On Sunday, January 31st the American Ethical Union hosted “Replacing Magical Thinking with Rational Discourse: How can freethinkers help restore democracy?” The platform was shared by representatives from all twenty-five national Ethical Societies and featured music from the Washington Ethical Society Chorus, Jaque DuPree and Barry Kornhauser, with presiders Vandra Thorburn, Elaine Durbach and Lyn Cox.
As we face this historical moment, when cult thinking and fake news have fueled an attempted insurrection, yet grassroots organizing gives us hope in the future of multiracial democracy, we reflect on the intellectual traditions supporting a free society. What do our shared values lead us to do now in order to cultivate a world in which we bring out the best in each other and ideas are allowed to flourish without threat of violence? A panel of ‘freethinkers’ from within our movement will draw from philosophy, history, and Ethical Culture. They are Dr. David Sprintzen, Professor Emeritus at Long Island University; Christian Hayden, Leader-in-Training at the Ethical Society of St. Louis; and Jone Johnson Lewis, Leader at the Riverdale-Yonkers Society for Ethical Culture.
This program is part of our All-Ethical Societies Platform series, in which Ethical Culture societies from around the country will join together on Zoom to learn and grow together.
Sunday Platform is our most important and long-standing community event. These gatherings educate, stimulate personal growth, inspire reflection and action, and strengthen our community. Sunday meetings usually begin with music, followed by greetings and a talk given by a Society Leader, member, or guest. Platforms cover a variety of topics that reflect current events, pressing social issues, and Ethical Culture philosophy. A collection basket is passed and money is shared between the Society and a charity selected for that day. While contributions are always appreciated, Sunday meetings are free and open to the public. Each Sunday meeting is followed by a luncheon and social hour.
To view previous Sunday Platform addresses and interviews, visit the Ethical NYC YouTube channel.