Join the NSS today
If you receive the National Secular Society‘s weekly email, Newsline, you’ll already have read this message:
Why we need you to commit to your principles
A message from Terry Sanderson, NSS President
We know there are millions of people in this country who would prefer religion not to interfere in their life and to stay where it belongs – in places of worship and in the homes of worshippers.
There is a definite feeling of discomfort abroad about the way that churches, mosques, temples and other places of worship are putting out tentacles that reach into all our lives – whether it is into our children’s education (another huge increase in the number of ‘faith schools’ is on the way), our taxes (why do churches get special tax privileges, like reduced VAT, when the rest of us are shown no mercy?), our hospitals (why is the NHS paying the salaries of clergy when hospitals are going into administration?), our legislature (why are Church of England bishops involved in making laws that we all have to live by?), and our media (why is religion given such special consideration by the BBC – especially when religious programmes have so few listeners or viewers?).
We worry about the spread of crackpot ideas like creationism into places where children are led into believing that there is, somehow, legitimacy in such superstitions. We are concerned about the imposition of prayers on to secular spaces, such as local councils. We are outraged that tax-funded religious schools are standing in the way of girls receiving vaccinations that could protect them from cervical cancer – because they it offends the school’s religious principles.
And now we discover that local authorities all over the country are giving free or subsidised parking to people who attend a place of worship, while rest of us have to pay through the nose!
The National Secular Society is trying to fight on all these fronts, but we are coming at it with minor resources (compared to religious interests) and going head to head against powerful vested interests that have real political clout.
Unless those of us who believe in secularism as a system that gives everyone the same rights with no favouritism or disadvantage band together and present a united front, we are going to find the going extremely tough and unpredictable. David and Goliath may be biblical, but it is a good analogy for our predicament.
The frustrating thing is that we know that there are tens of thousands — if not millions — of people out there who share our ambitions for a fair, just and rational society. We somehow have to persuade them that to get what they want, they have to join together and demand it. The NSS provides the umbrella under which we can all speak out for those common sense changes.
While the Vatican has apparently unlimited resources (the Czech parliament has just agreed to pay it another £3.6 billion – and even that is chicken feed to the Holy See) which are frequently replenished, the NSS depends on its shoestring budget from its band of committed members to do as much as it can.
But as well as financial resources, we also need numbers. We need you to commit to your principles and become a member (we know that many Newsline readers already are members — for which we are very grateful — but many are not). If everyone who reads Newsline joined the NSS we would have a very significant increase in our membership base.
So, that’s our request to you. If you want to ensure a secular society that is free from religious control, please take the trouble to join us. Membership is not expensive (although don’t let us dissuade you from also adding a donation if you want) and there are special rates for students and those without a wage. If you are already a member, then please try to persuade others who share your ideas to join us, too. Spread the word, send this issue of Newsline out to people who might be interested and who might want to subscribe.
If you don’t want to join, but would like to support the NSS with a donation, we would very much appreciate that, too.
Please act now. It’s quick and easy.
The NSS depends entirely for its income on members and generous supporters. Please do your bit to help us work on your behalf for the kind of society we all want – one that is not dominated by religious demands and privileges.
To recieve Newsline, click here.
And while you’re about it, why not join us too, to support our work in Suffolk and N E Essex?