Author: Megan Manson

Beware the government’s “new normal” of faith-based public services

Beware the government’s “new normal” of faith-based public services

Posted: Thu, 23 Sep 2021 by Megan Manson

A new government fund exclusively for faith groups threatens to embed religious privilege into public services, warns Megan Manson. Read More »

Tags: Public services

Why can’t charity regulators tackle child abuse in faith groups?

Why can’t charity regulators tackle child abuse in faith groups?

Posted: Mon, 13 Sep 2021 by Megan Manson

An inquiry's report has highlighted the barriers which regulators face in dealing with child abuse in religious charities. Megan Manson says this should prompt reforms – including in how charity law deals with religion. Read More »

Tags: Charity, Child abuse

Holding hands over Bible

Helping the public shouldn’t mean pushing religion on people

Posted: Mon, 12 Jul 2021 by Megan Manson

A parliamentary group has removed provisions in its 'faith covenant' that prevent faith groups from proselytising when delivering public services. This leaves vulnerable people open to exploitation, says Megan Manson. Read More »

Tags: Opinion Out Loud, Public services

Toddler feet

All children should have the right to refuse circumcision

Posted: Fri, 25 Jun 2021 by Megan Manson

A judge has ruled that a boy who was taken into care shouldn't be subjected to non-consensual, non-therapeutic genital cutting. This is welcome, says Megan Manson - but every child should have similar rights. Read More »

Tags: Circumcision

Woman wearing trousers

Charity law shouldn’t enable misogyny

Posted: Thu, 17 Jun 2021 by Megan Manson

A Christian organisation which pushes misogynistic messages, including by blaming women for rape, has registered as a charity. This highlights a widespread problem which needs legal reform to address, says Megan Manson. Read More »

Tags: Charity, Women's rights

Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds

The PM's Catholic wedding shows the need for a church-state divorce

Posted: Wed, 09 Jun 2021 by Megan Manson

In light of his Catholic wedding, Boris Johnson has handed over the duty of advising on the appointment of bishops. Megan Manson asks why the prime minister should have any business in church affairs in the first place. Read More »

Tags: Church and State, Disestablishment

Upset teenage girl

Parents’ religious wishes must not trump children’s safety and education

Posted: Thu, 20 May 2021 by Megan Manson

Every child has been withdrawn from sex education classes at an independent faith school. Megan Manson says the parental right of withdrawal is incompatible with children's right to an education that keeps them safe. Read More »

Tags: Education, Opinion Out Loud, RSE

Children in class

If Scotland wants to uphold children’s rights, its schools need to change

Posted: Thu, 08 Apr 2021 by Megan Manson

After the Scottish parliament's decision to sign a charter for children's rights into law, Megan Manson says parties in the upcoming election should challenge religious groups' privileged influence over education policy. Read More »

Tags: Children's rights, Education, Scotland

Any serious counter-extremism strategy should consider religious charities

Any serious counter-extremism strategy should consider religious charities

Posted: Mon, 15 Mar 2021 by Megan Manson

As a commission calls for action to tackle hateful extremism, Megan Manson says changes in the charity sector – including legal reform – would be both helpful and compatible with fundamental liberal principles. Read More »

Tags: Charity, Extremism

School sign

Faith-based school admissions pave the way for sexist and unreasonable demands. It’s time to end them

Posted: Fri, 05 Mar 2021 by Megan Manson

An adjudicator's ruling has exposed the outrageous requirements a state-funded faith school places on pupils and their families. This shows the need to end faith-based discrimination in admissions, says Megan Manson. Read More »

Tags: Admissions, Education, Faith Schools

Tandav film

Religious censorship is about ownership

Posted: Tue, 02 Feb 2021 by Megan Manson

Theocratic demands for censorship in India and Pakistan reflect attempts to grab power which undermine everyone's religious freedom, says Megan Manson. Read More »

Tags: Freedom of Expression, Hindu Nationalism, Islamism

Religious conversion

Religious conversion isn’t a charitable endeavour

Posted: Thu, 14 Jan 2021 by Megan Manson

Some registered charities exist primarily to convert members of one religion to another. Megan Manson says such activity is harmful to community cohesion – and shouldn't be treated as a valid charitable purpose. Read More »

