Children in schools across the UK are now receiving complimentary copies of the book What Is Humanism? According to the British Humanist Association (BHA), the group distributing these books, “[this] nonfiction book . . . explores humanist views of morality and ethics, the origins of life, and the relationship between religion and the state. It is intended for use in the classroom or at home to help children from all backgrounds better understand the mainstream non-religious values shared by record numbers of people in the UK today.”
Now, is humanism really nonreligion? No, it’s not. Humanists market their beliefs as if somehow not believing in God or gods makes their belief system a nonreligious one. But it is a religion. The BHA website is full of faith statements that describe their beliefs, such as
Humanism is a religion with a philosophy and even an ethical code.
These are all faith statements that make up their religious philosophy. Not believing in God doesn’t somehow make you neutral. Humanism is a religion with a philosophy and even an ethical code (although they don’t have a foundation for absolutes and morality except their own reasoning, and, to be consistent, they can’t tell anyone what to do). They even state on their website,
We also hope to give greater confidence to people whose beliefs are humanist by offering resources here and elsewhere that can develop their knowledge of humanist approaches to some of the big ethical, philosophical and existential questions in life (emphasis added).
They are answering ethical, philosophical, and existential questions through the lens of their religion. Both Christians and humanists themselves recognize the fact that humanism is a religion! For example, in 2011 a Humanist Bible was published; the American Humanist Association has asked for humanist chaplains in the military; and in 2014 humanism was recognized as a religion in Oregon so that prisoners could hold humanist study groups.
So if humanism is a religion (which it is), these humanists are handing out their religious literature to students (humanism and atheism are already the prevailing religions taught in Western public schools). Now, this is their right because the UK is a free country. But shouldn’t Christians also be allowed to hand out Bibles or other Christian literature? Of course they should, and yet I doubt the BHA would be tolerant of that! In fact, we’ve seen lots of examples of humanist groups being intolerant of beliefs other than their own!
Simon Turpin, of Answers in Genesis-UK, also responded to this news item. I encourage you to read that on his blog.
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This item was written with the assistance of AiG’s research team.
Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ.