Tag Archives: freedom from religion

Ep 36: Faith-shaped holes in the Equality Act



Baroness Lynne Featherstone joins the podcast to discuss the tenth anniversary of the Equality Act 2010, the Act’s significance and the problems caused by continuing religious privilege, as covered in a recent NSS report.

Full show notes and subscriber information: https://www.secularism.org.uk/podcast/2020/10/ep36


Ep 25: American religious exceptionalism and Covid-19



This episode is about secularism in the USA, its basis in the American constitution, and its opposition by the religious right. The NSS’s Alastair Lichten interviews Andrew Seidel, an attorney at the Freedom From Religion Foundation. They discuss the narratives of religious exceptionalism and persecution propagated by some on the Christian right – and other tactics which they have used over many years to build up their political influence. Andrew argues that the Christian right use a misinterpretation of the First Amendment to justify religious gatherings during the pandemic. He also reveals what organisations like the FFRF are doing to challenge them.

Alastair is then joined by Emma Park to reflect on similarities and differences between the place of religion in the US and UK, and what British secularists can learn from organisations like the FFRF.

Watch this episode on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-itavtk6Vv8

Transcripts: https://www.secularism.org.uk/transcripts

 Notes

The Freedom From Religion Foundation: https://ffrf.org/

Andrew Seidel – attorney, activist and atheist: http://andrewlseidel.com/

Secular attitudes and laws are assets against coronavirus https://www.secularism.org.uk/opinion/2020/04/secular-attitudes-and-laws-are-assets-against-coronavirus

Why religious freedom stokes coronavirus protests in the U.S., but not Canada https://theconversation.com/why-religious-freedom-stokes-coronavirus-protests-in-the-u-s-but-not-canada-136557

Make a stand for freedom, fairness and human rights by adding your voice to the call for a secular democracy. Join the National Secular Society today https://www.secularism.org.uk/join

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Ep 16: Operation Christmas Child | Faith schools



In this week’s episode, Emma Park speaks to Megan Manson about Operation Christmas Child, a programme that encourages schoolchildren and youth groups around the UK to send Christmas shoeboxes to children in developing countries. Those sending the shoeboxes may not be aware that they are being used as part of a conversion drive by an evangelical Christian charity, Samaritan’s Purse. The case raises the question of whether ‘the advancement of religion’ should still be a charitable purpose.

Emma then speaks to Alastair Lichten about the NSS’s revelation that 20,000 children have been assigned to faith schools in the state sector this year despite their parents opting for a non-faith school as their first choice.

The episode also features highlights from our 2019 Bradlaugh Lecture. Assistant head Andrew Moffat defended inclusive education in his talk ‘No Outsiders: Reclaiming Radical Ideas in Schools’.

Watch this episode on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIQHMg3_wsY&feature=youtu.be

Transcripts: https://www.secularism.org.uk/transcripts

Notes

Does Operation Christmas Child benefit the public?

https://www.secularism.org.uk/opinion/2019/09/operation-christmas-child-does-its-charity-benefit-the-public

Samaritan’s Purse Mission Statement

https://www.samaritans-purse.org.uk/who-we-are/

Charities Act 2011, section 3: List of charitable purposes

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2011/25/section/3

Complete videos of the NSS’s Bradlaugh Lectures

https://www.secularism.org.uk/bradlaugh-lecture.html/

20,000 children sent to faith schools against parental preferences in 2019

https://www.secularism.org.uk/news/2019/09/20000-children-sent-to-faith-schools-against-parental-preferences

Make a stand for freedom, fairness and human rights by adding your voice to the call for a secular democracy. Join the National Secular Society today https://www.secularism.org.uk/join

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Ep 15: ‘Islamophobia’ definition | Criticising infant circumcision



Emma Park speaks to Stephen Evans, CEO of the NSS and Chris Sloggett, communications officer, about the NSS’s opposition to a definition of ‘Islamophobia’ which was proposed by a parliamentary group in November 2018.

Chris and NSS campaigns officer Megan Manson also join Emma to discuss two recent rows relating to infant circumcision.

Megan highlights a court case in which a Nigerian Christian woman, Martina Obi-Uzom, was given a suspended sentence for having an infant boy circumcised without his mother’s consent. And Chris discusses a speech by the chief rabbi, Ephraim Mirvis, in which he asked secularists and Humanists to stop campaigning against faith schools and infant circumcision.

