We are inundated by a spate of books and a tsunami of articles, popular and learned, issuing their warnings about the decline of democracy in America. I don't think their writers are jockeying for headlines or pandering to sensationalism. They are on to something.
From the stagnation of Congress to the power of big money; from the tribalization of political views to a loss of enchantment in democratic values, I do think our democracy is being severely challenged. History tells us that democracies do rise and fall, and there is no guarantee that American democracy will survive forever. In the final analysis, democracy is as democracy does.
While Ethical Culture has always been a numerically small movement, I will argue that the values that Ethical Culture stands for and puts into practice serve as an inspirational model of what a vibrant democratic life style, both nationally and in the local arenas of life, can look like. We have something of great importance to contribute to the needed revitalization of American democracy at this challenging political moment.
Presider: Barbara Carlsen
Shared Charity: This week’s shared charity is the Northern New Jersey Sanctuary Coalition, which sponsors people who have applied for political asylum and been released from federal detention, and for selected other asylum seekers — helping them to establish themselves and achieve self-sufficiency. Services include housing, access to medical care, financial support, educational opportunities, liaison with attorneys, and more.