Humanism And The Family
Robert E. Waldron
The home is the incubator of society. The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world whether it is the hand of a loving, godly mother, or the hand of a state trained employee. Society needs but a generation to change if the minds of that generation can be trained from infancy in the new way.
For centuries it has been recognized that the first few years of a child's life are the most crucial in forming his basic standards, beliefs, and attitudes. Therefore, the homes of a society have largely determined what that society is. Those who would manipulate society realize that adult minds are not the most pliable clay to work with. The ideal mind for him who would rebuild society is that of a small child. It is not surprising that humanists, acting as social architects, have concentrated on the field of education, and, the younger they can get their subjects, the better. This aim brings the guns of the humanists to bear on the home. We want to look at the ways in which humanism is at tacking the family. First, we will study the various legal, legislative, more direct methods that are being used, then the dangerous and highly successful insidious approaches. The National Education Association (NEA) is working to achieve humanist goals. One of their objectives is described in the NEA journal. An article entitled, "Forecast for the 70's," sets forth what amounts to a master plan for education. Notice the first point: "1. Educators will assume responsibility for children when they reach the age of two. Enforced or mandatory foster homes are to be available for children whose homes are felt to have a malignant influence."(1)
A footnote adds this information which should be carefully noted by all in this election year: "In 1975, corresponding legislation in the form of the Child and Family Services Act was proposed by Senator Walter Mondale (D.-MN.), a Humanist. If passed, this legislation would, according to Representative E.G. Schuster (R.-PA.) permit the government 'to legally intervene in the American family,' in that it 'repeatedly opens the door to increased governmental interference with the parental role.'"(2)
There are humanists scattered all along the spectrum of humanism. Some are complete radicals; others are mild. This variation makes it difficult to know what view truly represents humanistic philosophy. Another thing that makes it difficult to know whether humanists are expressing their true views is that there is nothing in their philosophy to keep them from lying if they think it will advance their cause. Most humanists are married, and one can find statements such as: "The institution of marriage, despite its faults, plays an indispensable role in the good life and the happy life . . . ." But the statement goes on to say that the state should allow for a quick, no-fault divorce. "We must take the lock out of wedlock . . . . "(3) Most humanists would go on record as approving of marriage, but at the same time, they would approve of other lifestyles and would make marriage a thing of convention and convenience, not of divine sanction.
Some of the most shrill and venomous statements made about the family have come from the feminists. In 1970, Roxanne Dunbar wrote: "The present female liberation movement, like the movement for black liberation and national liberation, has begun to identify strongly with Marxist class analysis."(4) She begins section four with the question: "How will the family unit be destroyed?"(5)
Of course, one of the problems in destroying the family unit is who is going to look after the children? Dunbar says, "Our demand for full-time child care in the public schools will be met to some degree all over, and perhaps fully in places."(6)
At this point our thread of thought goes back to the NEA "Master Plan," mentioned above, in which educators would be given responsibility for children from the age of two upward.
Having heard these dire warnings, many begin to envision having to take their children and going out to hide in the rocks and the caves to avoid having their children taken away. At this point, even the humanists do not plan to take our children away. Do you know why? Because we are giving them away voluntarily! The humanists, feminists, and other enemies of the home will simply make it convenient for us to turn our children over to them. With so many mothers working out of the home (which is a strong part of their strategy), it is a constant problem to find some place to leave the kids, and there is the cost of baby-sitters. Would it not be convenient to have state day-care centers where you could dump, I mean leave your children, go to work or play, and come back that afternoon and pick them up?
In the whole subject of humanism, we are too often guilty of conjuring up a specter which frightens us to death, while the invisible enemy does his job with deadly efficiency, unnoticed. Public day-care centers, and especially state or federally sponsored ones, should be anathema to caring parents. These are the places which will be more accessible to the influence of humanist organizations. "Day Care is a powerful institution . . . . A day care program that ministers to a child from six months to six years has over 8,000 hours to teach him values, fears, beliefs, and behaviors."(7)
Not only do humanists want to gain control of children as early as possible, but there are some who would like to be able to remove children from homes if those homes do too good a job countering the humanist line. One way in which this might be done is on the grounds of child abuse. In a work called Child Abuse.- A Pastoral Perspective, spanking, or any physical chastisement, is called child abuse. If one says, "God won't like you if you don't behave," or "Honor your father and mother and don't argue," he is guilty of verbal abuse. This preposterous work also mentions sexual abuse and says that rejection by the parents of sex education for the child is a possible indicator of sexual abuse.(8)
Of course, if child abuse were to be proven (according to these humanistic guidelines), then the child could be taken and placed in a "proper" home. Quotations indicating a plan to be able to take children from the home can be multiplied. As pointed out above, some of the strongest statements on this subject come from the Women's Liberation Movement. "With the destruction of the nuclear family must come a new way of looking at children. They must be seen as the responsibility of an entire society rather than individual parents."(9) One of the most explicit quotes concerning the matter of children comes from Dr. Mary Jo Bane, Assistant Professor of Education at Wellesley College: "We really don't know how to raise children. If we want to talk about equality of opportunity for children, then the fact that children are raised in families means there's no equality. It's a dilemma. In order to raise children with equality, we must take them away from families and communally raise them . . . . It (divorce) makes for better family life . . . . Divorce improves the quality of marriage."(10)
Whether the humanists and feminists occupy the same position on getting the children out of the home or destroying the home, one thing is certain. They both are very determined to "terminate all religious and moral views except their own.
