Article from Australia:

Religion in schools to go God-free

Michael Bachelard
December 14, 2008

VICTORIAN state primary school students will soon have an alternative β€” religious education lessons taught by people who do not believe in God and say there is “no evidence of any supernatural power”.

The Humanist Society of Victoria has developed a curriculum, which the State Government accreditation body says it intends to approve, to deliver 30-minute lessons each week of “humanist applied ethics” to primary pupils.

Accredited volunteers will be able to teach their philosophy in the class time designated for religious instruction. As with lessons delivered by faith groups, parents will be able to request that their children do not participate.

Victorian Humanist Society president Stephen Stuart said: “Atheistical parents will be pleased to hear that humanistic courses of ethics will soon be available in some state schools.”

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I actually commend them for putting humanism in the “religious” category, because that is exactly what it is. Humanism is the “belief that humanity is the highest of all beings and truth and knowledge rest in science and human reason.” (Noebel, Understanding the Times) It is atheistic. Paul Kurtz, the editor of Free Inquiry, a Secular Humanism magazine, says “Humanism cannot in any fair sense of the word apply to one who still believes in God as the source and creator of the universe. Christian Humanism would be possible only for those willing to admit that they are atheistic Humanists. It surely does not apply to God-intoxicated believers.” (The Humanist Alternative, 178)

David Noebel in his book Understanding the Times discusses the worldview of secular humanism and addresses the issue of secular humanism as a religion.

On pg. 34, Noebel writes:

Secular humanism is the dominant worldview in our secular colleges and universities. It has also made gains in many Christian colleges and universities (especially in the areas of biology, sociology, politics and history.)

……….

Secular humanists recognize the classroom as a powerful context for indoctrination. Since they understand that many worldviews exist and are competing for adherents, they believe they must use the classroom to flush out “unenlightened” worldviews and to encourage students to embrace their worldview. Secular humanism, operating under the educational buzzword “liberalism,” controls the curriculum in America’s public schools thanks to the National Education Association, the National Academy of Sciences, and a host of foundations including the Ford Foundation. Christianity has been deliberately, some would say brilliantly, erased from America’s educational system. The same has been the case in all Western nations for a number of years.

On pg. 35-36, Noebel writes of secular humanism as a religious organization and quotes Paul Kurtz (an author of the Humanist Manifesto II (1973)) in his writings “Is Secular Humanism a Religion?” Free Inquiry (Winter 1986/87): 5 and Eupraxophy: Living Without Religion (Buffalo, NY): Prometheus, 1989), 80.:

Kurtz–who has written a book that denies that Humanism is a religion throughout its first half and, in the second half, encourages the establishment of Humanist churches, calling them Eupraxophy Centers–admits that the organized Humanist movement in America is put in a quandry over whether Humanism is a religion. Why? Simply because “the Fellowship of Religious Humanists (300 members), the American Ethical Union (3,000 members), and the Society for Humanistic Judaism (4,000 members) consider themselves to be religious. Even the American Humanist Association,” says Kurtz, “has a [501(c)3] religious tax exemption.”

Kurtz’s recent denial that Secular Humanism is a religion is not based on truth; it is a calculated political maneuver. Kurtz seeks to dodge the all-important question: If Secular Humanism is a religion, then what is it doing in the public schools? If Christianity is thrown out of secular schools under the guise of separation of church and state, why shouldn’t we banish Secular Humanism as well? Kurtz understands this, admitting that if Secular Humanism is a religion, “then we would be faced with a violation of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.”

Humanists attempt to downplay their violation of the present interpretation of the First Amendment by claiming that they present a neutral viewpoint. But no educational approach is neutral, as Richard A. Baer notes: “Education never takes place in a moral and philosophical vacuum. If the larger questions about human beings and their destiny are not being asked and answered within a predominantly Judeo-Christian framework [worldview], they will be addressed with another philosophical or religious framework–but hardly one that is ‘neutral.'”

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