Now that humanists clearly have the upper hand in public education, they recognize what is at stake and are scrambling to shore up their advantage. Dr. Noebel notes, “Paul Kurtz, author of Humanist Manifesto II and editor of Free Inquiry, one of the most popular humanist magazines, attempted in his book Eupraxophy: Living without Religion, to prove that Secular Humanism is not a religion.”
So why does Kurtz want to argue that humanism is not a religion when the Humanist Manifesto I and countless humanist authors, professors, and ministers say that humanism is a religion? Kurtz himself gives the answer: “For if humanism, even naturalistic and secular humanism is a religion, then we would be faced with a violation of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, which states that ‘Congress shall make no law representing the establishment of religion or the free exercise thereof.’” (Footnote #23)
The dirty little secret of humanists is that they know humanism is a religion, but they will deny it when it puts at risk the federal tax dollars Congress appropriates to fund humanist-leaning textbooks and programs in America. Not only that, many members of the U.S. Congress know exactly what is going on. Most American citizens, though, are simply unaware and continue through the allocation of their tax dollars to establish a religion: the religion of humanism.
In 1986, Paul C. Vitz, a professor of psychology at New York University, was commissioned by the United States government to examine the state of education in America. Vitz’s findings document that indeed a group of secularists and liberals had been effective in pushing their religion into American textbooks by eliminating Christianity, God, and the impact of both on America, its people, its laws, success, and enduring freedoms. In his report, Vitz wrote, “[A] very widespread secular and liberal mindset appears to be responsible. This mindset pervades the leadership in the world of education and a secular and liberal bias is its inevitable consequence.” (Footnote #24)
He goes on to write, “Most disturbing was the constant omission of reference to the large role that religion has always played in American life. This fact has been seen as a fundamental feature of American society by foreign observers since de Tocqueville.” (Footnote #25)
And by the way, not only has the U.S. Supreme Court acknowledged humanism as a religion, but the Internal Revenue Service has recognized it as a religion for years. Numerous humanist organizations, including the American Humanist Association, have a “religious” tax exemption.
Humanists take full advantage of “having it both ways.” In the July 8, 2000, Dallas Morning News article entitled “Atheists Need Fellowship, Too,” Selwyn Crawford wrote, “The North Texas Church for Free Thought—nicknamed the ‘church for the unchurched’—has become a model for other atheist congregations, sparking interest in similar ventures around Texas, the nation, and the world.”
But What Do Humanists Say for Themselves?
While Paul Kurtz argues humanism is not a religion because of his fear of losing access to the public schools, his colleagues continue to stack up evidence that proves humanism is a religion. The Humanist Manifesto I describes humanism as a religion, again and again: “The time has come for widespread recognition of the radical changes in religious beliefs. . . . In every field of human activity, the vital movement is now the direction of a candid and explicit humanism. In order that religious humanism may be better understood we, the undersigned, desire to make certain affirmations which we believe the facts of our contemporary life demonstrate.” (Footnote #26)
Notice the manifesto refers to their belief system as “religious humanism.” Curtis W. Reese, a signatory of Humanist Manifesto I, comments, “Within the liberal churches of America there is a religious movement which has come to be known as humanism.” (Footnote #27) And in his book, Humanist Religion, Reese writes, “When a man commits himself to a great cause, we say that this cause becomes his religion.” (Footnote #28)
Ray Wood Sellars, author of Humanist Manifesto I, claims, “Humanity has struck its tents and is again on the march toward a religious faith, which I dare to believe will provide us with a religion greater than Christianity.” (Footnote #29) Sellars continues, “The religion of humanism will be a growth due to, and resting on, the cooperative spiritual life to the making of which will go a multitude of minds and hearts.” (Footnote #30) Humanist though he may be, Ray Sellars was also something of a prophet when he referred to his belief system as “the humanistic religion into which Christianity will gradually be transformed.” (Footnote 31)
Many churches and Christians have merged a humanist worldview with Christianity. Scripture also foretells this apostasy within the church. The falling away from traditionally held biblical truths will lay the foundation for an apostate church to accept false teachings of the last days about which the Bible has much to say.
Many facets of humanism can be traced back to the modern movement’s “early days.” Despite the fact that he was a mainline church pastor for more than ten years, Charles Francis Potter became a Unitarian pastor—and a signer of Humanist Manifesto I. In his book, Humanism: A New Religion, Potter writes, “Humanism is a new religion altogether.” (Footnote #32) Interestingly, Potter not only introduces the very question we are asking, but he answers it for us. “Is humanism a religion? It is both a religion and a philosophy of culture.” (Footnote #33)
Or consider the thinking of John H. Dietrich, a Unitarian minister and a signatory of Humanist Manifesto. He wrote a booklet called Humanism, in which he notes, “There has grown up within the liberal churches of America a very definite movement known as Humanism, which is seeking to ground religion in human living rather than in some supernatural existence, by interpreting the good life in terms of human values and by directing man’s religious aspirations toward the enhancement of human life.” (Footnote #34)
Harvard Divinity School professor Harvey Cox recognizes secular humanism as “a new closed world view which functions very much like a new religion . . . where it pretends not to be a world view but nonetheless seeks to impose its ideology through the organs of the state.” (Footnote #35)
The documentation from speeches, books, booklets, and papers written by the world’s leading humanists—from America and around the world—could fill volumes. The proof is there for those who dare to face the reality that America has rejected the wishes of our Founding Fathers and allowed Congress to fund, and the Courts to defend, a religion with which the majority of Americans neither identify nor agree.
There is no such thing as being religiously neutral. The NEA, ACLU, DNC, and every other anti-God organization in America is not religion neutral.
There is even a magazine published for those who practice “religious socialism.” The magazine’s Web site notes: “Religious Socialism is the quarterly publication of the Religion of Socialism Commission of DSA. It is the only periodical dedicated to people of faith and socialism in North America. . . . It is open to people of all faiths whose socialism is in some way inspired by their spiritual identity.” The Religion of Socialism Commission “has held conferences and seminars dealing with what we feel is an intrinsic connection between religious beliefs and the fight for social justice.”
Finally, the Humanist Manifesto I acknowledges that everything is a religious issue: “The distinction between the sacred and the secular can no longer be maintained.”
I rest my case. The humanists know that all issues are religious issues.
Paul Kurtz, Eupraxophy: Living without Religion (Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books, 1989), 80.
24 Paul C. Vitz, Censorship: Evidence of Bias in Our Children’s Textbooks (Ann Arbor, MI: Servant Books, 1986), 1.
25 Ibid., 2–3.
26 A Humanist Manifesto I, 1933, was first printed in The New Humanist, May/June 1933, vol. 6, no. 3.
27 Curtis W. Reese, Humanist Sermons (Chicago, IL: The Open Court Publishing Company, 1927), v.
28 Curtis W. Reese, Humanist Religion (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1931), 53.
29 Roy Wood Sellars, Religion Coming of Age (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1928), 125.
30 Ibid., 252.
31 Ibid., 270.
32 Charles Francis Potter, Humanism: A New Religion (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1930), 3.
33 Ibid., 114.
34 John H. Dietrich, Humanism (Boston, MA: American Unitarian Association, 1933), 11.
35 Noebel, Clergy in the Classroom, 143; quoting Harvey Cox, The Secular City: Secularization and Urbanization in Theological Perspective, rev. ed. (New York: Macmillan, 1965, 1966), 18.