Atheists believe that religion should be
kept out of public places. But what if atheistic
humanism is a religion, too?

In their intensifying efforts to
reduce the influence of Christianity
in the public arena, atheist activists
and other secular humanists have
become oblivious to an irony: as they
suck Christianity out of society, they
fill the vacuum with their own faith-based
(but nontheistic) religion.

Yes, you heard that right. Atheism
is a religion. While atheistic humanists
argue there must be a total separation
of church and state, they refuse
to admit that their own belief system
is, by the actual dictionary definition,
religious.1 Correctly defining terms
helps expose to the general world the
hypocrisy of atheists who chant the
mantra of church-state separation.

Christians need to be careful not
to let others set the terms of debate.
The First Amendment to the US Constitution
guarantees the free exercise
of religion among all Americans. The
Founding Fathers believed all citizens,
whether Christians or atheists, should
be free to share their beliefs without
the government abusing its power and
imposing one set of beliefs over others.

Yet this right is under increasing
attack by atheists, who claim religious
people are threatening their rights.
They argue that religious views should
be excluded from public places and
that Christians’ freedom of expression
should be restricted in schools and
elsewhere. This argument doesn’t hold
water if atheism is a religion.

Defining Terms

As I have interacted with atheists,
they are often startled when I point out
that Webster’s dictionary includes a
definition of religion with a nontheistic
meaning: “a cause, principle, or system
of beliefs held to with ardor and faith.”2
Atheists hold a worldview that fits this
definition well, for they have a cause to
promote, embrace a naturalistic system
of beliefs, and hold them with ardor
and faith. Indeed, atheistic humanism,
by definition, is a religion.

Courts on Atheistic Religion

As to the legal status of whether
humanism is a religion, part of the 1961
US Supreme Court decision, Torcaso v.
, categorized “Secular Humanism”
as a religion. More recently, a US
District Court ruled in the 2014 case
American Humanist Association v. US,
concerning the First Amendment’s
provision against establishing a state
church, that “secular Humanism is
a religion for Establishment Clause
purposes.” The courts certainly recognize
that secular humanism functions
as a religion.

Moreover, the first Humanist Manifesto
referred to humanism as a religious
movement (though without
invoking the supernatural).3

A New State Religion?

Consider the implications. If atheistic
humanism is a religion, then a
religion is now being espoused in government
schools and pervades the
legal system. In essence, the United
States has adopted a state religion.
More than that, its ideas pervade the
culture, including the media, museums,
science books, the Internet, and
science journals. The Bill of Rights
was intended to protect followers of
minority religions from having the
dominant religion imposed on them.

Consider what happens in most
science classes. The naturalistic idea
of molecules-to-man evolution holds
sway in the classroom. When teachers
explain the universe and all of
life naturalistically, their teaching
sweeps aside God and provides a
“scientific” rationale that supports
atheistic humanism. Yet evolution is
not a scientific fact but an interpretation
driven by a naturalistic, religiously
motivated worldview.

Children who attend government-run
schools are influenced by
the beliefs of atheistic humanism
and often don’t even realize it.

Around 90% of children from
church homes attend government-run
schools. There they are influenced by
these beliefs of atheistic humanism
and often don’t even realize it. The
indoctrination especially occurs in
pro-evolution science classrooms, but
it happens in other classes as well. If
this is a religion, Christians don’t have
to accept its presentation as “fact”
unchallenged. Christians should be
free to speak up in the classroom or
provide alternatives.

Atheists realize the danger of
acknowledging that their worldview is
a faith system. If it were recognized as
a religion, they would lose their moral
justification for kicking Christian
influences out of the classroom and
the public arena. Also, they could no
longer be free to push their humanistic
teachings as “neutral” facts in the
classroom, despite the contrary religious
beliefs of students.

A simple test can prove whether a
worldview is “nonreligious.” If atheism
isn’t religious, why do atheists
ardently oppose religious claims?

Furthermore, does the atheistic
view of origins, such as the big bang
and evolution over millions of
years—each involving natural
processes—oppose the religious view of God’s
supernatural creation in six days? Yes.
Therefore, secular views of origins are
religious, too.

People who claim they are not
religious but then make judgments
about religious beliefs (such as
Christ’s deity, God’s existence, and the
Bible’s truthfulness) have, in essence,
made religious proclamations. Atheistic
humanists may claim to be
irreligious, but their zeal in refuting
other religions only reveals their own

When Americans United for Separation
of Church and State and other
so-called civil liberties groups file lawsuits
to remove Christian symbols like
crosses from public places, they are
trying to impose their own brand of
religion—humanism—on society.

A Failed Religion

Although hoping that we live in a
godless universe is a religious belief,
atheistic humanists do not have a viable
religion based on its own logical

For instance, atheists say they will
believe only what they can prove, but
they cling to a belief—that matter
arose by natural processes—which is
unprovable by empirical science.

  • Adherents believe the universe,
    all life, the laws of nature, and
    laws of logic arose by natural
    processes, but that is not provable.
  • Atheists believe they cease to
    exist after they die, but how can
    this belief be proven?
  • Atheists believe no God exists, but
    can they prove this tenet, unless
    they possess all knowledge?

Since nobody could ever prove the
nonexistence of God (unless that person
had all knowledge, in which case
he would be God), atheism must be a
faith system.

One candid atheist has acknowledged:
“My attitude is not based on
science, but rather on faith. . . . The
absence of a Creator, the nonexistence
of God is my childhood faith, my adult
belief, unshakable and holy.”4

Let us pray that someday soon,
the consciences of America’s federal
judges will be awakened to
their sworn, biblically rooted duty to
“administer justice without respect
to persons” and that nontheistic religious
humanists will cease to exercise
court-shielded dominance in the public
marketplace of ideas.

If Christians keep in mind that
atheism is a religion—and a poor one
at that—we can keep the moral high
ground when defending religious
liberties and sharing our faith. We
believe that life is not just about the
here and now. In our worldview, eternity
awaits. Life has meaning and purpose
because Christ came, was crucified,
and rose again so that all who
believe will enjoy everlasting meaning
and purpose. It’s a message worth
sharing and should not be hindered.

Mark Looy is CCO of Answers in Genesis–US and is one of
the ministry’s founders. Mark has his bachelor’s and master’s
degrees in history from San Diego State University and is the
author of hundreds of articles on a great variety of topics.

This post was originally published on this site