Leader’s Talks

If We Reject Science, It’s Over

By Dr. Joseph Chuman Has America lost its mind? With Donald Trump as our leader and the world’s most powerful man, it feels as if we have entered the kingdom of madness. With Trump has come validation of “alternative facts,” the shameless promulgation of lies, a startling indifference to truth. There are numerous
Read more

Humanism’s Farther Reaches

A former leader of the New York Ethical Society, Jerome Nathanson, often said that in his view Ethical Culture is the most important idea in the world. I often think of that claim when I look at the current state of affairs. Our political moment assaults us with realities that move in a direction opposite […]
Read more

Finding Solace in the Cosmos

By Dr. Joseph Chuman This has been a hard year for all of us, considering the dark political realities that loom large and invade our mental space almost ceaselessly. In order to sustain my sanity, I seek refuge. One place I turn to is a field of interest that captivated me when I was a […]
Read more

Searching for the Common Good

In August 1981, Ronald Reagan carried out his threat and fired 11,000 air-traffic controllers who had gone on strike, demanding higher wages and a shorter workweek. This assault on a vital service early in his presidency set the tone that characterized the Reagan legacy. Not only did it augur the destruction of
Read more

Reclaiming the Light Amid the Darkness

Donald Trump’s mind is like buckshot; concocted thoughts spew out impulsively in all directions. The problem is that he is president of the United States, commanding extraordinary power, and his verbal ejaculations hint at policy or are policy. Divining his intentions is akin to predicting the future by reading
Read more

What it Means to be Human

I have devoted my past five platform addresses to the political maelstrom that lies ahead. As powerful as the impulse to speak again about the political circumstances we are in and the dangers we face, I want to temporarily turn away from that theme and devote my February talk to a topic closer to the […]
Read more

Repairing Our Democratic Values

By Dr. Joseph Chuman, leader of The Ethical Culture Society of Bergen County It’s hard to get excited about them. It’s much harder to get militant in their defense. In fact, it makes one feel a little foolish even to try. But try we must. What I’m referring to are liberal values. It’s much easier […]
Read more

Politics as Tribalism

By Dr. Joseph Chuman, Leader of The Ethical Culture Society of Bergen County It is as frightening as it is mysterious. Donald Trump did not create it, but he has catapulted it to new heights, though “depths” would be a more accurate metaphor. He also exemplifies its greatest danger. What I am referring to is […]
Read more

Staying Sane When the World Seems Not to Be – Sept. 11, 2016

Dr. Joseph Chuman, Leader The Ethical Culture Society of Bergen County As Ethical Culturists, we are attuned to the wider world. And today, to be so attuned is head-spinning. I am referring to the current presidential campaign, which is unprecedented in American history; unprecedented and almost surreal. We go to
Read more

Thinking About Fascism

We have never seen anything like it – a major party candidate for the presidency who is a flaming narcissist, has never held public office and elaborates virtually no program. He is politically vacuous. What he does have are hyperbolic slogans, insults, obscenities and a speaking style not above a fifth
Read more