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'Humanism as Religion'

March 15, 1987

With the secular humanism decision in Alabama, we reap the fruit of the appointment of ideologues to the federal bench. Secular humanism is a religion invented and defined by those who are opposed to it. Actually, religion is the service and adoration of a god or gods defined as a supernatural being or beings. Secular humanism is no more a religion than is communism or capitalism. These are ideologies, not religions.

Theology and metaphysics are the studies that deal with religion because they concern the supernatural and its relationship with man. The social sciences that fundamentalists label as secular humanism deal with man and his relationship with society. No way can the social sciences be considered as religion.

The teaching of social studies or any intelligent approach to the social sciences is impossible if decisions like the one in Alabama are to be upheld. Teaching in any subject that deals with man, past or present, and his relationship to the social order is disgracefully, yes, criminally inadequate if it omits emphasis on the facts developed by the social sciences. A teacher could omit such emphasis only at the expense of his self-respect and of his moral integrity.

DONALD F. POPHAM

Long Beach

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