Humanist Sociology and the Classroom

QUESTION: Humanist Sociology – The Power of the Classroom


The public school classroom provides a forum for the dissemination of Secular Humanist sociological ideas. Collins explains the role of the teacher in this regard: “To me, teaching is much more than the passive transfer of technical skills from teacher to learner. Rather, teaching has political implications that reach far beyond the classroom.”1 Dunphy describes teachers as “ministers of another sort” in an article entitled “A Religion for a New Age” published in The Humanist. He calls on teachers to use their classrooms to “convey humanist values in whatever subject they teach.”2

Humanist Sociology – The Public School Pulpit
Secular Humanist documents appear to contradict Secular Humanist practice. John Dewey recognized the value of the classroom to promote Humanistic ideas. Humanist Manifesto II, however, defines the boundaries between religion and the classroom: “The separation of church and state and the separation of ideology and state are imperatives.”3 Humanist Manifesto 2000 states that “Humanists everywhere have defended the separation of religion and state. We believe that the state should be secular, neither for nor against religion....We believe that the state should allow a wide plurality of moral values to coexist.”4

Dewey viewed Secular Humanism as a religion in his book A Common Faith. In fact, the American Humanist Association is a tax-exempt 501(c)3 religion organization. Free Inquiry printed the Guide Star Page that stated, “This organization [American Humanist Association] is not required to file an annual return with the IRS because it is a religious organization.”5 In a true sense, then, teachers promoting Secular Humanist ideology in the public classroom are in fact promoting the religion of Secular Humanism.


Rendered with permission from the book, Understanding the Times: The Collision of Today’s Competing Worldviews (Rev. 2nd ed), David Noebel, Summit Press, 2006. Compliments of John Stonestreet, David Noebel, and the Christian Worldview Ministry at Summit Ministries. All rights reserved in the original.

1 Collins, “Perceptivity and the Activist Potential of the Sociology Classroom,” 341.

2 John J. Dunphy, “A Religion for a New Age,” The Humanist (January/February 1983): 26.

3 Humanist Manifesto II (Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books, 1980), 19.

4 Paul Kurtz, Humanist Manifesto 2000: A Call For A New Planetary Humanism (Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 2000), 30.

5 Free Inquiry (Fall 2002): 40. David A. Noebel, et. al., Clergy in the Classroom: The Religion of Secular Humanism contains 63 exhibits proving that Secular Humanism is a religion. Indeed, the U. S. Supreme Court in 1961(Torcaso vs. Watkins) listed Secular Humanism as a religion, and the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals identified atheism as a religion on August 19, 2005 (No. 04–1914). The Internal Revenue Service as of April 5, 2007 has the American Humanist Association listed as a 501 © 3 tax-exempt organization and “classified as a church.”

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