NSS, Africa, Faith Schools discussed on National Secular Society Podcast


Was a huge issue during the passage of the monthly bill and I was it lobbied intensely from both sides of the issue. But to me, the car system is discrimination. That is that there is fundamental. Character and of course like all the religions that have come to the United Kingdom because we are still are tolerant and free country imported with different waves of immigration has been the caste system that came with it and I was a minister in the department for International Development for two years back. I saw classed and its practice and the horror of the status of lower-caste despised and mistreated and it is intensely still felt. I remember the arguments about how we I was interfering in a system that had been there and it worked very well and it meant that's had the order of things but it's just totally against equality is fundamentally against your quality and it is and should be a crime to discriminate on the grounds of past wage. The NSS has recently released a report just in September 2020 about how religious privilege in many different ways continues to undermine the quality law even today and get that reporters Faith shaped holes how religious privilege is undermining equality law you then wrote the forward to this report? What were your reasons for doing? So well first off they invited me to do so, but it is a passion that I have as a liberal. I believe Live and Let Live should be the basis on which we conduct ourselves in this world. I also feel that many of the problems of the world stem from religion, you know growing up. I understood it was a force that was supposedly about love and forgiveness and charity and kindness and then when I woke up I found it was also the basis of War deprivation unfairness and guilt. So it seems to me that when it comes to issues such as abortion alcohol homosexuality employment sex education the great organized religions of or like want to have the benefit of our phenomenal equality laws. So long as they don't have to comply with anything they don't subscribe to so they want to have their cake and eat it. They definitely do want to have their communities and you know, as I said during the passage of the same sex marriage will I was often the target of death threats and disparaging attacked from the religious order of my response to those who say violently attacked me and the legislation and who are often the heads of the great organized religions of our world was to use the words advised to me by staying home which were my very strong advice to those who do not agree with same-sex marriage is not to marry someone of the same set. Yep. That sounds like a a good response birth. In in terms of the issues raised in the National secular society report the link Hydro children from knowledge. You tell them you're their parents and took the meat but they agree with you. They'll follow you and in this country where we live and hope to live in harmony with each other, whatever our belief system whatever our particular protected characteristics and some of us have lots of everyone is equal and should be treated equally in all sorts of ways the key principle of secularism in particular is that any form of unfair religious privilege should not undermine the rights and freedoms of others. So this is this is always a question about balancing everyone's right to freedom of religion and beliefs against the possibility that that some people may exploit their position to unfairly affect others. Now as far as the NSS report is concerned the three main ways which it identified there's still a probe. With the current equality legislation are in terms of cost based discrimination, which we've talked about education which you mentioned briefly Faith schools and also employment for you. What is that still the biggest issues in these areas, which need to refer the reform. I do think that some of the exemptions that were in the equality acne reform because the Republicans I fear of using them to only employ people of that particular Faith within there within their Circle, so that is one thing that needs reforming off another is I don't think I really don't think that Collective worship should be something In schools, I just don't think so. I think it is better for schools to have a morning assembly talking about life in general or the news or what's going on in school. I don't think it should be any form of religious worship because as I described for my own experience as a child, you don't want to alienate any group to feel one game is the main group or the more important group or that your your group doesn't matter. You're faced it off to the library While others have offended me. So I think it's very important to remove Collective worship from schools with this been argument for getting rid of faith-based State schools altogether. This guy is beyond what the national secular society are suggesting or indeed what the liberal Democrats of which plan the member have US policy, but on a personal capacity, I would love there to be that that schools are about education and home is about religion wage. Faith, I don't think schools are the appropriate place for it. But that's not where this report is going at this point. It's trying to remove some of the very overt way samples of where the exemptions to the equality act have been labeled religious exceptionalism. But my view is that anything that is state-funded should not really include religion of any sort. It should certainly teach all religions in in in religious instruction class or religious education rather not instruction class. If you look what separateness does it creates alienation and mistrust or superiority as I said, I worked in Africa for two years when I was different Ministry and I did spend part of every week mostly in Africa and what I learned there what I saw there that any difference state-sponsored birth That your power or status or whatever caused dispute and unhappiness, whether it was tribal religious ethnicity. It didn't matter what the difference was off the minute you entrench it in some in some form of privilege for State sanctions. It causes Wars jealousy one up shit. It doesn't you know, it just is not harmonious and you know, it's not that long ago since the troubles in Northern Ireland finally came to a blessed. Excuse me. So the whole point of the equality act as far as your concern is just to give the best chance for people of every single belief or no believed to flourish in to work together. I do believe that. They also think it is to stop the harms that are so in our base human nature that make us discriminate and it's to help us. Being discriminatory because it is now against the law as you say, you know, we can see in there many different societies throughout history if the laws encourage a certain form of behavior than a society goes in that direction. So if they encourage a more discriminatory form of behavior, then people will perhaps feel like it's more normal. Whereas if they encourage greater tolerance than our society it may help push.

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