Separating Secular Humanism and the State

August 29, 2007

From Chuck Edwards and summit.org.

“Secular Humanism is a well-articulated worldview. This is evident from the three Humanist Manifestos written in 1933 and revised in 1973 and again in 2000. According to their own pronouncements, Secular Humanists are atheists who believe that the scientific method is the primary way we can know about life and living, from understanding who we are as humans to questions of ethics, social issues, and politics.

However, apart from the specifics of what Secular Humanists believe, the pressing issue is this: is Secular Humanism a religion? This is important in light of current discussions surrounding the idea of “separation of church and state.” That’s because this phrase has been used by the courts and secular organizations (such as American’s United against Church and State) in an attempt to eradicate all mention of God from the public square, including public debates over social issues, discussions in politics, and especially regarding what is taught in public/government schools.

To verify that a number of major tenets of Secular Humanism are taught in public schools, one only needs to compare Secular Humanist beliefs with what is actually being presented through public school textbooks.[1] For example, any text on psychology includes what are considered the primary voices in that field: Abraham Maslow, Eric Fromm, Carl Rogers, and B. F. Skinner, to name a few. Yet, each of these men are atheists who have been selected as “Humanist of the Year” by a major Secular Humanist organization.[2] So why are almost all the psychologists studied in school Secular Humanists?[3] Why are no Christian psychologists included in the curriculum? Is this balanced treatment of the subject matter being taught?

Or when it comes to law, why are the Ten Commandments, historically known to be the foundation for English Common Law and American jurisprudence, judged to be inappropriate material to be hung on the school wall, in a courtroom, or as part of a public display on government property? The answer, of course, is an appeal to the “separation” principle. We have shown in other Truth & Consequences commentaries that this concept of separation is actually misconstrued law coming from revisionist history and a biased judiciary.[4]

But if this is how the courts are going to interpret the separation principle, we must insist that this ruling be applied equally to all religious faiths, not favoring some others. Therefore, for the sake of fairness under the law, if Secular Humanism is a religious faith, too, then teaching the tenets of this religious faith must also be eliminated from public school textbooks and classroom discussions.

What follows is an excerpt from the “Introduction” of Clergy in the Classroom: The Religion of Secular Humanism, by David A. Noebel, J. F. Baldwin, and Kevin James Bywater. This short essay provides the needed rationale for why Secular Humanism is, in fact, a religion on par with what are considered traditional religious faiths.[5]

To read more click here.


Secularists Are Often Hypocrites

August 28, 2007

From David Limbaugh and Newsmax.com.

“Newsweek’s Anna Quindlen recently wrote that a presidential victory for Rudy Giuliani “wouldn’t be a good thing for this country, but his candidacy may wind up being a good thing for his party,” which Quindlen obviously believes has been hijacked by the Christian right.

Giuliani’s strong poll numbers, said Quindlen, perhaps “indicate that the end is nigh for the stranglehold the Leviticus Lobby has had on the GOP.” It’s no longer surprising that those screaming most loudly against Christianity and its influence on public policy in America often employ the same tactics and represent the same dangers they falsely attribute to Christians. Christians have far more to fear from the secular thought police than the other way around.

Whether it’s writer Christopher Hitchens or CNN’s Christiane Amanpour sloppily conflating Christian “fundamentalists” or observant Jews with Islamic jihadists; secular leftists calling the Christian right the American Taliban; or militant secularists like HBO’s Bill Maher salivating over reports that Mother Teresa had a crisis of faith, the theme is the same. Christian activists are a societal nuisance.

The secularists’ criticism goes beyond decrying the Christian right’s alleged hostility to church-state separation. They claim strong religious belief leads to oppression, tyranny, and violence.

They even suggest the mere defense of absolute truth is dangerous. Alan Hurwitz of North Star Writers Group, wrote, “One thing I do know — the pursuit of ‘truth,’ as in mine over yours, creates conflict and isolation among individuals, groups, and societies. I am secular enough to think those are bad things. Religious zealots, ‘knowers of truth . . . often have a scary gleam in their eyes . . . The challenge of dealing with rigid manifestations of religious ‘truth’ is one of management leadership — how to create societies that allow diverse groups to believe and act on their truth, without hurting each other.” Note this is not some Christian talking about creating societies and exerting control.

