Author: Terry Sanderson

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

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

The Church of England – myth and reality

The Church of England – myth and reality

Posted: Thu, 22 Mar 2012 by Terry Sanderson

We are told constantly how important the Church of England is to this country and how fond of it we all are. That doesn't sit very well with the result of a BBC survey for the quiz show Pointless that asked 100 respondents to name Archbishops of Canterbury.... Read More »

Tags: Church & State, Christianity, Catholic Church, Church of England

Without a pack of lies to back them up, Christian claims of persecution fall flat on their face

Without a pack of lies to back them up, Christian claims of persecution fall flat on their face

Posted: Fri, 16 Mar 2012 by Terry Sanderson

The old adage "never believe what you read in the newspapers" has never been as apposite as it has been over the past week.

The Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail have surpassed themselves with headlines about the wearing of Christian crosses at work.

The Mail... Read More »

Tags: Christianity, Church & State, Equality & Human Rights

Without a pack of lies to back them up, Christian claims of persecution fall flat on their face

Without a pack of lies to back them up, Christian claims of persecution fall flat on their face

Posted: Mon, 12 Mar 2012 by Terry Sanderson

The old adage "never believe what you read in the newspapers" has never been so apposite as it has been over the past couple of days.

The Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail have surpassed themselves with headlines about the wearing of Christian crosses at work.... Read More »

Tags: Christianity, Equality & Human Rights

Countless millions of taxpayers’ money spent on discrimination in schools

Countless millions of taxpayers’ money spent on discrimination in schools

Posted: Wed, 07 Mar 2012 by Terry Sanderson

We often complain about the increasing amount of religion in schools, but it is not until you look at the job advertisements in papers like the Times Educational Supplement and the Church Times that you come to realise just how determined the churches are... Read More »

Tags: Faith Schools

Confrontation over gay marriage could change the relationship between religion and the state

Confrontation over gay marriage could change the relationship between religion and the state

Posted: Wed, 07 Mar 2012 by Terry Sanderson

It's happening all around the world. An increasingly politicised Catholic Church is manufacturing confrontations with governments in an effort to increase its influence and revitalise its dwindling flocks.

It is clear from what the Pope has been saying over... Read More »

Tags: Equality & Human Rights, Marriage Equality

The Tories will be watching how Republican’s religion-in-politics tactic plays

The Tories will be watching how Republican’s religion-in-politics tactic plays

Posted: Fri, 02 Mar 2012 by Terry Sanderson

The race for the Republican Party's Presidential nomination in the USA is turning into a religious farce. As Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich slug it out to become top dog, each tries to out-religion the other.

Romney is a Mormon, something that... Read More »

Tags: USA, Politics

Mr Pickles “community cohesion” policy is a recipe for conflict

Mr Pickles “community cohesion” policy is a recipe for conflict

Posted: Fri, 24 Feb 2012 by Terry Sanderson

Why is the Coalition Government increasingly embracing the policy of the US Republicans of appropriating religion for political purposes? It's not even as though it works very well for the GOP. In fact, Rick Santorum's present display of religious zealotry... Read More »

Tags: Community Cohesion, Church & State

The great debate begins

The great debate begins

Posted: Fri, 17 Feb 2012 by Terry Sanderson

We've been trying for a long time to get a national debate going about the place of religion in British society. It took our court case in Bideford to really ignite it.

The initial reaction has been — as we predicted last week — hysterical, misinformed,... Read More »

Tags: Church & State, Church of England, Council Prayers

Baroness Warsi and her gang of pious politicos are out of step with the nation

Baroness Warsi and her gang of pious politicos are out of step with the nation

Posted: Tue, 14 Feb 2012 by Terry Sanderson


I'm sure Baroness Warsi's speech to the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy in Rome today will please its audience. She promised to support the Pope in his desire to return Christianity to the centre of public life in Britain.

It also seemed to chime with the... Read More »

Tags: Church & State, Christianity, Catholic Church, 'Militant' secularism

Council prayer case will bring much abuse on to the head of the NSS

Council prayer case will bring much abuse on to the head of the NSS

Posted: Fri, 10 Feb 2012 by Terry Sanderson



As we contemplate the implications of the High Court decision that the saying of prayers as part of local council business is illegal, the National Secular Society is bracing for an absolute torrent of abuse, exaggeration, misrepresentation and hysteria from... Read More »

Tags: Council Prayers

Council prayer case will bring much abuse on to the head of the NSS

Posted: Fri, 10 Feb 2012 by Terry Sanderson

As we contemplate the implications of the High Court decision that the saying of prayers as part of local council business is illegal, the National Secular Society is bracing itself for an absolute torrent of abuse, exaggeration, misrepresentation and hysteria... Read More »

Tags: Council Prayers

The Catholic War on Democracy

The Catholic War on Democracy

Posted: Thu, 09 Feb 2012 by Terry Sanderson

At a Vatican meeting with Catholic bishops from the USA last month, the Pope told them that they had a duty to apply pressure on Catholic politicians to get Catholic doctrine written into law.

