Author: Terry Sanderson

Religion is shrinking: and it only has itself to blame

Religion is shrinking: and it only has itself to blame

Posted: Wed, 10 Oct 2012 by Terry Sanderson

The perception that Americans are an overwhelmingly church-going, evangelically conservative people took another knock this week with the release of a poll from the Pew Research Centre.

It showed that one-fifth of U.S.adults say they are not part of a traditional... Read More »

Tags: Statistics, Religion & Belief

Politicians and “faith leaders” make a gruesome combination

Politicians and “faith leaders” make a gruesome combination

Posted: Tue, 25 Sep 2012 by Terry Sanderson

Many will write it off as red meat being thrown to the raving fundamentalists on the back bench of the Tory Party, but the appointment of Baroness Warsi as "Minister for Faith and Communities" is potentially threatening for secularism.

She recently held a meeting... Read More »

Tags: Catholic Church, Church & State

These imbecilic riots must serve to reinforce our commitment to freedom

These imbecilic riots must serve to reinforce our commitment to freedom

Posted: Mon, 17 Sep 2012 by Terry Sanderson

It is estimated that throughout the Muslim world something like ten to twenty thousand people have taken part in the rampages that have dominated the headlines for a week.

That is 20,000 people out of a world Muslim population of a billion.

On the basis of the... Read More »

Tags: Freedom of Expression, Islam

Hospitals axed, wages cut, frontline staff dispensed with – but Chaplains are sitting pretty

Hospitals axed, wages cut, frontline staff dispensed with – but Chaplains are sitting pretty

Posted: Sat, 15 Sep 2012 by Terry Sanderson

Several alarming headlines over the past few weeks have indicated that hospitals up and down the country are about to close and that those that stay open will have savage staff culls and wage cuts.

Tags: Chaplaincy, Healthcare

Those census statistics explained

Those census statistics explained

Posted: Sat, 15 Sep 2012 by Terry Sanderson

A new study of what people mean when they say they are "religious" or "spiritual" has been published by the Oxford University Press (Believing in Belonging: Belief and social identity in the modern world by Abby Day, £55).

The book begins with the intriguing... Read More »

Tags: Census, Statistics

Are parliament’s theocrats about to have their day?

Are parliament’s theocrats about to have their day?

Posted: Mon, 10 Sep 2012 by Terry Sanderson

When the Conservative-led coalition Government came to power at the last election we braced ourselves for a raised profile for religion in matters of state.

What transpired, though, were several confrontations between religious groups and Mr Cameron's "modernising"... Read More »

Tags: Church & State, Equality & Human Rights, Marriage Equality, 'Militant' secularism, Community Cohesion, Discrimination

Here’s hoping the European Court can bring an end to this campaign of distortion over religious discrimination

Here’s hoping the European Court can bring an end to this campaign of distortion over religious discrimination

Posted: Tue, 04 Sep 2012 by Terry Sanderson

In providing one of the few "dissenting voices" in the media discussion of the cases of supposed religious discrimination being heard in the European Court of Human Rights, the most astonishing thing I've noticed has been the success of the propaganda campaign... Read More »

Tags: Equality & Human Rights, ECtHR, 'Christianophobia'

Leave Citizen Khan alone! Po-faced, humourless Muslim protestors are their own worst enemy

Leave Citizen Khan alone! Po-faced, humourless Muslim protestors are their own worst enemy

Posted: Wed, 29 Aug 2012 by Terry Sanderson

The new BBC sitcom Citizen Khan has, apparently, created something of a stir among Muslims. The BBC is reporting having received more than 200 complaints about its portrayal of the "Muslim Community", claiming it is disrespectful of Islam and full of stereotypes.... Read More »

Tags: Freedom of Expression, Islam, Community Cohesion, Multiculturalism, BBC

Disillusion for the revolutionaries who thought the Arab Spring would bring freedom and secularism

Disillusion for the revolutionaries who thought the Arab Spring would bring freedom and secularism

Posted: Fri, 03 Aug 2012 by Terry Sanderson

The tightening of the grip of political Islam on the Middle East continues apace. Those young people who put their lives on the line to depose dictators and demagogues are now finding that, in fact, their countrymen seem to like dictators and demagogues –... Read More »

Tags: Islamism, Middle East

Has the BBC Trust killed vigorous debate about religion on our national broadcaster?

