National Secular Society Podcast

National Secular Society

Challenging religious privilege, for freedom, fairness and secularism

All Episodes

In this episode, Emma Park speaks to Stephen Evans and Megan Manson from the NSS team about marriage law reform in England and Wales. Show notes, transcript and supporter/subscriber information here: https://www.secularism.org.uk/podcast/2020/09/ep34

Sep 17

24 min

Rerelease of Ep 06. Next new episode (Ep 34) scheduled next Thursday, 17 September Check out the full shownotes, video and transcript for this episode: https://www.secularism.org.uk/podcast/2019/03/rudolf-eliott-lockhart-exploring-religious-freedom-episode-06

Sep 10

42 min

In this episode Emma Park speaks to Kaja Bryx, president of the Polish Rationalist Association, about the influence of the Catholic Church and the religious right in Poland. how notes, transcript and supporter/subscriber information here: https://www.secularism.org.uk/podcast/2020/09/ep-33-kaja-bryx-catholic-nationalism-in-poland

Sep 3

44 min

Rerelease of Ep 02. Next new episode (Ep 33) scheduled next Thursday, 3 September. Check out the full shownotes, video and transcript for this episode: https://www.secularism.org.uk/podcast/2019/01/rachel-laser-exploring-religious-freedom-episode-02

Aug 27

32 min

In this episode, Emma Park speaks to Nick Duffy, current affairs editor at Pink News, about so-called 'conversion therapy', the type of psychological practices that it can involve, and the harm it can cause to those who undergo it. Show notes, transcript and supporter/subscriber information here: https://www.secularism.org.uk/podcast/2020/08/ep-32-nick-duff-on-conversion-therapy

Aug 20

32 min

Rerelease of Ep 10. Next new episode (Ep 32) coming next Thursday, 13 August. Check out the full shownotes, video and transcript for this episode: https://www.secularism.org.uk/podcast/2019/06/episode-10-secularism-2019-conference-review

Aug 6

20 min

Show notes, transcript and supporter/subscriber information here: https://www.secularism.org.uk/podcast/2020/07/ep-31-graham-smith-not-that-type-of-republican

Jul 30

39 min

Rerelease of Ep 01. Next new episode (Ep 31) coming next Thursday, 30 July. Check out the full shownotes, video and transcript for this episode: https://www.secularism.org.uk/podcast/2019/01/stephen-evans-exploring-religious-freedom-episode-01

Jul 23

19 min

On paper, the Chinese constitution permits ‘normal religious activities’. In reality, if you try to practise your religion in China independently of the state, you risk prison and worse. In this episode, Dr Sophie Richardson, China Director of Human Rights Watch, speaks to Emma Park about freedom of religion and belief in China – or the lack of it. They discuss the Chinese authorities’ persecution of the Uighurs, the Turkic Muslim minority in the north-west, and the deliberate strategies that are being used to wipe out their culture. In Tibet, Sophie reveals how followers of the Dalai Lama are sentenced to years in prison, and how the Chinese authorities even keep spies in the monasteries. There are similar stories of the suppression of Christians and Falun Gong practitioners elsewhere in China. The speakers also consider the feebleness of the international community’s response to these human rights violations –– and the grim outlook for basic freedoms in the People’s Republic.   Follow Emma on Twitter: @DrEmmaPark   Watch this episode on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93U5CsgHocU&feature=youtu.be   Transcripts: https://www.secularism.org.uk/transcripts   Notes   China's religious persecution is a secularist issue: https://www.secularism.org.uk/opinion/2018/09/chinas-religious-persecution-is-a-secularist-issue   China and Tibet – Human Rights Watch: https://www.hrw.org/asia/china-and-tibet   Why do Muslim states stay silent over China’s abuse of the Uighurs? https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/jul/04/why-do-muslim-states-stay-silent-over-chinas-uighur-brutality   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.

