Author: Terry Sanderson

Christian activists just won’t let it go

Christian activists just won’t let it go

Posted: Mon, 22 Apr 2013 by Terry Sanderson

By Terry Sanderson

You've got to give them full marks for sheer bloody-mindedness.

I'm talking about the paranoid Christian activists obsessed with the idea that they are being persecuted in the workplace. They have brought numerous cases to British courts to... Read More »

Tags: 'Christianophobia', Discrimination, Workplace

Saudi religious police aren’t funny

Posted: Wed, 17 Apr 2013 by Terry Sanderson

By Terry Sanderson

If you are going to have a special police division to enforce morality in a country that is already very religiously conservative, then they are bound to make frequent idiots of themselves.

In Saudi Arabia, where religious mania seems to be... Read More »

Tags: Sharia, Religious Law, Saudi Arabia

It’s not fair! Why has Ireland got Ruairi Quinn, while we’re stuck with Michael Gove?

It’s not fair! Why has Ireland got Ruairi Quinn, while we’re stuck with Michael Gove?

Posted: Mon, 15 Apr 2013 by Terry Sanderson

If only the UK had an education minister like Ireland's Ruairi Quinn.

Mr Quinn is, bit by bit, challenging the stranglehold that the Catholic Church has over education in the Republic.

He does it in a proper, diplomatic way, of course, but he has already begun... Read More »

Tags: Education, Ireland

After Lord Carey’s attack, Prime Minister assures us that he is a good Christian

After Lord Carey’s attack, Prime Minister assures us that he is a good Christian

Posted: Thu, 04 Apr 2013 by Terry Sanderson

Still wincing from Lord Carey's attack, the Prime Minister David Cameron put out his own Easter message, assuring religious organisations that "As long as I am Prime Minister, they will have the support of this government."

Downing Street, which rejected Lord... Read More »

Tags: Church & State, David Cameron, Conservative Party

New report confirms that religious TV is least popular genre – but the BBC won’t let up

New report confirms that religious TV is least popular genre – but the BBC won’t let up

Posted: Wed, 20 Mar 2013 by Terry Sanderson

By Terry Sanderson

A new report, confirming previous research, shows that religion is the least popular genre of programming on TV.

TeleScope is an annual TV industry report produced by TeleHappiness, an initiative of TV Licensing. It looks at the UK's television... Read More »

Tags: BBC, Statistics

Feeding the fires of fundamentalism

Feeding the fires of fundamentalism

Posted: Tue, 19 Mar 2013 by Terry Sanderson

By Terry Sanderson

Professor Lawrence Krauss, the world-renowned theoretical physicist, is the NSS's newest honorary associate.

He made a significant splash last week by threatening to walk out of a debate at University College London because the Islamist organisers... Read More »

Tags: Islam

The Catholic Church must change or die

The Catholic Church must change or die

Posted: Thu, 07 Mar 2013 by Terry Sanderson

By Terry Sanderson

The Catholic Church is in crisis, and not a moment before time. The level of arrogant politicisation to which it aspired under the papacy of Joseph Ratzinger was appalling.

Not that such interference in secular politics has stopped. Only this... Read More »

Tags: Catholic Church, Pope

Hospitals in dire cash crisis, but the chaplains sail merrily on

Hospitals in dire cash crisis, but the chaplains sail merrily on

Posted: Tue, 26 Feb 2013 by Terry Sanderson

By Terry Sanderson

Not a week goes by now without more depressing headlines about the gradual demolition of the NHS. Recent ones include:

Tags: Chaplaincy

Vicar calls for disestablishment

Vicar calls for disestablishment

Posted: Tue, 26 Feb 2013 by Terry Sanderson

A Church of England vicar is advocating disestablishment. In a letter in the latest issue of the Church of England Newspaper, the Rev Paul Carr of Billericay writes:

Having reflected on the momentous decision of Parliament to pass the Bill to redefine marriage,... Read More »

Tags: Church & State

Is the Catholic Church at last getting the come-uppance it has so long deserved?

Is the Catholic Church at last getting the come-uppance it has so long deserved?

Posted: Mon, 25 Feb 2013 by Terry Sanderson

By Terry Sanderson

Freedom of religion is a vital freedom and one that must be protected.

As a secularist I know I should not be concerned about the inner workings of churches and, so long as they remain within the law, they should be able to organise themselves... Read More »

Tags: Catholic Church

Joseph Ratzinger’s failed papacy may have fatally undermined the Vatican

Joseph Ratzinger’s failed papacy may have fatally undermined the Vatican

Posted: Mon, 11 Feb 2013 by Terry Sanderson

And so we are to see an end to the rule of Joseph Ratzinger at the Vatican. At such times it is usual to break out into a chorus of "Ding, Dong the Witch is Dead" from the Wizard of Oz, but we fear that Ratzinger's successor will be as bad, if not worse, than... Read More »

Tags: Catholic Church, Pope, Child Abuse

Will the new Archbishop’s evangelical fervour aid destruction of the welfare state?

Will the new Archbishop’s evangelical fervour aid destruction of the welfare state?

Posted: Wed, 06 Feb 2013 by Terry Sanderson

By Terry Sanderson

Justin Welby, the new Archbishop of Canterbury is a self-confessed "evangelical". We can, therefore, of course, expect a lot more evangelising from him than from his predecessor, who seemed more interested in abstruse theological meandering... Read More »

Tags: Big Society, Public Services

There is no American-style Religious Right in Britain, but the general theo-political landscape is lurching rightward

There is no American-style Religious Right in Britain, but the general theo-political landscape is lurching rightward

Posted: Wed, 06 Feb 2013 by Terry Sanderson

By Terry Sanderson

A new report by the Theos think-tank throws some interesting light on the evangelical Christian groups that have pushed themselves to the forefront of religio-political activism in the past couple of decades.

