Tag Archives: secularism

Ep 22: Bishops in the House of Lords – Dick Taverne interview



Is it time to remove Church of England bishops’ automatic right to sit in the House of Lords? Liberal Democrat peer Dick Taverne is introducing a private members’ bill – drafted with the NSS’s assistance – to do just that.

Emma Park travels to Westminster to interview Dick about why it’s time to abolish the bishops’ bench and reform the Lords, why constitutional reforms can take such a long time, and why the UK is still not a secular country.

Follow Emma on Twitter: @DrEmmaPark

Watch this episode on YouTube | Direct MP3 Link | Transcripts

Notes

Peer proposes bill to abolish bishops’ bench in House of Lords

The NSS campaign to separate church and state

Public want religion kept out of politics – The Times

‘House of Lords (Removal of Bishops) Bill’ in the House of Lords ballot

Dick Taverne, Baron Taverne, QC

Odo, Bishop of Bayeux


Ep 20: Lee and Lizanne Harris – compulsory worship



In this episode, Emma Park speaks with Lee and Lizanne Harris about their experience of the collective worship requirement in schools.

The Harrises recently initiated judicial review proceedings against the primary school attended by their children. They challenged its decision to provide no alternative to a proselytising Christian assembly once a week conducted by representatives of the local C of E church.

Lee and Lizanne discuss their children’s experiences of these assemblies, what happened when they withdrew them, and the school’s failure to provide a secular alternative until they were forced to by the threat of legal proceedings.

The Harrises’ case may encourage other parents to speak up about concerns that their children will be indoctrinated if they participate in religious assemblies, and excluded from school life if they do not.

Watch this episode on YouTube: https://youtu.be/Oh0Sv2Je824

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

Notes

Lee Harris’s 2018 blog for the NSS

https://www.secularism.org.uk/opinion/2018/12/my-childrens-school-has-become-christian-by-default

C of E trust to introduce alternative to worship after legal challenge

https://www.secularism.org.uk/news/2019/11/coe-trust-to-introduce-alternative-to-worship-after-legal-challenge

More information and guidance from the NSS on collective worship: https://www.secularism.org.uk/end-compulsory-worship/

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.


Secularist Manifesto election graphic

Ep 19: General election special



This week, Emma Park is joined by Stephen Evans and Chris Sloggett for a general election special. During the campaign the NSS is calling on parties to adopt 11 secularist pledges on subjects such as education and free speech. But which of these are on the parties’ agendas? Will any of them make it onto the statute book any time soon? And is religion stifling political debate? Join Stephen, Chris and Emma for comment and analysis.

Watch this episode on YouTube: https://youtu.be/7mwTBwyy6Xo

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

Notes

Election 2019: a secularist manifesto

https://www.secularism.org.uk/election-2019.html

Don’t let religious sectarianism tear our democracy apart

https://www.secularism.org.uk/opinion/2019/11/dont-let-religious-sectarianism-tear-our-democracy-apart

The definition of ‘Islamophobia’ and its criticisms

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

Angela Rayner on Twitter: “I’ve never put our faith schools at risk and never will.”

https://twitter.com/AngelaRayner/status/1196856260186066944

Labour’s ‘race and faith manifesto’

https://action.labour.org.uk/page/-/party-documents/Race%20&%20Faith%20Manifesto%202017.pdf

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.


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Ep 18: Remembrance Day | Clerical Abuse



In this week’s episode, Emma Park is joined by the NSS’s Megan Manson and Chris Sloggett to discuss the Church of England’s privileged role in Remembrance Sunday. Is it right that the church should lead the service of remembrance at the Cenotaph? Does the C of E represent modern Britain? Will Britain continue to remember if the ritual of remembrance is tied up with religion?

Emma then speaks to Keith Porteous Wood, president of the NSS, about the society’s campaign to expose institutional abuse in the Catholic Church. Is the Vatican making a genuine effort to tackle clerical abuse? If not, why not? And how far is similar abuse a problem in the Church of England and other religious organisations?

