The U.S. Supreme Court Says Humanism is a Religion

Humanism, by many definitions, is a religion. Because that is the case, then we need to acknowledge that the battle raging in America between radical liberals and traditional conservatives is a battle between two opposing religious worldviews. It also follows that the intent of humanists is to replace America’s Christian worldview founding and heritage with that of their religion, humanism.

Humanistic liberals will not admit that, but the facts remain. And because there are some well-meaning liberals, it is possible many liberals don’t even realize their philosophy, ideology, and worldview has been built on a humanistic foundation.

Radical Liberals and the God of Their Imagination

Having said that, I can hear some liberals screaming indignantly, “I believe in God!” To which I respond, “You may believe in God, but that is all you have, a belief. Unless a person has a love for and commitment to God, then believing in God does little good. The Bible says even the demons believe. It is a love for God that causes people to serve and obey Him. In fact, the Bible is clear that if you claim to love God but don’t keep His commandments, then you really don’t love God. In the end, on judgment day, simply believing that the God of the Bible does exist will not be good enough.”

A saving belief is one that produces repentance from sin and a commitment to reading, studying, and following God’s Word. It’s a belief that transforms actions, thoughts, and goals.

The radical liberals consider God to be an outgrowth of imagination. Radical liberals may believe in a deity but not in the God of the Bible. It is a god they have created as surely as if they had sculpted an idol of clay or wood. Such a god merely serves their own desires, wishes, and purposes. In reality, their god is their commitment to a system and worldview of values that makes people the center and measure of all things. Mankind is really their god, and humanism is their religion.

America—and in some cases even the church—is filled with those who claim to be Christians but embrace radically liberal ideas and beliefs. Many such beliefs are 100 percent contrary to the teachings of Jesus Christ. For people to call themselves Christians and liberals is an oxymoron when you realize the definition of a modern-day liberal. Yet, people like pastor and author Tony Campolo and others claim to be Christians while proclaiming extreme, Far-Left philosophies that embrace socialism, radical environmentalism, and even open the door to homosexuality. While I certainly cannot judge the motives of their hearts, I can be a “fruit tester” to see if there is any spiritual fruit produced in their lives that is consistent with the biblical signs of a true Christian.

Humanism Is a Religion

Although earlier in this book we touched upon the tenets of religious humanism, it’s important to take a more in-depth look at how religious humanism actually is if we are to fully appreciate its infiltration into our lives. So let’s begin this important discussion by defining the term religion.

Random House Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language defines religion as “a set of beliefs.” Webster’s New World Dictionary defines religion as “a system of belief.” (Footnote #1) The word belief is defined as opinions and “thoughts upon which people base their actions. (Footnote #2) Since an individual’s worldview is the foundation of their values, and their values form the basis for their actions, it is clear that humanism is a religious worldview. It supplies the belief system on which believers in that system base their actions.

Unfortunately, most Americans do not realize humanism is a religion promoted in America’s public schools with taxpayer funds. While this is going on, the ACLU and others, as we have noted, file lawsuit upon lawsuit. They target students who pray over their lunch, mention God or Jesus Christ in their graduation speeches, sing Christmas carols, have Christmas parties, observe Thanksgiving, and on and on. While the ACLU and their ilk fight to remove the religion of Christianity from our schools, colleges, courtrooms, city halls, city seals, or the city square, their dirty little secret is they really don’t want a religion-free zone. They want to replace the Judeo-Christian faith and acknowledgment of God’s place in our history with their religion of secular humanism. If Americans in large enough numbers would come to understand the facts I document in this chapter, the fight would no longer be misconstrued by the opposition and liberal media.

Dr. David Noebel and Dr. Tim LaHaye, in their 2003 New York Times best-seller Mind Siege, wrote, “The truth is, humanism is unmistakably and demonstrably a religion. One need merely visit the second edition of A World Religions Reader to note the prominence given to secular humanism as one of the World’s religions. Indeed, in a list of the World’s religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Shintoism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and Sikhism, secular humanism is at the top.” (Footnote #3)

Some argue that humanism—unlike Christianity—does not force a specific set of religious positions and beliefs on people. Dr. Noebel counters: “Humanists preach a faith every bit as dogmatic as Christianity. Moral relativism is foundational for Secular Humanist ethics; spontaneous generation and evolution are basic to their biology; naturalism is foundational to their philosophy; and atheism is their theological perspective.” (Footnote #4)

Not All Humanisms Are Alike

You might recall the 1986 song “We are the World.” It became the anthem of the New Age movement. Written by Michael “Jack-o” Jackson and Lionel Richie, and sung by a host of stars, it was the theme song for “Live Aid,” which was viewed by 1.5 billion people. Michael Jackson said the song was “divinely inspired,” but it would not be the divine influence as Christians understand it. One line from the song, for example, says, “Just as Jesus turned the stones into bread.” Excuse me? If the New Agers would bother to check in with the Bible, they would know that Satan tempted Jesus to turn the stones into bread, but Jesus refused. Harry Belafonte, a well-known entertainer, admitted the purpose of the song: “We Are the World” was not so much to feed the starving people of Ethiopia, but “it was to create a sense of globalism and unity and oneness in the children.”

