The recent front page of the Times proclaimed something profoundly true when it declared "Religion in schools not so cut and dry" (Jan. 31).
The article discusses how the BC Humanist Association opposes a new School Board policy that may still allow for Bible distributions in school, expressing their opposition to "an attempt to use public schools for religious proselytizing" because "it is an inappropriate use of school resources to enable religious organizations to proselytize to students." I had to laugh.
The first Humanist Manifesto (1933) freely proclaimed that humanism was a religious movement with the stated objective of replacing previous religions, and Humanists have long sought to use the public education system to proselytize their religious views.
Charles F. Potter wrote in Humanism: A New Religion (1930) that "Education is thus a most powerful ally of humanism, and every American school is a school of humanism. What can a theistic Sunday school's meeting for an hour once a week and teaching only a fraction of the children do to stem the tide of the five-day program of humanistic teaching?"
Fifty-three years later, humanist John J. Dun-phy wrote, "The battle for humankind'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-utilizing a classroom instead of a pulpit to carry humanist values into wherever they teach. The classroom must and will become an arena of conflict between the old and the new-the rotting corpse of Christianity, together with its adjacent evils and misery, and the new faith of humanism" (The Humanist, 1983).
Humanists are not wanting a system that prevents the proselytizing of religious views, they are wanting to protect a system that is hard at work proselytizing their humanist views. They do not want the schools to be a marketplace for ideas to be freely shared and discussed; they want to monopolize the marketplace.
It is also ironic that the label "free thinkers" is so readily applied to such humanists. By this label they imply that the religious are somehow enslaved in their thought processes simply because their ideas are influenced by apostles, prophets, gurus, and guides, as if humanist ideas and notions regarding God, creation, and the universe somehow emerged out of a vacuum, devoid of prior influences. No one is a truly free thinker, and only those who have failed to think deeply and well would every pretend that they were so.
Robert Bogunovic Chilliwack