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Secularism in the UK and Europe. NEWS


Secularism in the UK and Europe. NEWS

To show that Secularism and Freethought are alive and well in the United Kingdom and Europe.

Members: 19
Latest Activity: Jan 5

Discussion Forum

Did Europe's centuries of religious war result in its secularism?

Started by Tom Sarbeck. Last reply by Chris Jul 30, 2016. 8 Replies

Did long-term monarchs impose their religions?In the US, with presidents' terms limited to eight years, religions might be imposed by majorities in state legislatures or Congress or by majorities on state supreme courts or the US Supreme Court.Continue

Tags: state., church

Firms 'place asylum seekers in sub-standard housing'

Started by Stephen Brodie. Last reply by Mrs.B Jan 20, 2016. 1 Reply

Private security firms G4S and Serco have placed asylum seekers in sub-standard properties, according to a report by the National Audit Office.…Continue


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Comment by Stephen Brodie on December 22, 2021 at 2:35

The claims about the UK’s first Omicron death

Government urged to release more information amid speculation about whether the Covid victim was vaccinated

Comment by Mrs.B on December 7, 2021 at 22:25

I don't know anyone who feels like partying.

Comment by Stephen Brodie on December 7, 2021 at 22:23

No 10 Christmas party denials continue - BBC News

Comment by Mrs.B on December 7, 2021 at 21:41


Comment by Stephen Brodie on December 7, 2021 at 21:36

Covid bereaved families 'sickened' over No 10 Christmas party

Families who lost loved ones during the pandemic have said they are "sickened" by a No 10 Christmas party held during last year's Covid restrictions.

The party took place on 18 December, with a source telling the BBC "several dozen" people attended.

But the Covid restrictions operating at the time banned such events.

Boris Johnson - who was not at the party - said no Covid rules were broken, but No 10 has refused to explain how party-goers complied.

Asked by reporters on Thursday why he would not tell the public what happened at the party, the PM replied: "Because I have told you."

Instead, Mr Johnson tried to focus on this Christmas, saying the government was taking a "balanced and proportionate approach to the risk" and "people shouldn't be cancelling things", like parties and nativities, because of concerns about the Omicron variant.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said last year's event in No 10 showed it was "one rule for them and another rule for everybody else", adding that it sent "completely the wrong message" to the public.

Comment by Stephen Brodie on November 12, 2021 at 9:46

Faith school continues to fail due to “narrow” secular curriculum

An independent faith school has failed three consecutive inspections due to its "narrow" secular curriculum.

Talmud Torah Toldos Yakov Yosef (TTTYY), an independent orthodox Jewish school for boys in London, was rated "inadequate" in its most recent inspection, according to a report published today by school inspectorate Ofsted.

It was also rated "inadequate" in its last two inspections in 2019 and 2017.

In its most recent inspection in June, Ofsted found the school's secular curriculum "narrow", and said leaders "give little time to secular subjects on the timetable".

The inspection report said that "pupils spend most of the school day doing Jewish studies" and the standard teaching of secular subjects is "weak". It said leaders and teachers "do not have the expertise to teach the secular subjects well" and "do not have high expectations for pupils' achievement". It added that pupils "struggle to read and write English".

The report said leaders "did not allow inspectors to ask pupils about relationships". It said there is "no evidence" pupils have an age-appropriate understanding of healthy relationships.

It added that the personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) curriculum is planned in a way that "respects the ethos of the school", and "does not pay due regard to all the protected characteristics" in the Equality Act 2010.

Schools are required to teach about protected characteristics in equality law, including sexual orientation, to secondary-age pupils in an age-appropriate manner.

The report said pupils "are not well prepared for life in modern Britain. It said they "know very little about different cultures" and "do not interact much with people from other backgrounds". Additionally, their knowledge of religions other than Judaism "does not go beyond knowing the names of religions".

Pupils in Years 7 and 8 "do not receive any careers guidance" and so they "have no idea about the choices on offer for them when they leave the school."

TTTYY's previous inspection reports made similar criticisms regarding the narrow secular curriculum, limited opportunities to learn about other cultures, and inadequate careers guidance.

NSS reaction

NSS head of education Alastair Lichten said: "It is very concerning that schools like this continue to operate after repeated inspection failures.

"Many of TTTYY's failings relate directly to its fundamentalist religious ethos. The school doesn't value preparing its pupils for life in 21st century society. Instead, it is preparing them for a life of limited opportunities within an insular and high-control religious community.

