Joseph Chuman

The cosmic perspective and its consolations

By Dr. Joseph Chuman I am suffering from outrage overload. Given the macabre and oppressive political times we endure, I am not the only one. Many people, no doubt, seek modes of relief and escape. While I assiduously read the papers and magazines of opinion (these I can control), I find that I often turn […]
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The radical Martin Luther King we do not know

This platform address was delivered by Dr. Joseph Chuman, leader of the Ethical Culture Society of Bergen County, at the Society’s meetinghouse on Jan. 7, 2018. By Dr. Joseph Chuman In his acceptance speech of Dec. 10, 2009, upon receiving the Nobel Peace Prize, President Barack Obama said the following:
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Can you host an asylum seeker?

By Dr. Joseph Chuman Fourteen years ago, our Bergen Ethical Culture Society created a new non-profit organization, now called the Northern New Jersey Sanctuary Coalition for Political Asylum Seekers. As many of you know, the mission of the Sanctuary Coalition is to assist political asylum seekers who are fleeing
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The radical Martin Luther King Jr. we do not know

By Dr. Joseph Chuman Martin Luther King Day is almost upon us and its advent comes for me with a sense of ambivalence. That King is worthy of a national holiday, I hold without doubt. He was certainly one of the greatest figures of the 20th century, if not all of American history. His non-violent […]
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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
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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 […]
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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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Trump threatens our moral standards

By Dr. Joseph Chuman There is growing consensus that the Trump presidency is a train wreck: Chaotic, unpredictable, destructive of American norms, engineered by a pathologically impulsive, grandiose and stunningly ignorant man who is narcissistically blind to his own ignorance. The question many, both inside the
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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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From Nationalism to Tyranny, and How We Must Respond

It’s a very important book. It may be the most important book I have read within memory, though it is only 126 short pages and can be finished in less than 40 minutes. Timothy Snyder’s On Tyranny: Twenty Lesson From the Twentieth Century, draws a line between the rise of Fascism and Communist totalitarianism in
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