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, 26 Jan 2018
Damian Hinds attended a grammar school in Cheshire, a religious one to boot. He has advocated more Catholic schools, and with power at his fingertips he can lift the admissions cap tomorrow - no new laws needed. Why anyone would think it good value to build faith-only places in an increasingly secular world is beyond me, but he has the power.
Mary Doe must make decisions regarding her health based on the best scientific understanding of the world, even if the science does not comport with the religious or political beliefs of others.
Suppose you were a white supremacist who wanted to keep Muslim children down. Or suppose you were a Machiavellian middle-class parent, who wanted to handicap the competition your child would face when the race for university places began. In either case, you would be delighted by what is happening at St Stephen's primary school in Newham.
Fri, 19 Jan 2018
Religious freedom is not a lovely antique, a family heirloom or a relic of a bygone era. It is a dynamic, progressive value that underlies every other constitutional freedom we have and it is under siege.
Such a terrible sign and an incoherent signal to survivors.
Fri, 12 Jan 2018
I want the clerics out of my face. I want to live my life without interference and realise my full potential.
Appeasing religious extremists is a bottomless pit and the civilised world needs to remain on guard against archaic practices and ideologies because their proponents will not stop until all of their demands are met.
Fri, 05 Jan 2018
The threat and infliction of violence was constant. You couldn't escape it, it was completely normalised.
It's a conservative religious mentality that is losing the argument, that is losing ground as ideas and information find their way to every smartphone and campus.
Fri, 22 Dec 2017
The courts don't believe in god and shouldn't treat religious cases differently.
Modern religion can be about charity and community. But it can also be about heresy, apostasy, misogyny, excommunication and violence. If we are to live with, talk about and respect religious belief, then we must also criticise, question and make fun of it, as we might any other belief.
If we let ourselves be intimidated out of discussing these issues, it's children who will suffer.
Fri, 15 Dec 2017
The clerical hunger for unchallenged dogmatic authority is still strong. It reinforces inequalities and absurdities, and makes faith a bully.
A core function of education is to pass on what one generation knows to the next. Part and parcel of this is spreading the values and culture that bind us as a society. There is no tension between this and religious pluralism. In fact, any proper teaching of fundamental British values encourages respect and tolerance for others' views.
The challenges for those of a moderate disposition are many. We, as ordinary citizens, cannot hide from the consequences of extremist actions. Believers, atheists and agnostics alike, we are all in this together.
Fri, 08 Dec 2017
Stifling debate is dangerous. We know these ignorant or dangerous views exist, but if you ignore them they don't go away. They fester. People feel a sense of frustration that they don't have the freedom to express their views, which can lead to even more extreme views.
What a day, what a day for love, for equality, for respect.
The Ofsted inspector said there has to be toilet rolls. We said there are always toilet rolls but they are not always out - so what?
It is repugnant to generally accepted standards of morality to require someone to lie, especially about matters so concerned with their protected human rights.
Fri, 01 Dec 2017
They will say that it is just verbal and political. They know that in this world right now this is not the way some other people see it. It really isn't a joke. It is genuinely dangerous. These campaigns are all part of an attempt to intimidate public figures from saying anything at all about integration into our society.
Despite promising to defend equality, tolerance and mutual respect in schools as part of the drive against extremism, ministers appear to be turning a blind eye to taxpayers' money being used to promote the idea that girls are inferior to boys.
Being religious, or being from 'our' religious tradition, should not give any politician a privileged position or a get-out clause that allows them to ignore the accepted bases of authority: logic, scientific fact, experimental test, critical evaluation and an appeal to values we share in common.
Fri, 24 Nov 2017
We must understand that in the Malaysian context, freedom of religion does not mean freedom from any religion.
It's not something we want to do, it's something we just need to do to be able to provide the sort of education we want to provide.
Fri, 17 Nov 2017
Whenever I hear some bigmouth in Washington or the Christian heartland banging on about the evils of sodomy or whatever, I mentally enter his name in my notebook and contentedly set my watch. Sooner rather than later, he will be discovered down on his weary and well-worn old knees in some dreary motel or latrine, with an expired Visa card, having tried to pay well over the odds to be peed upon by some Apache transvestite.