Secular Humanists Give Dunphy Another Platform

AMHERST, NYThe Secular Humanist Bulletin has given writer John Dunphy another platform from which to present his views about how the humanists plan to use the public school classroom to proselytize for their ideology.

The Humanist magazine published an essay by John Dunphy in its January/February 1983 issue entitled "A Religion for A New Age." This essay has been widely quoted ever since as evidence of the humanists' plan to impose their values on public school children.

Now, the Secular Humanist Bulletin of Summer 1994 (described on its masthead as "The Associate Members' Newsletter of the Council for Democratic and Secular Humanism") has published an article by Dunphy called "Dunphy Strikes Again."

Dunphy starts by saying that "nothing—nothing—that I've written has garnered as much attention" as this essay. "To the best of my knowledge," he writes, "the very first printed denunciation came courtesy of my fellow Altonian, Phyllis Schlafly, in her syndicated newspaper column about a month after the essay's publication."

Dunphy, who is obviously proud of his controversial essay, then quotes the key paragraph from the essay "for the benefit of anyone who may have been living in a cave in Tibet for the past 11 years." Here is the much-quoted paragraph:

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 the spark of what theologians call divinity in every human being. There teachers must embody the same selfless dedication of the most rabid fundamentalist preacher, 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, daycare, 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, resplendent in its promise of a world in which the never-realized Christian ideal of 'love thy neighbor' will finally be achieved.

Then, admitting that this paragraph "has all the subtlety of a charging rhinoceros," Dunphy concludes his current statement with the following paragraph:

Have I mellowed over the past 11 years? Of course, who hasn't? But have I repudiated or even questioned the basic tenets of 'A Religion For A New Age'? No, nor can I envision myself ever doing so. How do I respond to the fundamentalists who are so incensed by the essay? If they have the decency to confront me to my face instead of sending anonymous hate-letters, I usually say something to the effect that Pat Buchanan was right at the 1992 Republican National Convention when he stated that a cultural civil war rages across America. While the struggle is certainly quite complex and multifaceted, I continue, a significant aspect of it is comprised of the conflict between the totalitarian Christianity of the Radical Right and the force of humanism. And then I add, 'But here's something that Mr. Buchanan neglected to mention in his address: humanism is going to win.'

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