Watch this episode on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U28virLevfM&feature=youtu.be

Transcripts: https://www.secularism.org.uk/transcripts

Notes

The NSS’s criticism of the APPG’s definition of Islamophobia

https://www.secularism.org.uk/news/2019/05/islamophobia-definition-unfit-for-purpose-say-campaigners

Concerns that the definition of Islamophobia would have a chilling effect on free speech

https://www.secularism.org.uk/news/2019/08/islamophobia-definition-curtails-free-speech-campaigners-warn

The NSS’s position on anti-Muslim bigotry

https://www.secularism.org.uk/hate-speech/position-statement-on-anti-musli.html/

Islamophobia Defined – the report by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on British Muslims

https://static1.squarespace.com/static/599c3d2febbd1a90cffdd8a9/t/5bfd1ea3352f531a6170ceee/1543315109493/Islamophobia+Defined.pdf

Islamophobia: An Anthology of Concerns – essays critical of the APPG’s definition collected by Civitas, including one by the NSS

https://www.civitas.org.uk/publications/islamophobia/

The NSS’s concerns over the lenient sentencing of Martina Obi-Uzom in the forced circumcision case

https://www.secularism.org.uk/opinion/2019/09/a-woman-is-convicted-over-circumcision-what-happens-next

The NSS’s response to Chief Rabbi Mirvis’s request that secularists stop campaigning against religious privileges

https://www.secularism.org.uk/opinion/2019/09/the-chief-rabbi-has-made-an-anti-democratic-attempt-to-shut-down-criticism

The speech by Chief Rabbi Mirvis

https://www.facebook.com/ChiefRabbiMirvis/posts/2303906899738431

Forthcoming NSS events

https://www.secularism.org.uk/events.html

Make a stand for freedom, fairness and human rights by adding your voice to the call for a secular democracy. Join the National Secular Society today https://www.secularism.org.uk/join

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Ep 13: Religious appointees | Campaigning roundup



Chris Sloggett spoke to NSS head of education Alastair Lichten about our new report Religious Reps: Unrepresentative, Unnecessary and Unjustified. The report makes the case for ending the requirement on all Scottish local authorities to include religious appointees on their education committees. They discussed the report’s findings and recommendations and next steps for the campaign.

Campaigns officer Megan Manson also joined to discuss work the NSS has been doing on vaccinations, blasphemy laws and Jewish schools which severely restrict their families’ private lives.

Watch this episode on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VlAIuFqIeF8&feature=youtu.be

Transcripts: https://www.secularism.org.uk/transcripts

Notes

End religious appointees on Scottish education committees, NSS says https://www.secularism.org.uk/news/2019/08/end-religious-appointees-on-scottish-education-committees-nss-says

Public Health England changes vaccination advice after NSS lobbying https://www.secularism.org.uk/news/2019/08/public-health-england-changes-vaccination-advice-after-nss-lobbying

Jewish school may severely restrict families’ IT use, says DfE https://www.secularism.org.uk/news/2019/08/jewish-school-may-severely-restrict-families-it-use-says-dfe

NSS urges government to review its language on blasphemy laws https://www.secularism.org.uk/news/2019/08/nss-urges-government-to-review-its-language-on-blasphemy-laws

Make a stand for freedom, fairness and human rights by adding your voice to the call for a secular democracy. Join the National Secular Society today https://www.secularism.org.uk/join

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Ep 12: Circumcision | No Outsiders



Chris Sloggett spoke to NSS chief executive Stephen Evans and campaigns officer Megan Manson about the recent BBC documentary ‘A cut too far?’ and the ethics of ritual infant male circumcision. Did the documentary go far enough and is the tide turning against this abusive practice? Also in this episode our head of education Alastair Lichten spoke with Andrew Moffat, creator of the inclusive education resource ‘No Outsiders’ and speaker at our upcoming Bradlaugh Lecture.

Watch this episode on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8jKa0ED12Y8&feature=youtu.be

Transcripts: https://www.secularism.org.uk/transcripts

Notes

Bradlaugh Lecture 2019 | No Outsiders: Reclaiming Radical Ideas in Schools https://www.secularism.org.uk/no-outsiders.html

End non-consensual religious surgery https://www.secularism.org.uk/religious-surgery/

A Cut Too Far? Male Circumcision https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0006wj8

Male circumcision needs to be seen as barbaric and unnecessary – just like female genital mutilation https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/male-circumcision-fgm-baby-child-abuse-body-rights-medical-hygiene-a9011896.html

Let’s face facts: FGM has something to do with religion https://www.secularism.org.uk/opinion/2019/03/lets-face-facts-genital-cutting-has-something-to-do-with-religion/

Make a stand for freedom, fairness and human rights by adding your voice to the call for a secular democracy. Join the National Secular Society today https://www.secularism.org.uk/join

Support the podcast, share with a friend and leave a five star review everywhere you can.


Ep 09: Simon Barrow | Exploring religious freedom



Continuing our series of discussions exploring religious freedom, Alastair Lichten spoke with Simon Barrow. Simon is the director of Ekklesia – a Christian think tank focusing on politics, social justice and belief. Simon is a commentator, journalist, publisher, NGO consultant, adult educator/trainer and theologian.

