Author: Keith Porteous Wood

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Spotlight: This hard-hitting film salutes the journalists who exposed the power of a deeply corrupt institution

Spotlight: This hard-hitting film salutes the journalists who exposed the power of a deeply corrupt institution

Posted: Thu, 28 Jan 2016 by Keith Porteous Wood

Keith Porteous Wood previews Spotlight, the hard-hitting film which depicts the Boston Globe's investigation into the cover-up of child sex abuse by the Catholic Church.

Spotlight, a film released this Friday (29 January), follows the Boston Globe's dogged... Read More »

Tags: Catholic Church, Reviews

Damning details emerge about establishment cover-up of Anglican sex abuse

Damning details emerge about establishment cover-up of Anglican sex abuse

Posted: Mon, 04 Jan 2016 by Keith Porteous Wood

New revelations about the extent of the letter-writing campaign to help disgraced bishop Peter Ball escape charges raise urgent questions about the extent of the establishment cover-up, writes Keith Porteous Wood.

Former Bishop of Gloucester Peter Ball was... Read More »

Tags: Child Abuse, Church of England

National occasions need not be dominated by religion – as France’s commemoration ceremony so poignantly demonstrated

National occasions need not be dominated by religion – as France’s commemoration ceremony so poignantly demonstrated

Posted: Tue, 01 Dec 2015 by Keith Porteous Wood

France's recent ceremony for those killed in the Paris attacks was a moving demonstration that religiously neutral ceremonies are a powerful way to unite people regardless of faith or politics; it is something the UK could emulate for our own public ceremonies,... Read More »

Tags: Church & State, France, Remembrance

Peter Ball sex abuse case: 20 questions that must be answered

Peter Ball sex abuse case: 20 questions that must be answered

Posted: Wed, 07 Oct 2015 by Keith Porteous Wood

Any genuine inquiry into the handling of allegations of child sex abuse by Bishop Peter Ball must answer key questions about alleged cover-ups by the Church, police and CPS, argues Keith Porteous Wood

The National Secular Society has been closely monitoring... Read More »

Tags: Child Abuse, Church of England, George Carey

Assisted Dying Bill: The Church has no right to deny dignity in death

Assisted Dying Bill: The Church has no right to deny dignity in death

Posted: Thu, 10 Sep 2015 by Keith Porteous Wood

The media give too much weight to the views of faith leaders who have failed to deal with the central issue of assisted dying, which is alleviating the suffering of others, argues Keith Porteous Wood.

While religious leaders are as entitled as anyone else... Read More »

Tags: Assisted Dying

The BBC is failing to respond to fair criticism of its religious output

The BBC is failing to respond to fair criticism of its religious output

Posted: Tue, 11 Aug 2015 by Keith Porteous Wood

The NSS has objected numerous times over the past half century to the exclusion of non-believers from BBC Radio 4's Thought for the Day but it now seems as though the BBC will not even consider objections to the programme, raising questions about how the Corporation... Read More »

Tags: BBC, Thought for the Day

Catholic hierarchy stand by while nuns’ orders seek to obstruct justice for their abuse victims

Catholic hierarchy stand by while nuns’ orders seek to obstruct justice for their abuse victims

Posted: Mon, 06 Jul 2015 by Keith Porteous Wood

Following the failed attempt to obstruct the historic child abuse inquiry in Scotland, Keith Porteous Wood exposes the continuing reluctance of the Catholic Church to face up to and pay for its crimes.

Two orders of nuns have sought and failed to frustrate... Read More »

Tags: Catholic Church, Child Abuse

The Catholic Church is now paying the price for its past in Ireland

The Catholic Church is now paying the price for its past in Ireland

Posted: Tue, 26 May 2015 by Keith Porteous Wood

NSS executive director Keith Porteous Wood welcomes the Irish referendum result on marriage equality and argues that the Catholic Church's appalling recent history in Ireland shows it deserves to be discredited- as it now has been, by the overwhelming referendum... Read More »

Tags: Ireland, Marriage Equality

Irish same-sex marriage – is the Church trying to blackmail the state?

Irish same-sex marriage – is the Church trying to blackmail the state?

Posted: Fri, 17 Apr 2015 by Keith Porteous Wood

The Roman Catholic Church in Ireland has threatened to stop civil marriage registration if Irish law is changed to allow same sex marriages. Keith Porteous Wood argues that if it were to carry out its threat, it could inflict more harm on the Church than any... Read More »

Tags: Catholic Church, Ireland, Marriage Equality

Should taxpayers be paying for the Church’s leaking roofs?

Should taxpayers be paying for the Church’s leaking roofs?

Posted: Fri, 20 Mar 2015 by Keith Porteous Wood

Keith Porteous Wood argues that with the Church Commissioners sitting on a £4bn surplus, the Church of England should not be receiving additional public funds for fixing church roofs, and it should concede changes to the law on Chancel Repair Liability... Read More »

Tags: Chancel Repair Liability, Church of England, Statistics

Assisted Dying: It is now a case of ‘when’, rather than ‘if’

Assisted Dying: It is now a case of ‘when’, rather than ‘if’

Posted: Tue, 11 Nov 2014 by Keith Porteous Wood

On Friday 7 November the Assisted Dying Bill was debated in the House of Lords. The executive director of the National Secular Society, Keith Porteous Wood, who attended last Friday's debate, reports back about the debate and the Bill's progress.

