In an op-ed at NorthJersey.com, Leader Joe Chuman writes about the relationship on display between religious congregations, political leaders, and the need to maintain distancing to end the COVID-19 pandemic:
Recognizing the ethical values inherent in our current moment, my Ethical Culture Society, like countless congregations around the world, has been meeting via virtual formats. It does not replace the richness of coming together in face-to-face gathering. It is not optimal. But it is what ethics and our religious commitments demand of us. Given the risks of acting otherwise, it is a small price to pay.
No phenomenon in our lifetimes demands more from us ethically than the pandemic that we confront. Its reach is universal and it requires that all of us without exception do our part. We are all members of the human family tied together in the web of humanity. If we wish to protect our health and our lives, we must also protect others at the same time. If we fail to do so, we risk spreading the infection to our fellow human beings and raise the level of infection in society as a whole, thus putting our individual selves at greater risk. Regard for the other is self-regarding and to protect ourselves is to simultaneously extend that protection to others. It is this ethical reality that is tragically neglected when people congregate together and ignore the dangers of coronavirus infection.