Let me deal now with the more insidious methods of humanism. The most effective platform and advocate for humanism is television. Television is totally dominated by humanists. Have you noticed that any time religion is portrayed on TV, it is either presented in a ridiculous, selfrighteous light, or it is shown as a faded, almost completely impotent force? Preachers are still listed as number one of those professions most admired and trusted. That kind of esteem for preachers does not set well with humanists. Have you noticed that preachers are presented either as rather comical, ineffective men who are not really important (Mulcahy on Mash who obviously does not measure up to the doctors), or as sadistic hypocrites or psychotics driven mad by their efforts to be strict?
Nearly all programs today center around sex. There is a message being taught. In a study of the people responsible for the television fare
being offered today, this paragraph is found: "Moreover, two out of three believe that TV entertainment should be a major force for
social reform. This is perhaps the single most striking finding in our study. According to television's creators, they are not in it just for
the money. They also seek to move their audiences toward their own vision of the good society."(11)
We should not limit our criticism of TV to its emphasis on sex. Its entire presentation of morality is either completely amoral or pragmatic. The networks also equate the good life with money and having things. Very few main characters are shown living in an average house of an average income family. The character drives a fine car, wears expensive clothes, drinks expensive wines, and lives in an apartment (or mansion) which has been professionally decorated. In other words, an artificial lifestyle is created and held before us as the ideal. Since most of us do not make fifty to a hundred thousand dollars a year, the wife has to go to work to help finance the American dream. And the peer pressure, which we accuse the teenagers of having such problems with, is so powerful that we will throw aside the kids, the Lord, and everything we have been taught, to keep up with the Jones.
Husbands and wives are taught that somewhere there is a better life, a more exciting man, a more alluring woman. Dissatisfaction is bred into our hearts. Women are made to feel unfulfilled if 'all' they do is bear and rear the children. They go out and get jobs where they work with men and women who are immoral, who live a fast life. Soon they feel shackled. They are not free to be themselves. Soon books show up on how to be an assertive woman. Many of these works ought to be called how to be a selfish per-son. Soon there is a divorce. The couple is lost, the children are lost, and a little more of society crumbles.
We who are Christians, fighting the good fight of faith, are going to have to find our swords and refurbish our armor (Eph. 6:10-18). We need to reorder our priorities. When we let our children watch TV unsupervised, allow them to go (and go ourselves) to PG movies, in which nudity and strong sexual innuendo are found, and to R-rated movies, where nudity is shown, where the sex act is depicted, and where traumatizing violence is shown, when we pretend that the laws of nature governing male and female relationships are suspended so that boys and girls, men and women can hold each other's body while dancing, or look upon each other's almost unclad body with no lascivious effect, we are deceiving ourselves. We are showing that our "fight" against humanism is a pretense, and we are making a mockery of the call to "come ye out from among them, and be ye separate" (2 Cor. 6:17).
The churches are badly infected and sick and swollen with worldliness and materialism. There are many churches where a preacher who is known to be strict on moral issues is not welcome. We are the church. Our problem is at home. It is in our hearts. If we are serious about fighting humanism, we must realize that it is not the only enemy, and that the only way we can fight all the enemies of truth is by preparing our hearts to seek God, and by putting on the whole armor of God. "Having therefore these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God" (2 Cor. 7:1).
1. Today's Education, "Forecast for the 70's, " January, 1969. Quoted in The Siecus Circle, Claire Chambers, p. 273.
2. Ibid., pp. 273, 274.
3. Ashley Montagu, quoted in The Child Seducer, John Steinbacher, page 341. Quoted in Gospel Anchor, December, 1982, p. 15.
4. Roxanne Dunbar, "Fernale Liberation as the Basis for Social Revolution," in Sisterhood is Powerful, ed. by Robin Morgan (New York: Vintage Books A Division of Random House, 1970), p. 486.
5. Ibid., p. 488.
6. Ibid., p. 488.
7. White House Conference on Children, Report to the President, 1970, p. 278.
8. Mary Krider, "Toward Non-Violent Parenting," Child Abuse, Jefferson County Child Abuse Authority. Quoted in Gospel Anchor, December 1982, pp. 19, 20.
9. The Document. declaration of feminism, cited in bulletin from Citizens Forum, date NA.
10. Dr. Mary Jo Bane, quoted in an AP story in Tulsa Sunday World, August 21, 1977.
11. Hollywood and America.- The Odd Couple, quoted in the NFD (National Federation of Decency) Informer, March, 1983.
Guardian of Truth XXVIII: 14, pp. 425-427