Leader’s Talks

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 […]
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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
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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
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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 […]
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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 […]
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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 […]
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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
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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
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The Farther Reaches of America’s Racism

By Dr. Joe Chuman, Jan 3, 2016 Preview of the address The New Year usually arrives on the wings of hope and the anticipation that the year aborning will usher in an improvement over the past. Given the times we live in, hope is a disposition that we badly need. As Ethical Culturists, our outlooks […]
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What’s Reason Got to Do With It? Sun, May 3, 2015

…Why Americans Deny Climate Change, Embrace Creationism, Believe in Ghosts and Other Preposterous Ideas By Dr. Joseph Chuman, Leader of The Ethical Culture Society of Bergen County I find it one of the most astounding and disturbing facts about Americans. It is also more than a little frightening. And that
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