Terry Sanderson
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Terry Sanderson is a writer and journalist and current President of the National Secular Society www.secularism.org.uk which campaigns for the separation of church and state. He was prominent in organising the Protest the Pope demonstrations and is a frequent broadcaster and columnist. He is also a well-known gay rights activist and wrote a media monitoring column for Gay Times for 25 years. He has written seven books.

Blog Entries by Terry Sanderson

Joseph Ratzinger's Failed Papacy May Have Fatally Undermined the Vatican

(74) Comments | Posted February 11, 2013 | 6:42 AM

And so we are to see an end to the rule of Joseph Ratzinger at the Vatican. At such times it is usual to break out into a chorus of Ding, Dong the Witch is Dead from The Wizard of Oz, but we fear that Ratzinger's successor will be as...

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What Has Caused This Massive Flight From Christianity?

(25) Comments | Posted December 11, 2012 | 7:17 AM

So, now we have the census figures and, as expected, there has been a huge drop in the number of people declaring themselves Christian in Britain - from 72% to 59%. The rise in those declaring they have no religion has risen from 15% to 25%.

So what has happened...

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Establishment of the Church of England Is Well Past Its Sell-By Date

(25) Comments | Posted November 21, 2012 | 6:50 AM

We at the National Secular Society have argued for a long time that the establishment of the Church of England as an arm of the state is unsustainable in a modern, diverse society. Last night's vote at the General Synod to reject women bishops simply reinforces that opinion.

...
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These Imbecilic Riots Must Serve To Strengthen Our Commitment To Freedom

(56) Comments | Posted September 18, 2012 | 7:00 PM

It is estimated that throughout the Muslim world something like ten to twenty thousand people have taken part in the rampages that have dominated the headlines for a week.

That is 20,000 people out of a world Muslim population of a billion.

On the basis of the hysteria of this...

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Is Eric Pickles Deliberately Trying to Mislead Us?

(24) Comments | Posted September 13, 2012 | 5:18 AM

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has surpassed himself in an opinion piece for the Telegraph headed A Christian ethos strengthens our nation: Religion shaped the modern British state, and this Government is proud to 'do God'.

He asserts that "we are a Christian nation - and should not be afraid to...

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Marlene Dietrich - A Woman Ahead of Her Time

(0) Comments | Posted August 8, 2012 | 6:34 AM

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A new show that examines the extraordinary life and career of enduring cinematic icon Marlene Dietrich will play for two nights in London on 7 & 8 September.

It's two decades since the death of Marlene Dietrich who, for the final 12 years...

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Why the Church Must Not Win in This Confrontation With the State

(167) Comments | Posted June 12, 2012 | 7:00 PM

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...

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Prime Minister's Dissembling, Hypocritical and Dishonest Speech to Religious Leaders

(7) Comments | Posted April 4, 2012 | 5:27 AM

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.

He starts by saying he welcomes the Easter message as being...

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Why Militant Secularism is for Believers, Too

(2) Comments | Posted March 27, 2012 | 7:52 AM

The New Scientist magazine had an interesting series of articles about the "science of religion" last week (which will be available free for a few more days to those who register on the site). It was all summed up in an editorial in the paper that advised "secularists"...

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Schools Are for Teaching, not Preaching - Unless the Church of England Gets Its Way

(119) Comments | Posted March 23, 2012 | 9:16 AM

Church Schools of the Future, a 39-page report produced by Dr Priscilla Chadwick, for the Church of England says that it intends to expand the number of Church schools by at least 200 (on top of the 4,800 it already has) and intensify the religious input into lessons....

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Countless Millions of Taxpayers' Money Spent on Discrimination in Schools

(14) Comments | Posted March 21, 2012 | 7:00 PM

We often complain about the increasing amount of religion in schools, but it is not until you look at the job advertisements in papers like the Times Educational Supplement and the Church Times that you come to realise just how determined the churches are to use schools as recruiting grounds.

...
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Without a Pack of Lies to Back Them Up, Christian Claims of Persecution Fall Flat on Their Face

(34) Comments | Posted March 12, 2012 | 7:37 AM

The old adage "never believe what you read in the newspapers" has never been so apposite as it has been over the past couple of days.

The Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail have surpassed themselves for disingenuousness with headlines about the wearing of Christian crosses at...

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Is the Government About to Give in to Religious Pressure Over Gay Marriage?

(19) Comments | Posted March 9, 2012 | 6:38 AM

The Catholic magazine The Tablet is reporting today that the government is about to bend to religious pressure and change the terms of the consultation on same-sex marriage to include a question about whether such a move is desirable at all.

When the consultation - to be...

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We Must Resist the Religious Push for Political Power

(19) Comments | Posted March 7, 2012 | 6:00 PM

It's happening all around the world. An increasingly politicised Catholic Church is manufacturing confrontations with governments in an effort to increase its influence and revitalise its dwindling flocks.

It is clear from what the Pope has been saying over the past five years that he intends to return Catholicism to...

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Government Favouring of Christianity Risks Causing Dangerous Rifts in Society

(9) Comments | Posted February 21, 2012 | 5:26 AM

Why is the coalition government increasingly embracing the policy of the US Republicans of appropriating religion for political purposes? It's not even as though it works very well for the GOP. In fact, Rick Santorum's present display of religious zealotry must surely be ensuring another term for Obama.

...
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Establishment Means the Queen Does Not Belong Equally to Us All

(7) Comments | Posted February 16, 2012 | 4:01 AM

In a speech at Lambeth palace, the Queen told the Archbishop of Canterbury how inclusive the Church of England is and how important its establishment is to the nation.

She said: "The concept of our established Church is occasionally misunderstood and, I believe, commonly under-appreciated. Its role is...

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The Catholic War on Democracy

(39) Comments | Posted February 10, 2012 | 2:17 PM

At a Vatican meeting with Catholic bishops from the USA last month, the pope told them that they had a duty to apply pressure on Catholic politicians to get Catholic doctrine written into law.

Ratzinger said: "The Church has a critical role to play in countering cultural...

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Prayer Ban: Balancing the Reaction

(42) Comments | Posted February 10, 2012 | 8:21 AM

As we contemplate the implications of the High Court decision that the saying of prayers as part of local council business is illegal, the National Secular Society is bracing for an absolute torrent of abuse, exaggeration, misrepresentation and hysteria from conservative sources.

There will be a repeat...

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Bishops, Too, Have a Right to Unpleasant Opinions

(0) Comments | Posted February 6, 2012 | 6:09 AM

A humanist politician in Ireland is trying to prosecute a Catholic bishop for hate speech. Fine Gael election candidate John Colgan complained to the police about a homily delivered by the Bishop of Raphoe, Philip Boyce, at the Knock shrine, saying that it breached the Prohibition of Incitement to Hatred...

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Sentamu's Shot at Gay Marriage Is Only the First Salvo in a Bitter Battle to Come

(56) Comments | Posted January 30, 2012 | 4:21 AM

The Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, has warned the government that if it tries to legalise gay marriage, it will face a huge onslaught from religious bodies.

These are not empty words. The Church of England and the Catholic Church are already in talks to launch a major fightback against...

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