Author: Megan Manson

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Party logos

Election 2019: Secularism and the parties of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland

Posted: Wed, 04 Dec 2019 by Megan Manson

Megan Manson continues our election analysis of parties' policies on secularist issues. This time she examines the policies of the major parties of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Read More »

Tags: Democracy, Election, Equality & Human Rights, Freedom of Expression, House of Lords, Reproductive Rights

Party logos

Election 2019: Where do the major parties stand on secularist issues?

Posted: Thu, 28 Nov 2019 by Megan Manson

Megan Manson studies the main UK-wide parties' election manifestos – and says religion will continue to be a dividing force in UK politics during the next parliament. Read More »

Tags: Circumcision, Democracy, Education, Election, Equality & Human Rights, Extremism, FGM, Forced marriage, Freedom of Expression, House of Lords, Marriage, Public Services, RSE, Religious Freedom, Religious Slaughter, Reproductive Rights

Donation box

Most new faith based charities do nothing but promote religion. Time to reform charity law

Posted: Tue, 19 Nov 2019 by Megan Manson

An Islamic organisation which condones extremist messages was among charities which registered on questionable grounds in October. The bar for religious groups to become charities is set too low, says Megan Manson. Read More »

Tags: Charity

Secularism is a feminist issue badges

Secularism is a feminist issue

Posted: Mon, 14 Oct 2019 by Megan Manson

Ahead of the FiLiA 2019 conference this weekend, Megan Manson argues that secularism is a crucial ingredient in campaigns for women's equality. Read More »

Tags: Gender Equality

Operation Christmas Child

Operation Christmas Child: Does its charity benefit the public?

Posted: Wed, 25 Sep 2019 by Megan Manson

Samaritan's Purse is again launching its Christmas shoebox scheme in parts of the UK. The harm done by Operation Christmas Child should prompt a rethink of this Evangelical group's charitable status, says Megan Manson. Read More »

Tags: Charity, Samaritans Purse

Baby

A woman is convicted over circumcision. What happens next?

Posted: Fri, 06 Sep 2019 by Megan Manson

A pharmacist has been convicted for having a baby boy circumcised against his parents' wishes. Megan Manson says the case raises alarming questions over our willingness to defend children's bodily integrity consistently. Read More »

Tags: Circumcision, Healthcare

No Outsiders

‘No Outsiders’ offers a vision of tolerance and equality

Posted: Wed, 31 Jul 2019 by Megan Manson

The current wave of religious protests outside schools began with objections to the No Outsiders scheme of work. As its author prepares to give the NSS's Bradlaugh Lecture, Megan Manson asks what the fuss was about. Read More »

Tags: Education, LGBTQ rights, RSE

Crying baby

Charity law shouldn't support infant genital cutting

Posted: Tue, 23 Jul 2019 by Megan Manson

The existence of religious charities that support and facilitate infant circumcision demonstrates the urgent need to reform charity law, argues Megan Manson. Read More »

Tags: Charity, Circumcision

Same-sex relationship

Why are we letting faith schools stigmatise same-sex relationships?

Posted: Thu, 11 Jul 2019 by Megan Manson

Ofsted penalises schools that refuse to teach about LGBT people, but seems to ignore other schools that teach same-sex relationships are morally wrong. Megan Manson says this double standard needs to end. Read More »

Tags: Education, Faith schools, RSE

Transgender and intersex

What might Catholic schools teach about transgender and intersex people?

Posted: Fri, 14 Jun 2019 by Megan Manson

Megan Manson examines a new document outlining the Catholic Church's position on issues relating to sex and gender, and explains how this may lead to conflict in Catholic Schools. Read More »

Tags: Catholic Church, Education, Faith Schools, RSE

Razor blade

Let’s face facts: FGM has something to do with religion

Posted: Thu, 14 Mar 2019 by Megan Manson

Politicians who insist female genital cutting has nothing to do with religion set a dangerous precedent that undermines campaigns to combat it and other religious harms, says Megan Manson. Read More »

Tags: Circumcision, FGM

How secularism protects people who have religious faith

How secularism protects people who have religious faith

Posted: Wed, 14 Nov 2018 by Megan Manson

For Interfaith Week 2018, campaigns officer Megan Manson explains how the National Secular Society's work protects those who are religious as well as those who are not.

One of the most common misconceptions about the National Secular Society is that we are... Read More »

Tags: Caste, Child Abuse, Circumcision, Conversion therapy, FGM, Freedom of Expression, One law for all, Secularism

Why are harmful charities registered at all?

Why are harmful charities registered at all?

Posted: Fri, 12 Oct 2018 by Megan Manson

The revelation that Amazon funds extremist religious charities is the tip of the iceberg. Our charity system has deep problems, in part stemming from the presumption that religion is a public good, says Megan Manson.