Jul 16

35 min

Where do you draw the line between safeguarding people’s protected characteristics, and guarding their right to freedom of speech? The new Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill, introduced in April purports to protect groups defined by reference to protected characteristics, including ‘religion’ or ‘perceived religious affiliation’. But some have argued that the proposed legislation will chill free speech about religion. In this episode, Emma Park is joined by Neil Barber, communications officer at the Edinburgh Secular Society, along with the NSS’s Stephen Evans, to give a detailed analysis of the language of the bill relating to offences of ‘stirring up hatred’. They argue the Bill is likely to make it all too easy to shut down valid debate about religion. While the bill will abolish the common law offence of blasphemy against Christianity in Scotland, there are good reasons for thinking that the new statutory offences will simply be a multi-faith version of the former. Follow Emma on Twitter: @DrEmmaPark Browse all NSS podcasts: https://www.secularism.org.uk/podcast Watch this episode on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSlpdKk8m_g&feature=youtu.be Transcripts: https://www.secularism.org.uk/transcripts Notes Help us protect free speech in Scotland: https://www.secularism.org.uk/free-expression/scottish-hate-crime-bill.html Scotland’s new hate speech law will be too censorious: https://www.secularism.org.uk/opinion/2020/05/scotlands-new-hate-speech-law-will-be-too-censorious Does Scotland’s justice minister realise the reach of his own hate crime bill? https://www.secularism.org.uk/opinion/2020/06/does-scotlands-justice-minister-realise-the-reach-of-his-own-hate-crime-bill Minister to correct record on hate crime bill after NSS intervention: https://www.secularism.org.uk/news/2020/06/minister-to-correct-record-on-hate-crime-bill-after-nss-intervention 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 positive review everywhere you can.

Jul 2

41 min

How much progress will the Welsh government make with its proposed reforms to RE? In this episode, Emma Park speaks to Stephen Evans, CEO of the NSS, and Alastair Lichten, head of education, for an update. Encouragingly the subject’s name is to be changed to ‘Religion, Values and Ethics’, to reflect a more pluralistic and critical approach. But the proposed abolition of parents’ right to withdraw their children is more concerning. Faith schools will still be able to teach RVE ‘in line with the tenets of their faith’, but will be obliged to offer a secular alternative if parents expressly choose it. Do these proposals go far enough? And should religious education continue to be a separate subject that is compulsory for all students up until 16? Join Emma and her guests for comment and analysis. Follow Emma on Twitter: @DrEmmaPark Watch this episode on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gD2syE26heQ&feature=youtu.be Transcripts: https://www.secularism.org.uk/transcripts Notes NSS response to RVE proposals in Wales: https://www.secularism.org.uk/21st-century-re-for-all/rve-wales.html Will Wales lead the way in reforming RE? – Stephen Evans, 2 June 2020: https://medium.com/@stephen.evans_42820/will-wales-lead-the-way-in-reforming-re-415cf3049fa6 Should lessons on sex and religion take parents’ wishes into account? –– Emma Park, 12 March 2020: https://life.spectator.co.uk/articles/should-lessons-on-sex-and-religion-take-parents-wishes-into-account/ NSS podcast, Episode 17: RE in Wales: https://www.secularism.org.uk/podcast/2019/10/ep-17-thought-for-the-day-re-in-wales 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.

Jun 18

30 min

In this episode, Emma Park discusses unregistered faith schools, particularly in the Hasidic community with Eve Sacks, a member of the Jewish anti-extremist organisation Nahamu. Eve has spent years engaging with members of the ultra-orthodox community in London. They discuss issues in registered independent schools and the prevalence of unregistered schools where boys aged 13 to 18 are sent to receive religious instruction with little or no secular education. There is also evidence that boys who do not perform well in their studies receive corporal punishment. The result is that they leave school utterly unequipped to participate in civil society. Efforts to tackle these ‘schools’ and similar abuses of children’s rights in the registered independent sector have been slow going, while members of the Hasidic community who want a different education for their children often experience severe pressure to conform. After the interview, Emma speaks to Alastair Lichten, head of education at the NSS, to reflect on the fascinating insights provided by Eve, and the NSS’s position on unregistered and faith schools. Watch this episode on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Nb4LRNtk1o&feature=youtu.be Transcripts: https://www.secularism.org.uk/transcripts Notes NSS supports plans to regulate unregistered schools: https://www.secularism.org.uk/news/2020/05/nss-supports-plans-to-regulate-unregistered-schools Corporal punishment still being used in Orthodox Jewish schools, inquiry hears – Telegraph, 21st May 2020: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/05/21/corporal-punishment-still-used-orthodox-jewish-schools-inquiry/ ‘The Missing?’ by Eve Sacks, 11 July 2019: http://nahamu.org/the-missing/ Illegal Faith Schools: https://www.secularism.org.uk/unregistered-schools/ 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.

