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Classrooms: Temples of Humanism?

on June 26, 1998
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I am convinced that 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.

“Religious Humanism is not merely an armchair religion, but one that seeks to provide “proselytizers of a new faith” and to “utiliz[e] a classroom instead of a pulpit to convey humanist values in whatever subject they teach,” according to the humanist Dunphy in the periodical The Humanist:

“I am convinced that 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 that recognizes and respects the spark of what theologians call divinity in every human being. These teachers must embody the same selfless dedication as the most rabid fundamentalist preachers, for they will be ministers of another sort, utilizing a classroom instead of a pulpit to convey humanist values in whatever subject they teach, regardless of the educational level—preschool day care 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 …

‘… It will undoubtedly be a long, arduous, painful struggle replete with much sorrow and many tears, but humanism will emerge triumphant. It must if the family of humankind is to survive.’”

j. Dunphy, “A Religion for a New Age,” The Humanist, Jan.–Feb. 1983, at pp. 23, 26 (emphasis added); as cited by Wendell R. Bird, Origin of the Species—Revisited, Vol. II, p. 257.

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