Every week in Newsline we have a couple of quotes of the week on topics related to secularism. Please feel free to share these images.

Fri, 25 May 2018

What I find so disturbing about this debate is the heavy hand of the pious upon it. Behind them stand the serried ranks of a church that has shown itself undeserving of the respect it still expects and demands. From child abuse scandals to the cruel and demeaning treatment of unwed mothers and their vulnerable children, to the hypocrisy of a celibate clergy (who were often anything but) pontificating on how women should think and behave, Catholicism has imposed a legacy of shame and denigration that, in its harshness and misogyny, is worse than medieval.

Rosemary Goring, reflecting on the role of Catholicism in the Irish abortion referendum

It's so important that the government recognises the mistakes it made and guarantees it won't make them again… If I'd had inclusive and compulsory sex education at school, I don't think I'd be HIV positive today.

Andrew Bates, who knew nothing about HIV until he was diagnosed with it aged 21, on the legacy of Section 28

Fri, 18 May 2018

At a time when hate attacks against Muslims are having a serious impact on many people, let us try to ensure that obfuscation through the use of the term 'Islamophobia' does not take away from the real-world problems facing Muslims.

Fiyaz Mughal, founder and director of Faith Matters

If the [sexual] act is not ordered towards creation, then it is not procreative and therefore it is not a legitimate expression of sexuality, as far as we are concerned.

Father Michael McMahon, Church Representative with Inverclyde Council, speaking at the annual conference of the Catholic Headteachers’ Association of Scotland

Fri, 11 May 2018

You can't just choose one exhibit you think might offend someone and self-censor in that manner. It's sad and unwarranted, and it's also illegal.

Chaya David, a visitor who complained about the Natural History Museum in Jerusalem covering an exhibit to avoid offending ultra-Orthodox people

Fri, 27 Apr 2018

The bishop's apparent anger and energy might have been more productive at the time if it had been put into more serious investigation of allegations, as opposed to hostile rejection.

Simon Collins, a solicitor representing survivors of abuse in care homes run by a Catholic order, criticises archbishop Mario Conti at the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry

Fri, 20 Apr 2018

In the India where I grew up, memories of Gandhi, Tagore and Nehru were strong; the necessity of secularism was drummed into us. We knew that our politicians were largely venal, but it was still a country in which morality and humanity mattered. Now, journalists and writers who speak up against the undeclared war on Dalits, Muslims, poor people and women are trolled by cyber-mobs – if they're lucky.

Anuradha Roy, an award-winning writer, reflects on the shocking response to the rape and murder of a girl from a Muslim tribe in India this week

If you criticise ideas, you challenge ideas, that's when you move a society forward. When you demonise people that's how you rip societies apart.

Ali Rizvi, ex-Muslim author, on negotiating the space between left and right on Islam

I am all too aware that these laws were often put in place by my own country. They were wrong then, and they are wrong now. As the UK's prime minister, I deeply regret both the fact that such laws were introduced and the legacy of discrimination, violence and even death that persists today.

Theresa May, reflecting on anti-gay laws in the Commonwealth

Fri, 13 Apr 2018

This was never about protest. It was about small groups of strangers choosing to gather by our entrance gates where they could harass and intimidate women and try to prevent them from accessing healthcare to which they are legally entitled.

Richard Bentley, Marie Stopes UK managing director, on buffer zones outside abortion clinics

Don't let go, be the British bulldog, be tenacious. I would tell anybody out there to trust in the British justice system. Yes, it's crazily weird, but you will get justice.

A woman who was sexually abused as a child by members of the Salvation Army, outlining what she’d tell others after the conviction of her abusers

Politics apart, this is horrible that some people would see this horrendous crime through a religious prism to gain some mileage. It's a new low and I don't know if we can stoop any lower after this.

Girdhari Lal, a retired teacher, reflecting on the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl from a Muslim family in Indian-controlled Kashmir. The crime has sparked protests from Hindu nationalists, who are demanding the release of the accused

Fri, 30 Mar 2018

Two exceptionally courageous, tenacious and determined men who simply refused to give in to the lies and deceit of the church hierarchy.

Peter Tatchell, paying tribute to Phil Johnson and Graham Sawyer at Secularist of the Year

Following last year's terrorist attacks, a central government has again been forced to make it look like something is being done on integration. But once again the administration of the day appears to have a faith schools policy that flies in the face of such a goal.

William Stewart, Tes reporter and twice national educational journalist of the year in the CIPR Education Journalism Awards

Those fighting injustice should be the last to demand censorship, the first to oppose it.

Kenan Malik, calling for a greater commitment to free speech

Fri, 23 Mar 2018

A terrible week with evidence of religious exceptionalism, stupidity, incompetence, lying, dumping responsibility at every level including the highest, and folie de grandeur. Bishops must be accountable. This means not just to themselves.

Alan Wilson, the bishop of Buckingham, on the revelations from the IICSA inquiry

From the start of his career to his dying breath, he was cocooned, chastised and cared for by the institution in which he had flourished. Ultimately he was shamed, but he was not cast out.

Rosemary Goring, reflecting on the death of Keith O’Brien, the Catholic cardinal who faced a string of allegations of sexual abuse

A man has been convicted in a UK court of making a joke that was deemed 'grossly offensive'. If you don't believe in a person's right to say things that you might find 'grossly offensive', then you don't believe in freedom of speech.

Ricky Gervais, responding to the conviction of a man who filmed a pet dog giving Nazi salutes

Fri, 16 Mar 2018

All of us have a responsibility to challenge extremist rhetoric. People should be free to scrutinise Islam. But they must not aid the hatred of Muslims.

Maajid Nawaz, responds to the circulation of a letter calling for a 'Punish a Muslim day'