The secularists demanding the removal of specks from Christians’ eyes are oblivious to the planks in their own. Their paranoid predispositions about Christians lead them to the very type of oppressive behavior they wrongly ascribe to Christians. If anyone is guilty of wanting to foreclose debate and impose their values on others, it is these hyperventilating secularists.”

To read more click here.


How Now Shall We Live? By Charles Colson and Nancy Pearcey

August 28, 2007

This is a MUST read for all Christians.  It is an incredibly powerful book that I highly recommend.  There is also a study guide for this book that I recommend as well.  This book examines the great spiritual battle today that is a cosmic struggle between competing worldviews.  The authors utilize true stories and compelling teaching to demonstrate the following:

– Expose false views and values of modern culture

– Live a more fulfilling life the way God created us to live

– Contend for the faith by understanding how nonbelievers think

– Build a society that reflects biblical principles

I ran across a review on amazon.com that I thought really did a great job of capturing the core of the book.  It is below.   

5 out of 5 Stars – The Way We See The World Can Change The World, June 21, 2006

“Centuries ago, when the Jews were in exile and despair, they cried out to God, “How should we then live?” The same question rings down through the ages. How shall we live today? Pearcey and Colson’s primary observation is that “the way we see the world can change the world.” (pg. 13) This is because our choices are shaped by what we believe is real and true, right and wrong, or good and beautiful. In short, our choices are shaped by what Pearcey and Colson call our “worldview.”Every worldview attempts to answer three basic questions: (1) Where did we come from and who are we? (2) What has gone wrong with the world? And (3) What can we do to fix it? According to Colson and Pearcey, the culture wars are not about extraneous issues like abortion or public education. Fundamentally, they are about worldviews–between competing secular and spiritual answers to those three basic questions.

The demise of objective truth, profoundly expressed in the halls of academia, also extends into the popular press and culture. The result has been a postmodern worldview which embraces relativism and reduces all ideas to social constructions shaped by class, gender, and ethnicity. Under this view, the world is just a power struggle for meaningless prizes. Their one absolute is that morality is not absolute. Other existing worldviews include “traditionalism,” found in many small towns filled with churches; and modernism, found among pragmatic social and business leaders interested in personal material gain, but less interested in philosophical questions and social issues. Against this backdrop, Christians are challenged to provide answers to those three basic questions in a compelling manner.

C. S. Lewis observed, “The Christian and the materialist hold different beliefs about the universe. They both can’t be right. The one who is wrong will act in a way which simply doesn’t fit the real universe.” Thus Colson and Pearcy observe that choices are not without consequences. The Christian worldview says we were created by God. Compelling evidence that life does not have a random origin can be found in the current arguments for intelligent design. Christianity claims that God created the universe with a material order and a moral order. If we live contrary to that order, we sin against God. Thus, what has gone wrong with the universe is human sin.

The way to redeem our culture is to help people realize which universe they’re living in. If it’s a materialist’s universe, then the answers don’t revolve around taking moral principles seriously. But if the real universe was made with a moral law (as Colson and Pearcey argue), then it stands to reason that the solutions to our problems begin with recognizing that fact, and taking steps to educate people in ways that will help them live lives that are not inimical to the way we were designed to live. This, Colson and Pearcey argue, is how we should live.”

For more information on Charles Colson visit his website at www.breakpoint.org and for more information on Nancy Pearcey visit her website at www.pearceyreport.com.


No Doubt About It: The Case for Christianity By Dr. Winfried Corduan

August 28, 2007

This book is an excellent introduction to apologetics.  A wide range of issues related to the Christian faith are covered in a simple, clear and effective manner.   

Some of the topics included are the following: 

– Faith, Reason and Doubt

– Truth, Knowledge and Relativism

– Testing Worldviews

– Worldviews in Trouble

– The Existence of God

– God and Evil

– Miracles: Liability and Asset

– The New Testament and History

– Who Is Jesus?