Tags: Charity, Community Cohesion, Opinion Out Loud

Girl walking away from school

Allowing religious discrimination in school admissions opens the door to other forms of discrimination

Posted: Thu, 03 Dec 2020 by Megan Manson

A state-funded faith school recently rejected a child because her mother isn't Jewish. This shows the absurdity of religious discrimination in admissions, says Megan Manson. Read More »

Tags: Admissions, Discrimination, Faith Schools

Pope Francis

Human rights should not be at the mercy of the pope’s pontifications

Posted: Wed, 28 Oct 2020 by Megan Manson

Amid widespread interest in the pope's views on same-sex civil unions, Megan Manson says states shouldn't allow themselves to be used to further the Catholic Church's agendas. Read More »

Tags: Abortion, Catholic Church, Human rights, LGBT Rights, Reproductive Rights

Islamic marriage

Problems around Islamic marriage require a secular solution

Posted: Fri, 28 Aug 2020 by Megan Manson

A new report says compulsory registration for Islamic marriages is needed to tackle discrimination and abuse. Megan Manson argues broad reform to marriage laws is a better way to ensure fairness and equality for all. Read More »

Tags: Marriage

Children at school

Our schools should promote social cohesion – so educate children together

Posted: Tue, 11 Aug 2020 by Megan Manson

As research shows social integration is key to fostering positive attitudes toward people of different religions and beliefs, Megan Manson says we should challenge the segregation and division inherent to faith schools. Read More »

Tags: Community Cohesion, Education, Faith Schools

It’s time for one marriage law for all

It’s time for one marriage law for all

Posted: Tue, 07 Jul 2020 by Megan Manson

A new High Court challenge to get humanist marriages legally recognised in England and Wales gives us an opportunity to consider how to reform our marriage laws for greater simplicity, equality and freedom, says Megan Manson. Read More »

Tags: Marriage, Marriage equality

Rainbow flag

Why can't Ofsted stop state schools preaching that same-sex relationships are wrong?

Posted: Thu, 25 Jun 2020 by Megan Manson

As the government considers ways to end 'gay conversion therapy' it should give Ofsted the power to stop faith schools fostering anti-LGBT attitudes in the first place, says Megan Manson. Read More »

Tags: Conversion therapy, Education, LGBT Rights, RSE, Religious education

Outdoor weddings

Outdoor marriage shouldn't be restricted on religious grounds

Posted: Thu, 11 Jun 2020 by Megan Manson

The government is reportedly planning to allow couples to marry outdoors as we emerge from lockdown. This is a chance to make marriage more equal and free for all permanently, says Megan Manson. Read More »

Tags: Marriage

Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland

Scotland says it wants to clamp down on hate. But its charity law helps to promote it

Posted: Thu, 21 May 2020 by Megan Manson

The Scottish government has published a bill that threatens to outlaw the expression of hateful ideas. But meanwhile religious groups who promote harmful ideology enjoy charitable status, says Megan Manson. Read More »

Tags: Charity

Woman crying

How charity law props up ‘gay conversion therapy’

Posted: Thu, 14 May 2020 by Megan Manson

As the NSS challenges the status of a Christian charity which pushes "change oriented therapy" for gay people, Megan Manson says charity law shouldn't help religious groups to engage in exploitative behaviour. Read More »

Tags: Charity, Conversion Therapy

Gay men

Charity and homophobia shouldn’t mix

Posted: Wed, 15 Apr 2020 by Megan Manson

The proliferation of religious charities openly expressing anti-LGBT views should prompt us to rethink religion's privileged position in charity law, says Megan Manson. Read More »

Tags: Charity

Plague protection oil

Charities can’t sell snake oil. Or can they?

Posted: Tue, 07 Apr 2020 by Megan Manson

If we want to protect vulnerable people from being duped into buying 'miracle cures' from religious charities we should start by reforming charity law, says Megan Manson. Read More »

Tags: Charity, Healthcare

Prayer

Most Brits don’t pray. It’s time for our institutions to stop imposing worship

Posted: Tue, 03 Mar 2020 by Megan Manson

As figures show most people in Britain never pray, Megan Manson says institutionalised prayer has no place in our parliament, councils, schools or public ceremonies. Read More »

Tags: Collective Worship, Council Prayers, Parliament, Prayers, Remembrance