Ratzinger said: "The Church has a critical role to play in countering... Read More »

Tags: Catholic Church, Reproductive Rights, Church & State

Bishops, too, are entitled to unpleasant opinions

Bishops, too, are entitled to unpleasant opinions

Posted: Mon, 06 Feb 2012 by Terry Sanderson

A humanist politician in Ireland is trying to prosecute a Catholic Bishop for hate speech. Fine Gael election candidate John Colgan complained to the police about a homily delivered by the Bishop of Raphoe, Philip Boyce, at the Knock shrine, saying that it... Read More »

Tags: Freedom of Expression, Bishops

Sentamu's shot at gay marriage is only the first salvo in a bitter battle to come

Sentamu's shot at gay marriage is only the first salvo in a bitter battle to come

Posted: Tue, 31 Jan 2012 by Terry Sanderson

The Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, has warned the government that if it tries to legalise gay marriage, it will face a huge onslaught from religious bodies.

These are not empty words. The Church of England and the Catholic Church are already in talks to... Read More »

Tags: Christianity, Church & State, Church of England, Equality & Human Rights, Catholic Church

Misguided liberals are playing us all into the hands of the Islamist tyrants

Misguided liberals are playing us all into the hands of the Islamist tyrants

Posted: Fri, 27 Jan 2012 by Terry Sanderson

A recent letter to The Guardian stated that 'over the past decade, a number of academic studies have indicated a worrying and disproportionate trend towards negative, distorted and even fabricated reports in media coverage of the Muslim community'. It called... Read More »

Tags: Freedom of Expression, Islam

Why do the bishops have the right to thwart democratically agreed legislation?

Why do the bishops have the right to thwart democratically agreed legislation?

Posted: Tue, 24 Jan 2012 by Terry Sanderson

It was the Rt Rev John Packer, Bishop of Ripon and Leeds, who introduced the successful House of Lords amendment this week that defeated the Government's plan to cap benefits at £26,000 per family.

Whatever you think about the issue (and I know that the... Read More »

Tags: Church of England, Lords Reform

Establishment and the gay bishop

Establishment and the gay bishop

Posted: Wed, 18 Jan 2012 by Terry Sanderson

Geoffrey John, the clergyman at the heart of the gay bishops row, is threatening to take the Church of England to court if it continually refuses to make him a bishop.

It isn't clear what law he would sue under. Certainly not the Equality Act, which specifically... Read More »

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

A New Year when secularism must stand up for itself or be overwhelmed by religious power-seeking

Posted: Tue, 03 Jan 2012 by Terry Sanderson

The signs have been there for some considerable time – religion around the world is reviving, and it is not the benign, let's-be-good-to-each-other kind of religion that the propagandists would have us believe.

It is the old-time, ambitious, politicised,... Read More »

Tags: Christianity, Church & State, Big Society, Faith Schools, Education

Cameron is joining the right-wing rush to religion

Cameron is joining the right-wing rush to religion

Posted: Thu, 22 Dec 2011 by Terry Sanderson

David Cameron's now notorious speech to the Church of England, in which he promised to elevate "Christian values" to a special place in society, has been much commented on in the past week.

The speech itself was confused, contradictory and in places downright... Read More »

Tags: David Cameron, Christianity, Church of England, Morality, Church & State

A predictable reaction to council prayer challenge

Posted: Fri, 09 Dec 2011 by Terry Sanderson

NSS President, Terry Sanderson, reflects on the hostile reaction from commentators to our challenge to prayers during council meetings.

Tags: Council Prayers

Are Christian extremists at last being found out for what they are?

Posted: Fri, 02 Dec 2011 by Terry Sanderson

It seems that the fantasy world that has been created by the Christian Legal Centre and its rather scary head Andrea Minichiello Williams, has at last come under a bit of critical scrutiny from fellow Christians.

Tags: Christianity

No, Mr Blair – for all our sakes, pulpits and parliament must remain separate

Posted: Fri, 18 Nov 2011 by Terry Sanderson

Is Tony Blair — the man who converted to Catholicism when he left the office of Prime Minister and went on to establish the Tony Blair Faith Foundation — a secularist?

Tags: Christianity, Church & State, Tony Blair

It’s good when the Vatican has a bad week

Posted: Fri, 11 Nov 2011 by Terry Sanderson

Frances Kissling, when she was head of theWashingtonDCbased liberal group Catholics for Choice (anathema to theVatican), once told us that "My job is to ensure that the pope has a bad day every day."

Tags: Catholic Church, Child Abuse