"The government must not allow this school to continue to operate if it refuses to address any of the failings identified by Ofsted. We must not permit children to be left behind their peers due to wishes of religious community leaders."

The NSS has long supported improvements to independent school standards, and warned that schools are not facing appropriate regulatory action despite repeating failing inspections.

Comment by Stephen Brodie on October 12, 2021 at 8:23

Professor accused of Islamophobia blasts university bosses for saying they 'recognised students' concerns' - despite also saying the academic was completely exonerated

A PROFESSOR accused of Islamophobia has blasted his university employer's response after an appeal against his exoneration was thrown out.

Human rights academic Steven Greer was cleared last week after an appeal by Bristol University's Islamic Society (BRISOC) who accused him of making 'discriminatory' and 'Islamophobic' comments as part of his course.

A five-month investigation, led by an independent QC, cleared the professor over the allegations but university bosses still removed the material from the course. 

University chiefs rejected complaints that Steven Greer (pictured) had expressed 'bigoted views' after a five-month investigation – but have still pulled his module from their syllabus

Professor accused of Islamophobia blasts bosses for 'recognising co...

Comment by Stephen Brodie on July 22, 2021 at 9:59

Schools aren’t there to save the Church

The Church of England's new evangelical missional strategy should lead us to question its entitlement to proselytise in schools, argues Stephen Evans.

In a bid to reverse the precipitous decline in Anglican affiliation, Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell has come up with a plan to "revitalise" the ailing Church of England.

Cottrell's "Vision and Strategy" paper proposes setting up tens of thousands of 'worshipping communities', essentially led by the evangelical laity. The plans reflect the growing influence of evangelicalism within the Church under Justin Welby's tenure as Archbishop of Canterbury. The plans have caused considerable consternation amongst the clergy. Much of this stems from the apparent desire to deprioritise the parish system in favour of 'groovy' house churches led by lay people rather than priests. Writing in Church Times, Andrew Brown called the plan a "suicide note", likening the proposals to the Church "tearing off its buildings and its priests, and rushing stark naked into a world that couldn't care less".

Schools aren’t there to save the Church - National Secular Society ...

Comment by Joan Denoo on July 17, 2021 at 20:47

Oh!! Patricia! that is a terrible experience! How could he possibly do such a thing! There is no justification for such a procedure at 7-years old. He clearly had a problem, and I wonder how many little girls he violated. I wonder, did he have an erection when he did it?

The hospitalization and having anesthesia indicates they were looking for something; was the Dr who performed it the same as the one who penetrated you? 

"An extraordinary type of foreign body (FB) may be found in the female external genitalia, especially in children. Intravaginal FB, retained for a long duration, can produce diagnostic dilemmas. Vaginal bleeding as the result of a leech bite is extremely rare, although reported. We report two cases of vaginal FB (intravaginal Scotch-Brite in a 5-year-old girl and leech in the vagina in a 7-year-old girl)."

~ Halder P, Mandal KC, Mishra L, Debnath B. Spectrum of vaginal foreign body in children: A report of two cases. Indian J Paediatr Dermatol [serial online] 2017 [cited 2021 Jul 18];18:220-2. Available from:

My first reaction was a yeast infection, and that happens to females all the time, especially if your vaginal area was exposed to unclean surfaces and clothes. However, that would not require an internal exam. 

I am so sorry you had that experience! If your mother had known how serious it was, she could have made a complaint to the medical association, although they are too protective of doctors. 

Here is what I found when Lysol was used as a douche product. Obvious, pregnancy was not the issue for you and your mother's decision. However, well, look up this article. It reveals misogyny at its worst.

"one of the most shamefully misogynistic decades-long ad campaigns in advertising history, when Lysol — you know, the cleaning product — was marketed as a great thing to douche with."

"Lysol was incredibly corrosive to the vagina; in fact, its recipe was significantly more dangerous than the one used today.  Hundreds of people died from exposure to Lysol, including women who were using it to kill sperm.  It was also, to add insult to injury, wholly ineffective as a contraceptive."


Comment by Mrs.B on July 17, 2021 at 14:16

Mother spent quite sometime douching me out with Lysol mixed with water. To this day I don't know what the rash was, but it kept recurring so ended up in hospital for tests & put under anaesthetic for whatever they did. Mother didn't seem to know either.


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