Follow Emma on Twitter: @DrEmmaPark

Watch this episode on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vG8uFzesJOQ&feature=youtu.be

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

Notes

The Church of England’s privileged role in Remembrance Sunday and other ceremonies – NSS view

https://www.secularism.org.uk/ceremonies/

‘Remembrance Sunday should not be dominated by religion’ – Dan Snow

https://www.secularism.org.uk/opinion/2014/11/remembrance-sunday-should-not-be-dominated-by-religion

The Cenotaph

https://www.iwm.org.uk/memorials/item/memorial/104

‘By the Grace of God’ shows the need to hold the Catholic Church accountable on child abuse

https://www.secularism.org.uk/opinion/2019/10/by-the-grace-of-god-shows-the-need-to-hold-the-catholic-church-accountable-on-child-abuse

The NSS’s submission to the UN Human Rights Council, 18th September 2019

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X5ysn0r7PA0&feature=youtu.be

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 17: Thought for the Day | RE in Wales



In this week’s episode, Emma Park is joined by Chris Sloggett and Helen Nicholls to discuss whether BBC Radio 4’s Thought for the Day should still be exclusively for “speakers from the world’s major faiths”. John Humphrys, former presenter of the Today programme in which Thought for the Day is featured, recently criticised it as ‘discriminatory’.

Emma also speaks to Stephen Evans and Alastair Lichten about a consultation on the reform of sex and religious education launched by the Welsh government this month. Proposals include making both subjects compulsory for all children regardless of their parents’ beliefs; and changing their names, with sex education being replaced by ‘Relationships and Sexuality Education’, and RE by ‘Religions and Worldviews’.

Follow Emma on Twitter: @DrEmmaPark

Watch this episode on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o6Z_Gey3ht8&feature=youtu.be

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

Notes

Reform Thought for the Day: the NSS’s position

https://www.secularism.org.uk/thought-for-the-day/

Thought for the Day – BBC Radio 4

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00szxv6

John Humphrys criticises Thought for the Day

https://www.secularism.org.uk/news/2019/10/scrap-discriminatory-thought-for-the-day-says-former-presenter/

Welsh government considers ending the right to withdraw from RE and RSE: the NSS’s position

https://www.secularism.org.uk/news/2019/10/welsh-government-considers-ending-right-to-withdraw-from-re-and-rse

‘Ensuring access to the full curriculum’: the Welsh government’s consultation

https://gov.wales/ensuring-access-full-curriculum

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.


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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

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


Ep 14: End compulsory worship | Education update



In this episode, Emma Park speaks to the NSS’s Head of Education, Alastair Lichten, about the Society’s ongoing campaign against collective worship in schools. This is followed by a brief update on the NSS’s other campaigns in education, and its new resource for schools, Exploring Secularism.

It is, surprisingly, still a legal requirement in England and Wales that state schools practise some form of collective religious worship every day. Emma and Alastair discuss what the law is, how it is put into practice by different schools, the impact which it has on parents and children who do not want to participate, and what the NSS is doing to change the situation.

Our apologies for some handling and background noise on this episode. We hope to have it sorted out by the next recording.

Follow Emma Park on Twitter: @DrEmmaPark

Watch this episode on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Q_CJMDoR5I&feature=youtu.be

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

Notes

The NSS’s campaign against compulsory collective worship in schools, with some statistics:

https://www.secularism.org.uk/end-compulsory-worship/

The NSS’s proposal for inclusive secular assemblies without an element of directed worship:

https://www.secularism.org.uk/end-compulsory-worship/inclusive-secular-assemblies-and.html

Information about the NSS’s annual Bradlaugh Lecture:

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

The NSS’s Autumn Bulletin:

https://www.secularism.org.uk/publications.html?tag=NSS+Bulletin&year=&submit=Search

Exploring Secularism a new resource for schools developed by the NSS:

https://exploringsecularism.org

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.


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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

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


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Ep 10: Secularism 2019 | Conference review



In episode 10, Helen Nicholls, Megan Manson and Alastair Lichten joined Chris Sloggett for a review of our recent conference (Secularism 2019: Reclaiming Religious Freedom). They discuss some of the speakers, key takeaways and how these will continue to influence our work going forward.

Watch this episode on YouTube: https://youtu.be/tlyczsqLx9I

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

 Links

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

Find out more about the conference and speakers: https://www.secularism.org.uk/2019


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