Jun 4

38 min

In this episode, Emma Park speaks to Gita Sahgal, a human rights activist and Honorary Associate of the NSS, about secularism in India, and the threats it is facing from the Hindutva (Hindu nationalist) movement endorsed by Modi’s government. Modern India has been a secularist state since its foundation in 1947. But since the first election of Modi’s government in 2014, as Gita explains, Indian supporters of secularism, pluralism, and the rule of law have been targeted, silenced, and in some cases imprisoned or killed; and the coronavirus pandemic has been used as an opportunity to clamp down on them further. Gita and Emma also consider how the ideology of Hindutva is bringing its version of Hinduism closer to a monotheistic religion, and how this reinforces its intolerant stance towards Indians who are not Hindus, in particular, the large Muslim minority. Finally, Gita discusses her current work with One Law For All, which is campaigning against Sharia law and other religious laws in the UK. Watch this episode on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tWXaP6g8QgA&feature=youtu.be Transcripts: https://www.secularism.org.uk/transcripts Notes The Constitution of India https://www.india.gov.in/sites/upload_files/npi/files/coi_part_full.pdf How Hindu supremacists are tearing India apart – The Guardian, 20 February 2020 https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/feb/20/hindu-supremacists-nationalism-tearing-india-apart-modi-bjp-rss-jnu-attacks Gita Sahgal’s lecture highlights rise of Hindutva in India and Britain https://www.secularism.org.uk/news/2018/09/nss-lecture-highlights-rise-of-hindutva-in-india-and-britain One Law For All https://onelawforall.org.uk/   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.

May 21

30 min

This podcast gives an emergency update on the plight of Mubarak Bala, President of the Humanist Association of Nigeria (HAN). Bala was arrested in Kaduna, northern Nigeria, by the police on the 28th April, effectively for blasphemy against Islam. Although he has not yet been formally charged, he remains in custody, probably in Kano state, which is under Sharia law. He appears to be without access to a lawyer or contact with friends or family. Leo Igwe, founder of the HAN, speaks to Emma Park about what has happened to Bala, why his situation is so dangerous, and what the international community can do to support him. As this emergency podcast has been done at short notice, we apologise for any dip in quality. Watch this episode on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EEttRS-h2Vo&feature=youtu.be Transcripts: https://www.secularism.org.uk/transcripts Notes Fears for safety of Nigerian Humanist leader after blasphemy arrest – 29th April 2020 https://www.secularism.org.uk/news/2020/04/fears-for-safety-of-nigerian-humanist-leader-after-blasphemy-arrest How you can support Mubarak Bala https://humanists.international/2020/04/action-alert-what-you-can-do-to-save-mubarak/ Mubarak Bala: Speak Out Against Religious Tyranny In Kano By Leo Igwe – Sahara Reporters, 5th May 2020 http://saharareporters.com/2020/05/05/mubarak-bala-speak-out-against-religious-tyranny-kano-leo-igwe 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 positive review everywhere you can.

