The uproar over religious education in schools is reaching fever pitch, with all the usual suspects (the ABC, the Age, etc.) going ballistic as they whip up hysteria about this matter. Indeed, it is just like the witch hunts of old, with all kinds of panic mongering and gloom and doom-ism.
The old chestnut about church and state separation is of course being thrown around here, with all the usual muddled thinking surrounding it. As if schools and education can ever be completely neutral and value-free. Such a condition does not exist. All knowledge, all education, and all learning is impacted by one’s worldview, by one’s values, and by one’s belief systems.
And it so happens today that the number one belief system being promulgated in our schools today is secular humanism. Indeed, it is the default position, and it is being force-fed to our children every single day of their lives. This in fact is the religion of modern education.
A religion did you say? You heard me right bub. Not only did the US Supreme Court declare secular humanism to be a religion, but plenty of the early secular humanists quite proudly proclaimed the religious nature of their belief system.
Only later, when they realised that they too could get booted out of schools because of the bogus “separation of church and state” nonsense, did they stop admitting to their religious basis. I have written before about this, offering a number of quotes along the way: https://billmuehlenberg.com/2007/05/22/secular-religion/
This is such an important issue that one American expert, David Noebel, has written an entire book documenting all this. Entitled Clergy in the Classroom: The Religion of Secular Humanism (3rd ed., Summit Books, 2007), this revealing volume offers 63 different pieces of information to verify this thesis.
Let me cite just one of his pieces of evidence. Back in 1983 John Dunphy wrote an article for The Humanist, entitled “A New Religion for a New Age.” The title already gives the game away, but he went on to say this:
“…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 proselytizers of a new faith: a religion of humanity. . . . These teachers must embody the same selfless dedication as the most rabid fundamentalist preachers, for they will be ministers of another sort, utilizing the classroom instead of a pulpit to convey humanist values in whatever subject they teach, regardless of the educational level – preschool, day care center or large state university. The classroom must and will become an arena of conflict between the old and the new – the rotting corpse of Christianity, together with all its adjacent evils and misery, and the new faith of humanism.”
This is as good an admission as any of the reigning religion in our schools. No wonder the secular humanists are doing all they can to banish every last trace of Christianity in the education realm. They know it is a competing worldview, and one which directly challenges their own premises.
And of course besides this obvious point about there being no such thing as neutrality in the classroom, these secular jihadists are simply making a mountain out of a molehill here. There is no one holding a gun to the heads of the students, forcing them to take a CRE class, or visit a school chaplain.
Any concerned parent can simply say that they do not want their children taking part, and that is the end of the matter. But according to the secular witch hunters, this is the worst thing which can possibly be occurring in our schools. However, as Nicholas Tuohy has rightly noted, this is far from the case:
“Are there not more pressing needs to protect our children from? A recent conference in Melbourne was held concerning the increasingly disturbing sexual portrayal of children in the media. In relation to the findings of a 2010 survey by the Advertising Standards Bureau, Melinda Tankard Reist said ‘the proliferation of ads sexualising children showed self-regulation was failing.’ What about the increasingly violent video games and movies that children are regularly exposed to, not to mention hard-core pornography that is now only a click away? Then there is the epidemic of childhood obesity. With significant challenges and threats like these, it defies imagination that The Age and the crusading humanists take up arms against ‘Love your neighbor’ and ‘Blessed are the poor’.
He continues, “I think Australians are largely fearful of religion. That’s why no one talks about it and media campaigns like The Age are always trying to sideline religion or make it out to be some sinister and suspicious practice we need to protect our children from. Like it or not, our very education system comes out of the Christian heritage of Western nations. Great learning institutions like Oxford were started by very Christian people. It is absurd to say that Christian faith is some threat to kids. Even the most vituperative critics of Christianity, Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, have recently expressed praise for the role the King James Bible had on literature and Western culture.”
And spare us the furphy about proselytising: “Everyone does it. Football teams, soft drink companies, fast food joints, and newspapers. That is, If we believe we have a ‘product’ that is worthwhile we will want to share it and promote it. The gaming and alcohol industries spend hundreds of millions a year to get people to buy their products, and everyone is fine with this? Get a few well-meaning and good Christian people telling kids that God loves them, to do unto others as you would have them do to you, telling the story of the Good Samaritan and The Age sees fit to launch a witch-hunt against Christians? I know first-hand that CRE and chaplaincy goes to great lengths to offer no-strings services and does not attempt to ‘convert’ children.”
The truth is, this is just another secularist beat-up, aided and abetted by a leftwing secular media. They are just as much fightin’ fundies as any Christians can be. And it is clear that they are not at all averse from going on their own witch hunts and conducting their own secular Inquisitions.
The secular jihadists are clearly alive and well.