Has the BBC Trust killed vigorous debate about religion on our national broadcaster?

Posted: Wed, 01 Aug 2012 by Terry Sanderson

The BBC Trust – which advertises itself as the "final arbiter in complaints to the BBC" — has upheld a complaint this week against Jeremy Paxman, saying that there was no clear editorial purpose to Paxman's comments — made during an interview... Read More »

Tags: Freedom of Expression, BBC

Religious differences are reinforced by misguided enthusiasts like Tony Blair

Religious differences are reinforced by misguided enthusiasts like Tony Blair

Posted: Fri, 27 Jul 2012 by Terry Sanderson

Tony Blair has been on the public platform again talking about how important religion is for everybody – even if they don't think it is.

At a debate in London this week on Religion in Public Life, he appeared to be presenting himself as some sort of religious... Read More »

Tags: Community Cohesion, Tony Blair

'Faith' schools are becoming a menace

'Faith' schools are becoming a menace

Posted: Wed, 18 Jul 2012 by Terry Sanderson

A couple of weeks ago, the Bishop of Oxford — who is the Church of England's spokesman on education — told the General Synod that the expansion of church schools would continue – with another 200 proposed.

He also said that the Church —... Read More »

Tags: Education

The myth of the Nadia Eweida case gets another dishonest outing

The myth of the Nadia Eweida case gets another dishonest outing

Posted: Thu, 12 Jul 2012 by Terry Sanderson

During an exchange at Prime Minister's Question Time yesterday, David Cameron was asked by David Davis MP about the case of Nadia Eweida, who has appealed to the European Court of Human Rights after she was told by her employer, British Airways, that wearing... Read More »

Tags: Discrimination, 'Christianophobia', Religious Symbols

Is the Church of England at death’s door or has it found a new lease of life?

Is the Church of England at death’s door or has it found a new lease of life?

Posted: Tue, 10 Jul 2012 by Terry Sanderson

The Church of England is either in its last desperate death throes or it is making a concerted effort to revive itself and reclaim the widespread influence it once enjoyed. At its General Synod (parliament) this week it got itself into a humiliating tangle... Read More »

Tags: Church & State, Church of England

Rowan Williams has acquired a backbone – but it’s all too late

Rowan Williams has acquired a backbone – but it’s all too late

Posted: Thu, 28 Jun 2012 by Terry Sanderson

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams is demob-happy.

It seems that since he announced his resignation he feels he can now say what he wants, rather than what the "Anglican Communion" demands. And in the process he seems to be demonstrating an extraordinary... Read More »

Tags: Church & State, Church of England

The Catholic push for power is failing

The Catholic push for power is failing

Posted: Fri, 22 Jun 2012 by Terry Sanderson

Yesterday the Catholic Church in America began a campaign it calls "A Fortnight for Freedom" which it says is an effort to raise awareness among Catholics of the threats to their religious liberty. In particular they want to "raise awareness" about the Obama... Read More »

Tags: Church & State, Catholic Church, USA, Reproductive Rights

Why the Church must not win in this confrontation with the state

Why the Church must not win in this confrontation with the state

Posted: Tue, 12 Jun 2012 by Terry Sanderson

The Church of England has thrown down the gauntlet to the Government over the issue of gay marriage.

The message is clear: "do as we say or there will be dire consequences."