Although the... Read More »

Tags: Assisted Dying

Pope's first year of papacy has been a failure on child abuse

Pope's first year of papacy has been a failure on child abuse

Posted: Thu, 13 Mar 2014 by Keith Porteous Wood

This week marks the first anniversary of the election of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina as Pope Francis. But as far as far as child abuse is concerned, it's just business as usual at the Vatican – but with better PR, argues Keith Porteous... Read More »

Tags: Catholic Church, Child Abuse

The RE Report – A missed opportunity

The RE Report – A missed opportunity

Posted: Fri, 25 Oct 2013 by Keith Porteous Wood

The RE Council's report has been well received. However, with the decline in church attendance and increasing evangelism in schools, Keith Porteous Wood argues vital opportunities to reform RE have been missed.

The Religious Education Council Report is a missed... Read More »

Tags: Education, Religious education

Same Sex Marriage Act - time to separate religion from politics

Same Sex Marriage Act - time to separate religion from politics

Posted: Tue, 23 Jul 2013 by Keith Porteous Wood

The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill has passed with overwhelming support. It has done little more than re-brand civil partnerships, but symbolically its passing was a breath-taking moment of the zeitgeist, writes Keith Porteous Wood.

Even the leadership of... Read More »

Tags: Church & State, Marriage Equality

Will the UN finally bring the Vatican to account for its child abuse crimes?

Will the UN finally bring the Vatican to account for its child abuse crimes?

Posted: Thu, 11 Jul 2013 by Keith Porteous Wood

As a United Nations Committee on children's rights confronts the Vatican on its abysmal record on clerical paedophilia and criminal cover-ups, Keith Porteous Wood describes his role in bringing the Holy See to account.

Hardly a month passes without a further... Read More »

Tags: Catholic Church, Child Abuse, Pope

Unsatisfactory answers about Establishment

Unsatisfactory answers about Establishment

Posted: Fri, 10 May 2013 by Keith Porteous Wood

Keith Porteous Wood reports on Lord MacKay of Clashfern's Richard O'Sullivan Memorial Lecture on the subject "Does Establishment have a Future?" at the Middle Temple this week.

Richard O'Sullivan was a Middle Temple lawyer who took his Catholicism very seriously.... Read More »

Tags: Church of England, Disestablishment

The CofE tries to spin its bad news. But it’s still bad news.

The CofE tries to spin its bad news. But it’s still bad news.

Posted: Wed, 08 May 2013 by Keith Porteous Wood

The Church of England was struggling to make the best out of its latest attendance figures (pdf) (for 2011), claiming that they are "stabilising" and provoking the Daily Mail's headline: "Hark! The flock's back: Church attendances up... but it's only at Christmas".... Read More »

Tags: Church of England, statistics

Edward Leigh’s Bill to put religious conscience opt-out into Equality Act is doomed

Edward Leigh’s Bill to put religious conscience opt-out into Equality Act is doomed

Posted: Fri, 01 Feb 2013 by Keith Porteous Wood

By Keith Porteous Wood, executive director of the National Secular Society

A ten-minute rule Bill — the Equality (Marriage) (Amendment) Bill — was introduced in the House of Commons on 29 January 2013. Its aim is to amend the Equality Act to add... Read More »

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

Why it's important to add your voice to the Scout's consultation on non-believers

Why it's important to add your voice to the Scout's consultation on non-believers

Posted: Thu, 06 Dec 2012 by Keith Porteous Wood

It was nearly five years ago that I went with a colleague to speak to Derek Twine, the chief executive of the Scouts, and his senior colleagues, to discuss the possibility of the Scouts being opened up to the non-religious. Accommodating non-believers would... Read More »

Tags: Scouts

It’s time to restore free speech – no-one has the right not to be offended.

It’s time to restore free speech – no-one has the right not to be offended.

Posted: Wed, 04 Jul 2012 by Keith Porteous Wood

Today, Lord Mawhinney is tabling an amendment in the House of Lords to remove the word "insulting" from Section 5 of the Public Order Act. It's one of those catchall provisions with a very low prosecution threshold that tarnishes our reputation for freedom... Read More »

Tags: Freedom of Expression, Public Order Act

A message from Keith Porteous Wood of the National Secular Society and Simon Calvert of The Christian Institute

A message from Keith Porteous Wood of the National Secular Society and Simon Calvert of The Christian Institute

Posted: Wed, 23 May 2012 by Keith Porteous Wood

A week ago we launched Reform Section 5 with a press conference in the House of Commons. The reaction was exactly what we hoped for: within hours everyone was talking about how ridiculous it is to outlaw insults.

The biggest problem we had was finding anyone... Read More »

Tags: Freedom of Expression

Government to work with Church of England to promote more religious schools

Government to work with Church of England to promote more religious schools

Posted: Thu, 19 Apr 2012 by Keith Porteous Wood

During Education Questions in the House of Commons on Monday, Michael Gove, the Education Secretary (for England) intimated that the Government is working with the Church of England to bring about its ambition to open hundreds more church schools.

The recently... Read More »

Tags: Education, Faith Schools

Religious education GCSE will lose its appeal when the exam is toughened up

Religious education GCSE will lose its appeal when the exam is toughened up

Posted: Fri, 03 Feb 2012 by Keith Porteous Wood

The Churches love to tell us how "popular" religious studies are in schools. Keith Porteous Wood suspects the popularity may have more to do with the course being ridiculously easy, rather than any desire for a deeper understanding of religion.

The Churches... Read More »

Tags: Education, Religious education

Executive Director’s Diary: Sharia, Civil Partnerships and Lords Reform

Posted: Fri, 16 Dec 2011 by Keith Porteous Wood

NSS Executive Director Keith Porteous Wood on a busy week of campaigning in Parliament.

Tags: Campaigns, Lords Reform, Parliament, Sharia

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