By Dennis L. Cuddy, Ph.D.
November 5, 2007
(Note: On October 23, 2007, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1955, titled “The Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007.” Section 899A of the bill defines “violent radicalization” as “the process of adopting or promoting an extremist belief system for the purpose of facilitating ideologically based violence to advance political, religious, or social change.” Nowhere in the legislation is “extremist” or “violence” defined, so you can imagine how the government could even use this bill to imprison people like the founders of this nation! Also, overnight between this past Saturday and Sunday, Pakistan’s President Pervez Musharraf declared what amounts to martial law. Look at my previous articles regarding the importance of Pakistan.)
You hear many people today saying what a mess this country is in. That’s because while surveys show most Americans claim to believe in Biblical religion, in practice, a growing number of younger people are really secular humanists. Why?
While young people’s values are shaped by the media, music, etc., the only thing they are required to do is go to school. And most of them attend public schools, where secular humanism exclusively has been “preached” for decades. How did this come about?
For the last two centuries, there has been in the U.S. a battle between the Biblically-based values of the American Revolution and the secular humanists’ values of the French Revolution, which emphasized Adam Weishaupt’s Illuminati philosophy of “do what thou wilt.” One of the leading proponents of the French Revolution was the Marquis de Lafayette, who brought Madame Francoise d’Arusmont (Fannie) Wright to the U.S. in the early 1800s. Here, she joined with Socialists Robert Dale Owen and Orestes Brownson secretly to take over America. According to Brownson, who later converted to Christianity, they wanted to establish a “national, rational, republican education, free for all at the expense of all, conducted under the guardianship of the State” with the purpose of separating children from what they considered the “negative influence” of parents. In terms of values instruction, they wanted to impart to the students values different from those of their parents, and this would come to be known as secular (not God-centered) humanistic education which emphasizes naturalistic evolution as well as moral relativism and situation ethics via values clarification techniques.
A few years after the plan of Owen, Wright and Brownson was begun, Karl Marx in 1844 authored ECONOMIC AND PHILOSOPHIC MANUSCRIPTS, which stated: “Communism begins from the outset with atheism. . . . Communism, as fully developed naturalism, equals humanism” (see Naturalism chart). The next decade, Auguste Comte in 1851 began to author a series of volumes on his SYSTEM OF POSITIVE POLITY, with a “positivist” philosophy in which man, not God, would decide for himself what’s right or wrong.
During the last half of the 19th century and into the 20th century, this philosophy became dominant among American intellectuals, including educators and jurists. As these individuals in the 20th century gained control of American higher education and the federal courts, the philosophy began to spread, even to public elementary and secondary schools.
In 1930, Charles Francis Potter authored HUMANISM, A NEW RELIGION, in which he boasted: “Education is thus a most powerful ally of humanism and every American public school is a school of humanism. What can the theistic Sunday schools meeting for an hour once a week and teaching only a fraction of the children, do to stem the tide of a five-day program of humanistic teaching?”
Three years later, Potter signed the first HUMANIST MANIFESTO (1933) as did John Dewey, the “Father of Progressive Education.” The MANIFESTO’s first affirmation stated: “Religious humanists regard the universe as self-existing and not created.” Secondly, it affirmed that man is a product of naturalistic evolution. Humanist Sir Julian Huxley, UNESCO’s first director-general, would later explain that humanism’s “keynote, the central concept to which all its details are related, is evolution.”
In 1954, former president of the American Humanist Association Lloyd Morain, and his wife Mary (a director of the International Humanist and Ethical Union, which has 4 million members), authored HUMANISM AS THE NEXT STEP, which declared that “Humanism is the most rapidly growing religious movement in America today.” With all of these references to humanism as a “religion,” it was no surprise when the U.S. Supreme Court in Torcaso v. Watkins (June 19, 1961) listed “secular humanism” as a non-theistic religion.
One would think that with the Supreme Court’s “separation of church and state” rulings in the early 1960s banning school prayer and Bible reading, secular humanism would also be banned from public schools. This, though, was not the case. When a case eventually was brought before federal district Judge Brevard Hand, he sided with parents in their desire to ban this “religion” from public schools (see “Judge Bans Humanist Textbooks,” THE WASHINGTON POST, March 5, 1987). However, his decision was reversed at the federal Appeals Court level, which was dominated by a Positivist philosophy. This was despite the fact that even liberal WASHINGTON POST columnist Colman McCarthy in “Textbook Case Look Again” (April 5, 1987) wrote of Judge Hand’s decision about the school texts being challenged, saying “this highly relativistic and individualistic approach constitutes the promotion of a fundamental faith claim opposed to other religious faiths.” So much for “government neutrality” !
As the decade of the 1960s closed, leading educator Ted Sizer wrote in FIVE LECTURES…ON MORAL EDUCATION (1970) that “Christian sermonizing denies individual autonomy….Moral autonomy…is the ‘new morality’ toward which we are to guide ourselves and other people….Clearly the strict adherence to a (moral) ‘code’ is out of date.” Three years later (1973), HUMANIST MANIFESTO II was published and declared: “Ethics is autonomous and situational, needing no theological or ideological sanction.”