Their response to the Government consultation on its intention to legalise civil marriages... Read More »

Tags: Church of England, Equality & Human Rights, Church & State, Marriage Equality, Obama

The wailing pope and his dirty laundry

The wailing pope and his dirty laundry

Posted: Fri, 01 Jun 2012 by Terry Sanderson

By Terry Sanderson

It's always a pleasure to read that the Pope is upset. Nobody deserves to be upset more than His Holiness.

This time Mr Ratzinger is wailing about the publication of a book, His Holiness: The Secret Papers of Benedict XVI, by Italian journalist... Read More »

Tags: Catholic Church, Pope

The Catholic Church is trying to flex its political muscle to humiliate Obama – but does it still have the strength?

The Catholic Church is trying to flex its political muscle to humiliate Obama – but does it still have the strength?

Posted: Thu, 24 May 2012 by Terry Sanderson

Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York has ramped up the Catholic Church's politically motivated assault on the Obama administration by accusing the President of "strangling" religious freedom by requiring Catholic employers to provide workers with birth control... Read More »

Tags: Church & State, Catholic Church, USA, Reproductive Rights

Are some Christian politicians deliberately trying to mislead us – or are they just ignorant of the facts?

Are some Christian politicians deliberately trying to mislead us – or are they just ignorant of the facts?

Posted: Tue, 24 Apr 2012 by Terry Sanderson

In a parliamentary question last week, Karl McCartney, the Conservative MP for Lincoln, asked the Minister for Women and Equalities, Lynne Featherstone, "if she will bring forward legislative proposals to protect workers who choose to wear a visible cross... Read More »

Tags: Christianity, Discrimination, Christianophobia

Hitler, Stalin, Obama and a belligerent Catholic Church

Hitler, Stalin, Obama and a belligerent Catholic Church

Posted: Thu, 19 Apr 2012 by Terry Sanderson

The Catholic Church seems to be turning itself from being a religious body into being a rather unpleasant political party – one that is so reactionary it makes the Tea Party look like the Teddy Bears Picnic.

For instance, the Conference of Catholic Bishops... Read More »

Tags: Catholic Church, USA, Obama, Reproductive Rights

Easter sermons: self-serving and dishonest

Easter sermons: self-serving and dishonest

Posted: Tue, 10 Apr 2012 by Terry Sanderson

It's a Bank Holiday, half the staff in the newsroom are on leave, but news editors still have to somehow fill their papers and their broadcast bulletins. What easier way to do it than to draw on the ready-made Easter sermons of various bishops and Cardinals... Read More »

Tags: Faith Schools, Equality & Human Rights, Education

Prime Minister’s dissembling, hypocritical and disingenuous speech to religious leaders

Prime Minister’s dissembling, hypocritical and disingenuous speech to religious leaders

Posted: Tue, 03 Apr 2012 by Terry Sanderson

The Prime Minister, David Cameron, gave an Easter reception for Christian leaders at Downing Street this week at which he delivered an unctuous speech of such disingenuousness and hypocrisy that it almost takes the breath away.

He starts by saying he welcomes... Read More »

Tags: Church & State, Equality & Human Rights, Church of England, Council Prayers, 'Militant' secularism, Big Society

Persecuted Christian story follows familiar pattern of newspaper distortion

Persecuted Christian story follows familiar pattern of newspaper distortion

Posted: Fri, 30 Mar 2012 by Terry Sanderson

A familiar pattern emerged this week in the latest "Christians are being persecuted at work" case to reach an employment tribunal.

The Daily Mail and the Daily Telegraph introduced us to Dr David Drew, who worked in the paediatric department of Walsall Manor... Read More »

Tags: Christianity, 'Christianophobia', Discrimination

Why militant secularism is for believers, too

Why militant secularism is for believers, too

Posted: Tue, 27 Mar 2012 by Terry Sanderson

The New Scientist magazine had an interesting series of articles about the "science of religion" last week (which will be available free for a few more days to those who register on the site). It was all summed up in an editorial that advised "secularists"... Read More »

Tags: Church & State, 'Militant' secularism