May 9

29 min

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

May 7

43 min

How did the secularist movement begin in Britain? And why should modern supporters of secularism care about its history? In this week’s episode, Emma Park speaks to Bob Forder, a member of the NSS council and former history teacher, about the origins of secularism in Britain. Bob explains how the secularist movement was, from its early years, bound up with the story of the National Secular Society. From its origins in local working-class associations, secularism has always been a socially progressive if not radical movement that has challenged the established hierarchy. Freedom of speech and of conscience, abolishing the blasphemy laws, providing scientific information about birth control - issues like these have been at the heart of secularist campaigns, and supported by the NSS, for over a hundred and fifty years. And, as this podcast shows, understanding the history of secularism can help reinforce its supporters’ sense of purpose, and their shared identity, even today. Watch this episode on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V_gyBTgBhbA&feature=youtu.be Transcripts: https://www.secularism.org.uk/transcripts Notes The history of the National Secular Society https://www.secularism.org.uk/history.html The Fruits of Philosophy – an early pamphlet on contraception https://www.secularism.org.uk/the-fruits-of-philosophy-trial.html Peterloo’s heroes represented the finest traditions of secular democracy https://www.secularism.org.uk/opinion/2018/11/peterloos-heroes-represented-the-finest-traditions-of-secular-democracy Radicals, Rebels, and Revolutionaries of the 19th century – Bob Forder at Conway Hall https://www.secularism.org.uk/radicals-rebels-and-revolutionar.html Former NSS President Barbara Smoker dies at 96 https://www.secularism.org.uk/news/2020/04/former-nss-president-barbara-smoker-dies-at-96 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.

Apr 30

29 min

In this week’s episode, Emma Park speaks to Josephine Macintosh, a solicitor and vice president of the National Secular Society, about her work representing the NSS at the United Nations. Earlier this year, Josephine attended the 43rd session of the UN Human Rights Council at Geneva. She made submissions on behalf of the NSS on its objections to male circumcision, proposed reforms to Italian law to counter child abuse in the Catholic Church, and the need for the UK to legislate explicitly against caste discrimination. She discusses the content of these submissions, the process of presenting them at the UN and lobbying for support, and why it’s vital for the NSS to be represented at international level. She also talks about the constraints that the coronavirus is likely to place on the UN’s human rights work. Follow Emma on Twitter: @DrEmmaPark Watch this episode on YouTube: https://youtu.be/zdfQeKP8Tj8 Transcripts: https://www.secularism.org.uk/transcripts Notes 43rd session of the UN Human Rights Council https://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/RegularSessions/Session43/Pages/43RegularSession.aspx Protect all children from ritual genital cutting, NSS tells UN https://www.secularism.org.uk/news/2020/03/protect-all-children-from-ritual-genital-cutting-nss-tells-un NSS raises Italy’s response to child abuse in Catholic Church at UN https://www.secularism.org.uk/news/2020/03/nss-raises-italys-response-to-child-abuse-in-catholic-church-at-un The Vatican Is Talking About Clerical Abuse, but Italy Isn’t – New York Times https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/22/world/europe/italy-catholic-church-pope-francis-abuse.html Outlaw caste discrimination https://www.secularism.org.uk/outlaw-caste-discrimination/ NSS urges UN to push government to pass law on caste discrimination https://www.secularism.org.uk/news/2020/03/nss-urges-un-to-push-government-to-pass-law-on-caste-discrimination 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 reviews wherever you can.

Apr 16

32 min

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

Jan 27

19 min

In this episode, Emma Park speaks with Maddy Bridgman and Sam Fitzsimmons of the Integrated Education Fund, a charity that supports inclusive, integrated education (not segregated into de facto Protestant and Catholic schools) in Northern Ireland. Maddy and Sam discuss the IEF’s campaign to support an integrated school system, and outline some of the difficulties the IEF has faced, both political, administrative and structural. They also discuss positive signs that school students who attend integrated schools are benefiting from the tolerant and inclusive ethos that these schools promote. Watch this episode on YouTube: https://youtu.be/edrVKRsXwWo Transcripts: https://www.secularism.org.uk/transcripts Notes Education in NI shouldn’t be a tug of war between religious interests https://www.secularism.org.uk/opinion/2019/10/education-in-ni-shouldnt-be-a-tug-of-war-between-religious-interests Research reveals impact of religious discrimination on NI teachers https://www.secularism.org.uk/news/2019/05/research-reveals-impact-of-religious-discrimination-on-ni-teachers NSS calls for school integration in NI amid religious polarisation https://www.secularism.org.uk/news/2018/04/nss-calls-for-school-integration-in-ni-amid-religious-polarisation Integrated Education Fund https://www.ief.org.uk Integrate My School campaign https://www.integratemyschool.com 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.

