Why Should I Worry about Secular Humanism?





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The student demonstrated the influence secular humanist desire over children. They have repeatedly expressed their wish to control public education. Paul Kurtz said, “In our view, education should be the essential method of building humane, free, and democratic societies.” [1] Later in the same document, Kurtz said, “There is a broader task that all those who believe in democratic secular humanist values will recognize, namely, the need to embark upon a long-term program of public education and enlightenment concerning the relevance of the secular outlook to the human condition.”[2] Mel and Norma Gabler provided the following not-so-veiled quote from The Humanist

The battle for mankind’s future must be waged and won in the public school classroom by teachers who correctly perceive their role as the proselytizer of a new faith; a religion of humanity . . . utilizing a classroom instead of a pulpit to convey humanist values in whatever subject they teach. [3]

Henry A. Giroux said

What is becoming increasingly clear is that public and higher education may be two of the few sites left in which public values can be learned and experienced, and both should be defended vigorously by broadening the terms of learning to define a new democratic mission for the university. [4]

The student then proceeded to demonstrate how secular humanist currently influence children. The humanists place evolution in popular children’s works. The Berenstain Bears, which the student’s children love, teach secular humanism. In The Berenstain Bears’ Nature Guide, the Bear Family invites the reader to go on a nature walk. As readers take the walk with the Bears, they come across these words: Nature is “all that IS, or WAS, or EVER WILL BE!” [5] How many children have seen The Land Before Time video series? [6] Each video in the series provides a lesson in evolution as seas produce organisms which keep changing until they form dinosaurs.

Secular humanists have also included much of their propaganda into school textbooks and teaching methods. A high school psychology text a few years ago read, “There are exceptions to almost all moral laws, depending on the situation. What is wrong in one instance may be right in another. Most children learn that it’s wrong to lie. But later they may learn that it’s tactless, if not actually wrong, not to lie under certain circumstances.” [7] Such a statement closely resembles what Kurtz once wrote, “It is our moral duty, for example, not to lie, yet to do so on occasion may be morally justifiable. If your aunt labored all day to prepare a dessert you hate, you may believe that sparing her feelings and telling her you like it is a greater obligation than telling her the truth.” [8]


Secular humanists have given children much of their sexual ethic. Obviously, because nothing is absolutely right and wrong in secular humanism, no sexual behavior can be inherently wrong. Humanists have spelled out that view:

In the area of sexuality, we believe that intolerant attitudes, often cultivated by orthodox religions and puritanical cultures, unduly suppress sexual conduct. . . . While we do not approve of exploitive, denigrating forms of sexual expression, neither do we wish to prohibit, by law or social sanction, sexual behavior between consenting adults. The many varieties of sexual exploration should not in themselves be considered “evil.” [9]

That sexual ethic has been advocated by the Teenage Parent Council of Austin, Texas in their so-called “Green Book,” which publishes information for teens and their parents about services provided to pregnant teens. [10] The Green Book refuses to list the services the Austin Crisis Pregnancy Center provides, for that center promotes abstinence and favors life. The Green Book tells the teens of Austin

Parents, church leaders, and other teen friends may be urging you to wait until you are older and more mature, or married, before deciding to have a sexual intercourse relationship with someone. . . . About the only thing you can rely on is your personal feeling about what makes sense to you. The personal sense of what seems right is an important tool we have available to protect ourselves. [11]

After detailing how secular humanism impacts children, the student briefly explored how humanism impacts the whole of society. Because of secular humanism society has experienced “divorce, abortion, suicide, drug abuse, sexual permissiveness, homosexuality, pornography, wife battering, child abuse, etc.” [12] Secular humanists pride themselves on impacting American culture; Kurtz has said,

There is today a more tolerant attitude toward sexual freedom and a demand that laws against abortion, birth control, and voluntary sterilization be repealed. There is a change in public attitudes toward pornography and obscenity, an increased acceptance of nudity on stage and in the cinema – especially where artistic values are involved – and a conviction that society should not impose narrow standards of censorship. [13]

The student offered two suggestions about what Christians can do to combat humanism. First, because children have been given to their parents care by God (Gen. 33:5; Ps. 127:3-5), they must be trained in righteousness. “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it” (Prov. 22:6). “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4).

In order to protect their children, parents must know what their children watch on television, to what music they listen, and with what friends they associate. Children need to be taught what is involved in Christianity – parents need to take time to read and explain the Scriptures to their children as well as look for opportunities to teach about God. Parents need to be cognizant of what their children are being taught in school by monitoring their children’s textbooks.

Christians also need to make a stand in their community. Former saints made such a stand. When Nebuchadnezzar erected a golden statue, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego refused to worship the image, even though their rebellion meant being thrown into the fiery furnace (Dan. 3). When the Sanhedrin told the apostles to be quiet about Christ’s claims, they refused, but continued to preach Jesus’ name. When the apostles were again called before the Sanhedrin, the high priest told them, “We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name. Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching” (Acts 5:28). The apostles famously replied, “We must obey God rather than men!” (Acts 5:29). Christians can take a stand in their community by demonstrating Christian morality; “Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven” (Mt. 5:16). Christians can also vocalize their opposition to immorality through letters to the editor; through phone calls to radio talk shows; through activism in causes against abortion, gambling, pornography, and the like; and through voting.


[1]Kurtz, Humanist Declaration, 22.

[2]Ibid.

[3]Quoted from The Humanist January/February 1983 by Mel and Norma Gabler, “Humanism in Textbooks (Secular Religion in the Classroom),” Communication Education 36 (1987): 362.

[4]Girous, “Passion of the Right”: 316.

[5]Stan and Jan Berenstain, The Berenstain Bears’ Nature Guide (New York: Random, 1984), 11 quoted in Charles Colson, How Now Shall We Live? With Nancy Pearcey (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 1999), 54.

[6]The Land Before Time video series, Universal Pictures (1988) referenced in Charles Colson How Now Shall We Live? With Nancy Pearcey (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 1999), 69.

[7]Allyn & Bacon, Inquiries in Sociology, SE-45, col. 2, par. 1, lines 5-11, ca. 1978 quoted in Jim L. Smith, One Nation Under – God or Man? (Lawrenceburg, TN: Smith Publications, 1989), 30. Smith gives additional quotes from textbooks, and other quotes may also be found in Gabler, “Humanism in Textbooks.”

[8]Paul Kurtz, Forbidden Fruit: The Ethics of Humanism (Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books, 1988), 37.

[9]Humanist Manifesto II, Sixth.

[10]Waggoner, “Theism v. Humanism.”.

[11] The Green Book, Teenage Parent Council of Austin, 1987, 3 quoted in Waggoner, “Theism v. Humanism,” 113.

[12]Robert L. Waggoner, “Why All Preachers Should Be Concerned About Humanism,” Biblical Theism, http://www.biblicaltheism.com/Why_Preachers_Should_Be_Concerned.pdf (accessed October 1, 2005)

[13]Paul Kurtz, In Defense of Humanism (Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books, 1983), 35.

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