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 »
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 »
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 »
Posted: Tue, 17 Mar 2015 by Alastair Lichten
Posted: Mon, 08 Dec 2014 by Alastair Lichten
When mainstream politicians endorse the 'Christian Nation' narrative they feed both Muslim and Christian persecution complexes and pander to the far-right, argues Alastair Lichten.
Elements in the current government like to promote the dog whistle message that... Read More »
Posted: Thu, 13 Nov 2014 by Alastair Lichten
Every year the National Secular Society is contacted by parents upset to discover that a festive charitable project in their children's school is unwittingly making them tools for evangelisation. Alastair Lichten looks at some of their concerns.
It seems to... Read More »
Posted: Wed, 01 Oct 2014 by Alastair Lichten
Iran's execution of Mohsen Amir-Aslani on apostasy charges illustrates the injustices caused by such laws in the Middle East and around the world, argues Alastair Lichten.
This week, the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran... Read More »
Posted: Tue, 23 Sep 2014 by Alastair Lichten
Reports of a Cabinet row over plans to require faith schools to teach more than one religion at GCSE level show that even baby steps towards greater objectivity in religious education will face fierce opposition, argues Alastair Lichten.
Secularists have had... Read More »