Jan 13

35 min

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.

Dec 2019

44 min

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.

Nov 2019

22 min

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

Nov 2019

32 min

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.

Oct 2019

33 min

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

Oct 2019

37 min

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.

Sep 2019

26 min

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.

Sep 2019

25 min

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.

Sep 2019

24 min

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.

Aug 2019

27 min

Here's a little bonus content from Secularism which was originally going to be in our post conference review. In this episode, Emma Park, a freelance writer and NSS volunteer, interviewed five of the Conference speakers to explore some of the issues raised by their talks in further detail. Some of these were a bit more wide ranging than the topic. Everyone's views are their own and do not necessarily represent those of the NSS. Watch this episode on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lGOcRbOUkoU&feature=youtu.be Transcripts: https://www.secularism.org.uk/transcripts Nick Cohen (00:51), political journalist, on the parallels between political and religious extremists, the lack of leadership from liberal centrists in British politics today, and the need for secularists to be self-critical and form political alliances to resist extremists: ‘Generalisations are the basis of identity politics and breaking down identity politics is the road to freedom.’ Izzy Posen (08:04), President of the Bristol Free Speech Society, on the damage caused by universities’ excessive tolerance of the extremist student groups trying to shut down free speech on campus: ‘It’s an alliance of Islamists and far leftists, and by Islamists I don’t mean Muslims, I mean Islamists who have a political ideology based out of imposing Islamic values on Britain ... [These groups] unite in their hatred for the West.’ Pragna Patel (17:41), Director of Southall Black Sisters, on how secularists can challenge the claim by ethnic minority leaders to speak on behalf of an entire community, even those who may disagree with them: ‘Our organisation has always challenged community leaderships, because they have never spoken on behalf of women, they have never spoken on behalf of gay and lesbian communities’. Rachel Laser (25:13), President of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, on the threats to freedom of expression and other human rights in the US from right-wing evangelicals, and how to ‘burst the pimple’ of such extremism: ‘Today religious freedom in America is more about the right to discriminate, or licence to discriminate, than it is about the right to be able to practise your religious observances.’ Yasmin Rehman (34:06), Member of the NSS Council, on the challenges of being a secular British Muslim, changes in the UK government’s treatment of minorities in recent years, and the compatibility of Islam with secularism: ‘If you look at a religious text that was written a very very long time ago, it will endorse things that we as a society wouldn’t condone ... I want to be able to practise my faith, but I also want to be able to challenge my faith, or any other, when it comes to abuses of human rights’.  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 our more about the conference, including speaker profiles and videos: https://www.secularism.org.uk/secularism-2019.html Bradlaugh Lecture 2019 | No Outsiders: Reclaiming Radical Ideas in Schools https://www.secularism.org.uk/no-outsiders.html Support the podcast, share with a friend and leave a five star review everywhere you can.

Jul 2019

46 min

In episode 11, Chris Sloggett spoke to Megan Manson about charities which exist only to promote religion and whether these or religious charities which do harm are in the public benefit. Chris also spoke to and Alastair Lichten about protests by religious reactionaries against LGBT inclusive education and what the NSS is doing. Watch this episode on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VVmWU1jwrXE&feature=youtu.be 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 For the public benefit? The case for removing ‘the advancement of religion’ as a charitable purpose: https://www.secularism.org.uk/charities/charity-report Faith free sex education: https://www.secularism.org.uk/sex-education/ Bradlaugh Lecture 2019 | No Outsiders: Reclaiming Radical Ideas in Schools https://www.secularism.org.uk/no-outsiders.html Support the podcast, share with a friend and leave a five star review everywhere you can.