The report entitled "Is there... Read More »

Tags: Church & State, Statistics

Constitution Unit says disestablishment will have to be achieved piecemeal

Constitution Unit says disestablishment will have to be achieved piecemeal

Posted: Wed, 30 Jan 2013 by Terry Sanderson

By Terry Sanderson

The Constitution Unit's latest newsletter recounts several events over the past few months that have strengthened the argument for a change in the relationship between the church and the state in this country. The National Secular Society... Read More »

Tags: Disestablishment

Faith-based welfare – the push goes on

Faith-based welfare – the push goes on

Posted: Tue, 22 Jan 2013 by Terry Sanderson

David Cameron's big society initiative could result in religion taking control of welfare provision, just as it did in Victorian times. Terry Sanderson warns against this and explains why the role of 'faith communities' should be limited and modest.

While sitting... Read More »

Tags: Big Society, Charity, Public Services

Roundup of reactions to this week’s Euro Court rulings

Roundup of reactions to this week’s Euro Court rulings

Posted: Wed, 16 Jan 2013 by Terry Sanderson

By Terry Sanderson

This week's European Court of Human Rights judgements on the so-called "religious discrimination" cases have brought to a head the long-running battle being fought by evangelical Christians to give their faith special recognition and special... Read More »

Tags: Equality & Human Rights, ECtHR

Secularists: put your principles into action and support the NSS

Secularists: put your principles into action and support the NSS

Posted: Thu, 10 Jan 2013 by Terry Sanderson

With so much at stake, we are eagerly awaiting the result of the four European Court cases that will decide whether Christians are entitled to special treatment at work.

We believe that the British courts were right to reject these cases.

Although they were... Read More »

Tags: Membership

NSS President’s Seasonal Message

NSS President’s Seasonal Message

Posted: Fri, 21 Dec 2012 by Terry Sanderson

As we prepare for the holiday, it's a good time to reflect on the year past, and to assess our triumphs and failures, and to look forward to the year to come.

We've had a positive avalanche of statistics this year trying to fathom the extent of religious belief... Read More »

Tags: Church & State

Cracks appearing in NHS, but chaplains sail on regardless

Cracks appearing in NHS, but chaplains sail on regardless

Posted: Wed, 28 Nov 2012 by Terry Sanderson

Horror stories about the state of the National Health Service are an almost daily occurrence now. Latest is a report from the Kings Fund issued this week. The think tank warned that "cracks are beginning to appear" as waiting times creep up, and hospitals... Read More »

Tags: Chaplaincy, Healthcare

Church of England’s establishment is well past its sell-by date

Church of England’s establishment is well past its sell-by date

Posted: Wed, 21 Nov 2012 by Terry Sanderson

By Terry Sanderson, president, National Secular Society

We've argued for a long time that the establishment of the Church of England as an arm of the state is unsustainable in a modern, diverse society. Last night's vote at the General Synod to reject women... Read More »

Tags: Church & State, Church of England

The Church of England should act now if it wants to save its hospital chaplaincy service

The Church of England should act now if it wants to save its hospital chaplaincy service

Posted: Tue, 06 Nov 2012 by Terry Sanderson

The following message appeared recently on the social networking site Gransnet:

"Went with a friend for her Chemo session. A chap who was a spiritual healer, wearing a chaplaincy badge, was approaching, one by one, everyone who was having chemo treatment, asking... Read More »

Tags: Charity, Healthcare, Chaplaincy, Big Society, Church of England, public funding

Mr Cameron, the Big Society and the fundamentalists

Mr Cameron, the Big Society and the fundamentalists

Posted: Mon, 05 Nov 2012 by Terry Sanderson

Prime Minister David Cameron last week attempted to revive the idea of the Big Society – in which charities and religious organisations run public services – at a reception at 10 Downing Street for the Council of Christians and Jews.

Mr Cameron... Read More »

Tags: Public Services

Stonewall is right – the Cardinal is a bigot

Stonewall is right – the Cardinal is a bigot

Posted: Fri, 02 Nov 2012 by Terry Sanderson

By Terry Sanderson, NSS President

The LGBT rights group Stonewall is under mounting attack for nominating Cardinal Keith O'Brien as "Bigot of the Year" at its awards ceremony this week.

Politicians – such as Alec Salmond – who are petrified of upsetting... Read More »

Tags: Equality & Human Rights, Catholic Church, Marriage Equality, LGBTQ rights

We’re not in Kansas now: why targeting the “faith vote” is a hopeless cause in Britain

We’re not in Kansas now: why targeting the “faith vote” is a hopeless cause in Britain

Posted: Tue, 30 Oct 2012 by Terry Sanderson

The latest polls in Corby, Northamptonshire, where a parliamentary by-election is due to take place on November 15, seem to indicate that the Tories are facing a heavy defeat.

Despite this, according to the Conservative Home website, the Tories will take the... Read More »

Tags: Politics, Conservative Party

Baroness Warsi needs to be challenged on her theocratic ambitions

Baroness Warsi needs to be challenged on her theocratic ambitions

Posted: Tue, 16 Oct 2012 by Terry Sanderson

We think it is important to track what the Government is doing in our name, and so we are reproducing below a statement by Baroness Warsi that was published in The Tablet this week.

You will remember that Baroness Warsi is the rather elaborately titled "Senior... Read More »

Tags: Church & State