On paper, it's hard to find fault with Amazon... Read More »

Tags: Charity, Extremism

Seven secularist steps that would strengthen democracy in the UK

Seven secularist steps that would strengthen democracy in the UK

Posted: Wed, 04 Jul 2018 by Megan Manson

In recognition of National Democracy Week 2018, Megan Manson reflects on what still needs to be changed to make the UK a truly democratic, secular state. Read More »

Tags: Church & State, Church of England, Council prayers, Faith Schools, Freedom of Expression, Head of state, One law for all, Secularism

Just how equal is marriage now?

Just how equal is marriage now?

Posted: Sun, 10 Jun 2018 by Megan Manson

After the NSS revealed the extra hassle and expense involved in arranging same-sex and non-religious weddings in England and Wales, Megan Manson calls for marriage to be made a civil affair in the eyes of the law.

The institution of marriage has radically transformed.... Read More »

Tags: Marriage, Marriage Equality

How secularism cuts the Gordian knot in education

How secularism cuts the Gordian knot in education

Posted: Fri, 18 May 2018 by Megan Manson

Faith schools' approach to admissions and sex education reminds us that religious groups' interests often conflict with those of society. Megan Manson says the only answer to this is to separate education from religion.

When we tie religion and state together,... Read More »

Tags: Education, Faith Schools, RSE

Seven women who refused to be silenced by religious bullies

Seven women who refused to be silenced by religious bullies

Posted: Thu, 08 Mar 2018 by Megan Manson

On International Women's Day, Megan Manson celebrates the stories of seven brave and determined women in the UK who religious hardliners have tried – and failed miserably – to bully over the past year.

Religion is one of the key obstructions to... Read More »

Tags: Education, Extremism, Gender Equality, LGBTQ rights, Sabbatarianism

Faith School Admissions: Four Myths Busted

Faith School Admissions: Four Myths Busted

Posted: Mon, 22 Jan 2018 by Megan Manson

Megan Manson takes on common myths about the 50% cap on children admitted on religious grounds to faith schools.

It's unpleasant enough that any institution would turn away a child on the basis of their parents' beliefs. When it's a state-funded school, it's... Read More »

Tags: Education, Faith Schools, Fifty percent cap, admissions

Book review: 'Persepolis'

Book review: 'Persepolis'

Posted: Tue, 16 Jan 2018 by Megan Manson

In light of the recent protests in Iran, and the rise of Islamist extremism throughout the world, Megan Manson looks back at the graphic novel Persepolis, published nearly 20 years ago.

If there were ever a perfect time to read Persepolis, it would be now.... Read More »

Tags: Iran, Islamism, Reviews

The David and Goliath battle in our schools: parents versus religion

The David and Goliath battle in our schools: parents versus religion

Posted: Thu, 11 Jan 2018 by Megan Manson

As NSS research highlights a systemic bias against secular schooling, Megan Manson explores the tactics used by religion to infiltrate education – and how parents are fighting back.

In November, the National Secular Society got a call from a parent whose... Read More »

Tags: Academisation, Casework focus, Education, Evangelism in schools, Faith Schools

Fundamentalists feel the Force of Star Wars

Fundamentalists feel the Force of Star Wars

Posted: Tue, 09 Jan 2018 by Megan Manson

Sabbatarians in Lewis claim a right to impose their beliefs on others, including by banning screenings of Star Wars on Sundays. Megan Manson asks if they would make these demands if Jediism was a recognised religion.

Obi-Wan has taught them well. When An Lanntair... Read More »

Tags: Sabbatarianism, Scotland

Yes, secularism is good for gender equality

Yes, secularism is good for gender equality

Posted: Wed, 03 Jan 2018 by Megan Manson

Western academics who claim that secularism undermines women's rights are not merely wrong; their assertions are a slap in the face of women fighting for their rights under religious tyranny, says Megan Manson.

Of all the images that have emerged from mass... Read More »

Tags: Gender Equality

Interfaith must embrace secularism

Interfaith must embrace secularism

Posted: Mon, 13 Nov 2017 by Megan Manson

Interfaith Week is underway. Megan Manson says interfaith dialogue must embrace secularist principles to remain relevant, effective and inclusive.

Interfaith, the constructive dialogue between people of different faiths in order to promote mutual understanding,... Read More »

Tags: Religion & Belief, Secularism

Protecting freedom of belief for the many and the few

Protecting freedom of belief for the many and the few

Posted: Mon, 23 Oct 2017 by Megan Manson

Ahead of International Freedom of Religion or Belief Day, Megan Manson looks at democratic secularism's changing role in an age of the non-religious minority and rising diversity.

In the past, those who have given their greatest support for secularism have... Read More »

Tags: Freedom from Religion, Religion & Belief, Religious Freedom, Secularisation

Al-Hijrah School ruling: The fight to end segregation has only just begun

Al-Hijrah School ruling: The fight to end segregation has only just begun

Posted: Sat, 14 Oct 2017 by Megan Manson

The ruling that an Islamic faith school's policy of gender segregation is unlawful should force us to have have a broader conversation about the religious segregation and inequality our children face in UK schools, argues Megan Manson

Make no mistake: the ruling... Read More »

Tags: Education, Gender Equality

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