Three years after that, THE HUMANIST (January-February 1976) published an article by Sheila Schwartz expressing her thankfulness “the crazies (fundamentalists) don’t do all that much reading. If they did, they’d find out that they have already been defeated.” Then, the very next issue of THE HUMANIST (March-April 1976) contained an article by Paul Blanshard, in which he remarked : “I think the most important factor leading us to a secular society has been the educational factor. Our schools may not teach Johnny to read properly, but the fact that Johnny is in school until he is 16 tends to lead toward the elimination of religious superstition. The average child now acquires a high school education, and this militates against Adam and Eve and all other myths of alleged history.” Textbooks followed this same philosophy, as in the early 1970s, PERSPECTIVES IN UNITED STATES HISTORY informed students that “the God of the Judeo-Christian tradition was a god worshipped by desert folk…clearly man-created.”
The year after Blanshard’s article appeared, THE HUMANIST (January-February 1977) published an article by Sidney Hook, in which he explained that “human beings can be influenced to examine critically their religious beliefs only by indirection, (by which) I mean the development of a critical attitude in all our educational institutions that will aim to make students less credulous to claims that transcend their reflective experience.” And 3 years after that, Morris Storer (director of the American Humanist Association 1975-1980) declared in his book HUMANIST ETHICS (1980) that “a large majority of the educators of American colleges and universities are predominantly humanists, and a majority of the teachers who go out from their studies in colleges to responsibilities in primary and secondary schools are basically humanists, no matter that many maintain a nominal attachment to church or synagogue for good personal, social or practical reasons.”
The point in using all these quotes is to show that humanists’ control of American education and the values our children are taught in public schools is not an accident. If you need any more proof of this, the following quote by H. J. Blackham, a founder of the 4-million-member International Humanist and Ethical Union, should suffice. In THE HUMANIST (September-October 1981), he proclaimed that if schools teach dependence (in a moral sense) on one’s self, “they are more revolutionary than any conspiracy to overthrow the government.” Blackham was absolutely right, and this is exactly what the religion of secular humanism has done. It has become most Americans’ new religion, and that is reflected both in government (e.g., Supreme Court legalizing abortion) and in most Americans’ personal lives.
Humanists have not hidden their agenda, as John Dunphy’s prize-winning essay was published in THE HUMANIST (January-February 1983), and proclaimed that “the battle for humankind’s future must be waged and won in the public school classroom…between the rotting corpse of Christianity…and the new faith of humanism…(and) humanism will emerge triumphant.”
Unfortunately, humanism has “emerged triumphant” in the U.S. today. Not too long ago, the Josephson Institute of Ethics polled more than 20,000 middle and high school students and found that an amazing 47% acknowledged that they had stolen something from a store in the past 12 months. Do public school teachers and secular humanists tell students to steal? No, but they do say the student is an autonomous moral decisionmaker who should make up her or his own mind about what is right or wrong based on the situation. This could lead some students to say, “Most of the time I don’t steal, but that store owner ripped me off on the price of a sweater, so in this situation I didn’t see anything wrong with shoplifting something from him.”
Yes, secular humanism has become the new religion of most Americans today whether or not they realize. You think not? Ask yourself how many Americans cheat on their taxes! Public school textbooks actually have promoted this philosophy, as HEALTH COMMUNICATING SERIES asked first-graders: “Do you think there is ever a time when (cheating) might be right? Tell when it is. Tell why you think it’s right.”
The consequence of abandoning Biblical principles will be our “destruction.” Remember that in Philippians 3, Paul is talking about “the enemies of the cross of Christ,” and verse 19 reads: “Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.”
There is a famous quote about men and women becoming accomplices to the evils they fail to oppose. This is something of a paraphrase of the last part of Romans 1:32, and it applies to Americans and their new religion of secular humanism today. Shortly after the Iraq war began, a poll showed two-thirds of Americans supported torturing prisoners in wartime. Subsequently, the horrors of Abu Ghraib were made public. The American people basically invited this evil, and since God holds nations accountable for their actions and nations cannot be punished after this life, can’t we expect God to punish the U.S. and its people here in this life?
All of the so-called Christians who humanistically rationalize torture based on situation ethics should ask themselves what Jesus would say about this. You say you’re not one of those supporting torture, so you’re all right. Well, do you check to see from where the TV, radio, shirts, jeans, etc., which you buy come, so you’re sure they are not from Communist China, which tortures and kills Christians? If you buy products from China, you are supporting a torturing and murdering dictatorship, and what would Jesus say about that?
If I were a reporter at one of the current presidential debates, I would ask the candidates (and the millions of viewers watching) the following: “If Hitler and the Nazis controlled Germany, Austria, Poland, etc., today, and acknowledged murdering millions of Christians and Jews, would you have a trading relationship with them, supporting their economy and military?” After the gasps of unbelief from the candidates and viewers subsided, I would then ask: “Well, if you wouldn’t trade with Hitler, when are you going to end our trade with Communist China, which we all know has murdered tens of millions of innocent people, including many Christians whose body parts have been harvested to sell to Americans and others for implants?”
Remember Thomas Jefferson’s warning: “Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that His justice cannot sleep forever.”
© 2007 Dennis Cuddy – All Rights Reserved