secularism

Andrew Brown, in a Guardian blog last week, criticised the British Humanist Association (BHA) for promoting humanism as an essentially negative approach to life defined by what it isn't and for being on an incoherent and self-defeating mission to eliminate all social bonds, based on an outmoded view of religion.
An 11-year-old boy has been banned from his local Scout troop - for not being prepared to believe in God. George Pratt was
There is, of course, a difference between criticising Islam and persecuting its adherents. Too often discourse on Islam is divided between those who buy into hyperbolic headlines of "Muslim Rage" and those who repeat the insidious neologism "Islamophobia".
The Church of England has thrown down the gauntlet to the government over the issue of same-sex marriage. The message is clear: "Do as we say or there will be dire consequences." Their response to the government consultation on its intention to legalise civil marriages between same-sex couples is overwrought to the point of hysteria. It is manipulative to the point of blackmail.
Government plans to give a free copy of the King James Bible to every state school have been branded by secular groups as
This week we learned that the parliamentary committee considering reform of the House of Lords voted 13-7 to support the government's plan for automatic places for Bishops to remain in a reformed chamber.
Last week, the Home Office closed their three-month consultation on the criminalisation of forced marriage. When I initially posted the consultation document in the Facebook group for my organisation, British Muslims for Secular Democracy, there were cries of shock that forced marriage was not already a criminal offence. The right to choose who you will live with, sleep with, eat with and possibly raise children with, for the rest of your life, is as basic a right as they come. Violations of this right are not only disastrous for the individuals involved, but they undermine values that are fundamental to British society and Islam itself.
The Prime Minister, David Cameron, gave an Easter reception for Christian leaders at Downing Street this week at which he delivered an unctuous speech of such dishonesty and hypocrisy that it almost takes the breath away.
Secularists would also do well to recognise the distinction between the "popular religion" that comes easily to people's minds and the convoluted intellectual gymnastics that is theology. Attacking the latter is easy but will do little to undermine religion's grip.
The state is spending tens of millions of pounds on the salaries of clergy people as well as funding religious discrimination and indoctrination in schools. How did this happen? And more importantly, how are we going to stop it?