Author: Terry Sanderson

Letters to editors: a useful tool for campaigners

Letters to editors: a useful tool for campaigners

Posted: Tue, 29 Oct 2013 by Terry Sanderson

When you're active in campaigns that aim to change things in society, it can often be difficult to get your voice heard in the media. Groups with a message that seems radical or a threat to the status quo might be treated with suspicion, even hostility, by... Read More »

Tags: Campaigns, Secularism

Chaos in the workplace will follow if this case succeeds

Chaos in the workplace will follow if this case succeeds

Posted: Mon, 21 Oct 2013 by Terry Sanderson

If an employer can reasonably accommodate religious requests without disrupting their business or disadvantaging their other staff, we have no objection. But if they can't, then employers should have the right to say "no" argues Terry Sanderson.

Just when you... Read More »

Tags: Equality & Human Rights, Workplace

Research or propaganda? How the apologists for faith schools are fighting back

Research or propaganda? How the apologists for faith schools are fighting back

Posted: Mon, 30 Sep 2013 by Terry Sanderson

Faith schools have been getting a bit of a bad press lately. Despite the fact that successive Governments have encouraged them, parents are far from convinced.

The churches and mosques, of course, are taking full advantage of the Government's enthusiasm and... Read More »

Tags: Faith Schools

Why is the state funding the indoctrination of children in schools with dangerous ideologies?

Why is the state funding the indoctrination of children in schools with dangerous ideologies?

Posted: Thu, 26 Sep 2013 by Terry Sanderson

The Prime Minister, David Cameron, made a statement last week about the Nairobi shopping mall massacre which almost beggars belief. He said:

"These appalling terrorist attacks that take place where the perpetrators claim they do it in the name of a religion... Read More »

Tags: Faith Schools

We are all at the mercy of the activists who are driving these veil confrontations

We are all at the mercy of the activists who are driving these veil confrontations

Posted: Tue, 17 Sep 2013 by Terry Sanderson

There were calls this week for "a debate on the face veil" after a court and a college were confronted by women who wanted to wear them — even though it was against the rules.

The college backed down within hours of the challenge, cowed by suggestions... Read More »

Tags: Islam, Niqab

Can we please stop wasting money on these endless surveys that just tell us what we already know?

Can we please stop wasting money on these endless surveys that just tell us what we already know?

Posted: Thu, 12 Sep 2013 by Terry Sanderson

Professor Paul Weller of Derby University seems to have cornered the market in research into perceived discrimination against religious groups. He seems to bring out a new report on it every year — all saying basically the same thing. We have also had... Read More »

Tags: Religion & Belief, Statistics

On homophobia and racism

On homophobia and racism

Posted: Thu, 29 Aug 2013 by Terry Sanderson

Two weeks ago the Archbishop of Canterbury was in Monterrey, Mexico where he delivered a sermon to the effect that Anglicanism is standing on a precipice and risks falling into a "ravine of intolerance".

Mr Welby said the Church had to steer a course between,... Read More »

Tags: Marriage Equality, Islam

It may be a new velvet glove, but it’s the same old iron fist at the Vatican

It may be a new velvet glove, but it’s the same old iron fist at the Vatican

Posted: Tue, 30 Jul 2013 by Terry Sanderson

You've got to give the Vatican credit for having installed a Pope who appears to be nice and cuddly and says all the right things. But as with everything pertaining to the Vatican, one needs to keep a sceptical antenna waving. Nothing is as it seems in that... Read More »

Tags: Catholic Church, Pope

Muslims must be protected. Islam must not.

Muslims must be protected. Islam must not.

Posted: Wed, 24 Jul 2013 by Terry Sanderson

The Muslim Council of Britain has called for a "serious national response" from the government to attacks against Muslims and mosques.

MCB leader Farooq Murad, said people were living in fear. He said that following the events in Woolwich, there has been a... Read More »

Tags: Anti-Muslim Bigotry, Community Cohesion

How do we keep religious education out of the hands of the evangelists?

How do we keep religious education out of the hands of the evangelists?

Posted: Mon, 22 Jul 2013 by Terry Sanderson

How can schools tell children about religion in a way that is fair, objective, unbiased and, most important, doesn't close them off to alternatives?

How do we best explain to them that while some religious believers find comfort in their faith — as well... Read More »

Tags: Religious education, Education

Human rights are for humans, not for ideologies

Human rights are for humans, not for ideologies

Posted: Mon, 15 Jul 2013 by Terry Sanderson

A Jewish man has won an employment tribunal case for racial and religious discrimination after his employer made derogatory remarks about "Yids" and suggested that he would like to lock up and gas Jews.

Darren Feldman was bullied and abused by his manager because... Read More »

Tags: Equality & Human Rights, Religion & Belief

Public perceptions and reality - have we got it wrong?

Public perceptions and reality - have we got it wrong?

Posted: Thu, 11 Jul 2013 by Terry Sanderson

An Ipsos-Mori poll for the Royal Statistical Society tried to measure what people's perception of issues were as opposed to the reality (according to the official figures).

On religion, the survey found that people vastly overestimated the number of Muslims... Read More »

Tags: statistics, Islam, Christianity

Three cheers for Channel 4 for trying to move Muslims into the mainstream

Three cheers for Channel 4 for trying to move Muslims into the mainstream

Posted: Tue, 02 Jul 2013 by Terry Sanderson

Channel 4 has set the cat among the pigeons — as I suspect it intended to do — with its announcement that it will broadcast the Muslim call to prayer every day during the month of Ramadan.