– From Christ to Christianity

– Truth and Our Culture 

I highly recommend this book to Christians interested in defending their faith as well as to any skeptics struggling with the above topics.  For more information on Dr. Corduan visit his website at http://members.tripod.com/~Win_Corduan/cv.html.


True for You, But Not for Me: Deflating the Slogans that Leave Christians Speechless By Dr. Paul Copan

August 28, 2007

 

This is a short book at 192 pages but it is very, very powerful.  Since reading it I have become a huge fan of Paul Copan’s work and am now reading his other books.  This book provides solid, logical, and well reasoned responses to defeat popular slogans that non-believers use to attack Christianity.  It is a must read for all Christians. 

Some of the topics included are the following: 

“That’s True for You, But Not for Me”

– “So Many People Disagree – Relativism Must Be True”

– “You’re Just Using Western Logic”

– “Christians Are Intolerant of Other Viewpoints!”

– “What Right Do You Have to Convert Others to Your Views?”

– “Your Values Are Right for You, But Not for Me”

– “Who Are You to Say Another Culture’s Values Are Wrong?”

– “You Have the Right to Choose Your Own Values”

– “We Act Morally Because of Biological Evolution or Social Conditioning”

– “To Be Good, We Don’t Need God”

– “Christianity Is Arrogant and Imperialistic”

– “If You Grew Up in India, You’d Be a Hindu”

– “Mahatma Gandhi Was a Saint If Ever There Was One”

– “You Can’t Trust the Gospels. They’re Unreliable”

– “Jesus’ Followers Fabricated the Stories and Sayings of Jesus”

– “Jesus Is Just Like Any Other Great Religious Leader”

– “People Claim JFK and Elvis Are Alive, Too!”

– “But Jesus Never Said, ‘I am God’”

– “If Jesus Is the Only Way to God, What About Those Who Have Never Heard of Him?”

– “It Doesn’t Matter What You Believe –as Long as You’re Sincere”

– “Who Needs Jesus? And How Are They Going to Find Out About Him?”

– “Why Can’t We Simply Give People the Gospel?” 

I highly recommend this book.  For more information on Dr. Copan visit his website at www.paulcopan.com.

 


The Ever-Loving Truth: Can Faith Thrive in a Post-Christian Culture? By Dr. Voddie Baucham

August 28, 2007

This is an excellent introduction to understanding the culture/spiritual war that is raging in our society. 

The core message of this book is that we live in a post-modern/post-Christian culture that embraces all lifestyles and religions and rejects the idea of absolute truth.  Our faith is constantly challenged by a culture that uses words such as narrow-minded, intolerant, and bigoted to describe us. We must take a stand and challenge the culture instead of conforming to it.  We must use the unchanging truth of God’s Word to engage the culture for transformation.  As Dr. Baucham writes, “the unchanging truth of God’s Word still holds preeminence in relevance and answers to contemporary life issues” and “as followers of Christ, we must stand humbly but boldly in the marketplace of ideas and proclaim the truth to a culture void of everlasting answers”. 

Although the book is only 210 pages, Dr. Baucham covers a lot of ground and very effectively conveys his message in a simple, logical and relevant way.  This is a very important book for all Christians to read in order to begin to understand the dynamics of the culture war.  I highly recommend it.  For more information on Dr. Baucham visit his website at www.voddiebaucham.org.


Baptist leader: Critical battle involves absolute truth vs. ‘postmodernism’

August 16, 2007

From Allie Martin and One News Now.

“The president of the largest seminary in the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) says it’s vital that the denomination continue going against the tide of postmodernism.

Dr. Paige Patterson is president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and also a former president of the SBC. He contends that unless Christians stand against postmodernism — which says there is no absolute truth — society will face a moral meltdown.

“You can see that in an author like B.F. Skinner, the Harvard behaviorist, who in his book Beyond Freedom and Dignity basically argued that since there was no God, that ‘right’ was just social convention,” says Patterson. “There is a great need for some to swim against the postmodern tide and say [that indeed] there is such a thing as absolute truth — and it grows directly out of the person of God Himself.”

To read more click here.