Jul 2019

30 min

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

Jun 2019

20 min

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

May 2019

43 min

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  

Apr 2019

32 min

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

Apr 2019

35 min

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

Mar 2019

42 min

Continuing our series of discussions exploring religious freedom, Alastair Lichten spoke with Dr Antony Lempert. Dr Lempert is chair of the Secular Medical forum, a regular speaker and expert on freedom of and from religion in healthcare. This is part of a series of interviews leading up to our major conference in May, Secularism 2019: Reclaiming Religious Freedom Watch this episode on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bdPBHCZICPc&feature=youtu.be Transcript: https://www.secularism.org.uk/uploads/dr-antony-lempert---exploring-religious-freedom-episode-05.pdf British Medical Association new guidance on circumcision: https://www.secularism.org.uk/news/2019/02/doctors-body-consider-parents-religion-on-infant-genital-cutting More information on the NSS/SMF’s work on healthcare: https://www.secularism.org.uk/healthcare/ Links from Dr Lempert: God Is Not Great: https://www.amazon.co.uk/God-Not-Great-Religion-Everything/dp/1843545748/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1528899019 Catch 22: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Catch-22-50th-Anniversary-Joseph-Heller/dp/0099529122/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1528899019 1984: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Nineteen-Eighty-Four-Penguin-Modern-Classics/dp/014118776X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1528899019 The Wave: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Wave-Todd-Strasser/dp/0307979121/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

Mar 2019

33 min

Continuing our series of discussions exploring religious freedom, Alastair Lichten spoke with secularist activist Annie Laurie Gaylor. Annie Laurie is a co-founder of – and, current co-president of – the Freedom From Religion Foundation. This is part of a series of interviews leading up to our major conference in May, Secularism 2019: Reclaiming Religious Freedom. www.secularism.org.uk/2019 Watch this episode on YouTube. | https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cspncemMA9A&feature=youtu.be Links from Annie Laurie Freedom From Religion Foundation | https://ffrf.org/ One Woman's Fight, by Vashti McCollum | https://www.amazon.co.uk/One-Womans-Fight-Vashti-McCollum/dp/1877733083?ie=UTF8&tag=natisecusoci-21 The Founding Myth: Why Christian Nationalism Is Un-American, by Andrew L Seidel | https://www.amazon.co.uk/Founding-Myth-Christian-Nationalism-American-ebook/dp/B07JN4K3PY?ie=UTF8&tag=natisecusoci-21 Find more reviews at 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.| www.secularism.org.uk/join Subtitles are being added to all podcasts hosted on YouTube. Transcripts are available at: www.secularism.org.uk/transcripts

Feb 2019

27 min

Continuing our series of discussions exploring religious freedom, Alastair Lichten spoke with secularist activist Maryam Namazie. Maryam is the spokesperson for Iran Solidarity, One Law for All, and the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain and is a patron of London Black Atheists. 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 Transcript: https://www.secularism.org.uk/uploads/maryam-namazie---exploring-religious-freedom-episode-03.pdf Discuss this episode on Facebook Links from Maryam: Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain Islam's Non-Believers Why we defended Rushdie and why it is still important today – Event on 14 February at Conway Hall. 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-and-renew.html

Feb 2019

33 min

Continuing our series of discussions exploring religious freedom, Alastair Lichten spoke with Rachel Laser – head of Americans United for separation of church and state, and the keynote speaker at our upcoming conference Secularism 2019: Reclaiming Religious Freedom. https://www.secularism.org.uk/2019 Discuss this episode on Facebook Watch this episode on YouTube Links to Rachel’s recommended reads:  God and Government: Twenty-Five Years of Fighting for Equality, Secularism, and Freedom Of Conscience, by Rev. Barry Lynn  The End of White Christian America, by Robert P Jones  Seven Types of Atheism, by John Gray 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-and-renew.html

Jan 2019

32 min

In the first of a series of discussions exploring religious freedom, Alastair Lichten spoke with Stephen Evans - chief executive of the National Secular Society. Stephen argues that religious freedom and secularism that allows people of different religions and beliefs can live together. In the interview Stephen explains the basis of religious freedom in human rights law and its limits. Discuss this episode on Facebook. Watch this episode on YouTube Links to the books/films that Stephen mentioned: Disobedience (film | book) Apostasy How to be Secular

Jan 2019

19 min

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