If what the chief of Channel 4 says about the network's... Read More »

Tags: Islam, Religion & Belief

New EU guidelines on religion and belief make plain that no religion is entitled to special rights

New EU guidelines on religion and belief make plain that no religion is entitled to special rights

Posted: Thu, 27 Jun 2013 by Terry Sanderson

The EU Foreign Affairs Council this week adopted a report with 71 Guidelines to promote the right to freedom of religion and belief worldwide.

Below are some choice quotes from it that should give pause to those Christians who imagine that they have special... Read More »

Tags: Europe, Religion & Belief

The issue of disestablishment won’t go away

The issue of disestablishment won’t go away

Posted: Tue, 25 Jun 2013 by Terry Sanderson

The influential international business magazine The Economist carried an editorial last week calling for the Church of England to be disestablished – and for the influence of religion on the state to be reduced. The editorial said:

Most European countries... Read More »

Tags: Church & State, Disestablishment

Reaction to Woking parking challenge reveals national implications

Reaction to Woking parking challenge reveals national implications

Posted: Thu, 13 Jun 2013 by Terry Sanderson

By Terry Sanderson

There has been some interesting reaction to our challenge to Woking Borough Council's policy of providing free parking for worshippers in the town.

The Kentish Gazette, for instance, revealed that there is also subsidised parking for worshippers:... Read More »

Tags: Parking

The Same-Sex Marriage Bill delivers a blow to the bishops in the House of Lords

The Same-Sex Marriage Bill delivers a blow to the bishops in the House of Lords

Posted: Wed, 05 Jun 2013 by Terry Sanderson

So, the prospect of gay marriage took a mighty leap forward in the House of Lords this week as the intended "wrecking amendment" was itself wrecked by a steamrolling 242 majority against.

During the two-day debate leading up to the vote, their Lordships kept... Read More »

Tags: Marriage Equality, Church of England, House of Lords, Bishops

Questions raised about the running of the BBC’s religious affairs department

Questions raised about the running of the BBC’s religious affairs department

Posted: Tue, 04 Jun 2013 by Terry Sanderson

The latest Private Eye carries the following piece:

These are trying times for Aaqil Ahmed, head of religion and ethics at the BBC.

As we revealed in the last Eye, some of his department's commissions for Songs of Praise are now being scrutinised by the Beeb's... Read More »

Tags: BBC

Britain’s feeble religious right learns no lessons from its debacle at the European Court

Britain’s feeble religious right learns no lessons from its debacle at the European Court

Posted: Wed, 29 May 2013 by Terry Sanderson

We sincerely hope that the rejection by the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights of the supposed "religious discrimination" cases will finally draw a line under the matter.

Reacting to the decision, Michael Powner, head of employment at Charles... Read More »

Tags: Equality & Human Rights, Church of England, ECtHR

Catholic magazine says Same Sex Marriage Bill will disestablish the Church of England

Catholic magazine says Same Sex Marriage Bill will disestablish the Church of England

Posted: Wed, 29 May 2013 by Terry Sanderson

The Catholic weekly magazine The Tablet carried an editorial in its 25 May edition predicting that the legalisation of gay marriage will weaken, if not completely end, the establishment of the Church of England.

The paper says that:

"It is as if the nation is... Read More »

Tags: Church of England, Marriage Equality

Same-sex marriage – is Cameron’s commitment wobbling?

Same-sex marriage – is Cameron’s commitment wobbling?

Posted: Thu, 16 May 2013 by Terry Sanderson

When the issue of same-sex marriage began to arise around the world, the Catholic Church foolishly decided that it would make opposition to it a main plank in its attempts to revive itself. Allied with the Religious Right in America it thought it had a real... Read More »

Tags: Catholic Church, Marriage Equality, Pope, David Cameron

It’s the Church’s Christian duty to support the health service, not leech off it

It’s the Church’s Christian duty to support the health service, not leech off it

Posted: Mon, 13 May 2013 by Terry Sanderson

The Catholic Archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Nichols, says that hospital chaplaincy services "ought never to be seen as a luxury to be discarded when budgets are tight; or chapels as spaces to be sacrificed to other purposes when needs arise."

Speaking at... Read More »

Tags: Chaplaincy, Healthcare, Public Services

Bishops in the House of Lords – too political or not political enough?

Bishops in the House of Lords – too political or not political enough?

Posted: Fri, 10 May 2013 by Terry Sanderson

By Terry Sanderson

The Labour MP Frank Field (right) has called on the Archbishop of Canterbury to hand over some of the seats that the Church of England bishops occupy in the House of Lords to representatives who would take a more active part in policy making.... Read More »

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

Not content with a third of state-sponsored schools pushing his faith, now Dr Welby wants the BBC to do more evangelising

Not content with a third of state-sponsored schools pushing his faith, now Dr Welby wants the BBC to do more evangelising

Posted: Wed, 08 May 2013 by Terry Sanderson

The Church of England takes it for granted that it is the taxpayers' job to fund its evangelising. We contribute hundreds of millions to support "faith schools" which they use to impart their religion to children who are obliged by law to attend. ("School... Read More »

Tags: Church of England, Christianity, BBC

At last – churches recognise The Big Society for the Big Con that it was

At last – churches recognise The Big Society for the Big Con that it was

Posted: Mon, 29 Apr 2013 by Terry Sanderson

By Terry Sanderson

It seems The Big Society is back – if only for the last nail to be driven into its coffin.

First we have a right-wing Catholic think tank, the Von Hügel Institute, publishing a report describing what was once Mr Cameron's flagship... Read More »

Tags: Catholic Church, Big Society, David Cameron, Conservative Party