This is part of a series of interviews leading up to our major conference in May, Secularism 2019: Reclaiming Religious Freedom: https://www.secularism.org.uk/2019

Watch this episode on YouTube:  https://youtu.be/Q9XDrdnBS0s

Transcripts: https://www.secularism.org.uk/transcripts

Links from Simon

The Jesus Candidate: Political religion in a secular age, by Paul Lusk (NSS review): https://www.secularism.org.uk/opinion/2017/10/book-review-the-jesus-candidate-political-religion-in-a-secular-age

Faith and Politics after Christendom: by Jonathan Bartley: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Faith-Politics-after-Christendom-Movement/dp/1842273485/?ie=UTF8&tag=natisecusoci-21&linkCode=shr&camp=3194&creative=21334

Words Out of Silence, by Jill Segger: https://www.bookdepository.com/Words-Out-Silence-Jill-Segger/9780993294280

Links from the NSS

Make a stand for freedom, fairness and human rights by adding your voice to the call for a secular democracy. Join the National Secular Society today https://www.secularism.org.uk/join


Ep 08: Izzy Posen | Exploring religious freedom



Continuing our series of discussions exploring religious freedom, Alastair Lichten spoke with Izzy Posen. Izzy grew up in the Chasidic community and attended an illegal, unregistered school where corporal punishment was routinely used, particularly to silence children who asked questions. He is now president of Bristol University’s Free Speech Society

This is part of a series of interviews leading up to our major conference in May, Secularism 2019: Reclaiming Religious Freedom: https://www.secularism.org.uk/2019

Watch this episode on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nspDkjqhgHo&feature=youtu.be

Transcript: https://www.secularism.org.uk/transcripts

Links from Izzy

All Who Go Do Not Return Paperback, by Shulem Deen: https://www.amazon.co.uk/All-Who-Go-Not-Return/dp/1555977057/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1528899019

Shtisel | Netflix: https://www.netflix.com/gb/title/81004164

One of Us | Netflix: https://www.netflix.com/gb/title/80118101

The charity helping Orthodox Jews who want to break away from their faith: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p04n1x7p

‘Why I had to leave my ultra-Orthodox family’ – BBC News: https://www.youtube.com/watch?reload=9&v=-5Tz6pLH7ig

Autobiographical Talk at the Liberal Jewish Synagogue, London – 20th of March 2019: https://journeyerblog.wordpress.com/2019/03/23/autobiographical-talk-at-the-liberal-jewish-synagogue-london-20th-of-march-2019/

Make a stand for freedom, fairness and human rights by adding your voice to the call for a secular democracy. Join the National Secular Society today https://www.secularism.org.uk/join

 


Ep 07: Geoffrey Robertson QC | Exploring religious freedom



Continuing our series of discussions exploring religious freedom, Alastair Lichten spoke with Geoffrey Robertson QC – the internationally renowned human rights barrister, academic, author and broadcaster and founder of Doughty Street Chambers.

This is part of a series of interviews leading up to our major conference in May, Secularism 2019: Reclaiming Religious Freedom: https://www.secularism.org.uk/2019

Watch this episode on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uOuTCTdEP3k&feature=youtu.be

Transcript: https://www.secularism.org.uk/uploads/geoffrey-robertson-qc-exploring-religious-freedom-episode-07.pdf

Links from Geoffrey

Rather His Own Man: In Court with Tyrants, Tarts and Troublemakers

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Rather-His-Own-Man-Troublemakers/dp/1785903977/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1528899019

The Justice Game

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Justice-Game-Geoffrey-Robertson/dp/0099581914/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1528899019

The Case of the Pope: Vatican Accountability for Human Rights Abuse

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Case-Pope-Vatican-Accountability-Rights/dp/0241953847/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1528899019

Find more reviews at https://www.secularism.org.uk/reviews

Make a stand for freedom, fairness and human rights by adding your voice to the call for a secular democracy. Join the National Secular Society today https://www.secularism.org.uk/join


Ep 06: Rudolf Eliott Lockhart | Exploring religious freedom



Continuing our series of discussions exploring religious freedom, Alastair Lichten spoke with Rudolf Eliott Lockhart (Rudi) CEO of the Religious Education Council of England and Wales.

This is part of a series of interviews leading up to our major conference in May, Secularism 2019: Reclaiming Religious Freedom secularism.org.uk/secularism-2019

Watch this episode on YouTube: youtu.be/cVE8vsffUOk

Transcript: secularism.org.uk/uploads/rudolf-eliott-lockhart—exploring-religious-freedom-episode-06.pdf

More information on the NSS work on RE reform: secularism.org.uk/21st-century-re-for-all

School resources (Exploring Secularism): exploringsecularism.org

Links from Rudi:

Commission on Religious Education: commissiononre.org.uk

Religious Education Council of England and Wales: religiouseducationcouncil.org.uk

Most Hated Woman in America: youtube.com/watch?v=qsAIPE2f0QQ

(Link from Alastair) Blame the Victim: A Review of ‘The Most Hated Woman in America’: patheos.com/blogs/nogodblog/2017/05/blame-the-victim-a-review-of-the-most-hated-woman-in-america

Hail Satan: youtube.com/watch?v=27RtJp-rhHk

Intolerance (D. W. Griffith): youtube.com/watch?v=vd6NPuhXUAo

Find more reviews at secularism.org.uk/reviews

Make a stand for freedom, fairness and human rights by adding your voice to the call for a secular democracy. Join the National Secular Society today: secularism.org.uk/join