Another name for the New Age—a decidedly religious movement—is cosmic humanism. New Age leader and author Marilyn Ferguson has said, “LSD gave a whole generation a religious experience.” (Footnote #5) This deceptive religious worldview is an apostasy (apostasy means to have a form of godliness but to deny God). Cosmic humanism not only denies God but proclaims that man is God.

Humanism had its beginning in the Garden of Eden when Satan, taking the form of a serpent, deceived Adam and Eve into believing that if they would eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil they would be like God. Early on, mankind bought into the lie of humanism.

Although all forms of humanism regard mankind as the master of all, the New Age movement differs from secular humanism in some significant ways. In his book The Battle for Truth, David Noebel explains how the New Age movement differs from secular humanism and is thus called cosmic humanism:

Cosmic humanism (the New Age movement) differs from Christianity and the secular worldviews in that it embraces neither theism nor atheism. Cosmic humanism begins by denying the preeminence of any purported special revelation over any other. That is, cosmic humanists believe that the Bible is no more the Word of God than is the Koran, or the words of Confucius. David Spangler, who has been described as the “Emerson of the New Age” says, “We can take all the Scriptures, and all the teachings, and all the tablets, and all the laws, and all the marshmallows and have a jolly good bonfire and marshmallow roast, because that is all they are worth.” (Footnote #6)

Dr. Noebel further explains that cosmic humanism ends up believing there is a God but that everything is God—you, me, the trees, stars, the moon, and so forth. God is an amalgamation of life forces. Or something like that.


The U.S. Supreme Court Ruled Humanism is a Religion


In 1961, the Supreme Court handed down the Torcaso vs. Watkins decision regarding a Maryland notary public who was initially disqualified from office because he would not declare a belief in God. The Court, however, ruled in his favor. It argued that “theistic religions [religions that believe in one God] could not be favored by the Court over non-theistic religions. In a footnote it clarified what it meant by non-theistic religions.”20 In the footnote, Justice Hugo L. Black wrote, “Among religions in this country which do not teach what would generally be considered a belief in the existence of God are Buddhism, Taoism, Ethical Culture, Secular Humanism, and others.” (Footnote #7)

Slam dunk! The Court’s footnote acknowledging humanism as a religion laid the groundwork for multiple lawsuits that have allowed conservatives to stop the federal funding of humanism in our schools, right?


Dr. David Noebel, a regular keynote speaker at the Worldview Weekends, bemoans the Court’s double standard. Decisions often give the religion of humanism a free pass while stripping away the religious freedoms of more and more Christians under a misinterpretation of the First Amendment. Dr. Noebel notes:

Unfortunately, the Court has not been consistent in applying this understanding to its present interpretation of the First Amendment. If the no-establishment clause of the First Amendment really means that there should be a “wall of separation” between church and state, why are only theistic religions disestablished? If Secular Humanism is a religion—something the U.S. Supreme Court has claimed, and something countless Humanists proclaim—why is it allowed access to our public schools when there is to be no established religion? (Footnote #8)





1 “Religion,” Webster’s New World Dictionary of the English Language—The Unabridged Edition (New York: Random House, Inc., 1966, 1973), 135.

2 “Belief,” The Random House Dictionary of the English Language—The Unabridged Editions (New York: Random House, Inc., 1966, 1973), 135.

3 Tim LaHaye and David Noebel, Mind Siege: The Battle for Truth in the New Millennium (Nashville, TN:  Word Publishing, 2000), quoting Ian S. Markham, ed., A World Religions Reader, 2nd ed. (Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishers, 2000).

4 David Noebel, Clergy in the Classroom (Manitou Springs, CO: Summit Press, 1995), 9.

5 Marilyn Ferguson, The Aquarian Conspiracy (T. P. Tarcher, 1989), 90.

6 David Noebel, The Battle for Truth (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers,  2001), 37.

7 Torcaso vs. Watkins, 367 U.S. 488, 495, fn. 11 (1961).

8 Noebel, Clergy in the Classroom, 8.




This block is broken or missing. You may be missing content or you might need to enable the original module. Banner